Monday, December 26, 2011

Craft Collage!

The two weeks leading up to Christmas went by in a blur of activity.  Buying and wrapping presents, making cookies, getting ready in general.  But we still had time everyday to make a craft to decorate our home!!  Since there are so many, I will just share little tidbits and pictures of all of our fun activities!  Enjoy!!

Day Eleven
Monkey Ornaments!
I don't have a picture of these for some reason and they have already been packed away (it IS Boxing Day afterall!), but we went to a birthday party for Monkey Music on Sunday December 11th and made glittery ornaments!

Day Twelve
Snowflake Suncatchers
We don't get a lot of sun these days, but on the afternoons that we have, these fun ornaments are a nice decoration in our kitchen window.
This paint stained!
Darian was careful.  Whew!

Day Thirteen
Darian:  Christmas Crown (made at playgroup that morning)
Maxwell:  Classmate Christmas Cards (He wrote his name and each classmate's name on every card!!)
Queen of Christmas Festivities
Hard at work!

Day Fourteen
Jingle Bells!
We had a lot of fun with this easy, quick craft.
 If you haven't watched the video that corresponds, you can see it here.

Day Fifteen
Gift Tin Covers
I made all my cookies (seven different kinds!) and Maxwell and I decorated tins for him to give to his teachers at school.  We also made one so that Marie could take some cookies back to Barcelona with her!
Improvised Blossoms

My PB Ball tin!!  :

Day Sixteen

Today we had Maxwell's sing-a-long and party at school, and then Marie came to stay with us, so we didn't have time for a project. But look at how cute buddy was at his school!!!

Day Seventeen
Stockings with Marie 
While David and I went to London for our anniversary, Marie stayed with the kids and made glittery stocking decorations!

Day Eighteen
Christmas Lanterns
Fold.  Cut.
Make a circle and tape together.
Add handle.
 Place over a tealight. (Then turn off the lights)
(We bought some LED tealights)
Day Nineteen
Stocking Names
I was "saving" this easy job for a night when we didn't have time to sit down and do much!  But to the littles it still counted, and they had fun smearing glitter glue on paper plates after we were done.  ;o)

The stockings were hung on the chimney with care...
Day Twenty
Spiral Tree Ornaments
These were so easy to make and look really cool!

Day Twenty-One
Wrapping Presents
This was a quick one that we kinda just made up really fast when I realized I didn't have anything planned for the craft this day!  ;o)

Days Twenty Two and Twenty Three
These two days we were in Belgium, so we didn't make a craft project, but we made plenty of awesome memories.  Blog and photos from our trip to come...

Day Twenty Four
Christmas Trees
(I think Marie had fun with all our projects, too!)
Tree Cheese!

Day Twenty Five
And lots more memories!  
Turkey and stuffing
Broccoli salad, corn pudding, mashed potatoes
and gravy, rolls

David, the kids and I (and Marie!) had a lot of fun this month decorating the house and making lots of fun holiday craft projects.  I hope you enjoyed seeing the fruits of our labors here.  It was eye opening to me to realize how much more we can do other than coloring, which is all we used to do every afternoon.  But now, the kids get excited about doing their project everyday, and even if it is something that takes us five minutes, they have fun and are so excited to show off their creations!  Happy Crafting friends.  I am excited to see what kind of special artistic activities I can find for the new year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's beginning to look a LOT like Christmas!!

So.  Interesting English tidbit.  David and I have noticed that barely anyone decorates the outside of their homes for Christmas.  You can't see their trees in the front windows, no lights on anything outside.  Occasionally a wreath on a door, but that's about it.  It kinda stinks because last year the kids and I used to like to drive around and look at all the twinkle lights. The shops are done up and there are a few trees with lights around town, but nothing extravagant.  I figured it was because there are no electrical outlets outside of the houses here, but Dave had a conversation about it at a work function the other night.  His co-worker's response?

