Crafty Tuesday – Danish Secret Snowdrop Letters – GΓ¦k! GΓ¦k! GΓ¦k!

It’s Crafty Tuesday and I’ve got another 15 minute project for you today. A great one for the kids. Or how about making one to send to a friend? They’re a hugely important part of Danish preparations for Easter – secret snowdrop letters! πŸ™‚

You’ll need:

  • white and coloured paper
  • glue or a gluestick
  • a pair of scissors

Choose a coloured piece of paper for your paper ‘doily’. Fold it in half, then in half again. Draw a rough shape and cut out. If you’ve never done this kind of thing before, keep it simple! The Danes are world-famous for their intricate papercutting. Hans Christian Andersen (you know, the one who wrote all those fairytales) was an expert. I’ve only lived here for 10 years, so I’m still learning…

Open up up the paper and you should have something that looks like this.

Stick it on to a plain white piece of paper. I used a gluestick. And it’s fine if it isn’t perfectly stuck down all over – it just gives it an even better 3d effect πŸ˜‰

Then you write a little poem on it.

Henne bag ved havens hæk, fandt jeg denne vintergæk.

Hej, min hvide lille ven, nu er turen din igen.

Du skal gΓ₯ til min ven, hviske sΓ₯ kan kan forstΓ₯,

han mΓ₯ gΓ¦tte prikke smΓ₯, for et pΓ₯skeΓ¦g at fΓ₯!

. . .

But if your family and friends aren’t Danish, you’ll probably want one in English, right? Here you are:

Snowdrop, snowdrop, snowdrop fine,

Omen true of hope divine,

From the heart of winter bring

Thy delightful hope of spring.

Guess my name I humbly beg.

Your reward: An Easter-Egg.

Let these puzzling dots proclaim

Every letter in my name

. . .

As you can see, you don’t sign your name. You draw a large dot for every letter of your name. If the person who receives the letter guesses who it comes from, you have to give them an Easter egg. But if they can’t guess, they have to give you an Easter egg πŸ™‚ So disguise your handwriting and be creative…I put in three dots for M.U.M.! πŸ˜‰

The final touch is to pick a snowdrop from your garden (or draw one if you can’t find any near you!), add it to the letter and send to a friend.

Good luck!

Hope you have a terrific . . . . . . .! πŸ™‚

Crafty Tuesday – Window Dressing

It’s crafty Tuesday and today we’re doing a really simple window decoration. But they don’t need to hang in the window. They can hang from a mobile. Or you could make several of them and place one on each plate for a special Easter lunch. They end up like soft fabric so can be kept from year to year. The kids can make these themselves, though you might not want to let them loose with your iron! πŸ˜‰

So set your Flylady timer for 15 minutes and I bet you’ll be finished before it rings…

You’ll need:

  • fusible interfacing (the stuff that sticks to fabric when you iron it on)
  • tissuepaper
  • a pair of scissors

Take a piece of tissue paper – I find deep colours work best. Decide on your motif or design – keep it simple and fairly small. I cut out some eggs as we are now in the run up to Easter. Here’s my egg shape…

which I folded in half a few times and snipped out little shapes (triangles or hearts are good).

Then when I opened it up…voilΓ , it looks a bit fancier, and will allow the light to shine through πŸ™‚

Lay your shape on the interfacing. You are going to make a sandwich. Make sure that, when you fold over the material, there will be enough to leave a little border all the way around.

Fold over the interfacing. Time to ‘grill’ the sandwich – not too hot!

Trim around your shape and stick on your window. Step back and say a prayer to the Sun God… (He had his cordless headphones on today, next time I’ll have to pray louder.)

And before you know it, we’re done. Hope you have a terrific, sunny Tuesday! πŸ™‚

Crafty Tuesday – Nifty Noticeboard

Crafty Tuesday is here and it’s time to set our trusty Flylady timers and whizz through an easy peasy craft that won’t take more than…15 minutes! ;D

For a nifty noticeboard you’ll need:

  • an old picture canvas (we have lots for recycling because I used to paint a lot of pics)
  • some wadding
  • a remnant of fabric
  • ribbon
  • a basic staple gun (if you don’t already own one, I can highly recommend them- great for lots of d-i-y jobs!)

Cut out wadding so it just covers the frame.

Cut out the fabric so that there is a good overlap all round and place on top of the frame and the wadding.

Turn over and – here comes the fun part – go mad with your staple gun! πŸ™‚ You’ll get the neatest finish if you staple each corner first. Pull the fabric tight and boom, boom, boom! Then work your way around the whole canvas.

