Elegant Easter Eggs

You might remember that last year there was a little Japanese fad going on at our house… and that when I came across this idea I had to give it a try.  A year on, I still have a love for Japanese origami paper.  As my recent bunting cards may attest.

 I ended up only making one egg last year, the sparkly blue one in the photos (I’d accidentally purchased glitter modpodge) and it is still in good condition a year on.*  



You can find the full instructions on how to make them over here.  
Mine were more of a slapdash kind of job, not quite as fiddly as Martha suggests, but I think they still turned out quite well.  Origami paper works well for this project because it works best with thin paper.  We might end up doing them for the MOPS craft this week.

These eggs are fun for the kids to try as well.  
Frog was very proud of this one that she & I made below!



Joining in today with Jodie, the Haby Goddess in her new Make-Grow-Thrift linky.

Do you do easter crafts?  I love any excuse really – adds to the magic maybe…

* the eggs were blown so they’ll last for a long time – as long as you don’t drop them!

P.S.  I just had to include this dodgy little photo taken a year ago of Goose & Frog blowing some eggs.  
Gorgeous kids – they grow up too fast!

MY CREATIVE SPACE…when a party lives on…

Long after a party is over at our house, the theme seems to live on for quite some time. It’s the same with every party. I could never justify the expense or effort on things that would never be used again, so maybe that’s the reason that the Japanese influence is still strong at FGB headquarters.

We repeated the blossom tree craft last week at playgroup and each and every birthday card leaving our house in the last month has looked very much like this one….

A ‘how to make a paper crane’ tutorial was the Show & Tell last week along with a paper crane for each child in the class – I did mention she was obsessed didn’t I?! We now have them hanging along the kitchen window also and some gorgeous little origami hearts were made for each of us on Valentine’s Day.

Last week, just to use our asian soup spoons we had Chicken & Sweet Corn soup for dinner and on the
menu almost every day for lunch at the moment…

Cherry blossom sandwiches anyone?*

And I can’t forget Japanese Poker. Of course, as mentioned previously, all party decos stay up in the shed until the next party and once a month Mr FGB has a poker night in the shed. So this month the boys enjoyed Japanese rice snacks, Japanese lollies along with some Japanese beer and according to their fortune cookies, not all of them were going home rich men.

Do you find this happens at your house after a party….or is it just me? Maybe after all of the effort it takes, I just can’t let go?

How do you let your creative juices flow? Head over here to see some others.

* We did this another day with beetroot dip and open sandwiches – pink blossoms! A bit of creative fun never goes astray – we must amuse ourselves whenever we can and right now – I really only have room to move in the small things :)

JAPANESE PARTY {the activities}

I like the idea of walking into a party and having something to get involved in right away, so I often have a number of different activities going on and the kids can do the rounds. It does involve having other adults to help you. These are the activities we had at Goose’s Japanese party.

CHERRY BLOSSOM TREE PICTURES
I painted a branch and photocopied it onto pieces of card. We provided some geisha girl stickers, some cherry blossom shaped cutouts (punched out using our origami scraps & some Japanese writing) and some leaf shaped stamps & Japanese symbol stamps (that I already had in my stash) along with some red ink and some pink tissue paper to scrunch up and make their own cherry blossom tree picture. This idea was borrowed from here.

ORIGAMI PAPER FOLDING
We had an origami paper folding table set up with origami paper and printed a few simple origami animal shapes from here and stuck them on the wall with one of each that Goose had already made up. This is the first activity most kids headed for. You can see the table in the background of the photo below.

PAPER FAN DECORATING
I found some blank paper fans at Riot Art and the kids decorated them with textas. Thanks Anna for the idea!

GIANT MIKADO (AKA ‘PICK UP STICKS’)
If you’ve never played this game, see here for more details. This was my Mum’s set that she has had for years, but I have seen them for sale at Australian Geographic.

FUKUWARAI
Translated “Lucky Laugh” in English and traditionally played around New Year in Japan. Just like Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey, players are blindfolded & must try to stick the eyes, nose, mouth & cheeks in the correct places on the face. Thanks to my sister Clare for drawing the face!
You can find more information on the game of Fukuwarai here and some free Fukuwarai printables here.

We also did pass the parcel on the birthday girls request, which we played to the music of the 80′s classic ‘Turning Japanese’ by The Vapors and had a Guess How Many Japanese Lollies in the Jar competition.


P.S. Some other activities that I liked, but we didn’t end up doing are :
- writing your name in Japanese. You can type your name into this website and it tells you your name in Japanese.
- Get the kids to race each other using chopsticks to pick up cheerios or lollies and transfer them from one bowl to another.

