December 30, 2011

Oh Little Town of Bethlehem {Craft}

Wishing you, all my lovely readers, a truly blessed Christmas time. 

Yes, I do realize that it's a few days past, but it is the Christmas season...and it's not quite over yet :).

We had a very special Christmas, celebrating with our family on Christmas eve and day. I must admit though, that my favourite part of this special season is the leading up to and the anticipation of the big day. Big One was so sad on Christmas night and kept on saying "it's almost over". I truly had empathy...I felt the same way.

If you have been following me this past month, you will know that I was very excited to share the e-book Truth in the Tinsel with my children. Amanda (the author) really inspired me to think about Biblical Christmas crafts, rather than just Santas and Snowmen (although these are fun too!). So with that in mind, I created this little Bethlehem, from toilet rolls. It took me less than 15 minutes to make and I love the simplicity of it. Perhaps you can pin it for next year :). I think my children definitely felt the change in focus...I certainly did. 

I'll only be chatting to you all again in the New Year, so whatever your plans, may it be wonderful. See you in 2012!

December 22, 2011

Build a {Bottle Top} Snowman

There's no snow here at the tip of Africa come Christmas time, but that doesn't stop us from building snowmen (and snowladies).

Top tip :  Don't worry about glue. Just lay out the supplies and let the children build and re-build. 

Hope you are having a happy Christmas week, wherever you may be. 

PS. Remember these? - sock snowmen from last year :).

December 20, 2011

Christmas Memory Match {from simple as that}

Remember a few posts ago, I wrote about some great Christmas links, including a memory match game from simple as that , that you can download for FREEE. Well I did, and I created this version using bottle tops (of course!).

I quickly realize that I'm not a pro-crafter when I tackle projects like this and make such silly mistakes. Like printing the pictures on a basic inkjet printer and them painting modge podge over it. It (obviously) caused the ink to smudge and the paper to bubble. I almost thought I would have to throw it all away and start again, but somehow I managed to remove the paper from the bottle tops and re-apply. I decided to live with the bit of smudging - it's not too noticeable.

Just a tip - I would not have tackled this project without my circle punch. I like my circles to be perfect :).

Big One and I have played a few times already (when Little One is occupied). I will be packing this up with the Christmas goodies to be enjoyed in years to come. Thanks Rebecca for sharing such super stuff :).

PS. Need a punch? Locally, PNA stores have a great variety. Otherwise, there's always Amazon.

Till next time. 

December 18, 2011

Mom's Big Book of Things to Make

Author and creator, Melanie Bosman, kindly sent me a copy of her book Mom's Big Book of Things to Make to check out. I'm such a fan of books like these...books with art and crafts that inspire you to get creative with your kiddo's. The book offers over fifty fairly easy projects with clear photographs and good instructions.

I decided to try the coffee filter project with the children and both enjoyed the process of colouring the filters (with cokies) and then spraying them with water. The effects achieved were very pretty  and in the spirit of Christmas I decided to cut them out and make some trees.

To order a copy of the book or to see other titles, you can visit the website here.

Thank you again Melanie!

PS. Sharing at 
Show and Tell @ ABC and 123

December 14, 2011

Milk Bottle Santa

This is a craft from 2010 that I never posted - A milk bottle Santa. He's very easy to make - we used paper, googly eyes, batting for the beard, pom pom for the nose and cotton wool for the hat.

Can you imagine a whole line-up of these Santas, perhaps leading up the path way? Simply fill with sand before you start dressing him, so that he doesn't fall over too easily.

Happy Christmas crafting!

Linking this to:
For the Kids Friday @ Sun Scholars
Kids Get Crafty @ Red Ted Art's Blog 

December 12, 2011

Christmas Shoot

I always try to do a Christmassy shoot of sorts with my boys and my goal this year was to take some happy, peaceful Christmas pics of them both.

Would you ever guess that behind the scenes there was some throwing up and a little bit of blood? Seriously.

Little One managed to gag on a piece of fluff from the Santa hat pom pom - the throwing up part. And, Big one scratched open an old sore (after being pushed off the bed by his little brother!) - the bloody part.

aah yes...the joys of photographing two energetic boys on a bed...with white linen!

Nevertheless...I got these :).

Do you take some special Christmassy photos? Do share. 
Till next time.