When you’re finished stapling all the way round it will look a bit like this. Cut off the excess fabric if you absolutely must… But it’s good to go with the flow, chill out and just leave it. Because no-one is going to see it, okay? ;P

Now we’re ready to attach the ribbon. Cut out long lengths and staple them on. We did ours diagonally but the choice is up to you.

Just make to attach the ribbons securely so they stay put!

Then repeat the ribbons so you end up with a criss-cross. […is gonna make you, jump, jump!]

Timer is about to beep, keep going, yep, you are done! VoilΓ  – the finished product πŸ™‚

DD7 made one for her bedroom. (She chose the fabric and ribbon from the rummage box, cut out everything herself, but I did the stapling this time.)

“Mummy, it’s so soft, it could be a pillow!” πŸ˜‰

And no prizes for guessing what was the first thing to be displayed. Yep, a waggy-tailed friend…. ;D

Hope you enjoyed today’s craft. Have a terrific Tuesday! πŸ™‚

Crafty Tuesday – Cute Cones

Today’s craft (yep, it’s Crafty Tuesday again here on the blog) couldn’t be simpler. Won’t even take the magic 15 minutes!! πŸ˜‰

You’ll need:

  • paper or carton
  • scissors
  • glue, gluestick, gluegun or stickytape
  • pencil or pen

Draw circles (use a cup or small plate as a guide) on the paper or carton and cut out. I used a pair of zigzag scissors to give some of them a fancy edge.

Gently roll the circle into a cone and glue down the front edges.

Cut out a length of paper (should be at least the diameter of the starting circle) to make the handle. Dab glue on each end and stick inside the cone.

You can then decorate them according to the occasion. We made yellow ones today for our Danish Easter decoration… Gather branches, hang the cones, feathers and eggs on your ‘tree’.

DD7 filled the cones today with feathers. But in the week up to Easter we will replace the feathers with…chocolate or marcipan eggs! πŸ˜‰

Hope you have a terrific Tuesday! πŸ™‚

Crafty Tuesday – 9 February 2010 (Fastelavnsris – Carnival decoration)

The kids are excited about their Carnival parties this week. I’ll write more about how carnival is celebrated in Denmark tomorrow. But as today is Crafty Tuesday, let’s set those timers for 15 minutes and make a carnival essential! A Fastelavnsris…

You’ll need:

  • a few bare branches (should be easy to find at this time of year…)
  • sellotape, thread, ribbon or wire
  • coloured carton or paper
  • bits n’ bobs
  • some small sweets (wrapped, if possible)

Take a small handful of branches and secure them at one end. You can tie a piece of ribbon around, if you want to pretty up the ‘handle’. Use wire, sellotape or thread to stick on the sweets.

Cut out a few shapes from coloured card and stick on. Traditional shapes are cats, barrels and masks. Let the kids go mad with glue sticks and sequins… The branches should be looking quite colourful now. Add a few coloured feathers if you have them. And streamers. Or whatever takes your fancy…

When you’re all done the fastelavnsris can either be hung up in a hallway or stuck in a vase until it’s ready to be ‘used’. I’ll write more about the tradition tomorrow…

Have a terrific Tuesday! πŸ™‚

Sweets for my Sweet (coconut ice)

It’s Crafty Tuesday and we’re getting ready for St Valentine’s Day! These coconut ice hearts shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to put together and are so simple that the kids can probably make them on their own – if they have strong arms πŸ˜‰  I’ll be posting a new photo later, when DD7 is home and can make the heartshaped gifttags…

You’ll need:

  • 1 tin of condensed milk 397g (in Denmark you can buy it from any Turkish greengrocer)

  • 340g of icing sugar (flormelis in Danish)
  • 340g dessicated coconut (kokosmel in Danish)
  • food colouring (optional)

Mix the condensed milk and icing sugar together. Takes a strong arm…or four! πŸ˜‰

Then mix in the coconut, a little at a time. Don’t worry, you will get there eventually though it might take some time.

We took out half the mixture at this point and spread it out on baking paper. Easiest to use a spatula dipped in water. Keep it fairly thin if you’re going to cut out shapes.

We then added some pink food colouring to the rest of the mixture and spread it out. Leave the mixture to dry out – should take a couple of hours or you can leave it overnight. Then cut out shapes…we used small heart and star cookie cutters.

You could also colour the coconut ice mixture with green for St Patrick’s Day, orange and black for Halloween, yellow for Easter, etc, etc.

