Easter Preparations for Those Who Like A Good Shortcut

In previous years, Harry has embraced Easter preparations, gamely adorning himself with white glue, buttons and tissue paper, planting up eggshells with cress and gathering daffodils to give the house a Spring-like air.  This year, we both decided on a rather more low-maintenance approach which still allows us to display a bit of creative flair.

This year, we are…. Egg Pimping!!


Yes, OK, not a term you will find in any crafter’s bible, but I think a fair description of the art of taking a plain, shop-bought chocolate egg and decorating it with every conceivable edible adornment until it glitters, Faberge-like, looking unmistakably homemade but nonetheless attractive for all that.  We wanted to make Easter gifts for Harry’s teacher and grandmothers, so gathered together a good selection of icing pens, decorations and a few good chocolate eggs from the supermarket.  We removed all the packaging, washed our hands (I note that purely in case either grandmother ever reads this..), and began….


We used mini meringue sprinkles, giant fondant roses from Waitrose (they don’t look giant until you glue them to a smallish egg, then they look slightly freakish and Dali-esque.  We persevered). Also; wafer daisies (ughhh! these taste like paper!’ cried Harry in disgust, a wilting daisy stuck to his tongue), tiny icing carrots and pastel sugarpaste butterflies strong enough to break a tooth.  Trust me on this.


I helped Harry loop and drizzle the icing around the eggs, then he decorated them freely, each one slightly more embellished than the last (the one below was a restrained first attempt).

egg 3

I found these copper wire eggs baskets on sale at TK Maxx (TJ Maxx in the US) for £3 each…

egg 45

So once the eggs were dry, Harry carefully filled each basket with shredded tissue paper and placed an egg in each…

egg 48  egg 4

Which we finished with an excess of cellophane.  Truly an excess….


Have a great week!

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DIY Secret Message Bowls

Homemade Message Bowls

Hello, Happy Sunday! And Happy Mothers Day to those in the UK.  I was greeted at sunrise with a BIG cuddle and this gorgeous drawing; it’s funny (and very lovely) to know I am perceived.  Whilst my thigh gap hasn’t got any smaller in this picture, I am coveting the dress (less so the green tights; I’m not quite so fashion-forward).


I’ve had a little more time this week for crafting, so I did something I’ve wanted to do for ages and had a go at ceramic transfers, and made a surprise for Harry’s cereal bowl.  I got a bit carried away and worked my way through our china cupboard,  leaving little messages hidden at the bottom of a range of bowls and mugs…


I found a script-like font (the lovely Helena, which you can download for free here) and made up some messages which I printed onto Lazertran paper.  There are various makes of transfer paper which will work with ceramics, in slightly different ways; ask your local craftshop what they have.  With the Lazertran paper, you print in reverse (choose ‘mirror image’ when printing), then dry the paper in a low oven to ensure the ink is properly fused to the paper.  Once the ink had dried, I cut around the words, soaked the paper in a shallow dish of water to release the transfer film and placed one in the base of each bowl, face down.

Sponge gently to release any air bubbles, and place in the oven on a low heat for about 15 minutes.  When the 15 mins are up, gradually increase the temperature over the course of 90mins until it reaches about 200 degrees C / 350 F; at that point the text will fuse completely to the ceramic and take on a glazed appearance like in the pictures above.  Leave to cool and you’re ready to go!

Lazertran printing

Flushed with success, I found these quotes on Pinterest and used them to create messages-in-a-mug; they look lovely when used with fruit teas, where the message can shine through the berry or lime colours of the tea.  They’d  look equally good on the outside of the mugs too…

Message in a Mug

Of course you can transfer images too, which would also look lovely – a child’s drawing perhaps, or a photograph… but I do quite like my secret messages.

Have fun exploring this if you decide to give it a go (try on something inexpensive first whilst you master the subtleties of transfering and baking)…and let me know how you get on!

