Archive for December, 2008

Billie's Christmas gift stained glass windows - from Kids Craft Weekly

While Beetle was making her lovely canvas paintings, Billie made stained glass windows.

The detailed instructions are at Kids’ Craft Weekly, but I basically peeled back half a sheet of clear Duraseal and let Billie stick bits of cellophane, ribbon, feathers and sequins on it, then stick the other half down over the top. Then, to share the project amongst various Friends and Relations, I chopped it up and stuck the pieces between some cheap scrapbooking frames from The Warehouse.

Except  I didn’t count Great Grandparents in my estimations, so we have another round of canvas-making and window-making tomorrow…. somehow.

PS: I had to use the touchup tool on at least three chunks of banana and spaghetti on that wall, which is adjacent to the highchair. You can still see a bit on the window sill under the star. The touchup tool didn’t like those lines!


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Welcome to Bethlehem


Beetle and I went for a drive tonight, with Nanny and Aunty Emily, to see Christmas Lights. We visited the “Come to Bethlehem” drive-through Christmas display at a local church.

Beetle brought with her a card she had made to give to Baby Jesus. It said, “Dear Baby Jesus. I love you so much. Love from Beetle”

She was very proud to give it to the holy family in person.

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Tired Christmas tree

The girls took the tinsel outside to decorate a bench seat on the deck. The “decorates” were taken down for a “quiet Bethlehem game” and in the process the tree lost its feng shui and fell down.

I feel pretty much like that tree at the moment.

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Beetle's Christmas gift paintings
I am so proud of Beetle.  I decided yesterday afternoon to make Christmas gifts with Beetle instead of baking an infinity of gingerbread cookies with her. (The baking can wait til next week) I remembered a stack of tiny block canvases I had tucked away somewhere, so we sat down with a half a plan.  But it came together beautifully in the end.

Yesterday, Beetle drew Christmassy illustrations with a sharpie on each of the canvases.  Then she chose one colour at a time and painted the pictures, then their backgrounds.  I painted the sides of each block while she was working on the next one.

After they were dry, I re-outlined two with the sharpie – the triangular tree and the snowman, which had gotten a bit fuzzy in the painting process.

And today, we sat down again with the glue gun, PVA and a bunch of assorted sequins and bling.  I only had a few ideas – the candycanes and feathers for the angel’s wings, but Beetle sieved through the bits and pieces and arranged things so beautifully, adding funny little touches (Baby Jesus’ teddybear, the smiling tree, Santa’s big green cupcake)

They are beautiful, and even though we both desperately wanted to keep them at first, she has chosen which set of aunties and uncles and grandparents are getting each picture.

They are treasures.

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Meals Most Men Prefer

Meals Most Men Prefer

This is a list from a book I bought on Trademe – Tui’s Common Sense Cookery, from the 1950s.  “Tui” was the “Lady Editor” of the NZ Dairy Exporter – a publication my grandmother contributed to.

Bear would sooner not eat most of the suggestions on the list. Fussy.

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My Mum was first to make a wreath like this, wielding her hot-glue-gun with purpose, her craft-table glittering and strewn with op-shopped baubles.

But as soon as I spotted a supermarket bag full of unsorted, donated Christmas decorations outside my favourite op-shop, I knew I had to make one of my own.

Her ones are neater and more bauble-y but I quite like this one of my own. Next, to work out how to hang it, out of reach of little fingers.

How to make a Glorious Clutter Wreath.

What you need:

  • A wreath. A tinselly or piney one will be better than a polystyrene blank, because if empty bits show through it doesn’t matter.
  • Lots of baubles, ideally from the op-shop, or from previous years’ excessive purchasing of decorations, or a bit of both.
  • Glue gun and lots of glue sticks – this project guzzles down the glue. (I had to send Bear on a mission to pick up more sticks from Mum at 10:30 last night… lucky she’s just round the corner, eh?)

What to do:

  1. Glue decorations to wreath.
  2. Keep gluing extra ones in the gaps
  3. Stop when you run out of decorations and you start looking covetously at the decorations on your actual TREE.

Beetle calls baubles “Christmas Poms”…. I like that.

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Happy dreams.

"Baby Jesus is in his cradle, having a happy dream about growing up to be a ballerina" ~ Beetle, age 4

"Baby Jesus is in his cradle, having a happy dream about growing up to be a ballerina" ~ Beetle, age 4

This is our Christmas card picture, if I can get it to somewhere on time for it to be printed. Probably the chemist.

Damn off-shore digital photo printing outfits.  *scowling at vistaprint and the apple photo store*

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