Can you feel the energy that this time of year brings? There is almost a vibration in the air as everyone gears up for end of year events, school performances, end of year concerts, parties, dinners, picnics and pool parties for some and snow days and fireside warm drinks for others. It feels so frantic but exciting and fun too. There are secretive packages being stowed, and holiday cooking in action, the tree and decorations come out, holiday drinks are mandatory (and some songs too). What are you doing at this time of year? are you up to your eyeballs or trying hard to avoid it all?

W generally try to have a pretty low key Christmas, we have a tree, and big lunch and we exchange presents, I bake. This year we are in the midst of packing up our house for our road trip next year, and so we will be even more minimal than usual — not a lot of baking (and it has become hot here already) but we will have our favourite ginger cookies (which I included in our Celebration Action Pack from last year).

But naturally I have to have homemade gifts for friends and family (and teachers) — and most everyone will be getting some Homemade Apothecary salves and lotions and bath salts and lip balms.

What are your homemade holiday making plans? I have a couple of pinterest boards you might like for this time of year – DIY holiday crafts and DIY gifts, cards and packaging. I am loving the idea of spices and pinecones and oranges as a holiday theme — simple and natural. Pom pom berry wreath :: toothpick stars :: string art tree :: cardboard roll stars.

Are you planning on giving foodie gifts? Mulling spice packs :: Salted hot caramel mix :: Chai concentrate :: Vanilla caramel sauce :: Homemade Nutella :: Peppermint bark

Stuff I have been doing

  • Book reviews: Push series :: five knitting books :: three textile craft books
  • Mentioned our Year of Reading Out Loud — and posted a book list for 10 years and up for our family to read out loud together.
  • What is a magazine for kids — do you have any favourites or suggestions?
  • At whipup the knitting designer series finished up – and I am thinking of another series for next year — any ideas? Anyone want to contribute?
  • Working through corrections for my upcoming quilt book, will be coming out with Stash mid next year — very excited about this one! (and as you can see from the pic above, I was checking my twitter at the same time!)

Action Pack Kids Magazine News


Sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter via email 


One of the biggest pleasures for me during holidays is the food – the cooking, the smells and tastes, and the family pushing and shoving — uhm gathering around to appreciate all that you do for them. Food = love = family = togetherness.

This long weekend I am camping with my family. We go to our favourite spot on the coast with a few friends and their kids and their bikes and the fishing gear, and we swim, we light the fire, we cook slow foods (and hopefully some freshly caught fish too), we bring home baked goods to share, there is usually an Easter egg hunt for the kiddos who want to participate (uhm all of them) and we have a really lovely time with really special friends.

A few weeks ago my family and I put together the Action Pack Magazine for kids – the Easter Edition – only $4, so you too can share some lovely family time. It is filled with some easy and some more challenging recipes, crafts and (edible) science that kids can do — meanwhile you can put your feet up and enjoy the fact that your kids are independent and creative and congratulate yourself on your marvellous parenting skills by trusting them in the kitchen and giving them the freedom to grow!

If like me you are planning on a little camping adventure then you might want to grab our Great Outdoors Action Pack Magazine which is a big book full of fun outdoor science, adventure, games, cooking and art.

I have put together a few special recipes from around the web so you too can get into the holiday spirit. Decorate some eggs, bake some delicious foods, and have a lovely special holiday weekend.

Dyed Easter crafts

Foodie Easter Craft Recipes


Yarny Easter Crafts

Sewn, felted, glued Easter crafts


Liz Noonan is an artist and crafter working north of Boston.  You can read about her and what she’s crafting up lately on her blog.

Valentine’s Day “Stuck On You” tutorial

Thank you for having me on Whip Up today!  My kindergartener’s class had run out of glue sticks, so I came up with this idea to combine a cute Valentine with a donation for the class.  You could also do this with pencils or crayons too.
  • Paper, glue sticks, glue dots
  • I used a cookie cutter for a template for the valentines, it ended up being the perfect size.
  • I also used a heart punch to layer and add the child’s name, but both of those things are optional.


  1. First, cut out your valentines and decorate them.  We used glitter pens and markers.
  2. Use your glue dots and put one on each side of your glue stick.
  3. Stick the Valentine to your glue stick.
  4. You’re done!  Easy, simple and a nice way to contribute something to the classroom.


For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website

Happy Christmas dear ones – Happy solstice and Happy Hanukkah – happy {what ever you celebrate } day to you and to your family – from me and my family.

I will be away from this space for a few days – but if you are bored – check in over the next week for some things to do from the archives. {and you can always get an Action Pack magazine – full of boredom busting activities for the kiddos and for you!}