A play on words.

I wanted to make something special for DH’s Christmas present, and in an attempt to out-do myself, I decided to make an even better photo frame than the last one.

I won’t take all the credit – I got this idea from Notonthehighstreet.com, but just wasn’t willing to splurge £49 for an assortment of arbitrary words. I do detest when random verbs are framed, like ‘laugh’, ‘smile’, ‘happy’, makes me want to throw a thesaurus at it.

Moving swiftly on – what you’ll need to buy is a 3D box frame, Scrabble letters (Ebay, of course) and glue.

Scrabble tiles

When you order your Scrabble tiles, make sure you read the description and check you’ve got all the letters you need. There’s a huge choice on Ebay, most are good but some are a bit naff and only provide vowels or one letter in particular. Read the small print.

3D box photo frame

As for the photo frame, obviously make sure it’s a 3D box frame, but also that it comes assembled. I didn’t read the small print <slaps wrist> and bought a frame that came in parts. This was from Ebay too, but there are also quite a few on Amazon.

3D box photo frame

Hopefully you won’t have to do this part – but I had to screw in the border to hold the glass in place. Luckily DH’s drill/screw driver thing was lying around and I managed to work it out. This was definitely the hardest part, but I’m a bit pathetic not one for DIY.

drawing

Next I placed one of DS’s drawings under the template for the frame, drew around and cut it. Obviously you can use a different background, or just keep it plain.

drawing

I had to make sure the tiles fit before I glued everything down. I spent fifteen minutes searching for glue to no avail, so I gave up and used flooring adhesive…

Scrabble photo frame

When the glued had dried, I placed the frame on top and sealed it. Here’s the frame on my wall (before I stashed it away from DH’s sight).

Scrabble photo frame

Deeda is what DS has called DH since he was tiny; it’s Daddy backwards. It’s not the most imaginative sentence in the word, but a sentence it is nevertheless.

Scrabble photo frame

Merry Christmas!

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Toys Are Us.

So Christmas has been and gone as fast as it came, leaving a trail of oversized plastic monstrosities and a mother desperate for more storage. It appears last year’s storage solutions are no longer fit for the job and I now have specific corners of each room dedicated for DS’ toys and books.

I have managed to hide all plastic out of sight, in places easily accessible to DS. They are just such an eyesore, tasteless and oh so American. We have lots of wooden toys, which are just (or even more so) enjoyable and they are mechanically very clever. Like the snail pull along toy that bobs up and down when pulled across the room, or the intricate detail in the tools for work bench we bought DS for one of his Christmas presents. Classic, impressive and definitely not tacky. Actually, let me tip toe back a bit, I do like Lego. I’ll give you that.

For comparison; classic wooden car park Grandma bought DS..

VS.

..a plastic monstrosity. Luckily we didn't receive this.

I am planning on getting rid of old toys to allow for more space this week, but I am a secret hoarder for memories. I know cannot continue following DS through life with a hoover in one hand and a suction bag in another. I am setting myself up for a fall when he lives for University and I am left at home clutching at his toggle coat from aged 1 and playing with his Mega Bloks.

Christmas Cards.

 

28 : 4*

                           DS: Mummy & Daddy

…And that’s me being generous to myself; three of the four I actually received were joint cards with DS, and one was from DS (written by nursery). So really, the ratio should have been in decimal numbers in order to credit DS for the cards he had received but who cares.

This year’s turnout has been pretty disappointing. Not that I particularly look forward to receiving them, but you do tend to notice when the number you receive gets transferred over to your child. I am not alone; generally people are giving/receiving less due to whatever financial worry or the discovery of e-cards.

I am skeptical though, e-cards have been around for years. And those strapped for cash should have anticipated this and bought them in the sales last year. How else do you think I justify buying Paperchase cards? Only fools pay RRP.

I have only dedicated one shelf for our DS’ Christmas cards so they do look a bit squished. What I find most amusing is how the majority of the cards are miniature, as if they represent how small DS is. We obviously did not know that your cards grow with you, so we bought DS the sizeable one on the far right.

