snowflake window garland.


snowflake-garland

last week was super warm here in SW ontario. it was even, what some might call HOT, on some days reaching +20c!!!

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on the weekend the boys and i decided to help mother nature along by enticing her with our very own snowflakes! we folded our square papers, and cut, cut, cut. we made different sizes and oohed n’ aahed over the different patterns we were each creating. 

we pressed the snowflakes in a heavy book overnight, then i carefully taped them onto white sewing thread. i tied the end of the thread to a pretty weathered branch i found in our shed. (i collect all sorts of natural treasures like sticks, rocks, acorns, leaves, feathers… ) and, voila… a snowflake garland is made. DH wired the branch from an existing curtain rod. 

the project itself is very easy, but the impact it has is striking, lovely and to our pleasure inspired mother nature to throw some snow our way and drop the temperatures A LOT! it sure does feel like winter now!

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xo, mama lola

how to make your own felted balls.

i love, LOVE working with felt. i’m not really sure why, but there is something about the way the material feels.

felting, felted balls, diy

last year i bought a bunch of roving wool and made felt bowls. they were a bit time consuming to make, but they turned out great! you can check-out the pictures and tutorial HERE.

this year, i have decided to try something new with my roving wool.

>>> felted balls<<<

you see them all over pinterest so i thought i would give it a go. roving wool can be purchased at most craft supply stores, i got mine at michael’s. 

oh-mah- goodness it was fun! time consuming and drying on the hands, but so worth all the cracks on my thumbs! there is something meditative about standing at my kitchen window, in front of the sink, felting. i love the process of choosing the colours to work with, but not knowing what kind of patterns or swirls the rowing wool will ultimately create!

felting, felted balls, felt crafts

so here’s what you do:

  1. gather a large handful of the roving wool. you can choose a few different colours or just use one colour.
  2. you will want to work close to a sink. i filled a bowl with dish soap and hot water, soaking the wool and gently creating spherical shape with the roving wool.

roving wool, felt crafts, felting roving wool, felting, felted crafts

3. keep wetting the wool in hot water and soap. the hot water and soap help create the friction needed for the felting process. use two hands to create the felt ball, by rubbing the roving wool in between your palms in a circular motion.

4. to make one felted ball can take half an hour. try to relax your shoulders, because after a while of doing this i found my upper body was getting very tense. 

roving wool, felted crafts, felted balls, felting

5. once you are satisfied with the density and shape of your ball, rinse it very well. this can take a while, but you want to ensure the soap is all out of the ball. set the felted balls on a hand towel and let sit for a couple of days to completely air dry before making anything with them.

felted balls, make your own felted balls, felting, felt crafts

aren’t they lovely?

you can get super creative with your felted balls and make all sorts of fun things with them. things like garlands for any occasion, necklaces, hotplates, rugs, zipper decorations, key chains… just check google or pinterest for ideas and tutorials!

xo, mama lola

felt envelopes for santa claus!

oh my goodness! look at what i found!

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i was researching other christmas crafts when i saw these lovely, adorable felt envelopes to santa claus! of course i pinned the ideas and decided to make a round-up post for inspiration.

first i’ll share what i made.

i used felt, thread, hot glue gun and my sewing machine just a little. 

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i used a blanket stitch to sew the edges of the envelope together. i wasn’t too concerned about the evenness of the stitches, creating a childlike quality to the project. then i used my scrap felt to cut out the letters, stamp and holly embellishments.   

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i have lots of scraps of felt that i save for detailing for all sorts of projects. here i used the small pieces for holly, the reindeer’s face and antlers and the stamps. i just hot glue gunned them on.

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then i embroidered some simple wintery stars on the back of one of the envelopes. 

TA-DAA!!!

i just love them!

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below i have included ideas that vary from quite intricate to very simple. school aged kids could even make one of the easier versions of the envelopes. 

