Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas


Christmas Nativity Set

This is our new nativity set. I love it. It is tough so the kids can play with it.

Amelia playing with the Nativity set

And they have been playing with it lots. It hasn't spent much time on display because its been on the coffee table getting played with. The girls have been telling the story of the first Christmas over and over using this.

I am going to have a break from the Crisis for a bit over the holidays. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and remember why we celebrate this special time.

'And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not:
'Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy
which will be to all people,
Unto you is born this day
a Saviour which is Christ the Lord.'
Luke 2:11

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas tree treat cups

Spoiler alert: Any family members reading this need to stop reading now and come back after Christmas. Or act surprised when you get one of these from the kids on Christmas. Okay? Good.

party hat trees

Our treat cups are done for this year. What a relief! Almost last minute. Using similar ideas to our previous years treat cups, we used a paper cup as the base. Esther decided we needed to make Christmas trees. I was trying to work out how I could get the right shape for one when I saw a party hat the girls had. I just flattened it out and traced around it onto some sheets of green card.

flat hat tree

Party hats have a little flap that fits into the slit to make them stay together. Perfect. It made rolling them into their cone shapes so much easier. The girls all helped painting the paper cups brown for a tree trunk and then decorated the cone trees.

Preparing lollies for tree treat cups

Of course, the part where we filled them with lollies... well... that takes a long time when little girls have to taste test them :-)

Tree treat cup preparations

We attached the cone to the cup with double sided tape.

Sparkly pipe cleaner star

The star on top is made by twisting a glittery pipe cleaner around a star cookie cutter.

Finished Tree treat cups

The finished product. We made 14 of them. And I hope by the time we give them to all the family, there is still 14. They are full of lollies remember! Mmm... lollies.

It has been a busy week this week. Christmas break ups, shopping and visits to the big building have really taken their toll on everyone. Hopefully, after a good night's sleep tonight, we will all wake up ready for the festivities over the weekend. In fact, I am quite sure the kids will be up at some ridiculous hour in the morning just because it's Christmas eve. They have been excited today because its Christmas eve, eve. Anyway, I have got another one (or maybe two) posts to squeeze in before Christmas so I will see you tomorrow.

Cardboard gingerbread houses

Flat house pieces

Last Christmas, I saw lots of ideas of making glittery houses for Christmas decorations. Small round cardboard tube houses, paper cup houses, grand cottages cut from paper and card. I really liked the ones that had lots of windows and a little LED candle inside. Pretty. This is what I came up with for us to make. We made some last year and we have finished some more for this year.

Cardboard gingerbread houses. I used the dimensions for the fabric dolls house and cut the pieces out of scrap photo mat board. It's great for this project because it is so sturdy.

Blank houses

The pieces are all stuck together with tape. I made a window and opening door at the front. The back panel, was cut 1/3 of the way across. Does that make sense? So it has one wide door and a small door. Then the back wall opens out so the inside can be played with too.

Decorated Cardboard Gingerbread Houses

The girls painted them brown (not a very good gingerbread colour - but that is all I had) and then once they were dry they decorated them with foam stickers.

Felt gingerbread men

And these are the little gingerbread men I made (in the girls favourite colours) to live inside. I made them last year too. I traced around a cookie cutter and decreased the size until it was the right size for the houses. I used 2 layers or felt for these to give them a bit of thickness. The kids are having great fun playing with these. They line all the houses up so they can be neighbours and go over to each others houses for tea. It's very funny.

Sleeps til Christmas... 2!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Our decorated tree


I can't believe Christmas is only days away. I had a list of things to do and I have gradually been deleting things from that list that I have no hope in getting done. Oh well. It was only extra stuff anyway. Not going to lose sleep over it. Anyway, I thought I would share our tree. The kids decorated it. I am cool with that. I use to get stressed about these things but I can deal with a kid decorated tree for a few years. They won't be kids forever. I love to see what they make. They are starting to get more of their own ideas about how to do things so I think next year will be interesting to see how they do it then.

Amelia's silver decoration

Our tree is a mixture of store bought decorations that have been strong enough to stand up to the kids 'attention' over the years and homemade decorations. Last year and this year I have bought packets of the cheap baubles from the Reject Shop and gave the girls some permanent markers and glitter glue and told them to decorate. They love it.

kids tree decorations

We have lots of white card shapes covered in pens and glitter glue. And a really long white and yellow paper chain stuck together with cheap Christmas sticky tape (also from the Reject Shop).

Our tree

This year, my contribution was a recycled Christmas card circle garland. Seems everyone in blogosphere is making circle garlands and I thought it would be a great way to use up a pile of old cards.

