Saturday, 3 December 2016

Christmas crafts for children #CraftsWithWynsors

This Christmas I've been invited to join in with the Wynsors #CraftWithWynsors Celebration. I'm going to share some ideas for crafts to do with the children during the holidays to prepare for the Christmas season, and bring some festive fun into the home.

Christmas crafts for children

To help I've been sent some craft materials, and some slippers for the children and hot chocolate to get comfy and enjoy being snuggled up in the warm at home this winter!

Slippers from Wynsors and hot chocolate

So here are three fun crafts that are easy to do with the children and will add a personal touch to your home this Christmas.

Light up glitter tree cones

You need - Glittery cardboard, a hole punch, buttons, glue, stapler, battery powered tea light candles

Materials for making glittery cone decorations

Instructions - First use a plate to cut a large circle template in the glittery card and cut the circle in half. Fold around each semi-circle to form a cone and staple together. Remove any excess card from the middle. Use a hole punch to make holes in the cone, then decorate with small buttons or any other embellishments. When dry, place a battery powered tea light candle inside.

Glitter cone Christmas decorations

These little glittery Christmas trees are great for decorating the mantlepiece or as a table centerpiece!

Glitter ornaments on the mantlepiece

Yarn wrapped wreath

You need - A wire wreath base, lots of green yarn, battery powered fairy lights

Instructions - First, plan where your wreath is going to be displayed, to make sure that you have somewhere you can hide the battery pack and that you've left a long enough wire leading to it. Mine is propped up on the staircase, so the battery pack can be safely tucked out of the way.

First wrap your fairy lights around the wreath base making sure that they are evenly spread around. At this point it's a very good idea to make sure that your lights are in full working order, to avoid frustration later on!

Fairy lights on a wreath

Then use thick green yarn to wrap around the wreath base. Use several strands of yarn at once to make the process much quicker, especially if the children are helping out. As you go around, position the lights and wrap the yarn tightly but carefully.

Wrapping yarn around a wreath

When you start a new strand, make sure to tuck in any loose ends so that knots are hidden. You will probably want to go around a couple of times to make sure that all the wire is covered completely and the wreath looks even.

Yarn wrapped Christmas wreath

Then you can hang it up on display! Even if you have partially covered up the bulbs you will find that they still shine through the yarn and add some festive sparkle to wherever you have it on display!

Yarn wreath with fairy lights

Lollipop stick ornaments

You need - Coloured lollipop sticks (or you can paint them if you don't have any), glue, buttons, ribbon

Instructions - First glue the lollipop sticks into different shapes. I found it was best to do this in advance so that the glue was completely set, before letting the children loose.

Then use plenty of glue and stick on the buttons. You can either stick with a theme and use matching buttons, or go completely random for a more colourful effect.

Simple button Christmas decorations

Then add some colourful ribbon for hanging and add to the Christmas tree!

Button Christmas decorations on the tree

We had a lot of fun making these Christmas crafts, and I hope that I've inspired you to have a go at adding some personalised touches to your Christmas decorations!

I received slippers for the children and some craft supplies in exchange for this post.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Crafting is my Therapy - December 2016 and crafty giveaway!

Welcome to December's Crafting is my Therapy linky, and thank you to everyone that has linked up! I'm afraid that December is going to be the last Crafting is my Therapy blog link up for now, as things have been getting very busy. But Nicola and I would really love to keep seeing what you have all been working on. So we have decided to launch an Instagram hashtag which will change each month so that we can all stay connected. For December it will be #craftingismytherapy_december, and we really hope that you'll use the hashtag to share anything crafty that you've been working on. Nicola and I will also be choosing our favourite images each month to share, and you can tag as many posts as you like! My Instagram account is here and you can find Nicola here.

To celebrate all the crafting that has been shared over the last few months we have a little giveaway of crafty goodies, and you can find more details further down this post.

Crafting is my Therapy monthly linky

With Christmas approaching rapidly, I have been very busy crafting this month! I think that it's my favourite time of year for crafting, and I've been making Christmas cards and decorations with the children as well as working on some crafts for myself.

