Tuesday, 9 December 2014

25 days of Christmas: A collection of craft, cooking and Christmas capers.

I fall squarely in the 'I love Christmas' camp but I'm going to resist the temptation to wax lyrically about the festive season.  Mainly because I'm not very good as 'waxing lyrically' but also because I've found you are either a Christmas person or you're just not.

And if you are one of the lovely people in the pro-Christmas camp then you already know the many, many reasons that make Christmas the best time of the year.

And you are one of those miserable 'Christmas is too busy and expensive and commercial and tiring and too much bother' people then nothing I can say will change your mind, so we'll just have to agree to disagree.

But for those of you, like me, who can't get enough of Christmas, here is my round up of the craft, cooking and Christmas capers that are taking place in our house.

Christmas Craft:


Canvas Christmas Tree Homemade Craft

I finally got around to making this version of a Christmas tree I saved as a pin I saved two years ago.  At our house we have an entry so I now had the perfect spot for it - now I just need people to actually use our front door so someone can actually see it!

I got the reindeers for half price at Lincraft and the small tree at Harris Scarf.  I sprayed the bottom of an empty coconut oil jar with gold spray paint and found the pine cones and wood on our block.

Homemade craft - christmas tree on canvas

All up it cost me about $25 to make and didn't take too long.  I used a 60cm x 90cm canvas I bought from a bargain shop for $15 and I cut wood I found in our wood shed to lengths of 55, 45, 35, 25, 15 and 10cm.  I used a hot glue gun to stick them on the canvas and then also stuck on a set of battery operated LED lights ($2.50 from Big W).  I decorated it with ornaments from our Christmas tree hanging them on hooks I made from thin wire loops. I also decorated it with pine cones I found and clay ornaments I made (see below).  I used twine to make the star from small sticks.


Homemade Christmas Ornaments Baked Clay



Our beautiful dog is getting old and I wanted to make a tree ornament out of his paw print.  I made a baked dough using bicarb soda, cornflour and water based on this tutorial from Tips for a Typical Mum.  However I couldn't get a decent paw print so I went with the dog bone shape instead.




We also made some as heart and star decorations and made some into gift tags by stamping them with names.

Homemade Christmas Ornaments Baked Clay


And our table centre piece.
Gold Christmas centre piece


The lights and tree are from typo and the ornaments balls from the Reject Shop.  The Angel is a lovely gift I was given once from a client when I worked as a physio.

Our other Christmas craft will involve making some wrapping paper, our Christmas cards, a version of these reindeer bottles for MJ's kinder teachers and this chocolate Christmas house.



Christmas Capers:

We have started an elf on a shelf this year - well kind of.  I'm using a $3 ornament from the Reject Shop as the elf, but MJ is still loving it.  Here are a few shots of what Elfie is getting up to.


We are also celebrating 25 days of Christmas.  MJ loves checking our advent calendar to see what Christmas activity is planned for the day.

1.  Put up our Christmas Tree
2.  Make Christmas Tree ornaments
3.  Make our Christmas wrapping paper
4.  Make our Christmas cards
5.  Write a letter to Santa
6.  Visit the Christmas windows
7.  Buy a present for the Wishing Tree and food for the Food Drive
8.  Attend Carols by Candlelight
9.  Make up a new bed time Christmas story, unwrap a new Christmas story
10. Have a photo with Santa
11. Attend Kinder Christmas party
12. Attend family Christmas party
14. Take Christmas photos of boys
15. Watch Christmas movie with Christmas treats and new PJ's (ready for Christmas morning photos!)
16. Visit Christmas lights - maybe even polar express style with a golden ticket and hot Milo in a Thermos
17. Make Chocolate Christmas house
18. Make gifts for teachers
19. Write a 'thankful' list for the year
20. Make Christmas shape dog biscuits for Oke
21. Visit Christmas shop
22. Make a Christmas Carol play list on spotify
23. Christmas drinks with friends
24. Cookies and carrots left out.  Attend family Christmas party

Cooking:

For most of our Christmas functions we need to bring a salad and a sweet.

