Christmas Gifts for teachers! 

For your mistle toes!!!
The month of December has passed rather hurriedly and with only two days left before the kids finish school for the Christmas break. The pressure was on to come up with a quick and easy gift to make for the teachers.

With three children all of school age, the amount of teachers, classroom assistants, and specialist teachers all add up so I always look for an easy to make present, that is not only simple to make but cost effective too! 
This year I decided with the help of Pinterest to make these simple nail polish and nail files gift bags for the teachers. 

You will need. 

Nail polish

Nail files

Gift tags

Small gift bags

Printable

For your mistle toes printable from www.persialou.com

Stationary
Firstly I printed out the “printable” on to white paper and cut it to size to fit the gift tag. If you are good at freehand lettering you could skip this stage and just write the message freehand.
For your mistle toes gift tag

Then I added a message in chalk pen to the back of the tag.

Add your message to the reverse

Now you are ready to wrap one nail polish and a nail file in your gift bag. You could add hand cream into your gift bag if you wanted to spend a little more. 
Ready to wrap
Finished teachers gift

Such a quick and easy gift to make for all the female teachers, classroom assistants. 

If you have male teachers to buy for, you could replace the nail polish and file with a pair of socks and still use the same tag! 
Happy making!!
Love 

Claire 

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Advent Calendar

Since I was a child I have had a love for finding driftwood at the beach and bringing it home to add to my collection. I have a few larger pieces that live in my garden and a small box of twig size pieces on display in my living room. Over on pinterest there are lots of ideas of things to make and plenty of ideas for christmas. I decided to make an advent calendar with one of the larger pieces from my collection.

This is what you’ll need, 

A large piece of driftwood or similar size branch, string, scissors and pens

(If you do bring home some beach finds be sure to give it a good wash or it will start to smell pretty quickly. I usually fill a bucket with a strong bleach solution and cold water and leave to soak for a few days.)


Start by adding string to each end of the Driftood to act as a hanger. Then carefully add 25 lenghs of string along the branch. You can make these different lengths to add interest to the finished calendar.

 

Now you are ready to decorate and add the numbers to your little envelopes. 


Once you have numbered the little envelopes you can add your chosen treat or task. 


I wanted the children to think about the run up to Christmas and enjoy the spirit of Christmas. There are plenty of examples of lists on Pinterest. But the kids were a little disappointed I hadn’t included chocolate. Then the lovely Christine from Flouringsdays gave me the idea to include a chocolate coin! 

So I carefully added a single chocolate coin to each of the envelopes once the kids had gone to bed!


I picked these little pegs up from our local pound world but you could pick them up from any good craft supply shop. I used these to attach an envelope to the end of each of the strings.

 

And there you have it! Such a simple idea for the festive season. You can add foliage of your choice to decorate.
Happy Christmas 

Claire

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Pallet Tree!

Today marks the last day of November and tomorrow I can talk about Christmas as much as I want! The man of the house says its too early to talk christmas in November so instead I have been slipping a few christmas touches into the house. A few strings of  fairy lights.  You can never have enough fairy lights in my opinion anyway! And a few christmas berries on the mantle.

 

I love crafts and any excuse to make something for the festive season I’m all over it! I work in a day centre and we love crafts and always make cards and gifts to send home. This year we made simple christmas cards using plain white cards with little gift tags from the store, Tiger. We mounted the tags on to green card and added some glitter! Simple!

Greeting cards made using gift tags from the Tiger Store
 

I love Pinterest and for years I have been gathering and pinning images of things you can make with a wooden pallet. So this year I was determined to make a pallet tree just in time for the festive season. 

I am a novice when it comes to power tools so if I can do it anyone can.

What you’ll need-

A pallet of any size
A jig-saw or ordinary saw, hammer, ruler and chalk for marking.
 

Then you can begin. I had my 5 year old to help me! Lay the pallet on the ground with the planks of wood running horizontal, count up from the bottom, using the claw on your hammer, remove the second plank completely. This will expose the central batton and will form your tree trunk.   The third plank is going to be the bottom branch if you want to call it that of your tree. Using the chalk and ruler you need to draw two lines down from the centre of the pallet to the outer edge of the third plank. 

Mark the pallet with chalk so you can see where you need to cut.
Mark the pallet with chalk so you can see where you need to cut.
 
Once you have marked out the outline for your tree you can begin to cut. Be sure to wear safely goggles when you are cutting the pallet as the wood is rather cheap and will splinter easily.

