Home of The Small Art Company and a bit of British all sorts about my family, kids, home, art, mixed media, craft, photography, illustration, travel, cooking, organisation, teaching... Good to see you:)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Snowflake Tutorial and Christmas Cards

I don't know about you, but I find writing Christmas cards somewhat stressful! Don't get me wrong, I love sending and receiving cards, but I wish there was a way to make the organisation a little easier.

It's not possible to just sit down, write them, put them in envelopes and post. Oh no! This year I've had the following piles: cards to post (the least stressful pile), cards to put letters in, cards to put photos in, cards to check addresses, cards to give to others to pass on (to save on stamps!), cards to give to others when I see them, or through neighbours' doors, Little W's school friends, Toddler W's playgroup friends, both their teachers (quite a few of them!) and finally, Mr W's work pile. It's quite possible that I've missed a group there, but you get the idea.

Anyway, this is the card I made for family:

It's simply a snowflake template that I brayered over. I like the demin effect. And I used these lettering stamps for the inside:

I'd not found a use for them before, but think they look really Christmassy.

This year, the little W's made Christmas tree cards:

Last year was Rudolph and the year before was cotton wool snowmen. I love Christmas crafts with the kids! It was always my favourite time of the year when I was teaching as well.

So... if you want to make some snowflakes, either for a card like I did, or to hang up, then look no further...

Snowflakes are really simple to make and make very effective decorations. Here's a quick and easy guide to making your own pretty snowflakes!

1) Fold a square sheet of paper in half to make a triangle.

2) Fold in half again.

3) Bring the right side over and fold like so:

4) And the left side:

Both sides should be equal. You're just folding one over the other.

5) Now trim off the triangular ends so you're left with a straight edge:

6) The fun bit! Cut lots of shapes. The more paper you cut away, the better your snowflake will look, but make sure you don't cut all the way across, or it'll fall apart!

You get used to what cuts will look like on a finished snowflake.

7) Here are the finished cuts:

8) And here is the finished snowflake!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Frosty Morning Spider Webs

One of my favourite things to admire on a frosty morning is a spiderweb. They are so beautiful! I can't resist photographing them, so thought I'd share some pics I took this morning...


They make fantastic decorations for the garden, don't you think?!

I love a cold sunny day, with the sun peeping through the icy bare branches:

As we're on the subject of photography, I have just set up my new shop called The Small Art Company. I haven't done a great deal with it yet, as I've been so busy with personal stuff and Christmas of course, but hope to get working on it in the New Year. If you want original art but are short on space, then this will be for you! At the moment the focus is on photographic transfers, so each piece will be one of a kind.

Anyway, that's all for now. Keep warm!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Traditional English Christmas Dinner!

Wow, where did that month go?!

I thought I'd do a post for any international readers that may be interested in a typical English Christmas. I've been reading up about what people eat for Christmas dinner in various countries and it's been really fascinating!

Generally, we'll have turkey, although some people may have goose. We'll have chestnut, sage and onion stuffing, roast potatoes, sausages wrapped in bacon (also known as pigs in blankets!), Yorkshire puddings, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, carrots and one or two other veg, cranberry sauce (more like a lumpy jelly than a sauce) and gravy.

I don't have many photos of Christmas dinners I'm afraid, but this is Little W's from two years ago!

Afterwards, we'll have Christmas pudding with brandy butter or whipped cream. The former is more traditional, but I do like the whipped cream!

On the table will be crackers to pull and sometimes we have party poppers. There's not usually room for any other ornaments, although we have managed to squeeze in some festive candles in the past.

And then we'll just be having cold turkey in various formats for a few days after...

Seeing as I'm being festive today, here's a photo of our new VW campervan in the snow the other day:

There's still little bits of snow around and was very icy this morning. We had a bit of a snowstorm on the way to school and now the sun's out... I do love British weather!

Anyway, I  would love to hear what you have for Christmas dinner!