My Sky Blanket really is coming on now, and I can't believe that it is coming to the end of the year. The blanket is getting so big that I've been working on it a few days at a time rather than having to keep getting it out and fold it away. I discovered that I'd managed to lose a few stitches as I was going along so I've been quickly adding a few back in with each row - a lesson for next time to keep a closer eye on my stitch count! It's not going to be finished at the end of December as it's definitely going to need a border, and I'm also thinking about making a wider border down the sides to make it a little more even in size. I have quite a lot of yarn in my stash in another shade of blue, so I'm going to see how that looks for the border and I'm hoping that the colours will match nicely.

Crochet Sky Blanket in November

I've also been working with White Stuff to produce some Christmas wreath crafts using their fabrics. I made a large wreath using strips of fabric, and some smaller wreaths for the Christmas tree.

White Stuff Sew this is Knitmas crafts

You can find a link to my blog post here - Sew this is Knitmas with White Stuff - and below is one of the videos that I made demonstrating the crafts.

I've also been doing some Christmas crafting using Posca pens, which I have mentioned previously on Crafting is my Therapy. They really are fab pens, and I used them to decorate some wooden tree ornaments which worked really well. You can read about them here - Decorated wooden Christmas tree decorations.

Wooden decorations with Posca pens

I really enjoyed working on my White Stuff videos, ever since my Media Studies A-Level I've always liked the idea of having a go at video editing and over the last few months I've been having a lot of fun putting together little videos. It's definitely something that I want to keep going at, particularly the crafty demonstration ones. Below you can see a little video of the Posca pens in action, look out for more crafty videos over on my YouTube channel! I'm also planning on joining in with Vlogmas this year and posting a festive video each day of December leading up to Christmas, I'd love you to pop by and take a look.

So as I said, this month we have a lovely giveaway for you! We have a box of crafty goodies all ready to send out to one lucky linker. Terms and conditions can be found at the bottom of this post, but all you need to do is link up an eligible post and the winner will be drawn at random. Here's what is in the box - a small box canvas, wooden hearts to decorate, coloured sheets of felt, sea shells, a wooden frame to decorate, heart buttons, Bostik Glu Pen, Bostik Glu Dots, Blu Tack, two rolls of patterned tape and a glitter Pritt stick.

Crafting is my Therapy December giveaway

What have you been working on this month? We'd love to see!

The “Crafting is my Therapy” linky will open on the first Friday of each month and stay open for the whole month – giving you plenty of time to get involved.

You can link up with maximum of three posts per month, old or new.

Grab the linky badge or link back to our blogs on your post.

Please share the love and comment on other people’s posts.

If you could share your post and the linky (using the hashtag #craftingismytherapy) on any social media channels that would be great. This will help us to grow the community. We will retweet all your posts via Twitter if you mention us (@pouchvintage/@JenniferJain)

And finally, if you would like to follow me on TwitterPinterest and Facebook, you're more than welcome. Nicola's links are here too: Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook

Giveaway terms and conditions

The prize is a box of crafty goodies as detailed above. 

The winner will be chosen at random from eligible entries to the linky this month.

This giveaway is only open to residents of the United Kingdom.

In order for an entry to be eligible it must be a relevant post, it must mention the "Crafting is my Therapy" linky either by text or using the badge, and it must link back to one of the linky hosts. The linky will remain open until 11.55pm (GMT) on Friday 30th December 2016.

If the winner does not respond within 28 days we will redraw and reallocate the prize. There is no cash alternative. Invalid entries will be discounted.

Jennifer's Little World

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Christmas gift ideas for people who love to travel

I love putting together gift guides, and it helps me with my own Christmas planning! So I've got a few planned for the next few weeks, and they aren't based on things that I've been sent to review, they are purely things that I either own myself or have seen while browsing and on social media, that I think would make nice gifts for people. So I'm starting off with a Christmas gift guide for people who, like me, love to travel! Amazon links are affiliate. 

Gift ideas for travellers

Starting off with the practical things that are helpful to all travellers. We have found a digital luggage scale very handy. It's one thing weighing your suitcases at home before you go away, but at the end of your holiday, along with extra bits and pieces that you've picked up on your travels, you have no idea how much the suitcase now weighs. A little scale is small and light and can be taken along with you to check your bags before you come home and save repacking at the airport. It's also great for checking the weight of your hand luggage if you have a restriction.

A set of luggage tags is also a nice idea, and you can either go for fun and colourful, like these patterned luggage tags, or go for something a little more grown up and sophisticated. Last year I bought my husband a smart leather luggage tag which I had personalised with his initials.