Christmas card circles

Lastly, presents do not live under our tree. I remember what we use to get up to as kids when we were little and I am not having that! The presents come out Christmas morning when everyone (Mummy and Daddy) is awake enough to care about opening presents. The kids have their Christmas stockings to entertain them until it's present time.

Counting down the sleeps now. :-)

Paper Reindeers

Christmas reindeers

When I first saw these I had high hopes of having a whole herd of them under our tree. But then I started cutting them out! Those antlers made me crazy. I even cut off some of it off to make it easier to cut out. Anyway, the kids did these when Amelia was on the pump one night. Esther and Ellamay are probably almost old enough to cut these out by themselves, but I did it this time so it was a quick craft. I love those googly eyes. I don't why we haven't used them before now. I will be stocking up on them after Christmas because they are a cool thing to have in our craft supplies. Go over here to find the printable reindeer craft.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Locust flight

We have a bit of a locust problem around here at the moment. Those little specks in the photo above are locusts flying. It's kind of creepy being in the middle of it when they are really bad but I like to imagine that we are actually in the middle of autumn and those are just leaves. Much easier to cope with than these little things.

Locust shadow

Buggy windscreen


Corrosive locusts

It is kind of messy to drive through them too.

Rolled felt candles

Rolled felt candles

The kids put these candles together while Amelia was on the pump the other night. They turned out really well. It's a great Christmas craft but really why not do it for a birthday too? That would be fun.
Find the instructions for this craft here. We just used double sided tape to stick them together. And we didn't put the loop on ours to hang them obviously. Esther started making a candle holder for hers but was working on it at bed time so it didn't get finished. Try these candles out. There are lots of possibilities with this craft.

I hope to get lots of posts up in the next couple of days before Christmas. Hope your last preparations for Christmas are going well.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fabric Dolls House

Another fabric dolls house

I am feeling pretty proud of myself. I have moments like that. This last week I finished and gifted this fabric dolls house. Our friend's daughter turned two while Amelia was in hospital so we missed her birthday. I must admit, I hadn't even given it too much thought before that. What to get for a two year old girl when she is the youngest of four? I remembered the dolls house and thought this would be perfect. This is the fourth one I have made. It is such a great pattern. And if you can cope with handing over all that work, its a great gift too.

Inside dolls house

The flowers are from lace that was on my mum's wedding dress. I stitched the pink centres.

Lace flowers on dolls house

The dolls house was a big hit with my friend. The little girl figured it out as soon as she took it home and put some things in it to cart around.


This is the one I made for Amelia over 12 months ago. When I first came across the tutorial to make these I thought it was a fabulous idea for Amelia because she could take it to the Big Building (Royal Children's Hospital) when she has her clinic visits. And it has been carted all over the place full of little toys that can be pulled out and played with anywhere.


Esther and Ellamay didn't want to be left out and so I made them one each too. They chose their fabric. They are using theirs as sewing bags now. They keep their knitting dolls and pom pom makers in there.

Fabric Barn House

I made a barn for my nephew because he had received lots of Fisher Price Little People and Farms animals for his birthday last year. I thought he could take it with him places.

If you would like to make one too, head over to UK Lass in US for the tutorial. They would make a sweet Christmas gift if you could bear to part with it. And if you don't have a ridiculously long list of things to do between now and then!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas sewing book

You might remember me raving about the Book Depository before because of their great book prices and worldwide free postage and here I go again. I was looking for books to buy the kids for Christmas and I found this one. Christmas things to stitch and sew. I figured since it was cheaper than me buying a magazine and because it looked cute and easy, that was good enough justification to buy it. :-) There seems to be lots of great titles under the Usborne Activities label which I wish I had have found a couple of weeks ago because they would have been perfect for my girls for Christmas. It's too late to get them here on time now. Anyway, here are some of my favourite things out of the book.

Reindeer collage

Snowmen and Penguins

Holly wreath

Christmas angels

Christmas dove

I love the angels and the wreath and the reindeer collage... well, you get the picture. The projects are all very simple so perfect for beginners or people like me who like a quick turn around on a project. I would love to make some but I think I might just be planning these for next year at this stage. It is really pretty to just look at for the time being.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Star trees

Star trees

Aren't these cool? Paper Christmas trees made from different sized stars. Mum cut out all those stars for Esther and Ellamay to make these a couple of years ago. We found the craft in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine that year.

Mum used a plain paper cup for the base and stuck through some pencils for the trunk. Then they just pressed the stars onto the pencil and twisted it into position. The girls were quite proud of themselves for these trees. The trees sat on our table (in between getting thrown around the house) as decoration.

