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Christmas Posts

When a nutcracker has a headache

What to do when a giant nutcracker has been spending many Christmas seasons outside and its head begins to collapse? This is the story of Larry, one of the first builders of my nutcracker model. Actually, I should count him double because he made not one, but two giant nutcrackers that stand guard on either …

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Nutcracker Parade

The nutcracker tradition probably originates with the story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, written by German author E.T.A. Hoffman. This story was adapted for ballet by Alexandre Dumas and the music was created by the famous composer Tchaikovsky. Since The Nutcracker story takes place during Christmas, it’s easy to see how the elaborately carved …

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Camper’s Christmas

For most people, Christmas weather is too cold for camping in Canada. So why not create the magic of Christmas in July? In fact, that is a tradition in many campgrounds across Quebec. This year, a group of campers, inspired by my book How to make a Giant Nutcracker, created not just one but four …

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Jean-François Faucher at Santa’s Workshop

An interview with Jean-François Faucher, author of Panic at Santa’s Workshop, by Holly Ivy the Elf. Jean-François, what gave you the idea to write a Christmas story? Well, ou could say that the idea came to me by itself. One night in December, a few years ago, I was in my chicken coop, putting winter …

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Be inspired

One of the things I love most about the Animaplates website is the feedback that I receive from you, my readers. Especially when it includes pictures of your work. Creativity can be expressed in many ways, and that is very visible in a big project like my giant nutcracker. I feel very honoured to be …

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Giant Nutcrackers Around The World

Here is a map showing the locations of the people who took up the challenge to build a Giant Nutcracker. Where available, I have added a picture of their nutcracker.  If your nutcracker picture isn’t here yet, please leave a comment below and attach your photo!     It had long be my dream to build a …

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What’s that elf doing on the shelf?

Ten years ago, an enterprising mother-daughter team (Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell) created a story that explains how Santa Claus knows whether kids have been naughty or nice. This story was based on their own family Christmas tradition according to which each year, Santa sent an elf to their home to watch over the children …

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Giant Nutcracker Construction Tips

The giant nutcracker is not a project for the faint of heart. If you start it, you need all the help you can get. Fortunately, our members help each other out, and this article is intended to record that information so that everyone can benefit from it. Diameter mismatch Mop head hair Diameter mismatch Construction tubes are …

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Nutcracker at the Château Laurier

Each year, the Fairmont Château Laurier Hotel in Ottawa (Canada)  organizes a Christmas tree decorating contest as a benefit for CHEO (the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario). This event takes place on an evening towards the end of November and always attracts many visitors. In addition to the prizes awarded by the official jury, members of …

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A calendar for Christmas

When you think of Advent calendars, an image immediately comes to mind: a large picture that evokes Christmas, with small numbered windows. The purpose of the Advent calendar is to help the children wait until the arrival of Christmas. Originally, the Advent calendar had 24 small windows behind which were hidden small images. Each day …

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Christmas stained glass effects

December is the month with the shortest days (at least in the Northern hemisphere). To brighten the dark days, make Christmas stained glass pictures using tissue paper in various colours. Children will be proud to help decorating their home with their works of art. These nice stained glass pictures are great Christmas craft ideas that …

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