Thursday, 4 February 2016

An Activity crafty day with a 4 year old.

At the weekend I was babysitting my little niece who is four years old. The weather was really wet and windy and it was so bad it was impossible to venture out. Entertaining a four year old is quite difficult as their attention span for long periods of time is limited. I had to plan activities that were fun to do, easy to clear up and didn't take too long.

I picked up my niece (Little M) and as soon as she came in, she ran into the kitchen and immediately wanted to help me make a smoothie in my Optimum 94OO.  With Aprons on we set to work, Little M peeled the bananas and roughly cut them with a blunt knife them, together we added them to the blender. With help she added dollops of vanilla ice cream, some cold milk and them with little fingers she whizzed the whole smoothie up.
Our banana smoothie was delicious. There was no time to style the photograph but here is a quick click of what we made.

Banana smoothies and cookies eaten we decided to make some rice krispie chocolate clusters so that Little M had a pressie to take home for mum and dad. We added some milk chocolate into a heat proof bowl and microwaved it  at 30 second intervals until it had melted. Carefully as bowl was hot we added the rice crispies into the chocolate and mixed it together. With little helping hands we spooned the mixture into little cupcake cases and left them to set. I was able to take a quick photo while Little M licked the bowl.

It soon  stopped raining so we were able to go out to the shops to get some shopping. Although it's only February the shops have all started selling Easter goodies and treats. Little M saw some Easter treats and was excited about the furry little chicks in baskets.

We bought some mini Easter Eggs and the furry little chick in the basket. We had lunch out and then ventured home.

The afternoon the weather turned awful again and I was thinking what we could do, luckily my Bostik  Easter Craft challenge box had arrived so Little M and I looked through it and she decided she wanted to make an Easter card for her mum and dad to take home with the chocolate crispies. 
She chose the foam easter egg shape, some pretty flowers and the pipe cleaners  which she was really excited about as she thought they looked like pretty worms!!! She had endless fun bending them into wiggly shapes and this is how the zigzag on the card idea was born. 

You will need:

  • 1 Foam Easter Egg shape cut out
  • 3 Pipe cleaners assorted colours
  • Stick on flowers
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Envelope 
  • Pretty tape
Here is how we made it.

1. Make a concertina zigzag with the pipe cleaners. (Little M needed a little hep with this)
2. Arrange them on the card and shape them, gently cut off any edges that are not required.
3. Stick the zigzags onto the foam using the glue. This was tricky and we had to put a heavy book on the card for a few minutes to make the pipe cleaners stick to the foam.

4. While the pipe cleaners were waiting to stick. We decorated the envelope which was plain. We stuck the pretty floral tape on the four edges of the envelope and it was transformed.
5. The pipe cleaners were securely stuck on the foam and Little M added some stick on flowers to finish off the foam card.
6.Lastly We added a Happy Easter message on the back of the foam card. I wrote the words happy easter in pencil and she went over the pencil lines with a gold decorating pen we had.
The card fitted beautifully in the envelope.

Little M was really pleased with her card. We  also put the chocolate crispies in a pretty box and tied a ribbon on it to make the perfect gift.

The day was really enjoyable and it certainly brought the child out in me. I think these babysitting days might become a regular. Little M and I had a lovely time crafting thanks to Bostik for the craft box they sent me.
Little M's  Mum and Dad were really pleased with their gifts too.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Customised photo canvas from Bags of Love

For the last few months I have been living out of suitcases, boxes and bags whilst my house is undergoing some renovations. I had a new bedroom furniture fitted,  had a new shower installed  and have also had the whole house repainted. Its exciting but at the same time its been really stressful. Finally though all the painting is complete, the wardrobes are fitted and the shower is fully working so it's time to start the fun bit and that is choosing some new accessories for the house.

I wanted something personalised for the house so when I saw that Bags of Love do customised gifts I checked out their web site. They do beautiful photo montages such as throws, cushions, spreads, blankets and pillows too. I really liked the ideas of a photo montage and finally settled for a photo canvas montage to hang on the wall.

