I think I must have tried nearly every crafty activity going… it’s not like I’ve ever had the patience to get properly brilliant at anything, but I do like to dabble…so over the years, I’ve had a lot of fun with everything from jewellery making to rubber stamping, sugarcraft to candle making. I literally lust over the aisles of arts and crafts toys in toy shops and cannot wait until Emma is a little bigger so I have an excuse to buy it all!  My husband often teases me that he’ll have to buy two sets of everything – one for me as well as Emma (he’s so right)!
Soon after having Emma, one of my friends suggested we try ceramics painting – and oh my, a new addiction was born.  For anyone who hasn’t been – I can’t recommend it enough, basically you sit in a cafe-type environment chatting, eating and drinking, and painting an item of your choice, then return to collect it after it’s been glazed and fired. The range of things you can decorate is great – we’ve done plates, mugs, coasters, jugs, pencil pots, and I still have things like a cake-stand and hanging heart shaped plaque on my wish list. If you’re not artistically minded don’t be put off – if you have a very little one, painted handprints or footprints make for a gorgeous gift, and are so easy you can do several items in one sitting (that was my excuse!); and when they get a little bigger they can paint something themselves – at which point the messier it is, the sweeter it looks!
I tell you all of this with a warning though – this stuff is addictive, if I hadn’t done so many items as presents I think we would have had a whole dinner service with Emma’s feet or handprints on by now! Even Cassie (our dog) has her own Emma customised dog bowl (I’m not joking, actually I’ve even made my mum’s dog a bowl too). Even though we have a few things, every item is just so special – each one shows her growing, and brings back wonderful happy memories. Even the scrawled names and dates on the bottoms of pots or plates are utterly treasured and make me smile every time I see them.

I’ve been really lucky to have a close group of mummy friends from the NCT classes we did when I was pregnant, and around the childrens’ first birthdays, one of the things we did was to paint a big platter-style plate each with all their handprints on. It truly is the perfect keepsake from a perfect year 🙂  I love anything with hand or foot prints on actually – at Christmas our family cards were reindeer pictures based round a footprint, during the snow we did footprint snowmen and at Easter we had handprinted feet on an Easter chick painting. I’d really like to make bespoke stickers for people using their family prints – if anyone has any bright ideas of how we could integrate handprints or footprints into wall stickers then I’d love to hear them!

Back at ceramics, today we’re picking up the first item Emma’s painted all by herself – a big mug for Daddy (bless!), and I think there’s more than a small chance that we’ll be painting something else while we’re there… xx