A Christmas Light ‘Installation At ‘Rosendals Trรคdgรฅrden’

On Sunday I took the kids ‘Rosendals Trรคdgรฅrd’ (Rosendals Garden). We had never been here before, but I saw that they had organized a ‘Christmas Light Installation’..
What a wonderful, magical idea!

Unfortunately I hadn’t figured out how to take photos in the dark, and in the rain, previous to this trip (but NOW I know!), so my photos don’t do it justice..

Lots of candles lit everywhere. Candles, candles, candles. Candles making paths, candles making huge heart shapes, candles hanging in bags on ‘wishing trees’ and candles within huge sheets..

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There was a little ‘children’s garden’ where a path of evergreen trees and branches had been made, and two little ‘stable like’ wooden stalls with hay inside for the children to sit in – all decorated with lights..

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There were ‘snowflakes’ in plant boxes where, previous to our arrival, there had been ‘a snowflake ball’..

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…fire pits, a small Christmas market, and a little shop selling home baked goods..

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..and a nativity scene, made entirely from natural objects – including sheep made of moss..

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There were also story times in the candle lit cottage, and after we left they were going to set light to a huge Christmas tree shape of wood pieces – but it was a fairly cold evening, and had been raining earlier in the day, so it was very muddy – so we decided to ‘call it a day’… We left the beautiful magical lights with good memories..!

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‘The Creativity House’ (Stockholm)

Yesterday Maya and I discovered a fantastic place in Stockholm (Fridhelmsplan to be precise).

‘The Creativity House’ is a cosy, calm art studio where you can choose, and paint, your own ceramics..

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We spent a lovely calming few hours painting, and we’ll come back soon to pick up our ceramics when they’ve been in the ‘oven’. ๐Ÿ™‚
It’s certainly worth having some one to one time with your children if you can – we both appreciated it!
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Happy Lucia 2013!

The day started with the Lucia children’s celebrations on early morning television….

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Which went on to Maya’s school class Lucia tรฅg (Lucia train)…

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Going on to Alfie’s kindergarten Lucia/Christmas concert..
(Unfortunately it was tricky to take a good photo..)

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…with an exhausted (but happy!) gingerbread man…

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…happy to feast on gingerbread cookies (pepperkakor) and saffrons buns at the end of a long day…

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Happy Lucia 2013!
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Time For Lucia Buns!

It’s ‘Saffrons Bulle’ time again – and although Richard makes them every year, this year I decided I would give them a try…using this book…

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Step 1 : Put 1 tablespoon of fresh yeast and 1 teaspoon of saffron in to 3/4 cup of warm milk. Leave for ten minutes for yeast to have affect.

Collect other ingredients..

Step 2 : Beat 1 egg and add to yeast mixture.

Step 3 : Take 4 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom and stir in to yeast mixture.

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…then cut in 1/4 cup of softened butter. This recipe also suggests putting raisins in at this point – but we never do this in Sweden, and as one of our children doesn’t like raisins, we omitted them.

Step 4 : Knead thoroughly, put dough in greased bowl, cover, and leave to rise for 1 1/2 hours.

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Now the fun part!
Step 5 : Take pieces of the dough and roll like a long thin sausage, forming it then in to an ‘S’ shape. Pop a raisin at the top and bottom of the ‘S’ (the recipe doesn’t say this, but we do this in Sweden).

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All the kids (and adults!) had a go. Leon isn’t pictured here but he made these rather fancy ones…

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Step 6 : Preheat oven to 200C / 400F / Gas Mark 6.

Step 7 : Put buns on a greased baking tray. Brush buns with beaten egg, and sprinkle with coarse sugar and almonds (we don’t usually add these last two ingredients but I decided to try it, using brown sugar, and crushing the almonds). Cover and leave to rise for another 1/2 hour.

Step 8 : Put in oven for 10 – 12 minutes.

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Delicious! Admittedly not as good as my husband’s – but not bad for a first try! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Meanwhile, Maya prepared herself for tomorrow. She’s going to be a ‘Luciatรคrna’ in the Lucia procession tomorrow..
(Yes, we have now ironed the dress! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

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Unfortunately they are just showing for the school tomorrow – but we’ll be going to visit Alfie’s ‘Kindergarten/Reception’ procession, in which he’ll be a gingerbread man (pepparkaksgubbar).

