It's manic here. Is it the same for you? There is so much to remember, so much to do, and it's always the same at this time of year no matter how organised I try to be. My brain is a jumble of school events (money for shopping day!), teacher gifts (will chutney be ok again?), Secret Santa gifts (you can't get anything nice for £5), work parties (what to wear??), presents to buy and wrap (fingers crossed parcels come in time), food orders to plan for, cards to write, Bella's birthday on Sunday (mustn't forget to phone and pay the balance on her party venue!)....there is literally not room for anything else in my head. It's full. My brain is full.
And so I make clay decorations. Not because I have the time (I really don't) but because I want to and because it soothes me. While my hands are busy my brain wanders off in all directions and my heart beat slows down. Oh, and yoga last night which was a-mazing. I float out of those classes, I really do.
This was my first time making something with air drying clay (I used this one) and it's a really fun craft. Bella, Angus and I spent last Saturday morning rolling and cutting lots of shapes - they were making tree decorations, I was just having fun, seeing what you could do with the clay. I made a few decorations for the tree too and had fun using my stamp set. I like the slightly wrinkled impressed the rolling pin made on this one.
Then I started cutting out stars, lots and lots of little stars. My cookie cutter is maybe 5 or 6 cm wide, so it is quite small. I used a metal skewer to make a hole in the top of each one, and stamped our initials on some of them.
Threaded onto bakers twine, they look lovely strung across our mantel.
I'm delighted with how they turned out; the white, green and brown together are so calming and I like how the stars stand out against the wood. Easy and effective, my favourite kind of crafting.
The rest of the stars (there must be about forty!) will be used as decorative tags on presents. Just a little something festive to jazz up the brown paper and twine I am using this year.
Slightly less successful was this tea light holder house I made. I used the same model as for my gingerbread house that I made last year, shrinking it by 50%. It's very wonky and the roof isn't big enough at all. Also, some patterned rolling pins would be just the business here to give the walls and roof some detail. But it was still a lot of fun to make. I'm going to work on this idea - imagine a row of white houses along the mantel, all lit up from within... Next year maybe.
You need no skills or equipment (other than a rolling pin and some cookie cutters) for an activity like this but it is hugely enjoyable and rewarding. It's not messy, and it takes 24-36 hours for the clay to dry, depending on thickness. Once dry the ornaments do need a little sand around the edges, then it's good to go. You could paint or varnish it I suppose, but I like it plain.
Right, I'm going to go and make a cup of tea and read a murder mystery before passing out into a coma-like sleep. One more day of school, one more day of work, and then the holidays....