My family is a blend of Scottish, Irish, German and Native American. Our Christmas Eve tradition? A Nordic feast featuring Swedish meatballs and lefse at my Aunt and Uncle’s house. While most meatballs are known to sit on top of spaghetti, these meatballs are piled high onto a hearty serving of mashed potatoes. Lefse is a traditional soft Norwegian flatbread made of potatoes and flour… best served with copious amounts of butter! For the past 20 years, the table has been set with Spode Christmas china, poinsettias, candles and these two staple dishes.
We thought it would be fun to compile a few songs from a handful of the countries we’ve visited as a way to celebrate the past 11 years. You’ll find everything from traditional Hungarian folk songs to contemporary music from Norway. Now turn it up and start dancing!
It’s that time of year again to say goodbye to our cozy home we have found in destination Nordic. Thank you for all the wonderful memories, bright colors, and lessons on biking. We’ve learned a lot from our trip and hope you have too! Finland, Sweden, and Denmark have taught us to notice the beauty in everything from nature, furniture, to the stars shining in the night sky.
Did you see the scarf on page 4 of our Holiday 2012 Catalog and wonder where you could find one of your own? Our prop designer created ours by shredding a rug and twisting the strips together. You can make one yourself following the steps below. We bought thick gauge acyclic yarn and used scissors to craft our own scarf.
Easiest diy scarf.
1. Unwind the yarn to desired length. Ours was around 6.5 ft to 7.5 ft long. We used the entire skein of yarn and had exercise weights as an extra set of hands. See the picture below.
We used weights to help measure the precise length of yarn.
2. Snip the yarn at half length (where the weight is positioned).
3. Divide the half into 2 even sections. Start twisting to one side. Then twist the other half to the same side (both in or both out). Then twist both previously twisted sides together. Tie a knot at the end.
Twist the halves in the same direction.
4. Repeat for the other side.
5. Twist the 2 twisted halves together and knot it at the end. Knot where you want the tassels to begin.
Our final product- a warm and cozy twisted scarf.
Look how easy it was to twist your own scarf.
*Please note that this activity should be for kids 3 years and up.
Here’s a fun twist to pine cones during the holidays. We thought it would be fun to add a pop of color to our cinnamon scented pine cones. It’s a guaranteed good time with your kids. Make sure your child can operate a paint brush and you are in business.
All the supplies you need for neon dipped pine cones.
It’s best to squeeze your paint onto a paper plate for easy application onto your paint brush.
Step 1: Hold the pine cone by the top branch, and apply a generous amount of paint onto your paint brush and dab the edge of the pine cone. Make sure you get an even coat as this provides for a more vibrant color. From trial and error, we learned it’s best to start working your way up from the bottom otherwise you’ll end up with neon hand prints all over your furniture.
Step 2: Let it dry overnight.
Step 3: We thought it would be fun to cut name tags from card stock. We stamped our names on them. These are great placecards for your holiday dinner party or dip a whole bunch of pine cones and display them in a glass vase. We used them around the office for some holiday pizazz. The possibilities are endless.
Our finished product!
Share this post with your friends & leave a comment if you try this activity. We’d love to hear about your experience!
Guest blogger, Alyson, shares a kid- friendly Swedish Apple Pie recipe with us.
The kids and I whipped up this quick, easy, fun dessert. Apple pie is a popular dessert in Sweden. We loved making this crust-less apple pie because the kids could pitch in. Who doesn’t love practicing your counting and getting rewarded with a sweet treat at the end? You can bet they enjoyed each bite of this dessert. Things always do taste better when you bake it yourself. Here’s how you and your kids can whip up this recipe in a pinch.
4 – 5 medium apples
1 and ¼ cups sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
¾ cup butter
1 cup flour
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Peel the apples and slice them. Put them into a pie pan.
Peeling apples is a kid-friendly task.
Eric (five-and-a-half) was able to do it by himself, and Abigail (almost four) needed a little assistance. The kids loved this! (Peeling carrots is another favorite activity.)
3. Mix ¼ cup sugar and 3 teaspoons of cinnamon.
4. Sprinkle this mixture over the apples.
5. In a pan, melt the butter and then remove from the heat.
6. Add the remaining ingredients to the butter and mix.
7. Pour evenly over the apples.
8. Bake 45 minutes.
Horses have played a major role in the development of all cultures, maybe because they proved reliable creatures and friends. For the past three holiday seasons, we have featured horses on our girls’ tees. Take a trip down memory lane with us.
The month of November must have had a lot of rainy days because there were so many creative little citizens who participated in our Activity Book Contest. This month, Olivia dazzled our Tea staff with her tribe of snowy monsters with actual snow! Congratulations, Olivia!
Olivia’s snowy creation.
We love the snowy hula monster.
Thank you everyone for entering and be sure to submit a new picture for December’s contest!
Interested in entering the contest for next month? Take a picture of your child’s completed activity book picture and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Activity Book Entry” in the subject line. We pick one winner each month to receive a $100 Tea gift certificate.
Recently, Studio T teamed up with Made by Joel who has been featured on the Martha Stewart Living Show and various print publications for his ingenious craft ideas and ability to make art accessible.
Learn how to make paper slotted animals with Joel:
We’ve been enjoying a lot of indoor paper crafts lately, and a few days ago we made some little slotted animals based on a wooden set that I made awhile back.I was lucky enough to get to work on this craft with Tea, so the color pallet for our animals is based on their very fun Nordic collection. I love the idea of celebrating winter with red, cool blue, and yellow green.
Nordic inspired paper slotted animals.
Cutting out the slotted animals.
Cutting the animal shapes out and putting them together was just the right amount of challenge for the kids. They were quite focused, and really enjoyed seeing them stand up when they finished. After getting the hang of it, my son started making his own creations, including a Jabba the Hut and Luke Skywalker. Cool! (See photo below)
A little crafter’s original creation of Luke Skywalker and Jabba the Hut.
The kids enjoying their slotted animals.
Making them is easy. Just cut out a body shape and two legs. Then cut slots so you can stand them up. Click here for a Made by Joel for Tea Paper Slot Animals Printable or you can make your own designs! If you use a thicker paper, then you might need to cut your slots slightly wider so the feet stay straight.
After you finish, you can take them apart and put them in a little box or envelope. Then you can take them on the go to restaurants, etc.
Time to put you glasses on boys and girls! Find this gnome’s twin.
Once you’re done, submit your creation to email@example.com for your chance to win a $100 Tea gift certificate! Every month, Tea staff will pick one artistic little citizen to win! Honorable mentions will also be uploaded into their own featured blog post. Let your creative juices flow and show us your inner artist!