My sweets will include:

                                 

This amazing layered mousse cake from SugarHero

A Mango and chocolate tart.
This is a Matt Moran recipe from the Masterchef magazine from two years ago.  I've made it once before but didn't nail the setting of the mango jelly - gelatin is my nemesis!  I'm hoping to get it right this time.

And I have to find something that will transport well on a 3 hour drive to Kyabram - maybe an indulgent chocolate slice from Create Bake Make.

My salads will include:
This Couscous, chorizo and zucchini salad from the Woolworths magazine

                                                   

And I think I'll tweek my usual roasted pumpkin, walnut, spinach, chickpea and walnut salad to include a couple of the festive elements from I Spy Plum Pie's Roast Chickpea and Sweet Potato Salad

                                                   Roast chickpea & sweet potato salad

And the only Christmas meal I am completely responsible for is breakfast.  I think I'll go with pancakes and smoked salmon, avocado and egg on fresh sourdough. Maybe even a homemade sourdough now that the wonderfully generous Celia has sent me some starter from her Priscilla - thank you so very much!


                                  

What's happening in your house for Christmas?

Linking up with Essentially Jess

Keep smiling
Dani

18 comments :

  1. Some great ideas here and I love the advent activities! I am definitely in the christmas junkie camp :)

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    1. The advent activities have been fun, glad to have you in our camp!

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  2. I'm glad to have found someone who loves Christmas as much as I do! I think I enjoy all the planning and Christmas activities even more than my kids do!

    I love your crafty Christmas tree! I'll be borrowing that idea next year for our front door/entry area!

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    1. Thanks, I am happy with my handy work :) Christmas is definitely as much for and about me as it is for the kids!

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  3. Oh they look so wonderful! Are there really people who don't like Christmas at all? That's so sad. I can understand not liking the commerciality (is that a word?) of it all, but the chance to catch up with family and/or friends and have a meal together is surely something everyone can get on board with! Visiting from #TeamIBOT :-)

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    1. Food and parties are always highlights of Christmas!

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  4. I'm really taken with the idea of making a Christmas decoration with your dogs paw print, even though it didn't quite work out. I'm definitely going to have a go at that. I think there's a 3rd camp for liking or not liking Christmas. I absolutely love the energy of the season. The excitement etc, but am not a huge fan of some of the stressful organisational aspects of the Christmas and the holidays. Let me bake, do craft and wrap pressies, and leave everything else to someone else!

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    1. I'm still keen to get a paw print, I'm going to have to try a different technique. I'm sure your right about a third camp, I did make a fairly large generalisation,and your priorities of baking, craft and wrapping sounds good to me.

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  5. I love your Christmas craft tree. I'll pin it and hope that it takes me less than a few years.

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    1. Thanks, hopefully you'll do better than me!

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  6. I think I am in both camps re Christmas. I think Christmas is too commercial, starts too early in the year, it's too busy and expensive. It encourages a busy-ness, stress and anxiety that we are meant to be avoiding. All of this is the exact opposite of what Christmas is about. So, I purposely refocus our Christmas activities so that we are thinking about the real reason for this celebration. We've done lots of crafting, lots of baking, decorating and simply being together. It is all inward focused, rather than on the outward must be and do and go.

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    1. I hear what you are saying, but I think I am really good at ignoring noise and other things that I don't think are important, and just focusing on the good stuff, so I generally don't feel the negative side of Christmas. It sounds like you have found a great focus on the best parts too!

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  7. I just love your Christmas craft ideas! You have me inspired and ready to begin crafting with the kids once the holidays roll around this week! Thank you.

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    1. Always glad to hear that I may have provided some inspiration - enjoy your crafting :) Thanks for visiting.

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  8. I love your natural and gold theme, it is very beautiful and the ornaments are sentimental which makes it even more special. Lots of wonderful christmassy things happening here - love it. Thanks for linking up with my Christmas Link Party. xx

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    1. Thanks Malinda, it has been fun putting it all together. The link party is a great idea - thanks for hosting xx

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  9. Replies
    1. Sorry. I lost a comment.
      Anyway I love Christmas! I haven't got into it quite as much this year, but I think now that school is done for the year, I'll be able to focus a little better on it. :)

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