We're meeting up with a load of friends and their families on Sunday for our annual Christmas get together. There will be something like 18 children - mostly smallish - running amok in a room above a pub in Bristol. All afternoon. 

I've volunteered to bring some crafty things to keep them entertained, so have been racking my brains to come up with non-messy projects that don't involve glue or paint. Here they are:

Glittery pine cones - we collected loads a couple of weeks ago and put them in the airing cupboard to dry/open out. I've bought a big bag of tinsel pipe cleaners (who knew these even existed? My life has been transformed), which can be wound round to make tree decorations. Easy. 

Pomanders - one for the older kids I think - when I made mine I found the cloves quite hard to push in. 

2D beady baubles - I've cut out a load of circles from silver card, punched holes in them, and threaded them with silver elastic. The kids can go wild decorating them with self-adhesive jewel beads and various other stickers that I've dug out. 

3D Christmas trees - I've adapted this from various versions I found online. You cut out two identical Christmas tree shapes from green card and then cut slits in the middle (from bottom to middle on one and from top to middle on the other). Then you put stickers all over both sides - I've gone for a dotty/bauble theme here - and slot them together. 

I'm also bringing a pack of paper chains, and a load of black card with metallic crayons (I don't know why that feels Christmassy. It just does). 

Wish me luck...
 
 
Back in the enamelling workshop today for the first time in ages - trying to get stuff finished off in time for the Christmas craft fairs. 

I had a couple of spare mounts so decided to do some quick and easy pieces to go on them. The piece on the left has round blue glass beads fired onto a base of transparent light blue; the right-hand one has amber-coloured square beads fired onto blue flux. The blue flux layer wasn't quite thick enough so there are little holes in it from being fired for so long (to get the beads to properly melt into it). I kind of like the effect though. 

Always fun messing around with beads - tricky to get the firing time right so that they melt just enough but not too much.