Saturday, 20 December 2014

Hold your baby.

Because babies are people too.  As mother's we can't always fix everything. Some things we're not supposed to fix because they're not always broken.  Crying doesn't always equal a fault somewhere.

You may not be able to make it better yet just holding them whilst they work through it can stop it getting worse.

Babies cry.  They're babies.

Sometimes they just want you. Because you're mum. 

As mother's we should hold them.

Being Santa...

Thing One is on the cusp of not believing.  Moomin hasn't even found her own toes yet let alone a belief in Santa.  The Dude has only just learned to write his name.  Thing Two however, loves to write.  This is the second year she's written to Santa.  Last year he didn't reply, I think if that happened again this year the sadness would be palpable.
So, with a Moomin asleep on one of my arms I've typed a reply, one handed.  Lets hope she likes it...

Dearest [Thing Two],

I have just received your letter, what beautiful writing you have!  I bet your parents are very proud, I know myself and Mrs Claus are very impressed.  The Elves have told me that you’ve been a very good girl this year that’s worked hard at school and at home, keep up the good work as it makes me very happy to know I can trust you to behave even when others aren’t being as nice as they should.  You really should keep your room tidier though, I don’t want to trip up when I visit!
I’m glad you liked the gifts I left for you last year, I can only bring so much and yet I see so many things I think you’d like so it’s very hard to choose what to give to you. 

Where do I really live?  This is both an easy and a difficult question to answer, Princess.  I live at the North Pole yet often my village is cloaked in magic that can make it impossible for mortals to find.  I know it sounds mean but it’s necessary to ensure the safety of myself, The Elves and our reindeers
Do I go to shops for presents?  Not exactly, often it is my elves that help design the toys that you see in the shops.  Sometimes if there is a very specific toy a child has requested we may send an undercover Elf to procure it.  The Elves have many jobs, some are very highly skilled in the art of subterfuge and have the ability to appear as humans to help me, be it to help me see who’s on the good list or to help get presents from places you may know.  They’re everywhere which is why it’s so important children behave for who knows but their teacher, friend, doctor or even shop keeper may just be one of them.  Sometimes, especially now the world has so many children in it,I will ask the grownups to help me.  Often you’ll see boxes and parcels in your home that they get for me to collect, others my elves deliver so grownups can help wrap them.  Elves don’t breed as easily as grownups so as more and more children are born we require more and more help.  Mums and Dads are a great help to us.

Am I related to anyone?  I have my wife Mrs Claus yet as Father Christmas I see all children as my children and love you all dearly. I've existed under different names for longer than time itself and as thousands of years have passed I find I remember very little of my origins before the mantle of Santa Claus was bestowed upon me, only that as long as there is belief in the world, I exist so please keep believing!

It has been lovely writing to you yet the reindeer are giving the elves a hard time, it would appear they really do detest being bathed!  They’re being awfully naughty about it so I must intervene!  Also Mrs Claus needs me to try on my suit, it needs some repairs before Christmas Eve .

Keep up the good behaviour.  We’re very proud of you here at the North Pole.  We enjoy hearing you sing in the school choir and watching you play with your brothers and new baby sister.
Don’t forget to go to sleep nice and early Christmas Eve and leave your pillowcase out for me to fill.  I’m relying on you to ensure that [Thing One] and [The Dude] do the same.  I know I  can trust you to help them behave.

With Love & Magic,
***If the header/footer images are yours and you'd like them crediting or deleting please do get in touch so I can do this for you.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Tutorial: white clay Christmas ornaments

I'd love to post one of those pinterest winning style posts on picture perfect Christmas crafting only this is me and I can't craft.  We excel at the imperfect.  We're messy, noisy and a bit wobbly.   We balls things up.  A lot.  We're clumsy and impatient. 

So how about some real life imperfect crafting that's craptastic to but ours?

I'm not a huge fan on salt dough especially the color.  Mine always dries bubbly and curls up.  So we use White clay .

All you need is:

❄1 cup of bicarbonate Soda
❄1/2 cup of corn flour
❄3/4 cup of warm water

Optional extras:

❄peppermint essence

The method is simple too. Mix all the ingredients together and heat in a pan over a medium heat until it starts to bubble and stick together. 

The process isn't immediate and goes through several stages before it's 'done' when it starts to look like play dough you can take it off the heat.

With our first batch we added irredescent glitter to give a snowy sparkle throughout the dough and some peppermint essence to give it a festive fragrance.  We added this part way through cooking though you could add it afterwards too.

The mixture will be really hot so you need to let it cool down.

Once it's cool down knead it until it's soft and pliable.  Roll out then get cutting.

You can dry them in the oven or leave them to air dry.

Firstly we made some pretty snowflakes which we pressed some random gem shapes we found lurking in the cupboard of crafty doom aka the craft graveyard.  These looked infinitely better in my head.  You need to push the gems in before you dry them.  If, like us, you even fail at this simple task you'll need glue. .. For when they're dry and half the gems fall off.

Next we did Christmas trees.

This time we pushed sequins in.  Once again many of these little buggers fell off and I had to glue them back on. Messily.  With much swearing.

Reindeer,  something else that looked awesome in my head.  Not so much by the time we'd finished with them.  I sprayed them with gold spray paint, nearly gassing us all in the process.  The glittery parts and drug addled eyes were added in haste with Moomin in a sling on my front somewhat obscuring my view whilst I multi tasked cooking Tea.  I can't even blame the result on Thing Two and Three Dude as all they did was cut out the shapes.

The ghost was going to be Olaf. Did I mention I'm artistically inept?  It was supposed to be The Dude's footprint.....

For what it's worth if you want to do footprints and handprints you need to roll the dough a lot thicker than I did.  Oops. However The Dude rather enjoyed standing on the kitchen table.

The Eagle eyed ones amongst you may have noticed handprints on the baking sheet.

I burned them.

To a crisp.

Black and smoking.

Shut up.

If you want a much classier (& successful ) tutorial on white clay ornaments do visit the wonderful  Imagination Tree . Theirs are beautiful.  I'm not envious at all.  Honest. 

Ours however were made with love (& profanity )