"We just aren't that showy here."

Hmm.  Well, our kitchen is at the front of the house and our tree in the living room, so that would make sense why you can't see people's trees in the front windows.  I need to drive down Abbey Road at night to see, because our living room was in the front there.

But, really?  If that is true why does Tesco, Sainsbury's, Marks and Spencer and every other store I have been in the last month or so have these silly things on sale???  And yes.  We have seen people with them in their trolleys to purchase.

Anyway, that showy comment prompted me to hang a string of lights in our bedroom windows last night, and now David and I are jokingly referring to ourselves as "Those Showy Americans in #8."

Notice the darkness.  These "decorations" are so funny because of how pathetic they are. :o)

But we are getting more and more festive everyday inside with all of our Christmas crafts!  Just look at what we added to the tree over the weekend!!

Day Ten
Popcorn Tinsel

Popped on the stovetop!
They helped by eating it all.

It wasn't me!

Our little tree!!  

The countdown is really here!  Only ten more days until Christmas!  And only two more days until Cousin Marie comes to stay!  We are so excited!!!  Today I started making all my cookies, too.  It smells delicious!  I am making Peanut Butter "Buttons", Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Balls, Russian Teacakes and maybe one more.  I know most of my readers won't be able to taste them, but what is your vote for the last cookie?

Monday, December 12, 2011

More Christmas Crafting!

I really need to be better about posting these things as we do them.  Right now I have a back log of over a week worth of projects to share with you!

This whole crafting experience is pretty cool.  I should have gone out of my paper and crayons comfort zone long ago.  Maxwell and Darian both now look forward to doing a project every day!!  They go down nicely for their afternoon nap with the promise of something fun to make when we wake up, and they wake up ready to create!!!  Even on the days that I did something quick and easy, they were excited to participate and see what we could make.

After our fun Christmasy day in the city centre last Sunday, we got a special prize for completing the scavenger hunt at Oxford Castle.  The prize was...wooden ornaments to paint/color!!

Darian chose a tree and Maxwell a star.  So after a busy weekend and crazy Monday, we had a quick and easy project that spruced up our little tree even more!
Mommy *may* have done this side.  :o)

Coloring Ornamnets


 These were not my favorite markers.  They were probably good ones for Darian to use, but not Maxwell.  They had no tips.  LAME. (I guess they were good for the ornament dots I made on my side of the tree, though.)

Darian's very colorful tree!!

My star!

Day Six
More trees!
The experts have spoken.  Give your toddlers a Q-Tip with a puddle of glue on a paper plate, some embellishments from your local craft store, and ANYTHING to stick them to.  They will be happy and occupied for well over an hour.  (At least mine were!)  And it wasn't that hard to clean up.  Oh, that a glittery star in my hair???
Mommy prepped some felt trees

She ditched the q-tip.  Oops.
The guys all watched!

Our tree decorations are now lined up on the refrigerator to spruce up the kitchen!!

Day Seven
Easy Peasy Candy Cane Ornaments
My mom always had these tiny plastic candy cane ornaments to fill in the holes on the tree.  Making these today made me think of those.  :o)  Supplies?  Red and white pipe cleaners.  Twist.  Done!

We saved some so Daddy could create when he got home!

Day Eight
Stamping fun
I was tossing around the idea of letting the littles do some stamping to help me with my Christmas cards this year.  Based on what happened here...well.  They did not.

When Darian started eating the markers, we called it a day.  Maxwell's started off okay, other than the fact that he wanted to do them all in black.  I did not take a picture of the page that he made that was all scribbled out, as I was busy cleaning off the mess you see above.

Cheeky girl!!

After this fiasco, we took a day off.  We had a busy night on the 9th, picking Daddy up from work and then eating a late dinner.  Unfortunately we didn't get a project in that afternoon.  :o(  But we're on a roll now and there are more Christmas crafts coming you way!  Stay tuned for days 10-12 and beyond!!!