Leather luggage tag on a map

You can also help your recipient find their luggage at the airport with some rainbow luggage straps and help them in their packing with a set of travel bottles that they can decant their toiletries into and make the trip through airport security a little easier.

Travellers love to both look back on their travel memories and plan new adventures. I've written before about the Travel Listography which I really enjoy filling out.

Travel Listography journal

I'm also hankering after one of these gorgeous personalised notebooks from Hope House Press. You can also choose from a huge range of notebooks, journals and diaries.

Hope House Press My Travel Journal

We have a large World map hanging on the wall of our study which I love looking at with the children, but I'd also really like one of these scratch off World maps so that we can record the places that we've visited.

Large map on the wall

I also enjoy reminiscing while sipping from my World Map Mug, and how about wrapping your gift in World map wrapping paper!

Mug with a map on

Finally, if you are feeling crafty, why not make a display frame, like this one from Rachael Jess - Creating a Keepsake Box. It's a fun way to both show off and store those little mementoes that otherwise get lost, like travel or attraction tickets.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Crafting for Christmas 2016 with Baker Ross

Crafting for Christmas with Baker Ross

I love crafting with the children at Christmas, both making decorations for the home and as a way to calm down when the excitement gets a little bit too much! Baker Ross have some fantastic craft kits this Christmas, which are great do do with your own children, to keep on standby for play dates, or if you are looking for an activity to keep a larger group of children happy.

The children each have a Christmas tree in their own room and they love to fill it with decorations that they have made themselves. These Christmas Elf Mix and Match Decoration Kits (£3.49 for six) are really easy to put together and are a lovely bright and cheerful addition to the tree. All the pieces are self-adhesive, so there is no glue needed and no mess.

Baker Ross foam elf decorations

We also each sewed a reindeer ornament from this Rudolph Reindeer Decoration Sewing Kits (£3.60 for three). The sewing is very simple, and then the decoration is stuffed and personalised with self-adhesive stickers and googly eyes. They are very sweet and cheeful!

Baker Ross sew a reindeer ornaments

To decorate our front window, the children coloured in some of these Christmas Bauble Colour-in Window Decorations (£2.75 for 12). You just need felt pens to colour in these see through designs, and if you use nice bright colours they look lovely with the light shining through.

Baker Ross colour in window decorations

Another cheerful way to decorate the home is by doing some of these Christmas Scratch Art Pictures (£2.95 for six). Children just use the tools provided to scratch away the black surface and reveal the bright colours underneath. Even little ones can manage this easily and produce some lovely colourful wall art.

Baker Ross Christmas scratch art

Christmas is a time for giving, and friends and family love to receive handcrafted gifts from the children. I really like these Christmas Pals Cross Stitch Cards (£3.96 for six), the children have worked really hard on them and they are a lovely keepsake.

Baker Ross cross stitch Christmas cards

Gingerbread House Photo Frame (£1.49 for five) is also a lovely gift when completed with a photo of the child or perhaps a drawing. The self-adhesive foam shapes are easy to stick together with no mess, and can be customised however the child likes. They can be hung on the tree, or you could also attach a magnet to the back to display on the fridge.

Baker Ross gingerbread house frame

This was another lovely selection of seasonal craft kits from Baker Ross! We've been enjoying crafting with Baker Ross for a couple of years now, and you can see some of our previous crafts here - Baker Ross Crafts for Christmas 2015 and Baker Ross Crafts for Christmas 2014 - My first post and a second post.

I received these craft kits to review as a Baker Ross Blogger. Prices correct at time of writing.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Book review - Prankenstein on Tour by Andy Seed

Prankenstein on Tour by Andy Seed (affiliate link) is the third book in the Prankenstein series, published this October by Fat Fox. Prankenstein is the prank-crazed alter-ego of Soapy Thompson, and when he is unleashed he can cause all sorts of mayhem.

Prankenstein on Tour by Andy Seed

In this story, Soapy's Dad has won a cruise holiday for a family of five, and Soapy persuades him to invite his two best friends along as well, a good thing because there aren't many other children on the cruise ship. They have fun exploring the ship and generally causing mischief, but when pirates board the ship as they cruise past the East coast of Africa, and take his Mum hostage, Soapy's only hope is to turn into Prankenstein, and so the adventure really begins.

