Sunday, December 27, 2020

a salty christmas spirit.

I'm wishing you wonderful days! 

Unfortunately, over here in the Netherlands, things are not as festive as we'd hoped: corona numbers are rising, shortly before the holidays a lockdown was announced, and to add insult to injury, the weather is as unfestive as is possibly imaginable: a crapload of rain has turned the entire country into a mushy, brown, glob, and today the wind is severe that our poor chickens were flying horizontally through the garden (they are now huddling together in the safety of our garage, looking scornfully outside).

So, we're staying inside, while the feline members of our household take endless naps, sometimes in the oddest places. 

Here's the most intelligent member of our household, who seems to have decided to take a nap in an egg carton..

To invoke at least some of the holiday spirits, I decided to do some festive crafts. Due to my lack of supplies ( because: lockdown) I choose the easiest thing I could think of, was an old favourite:

salt dough! 

Salt dough? you may wonder.. For those of you who didn't play with it when you were younger; salt dough is a sort of clay you can very easily make yourself of flour and salt. Once you've baked it, it will be very strong, and rock solid, and will stay good for many years, provided you keep it awau from humid conditions ( because salt and water.. not a great combination)

As a child, I made endless amounts of sculptures, and furniture/ decorations for my barbies with salt dough, as it was my mum's go to craft because it's quick, fun and way less expensive than clay. An ideal material for craftiness in times of lockdown!

All you need is this... 

For once, I remembered to take a picture of the ingredients!
(flour, salt, paint, cookie cutters, and a conifer branch)

If you're really in a pinch, this will do too: 

just salt and flour, that's all!

The recipe is as follows:

- 2 cups of flour

- 1 cup of salt

- 1 cup of water

- and if you want to get extra festive: some paint to colour the dough ( acrylic or water based, whatever you have at hand!) 

just toss it all in a bowl, mix it by hand and.. 

there's your salt dough! In extra festive green!

I cleaned my working surface, and coated it in a very small amount of flour to prevent the dough from sticking to my countertop, and flattened the dough a bit with a rolling pin.

Then: tune up the festivity! We're going maximum december spirit here!  Spread that christmas vibe by covering the dough in festive conifer branches!
because NOTHING says christmas like shredding your old, ugly hedge into tiny bits, and pressing them into a salty dough!  

Work that rolling pin again, so the conifer branches are nicely printed into the dough, remove them, and.. 

Christmas galore! 

But of course, we need up to the ante even more! Stars! 

It's just like baking cookies, except that I usually don't throw my old hedge into my cookie batter, and this tasted like instant kidney failure ( don't eat it, kids!)

Once I was done making stars, I put all of them on a baking tray, and pierced holes in them with a skewer. 

starry night!

Into the oven they went! I baked them at a low temperature; 120 C (240 F) for a little under two hours. 

They came out nice and hard! Some were a little puffed up (I'm guessing that's because the oven was too hot? I'm not sure though) But I didn't care too much. 

aren't they the cutest? I'm pretty chuffed with them! 

with some string attached, they make an excellent christmas decoration! 

They work quite good as a garland as well!

I used the rest with some candles and a small christmas note as a small christmas gift instead of christmas cards for our neighbours in our street (luckily, I had made dozens). 

Despite the setbacks, we did enjoy quite a nice christmas, with socially distanced meals, cocooning in front of the fire, and digital game nights with friends, were we played the hilarious Britisch comedy game "taskmaster" together. If you're in need of some entertainment, I can wholeheartedly recommend binging the show, or playing it with friends ( you can find them on youtube). I hope you had great days as well! 

2020 may not have been what we envisioned it to be, and in many ways it will be a hard one to forget, but it did make me appreciate many good things as well: the adaptability that people have shown, their ingenuity, the ability of most to put aside their selfishness in order to help others. I know it's super cliche, but  I can only say: thank you! xx


  1. These turned out so cute! What a fun project for kids and Mom's to do together.

  2. At least 2020 was a good excuse to improvise with what's on hand to add a little extra fun, extra coziness, extra whimsy to our homes! I appreciate that you found another great way to stamp evergreen scraps into something beautiful. :)