December 22, 2012
Only this weekend for Christmas!!!
I couldn’t write much on the blog since my post about the Advent Calendar… life becomes quite hectic in the holidays season… right? ;)
Well… all I wanted today was to wish you very heartwarming Holidays and a Merry Happy Christmas (with my troop of silent snowmen >_<)!!
Hyvää joulua & onnellista uutta vuotta 2013 :)
December 1, 2011
A bento to celebrate the Christmas season!
It was so good to return making bentos again… but it is weird to get back to the habit :/. I am totally needing some practice… not only on making the meals, but also… taking pictures of them! Gosh… I was so used to my previous settings in the old apartment I found challenging to take photos in my new kitchen. I will get better, I hope :P!
And yes, I confess I stole the idea of using the star picks for the Christmas trees from Sheri, the lovely owner of Happy Little Bento Blog. Her use of picks is brilliant, she will always be my bento-heroine inspiration of all times :).
AH! And before I forget!!! New bento boxes in this post! I got them before our moving from a sweet bento friend of mine. Thank you ^^, my girls loved the HK ♥!
Contents: rice with furikake, grilled chicken breast pieces, steamed broccoli, cucumber slices, pearl tomatoes, purple carrots, orange wedges, red grapes and Christmas shaped pasta. The tree is a mini onigiri wrapped with wilted spinach decorated with carrots “balls”.
Must say they enjoy eating spinach nowadays! Wohoo!!!
January 3, 2011
New Year, new post! Yay!
I will start this year by sharing what I’ve crafted for the girls as their Christmas gifts ^_^. I think it was a bit mad project once I decided to make it at the last responsible moment. Yep, the idea was in my mind for long but I only started making it couple of days before Christmas (ahahaha, didn’t I tell you I am _that_ type of lazy person?)
Hubs and I bought a very nice Finnish Animals Stories book and … I wanted to make finger puppets from the main characters (the brown bear and the fox) to be given together with it. I also crafted some other characters, inspired by books we had already. Girls could use the tales they’ve heard previously in addition to the new ones (or invent their own ^_^)
Introducing my finger puppets, I made a short comic page from three stories. :)
…And how the bear lost its tail
Original title of the story “Karhun kalanpyynti” (The bear went fishing) – from the book “Suomen Lasten Eläinsadut” (Finnish Children´s Animal stories).
Waking up from its winter sleep, the bear came by a fox eating some fishes. The hungry bear asked:
– Oh wow, you have plenty of fish! I can eat some of yours if you don’t mind! Where did you get them?
The fox, annoyed by the fact the bear was big and afraid it would eat all the fishes quickly answered:
– I went fishing in the farmer´s ice hole (avanto in Finnish). I used my tail as fishing equipment and because the sky was so clear and full of stars, the fishes were enough hungry they just bit my beautiful tail fur and in the morning, I had fishes all over it!
The bear believed in the story (it still had a long tail) and headed to the ice hole on the frozen lake. He sat by the hole and put his tail in it, according to what the fox instructed.The sky was all clear and the cold weather, very severe.
After a while, the bear felt some pinching in its tail. The surface of the hole was getting all frozen but the bear was happy believing it was the fishes grabbing his tail.
In the morning, the deceiving fox went to sneak a look at the bear sitting on the lake. “Yes, he is stuck!” and rushed to the farmer´s house screaming “There´s a bear messing your ice hole, ohoi! A bear is messing your ice hole!”
Meanwhile, the bear was getting bored about sitting on the lake. He tried to move the tail but it was so numb it felt very heavy. “I must sit a bit more, my catch is indeed big!”
Suddenly some huge noise could be heard from the lake shore. The farmer and his family, carrying huge sticks started to beat the bear out from their avanto. The bear tried hard to pull itself free, so hard its tail snapped and remained in the frozen ice hole. The terrified bear ran to the forest but his tail stayed behind.
Since then, the bear doesn’t have tail at all ^_^.
The bear tail is attached to the bear with magnets :).
Three wishes (Kolme toivomusta)
From the book “Iloiset eläinsadut” (original book “Richard Scarry´s Animal Nursery Tales”). The original story is also known as “The Sausage nose”
Once upon a time there was a very poor woodcutter. He lived with his wife in a very humble cottage in the woods.
One day while working, he whined how nice it would be if he could have anything he wanted, once he had nothing at all.
A fairy, listening to that, appeared to the man and granted him three wishes.
– I make three wishes come true! But use them wisely or you end up a fool!
Happily, the man hurried home to tell the news to his wife. They couldn’t think what they could wish first so they decided to have supper and think better later.
Seeing not much to eat on the table besides soup, the man sighed “Wish we could have a big fat sausage for dinner instead”. In a blink of an eye, the sausage appeared on their dinner table.