MY CREATIVE SPACE…in Japanese style!


My creative medium of choice would most definitely have to be paper. I feel much more confident with paper than I do with fabric or food or any other type of creative endeavour. I have a new paper crush on Japanese origami paper. In preparation for Goose’s Japanese themed birthday party, Goose & I have been playing around with paper…

I always like the idea of making water a more enticing option at parties so Goose and I peeled off the original labels, googled the Japanese symbol for water and used a free Japanese style font from here to type ‘Water’ (for those who don’t actually read Japanese). Then we stuck them on some of our favorite origami paper with a glue stick and we had some very cool looking water bottles, if I do say so myself!

We also had some fun making our very own cocktail umbrellas with origami paper also. Follow the tutorial here if you’d like to make some of your own. We drank it in little shot glasses – meant to be representing somewhat the little teacups used in Japan – containing some peach tea granita.

To make your own granita there is a tutorial here, but we just made up some Bickford’s Peach Tea cordial and poured it into a metal slice tin, popped it in the freezer for a couple of hours, then scraped it with a fork roughly every hour after that until it became a granita type consistency. To drink/eat, we poured (using a Japanese teapot of course) some soda water on top of the granita for a fun refreshment at the party! A sprig of mint from the garden doesn’t go astray either.

Continuing on our paper theme Goose continued to make literally hundreds of paper cranes, her obsession knows no bounds…

Being summer and all, it was the wrong season for some real blossom branches, so we used some scrunched up pink tissue paper to make our very own cherry blossom tree.

As I am more than a little party obsessed and because my party posts are the most popular on this little blog of mine with people searching for ideas for their own parties (just as I do myself!), I’ll be breaking the party up into many different posts with as much detail as possible, so stay tuned for quite a bit more Japanese inspired creativeness over the coming week!


P.S. While on the topic of Japanese, paper and parties, you’ll find some great Japanese style printables – some of which I used in the party – here, here, here and here.

A JAPANESE GOOSE

Goose learns Japanese at school and really loves it. This year she has decided on a Japanese theme for her 7th birthday party. This week we’ve been making paper fans that double as party invitations.* So much easier having a party at the end of the school holidays as party prep becomes the perfect holiday activity!

We are now beginning to fold a thousand origami paper cranes. Well….maybe not quite a thousand, but since reading ‘Sadako & the thousand paper cranes‘ recently, Goose is keen…20 down, 980 to go! She even chose to continue making them after dinner tonight over her usual reading time – now that’s a big call! Surprisingly, Mr FGB (as he will henceforth be known) has become a little addicted. He is sitting in front of the TV as I type, folding the little birds and is quite proud of himself – and rightly so!

If you are interested in joining our new craze, there are very simple instructions here. If you do visit the link, you’ll also see what we plan to do with some of the cranes.

Stay tuned for more Japanese party prep over the coming weeks.


** The adorable little Japanese printables came from here.

EASY PEASY DINNER WINNERS #18

This is the meal most consistently whipped up by the hubby, when he comes home late from work.
Most of the time I am the dutiful wife and have dinner ready and waiting for him to heat up (as he misses dinner with us most nights). We do one meal in this house, no separate kids meal with adults eating something different later – too much effort plus I never know what time he’s going to come home and I’m hungry when the kids eat.

On the odd occasion, various things happen (or don’t happen) and he’s left to fend for himself. He loves to cook, so who am I to interfere?! Sometimes he’ll cook this on a Saturday for lunch and Goose loves it. She can’t get enough of the dried seaweed…(?!)

It’s most certainly easy peasy and it tastes divine!

This recipe is based on what he told me – he made it up as he went along, so this is his version.

JAPANESE MISO SOUP
(serves 1)

  • 1.5 tbspn red miso paste
  • 2 cups water
  • tofu cut into 1cm cubes (approx. 6 cubes)
  • 2 mushrooms, sliced
  • dried seaweed (2-3 small squares)
  • 1 spring onion, sliced

1. Boil water on stove. Add miso paste and stir until dissolved.
2. Add mushrooms and wait till they cook (a few mins).
3. While waiting, fry tofu in frying pan on high heat for approx 1 minute.
4. When mushrooms are cooked, turn off heat. Add spring onions, seaweed & tofu.

Play around with it. Adding bok choy, udon noodles or dumplings is also delicious!
Obviously just multiply the amounts of liquid, etc. for more people.

Check out this link for all kinds of different miso soup recipes done in all different ways with many different ingredients.

Now it’s your turn!
Link up below.
Don’t forget to link back here on your post so that everyone can join in the fun and get some new easy peasy dinner winners!


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