Parcel up a few (we’ve put ours into small cellophane bags) and give them away to the ones you love. Remember to keep a bag for yourself – because you’re worth it! πŸ˜‰

Happy Tuesday! πŸ™‚

Crafty Tuesday – 19 January 2010 (You light up my life…)

OK, hope that corny title got your attention! Are you ready for another 15 minute craft? πŸ˜‰

Today’s ‘candle jar’ craft is inspired by one that DD7 made for me at scouts. She painted the outside of a glass jar with red, pink and yellow paint. We received our ‘gift’ at the Scout Christmas party – they put out all the lights and the beaver scouts did a little candlelight procession. Yep, the ‘Mum tears’ were certainly out in force that day πŸ™‚ Here’s DD7’s jar in all it’s glory…

We placed the jar on the coffeetable in the livingroom and have had it lit every night since Christmas. It gives a surprisingly warm glow! πŸ™‚

Well, yonks ago I saw a similar candle jar craft in a Danish library book. And, of course, completely forgot all about it. Until DD7 made her one! Very simple, easy for kids and takes no time at all. Well, okay, it takes about 15 minutes… Set that timer, hold on to your hat and let’s go! πŸ˜‰

You’ll need:

  • DΓ©coupage Lak (that’s the Danish name) or Podge or clear glue
  • a brush
  • tissuepaper
  • old glass jar, size not important
  • tealight votive
  • salt, optional

Tear the tissuepaper into manageable strips or pieces. Put a layer of glue over the entire glass jar. Cover with a piece of tissuepaper and paint a layer of glue on top of the tissuepaper.

Keep going until the whole jar is covered. Doesn’t take long! I used yellow tissuepaper. The colour will look much stronger when it’s dry. Leave to dry for a couple of hours.

Then you can sprinkle some salt in the bottom of the jar, pop in your tealight (votive) and bob’s your uncle! πŸ™‚ I decided to add a red heart to my jar. Did I hear someone say Valentine’s Day? πŸ˜‰

Have a tee-hee-tealight Tuesday! πŸ™‚

Crafty Tuesday – 12 January 2010 (She’s gonna blow!)

Oh my word, Tuesday has come round fast! Time for another 15 minute craft. This one is going to take two sessions of 15 minutes. One session of preparation and one session of action! πŸ™‚

Today we’re making a Homemade Volcano. DS10 has been going on and on about it wanting to do this for a while. So now is the time!

For volcanic excitement in the safety of your own home you’ll need:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • couple of tablespoons of oil
  • dish to put the volcano in
  • a small bottle (eg. water, ketchup, soda, fizzy drink)

My kids (DS10 and DD7) did this job all on their own. Just depends on how old your kids are and how much mess you like in your kitchen! πŸ˜‰ Mix the whole lot together until you get a nice gooey dough. Put your bottle in the dish and start covering it with the dough. Might help to have an extra pair of hands at this stage, just to hold the bottle steady.

Don’t put any dough inside the bottle – we left the top on the bottle until we we’re almost done.

We then left our volcano to dry (overnight) at this stage because we want to keep it and reuse it, but you could go ahead and use it immediately if you like.

For the volcanic eruption you’ll need:

  • warm water
  • a few drops of washing up liquid (we used “Vel”!)
  • food colouring (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of baking soda/bicarbonate of soda/”natron” in Danish
  • vinegar – but please don’t use your expensive balsamico! πŸ˜‰

Fill up your volcano – almost to the top – with warm water. Add a wee squeeze of washing up liquid (just a couple of drops). Then add a tablespoon of baking soda. You can also add a few drops of food colouring if you like. We used red first. And then black the second time we did it. And then blue…

When you’re ready for the big moment, slowly pour in some vinegar. Stand back cos she’s gonna blow! πŸ™‚ Okay, okay, so it’s not going to go whizz or go bang, but foam lava will gently start streaming out of your volcano and will keep flowing for quite a while. Just add a little more soda and vinegar when you are ready to go again. Fun for all the family!

He he, I know they look kind of bored here…but it was actually because I had just told them ‘no more volcano’ – was time to prep dinner! πŸ˜‰

Have a mindblowing Tuesday! πŸ™‚

Stornæsede Nisser (Big Nosy Elves)

Here we are, back in action in the New Year with another ’15 minute craft’.

These big nosy elves have been in lots of Danish shops up to Christmas. I stopped to look at one (admittedly, a rather large fellow), thinking that it would look really nice in my new kitchen. Then just about fainted when I saw the price…kr. 250, roughly Β£28 or $50! Decided that I could easily make mini versions myself. Indeed, the After-School Club had the very same idea! πŸ˜‰

You’ll need:

  • thin felt or stiff material
  • sewing machine or needle, thread
  • large wooden bead or ball
  • a bit of stuffing or the wool that you use for making felt (name escapes me)
  • glue (I love my hot glue gun!)