Sapin de Noël.

We decided to play by tradition and erect our Christmas tree on the first weekend of December. This required the furniture to be rearranged for it to fit in our tiny house, which had to be done in silence last night to avoid waking a sleeping DS.

I say we put up the tree, but it was mainly DH. I dabbled in a bit of decorating, but building the actual tree was a bit too hands on for me.

The Politics of Buying Presents.

We are hurtling through the months and with each day we are nearing to Christmas. Yes I said it, CHRISTMAS. Some will fully embrace Christmas in all its glory, some will roll their eyes at such a mention in September.

I stand apathetically in the middle, knowing full well the presents need to be bought in advance to ensure enough time has been given for research, yet also realising it would be a little premature to add All I want for Christmas is You to my playlist. Readers do not fret, I have not become overly joyous at the prospect of celebrating a made up day (yes, even if you do consider Jesus’ birth), I am still my skeptical self.

I wrote my Christmas list over the weekend, including a column of potential gifts/ideas and one for gifts I had already purchased for particular people. I like to be super ready for the following year by purchasing gifts, wrapping paper and cards in the January sale; not just Christmas cards, but I mentally(!) add up all the birthdays over the year and buy the most fitting cards. I like to think coupling my OCD organisation skills with my love for shopping means I am onto a winner.

My list has become slightly biased with DS’ column vastly overpopulated, whilst others are looking, well, a little bare. Of course by Christmas day everyone on the list will have a present, just some family members require a little more thought. There are always considerations to be made; whether the person will actually like the gift, the financial set back, how the gift will bode with their siblings. And with children, there is the difficulty of remembering their age. My cousins are now in their teens, but for some unknown reason, they are still below the age of ten in my head. I need to keep reminding myself that Barbies are not appropriate.

But of course before all that, you need to get back to basics; who is on the list? In my family we only buy for the children and my Grandma. I use to be the one who received gifts, but since the arrival of DS I have become present-less in some kind of hierarchal pass down. This does not bother me, my baby boy can have it all. We have since adopted the same approach to present buying, only including ourselves, children and grandparents on the list. Adults can purchase anything they wish all year round, children are the ones who must wait for treats on special occasions. However, it is always nice to give a little something from DS to certain people, like grandparents. DH and I also tend to buy each other gifts from DS, as well as presents to one another.

Although we have our own ideas for gifts and who to buy them for, there is always the politics of the reciprocator’s own rules to buying presents. Some buy for all regardless, some expect more from you and some will expect nothing at all.

Dear Santa..

Once upon a time, the Christmas period was solely based on religion and the celebration of Jesus’ birth; others would join the festivities as it was an occasion for family and food. As we moved into our postmodern era of gadgets, handbags and credit, some would say we have neglected the true meaning of Christmas.

Though not I; as an atheist Christmas would be rather dull without gifts. It is purposeful shopping, buying someone that thing they have wanted for a long time and receiving something just as special in return. It is tragic that as we grow older, presents are no longer about us. I suppose an orange at the bottom of an oversized sock loses its magic past a certain age.

So here it goes; my overly optimistic Christmas Wish List. If you are feeling generous this year, swing a little my way..

1. Mulberry 13 inch Daria Sleeve for Macbook Pro

This is basic, sleek and a complete luxury. I love how Apple have collaborated with various designers, their marking ploy has certainly sucked me in.

 

2. 13 inch MacBook Air

Obviously I would no longer want the item above if I received a MacBook Air..

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. 9ct White Gold Stud Earrings

I desperately need a pair of decent earrings that are not from Urban Outfitters/Topshop which rust after a few wears. I remember getting my ears re-pierced when I was 17 and how traumatising it was for me.. Lets not make a repeat of that.

4. Tickets to see Les Miserables

I have already seen this twice – The first time was when I was a child so I can hardly remember, the second was last year as part of my Hen Day. I really want to take the hubby to see it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. ASOS Sixties Skater with Belt Dress

This would be perfect as my graduation dress; it is simple with minor details and matches the hideous purple and red colours of my robe.