Using the chalk as a guide to cut
Cut the pallet carefully up both sides of your triangle. Then you are ready to cut the very bottom plank on both sides to form your stand. Using your chalk and ruler measure equal distances and at both sides of your tree trunk and cut with saw or jig-saw. 

You will need to turn your pallet over (depending on the size of it you might need help to do this ). Once turned over you can make the same cuts to the bottom plank at the back. Now that all your cuts have been made, your tree will be free to lift from the pallet. You will also need to make two cuts to the top plank at the back of the stem.

Once all the cuts have been made your tree will be free
 
There you have it, your pallet tree. I am going to set mine on the front step and decorate it with fairy lights and a star at the top!

Pallet tree is ready to decorate
 
I’d love to see what you come up with! 


Happy crafting
Claire
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I love making lists!

Another week another obsession! My head is always spinning, juggling ideas, endless lists of things to do, things I want to achieve around the house. The lists for things I want to organise for the children, upcoming birthday parties and celebrations and that is all before I start on the list of essential things that need done. Making Doctors appointments, booking the car into the garage for its yearly service, sorting homeworks, play dates, paying the bills, booking the chimney sweep, the shopping list. Lists are great, however let it be said, even when I have a list of things to do or that I have organised I still get it wrong! 

Cue this morning it was 9am.  I was still in bed, as was hubby after working the late shift. The boys were playing the Xbox quietly in their room and the door bell rang! It was the man to service the boiler. The poor man was greeted at the door by a rather,dragged though a bush backwards, still in pj’s tired me and a Yorkshire terrier who thinks he is a German shepherd barking like crazy. I quickly apologised and got my eldest son to make him a cup of tea while I hurriedly got dressed so I could show him where our boiler was!   

Weekly planner
My love of making lists could be described as procrastination! Procrastination describes me to a T! The eternal procrastinator. The act of avoidance, putting of doing a task that needs to be completed. The act of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones – That’s me!! 

But it’s all good, I have lists, to do lists! Everything will get done in the end. 

Image from Pinterest
With a recent spell of ill health, I have had more time to procrastinate. With enforced rest, Dr’s orders, I have found myself making more lists than ever and if I can add a Pinterest board to accompany my list I am on to a winner! 
This week it is Autumnal Wreaths.   My friend  Christine from http://flourishingdays.com/ and I have been inspired by the lovely Emma from http://www.lifeatthelittlewood.co.uk/ to have a go at making our own wreath. Emma recently attended a wreath making workshop with her husband and they made stunning wreaths. 

So I have been pinning away on Pinterest http://pin.it/eovU0a9 adding inspiration for my wreath! 

Here are some of my favourites. I’m hoping we will be able to achieve something worth hanging on the front door. 


http://pin.it/gpPM4qw 


http://pin.it/X89bAqD


http://pin.it/Lq1OoLw
There are so many beautiful wreaths and excellent tutorials and YouTube videos showing examples of how to make your own. 

So Christine and I are going to make our wreaths later on in the week. I will keep you posted on how we get on. For now I will continue to add to my lists and if you have any tips for wreath making I would love to hear from you.

Claire 

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Painted Pumpkins and the rest! 

With Halloween just over a week away, I have been working on the decorations for our home. 

Inspired by the Americans and their love of Autuminal decor. Beautifully decorated porches and verandas. I almost want to move over right now and buy that New England style home just so I can decorate my very own porch! 

Those of you who follow me over on Instagram know I don’t have that porch or veranda but I do have a fireplace. So with that in mind I have decided to come up with Pinterest inspired painted pumpkins instead. 

I adore the white pumpkins and gourds that are flooding my Instagram feed that past week or so. But it is virtually impossible to get them here in Northern Ireland unless you are fortunate to pick one up at the local garden centre. So traditional orange it is!! And they are in plentiful  supply at our local Supermarket. I let the children pick their own and this is what they came up with! 


Daddy, Mummy and baby pumpkin! All ready to paint! 


To paint the pumpkins I used Annie Sloan chalk paint in pure and black poster paint. 


I washed the pumpkins to remove any loose dirt and dried them well with kitchen paper. 

And then I set to work, I applied one thin coat of chalk paint to the largest pumpkin.


And then adding black poster paint to some of the white chalk paint I made some dark grey paint for the next pumpkin.


I used old jam jars to balance the pumpkins on to allow me to paint underneath them. 


Then I added more black poster paint to make a darker grey for the last pumpkin and a butternut squash! 


Such an easy craft idea and I am so pleased with the results!! 


Why not have a go at painting some pumpkins this year. A lot less hassle than carving!! 

Claire 

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