Have a great rest of the weekend, wherever you are and whatever you have planned…

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Bowls with a message

Now We Are Six

This is 6

Whilst for Harry, life moves infinitely slowly, with the space between breakfast and lunch sometimes seeming to be as long as a whole year, for me it is moving very fast indeed.  Growth spurts can occur during the time it takes me to gaze blankly into my coffee as I come awake, and I am always surprised at the frequency of birthdays (Harry’s and mine, in fact – how did I get so old??).

Harry turned six a couple of months ago, which for him signified the onset of adulthood, pretty much, and for me caused to me pause and think about all of the favourite things which make up his world in this moment – the objects with a story behind them, or those which represent abiding passions over the years.  I gathered some of them together, bit by bit, and created a photo montage that we can keep and look at together in the years to come.  It includes:

1. The Militaria collection (or a selection thereof).

For a very equable, peaceful boy, Harry has always had his head turned by a decent plastic sword.  His collection spans various phases from pirate to buccaneer, brave medeival knight to Jedi knight, with silver duck tape providing necessary repairs over the years.  We have all become skilled in the art of swordplay, which mostly involves bluffing, waving your weapon flamboyantly around in the air air and shouting ‘ahhaaarrgghh!’ at intervals.  We are such amateurs.

Slide1 2. The Food Pyramid

I don’t think Harry consciously leans towards round-shaped food, but we certainly eat a lot of it.  From Cheerios (the breakfast of  champions), to cucumber – a hands-down favourite among vegetables, though both he and my husband maintain that eating lettuce is inexplicably dull and bizarre and to be avoided at all costs.  Chocolate donuts are a treat breakfast for holidays only, and thus have a near-mythical status and powerful associations.  The Charley Bear lunchbag is at least 4yrs old, but appears whenever we have a roadtrip to anywhere longer than an hour, and must always be filled with ‘just-in-case snacks’, although the snacks are invariably eaten and the just-in-case scenario is never actually verbalised.


 3. The Passions

Lego, Thunderbirds, Star Wars and making-things-out-of-cardboard-and-paper are abiding passions of Harry’s that show no signs of abating, and in fact gain steady momentum.  I captured some of them here, and expect that they’ll feature for many years to come.  I pulled out and photographed some of the items from his craft stash to remind me of this year…


 4. The Random Ones That Make Me Smile

Amongst the rest there are a number of items that defy easy categorisation; the microphone that we mime with on Friday nights in the kitchen whilst music blares and the family dance-off unfolds (unravels, really).  The Ukelele that Father Christmas bought and which is strummed, endlessly and usually accompanied by Freddie Mercury-esque poses and strutting.  The commencement of pocket money, which has led to much discussion about the joy/torture of spending vs saving, and has introduced Harry to the novel thrill of having independent wealth to jingle in your pocket as you rummage through charity shops in search of a bargain. And Uno, a card game that Harry mastered at Christmas and will now attempt to persuade all those who cross our threshold to play.  He can now hold around 15 cards without dropping them all, has developed a cheery cackle to deploy gleefully whenever he is winning, and is an expert, charming manipulator who will try to recruit you to ‘join my team!’ whenever you look like you might be ahead.  He is still working on the poker face.


When thinking about what to choose, it also struck me what’s missing from this list, like books; Harry loves being read to, and increasingly enjoys reading now that the struggle of navigating new words is outweighed by the momentum of those he knows and the pleasure and discovery of a new story – but at this moment there are no particular favourites or books he returns to over and over; there were in toddlerhood, and there will be again (Harry Potter, here we come..), but for now they don’t feature here.

To make the montage….

I gathered up all the items on our list and took photos of each against a contrasting-coloured background, then imported the pictures into Powerpoint (free trial here), and used the ‘remove background’ tool to isolate each picture so it would work against the white backdrop of the slide.  For some of the toy figures I used stock shots online which was infinitely easier.  If you’re an afficionado of Photoshop you’ll be able to create a montage like this easily using that, but I am a luddite and use .ppt.

