A natural Christmas at the Earth Trust

IMG_1993Last weekend I took my two little ones over to Little Wittenham for the Natural Christmas at the Earth Trust event. The day was themed around making beautiful decorations from natural materials; reusing and recycling.

IMG_1995Each of the cosy, fairy-light lit barns housed the craft activities, with families gathered around the tables, having a go at making wooden reindeer, willow stars and popcorn garlands. The local Brownie group were showing the younger children there how to make reindeer food (porridge oats plus glitter, naturally) and Mia was entranced!

IMG_2008There were also some lovely Christmas trees for sale, cut from Paradise Wood, on the Earth Trust site.

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IMG_1997We patiently waited to see Father Christmas in the grotto. I did peek inside as Mia was shown through the door by an elf. It was so beautiful, natural and cosy. Twigs, berries and leaves, and glowing with candles and fairy lights. Santa gave Mia a wooden robin decoration to make, which is now sitting on top of her bedroom Christmas tree.

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IMG_2015Of course there was a stop for tea and cake before going home.

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IMG_2030The Earth Trust is such a great place to visit, and I always think how lucky I am to live nearby. If you are local to Oxfordshire I would highly recommend a visit to one of their events. In the New Year upcoming events include forest school, star walks and lambing weekends.

 

forty nine / fifty two

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IMG_2068A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2014

Mia: celebrated a birthday this week, six whole years! She literally glowed with happiness all day.

Joseph: seems to have decided that he’s not a baby anymore. He has developed this amazing pen grip from somewhere any wants to spend all day drawing.

PS. I know there is felt pen all over the table! I let them draw on it, as it’s an ancient Ikea table that just seems to wipe clean. Whilst it is not a thing of beauty it is massively practical. I promise myself that one day, when they are a little older, I will have the perfect kitchen table, made from beautiful old wood…until then, we draw on the table.

Joining in with Jodi at Practising Simplicity for the last few weeks of this year’s 52 portraits project.

Making Christmas Tree Decorations

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This year I am making the majority of Christmas gifts for family and friends (if you are one of them…spoiler alert, look away now!) The first completed gift project is some simple Christmas tree decorations, made from clay and embossed with the festive wishes of ‘peace’, ‘love’ and ‘joy’.

IMG_0030As you can see, I had a very willing assistant. Mia loved this project, particularly the stamping and decorating part.

IMG_0028I absolutely love that Mia made me decoration with a cup of tea on; she knows me so well!

IMG_0033We used air drying clay, and cookie cutters for the shapes. The letters are from an ink stamping alphabet set, and worked really well!

IMG_0041Once the clay had dried, I painted both sides of the decorations with a couple of coats of white paint. I used a rough textured brush to add a distressed look.

IMG_1946(1)I added a coat of PVA glue to varnish and protect the decorations. Then threaded some red and white string to make them a little more Christmassy.

IMG_1947(1)I really hope that people like them…surely everyone needs a little more peace, love and joy at Christmas time, right?!

Christmas Wreath Making Workshop

IMG_1920(1)I was lucky enough to be invited to a Christmas wreath making workshop at the Oxford Business Park on Tuesday. I have always enjoyed a bit of Christmas crafting,  but had never made a wreath before and was excited to learn how.

The floral experts from Integritas Landscapes hold the wreath making event annually, and spaces at the workshops are highly in demand with staff at the park; booking up weeks in advance. The Goodman management team offered a warm welcome to everyone at the event with mulled wine, Christmas tunes on the stereo and beautiful wreath-making materials ready on the craft tables.

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IMG_1908(1)It was perfect Christmas crafting, with a lovely selection of natural decorations for the wreaths. The scent of the evergreen foliage, cinnamon, dried orange and apple was incredibly festive!

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IMG_1931(1)And here is the finished product, proudly displayed in my hallway. I may hang it on the front door, but I am enjoying it so much indoors, it might just stay here for the festive season!

This is not a sponsored post. I was invited to the event as 
a guest; all words and opinions are my own.

forty eight / fifty two

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joe1A portrait of my children once a week, every week, in 2014

Mia: at the ice rink. It was fascinating to watch her confidence grow in the hour she was skating…she went from shuffling along with a skate aid to skating without it (with her dad and uncle there to catch her when she slipped!)

Joseph: his sense of exploration

Joining in with Jodi at Practising Simplicity for the last few weeks of this year’s 52 portraits project.