December 11, 2011

Christmas Tree Biscuits

A few weeks back Little One brought home a Christmas Tree biscuit from school, similar to this one. I knew we had to try these at home too.

I used a very sharp knife to cut the biscuits (store bought Tennis Biscuits), but they broke very easily. I tell you this, because little people can find this upsetting. A small tip, when they do break, tell your little one that it's a puzzle and you will fix it (or they can) on the plate. Once the icing is poured over, the biscuit is far stronger. My little guy's teacher mentioned that they also spoke about division, halving, triangles and a nice little maths lesson can be had too :).

Once you have laid out your tree on a plate, the decorating starts...the best part. Oops, I forgot, the eating is the best part :). I'm not a Tennis Biscuit fan, but I even polished off a few of these. Yummy!

Thank you Tracey for the inspiration!

Sharing this at:

 Creating Christmas at The Girl Creative

December 9, 2011

Teacher Gift {Little Yellow Bus}

School's Out! 
We have six wonderful weeks of Summer holidays ahead of us!

The rest of this month's posts are sure to be dedicated to Christmas, so I thought I must slip this one in quickly, before it's forgotten.

Little One started play school in July this year and he has been blessed with two amazing teachers. For end of year gifts, I bought some big Cadbury slabs and wrapped and decorated them to create these American style yellow school buses. Cute hey?

Inspiration from here (Katherine Marie).

Christmas Crafts coming up...stay posted :). 

PS. Shared at:
For the Kids Friday @ Sun Scholars
Show and Tell @ ABC and 123 

December 7, 2011

Christmas {Bits and Bobs}


Oh dear me, it's the seventh and this is my first post of the month. The computer has been calling and if I could, I would create and write and share everyday. I absolutely love this (unpaid) job. But, I don't know what it's like where you are in the world, but over here it's not only the festive's also the end of our school year. It's a busy busy time. I have lots to share though, so I'll get cracking!

First up, if you haven't yet visited the Portable North Pole and organized a personal message from Santa to your little ones, do hurry. You will not be disappointed, I promise. You have to share some details, like your child's name and age and answer some questions to make the video message more personal, but it's really worth it. This particular Santa is the best I've seen and his voice is wonderful! I would love to meet him :).

Since we are on the Santa subject - Do you believe in Santa?  Amanda over at NotJustCute shares a lovely post about her view and how she will share Santa's generous spirit with her boys. A nice read - do pop over.

Another nice find are these printable Christmas jokes over at Nurturestore. Big One loves telling jokes, so I printed these out and put them on the fridge. These would also be fun to add to homemade crackers, an advent calender or simply to be told at the Christmas table.

One of my favourite blogs, simple as that, shares a wonderful post of Christmas inspiration, including a Holiday photo checklist (great idea), free Christmas tags and word art (just beautiful), and a printable Christmas memory match game (mmm, I have some ideas for this one).

For lots more Christmas inspiration, pop on over to my Christmas Fun page on Pinterest. I have pinned lots of fantastic many I want to many days till Christmas?

And last, but not least, the top image is of a much-loved Santa book for little ones. Santa's Suit is all about Santa who decides that his red suit is, well, unsuitable. But after trying out many different colours, Mrs Santa suggests that his red suit is the most suitable. I'm really not surprised that it was Mrs. Santa's suggestion ;). This rhyming book has the most delightful illustrations, teaches colours and has touch-and-feel elements on every page. I can recommend it!

Have you found any amazing Christmassy articles, ideas or freebies? I'd love to know. 
Till next time...

November 30, 2011

{Truth in the Tinsel} Advent Calender

Last year I had great fun creating a magnetic matchbox advent calender (shoo, that's a mouthful) and it also become one of my readers all time favourite posts - thank you. But this year I have decided to not even take it out and rather join another "advent-ture" (to quote Amanda). I have my copy of  Truth in the Tinsel and I'm all set to go.

I've taken the picture clues (provided in the book), printed them out and created these discs. (I used my much-loved circle punches to make them). I've attached the discs onto a kitchen cupboard so that the children can view the clues at any time. I think it will be a nice visual reminder as we progress through the month, especially as I don't foresee us making a craft every day.

To read more about it all, pop on over to the official website and to see what others are getting up to you can visit the official Facebook page. I will hopefully be sharing some of our crafts here during the coming month.