But… the main value of this is to capture the memories and the snapshot of life at this age, so the method is much less important than the purpose.  You could just as easily make a scrapbook together with photos (or drawings!) of all precious items and write a line about each (we’ll be adding notes to our montage when I paste it into this year’s Family Yearbook, so we remember the story behind each one).

Just looking at ours makes me smile – a little mistily, in truth – and is the beginning of an annual tradition, I think.

Have a great week, when it comes!

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Saying Goodbye


My best friend Vicky is moving to the US, and the very thought of it makes my heart hurt.

We’ve borne witness to each others lives for years; the high and lows, the scrapes and rollecoasters.  She poured mugs of wine and martinis through my years in the dating field, before breathing a quiet but audible sigh of relief when my now-husband rode into view on the horizon.

She even married us two years later, delivering a beautiful ceremony with such grace and gravitas that a number of our elderly relatives still believe that being a vicar is her actual day job (they didn’t see her later that night, weaving tipsily across the hotel lawn, bottle of champagne in hand, singing without inhibition, or they might have experienced some doubt).


When Harry was borne she came to stay regularly, sitting through endless episodes of Ice Road Truckers and The Greatest Catch at 3am because I was up feeding Harry and she figured she could sleep when she’s dead and that friendship matters more.  Friends like that you don’t let go of easily.

So now Vicky begins her next big adventure Stateside, and we are counting down the days together with slightly wobbly smiles.  Philadelphia beckons her, and having signed the lease on an apartment, it feels very real.  It even has a bedroom for me (for all guests, in fact, but I am pretending it is just for me).

This weekend I’ve been making a farewell package for Vic, inspired in part by this lovely tutorial from The House That Lars Built on making folding travel maps using gift wrap.


I found a sheet of Philadelphia giftwrap here


…and followed the tutorial’s instructions to fold it up concertina-style, then covered two sheets of greyboard with a piece of this pretty paper.  I glued the map inside the boards, and created this fold open and close guide to the city…

Folding travel map DIY

Inside the folder, I slipped an envelope of photos of us all to cheer her up when she’s homesick, and some washi tape to stick them to the walls whilst the apartment takes shape.

Leaving present


And a scattering of these happy thoughts to open when needed, because there will be moments when this awfully big adventure just feels awfully big, and these will help.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 17.18.47


We also included city guides downloaded from the web, and restaurant recommendations from local bloggers.  And Harry’s contribution too was crucial; a picture of the two of them heading off in a rocket, because Philadelphia is about as far as the moon when you are 6 (and also if you have inherited your mother’s sense of geography, which is not the best).


We bought two sheets of the map paper, and I’ve glued the second one to a large sheet of cardstock for Harry, so that we can mark up where Vicky’s apartment is and think about her in her new neighbourhood.

Because anything that makes the world feel a little bit smaller has to be a good thing.

Have a great week, when it comes!

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A winter miscellany

How are you, how has your weekend been so far? Ours got off to a lovely start with friends for dinner on Friday night.  Harry stayed up to say hello and enjoyed a mocktail of mango juice and rainbow sprinkles, accessorised with a cocktail umbrella and glacé cherry whilst we opened a bottle of fizz.  I think we all secretly wanted a taste of his.

Whilst shopping for ingredients the day before, I came across these beautiful Romanescos  - a sort of cabbage that apparently tastes like broccoli, and looks like a miniature Christmas tree..have you tried them?


I say they apparently tatse like broccoli; I intended to chop them up and cook them, but decided they were too lovely for that so instead Harry carefully wrote out everyone’s names and they became cheery place-settings instead…


Talking of all things green, Harry and I have a new project; we are determined to grow a HUGE avocado plant.  Preferably by next weekend, in order to have guacamole for tea.  We have got precisely this far after 24 hours, despite progress checks approximately every 10 minutes:

Plant an avocado stone

In the meantime I have harvested some hardy Hellebores from the garden and planted them up in an old copper trough on the counter; a reminder that we will see Spring before too long.