Happy Lucia everyone!
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Christmas Cookie Cutter Printing

Christmas cookie cutter printing is so easy. Just red and green paint, white paper and some Christmas cookie cutters of course..

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The cutter with the big rubber grip, and the tiny metal cutters all worked well – Ted was able to grip them firmly without them gliding, so they made a nice sturdy print. I also used a dish cloth in a plastic tub as a ‘stamp pad’ to put the paint on – this stopped the paint from sliding around, and helped to make such a good print.
I think it came out really well!
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Teddy’s Messy Christmas Box

We set up a sensory tray last week, with Christmas figures and tiny pieces of shredded plastic bag (fake snow). Teddy loved the fake snow, but to be honest, he ignored the figures and just wanted to move the fake snow to and from the tray, spilling and dropping and swishing…to be frank, it got everywhere!

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So I wondered to myself, “how can I incorporate this so that he can enjoy playing with the fake snow and make a mess, but somehow ‘keep the mess in one area’?”

We had a flat open ended cardboard box in our ‘pyssel room’ (craft room/workshop/junk room!) which would be perfect.
First it involved mixing white paint and white glue, and getting Ted to spread the mixture all over the box…

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Then I got him to move the fake snow from the original tray, to the newly painted box…

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…and after lots and lots of mixing and touching and feeling, we mixed in some glitter…..

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..and added the figures…
Evidently it was ‘Rudolph’ the reindeer who got the most attention…

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He pulled his sleigh through the sky, delivering presents to the children again and again and again…

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Eventually it turned in to Rudolph’s birthday and he started getting presents himself…though he was lucky to be given gingerbread men cookies and hot chocolate from Mrs Christmas whenever he got tired….

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It was fantastic to see Ted playing, particularly flying the reindeer through the air, which he must have seen in one of our story books…

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…perhaps this one? A very old picture book with the poem ‘The Night Before Christmas’ which we had been reading lately.

And in the end, Ted got his messy play. His mixing and spilling and swishing and dropping. He got to play more with the fake snow – and the Christmas figures got a ‘look in’ to boot! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Teddy’s Christmas Shaker

Quite simply a cleaned out plastic bottle…

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(here Teddy is laughing hysterically because I sneezed!)
Some Christmas stickers…

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Some uncooked popcorn kernels to be put inside..

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..along with some glitter…

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Glue on the lid and leave to dry, and you have a fun Christmas shaker to use with those fantastic Christmas songs! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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It’s also an excellent fine motor skill activity, and a perfect simple craft for a young child who isn’t old enough to ‘produce’ a perfect product!
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Maya’s Christmas Snowflake

Maya came home from school with a new craft she had learnt!
A very pretty paper cut snowflake!

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Arn't they lovely?
Here's how to make them..
Take an A4 piece of paper and fold it in half..

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…then in half again..

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Cut each piece to this size – you need five pieces altogether..

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For each piece, fold the corner up to meet the side like so..

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….and then cut off the rectangle shaped piece so that you have a perfect square shape. Do this to all five pieces.

Next draw a line down the centre of the triangular piece…

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Cut along the triangle up to the middle on both sides, making sure NOT to cut all the way to the end….like so….

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…and fold out so it looks like this…

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Again, do this to all five pieces.

Next, take the two inner pieces of paper, and tape them to meet in the middle (I put a pencil in between to make it easier)…

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Then slide out the pencil so it looks like this….

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Do the same to the next inner pieces (without the pencil), but tape them to meet on the other side..

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And the next two inner pieces to meet in the middle with tape, facing the former side…

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And the last to pieces to be meet in the middle with tape, facing the opposite side….

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Again, do this to all five pieces…

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Now it’s just to tape (or glue) these five pieces in to a star shape, and to hang it up…

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Of course, it would be easier to quite simply cut five equal square shapes instead of following the first few steps above, and it probably would look prettier without a line drawn down it – but this is how Maya learnt it in school, and this is how she wanted me to show you how to do it!
It looks more complicated than it is – and it’s they’re just so pretty – I just hope you can follow the instructions without too much difficulty! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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