This book is very much the sort book that Harry enjoys. It's funny, has lots of pictures and diagrams, and in this case being set on a cruise ship was a big bonus as it's something that Harry could relate to. He really enjoyed it!

I received this book in exchange for a review.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Bringing cities to life with Lonely Planet books

This Autumn, Lonely Planet Kids have published two fantastic books aimed at bringing cities to life for children. As a family we love to travel and explore, and Lonely Planet Kids aims to kick-start the travel bug. Through their books they love to showcase the quirky facts, amusing tales and inspiring stories that bring our planet to life.

The first book that we looked at is How Cities Work (affiliate link), aimed at readers aged 7 years plus, a full colour hardback with 24 thick pages of flaps to lift and pages to fold out. 

Lonely Planet How Cities Work book

The book begins with how a city is born, and moves on to cover the different areas of the city and what goes on in them, how a city is run, all the different things that happen in cities, and what a city of the future might look like. Most of the pages fold out entirely, and the pages are full of flaps to lift and find out more. For example, what is going on inside the rooms in a high-rise, and what can you see at the museum or theatre.

How Cities Work book inside

As well as the fun of lifting the flaps, there is plenty of information packed into the pages. Interesting little facts are presented in an easy to understand and fun way, and it's the sort of book that you can dip in and out of and discover something new each time. It's a book for children to explore on their own, and have fun while they are learning.

The second books is The Cities Book (affiliate link), a large hardcover book containing double page spreads devoted to 86 of the world's greatest cities.

 Lonely Planet The Cities Book

There's a map at the front where you can choose which city to explore first, or else they are grouped by continent. It can be used either as a reference book, to find out about a particular city, or as a book to browse through, and learn something different with each reading.

Lonely Planet Cities Book inside

Each city page includes factual information about the city, plenty of lovely big photographs, as well as colourful hand drawn illustrations, and fact boxes. It's written with children in mind, so there are snippets about what life is like for children growing up in different places. For example in Tromso in Norway for two months of the year the sun never rises, so the children living there have to go to school in the dark!

These books would make fantastic stocking fillers for children this Christmas.

We received these books to review, Amazon links are affiliate.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

My Winter Sun travel wishlist (sponsored post)

I recently shared my Winter Travel Wishlist - a list of places that I would love to visit one winter. The thing that all those destinations have in common is that at this time of year they are very, very cold, so today I'm sharing some of the places that I'd like to visit for some winter sun with the family!

The Canary Islands

A few years back we spent a week in January in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands and we had a lovely time. The Canaries are lovely at the beginning of the year, pleasantly warm and not too busy, and it was still nice enough to spend our time on the beach and in the pool. We have booked a trip to Tenerife for January this year and I'm looking forward to a bit of sunshine after the excitement of Christmas has passed and the reality of a cold, grey January has set in! With a flight time of four hours, it is probably the closest place that you can get to from the UK to enjoy warmer temperatures during the winter.

Villa terrace in Lanzarote


A little further away is Dubai, definitely somewhere that I'd like to visit one day. Lovely and hot, with lots of resort hotels, swimming pools, and beautiful beaches. You can go up the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa, and if the children will put up with it, shop to your heart's content!

Dubain skyline
Photo credit Roman Logov via Unsplash

Florida is definitely our favourite family holiday destination. We've been lucky enough to enjoy a few holidays here already, but there is so much to see and do that I'd love to go back soon. We've only ever stayed in Orlando for the theme parks but Florida has plenty more to offer. I know that the childern would love to go alligator spotting in the Everglades, and there are some beautiful beaches along the coast. It is slightly cooler in the winter, but still very warm and pleasant with plenty of sunshine, and you are spared the daily thunderstorms that hit during the summer and autumn months. The cooler temperatures are also ideal if you are spending the day at theme parks, much more pleasant than during the summer heat.

Caribbean cruise

For me, I think that a Caribbean cruise has to be the ultimate destination for some winter sun. You can explore several different islands and travel between them in luxury, with plenty of entertainment and dining on board for the whole family. A cruise will take in several different islands so you can enjoy a variety of different beaches, and when you are at sea you can sunbathe or spend your time in the pool soaking up the sunshine.

Beach with palm trees
Photo credit Rowan Hevel via Unsplash
If you are looking for more winter sun travel inspiration have a look here - Top 10 Winter Sun Destinations.

This is a sponsored post.
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