Blog Jan 2016

In other domestic news, I’ve had a brief attempt at trying to bring order and discipline to our laundry (really, what was I thinking?), buying these inexpensive sorters from IKEA and painting helpful labels so that even the youngest member of the household (you know who you are) can colour-sort his dirty clothes.  I doubt it will work, but they look pretty nonetheless.

labels copy


Weather like this requires cake, and cake is also a helpful excuse to drop in on friends, so we also made some of our favourite lemon and poppyseed loaf cake – one of those wonderful recipes where you get to throw everything in a bowl and then pour it into a tin, and do very little else other than congratulate yourself on your Domestic Goddessery  (if you do follow the recipe above, I skip the first step – if life is too short to stuff a mushroom, it is certainly too short to soak a poppyseed).   Try it; I promise you it works a treat..

IMG_7653 IMG_7638

And now an epic fail to close.  Firstly, if our avocado stone is yet to bloom, my New Year sourdough starter is looking even rockier.  I had visions of it looking exactly like this:


…but instead it looks exactly like this:


It smells like a brewery, which is promising if a little alarming, but I cannot see it causing a loaf of bread to rise anytime this year.  All suggestions welcome please, including alternative uses for it (a solution for loose plaster?).

Know your limits, they say; I think I have met mine.  Any kitchen ingredient which requires daily feeding and careful measuring was, in retrospect, doomed.

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p.s. photo of entirely perfect and well-risen sourdough starter from a true guru here.

Welcome to the Art Room!

Art Room Materials 1


When we moved into our dream house a few years ago, we began by gradually restoring the most important rooms, starting with the kitchen.  Most of the rooms in our rambling, period house are part of the original footprint of the house, but there is a little annex attached to one side which housed a peculiar, 1980s-style kitchen, complete with carpeted floor and faux-wood cabinets.  It was so bizarre – and so unlovely – that for a couple of years we essentially ignored it (and indeed didn’t take a single photo of it).

Then some time ago we decided to rip out the kitchen, whitewash the walls and lay a cheap laminate floor, thinking it would make a good office space.  Instead, Harry and I have gradually staked our claim, filling the room with a growing tide of papers, paints, scissors, crayons, works of genius and  - everywhere – tiny drifts of sticky tape that briefly adhere you to the floor, or indeed any surface you may lean on.  It is, without doubt, now The Art Room…

The Art Room

Harry and I each have a desk; simple white worktops on IKEA trestle legs, which hold all of our most precious materials.  Harry’s is very clearly marked in case there is any ambiguity about ownership, and bedecked with various masterpieces;

Art Room Drawing Desk

Art room 2

I have noticed, as a random aside, that I always look in Harry’s pictures as if I have recently dismounted from a horse.  I am trying not to wonder what this may mean.

Art room 1

We love thick Giotto mega colouring pencils for their intensity of colour and ease of grip; not cheap but they last seemingly forever.  Then jam-jars of brushes, pencils, Sharpie pens, pastels and tactile, jewell-shaped crayons; a legacy from Harry’s early childhood but too enticing to move on from completely…

IMG_5590 Art Room Caryons

The Art Room has a mysterious, scrolled staircase which ascends to a cosy alcove in the roof; too small for an adult to stand up in, but perfect for a child.  We don’t know what it was intended for, but now it becomes variously a den, a reading nook, a hiding place and THE best place in the house to squash 25 people into when playing Sardines.  It’s the only accent wall in the room, wallpapered (by me! After a glass of wine, as well!) with Scrapwood paper by Piet Hein Eek.

Scrapwood wallpaper

The stair-rail is strung with a random assortment of half-finished projects and decorative finds, like this vintage flag, driftwood garlands and my ever-increasing collection of beautiful stars..

