advent at TheMadHouse


Ferm Living Inspired DIY Advent Candle 3

I love the simplicity and beauty of this Ferm Living inspired DIY advent candle so much. I have been desperate for a Ferm Living Advent Candle for the last four years but couldn’t justify the cost and finally this year I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own wooden bead advent candle inspired by theirs.


DIY Clay Star Candle Holders

DIY Clay Star Candle Holders 6

These DIY Clay Star Cadle Holders were inspired by some we saw when we were on our recent holiday in Holland.  I knew then that we could recreate them using our FIMO Air Light (microwavable) clay and finally got around to making them this week. We made our DIY clay star candle holders the perfect size for an old box of red Christmas tree candles which were my mum’s (the size that does in our twirling angel.  We have had these candles for the last five years but never used them as we didn’t have ant suitably sized candle holders for them.  30 minutes with the boys and we have more than enough and more »


Christmas traditions – Christmas Eve 10

I blogged last year about our Christmas traditions, about creating memories and making our own traditions as a family.  Including a little of mine and MadDads best Christmas’s and sprinkling some new things, some things that are unique to us and to our life.  I want these tradition to cement the boys memories of their Christmas’s past and lead them happily in to their Christmas’s of their future. We have our advent stocking activities each day, which is wonderful and we also make sure that we have done all the shopping, wrapping and running around by Christmas Eve and we make a big day of it.   The Christmas Eve Elves more »


Nativity Scenes 11

  I am a great lover of nativity scenes and grew up with the lower image in my mums house.  When Maxi was born she gifted me it.  I love it, so do the boys, but as it is china they can not play with it and make up their own story, so we made our own version out of loo rolls. We had so much fun, but no images of us making them, as I was far too involved with the boys, glue, ribbon, scissors and lots and lots of fabric scraps! Oh and I went to Maxi’s Nativity yesterday and Mini’s is today, so I will be back with more »


A Pause in Advent – Peace 12

We had a pretty peaceful start to this week, as we had so much snow that the school was closed all week and MadDad struggled to get in to work.   We tried to make the most of each others company and use the time wisely. We really all enjoyed putting up our Christmas tree and inside decorations (there is far too much snow for the outside ones yet) and took pleasure in the simple things like hot chocolate and marshmallows. But the greatest lesson for me this week has been that peace is not something that is always an external thing.  We had a nightmare on Saturday morning when the heavy more »


A Pause in Advent – Joy 6

joy / joi/ • n. a feeling of great pleasure and happiness: tears of joy the joy of being alive. ∎  a thing that causes joy: the joys of Manhattan. • v. [intr.] poetic/lit. rejoice: I felt shame that I had ever joyed in his discomfiture or pain.  2009 has brought me lots of joy, I have shed the above tears and I have a family that brings me joy every day.  In the bible joy is more than an emotion it combines a sence of happiness with a state of blessedness.   For me this advent has been a time of biblical joy.  I have found the time to find more »


A Pause in Advent 6

Well my pause for Advent this week has to be on the whole Nativity play in primary schools. MaxiMad is in Reception and his play Woops a Daisy Angel tool place on Wednesday and you can read all about it here.MiniMad is in Preschool (nursery), he is in the afternoon group, which are the youngest children in the school.  We went to his production on Friday afternoon and it was more than a joy to behold.  Unlike Maxi, he had been practicing his songs aloud for about 2 weeks and they were along a pretty traditional line, away in a manger, jingle bells etc. The most wonderful thing was that all more »


Decorating on a Budget 2

I’m just a boy who helps around The workshop and I can be found Sawing for Joseph or shaping wood Helping a master who’s kind and good And now I’m here to wave goodbye To watch them go and know that I Am trusted to finish the table and stools And take proper care of the carpenters tools I have had a lot of of wonderful compliments on the Christmas Decorations here at TheMadHouse, so here are some tips for decorating on a budget. MadDad and I have been lucky enough to build up our collection since we were married nearly 14 years ago.  We decided pretty immediately that we wanted more »


Pine cone door decoration 7

Mary I’ve packed the oil And I’ve packed the grain, The water is ready Now listen again – Here are the blankets and covers And your mattress there, So please, my sweet friend, Keep warm and take care Today I have a very easy Pine Cone decoration, which I totally pinched from Sweet Paul. It is very easy for an older child to do on their own, MaxiMad and I did this together.  We also made one for my mum with red ribbon and golden sprayed cones, but forgot to take any photo’s of it before we gave it to her yesterday. I couldn’t find my glue gun (my mother had more »


A Pause in Advent – Priorities 7

“The Messiah shall come to Bethlehem – That prophecy soon will come true For Joseph is going to take me there And I know that my baby is due”. Today we will light the second candle on our advent wreath and discuss the shepherds and their sheep with the children.  I will be making cotton wool sheep with the minimads and we will have a quiet (we as quiet as possible with a 3 and 4 year old) family day. Christmas is creeping up on us this week and I have done my best not to feel overwhelmed by the things that often need to be completed before Christmas day.  I have more »


Egg Box Jingle Bells and Advent Poem 5

“Mary, I too saw an angel, And now we can marry with joy, I’ll care for you both, just as he said, And together we’ll bring up God’s boy”. The boys task for last night was anther craft, which I have seen out on the blog circuit, but can not for the life of me remember where, so I am sorry for not linking to it.  This is another really easy and inexpensive craft. Materials Egg Box paint Glitter String or ribbon Little bells (I bought a wreath full of the from Poundland) I cut up the egg cartons and the boys the little sections and then covered them in glitter. more »


Day 3 and Pipe Cleaner Crystal Decorations 9

We have seen Borax decoration all over the internet and wanted to try them, but with Borax banned in the UK, we had to use a borax substitute to make our pipecleaner Christmas decorations.  These are super easy to make and the kids can manipulate the pipe cleaners all by themselves. “Joseph, an angel has told me That though it is you I shall marry. I have been chosen to bear the Messiah And it will be God’s child I carry” Now this is a blast from my past, something that I remember doing at my Playgroup before I started school, but you can not get Borax now, so need to use more »


Second day of Advent and Letters to Father Christmas 4

An angel came to Nazareth A long time ago With a message from God in Heaven above To Mary on earth below “God sent me here to tell you” Said the glorious one “That you will bear a boy child And that child will be his son” The first task on the advent calender was to write a letter to Father Christmas.  Both boys took this very seriously, but only want the same things.  A box of Maltesers and a marble run!! MaxiMad decided to draw what he wanted I wrote MiniMads letter for him – he basically dictated it to me and then he put lots of stickers on it. more »


Spiritual Sunday 11

Advent for a Reluctant Worshiper Yep that is me, I dont really fit in to a box when it comes to religion, I was raised C of E, in a church school.  I went to Sunday school, my younger brother was a choir boy, who became a Mormon.  I married an Atheist (in a church) and when my dad died, I became much more agnostic. When MaxiMad was born, I went back to church, we went to a church toddlers group and also a children in church group.  Then I fell pregnant with MiniMad and visiting a church with two babies, well that wasn’t going to happen. As the boys have more »


Advent Crown or Wreath 8

  OK to start our traditions at Advent we are going to make a child friendly advent wreath or crown.  This is one of the many things I remember doing as a child, however, I remember the Blue Peter version of wire coat hangers, tinsel and open flames!! What I have tried to do here is design one that all the family can join in making and can be burnt at the dinner table each Sunday with supervision.   Materials Circle of card/I have used a cake tray under it as it is solid Salt dough Cookie cutter in a star shape Green Paint Gold paint Glitter Greenery 4 tea light or votive more »