 

santa envelopes 1

writing to santa : diy felt envelopes from city girl gone coastal 

 

santa envelopes 2  letter to santa claus felt envelope from not on the high street

(this one is not a tutorial, but a envelope for sale) 

 

santa envelopes 3felt envelope by michale ann via paper + stitch

 

santa envelopes 4

personalised felt christmas letter to santa envelope from cut out and keep

 

santa envelopes 5

christmas wish-list felt envelope from jumbbleberries

 

if you’re not feeling crafty, check etsy for these felt envelopes. there are many creative people there making fantastic envelopes; go check them out by just putting “santa felt envelopes”into the search and enjoy!

these sweet things would be perfect for kids or even for gift cards!

xo, mama lola

santa claus christmas crafts!

the holidays are such a great time to get crafty with the kids.

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my boys enjoy making gifts for their family, whether it’s painting ornaments, decorating pine cones or creating sculptures out of pipe cleaners. as the boys get older they want less help from me, but i still like to have a few ideas in my back pocket just in case they hit a wall. 

here are some wonderful santa claus, or as we call him joulupukki crafts for kids and adults alike. 

santa origami

origami santa claus  from marcel’s kid crafts

 

santa crafts 1 

santa going down  a toilet paper roll chimney from crafty morning

 

santa crafts 2

dancing santa from learning 4 kids

 

santa crafts 3

kids santa craft from i {heart} crafty things

santa crafts 4

santa gift tags from crafty morninng

aren’t they all just the cutest things you’ve ever seen?

i think my bear and lion will bboth want to try the origami santa. luckily, DH was a master paper folder in his youth and has retained those skills, so he can help the boys with that project!

 

happy crafting friends!

xo, mama lola

holiday update: better late than never, right?!

christmas feels like it was a million years ago, but i want to share a few pictures with you anyway.

we had such a wonderful time. it was busy, but fun!

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below is a picture of the beautiful piparkakkutalo or gingerbread house my mum made. there is a little tea light in the front that’s the skating rink, plus there’s a ladder on the side there! love it! my mum is so creative!

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the kids got twister from DH’s sister and her mister. of course we had to crack it open immediately and give it a go!

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for new years, we hit the cottage up in muskoka! there was no snow upon arrival, but withiun 12 hours heaps and heaps had fallen, and just kept coming! the forest around the cottage turned into a magical winter wonderland. this year the temperatures weren’t that cold even, so hitting the outhouse wasn’t that bad! haha!

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as soon as we arrive it’s important to get the cottage warm. so we get the fire roaring and slowly start to unpeel all of the layers we have on. our friends brought some yummy lasagna’s for dinner. aren’t the beautiful?!

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on the 31st we walked down to the lake and watched as papaD put on an amazing firework display. we all sat in the snow oohing and aahing at the gorgeous colours flashing in the sky! the it was time for sparklers up at the cottage!

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after fireworks we enjoyed some glöggi while DH read stories to all the kids. the cottage becomes a cozy nest for all of us. the christmas lights we bring up for extra fun. we re-arrange the furniture to better suit the large number of people that are there. it’s nice to have the couch in front of the fire.

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once the kids were tucked into their beds, us adults played some fun games of our own and enjoyed a few drinks!

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the following morning it was time for more tobogganing!

what a great way to start 2015!!!

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happy day to you and yours!

next week i’ll be sharing pictures from lion’s forest school, check back!

don’t forget to come and like bear & lion on facebook!

 

xo, mama lola

uuni riisipuuro/ oven baked rice pudding

rice pudding

 

my family adores rice pudding. during the christmas holidays it’s a treat that we gobble up a lot of. it’s easy to make and for me always reminds of my childhood christmases back home in finland.

 

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i got this recipe from a finnish blogger, hellapoliisi. it’s super easy, simple and delicious!

since the recipe and blog are in finnish i will translate… you need sticky rice, milk, salt and a titch of butter. preheat your oven to 350F. butter your oven safe dish, add 2 cups rice, 1 cup milk and a pinch of salt. let it bake for about 1.5 hrs. serve while hot with sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top and a splash of milk. YUM!

i’ve also made yummy rice pudding in my crock pot. you can find that recipe HERE.

happy puddin’ eatin’!

xo, mama lola

reindeer cookies!

we made these super cute. super yummy, super easy reindeer cookies after school one day. it was great way to get some christmas cheer into dull monday afternoon, as we also had our CHFI holiday music cranked!

