Our Monthly Journal

February 2024

We're so excited to share another monthly journal written by the lovely Lola Jones, also known as @pocketfullofbuttercups on Instagram. Lola is a wonderful photographer and all round creator of beautiful content, raising her twin daughters Maya and Chloe & her youngest Thea from her house near the Peak District. Each month she will give us a small glimpse into her world, inspiring you with activity ideas, recipes and more.

Here we are, only a few weeks away from half-term and I have prepared a few craft ideas in case you are in need of inspiration to keep the little ones entertained.
In this month’s journal you will find a sweet and simple Valentine’s themed DIY and a recipe as well as a gorgeous floral keepsake idea.

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LOVE BUGS DIY

This is a great little craft to do with younger kids. Requires a little supervision, but it’s a fun one. We mostly used things we already had at home to make these bugs.

You will need:

- Small paper plates
- Wooden pegs
- Googly eyes
- Random buttons
- Acrylic paint
- Patterned colourful paper, cardboard pieces
- Hot glue and gun (ordinary craft glue will do too)

Start by painting your plates and pegs if you want them colourful or leave them plain. Add the googly eyes and buttons for cheeks. We added eyelashes and a smile to ours. Cut out wings from colourful patterned paper and glue to the edges of the plates. We also used the textured side of the cardboard for wings. Shaped them roughly and then painted before attaching to the plate. Finally cut out mini hearts either from colourful paper or cardboard, paint if desired and glue to the top of the pegs.

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CHOCOLATE HEART CUPCAKE TOPPERS

So fun and simple to make, these hearts are perfect as cupcake decorations.

You will need:

- 200g white chocolate
- Pink or red food colouring

Line a baking tray with baking parchment and set aside. Break chocolate into chunks, put in a heatproof bowl and melt over a bain marie or in a microwave. Add a few drops of food colouring and mix well. Next put a small round piping nozzle in the piping bag and fill the bag with the melted chocolate. Or simply fill the piping bag with melted chocolate and cut a tiny tip off the piping bag. You are now ready to pipe your hearts onto the paper.

Make the hearts by squeezing chocolate on the tray lined with baking parchment. Leave the chocolate to harden at room temperature or by placing the tray it in the fridge if you need them quickly. They will need a good 30-40 min to harden properly in the fridge and longer if you leave them at room temperature. Once set, carefully peel the hearts off the baking paper. Use them to decorate cupcakes, cakes, ice-cream sundaes or simply eat on their own.

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DRIED FLOWERS KEEPSAKE

Last year I handmade a floral crown for my youngest daughter to wear at her birthday party. I kept the flowers fresh for a couple of days after the party by floating them in a little bit of water in the bath. Then I decided to press some of them and have a go at turning them into a keepsake.

Perhaps you too have a special occasion coming up later this year, that might inspire you to do something similar.

Pick a card that you are going to use as a background. I chose a simple A4 card.

Once the flowers are dry, think of your design. They can be randomly arranged or in a circle or half-circle. I chose to have a name in the middle and arranged my flowers around it in not quite a full circle.Next, using a small brush, apply a small amount of glue (PVA or similar) to the back of each flower and glue it in place.

Once the flowers are dry, frame your art.

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