Can of Snow!

Friday, December 21, 2012

With the temperature set to hit 40 degrees here on Christmas Day, and the fact we live in Western Australia, there's absolutely no chance of snow ... or is there?

As soon as I saw this super-duper, cutesey-matootsey "Can of Snow" idea on How Does She yesterday, I knew immediately we were going to have snow at our house this Christmas.  I love it and the kids will too.  We can have a snowball fight, it can be sneakily placed around the house as Santa or reindeer footprints or we can use it to decorate.  I'm thinking we will probably go with the "fight" option and gather all the kids in the backyard for a bit of snowballing fun.  It'll not only be a different experience for them but after a couple of hours in the freezer, it'll cool them down too!

The supplies.

It's so simple to make.  This is what you will need:

  • Empty tins (I got mine from a Solver Paint shop for $3 each)
  • Lid opener (optional but cute - only 50c at Bunnings)
  • Sea Salt or Rock Salt (to fill 3 x 1L tins I used 2 x 1kg bags of salt)
  • Cornflour (I used 2 x 500g bags of cornflour)
  • Glitter

Mix it all together and voila! You have snow!


The very gorgeous labels are provided free for "How Does She" readers so if you want to get your hands on them, you will need to subscribe to How Does She.  I have been a subscriber for a while now and not only is their site absolutely beautiful, they always have fabulous ideas and are ridiculously creative.  They also regularly offer free printables so they are well worth subscribing to.  Go on, you'll be very happy you did.

So, will you be experiencing a white Christmas this year (a real one) or will you be like us and melting on Christmas Day trying hard to stay cool by throwing chilled cornflour at each other?!

A very Merry Christmas to you all and I hope you get to spend lots of lovely quality time with your family and friends.  Take care, stay safe and enjoy this very special time. xxx

Kid's Xmas Straw Art

Monday, December 17, 2012

My son had some friends over for a play-date on the weekend and after they'd had their fill of trampolining, playing in the sand-pit, racing in the go-cart and building towers, and after we'd put little sister down for a sleep, we sat down for a quiet bit of Christmas crafting (it's always much quieter without little sister, and to be honest, quite a bit more enjoyable!). 

I had a big packet of straws left over from my work Xmas function so we decided to make some little straw Xmas decorations with them.  All we needed, other than the straws, were some pipe cleaners, some beads and a decorative something for the centre.

This is what we did:
  • Took 4 pipe cleaners and crossed them over each other at the centre to form a rough star or snowflake
  • Twisted the pipe cleaners over each other at the centre to keep it together (this is the only bit none of the kids could do, although they did try hard)
  • Once we had a a rough star/snowflake shape, we threaded each pipe cleaner with a piece of straw
  • We left about an inch of pipe cleaner out of the end of the straw which we threaded with a bead
  • We added another little inch of pipe cleaner to the end of each straw and again threaded with a bead
  • We then glued a decorative touch to the middle to hide the centre twist
Voila! A very kid-friendly, non-messy, easy Xmas craft project.


Both 5 year olds and the 9 year old really enjoyed making these, did a lovely job and could manage all but the twisting bit by themselves ... which always makes Mummy happy, especially when she's got a great coffee on the go!

My son also snuck in a couple of Christmas cards too.  The first is a cute Christmas Tree and the second is a ... rocket sleigh.  Of course it is. :)

Teacher Xmas Gifts

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I struggled a bit this year with the "teacher appreciation" gifts - not the giving bit because I adore my son's teachers but the "doing" bit.   The problem is, and it could possibly be called an addiction, there is actually way too much online inspiration and way too many wonderful ideas, that one (me) has a tendency to just gaze (and dream) for long lengths of time at all this inspiration and with each new amazing thing I see, my decision changes as to what it is I'm actually going to do.  I then feel as if I'm going nutty with the indecisiveness of it all and my Martha brain just gets even more muddled! 

I don't actually know when, in all this fuzziness, I reached a decision but in the end I decided on little glass magnets and bought a super-easy (read no brain power involved) DIY magnet kit from "Stuck Together Magnets" on Etsy (my other addiction).  The kit comes with everything you need to create really cute, square and round, glass magnets. 
Source: Stuck Together Magnets

I decided to use my own cardstock for the backs of the magnets and cut the shapes to size using my Silhouette. The cardstock shapes included with the kit were perfectly fine but I wanted a theme & colours to suit my son's main teacher - something a bit zesty, fresh, quirky, colourful and a touch whimsical, which pretty much sums her up!  To personalise the magnets and to add a bit of fun, I stuck a vinyl letter on the cardstock first before attaching it to the glass, spelling out "Thank you xo". 

They were very easy to put together and because all the supplies are included in the kit the project can be quick and effortless. I made it a bit lengthier by putting in my own cardstock and letters but it still wasn't at all difficult.

I packaged the magnets in little glass spice jars from Spotlight, added some green cardstock to the underside of the lid and some washi tape to the outside.  I printed the label on kraft cardstock and cut them out using my scalloped paper punch.  The label reads, "It's the little things ... that make a big difference in our kid's lives.  Thank you for making a big difference in Finn's".  I then tied it all together with my trusty string.

I love the crispness and simplicity of glass and I think magnets make such a practical gift ... afterall, everyone's fridge could do with a few more, don't you think?