I was googling around trying to find this craft somewhere on the net to link to and found one over at Martha Stewart. She makes the same idea but just using different sized squares. I bet Mum would have loved to know that before she spent hours cutting out all those stars. Thanks Mum. :-) We are fast running out of time before Christmas but I was hoping to make some more of these this year. The kids have only got one more week of school before the holidays so we may get a chance.

I am still trying to work out what else we need to make, do or buy for Christmas and I am not getting anywhere. There seems to be so much else going on. I am full of ideas but just don't seem to have enough hours in the day (or the energy).  Still have quite a bit of Christmas stuff to share if I can get the photos uploaded.

How are your Christmas preparations going?

Reindeer Candy Canes

Candy cane reindeer

We made these so the kids could hand them out to their classmates when they handed out their Christmas cards. Don't they look kind of scary cute? I think it's the ones with the big googly eyes. They look kind of crazy.

Stunned candy cane reindeer

You have probably seen this craft around before. We just used red stickers for their noses though instead of the red pom pom that seems to be popular out there. And the ever useful, double sided tape to stick the eyes on. Ooh, they are watching me :-)

Reindeer pipe cleaner face :-)

After we finished, Esther decided to make some reindeer antlers and I think a Rudolf nose. It's amazing what ideas our kids come up with. It makes me so happy to know they can make things like this.

Just in case you wanted some more ideas for candy canes you could try these.
Very cute candy cane reindeer (using 5 candy canes and that actually stand up!) here.
Candy cane mice here.
Candy cane snowmen here.
Candy cane hearts here.

And I really want to try this recipe using candy canes... maybe this year. Peppermint bark here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Simple Christmas tree

Christmas Tree decoration

I made this in a fit of creativity one night lately. There has been so much time spent worrying and taking care of Amelia and life that I just needed to achieve something pretty to distract me. I love making things in these embroidery hoops. And this is a spare felt tree that was half done with my felt decorations that I have already posted about. Very satisfying to finish something in one sitting.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Hi. I am still here. Just trying to catch up on life again. You will be happy to know that Amelia is continuing to improve and is much happier now than two weeks ago. Phew! Anyway, I am posting some catch up photos here. We have had a lot of rain here lately. Especially two weeks ago just before Amelia went to hospital. Flooding rains. A lot of people would know what I am talking about here in Victoria (even some other states too). The drought has definitely broken. One extreme to the other.

Water over road

Water across the road

Roads flooded.

Damaged river bridge

Bridges washed away.


Rivers flooded.

Splashed on car window

We don't live too close to any flood plains and we are not farmers. It was looking a bumper year for them. And now if their crops haven't been flooded they have been damaged by the rain. I feel badly for them but I must admit I am fascinated by the flooding. And the kids - they have not seen anything like it in their lifetimes. There is more rain coming. Looks like it might be quite a wet Christmas. Full of big puddles and mosquitoes.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Stormy weather

Stormy days

What a week it's been! Lot's of stormy weather here and some drama thrown in for good measure!

Last Monday, Amelia was taken to hospital in an ambulance after complications from a bowel obstruction. I stayed in hospital with her for two nights. We made it home Wednesday night. She was put onto lots of medication to clear the blockages.

Amelia playing at hospital

That is a very short explanation of our drama. Amelia is doing a lot better this week. She is having her moments but we are hopeful that she is really on her way to recovery now. It was a horrible thing to go through but now at least there is progress. People finally listened to me and we finally got some action.

I am very proud of my little family after this week. Amelia was a super brave girl. Esther and Ellamay were super brave girls too. And Tim was a wonder husband and dad (as usual). We survived a hospital admission for Amelia. We have been dreading it. She will have to have one eventually for a (CF) 'tune-up', which means having IV antibiotics. That will probably be a much longer admission. We did survive this one though. And at the moment - that's all that matters.

Tea party at Hospital

Aside from having to take all the medications that she is not use to, Amelia thought hospital was a bit of a holiday. We got to have tea parties and ride the tractor in the play room and go for a walk to the cafeteria to buy potato chips and apple juice.

We are so thankful for all the help people gave us and messages of support.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Family of Christmas Angels

Family angel decorations

Just a quick and easy Christmas craft. I made these for Christmas last year. Our family as angels. :-) Bit of a stretch maybe, but we look angelic. I used the family photo from our Christmas card last year and cut out our faces. Using double sided tape I stuck the heads to some triangles of scrapbook paper and half pieces of paper doily's. And ta-da! I did see this somewhere in blog world though I have no idea where. They are cute aren't they? This would be another good one for the kids to make. Simple fun.

Click the button below to go and see some more Christmas ideas. :-)

Best toys for toddlers