Cut out a ‘hat’ for your elf from the felt (the Christmas versions were, need I point out, red in colour). Don’t worry too much, a rough triangle will do. Fold it over and sew it down one edge. Then turn it inside out, so the stitches don’t show, using a pencil to help you get right into the little pointy top.

Put a bit of the stuffing inside the hat (this will also help it to stand upright). Stick on a large wooden bead for his ‘nose’, just under the brim of the hat. The hot glue gun is great for this, no hanging around.

Then take more of the stuffing and pull it to bits, so you end up with a pile of smaller pieces. Use this to make his beard and stick that on underneath the hat/nose.

Et voilΓ , we’re done!

The ones in the shops had grey and brown stuffing/wool for the beard, so if you wanted, you could do the same. You could probably draw on some colour using markers or dab on a bit of paint. Personally, I quite like my own version with the pure white πŸ˜‰

Needless to say, DD7 declared “Oh, it’s loooooovely!” when she saw it. So I’ll soon be posting pics of her own efforts. Watch this space… [Postscript: no sooner said than done!]

Happy Crafty Tuesday! πŸ™‚

Crafty Tuesday – time for a round up!

Tuesday again…which usually means it’s time for another 15 minute craft here on the blog. Today I’m giving you a run down of what we’ve done so far. Maybe you’ll find an activity to keep the kids amused while you do the last of the Christmas wrapping. Maybe you need a homemade teacher or hostess gift? Have a look, set your timer for 15 minutes and get going! πŸ˜‰





HALLOWEEN 1 (Skeleton Hands and Ghost Cupcakes)

HALLOWEEN 2 (Ghost Lollies and Pumpkin Stones)

HALLOWEEN 3 (Spiders Webs and Snuggly Spiders)

HALLOWEEN 4 (Flying Ghosts)








Have fun! πŸ™‚

Crafty Tuesday – Festive plants

Time for another 15 minute craft and this time we’re making festive looking plants. In my part of the world, Christmas plants means julestjerner (poinsettias) and hyacinths. These pots can be used as a table decoration, brighten up a windowsill or maybe even as a teacher or hostess gift?

You’ll need:

  • a plant – hyacinths work really well for this and can survive all temperatures! πŸ™‚
  • some moss (got mine from the garden)
  • glass jars or plant pots
  • glitterglue, glitter, bits n’ bobs
  • ribbon

Put your plant into the pot – I used an old glass jar.

Cover with moss. Add a bit of glitterglue to the tops of the leaves, or add a bit of glitter to the moss.

Tie a bow around the pot.

VoilΓ  – we’re done – how quick was that?! I also did one with 3 hyacinth plants (from Ikea) and add red glitter, red ribbon that says God Jul (Merry Christmas) and two candy canes…

When I was in Sweden on Sunday, I picked up some really cute candle holders in silver and red…

so they naturally got added into the mix as well…

Enjoy and happy Tuesday! πŸ™‚

Crafty Tuesday – Candy Cane Crazy

I wish computers came with ‘smellyvision’ because my kitchen today smells of chocolate and peppermint – a fantastic combo πŸ™‚

Today it’s Tuesday which means another 15 minute craft here on the blog. Two for you to choose from, both featuring candy canes, both good for little Christmas gifts. So let’s get snappy!


Gently melt some chocolate. I put mine in a mug and used the microwave. Unwrap the candy canes. Chop one candy cane very finely – be warned, it will fly everywhere! πŸ™‚ Dip the canes, one at a time, in the melted chocolate. Shake or scrape off the excess chocolate and then sprinkle over tiny shards of the too-cute red and white chopped candy. Leave to dry on a piece of baking/parchment paper.

You can tie with a bow, put in a cellophane bag and tie with a bow, add it to Christmas or plain red mug filled with ‘snowman soup ingredients (sachet of hot chocolate, marshmallows, candy cane for stirring). Or whatever you fancy! πŸ˜‰

[  I’ll post a photo of these ones all wrapped up later…they just need to dry first πŸ˜‰  ]

And for my next trick…


Take a couple of canes (leave the plastic wrapping on) and hot glue them together in the shape of a heart. You could use ordinary white glue, but you’ll need plenty of it, and plenty of layers. When the heart is dry, add a bow or a bell – or both – and hang on your tree, add to a table decoration, give to a friend, whatever you like…

I’ve added some ribbon and a sign (I stamped letters on a leftover piece of red card) that says God Jul which is Danish for Merry Christmas (literally Good Christmas). The other one ‘has bells on’! πŸ˜‰

Have fun! πŸ™‚

Crafty Tuesday – Thingumyjigs

Tuesday has rolled around again – do you have time for a 15 minute craft?