Matchbox Advent Calendar

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A couple of years ago, actually it was the last Tuesday in November, I decided I wanted to make an Advent Calendar.  I remember exactly when it was because I had just finished watching an episode of "Packed to the Rafters" where they talked and laughed about their family's Advent Calendar and the memories around it (and the arguments they had over who's turn it was to open a box!).  It was so adorable and such a lovely Christmas tradition that I set about making one straight away.  To be honest, and this is probably ridiculously unbelievable to most of you, I didn't even know what an Advent Calendar was before watching that episode.  We didn't have one growing up and neither did any of my friends so not only did I enjoy some TV that night, I actually learnt something too.  And, the best thing is, three Christmas's later, it's still in use, still looks perfectly fine and my son can't wait for it to go up (he'll get a nice surprise when he gets home from school today!).

I wasn't actually sure where to start so I did a bit of a search and used this one as my inspiration.  I loved everything about the matchboxes - the look, the texture, their compactness and because I was in a wee bit of a hurry with only days to go before December 1st, I knew I could source them easily at my local Spotlight.  I did, however, want the calendar to be portable so I bought a cheap frame, spray-painted it white, removed the glass and covered the backing board with some hessian (burlap) for a bit of added interest and texture.

This year's goodies

I then made a start on those gorgeous little boxes.  I bought a whole range of bits & pieces from Spotlight - mini Christmas decorations, buttons, string, rub-on numbers, ribbons and felt balls and over two nights in front of the TV, I decorated away, getting 24 completed on November 30th!  Each little box is filled with either a treat (chocolate), a note ("Xmas Movie Night", "Do some Christmas Craft", "Go and see the Xmas Lights" etc), a decoration (for my kids to place on the tree) or a little toy (this year I've chosen "Crazy Bones" to add to my son's collection).  For the notes, I used the free printables at A Little Delightful and to keep track of the activities I have promised within the calendar, because in the craziness of the December month I would absolutely totally forget, I also use A Little Delightful's Christmas Calendar printable (thanks Bianca - you make it so easy for us!) to jot down what's happening on what day.  I also add in other commitments and social events otherwise my brain gets a bit overwhelmed and has a tendency to go into hiding, plus this way we're all clear on what's going on in the household.



So, I've gone from not knowing what the heck an Advent Calendar was to it becoming a new family tradition which is now in its third year.  Thank you, "Packed to the Rafters" and Channel 7 - you educated me, inspired me and introduced my family to a whole lot of Christmas loveliness!

Take care and enjoy this very special, family time.

PS:  Hot tip: if I was to make this particular style of calendar again, I would leave bigger gaps between the boxes which would make it easier to insert the goodies.

Christmas Gift Wrapping

Friday, November 23, 2012

One of my beautiful craft BFF's always, always, always wraps her presents beautifully.  It doesn't matter what the occasion - it could be a one year old's birthday, a Kris Kringle or just a random gift, her wrapping is impeccable, always, without fail.  She probably wouldn't know this but after seeing the effort she put into wrapping my son's first birthday present four years ago, I made a quiet pact with myself to lift my gift-wrapping game and to add a bit of personality, love and "spunk" to each little parcel I gifted from that moment on. 

For the past few years I have been approaching Christmas wrapping in the same way - putting a little love, thought and colour into the equation - and while I haven't decided yet what this year's wrapping theme will be, I thought I would share with you some of my favourite, totally gorgeous, Christmas wrapping "candy". 

Be warned, these images might make your heart beat a little faster than normal and you might feel compelled to break the speed limit on the way to your nearest craft store. Take a deep breath ... you'll be okay.  Honestly.


Source: Katla Adams via Nikki on Pinterest
This could easily be adapted for Christmas by just changing out the patterned paper and message.
Source: Eighteen 25 Blog via Nikki on Pinterest

Source: Eden Rose Blog via Nikki on Pinterest
Source: Older & Wisor Blog via Nikki on Pinterest
Source: Google
Source: Etsy - Vol 25 via Nikki on Pinterest
My personal fave.  How fresh & zesty is it? Source; The 36th Avenue Blog via Nikki on Pinterest
So simple but so sweeeeeeeet. Source: Older and Wisor Blog via Nikki on Pinterest
Love the big labels, handwritten names and foliage touch. Source: via Nikki on Pinterest
The little details make a big difference, don't you think?  And it doesn't have to be super fancy, super difficult or super expensive.  In fact, most of the above are super simple & really quite plain but they just "feel" all loved up and cleverly crafty (have you worked out I have a bit of a thing for Kraft paper?).
How about you?  Have you got Christmas all "wrapped up"?
Take care and enjoy the Christmas lead up.

Recycled Gift Tags

Monday, November 19, 2012

How seriously cute are these "Run Scotty Run" clothing tags?  Too cute to throw away, that's for sure.  Today I decided to get them out of their little tin and recycle them as special little gift tags.  I have been saving them for a while.  I'm not a hoarder, seriously (although if you saw my earlier "Monica Closet" post you would probably disagree), I just find it hard to part with things that are cute and MAY someday have another purpose.

The one side was perfect already - just a plain, bright colour - but the underneath, where the price and other information is printed, needed to be covered up. I decided to use some scrapbooking paper I already had for the underside.  I then just used a very sharp pencil, traced around the shape and using small, sharp scissors I cut it out.  I did try cutting it out with a cutting knife but I found I had less control and kept moving away from the line.  I used spray adhesive to join the two together, which worked perfectly - no messy blobbiness or residue.

Now look at them. All prettied up and ready to be used in some gift taggin' goodness! And I just happened to have a party to go to so this particular little Run Scotty Run tag had his first assignment - a one year old's birthday party ... and he performed beautifully!


How about you? Are you like me and have difficulty throwing out the "cute & adorables", keeping them for another day and another project? Or are you the "out with the old, in with the new" type?  If you are the latter, and you happen to be throwing out some RSR tags, please message me first!

Take care and enjoy the little things ...