Shogatsu! Japanese New Year postcards

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This is such a cute idea that we got from my daughters brownie book!

In Japan at new year, people send special postcards to their friends and family, to say thank you for their help in the past year.

It’s a really sweet way to say thank you to loved ones, and the kids had great fun making some for their grandparents.

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Christmas gingerbread manger

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Me and my littlepoppits had a blast making this. It’s not perfect but hey who cares! Oh and the cookies went in 60(seconds)x

Grab yourself:

  • 225g/8oz butter, softened
  • 140g/5oz caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g/9oz plain flour
  • 25g/1oz cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped stem ginger
  • template for manger size desired
  • ready rolled icing, edible decorations, nativity figures, christmas cookie cutters

How too: (pre-heat the oven to 190°C/375ºF/Gas mark 5)

  • Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon, then beat in the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Wrap and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes
  • roll out your dough and cut to your desired template. Make christmas cookies with any leftover dough
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes. Leave to cool for 5-10 minutes, then carefully transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  • apply icing to your cake plate and your gingerbread and assemble your manger. Wrap up with pretty paper and your good to go!

Christmas paper dolly chain

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014This is such a cute idea and a great project to enjoy with your littlepoppits. I adapted it from an extract to a gorgeous book Kirstie Allsopp Craft by Kirstie Allsopp.

Grab yourself:

  • 4 pieces of A4 sized paper
  • Pencil
  • scissors
  • double-sided sticky tape
  • Christmas doilies

How too:

  1. Fold a piece of paper in half, then in half again to make a concertina. Draw the outline of half a dolly, and cut it out.
  2. Repeat with remaining paper to end up with eight dollys and stick together with tape.
  3. Take a doilie and fold in half and then again. Cut along the folds to make four triangular dresses, snip the top and stick to your dolly.
  4. Take another doilie and snip off the lacy border. Fold into four equal pieces and stick to the back of your dolly to create wings.
  5. Add a little head-piece with any remaining scraps of doilie.
  6. using your pens draw on hair and faces.
  7. Staple a length of ribbon to each end and hang up.

Yay job done!

I got my christmas doilies from a charity shop, but you could use any doilie you can get your mitts on and jazz em up in christmasy ways!