Art Room flag

And under the stairs?  Our Dreaming Chair, where we can curl up and read, think, snooze or just chill out.  A gift from friends who were moving house, it looks like it is a million years old and has lived many interesting lives.  Each year on Fathers Day we take a photo of H and my husband in the chair together, and I intend to do this for at least another 40yrs.

Art Room chair

The Art Room overlooks the unlovely driveway, so to mask that and to filter the light which in summer is blazing and intense, I propped old window shutters from our last house against the wall.  They allow the weak, blueish northern winter light through and then do a great job when the weather turns warmer.

Art room shutters

What else?  A few nods to storage include a display box of old projects and keepsakes, and a couple of museum shelves just deep enough to hold propped-up treasures..

Box Shelf


We use Ikea’s Asker hanging herb pots to store pens and brushes; mine are hung on the wall;

Wall pots

And Harry’s stand on his desk (the giraffe ruler was a treasure found in his Christmas stocking, but we suspect Santa might have sourced it here).

Art Room Materials 1

And our eBay-find vintage plan chest stores gorgeous papers and completed art works (you can glimpse it in the main room photo above)…


Most of our other paints, glitters and craft stuff is stored on make-shift shelves in a shallow fuse-box cupboard just outside in the corridor; unbeautiful, but very useful, and somewhere that Harry can go without help to choose whatever he needs..


So that is our tour, of possibly my favourite room in the house, and one with  - already – some incredible memories.  A room to be messy in (in fact my husband smiled at these photos, so unrepresentative are they of the daily chaos and flamboyant mess more usually found within), to play in and to be happy in.  Very happy indeed, in fact.


Art Room Sign


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Separations and Reunions

Travelling 1

The New Year began at a million miles an hour with a flurry of back-to-work-and-school panic and then, for me, a week of transatlantic travel.   I’ve periodically travelled for work since my son was born, usually to the US, and these partings have been easy enough for both of us to manage.  Of late, though, it’s a little harder.  Time has lost some of its elasticity for Harry, and there are moments for both of us when I’m travelling that the distance feels very hard indeed.

We’ve been working on a few ways to make it easier, and this time I think we cracked it.  Some are conventional; others?  Well…

Saying good bye

On this last trip, I gave Harry a boxful of kisses when we woke up on the morning of my flight.  We talked about how whenever he was thinking of me he could open the bottle and find a kiss.  He tucked them in his pocket and went off to the playroom, where I caught glimspses of him busy with scissors and paper.  He appeared quite some time later with a square cardboard box.  In case you are struggling with the flamboyant spelling, it says ‘Here’s some hugs’…


And inside? Two beautifully, secretly constructed figures of Harry and me who fit together perfectly into a hug.  ’You can take them out whenever you need a hug from me Mummy’. I was amazed.  And yes, hopelessly emotional…




It’s a long-standing tradition that every evening I sing to Harry when he is just dropping off to sleep.  In babyhood I sang him lullabies, and then gradually stopped, until a year ago when he asked for me to sing again ‘to help me switch my head off from thinking’.  So now our bedtime routine always includes a rendition of ‘Dream a little dream‘ by Mama Cass, and I worried about whether he’d miss this when I was away.  I used to try and sing it over the phone, but it was never quite the same, and usually involved me huddling in the corner of conference rooms or bathrooms and crooning sotto voce which didn’t help my tunefulness at all.  So my husband stepped in…

… and now on the nights I’m away, he dons a long blonde wig (I daren’t ask where he found this; secrets in a marriage are not always unhelpful) and does a cabaret version of the song, sometimes alternating with other favourites such as ‘How much is that doggie in the window?’.  I’m not sure that it helps induce sleep but it’s certainly a potent distraction, and one which generates many requests for encores.  You’ll be relieved to know that I have no pictures of this.