The site was really easy to navigate. there were options to upload all your chosen photos and either choose to create your own arrangement of the collage or to use Bags of Love's preset templates which is what I did as my collage had some 60 pictures in it. The preset template allows you to select the size of the collage together with the different edge finishes and background colour. Once you have set the choice, it automatically arranges your photos in a random order. The website will then allow you to preview the finished layout and then  all it takes is a click of a button to place the order. With delivery options of next day you could have your photo canvas montage within almost 48 hours. The prices for the montage vary depending on size.

My canvas photo montage came within 48 hours and I must say I am really pleased with it. The selection of photos I used were varied, some old photos that that I had scanned into the computer were not as good in colour as the newer ones. I was pleasantly surprised how they all blended well and the whole montage looks amazing. The parcel arrived well packaged and included in the packaging was a fixing kit with screws and hook. It was very simple to fix and hang up the photo canvas montage.

I am really pleased with my finished master piece. If you are interested in getting a personalised gift for valentines day, mothers day or for any special occasion Bags of Love have some really excellent gift choices to suit all budgets.

I would like to thank Bags of Love who gave me the opportunity to create my own personalised montage. All views and opinions expressed in this post are of my own experience.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Homemade Paper Gift bags.

I love making homemade cards and gifts as they really make the gift more personal. To add a more unique touch it's nice to present  the gift  that is beautifully wrapped. Making homemade paper or pretty gift bags are a wonderful way to make that gift all the more prettier.
I always find that I can never find the perfect sized gift bag when I want one, so I have started making my own gift bags. They are easy to make  using newspaper, brown paper, crafting paper or any scraps of wrapping paper.

To make these pretty gift bags you will need:

  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Paper of your choice (20cmx20cm) you can use any size depending on how big you want the bag.
  • Glue
  • Motifs- flowers, buttons,stickers
  • Glue Dots
  • Ribbon

NB- Try not to use card lightweight paper works best.
To make a small gift bags:

1. Place the paper right side facing down and draw a 1 cm margin .
2. Fold the paper on this line this will be the top of the gift bag.
3. Draw a vertical centre fold line. 

4. Fold  first the right side so that it overlaps the centrefold pencil line by 1 cm and then the 
 left side so it also overlaps the centrefold line by 1 cm.
5. Glue the left and right sides where they overlap over each other.

6. Turn the paper so that the top of the bag is furthest away from you and make a horizontal fold 4 cm  from the bottom edge. (This fold must not exceed the width of the bad)Make a crease to mark the fold.
7. Lift the folded part so it's standing up horizontal.
8. This is a little tricky, but open up the folded part and  fold the right and left sides of the paper so that they almost meet at the centre fold line as shown in picture. Form a crease so that the paper lays flat like a diamond shape.

9. Fold the bottom edge so that it slightly overlaps the horizontal center line and stick them down. Now fold the top edge so that it too overlaps the horizontal central line and stick it down.
10. Fold in the right and left side margins of the gift bag and crease firmly to form sides. Shape the gift bag on the creases.  

11. Fold over 4 cm on the top edge of the gift back to form a flap.Using a single hole punch or a sharp pencil made two holes approx 1 cm from top edge on either side of centre fold line for ribbon to be threaded. Thread the ribbon through the holes and tie a bow.

12. To make handles do not fold the top, mark two holes approx 1 cm from each outer edge and punch holes. Thread a ribbon and knot each side to make two handles.

13. Alternatively just add a glue dot to seal the flap once you have filled your gift bag. 

14. You can add motifs to decorate your bags as and how you like. Fill your bags with chocolates , sweets cookies to make the perfect mini gift, for any occasion such as valentines, birthdays, Easter, Mothersday, Christmas and even wedding favours.

I was sent a collection of papers, motifs, ribbons and glue by Craft Merrily to create anything I liked using some of the contents from the craft box.This post is part of the Monthly Bostic craft challenge.

Some great posts from other Bostick 2016 craft Bloggers:
Mummy Moo Blog
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