You’ll need:

  • clay, plasticine or playdough
  • plastic bag
  • knife to cut the clay
  • pair of scissors
  • scraps of fabric
  • ribbon, wool, twine or elastic bands
  • some type of decoration (see below)

Today we’re making a thingumyjig. Don’t quite know what to call it. Something that you can pop on a windowsill, put in the middle of your dining table, give as a gift, etc, etc. My DD (dear daughter) and I first made these down at our local Danish library. They have a free craft workshop the first Saturday of the month and we’ve made everything from badges to birds to Christmas decorations.

First, use a knife to cut off a piece of clay and put it straight into a small plastic bag. Form it into a cone/triangular shape. Cut off the excess plastic at the top of the bag. Stick your decoration firmly into the centre of the clay.

Cut out two or three squares of fabric (err on the side of bigger, you can trim them later). Net (the stuff you use for making tutus) is cheap, comes in all colours and looks really good for this project. Lay the squares so the edges don’t match. Put your piece of clay in the middle and bring up the sides of the fabric.

Use an elastic band to hold in place.

Add a bow to hide the elastic band and pretty the whole thing up…

VoilΓ  – we’re done!

We normally use plastic flowers (DD7 likes to give them to her friends). But use any bits n’ bobs you have lying around. Anything on a stick can be used. For Christmas you could push a styrofoam heart or star on to a wooden skewer and use red fabric. Or push a sytrofoam egg on to a skewer and use yellow fabric for Easter. You get the idea… πŸ˜‰

Enjoy! πŸ™‚

Crafty Tuesday – Silly Snowmen (and Snowladies)

We are now officially 5 weeks away from Christmas and two weeks away from officially being able to put up Christmas decorations. So isn’t it about time I started posting some Christmas crafts?

This is another one the kids can do all on their own…Silly Snowmen. And in true Flylady fashion, it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes! πŸ™‚

You’ll need:

  • white paper or cardboard
  • paper or cardboard in various colours (we used red, black and brown)
  • glue or gluestick
  • pens, pencils or paint
  • beads, stickers, pipecleaners, sequins, bits n’ bobs!

First of all take an A4 sheet of white paper and draw two circles on it, one large (for the snowman’s body), one small (for the snowman’s head) and cut them out. We drew round a plate and a cup.

Fold the large circle in half and draw lines (see photo below). The first one starts at the middle and goes almost to the edge. The second one starts at the outside edge and goes almost to the middle. And so on…

Cut along the lines. Open up carefully – this is the only tricky part – and glue the head to the body. Draw or paint a large, snowman smile πŸ™‚ Now you can let the kids loose with all those bits n’ bobs… πŸ˜‰

Stick on pompoms, small buttons, sequins or stickers for ‘buttons’ on the snowman’s body. Cut out shapes – round or triangular like a carrot – for the snowman’s nose. Cut out a larger shape to make a hat, scarf or legs/arms for your snowman. When you are happy with your snowman, turn him over and stick a small button or bead on the bottom. Sticky tape is best for this job. Take a length of string or ribbon and stick it at the top, so that you can hang him up.

Yay, you’re finished! Now go hang him up and look forward to the snow. No snow in sight? Well how about a nice hot cup of Snowman Soup? πŸ˜‰

Nappy Cake

Hooray – we have a new baby in our extended family! πŸ™‚ We’ve bought one of those musical teddies (you pull the cord on this one and it plays “La vie en rose”) but we wanted to do something a little bit different too, so DD7 and I have just made a ‘Nappy Cake’:

First of all, roll up the (clean) nappies and secure with elastic bands. You could use pink hair elastics, if it’s a girl.

You’ll need two pairs of hands for the next part. Take a plate or round tray and make the first layer of ‘cake’. Put a large elastic band around these, or tie with string. Then add as many layers as you like, we did three.

Add a few small gift items. We put in a bath thermometer, cream, talc, little book, dummy and a pink rubber duck. Now you take ribbon or crepe paper and tie it round each layer (to hide the rubber bands).

Cover the whole thing with cellophane, top with a (pink) bow and – hey presto – a gift fit for a little princess! πŸ˜‰