 Staying connected

On this last trip I took one of Harry’s soft toys with me; Hopalong, the smallest and most docile of The Boys.  Each day, I sent back pictures of Hopalong so that Harry could track our movements; at the airport, the gym, the office …and even raiding the hotel minibar and spreading crumbs all over my bed…


Harry loved getting the pictures, and then one day last week I woke up to find an email from home with the rest of Harry’s toys having decided to join in.  Each day, Harry devised a new activity for The Boys, and my husband sent me a picture.  They took a shower together, raided the fridge in search of sausages; altogether, it sounded like the teddy bear equivalent of a frat party…

boys 1IMG_0486


One of the best things though was a letter from Harry, tucked into my case and discovered on arrival in Philadelphia, when I was feeling jetlagged and far from home….


Because to be loved more than water pistols is as much as any mother could ever wish for.

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All is Calm, All is Bright.

Merry Christmas from Katescreativespace

So, Christmas is drawing close and we have an evening of gift wrapping, fire-lighting and – yes! – champagne drinking ahead.  Bliss.  The house is ready at last; the loyal dogs who guard our front door have dressed for the occasion…

Dogs in hats 2

Dogs in hats

The North Pole Sorting Office has once again taken up residence in the hallway, joined this year by my favourite bicycle, Delilah, who has been repurposed as a festive delivery bike and perches atop the hall table, bedecked with gifts and lights…

Delivery bike decoration for christmas Delivery bike gifts Delivery bike for christmas

Mistletoe is strung from every light fitting and I am making it my business to deplete as many berries as I can during the Christmas period; beware those who cross the threshold..


Even the Montgolfieres Mice have decorated their basket for the holidays, and swing gently in the hallway, glittering with light.

Christmas mice

In the snug, I strung the columns with ribbon and cut delicate paper tree silhouettes out of paper for the window panes; they look beautiful in daylight with the sun streaming through and even prettier at night when lit from within…

Winter forest windows

paper winter trees

And so we are ready, I think; time to sign off now with just two big sleeps to go.

I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas and a joyful, relaxing break – thank you for another year of reading, following and commenting; it’s been absolutely lovely!

Here’s to 2016….

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Nutcracker Peg Doll Decorations

DIY Nutcracker decorations

Inspired by The Nutcracker ballet, I’ve been making festive peg doll deocrations to hang on our tree.  Requiring little more than a steady hand and an array of paints, it’s a lovely thing to have a go at on a darky and rainy night – or around the kitchen table with restless children who are done with school for the year but still have way too many Big Sleeps to go until Christmas (though only 7 now!).

You’ll need:

  • A pack of wooden clothes pegs; I used these
  • Wooden hats (optional); I used these craft ‘candle cups’ which have ahandy hole in the top for threading
  • Selection of paints; the tiny tins designed for model-makers are ideal, found at all good craft shops.  You’ll need red, white, blue, black and gold. (Red and white mix to make pink for the skin tone, or add brown to your list if you prefer).
  • Brushes of varying thickness, but make sure you have a very fine brush for the facial features.
  • Fluff!  For the hair… I used a few strands of quilt batting leftover from this project, but any good fluff or fibre will do…
  • Thread for making a hanging loop.

Nutcracker decorations

  1. Start by mixing your pink paint for the face and brush that on; don’t worry about neatness.  Peg your dolls around a mug rim as they dry
  2. Now the black; paint the legs to the waist, and also paint your hat.
  3. White next! paint a tent-shaped triangle above the waist, as if the jacket is cut away to reveal the white shirt.  Add two circles for eyes on the peg head, and a rectangle for the teeth (you’ll add the definition later).
  4. And now red for the jacket; cover the rest of the top half of the peg doll, carefully edging around the white shirtHow to make Nutcracker peg dolls
  5. Gold accents next; brush two stripes around the cuffs of the legs, and a wider band around the waist for a gold belt.  Do the same around the neckline and add a few swooping semi-circles to mimic gold chain across the jacket front.  Do the same across the front of the hat, and add a gold band rim.
  6. Now the face, and the trickiest bit.  Examine your hand carefully for steadiness, and rest it on the table as you paint.  If all else fails, just repaint a new layer of pink to cover up any mistakes.  Start with the black paint and add chunky eyebrows and a moustache.  Now blue dots for the irisis, and a red mouth with your thinnest brush tip.
  7. For the hair, cover the sides of the peg head with glue and press on a fingertip’s worth of fibres, which you can trim to shape and style later.
  8. Finally, thread a knotted cord through the hat to make a loop before glueing the hat to you doll’s head.  Ta-da!!  Job done…
  1. A set of DIY Nutcracker peg dolls  Nutcracker Peg Dolls

