Today’s fun Christmas activity involved a little bit of baking and a whole lot of decorating to create gorgeous cherry nosed reindeers.
The reindeer biscuits are gingerbread, cut out using a gingerbread man cutter turned upside down. How easy is that!
I did the baking (using the Gingerbread man recipe on Taste.com) and the boys came in to help with the decorating. We had a real production line.
Hamish was in charge of the eyes. I used Queens Chocolate Fudge decorating pen to put little spots on the biscuit. Hamish then carefully placed a white chocolate disc on top and the chocolate fudge once set held it in place. One more spot of fudge and then the dark choc bit was added to create real reindeer eyes.
Will was in charge of the red nose. Again, a dot of chocolate fudge once dried held the cherry nose in place.
Finally I drew on the antlers, again using the chocolate fudge decorating pen.
Hamish and Will both had a turn at adding antlers to their biscuits. It’s a little tricky but they did a great job.
The cherries turned out to be a little too tempting for the helpers so some deer had to have smarty noses instead.
The boys were thrilled to receive a video message from Santa. They sat wide-eyed in disbelief.
Just a few steps and your child can have their very own personalised message too!
Will has been inspired by all of the Christmas decorations I have been making this year and decided to make his own.
Rachel from Spinnering had a fantastic idea for a Christmas Advent Calendar. You simply come with a fun activity for each day from 1 December right through to Christmas day. I just love this idea but I haven’t organised anything yet so I’m going to try to be spontaneous each day and come up with something special to do to celebrate the Christmas Season.
For Day 1 I created a Treasure Hunt. As well as the Felt Advent Calendar I have been making, I bought the boys a Lego Knights Advent Calendar. (Have I mentioned that I love Christmas???) I thought it might be fun to create a treasure hunt for them to find it. I’m not talking anything too fancy or complicated – they’re only young so I didn’t want them to get bored with it PLUS I really only had 5 minutes before I left to pick them up to pull this all together.
I came up with four really simple clues that I knew they would know the answers to, and that would direct them to the next clue. The first one was on the sideboard at the front door: ‘Blue and Silver only on here please!’. The boys knew just what this was referring to – Christmas Decorations on the Christmas tree.
They headed straight for the Christmas tree and found the next clue: ‘You sit here to watch TV’.
The couch. And there was the next clue: ‘You sit here with Mum and Dad to eat your dinner.’
The Kitchen Dining Table. And there was the last clue: ‘Under here is a great place to make a cubby house’.
The boys ran into the Dining Room to the big square table covered in a white cloth and surrounded by chairs making it the perfect place to create a cubby, and inside look what they found:
They were thrilled. They ripped open the paper and looked in disbelief. Lego Advent Calendar. ‘You mean we get new Lego every day right up to Christmas’. I guess that is pretty cool for two little boys. We had such a fun time. Wonder what we’ll do tomorrow!
Are you wondering how my Felt Advent Calendar is progressing? Well, with two days to go until the calendar kicks off you might think I’m running a little behind. So here’s the progress…
I’ve selected 24 silver buttons from my huge collection of odd left over buttons and sewn them on.
I wasn’t sure whether to choose something quite neutral and non-descript or something with a bit of character. I chose the latter.
I’ve made quite a few of my felt decorations.
A Christmas stocking
A little heart
A Christmas bauble
A babushka doll
And a star for the top
I’ve made a start on a few more. The next one I’m tackling is one of the three wise men. This is a little more intricate than the other decorations as you can see by the many pieces of felt that are going into making it up.
So, as I said two more days to go, and 15 decorations! Do you think the kids will notice if not every pocket has a decoration in it on the 1st December? I think not but I’d better get moving all the same. Lot’s of ideas, inspiration, in some cases down-right copying came from Homemade by Jill. Thanks for spurring me along, Jill!
Not technically ‘created by me’ – but I did create the little man who created them. As I’ve mentioned before we love Apricot Balls – and they are a fabulous Christmas treat. So – when Hamish had to deliver a presentation at school on something he loved to eat we decided on Apricot Balls. They’re easy to make, taste delicious and I just happened to have the ingredients for them in the cupboard.
So, here’s how Hamish made them.
Weigh 300g of apricots. Then process until finely chopped.
Add half a packet of Nice biscuits to the apricots in the food processor and wizz.
Open a can of condensed milk (if you’re 7 or under you might need help from an adult!).
Add the apricot and biscuit mixture to a bowl and stir in the condensed milk. If the weather is warm it’s a good idea to pop this combined mixture into the fridge for around half an hour to firm it up a little.
Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and then into coconut.
Then…do the dishes!
I am still stitching, stitching, stitching to try to make enough hand made felt Christmas Decorations to fill the tree. And I’ve even started creating some of my own designs, including this little felt flower that is just so simple to make.
Start by cutting out four petals. I cut the felt 4.5cm x 5cm, then trimmed the narrow edge to make a peak. It’s easiest to fold the two longer edges together and then trim to make the peak.
Next step is to join each of these together with one long piece of thread.
Pull this thread through to bring all of the petals together and create a flower.
Next cut a small circle to sit in the gap between the petals.
You can cover this in little seed beads to create some sparkle.
Finally sew this little circle onto the flower.
The final step is to sew a loop on to the flower to hang it on the tree.
I am progressing slowly on my hand made Christmas decorations. My stitches are still imperfect but how cute are these little doves…
The pattern for these is available in Fa la la la Felt. I used a diamonte for the eye rather than a little button. I think it will shimmer beautifully with the Christmas lights on the tree. More decorations to make…and then a new Christmas tree to buy! I love Christmas!!!
Yes, it is a little early to be talking about Christmas, but I just bought the most gorgeous book of felt Christmas decorations – Fa la la la Felt by Amanda Carestio. I bought the digital version but if you aren’t as impulsive as me and you’re happy to wait for the delivery it is also available on Amazon.
I’m not very good at hand sewing so I’m going to have to start early if I’m going to make all the things I like in the book before December 25th!
Here are some of my favourites.
And here is my very first attempt at a felt Christmas Decoration. I hope my stitches get a little neater as I go.
I think I might make the Bird Garland next.
My family loves fruit cake. I always make one at Christmas, and then once or twice during the year. I have one recipe that I use every time – it’s delicious and always works out perfectly. But – I found a recipe in ‘Totally Simple Food’ for Little Fruit Cakes, so thought I’d try it out. They are basically mini fruit cakes cooked in a muffin pan. The recipe is sooooo simple and they taste very good.
The recipe calls for sultanas and raisins but I used what I had on hand: sultanas, craisins, dried apricots, glace cherries and goji berries.