Please let me know if you are joining in and posting about it. I would love to pop over and see what you are up to :).

November 28, 2011

Truth in the Tinsel

I am so excited to share this awesome e-book just released by Amanda at impress your kids. I love the idea of celebrating Advent, the four weeks (Sundays) leading up to Christmas. This year I really want to impress the true meaning of Christmas on my children, as I feel it is so easily lost in the commercialism and busyness of the season. Celebrating Advent provides a special opportunity to stop and focus on the importance of this time of year. 

In this book you have a daily plan...a Bible reading, a craft activity and a few extra ideas...all prepared for you to simply put into action. The whole idea is very much up my alley , but yes, I realize that many of my readers may not be as crafty as me :). What I can say, is that all the activities are so easy to duplicate and one really doesn't have to do a craft fact, that would pretty much be impossible in my book.

I have a copy and I'm all set to start on December the first. Hop on over to the Truth in the Tinsel (the website) to read more and to buy it at the wonderful price of only $4.99 (That's less that R40 for my South African readers).

Till next time...

November 24, 2011

Baby and Kiddies Market

Thought I would let my local readers know about this fun market coming up this Saturday.  For those of you out in the Southern Suburbs, maybe you want to brave it and come on over to the Northern Suburbs for a day :). I'll definitely be there for quite some time, as one of the exhibitors at the market happens to be my Mom. I'm going to be helping her out a bit, so if you happen to read this blog and see me...please say hi!

I'll be sharing more about my Mom's fantastic product soon - magnetic and non-magnetic alphabet and numeral sets. She manufactures it herself and Big One was her inspiration...more info and photos soon, I promise.

Till Saturday...

November 20, 2011

Bottle Top Babies

"...First comes love,
then comes marriage,
then comes the baby in a baby carriage."

Remember this little song from the playground? It's all I could think about when creating this little baby.

I must admit that I'm a bit obsessed with bottle tops at the moment. Why? Well, that I'll share with you shortly, but in the mean time, I couldn't resist making these.

Just in case you were wondering, the pacifier was made from a punched circle and the inner seal of a big juice box (I hope you know what I'm referring to). The carriage was  made from a bigger lid, which I cut in half.

All ideas are inspired from somewhere I believe and my inspiration for these were the cutest, funniest little baby cupcakes I've ever seen at baby gaga and a paper plate craft at Miss Renee's Kindergarten Pad.

November 15, 2011

Baby Baby {Eye-Spy Bottle}

In the past few months I have attended three baby of those babies has arrived and two are still to come. Baby Showers mean baby gifts and I love the idea of taking something new; something recycled (I love that word, don't you? - it sounds so much better than "old"); and something home-made. One of my favourite home-made gift ideas is an Eye-Spy Bottle.

I first saw this idea over at Silly Eagle Books and really loved it. I have made quite a few of these and I think I enjoy playing with it as much as the children do. For the baby it's a great noisy toy; it's stimulating and interesting; and it rolls nicely when you are giving baby tummy time. For the toddler it becomes a nice eye-spy toy, with an educational bonus - depending on what you put into your bottle, you can practice things like colours and counting. For the slightly older child, you can add an eye-spy spy photo card /or hand drawn card and ask them to search for the specific items in the bottle. For a grown-up - you can make one as a bit of a stress-release toy. I had one on my desk for awhile and couldn't resist shaking the bottle gently and moving the rice and small objects around - something about it is very relaxing :).

With babies on my mind, I decided that we need to have some Baby Fun and I'll be sharing our fun in the next few posts. I also created a special board Baby Showers and Gifts on Pinterest to collect my favourite ideas. 
I have another lovely friend who lives across the seas and who is also expecting a baby very soon...she happens to also be having some Baby Fun posts at the moment. Do pop over and visit.

PS. To see a photo card version, pop over to Pink and Green Mama to see her awesome rainbow eye-spy bottle.

November 10, 2011

Name Skeleton

As part of our Doctor Doctor fun, I searched for some skeleton art and crafts and I was thrilled to find this fab idea over at Garden of Praise (via Pinterest). Can you tell that the rib section is made from a name? How cool is that? Want a tut?

Take an A4 sheet of paper and fold it in half. Write your name on the page using the fold as your line. Then cut out the name and fold it open. I hope the pics help...

