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  1. Olive and I went on a little adventure to London to a Crafting event with DryNites® . We left a grumpy M&M and Daddy Moo half asleep and cursing us at Bournemouth train station and boarded the 7:22 to Waterloo in a buzz of excitement. Being 3 everything is still in the super excitement phase “look mummy a frozen field” “look mummy a station”. She was less impressed when we arrived at Waterloo and she saw the London Eye – made me chuckle as I remembered a very green Moo aged 6 sitting in the middle of the pod wishing the eye to stop and nearly passing out when he saw how small the trains were from the top!


    When we arrived at Tea and Crafting a lovely little craft workshop above Camden Market we were greeted by the DryNites® Team and the lovely Tamara Melvin (finalist in The Great British Sewing Bee). 3 other bloggers and their children arrived and once we tore the children away from the fruit platter we set about with the tasks for the day.

    DryNites® Tamara

    Tamara Melvin 

    First job was to make a sun catcher. Olive choose a Christmas tree shape which she drew round herself and attempted to cut, I did end up cutting it out for her but I pushed my OCD aside and actually cut round the shape she drew so it was very lumpy bumpy but that's what makes it so beautiful! Olive and I then glued down coloured tissue paper popped the frame on top and Tamara laminated it for her. To say she was chuffed is a mini understatement! The tree is now hanging on our dinning room window and I'm pretty sure even after Christmas it will stay there.

    The second job was to use an old jumper to make a stocking. I had my reservations of how much “help” Olive was actually going to be!! I tend to keep her well clear of pins and the sewing machine. But she surprised me and I think the relaxed environment, the lovely helpful DryNites® Team and Tamara's expert guidance ensured we all had something to be proud of at the end!

    stocking making

    Pinning the pattern

    I literally let Olive do everything from drawing the snowman shapes to cutting them out, choosing the ribbons, bells and baubles and helping Amy from DryNites® to make a pompom. I did hand sew it all together and then Tamara machine sewed the stocking. It was actually really easy to make and definitely something I would try and replicate myself. Being an artist I know that Megan would really enjoy making her own personalised stocking and I'd never thought of sewing craft foam before. I can see the advantages no fraying! 

    stocking making olive

    What do we do now? Errr .. how do I know I'm only 3!

    pinning stockings

    Pinning her pattern

    baubles for stockings

    Which baubles shall I have? Hummm .... these Elsa stylee ones of course! 

    olive and mummy drynites

    Yes I'm wearing half a jumper round my neck .... 

    We had a lovely day and Olive is so proud of her stocking that she has already said she's not using her handmade sack that I made her years ago this Christmas Eve! Charming!  Thank you so much to the DryNites® Team and Tamara - if you have the chance to attend one of their Crafting events do it!!!  

    Photo credit - Issy Crocker 

  2. This time of year fills me with both joy and dread! I love seeing their little faces when they see Father Christmas. Or we snuggle up watching films by the twinkly fairy lights on our rather unbalanced Christmas Tree. But my most favourite thing are the school shows! I know sad! But I love watching the children singing Christmas songs! There's nothing like 120 kids screeching tunelessly “We wish you a Merry Christmas” to get you in the Christmas Spirit.

    One thing I dread though are the Nativity Costumes. Now I don't know about you but there isn't much call in my house for a Shepard Costume. It doesn't feature heavily in our role play situations. Nor a giant gold star costume. So year on year I rustle something up from scraps around the house. The year Megan's whole class were giant gold stars I painstakingly glued sequins onto Daddy Moo's old white t shirt in the shape of a star and then stapled tinsel round the neck, arms and bottom. She looked adorable. Until she came home sobbing as 95% of the class were giant gold stars “you can buy them in ASDA mummy”. Now I'm totally not one for keeping up with the Jones nor did we NEED, WANT or DESIRE a giant gold star costume. I reminded her that I'd made her costume and that now Nanny and Daddy would have no trouble spotting her in the crowd.

    This year we had the joys of a King and a Shepard. Both costumes took me less than 30mins and cost nothing. I used 2 old pillowcases from Nanny's as the base. Cut out a hole for the head and arms. From here on you can pretty much do anything and come up with any variation – Joseph, Mary, Star etc.

    nativity costumes

    Shepard – I went very simple for Megan I used a Hessian sack which I cut a head hole in then opened the sides. Megan literally has to pop this over her head and tie a piece of cord round her waist. I then used an old pink pillowcase to make a length of fabric with two ties to put round her head. Perfect!

    King – Charlie's class were making crowns at school so I didn't have this to worry about. On his pillowcase I wonder webbed a few strips of material to make it a bit more regal. I then upcycled a vampire cloak by turning the collar down tacking the sides together (so I can unpick for Halloween) and threading some cord through. I think he looks great.

    Megan as she's got older has become less interested in what everyone else is doing. Less of a conformist more her own character. Moo on the other hand hasn't .. so far his costume has been broken and left at home twice. And yes I must be pure evil – feel free to report me to Esther Rantzen as I still made him wear it! And I think he looked udderly MOOverlous!