I have a small bit of creativity in my blood. My Mum taught primary, Junior Infants mostly – so finger paints and leaf rubbings were par for the course in her working life. I know she’s busy knitting matching jumpers for my 2 boys as I type too. My lovely dear departed Dad was a textile designer, so had more of an eye for design than your average straight man. His opinions on his daughters’ clothes extended beyond “You’re not going out in that belt. What? That’s a skirt?”
I flit between activities and crafts, a Jill of many trades, a mistress of none. I have a sewing machine, I have a large jar of ironing beads, I have a million tiny ziplock bags of sparkly beads, wooden beads – every kind of jewellery finding imaginable. I’ve done a metalwork course in the NCAD and a dressmaking course in the Grafton Academy. One year I knitted 30 tiny hats for a smoothie promotion thing, having not lifted up needles for about 20 years at that point. It’s safe to say I’ll turn my hand to anything, but as soon as it gets difficult, my eye tends to turn to the next task.
Christmas brings out the latent craftiness in a lot of people, and for me, it ramps up a bit. In the last couple of years I’ve made felt owls for our tree, and as gift tags for the nieces & nephew. Last year the creche staff got individual Chocolate Biscuit Cake Christmas Puddings. (This year they should be getting Chocolate Peppermint Fudge if it isn’t a complete disaster).
I have attempted salt dough decorations with the boys – we managed one to be precise before there was dough everywhere. The less said about that the better. But this years biggest project has been our elf. Mr. Old Elf to be precise, which is a more imaginative name than most soft toys get in this house. He’s here to keep an eye on the 2 little boys that live here, to make sure that Santa knows that they belong on the nice list.* I was going to wait, and post the whole month of elven activity in one go, but then I thought that some of my little tricks (none of them very elaborate) might help anyone else who’s finding themselves a little short of inspiration with barely more than a week to go. Like me!
So here he is. Since December 1st, when Mr. Old Elf has arrived at our door – apart from a couple of forays into the kitchen he’s been knocking around the living room creating mischief and having fun.
*any and all attempts to invoke the man in red’s name as a discipline tactic have utterly failed. I cannot in good faith recommend you try and use an elf for this purpose.