Easter crafting

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I suspect this is going to be rather a long post but it is my first Easter post here and I always tend to have a lot of things that I like to share, so please bear with me 🙂

We had a rather busy week; resettling at home after our holiday and seeing friends, but I also made sure we had some nice leisurely mornings at home doing some Easter-themed making.

Wednesday was baking morning and we made these Easter inspired bread rolls.

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On Thursday, the theme of the day was ‘eggs’. We blew lots of eggs and got very light headed (!) especially as my youngest wanted to blow five eggs, just for her!

We tried dyeing them with natural dyes, but it wasn’t a great success story – rather disappointing in fact 😦  so we decided to paint them instead.

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I particularly love this egg my eldest decorated.

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She was using an egg that my German great aunt Heidi (her namesake) painted for us (below) as an inspiration and it worked out beautifully I think.

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In the afternoon, the girls sat down for some needle felting in the garden. We needle felted a few Easter eggs (needle felting onto polystyrene egg shapes) to hang from our Easter tree branches,

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and both girls worked on their secret Easter projects for each other – they sat back to back so they couldn’t peak at each other’s top secret work!

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On Friday, we had a friend over to play in the morning and in the afternoon their gift making continued whilst watching a new film (to us)  Easter Parade with Fred Astaire and Judy Garland (and the gorgeous Peter Lawford – a childhood crush of mine!!) We love musicals and when we watch a film, which isn’t too often, it is usually the old fashioned variety. The girls loved it and have been singing the tunes ever since 🙂 I grew up watching musicals with my father, so it is nice to share them with my daughters.

On Saturday morning we made some date truffle ‘eggs’, dipped in carob powder and coconut shavings.

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Usually we shape them into a round, but this time we tried to mold them into little egg shapes instead. When I find a sweet recipe that I think will work, I always change it to suit us and add in as many goodies as possible to up the nutritional content. Here is our version:

  • 200g medjool dates
  • 200ml filtered water
  • 200g mixed nuts and seeds – I used pumpkin, sunflower, chia and hemp seeds and various nuts
  • desiccated coconut
  • carob or cacao/cocoa powder

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Place the dates with the water in a small pan over a low heat.

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Use a fork to gently  mash the dates up as they soften.

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When they are soft and ‘smooshed’, use a hand blender to make a puree.

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Mill or chop the nuts and seeds finely (I used a spice grinder). If you like more crunch, only grind a little. I don’t grind the chia and hemp seeds as they are so small and add some texture.

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Once cooled, add the puree to the nuts and mix well. You can add some dessicated coconut or carob/cocoa/cacao powder at this point if you like.

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Take little portions of the mixture and roll into a ball – it is a bit sticky. That’s fine.

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Roll the ball in some dessicated coconut and shape as desired

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Or roll it in cocoa/carob/cacao powder and do the same.

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A lovely refined sugar-free trip for all the family to enjoy – Yum!

In the afternoon we went to a National Trust Place with friends and enjoyed a challenging trail there. It was a beautiful sunny day and so good to get out and about with friends. It is always a blessing when our friends’ children get on with ours – it doesn’t always work out that way. When it does, we all have a lovely time. Hurrah!

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And now finally onto our Easter Sunday family traditions. We are not a particularly religious family. We believe in a Mother/Father God and often converse with our Guardian Angels, but we don’t attend church regularly and rather find our spiritual connection in nature and in creation. Easter for us is a celebration of spring and new life. We have a book about Jesus and the resurrection, but my eldest finds it too distressing, so we choose to focus on nature instead: on the return of the flowers and new buds, on the planting of seeds that will produce food to sustain us; on the birth of new life all around us: the birds, lambs, young fox cubs and so forth. There is strong message of hope and renewal in nature at this time. The World is Good.  We are never closer to God than when we are creating, whether it be a new baby, a piece of music, something beautiful to enhance our homes or a healthy meal to nourish our families. Just showing up here, I feel closer to the creator who I believe wants us to share and spread the goodness. Of course these are just my thoughts and we all have our own way of looking at things that works for and nourishes us, but this is the spirit in which we celebrate Easter; spending time in nature, creating and sharing our gifts with each other.

In preparation for Easter and so the ‘Easter Hare’ knows where to find us, we decorate the garden with plastic Easter eggs that we bought in Germany.

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On our Easter table, I like to keep things simple as much as possible with a white table cloth, a light yellow cloth placed on top and a yellow candle. A kind friend gave us these stackable eggs/chicks last year, which I suspect will be a permanent feature here at Easter.

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I made us a fresh set of napkins as I felt we needed them and I love light yellow floral fabric at this time of year.

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In our family area, I always try to create a special festive atmosphere, so our mobile over the table has Easter eggs hanging from it and some wool in Easter colours looped around the wicker hoop.

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I hung a homemade paper garland on one of our large back doors,

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and an artificial forsythia garland (which we have had for years and love), complete with clip on butterflies, on the other back door.

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On the Nature table the animals were joined by their young on Easter morning

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and a felt caterpillar on a felted leaf (that I made at our school Parent and Child group many years ago) metamorphoses overnight into a butterfly that hangs from our Easter tree – a lovely symbolic gesture for a very young child, that my children still appreciate today.

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The branches are hung with small wooden Easter eggs, many of which come from my own childhood and Easters spent with my lovely German grandparents.

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I hide several small felted eggs around the nature table to be found and put into the little baskets that Mother Earth and her children are looking after.

