Tuesday, 26 November 2013

A Sad Story About Advent Calendars and Rejected Toilet Roll Inners

Last year, you may recall that I got Conquering Christmas off to an eggcellent start with this Advent calendar. Around two weeks ago, I began to plan for this year's creation. I started saving toilet roll inners and calculating how to lay out 24 sections of toilet roll inners as a triangle shape to resemble a Christmas tree. This infographic shows the intricate plans that I made.
Christmas, Advent calendar, Advent calendar craft, craft, children's craft, kids craft, Christmas craft

However, Z1 and Z2 saw Advent calendars in a shop and now they want them. I tried to remind Z1 how much fun we had making last year's but to no avail.

Lindt, Chocolate, Christmas,
Giant Lindt ball with
mouse for scale
I am seriously contemplating making this one for me - 'twould be perfect for rationing out my Lindt balls from the giant Lindt ball that Husband kindly gave me for no reason at all and I could use up those toilet roll inners I've been saving.

Monday, 11 November 2013

From Recycling Bin to Train: A Sunday Story

A very happy looking train
An indicator that you may have let your daughter watch too much television on a lazy Sunday is that she starts squirming and looking for something else to do. At some point, you may realise that telling her to sit still and watch the movie is probably not the best parenting. Crafts are an appealing indoor alternative that, one can hope, will not involve having to move too far from the very comfortable sofa.

In fact, the initial material-gathering steps didn't require me to move at all. Z1, under my instruction, salvaged the egg carton (writing this post stirred up my carton vs. box internal debate once more and I had to read here to see what I'd settled on last year) from the recycling bin. I did assure her that the bin wasn't too yukky. She also got the scissors and Husband was intercepted on his way down the stairs with some items for the recycling bin, to see if he had any useful materials.

At this point, I moved from the sofa and, under direction from Z1:

  1. got more cardboard (cereal box...cereal not quite finished so rolled up the bag and shoved it into the other open cereal box)
  2. brought her a toonie and a quarter, so she could choose which size would be more suitable for train wheels (oh yes, she had decided to make a train by this point, forgot that important detail)
  3. found the tape, which we keep on top of the microwave (of course we do, where else would one keep the tape?).

craft, egg carton, egg box, train, kindergarten
Side view
Her planning started well as she counted the dents on the top of the egg carton to see how many people she would need to fill them. However, once she started cutting out their bodies (rectangles of cereal box cardboard), she forgot how many she needed and just kept cutting until she tired of that task. I was drawing around the toonie and cutting out the circles which were to be wheels and people's heads.

She then instructed me to cut out the arms she had drawn. I pointed out that, as she had just drawn lines to be arms, I couldn't really cut them out. I was being a little belligerent at this point, truth be known. However, Z1 had a well of patience for me and my lack of initiative and cooperation. She calmly explained and demonstrated how to turn the lines into rectangles which could then be cut out to use as arms. Meanwhile, she was going through yards* of sticky tape to ensure the box would stay closed. I tried to just let her be but did remind her that wasting materials was not good craft practice.

T-shirts and trousers were then drawn and decorated by her, cut out by me and the assembling began. The once nude rectangles of cereal box had heads stuck on and t-shirts and trousers applied. She didn't bother with the arms I'd painstakingly drawn and cut. Pah. The chimney at the front was from Husband's old aftershave bottle and, if you look closely at the side view, you'll notice that one of the wheels had been destined to be a head to begin with.

Z2 asked where the driver was. Z1 told him the guy at the front was the driver. Everyone in the household is suitable pleased and impressed with Z1's train from recyclable materials. I trust you, dear readers, are too.

*I originally wrote "metres" here as I am a metric person but yards sounds better. Just thought you'd like to know.