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the recipe is from pillsbury, CLICK HERE for deatils. there’s no mess, it’s fast, easy and the kids LOVE the whole process so much!

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just a few tips :

  • remember to buy the small pretzels as the cookies expand A LOT as they bake, so you need to be generous with the spacing or the “antlers” can fall off when you’re removing from the cookie sheet.
  • get your christmas helpers to decorate fast, because at the cookies set the candy eyes and noses just wont stick!
  • we used swedish berries and M&M’s for the eyes and noses. more colourful!
  • this is the only time i buy cookie dough in a tube, and i just let it go! haha! you should too!

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we actually baked these gems a few christmas’ ago when bear and lion were three years younger than they are today… man, have those kids grown up a lot in that time! so amazing! check out the adorable pictures HERE!

ENJOY!

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reindeer cookies 2

xo, mama lola

mouth watering cranberry recipes!

cranberry recipes 1

i love cranberries!

they are such a wonderful tart flavour and can be used in so many different kinds of foods.  during the holiday season cranberries are especially popular in all sorts of goodies. here is a wonderful round-up of cranberry recipe ideas, ranging from butters to bars to salads!

cranberry butter

 cranberry recipes, christmas recipes, cranberry

the view from great island

this cake looks so scrumptious and like the perfect breakfast treat to kick off christmas day!

cranberry buttermilk breakfast cake

cranberry recipes, holiday treats, cranberry baked goods

alexandra’s kitchen

i love bark! this chocolate bark looks beautiful, but i bet is tastes way better than it looks!

cranberry and pistachio chocolate bark

cranberry bark, christmas bark, cranberry recipes

love and lemons

salsa from cranberry’s? AWESOME! gotta give this recipe a try this holiday season! great for a party!

cranberry salsa

cranberry recipes, cranberry salsa

kate’s healthy cupboard

cranberry salads are pften paired with walnuts, which is a no-no in our family as DH has a walnut allergy. this salad recipe is intense, but i bet so worth it. don’t those candied almonds sound lovely?!

cranberry and avocado salad with candied spiced almonds and sweet white balsamic vinegrette

cranberry recipes

honest cooking

i want to share my bar recipe. these cranberry blueberry bars are perfect as hostess or teacher gifts!

cranberry blueberry bars

cranberry blueberry bars, cranberry recipes, christmas treats

bear & lion

 

let me know if you have a favourite cranberry recipe and share it in the comments section!

xo, mama lola

DIY gift tags!

DIY gift tags 6

i loooooooooooooooove a good gift tag!

i always often make my own, especially at x-mas time. the fun thing about gift tags is you can personalize them if you want, make them in any shape or colour, use a myriad of materials… or not… i prefer to keep them simple, but that’s just me!

i made these adorable wee tags out of cereal boxes.

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i cut up the cardboard, used a hole punch , lettered, painted and doodled the cards… and VOILA! if the back of your cardboard has some brand name or ingredients list on it (like mine) just trace your name tag card onto some pretty paper, cut it out and glue on!

DIY gift tags 1

DIY gift tags

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this is just the first batch!

the next set may have some interesting embellishments on them like felt or sparkles or….
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… stay tuned!

 

xo, mama lola

white christmas ideas!

white christmas ideas

white is one of my favourite colours for the home.  white holiday decorations are fresh, bright and work well with all other colours! at christmas time white is festive with all the connections to snow and ice, and looks so great with the traditional colours like all the deep reds and rich greens.

here are some of my favourite ideas after looking online and on pinterest for inspiration.

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sarah louise matthews

white christmas ideas 2

a beautiful mess

white christmas ideas 3

the house that lars built

white christmas ideas 4

wit & whistle

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bear & lion

i hope these beautiful projects inspired you as much they did me!

may your day be merry and bright!

xo, mama lola
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