His wife got really angry: “You foolish man! Look now! Our first wish gone because of a stupid sausage!”
The man, annoyed by all the nagging shouted “Wish that sausage was stuck to your nose!”. And the sausage got stuck to his wife´s nose and they couldn´t get it off…
“We still have one wish to make… we need to think wise”.
“There´s no thinking here! I don´t want to live with the sausage on my nose forever!”
So the man wished the sausage to be gone from his wife´s nose.
The sausage was gone, so their three wishes.
The sausage is removable with the help of magnets too.
The Gingerbread Man
Because it was Christmas and my girls like this tale a lot, I made characters for this story too.
I think most of you know how the tale goes, if not check here. However, this version in my comics is based from the short story included in “Iloiset eläinsadut” (original book “Richard Scarry´s Animal Nursery Tales”).
In the very end, when the gingerbread man is running away from the city people, he ends up by the riverbank, where a fox offers help as a ferry to cross the river. After tricking the gingerbread “not to get wet” by getting him nearer and nearer his mouth, the gingerbread man finds himself eaten mid-stream. ^_^
The girls didn’t give much attention to my present during the Christmas gift sharing but in the same night, before going to bed, they played with the finger puppets and created their “own” stories. ^_^
Have a great year my friends!
November 30, 2010
Phew. I´ve been working in this project for almost the whole November. I managed to craft it, a little at a time in my spare time.
Making the Advent Calendar has become a tradition in my family. Before having children we didn’t care much about it, that´s true. We used to get those ready ones from the supermarket, filled with “candy-chocolate” small figures. Chocolate wasn’t that good but served for the purpose =).
I started making it by myself about 3 years ago. The first one was made with small cardboard boxes (all kinds of packing boxes), cut in same depth, wrapped with recycled/leftovers Christmas gift papers. One side was totally open, making super easy just to pop the wrapping paper and access the little goodies. To make it less boring, I assembled the little “presents” in a locomotive shape =). Aha, yep I spent couple of hours trying to figure out a good structure for the calendar. :P
The second handmade Advent Calendar wasn’t suppose to happen. I was too busy with two little girls but I decided to craft a quick one. Oldest daughter was big enough and I thought it would be nice to introduce some sort of “activity” for her during the waiting for Christmas. I made 24 little origami bells and put little gifts in 24 little paper bags. I glued one sticker inside the bell and the same sticker to one paper bag. Luonnonvoima just needed to play “find a match” with the sticker pairs. ^_^
Last year´s Calendar was a hit. I crafted little snowmen using the papier-mâché technique. The little snowmen were basically mini “piñatas”, made of tissue paper and diluted white glue on small balloons. You can check out more detailed pictures in my Flickr set for the Snowmen.
I was so lazy to start making the calendar this year! I had some ideas, but all required TOO much time to construct them. October went, November started and it was just getting on my nerves. Finally, I came up with this idea and stayed on it. ^_^
2010 Advent Calendar – Little wool socks
My girls like to play treasure hunting a lot. My little pirates just go crazy if you give them a map to find some hidden “treasure”. Luonnonvoima can draw a map for herself (including the “X” for the treasure), hide some little toy and play with Pikkusiili for a while.
Based on that, I decided to incorporate the treasure hunt to my Christmas Calendar this year. No, I am not crazy (well, not yet. Or, maybe I am :D).
The Advent Calendar consists of 24 little wool socks (I knitted them using the yarn I had at home) clipped to a thread using mini clothespins that I decorated too. I labeled each clothespin with a number, corresponding to the 24 days for Christmas.
Now, the treasure hunt part: girls will find a small note inside each little sock. Because they still don’t know how to read, instead of a word clue, I simply drew one object from our home. They will need to recognize the object and go for it. A little package with goodies will be placed where the hint sends them to.
Fun isn´t it? The disadvantage of this type of calendar is that I need to keep a list showing where I should hide the package for the day. Hehe, I can only complicate things… I really hope my girls will enjoy it!
Contents of the calendar: chocolates, candies, stickers, a puzzle (about three pieces a day), toy jewelry and hairpins. The other years: lego kits, small play dough, DIY finger puppets, magnet alphabet letters, toothbrushes, socks, candies, hairpins. I tend to put some activity everyone in the family can participate (it is specially good during these dark days here where I live).
When they get older, I will try to put a list of activities instead of objects. For example “bake gingerbread men”, “gaze at the stars”, “laugh until you belly hurts”. Those kind of things. :D
Tomorrow starts the countdown. You still have time to make an advent calendar! For reals. Grab colored papers, draw socks, cut them out. Mark an activity behind it, or use my treasure hunt idea. It is all about making the waiting for Christmas more bearable for the little ones ^_^.