Your toddler years are probably the only time in your life where you are allowed – nay encouraged – to believe that you are the Centre of the Universe, around whom everyone else revolves. Why not celebrate that with a scrapbook-style family tree? Harry is by now pretty clear on who his relatives are, but sometimes needs reminding. He’s also fascinated by the connections between them and to him – particularly given that we’re a modern, blended family with all sorts of interconnectivities and the kind of complex histories that only a venn diagram could truly give order to.
We’re making this together (or rather, I make it with Harry issuing commands about who is placed where, wielding the glue stick and frequently peeling people off for a closer look, or to attempting to insert their photos into Postman Pat’s van, or attaching them to the fridge..so it’s hardly a zen, bonding crafting experience, it has to be said). We’ve taken a pretty liberal view of family, including favourite toys and friends as well as those from who Harry is genetically inseparable. It’s a work in progress as we collect photos to add in. Be warned if you try this at home; EVERY single person who sees it will claim that you have used a terrible picture of them…
Having uncovered a dusty pack of FIMO Air Microwave clay, I today set about rolling, cutting, stamping and experimenting, with a vague notion of making gift tags or hanging ornaments (the Christmas spirit is taking a while to wear off). Initially pliable like clay, the alchemy of microwave and steam rapidly turns each piece into a light-as-air tag or pendant with the rough, organic feel of porcelain but a density similar to cardboard. Definitely a great discovery. Here’s my first attempt at chic gift tags for wine bottles (or anything, in fact…). I love the contrast with the black but taupe or plain brown paper would also look great as a complementary wrap colour. Accessorised here with simple black ribbon and a tiny silver bell – and a piece of heavyweight paper strung underneath for the gift message (it’s hard to write on the finished clay itself, though not impossible).
The good thing is you get masses of cut-outs from one pack, and can cram a surprisingly large number into the microwave at any one time for finishing, so I have enough to hang one on my pinboard as well as a boxful to actually use. Now I just need a party to go to this weekend…
1 pack of FIMO air modelling clay
Black ribbon, bells, heavyweight linen paper
Rubber stamps (I used an italic text block) and beads for embellishment and surface printing