Monday, 21 December 2015

On the fourth day of Christmas ..... a table decoration

Yep, more crafting has been happening here at Jumbleberries HQ....

This time the Princess made this cute little pin-art table decoration:

I have to be honest and tell you that it took ages to do and we used a lot of pins and sequins, but I think it looks really effective and will be something that is brought out every year, so I think it was worth it.

How are you decorating your Christmas table this year?

Jumbleberries. xx

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

On the third day of Christmas ....... homemade Advent Chocolates

Years ago (before children) Mr A and I bought an advent calendar for each other, which, within it's little drawers, contained a beautiful hand-crafted chocolate for each day of advent.

It has been our tradition since then to carefully pack the calendars away until the following December and then re-fill the drawers using shop bought chocolates.

This year, however, I thought it might be fun to have a go at making our own chocolates.

I know we are already a week into advent, but to be honest I haven't really had an opportunity until now, so this is what is on my work-desk this morning:

For added deliciousness I plan to make a variety of flavours so I am making a mixture of white, milk and dark chocolates. 

I've got a selection of ingredients from my baking supplies and am enjoying working out some different flavour combinations.

So far my favourites are; dark chocolate and sour cherries, white chocolate with raspberries and mini marshmallows, milk chocolate with honeycomb and dark chocolate with mixed peel.

I am thoroughly enjoying myself, but I can foresee a problem - how do I only limit myself to one a day?

What's on your work-desk this morning?

Jumbleberries. xx

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

On the second day of Christmas ... the children made decorations

I am very pleased to tell you that it is not just me that likes crafting here at Jumbleberries HQ - both my Superhero and Princess like to 'make stuff' too.

When they were little I ran a messy-play group with my mum for a number of years, so they really started getting involved with arts and crafts at a young age. I'm really pleased though that their love of being creative has continued even as they have got older (my Superhero will be 11 in February - eek).

The benefits of encouraging pre-school children to be involved in messy-play are well known I think, but I'm not sure older children continue to be encouraged in the some way, the focus moving to more academic subjects.

Obviously encouraging your kids to get involved in craft projects helps build creativity and imagination and gives them experience of thinking 'out-side the box'. Painting, cutting, drawing, sewing and so on, all help with muscle development and dexterity, which in turn aids handwriting skills.

Arts and crafts also helps to build confidence. How many of us crafters have embarked upon a project only to discover that it wasn't really what we saw in our minds eye? So, back to the drawing board we go and perhaps, on occasion, the whole idea is scraped altogether. We learn though that it's not the end of the world - sometime stuff turns out as you expected and sometimes it doesn't - but thats ok.

So when we all needed a bit of quiet time on Saturday afternoon, after a morning of football matches and dance-show rehearsals, I was more than happy when the kids got the hama beads out rather than putting the tele on or playing on the computer.

And this is what they came up with:

Superhero made the Christmas Pudding:

and Princess made the Tree:

I think they are really good considering neither used a template or an example to copy.

What do you think?

Jumbleberries. xx

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