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And here is the Easter Hare!

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I bought him at a flea market in Germany as the Easter Hare is a tradition there. Here people talk more of Easter bunnies, I find.

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We also have an ‘Easter tree’ as I mentioned, which is basically a vase full of branches that we foraged from our local park, hung with decorated Easter eggs and some little clip on birds. If Easter is earlier, traditionally the branches would be forsythia twigs, but I had to make do with an artificial forsythia branch amongst the bare branches. It still looks pretty i think. This is a German tradition I believe, at least that is where it comes from in my family. It is such a joyful sight. 🙂

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On Easter morning, we enjoyed a visit from the Easter Hare. ‘He’ was out early in the morning hiding eggs all over our garden, followed not too much later by our daughters searching for them! It’s really is just as well there isn’t much time lapse between the two as seagulls are notorious for stealing Easter eggs from gardens here (!) so the ‘Easter Hare’ musn’t come too early, but equally not too late to be discovered! It is a fine line ‘he’ treads 🙂

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My daughters still use the Easter baskets they lovingly made in Kindergarten.

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They wrote the Easter hare a card each and left some hay and a carrot out for him with a basket full of plastic eggs that ‘he’ tends to fill with nuts and raisins.

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He also hides chocolate eggs, which Daddy and I have been sampling (!) whilst the girls enjoy the little carob Easter eggs they found in their Easter boxes.

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I fill these little boxes with a few small gifts placed on some coloured wool. Our daughters are always delighted to see what surprises are in there.

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They typically contain some carob eggs, a carob lolly, a couple of tiny toys and/or some kind of craft material or jewellery and something small made by me – the girls are generally easily pleased, thank goodness!

As for homemade presents, at school, my youngest made this Easter basket

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and my eldest made this fired clay hen bowl and spoon set.

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My eldest made her sister this needle felted hen and chick duo,

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and my youngest sewed this little felt hare for her sister

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I made us all some little egg hats for our Easter breakfast. Here are the two I made for my daughters.

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I tried to find a simple pattern to fit the medium-sized eggs that our hens lay, but after trying a couple in vain, I made up my own version which fits well. My daughters were delighted. They are very much into pom pom/bobble hats right now, so I thought they would go down well 🙂

In the spirit of sharing, the instructions for our little stripey egg cosies are as follows:

Using aran yarn and 4.5mm needles, 

  • CO 21 stitches
  • Knit 4 rows

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  • Knit one row, Purl one row (twice) – 2 rows per colour

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  • New colour : K1 K2tog, K4, K2tog (three times)  17sts 
  • Purl row
  • New colour: K1 K2tog, K3 (twice), K2tog, K4  14sts
  • Purl row

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  • Cut the working thread to 15/20cm and using a tapestry needle, take the thread through the working stitches.

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  • Pull the stitches together and secure by sewing both sides together

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  • Continue to sew the two sides together all the way down the hat, making sure the colours are matching on the way down.

To make a tiny pompom, wind some yarn around your finger

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  • Remove it from your finger and place a length of yarn under it. Tie it round the small ball of yarn and secure
  • Take some sharp scissors and cut the closed ends open.

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  • Leave one long thread and use it to secure the pom pom to the hat

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I made this one for my good friend Debbie – fifteen minutes well spent! 🙂

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As a Easter present for us, our daughters did a short play, which we really enjoyed.

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They were the Easter Hare and his able assistant, complete with bunny ears and pom pom tails. I really enjoy their ideas and there was singing (of course!)

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Apart from the Easter egg hunt in the morning and the play later on, we just had a quiet day at home enjoying each others company.

On Monday we greeted a new visitor, Dotty! She is a working springer Spaniel, who has come to stay with us for a week whilst her owners are on holiday.

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She is a darling. So so lively, but also so affectionate and fun. It is hard to be melancholic with a dog around, so I think she is good for the children! We think of getting a dog, but are undecided, so it is helpful to see the implications of having a dog without leaping in blind. Our chickens weren’t too impressed with a dog running around the place for starters!! I have never heard such a commotion from them before!!

Well, it is time to close this post now. I do hope you have had a peaceful Easter and are enjoying all the goodness and wonder of springtime, with plenty of spring crafting thrown in 🙂

Joining Nicole for Crafting On

 

4 thoughts on “Easter crafting

  1. It is always fun to see what you have been up to. You have been busy! The Easter bread looks so nice, as do all of your decorations. You make me want to get needle felting! People decorate trees in their yards with eggs here. Do they do that where you are? I appreciate your thoughts on religion and Easter. I don’t do resurrection stories with my children, either, feeling that is best saved for later. Happy Friday!

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    • Ah thanks Brandy! No we don’t decorate our trees here in the UK. They do in Germany and it is so lovely and cheery, so my family does. That must look lovely if everyone is decorating their yards for Easter. Happy Friday to you too! I am rather late in my post this week – been rather busy, but always good to catch up!

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  2. What a lovely Easter post, love the decorated bread idea, will have to remember that for next year to do with the children they will love it and the needle felting on the polystyrene eggs. The Easter story is difficult one to share it really depends on the children, this year we did more on nature, other years we have done more on the story of Jesus. Glad you had a lovely Easter.

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  3. Thanks Helen! Needle felting the eggs was a fun project and the bread was the girls idea really. My youngest really treasures baking day – takes her back to the kindergarten years. 🙂 and I am happy to join in! There are so many lovely things to make that we can share and inspire each other with 🙂

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