We’ve hung ours on the Christmas tree, and mighty fine they look too.

We’ve a busy weekend ahead; we throw our doors open tomorrow to family and friends for our annual Open House of eating, drinking, dancing, gossiping and general chaos.  Father Christmas usually wanders up the lane as darkness falls, adding an additional buzz of excitement.  I am hopelessly behind in my preparations, though the beauty of having good friends come is that a lack of perfection is easily forgiven;  mulled wine, a real fire and festive cookies will go a long way to being all we need.

Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are and whatever you’re up to!

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The Fir Lady returns once again

Christmas Lady

Christmas began to arrive in our home yesterday, as I staggered back from the garden centre with armfuls of pine, eucalyptus and berries.  Now the house is filled with resiny scent, as is my hair, my clothes, my hands… it’s intoxicating.

And the fir lady has once again come in from the cold and taken shelter in a corner of the kitchen; this year she is sporting a bright red military-style jacket (a charity shop find) and standing 9ft tall, thanks to an old chest we dragged in from the back of the shed.  Pine cones are dotted amongst her skirts, and boughs of red berries peek around her hem.

The Fir Lady close up

Fir Lady Skirts

Here’s last year’s Fir Lady, who sported a hessian bodice and a skirt adorned with simple wooden stars..

The Fir Lady 2014

And the original, 2013 Lady who had a rather more risqué skirt and a nipped-in waist..

Fir Lady for Christmas

If you have a spare mannequin lying around (and who doesn’t?) I gave a vague tutorial last year, with tips about how to build up a skirt and thread all the greenery together (tip: chicken wire is your secret weapon).  Mostly though it just requires trial and error, and is aided by a glass of red wine.  Or mulled wine.  Any wine in fact, but probably just the one glass, especially if using a ladder.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend; we’re lighting the fire and curling up for a Christmas movie; Elf and Arthur Christmas are the top contenders; popcorn and hot chocolate will be crucial.

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The Best of Christmas past… Paper!

As a Monday stocking filler for those newish to the blog, here’s the first of a couple of romps through the archives of some of the most festively crafty posts since I began writing back in 2012… with many new ones to come over December!  Enjoy…

For Christmas paper crafts, why not try making a torn paper Santa;

DIY Torn-Paper Santa


Or button Christmas tree cards;

button christmas tree cards



For the littles in your life, this simple handprint reindeer card was one of my earliest posts;

handprint reindeer christmas card

Or (if you hurry) you could knock up a homemade advent calendar;

Handmade Advent Calendar


Or maybe crackers for the Christmas table

DIY crackers from katescreativespace


These Dutch House Luminaries would look beautiful on the mantlepiece this winter…

DIY Dutch House Luminaries


Or try making your own 3-d stars (an even simpler tutorial coming in the next couple of weeks!)

starstruck at christmas time


In readiness for the big day, use these templates to make your own North Pole Telegram;

North Pole Telegram 2013

And start making plans to entice the reindeer to linger a while with this Magic Reindeer Food;

magic reindeer food december

And finally these folded books aren’t just for the holidays but they do look very lovely as decorations;

folded decorations II

A new craft to come next, and then a round-up of some edible Christmas ideas  (and then maybe a break from Christmas, lest we peak too soon :-) )

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