I showed Big One the original post and picture and left him to his own devices. He loved the idea, grabbed a scissors and confidently started cutting. On the other hand, silly me needed to do this about three times before I figured it out.

Big One's final creation is a "Knight Skeleton" - he is always keen to add his own special take on any project :). 

PS. Shared at For the Kids Friday @ Sun Scholars and Show and Tell @ ABC and 123

Honey Bunny Studio

Earlier this year I entered a giveaway from Honey Bunny Studio to win a print from their Etsy shop and was thrilled to have won. It was so much fun choosing and then to wait to receive this special print all the way from New York! 

I haven't posted about this sooner, because I only framed the print recently and I wanted to post a picture of it framed. 

Thank you so much Nelvis for sending this across the seas. It has a special place on Little One's bookshelf as you can see!

November 9, 2011

Doctor's Orders

One of our Grannies has just had an operation and spent four days in hospital. So what do you do to make a sore Granny feel better? Well, you can give her a plaster people card ...take her some very special flowers from the garden...a magazine...some sweet treats...and you give her a Get Well Script of course. Not just one - a whole note pad of them! These scripts can be torn out and handed in at any time...Grandpa, be warned!

Wouldn't this be a fun addition to the mommy-made Doctor's kit.

November 7, 2011

Spring Showers

"In the Spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six
different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours."- Mark Twain

The sun and the rain have been playing tag for the past few weeks in Cape Town. I was lucky to snap these happy pictures of the boys playing in the rain.

Happy Happy Spring Time wherever you are!

November 2, 2011

The Blessing by John Trent & Gary Smalley {Booksneeze Review}

I was very excited to read The Blessing ,which I had received to review from Booksneeze. This book is essentially about the gift - the blessing -  that we all deeply desire to receive from our parents. This blessing is an affirming gift and when we receive it,  we experience our parents' unconditional love and acceptance, as well as a sense of high value and self-worth.

In the book, the blessing is explained as having five essential elements and each of these are biblically based. These elements are 1) meaningful touch 2) a spoken message 3) attaching high value 4) picturing a special future, and 5) an active commitment. The authors explain both why the blessing is so important for positive self-worth and relationships, as well as what you can do, if you have not received it.  They go on to provide practical advice about how you as a parent can impart this special blessing to your children.

As excited as I was to read this book, I have to be honest and say that I struggled to get through it. I particularly struggled with the first four chapters, which focus on why this blessing is so important and why one should read the book.  Perhaps I was a little impatient, because I wanted to get to the nitty-gritty of what the blessing was all about. The description of the blessing was definitely my favourite part of the book and I think that the suggestions offered for those that feel that they missed out on the blessing, as well as the practicalities of living the blessing, were also helpful.

In a nutshell - it wasn't the easiest read for me, but I would recommend it and it's a book I will definitely be popping into again. 

Thank you Booksneeze for sending me a complimentary copy of this book to review.  I can't wait to review another one :).

October 31, 2011

Fingerprint Fun


 I remember seeing an Ed Emberley Fingerprint Drawing Book a number of years ago and it immediately piqued my interest. I looked high and low for these locally, but couldn't find any in stores or at the library. So I was very excited to find out that Ed has a terrific website and that I could easily order his books (at great prices too) online.

In the spirit of our Doctor Doctor fun and checking out the human skeleton, I was tickled to find a cute fingerprint tutorial of  
Mr. Boney Parts on the website.

Big One's version...

Using the super Melissa and Doug Ink Pad, Big one and I spent some time creating fingerprint art. I won't tell you who made what, but I will say this -  my creations are definitely "cute", whereas Big One's are "cool".


Could you tell who made who?..I'm sure you could :)

October 24, 2011

Can Critters

We had some friends over for a morning and we made these cute can critters. I had been collecting the tins for awhile, so there was quite a nice stash. I had planned to give the children some paper and markers to decorate them, but then remembered that I had a whole container of vinyl off-cuts. I'm so glad that I did, because it was so easy and less time consuming to cut and stick the vinyl on to the cans. Even I joined in.

After the creating, we lined them all up along the wall and we had a tossing game - who could knock over the most critters. Another big hit with the kiddos, keeping them busy for quite some time.

I can highly recommend this as an activity - from start to finish they had a blast!

PS. Sharing this at
Show and Tell @ ABC and 123
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