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I LOVE Having Helpers (and reindeer noses!!!)

I often hear from moms that want to create, but can’t seem to find the time because they have small children. Are mine just really easy? My girls ADORE my workroom stuffed full of the most wonderful treasures. They particularly love the jars of flowers and buttons, which makes hot lava pour out of my heart, because I remember fondly how much I loved playing with my grandmother’s button jar. It does my heart good to know that long after I am gone, they will remember sitting on the floor in my workroom sorting and matching and just being happy. Anyway, I can get an hour of almost uninterrupted time just by getting down a few jars and letting the 3 year old sort away. (That is if I’m not reaching for the camera every 5 minutes to document her darlingness!)

I’m in full on project mode, so it’s nice that they are so co-operative, and even like to help. Today I was getting fabric stamped for my new trees, and Bea was delighted to help.

Even when it came to hot gluing she was fascinated by the process and happily stood up on my chair behind me watching what I was doing and making suggestions for what might make a good next layer, commenting all the while about what a good job I was doing.

The trees are ALMOST done. Still a few embellishments to add, and I haven’t found the perfect stars…I know what I want, but haven’t been able to find them (My Favorite Things – where are you when I need you???) These are the times I miss my store! I would have JUST what I need.

Reindeer Noses

These have been around for a long time, but I found them poking around Pinterest at Cindy’s Blog, “House on Hilltop.” Sounded like a fun thing to do with the girls for their school Christmas parties.

Finishing the reindeer noses was a high priority today, as the first batch is going to Bea’s Christmas Program at pre-school tomorrow, so we did hers while Hannah was at school.  I didn’t think she would have the patience to do them all herself, but she did.

Yesterday Bea sorted the red and green m&ms and Hannah unwrapped all the Hershey’s kisses, so today it was just a matter of constructing them.

They are so easy to make a three year old can do it, literally! I didn’t think Bea would have the patience to do a whole cookie sheet full (77 of the little suckers!) but she did!

You need:

Pretzels (the round ones are best, but I couldn’t find them for the life of me, so we used mini twists.)

Hershey’s kisses

Red m&ms

…and a cookie sheet. Easy peasy!

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees while you get them ready. She lined up 11 rows of 7 pretzels and meticulously set a kiss on top of each one. We counted and made patterns as she worked, so it was learning time, as well as fun!

Then we popped them in the oven for 3 minutes to soften the chocolate. You want to take them out when they are soft enough to squish an m&m into them, but they’ll still be holding their shape when you look at them. They will harden rather than melt into a puddle, so don’t leave them too long!

We let them sit out just long enough for the tray to cool (so she wouldn’t burn herself, but you can do them immediately if you are doing then yourself, or with an older child.) Then I showed her how to top each kiss with a red m&m squishing the chocolate into the pretzels, and she did almost all of them herself. She explained to her Da (grandpa) that you have to be very careful to make sure the “m” is on the bottom because “reindeer don’t have “m”s on them’s noses!”

Just for fun I dipped my finger into the chocolate and stuck an m&m to her nose! That was a huge hit! She laughed like crazy looking at herself in the mirror! When Sissy got home, she made the noses for her class, and we duplicated the chocolate and m&ms on both their noses!

They will firm up in a few hours on their own, but we popped them in the fridge to speed up the process. They came off the tray easily, and we put them in a fancy bowl to take to the party!

I declined to try one (for fear I wouldn’t be able to stop) but the girls assure me they are delish! I think we may have a new Christmas favorite!

About tatterednworn

I am a woman who has committed to living a creative life.

10 responses »

  1. Awww, Janet, all that melted chocolate and love turned my heart into hot lava, too! So sweet! Hard to tell who had more fun, you or them!

  2. How fun!! Can’t wait to do this with my granddaughter. Since I am new to reindeer noses, I’ll probably have to try one!

  3. its nice that they can take a home made treat to school – our school district banned anything not store bought years ago – so no homemade cookies or treats. Looks like it was fun!! My kids all liked hanging out in my studio when I was working too, at least when they were young – by the time they were teens they swore they would never be artists. But want to hear the funny thing – my oldest is a fashion designer, my son (the middle child) is writing a novel and has a rock band and my youngest wants to study theatre in college next year! LOL!!

    • How funny that all three kids turned out to have creative streaks! It skipped a generation in our family, so I’m glad my granddaughters seem to be headed that way! Both the girls are in private school, so those regs don’t apply for us. I think they are in place at the public schools, and really, you can see the point – health issues!


  4. Janet, tears – – my grandmother was my heart and I have THE fondest memories of crafting with her and going through her buttons – we would sort for HOURS, too! I now have her buttons and I try to work them in some of my mixed media projects! *and she always called me Sissy* – your girls surely adore you and will remember all of this forever!!!
    ps: I love your trees! Am going to work in a few of my own……..maybe by March of next year! 😉 xoxoxox

    • Probably not as much as I adore them, but I do hope that when I’m gone they will remember me as a wonderful part of their childhood! I had a wonderful grandma (and grandpa) and Mr. Tattered didn’t know his, so we’re thrilled to have the relationship we have with our babies! Glad you have happy memories of your grandma, Sissy! xo


  5. Aw this is just the cutest thing! Your little granddaughters are so sweet. You are so right – my little one loves sorting through buttons and fabrics and doing crafty things as well – I need to make more time to do this with her (and space – I really need to clear my kitchen table of all the crafty stuff!!). I like you made a huge pile of fairy cakes, chocolate crispies and mallow top hats for my daughter’s birthday party last weekend – and I didn’t eat any!! bloomin miracle! so is the power of the Fly Girls fat challenge, lol!!
    Clare x


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