Monday, March 30, 2015

Homemade Play Dough & Fruit Bars

Water, salt, flour, vegetable oil (we used avocado oil, coconut oil, or olive oil because that's what we had on hand), cream of tartar, and food coloring - that's all you need to make your own play dough!

This play dough supposedly lasts for 6 months! Pliable, non-sticky texture. Initially we made four colors with two batches but the batches are pretty big so you could divide it up even more. If you knead in the food coloring after making the dough instead of adding it to the salt water mixture like instructed in the recipe, you can make more individual colors. I started with a whole batch of apple green and then divided it in half and kneaded in more blue food coloring. Did the same process with the yellow to orange. Have fun!

We used this recipe:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • Food coloring
  • Saucepan
  • 1 cup flour
Combine water, oil, salt, cream of tartar, and food coloring in a saucepan and heat until warm. Remove from heat and add flour. Stir, then knead until smooth. The cream of tartar makes this dough last 6 months or longer, so resist the temptation to omit this ingredient if you don't have it on hand. Store this dough in an airtight container or a Ziploc freezer bag.


Latest snack recipe: One Lovely Life's Apricot Cherry Snack Bars. Note, because I was missing the majority of the ingredients, I ended up with "Cranberry Raisin Sunflower Seed Snack Bars." They were delicious. Great recipe for someone looking for a vegan, gluten-free, no-added-sugars, and nut-free recipe (or just a delicious homemade snack!). 

Ingredients I used:
  • ⅔ cup dates, pits removed
  • ⅔ cup dried cranberries, unsweetened
  • ⅔ cup raisins, unsweetened
  • 1 cup unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds 
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp bittersweet chocolate chips 
Instructions (from the original recipe along wit my comments in parentheses!):

  1. Place everything except chocolate chips in a food processor. Pulse or blend until the mixture comes together (I advise you to pulse because I pulsed then blended and overheated my food processor resulting in me dumping out the coarse mixture and eating it by the spoonfuls while waiting for my food processor to work again). This will probably take a few minutes--the mixture might look sandy or dry at first, but keep going. It will all eventually lump together (It really does! Just when you think, "this totally didn't work for me" it will lump together, really).
  2. Add chocolate chips and pulse a few times to combine (I'd give it a few minutes to cool off too if your mixture got warm like mine did, otherwise you end up with melted chocolate and a mess - still delicious but a mess). 
  3. Use your hands to pat the mixture out into an 8x8" baking dish lined with parchment paper. Depending on how thick you like your bars, this may not fill the whole baking dish. I like mine on the thicker side, so I didn't quite fill the whole dish. (I just rolled the mixture between two sheets of parchment paper)
  4. Store covered in the refrigerator and slice into 12 bars or 16 squares as desired (I ended up with 30ish irregular shaped pieces surrounding little squares due to rolling it out to 1/4 inch).

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Last Day of February Snow Bonnet Blue

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Tickled by snowflakes

It may be the last day of February, but seems like we're just getting winter started (minus a few days that were really really cold, snow has been minimal this year). 

"Mama, tree hug! Mama, tree kiss!" Yes, she did kiss the tree.
The perfect day to add this snugly snow bonnet to her hat collection! 

Her daddy's eyes.

Outer: blue floral corduroy 100% cotton.
Lining: faux shearling fur (acrylic and polyester). Didn't find organic sherpa 100% cotton like the pattern suggested.

Love the bunny ear ties! Little Miss E wasn't interested in tying them so we did a half knot and tucked the ears into her snow suit.

Inspired by Purl Soho:
The Purl Bee Winter Baby Bonnet Instructions
The Purl Bee Winter Baby Bonnet Pattern

Monday, February 23, 2015

Felt Crowns

The felt festivities continue! This time we're venturing into crowns. I did a combination of hot glue gunning and sewing but you could do it all without a hot glue gun if desired.

  1. Measure child's head. This two year old's head circumference is approximately 18 inches (exact measurement isn't necessary here since toddlers are squirmy and you'll have elastic in the back for wiggle room).
  2. Draw and cut out crown template on card stock (you only need half of a crown because you'll fold the felt in half to cut it out symmetrically). Here I marked that the felt part will be 16 inches once cut out and that you should cut out 2 inches of elastic but I think 3 inches of elastic actually works better because you'll have 1/2 inch sewn into both sides of the felt part, leaving you with 2 inches exposed, giving you a total final crown circumference of 18 inches. Though the scrap elastic I used was pretty heavy duty so looser elastic may do fine at 2 inch length. Play around!
    I ended up changing it to 3 inches of 3/4 inch width elastic, not 2 inches as photographed.
  3. Cut out decorative pieces and glue or sew onto right side of crown.

  4. Place wrong sides together. Pin so the pieces don't shift. Pin elastic 1/2 inch in on one side. If you used different colors of felt for front and back, match up your thread colors too! Topstitch around, 1/8 to 1/4 inch in, depending on how well your two felt pieces lined up - you can always trim off the excess felt after. When you get to the opposite end of the felt where the elastic should be, insert the other end of the elastic and sew shut, going over it a few times to make sure it's secure.

Found a crocheted butterfly in my "scrap box" from years ago. It has a new home now.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Upcycled T-Shirt Hat: Ribbon Roses on Gray-Striped One Knot Hat

Good thing once we hit toddlerhood, growth slows down (compared to the first year) so clothes last longer! Little Miss E's hat collection this fall and winter has grown tremendously and I'm excited for her to get a couple seasons out of them (or at least some of them!).

Since she hasn't been interested in putting on clothes to play outside in the snow, dear daddy brought the snow indoors!

T-shirts present endless possibilities in the crafting world. We've transformed them into leggings here and now they're turning into hats! Many more renditions to come, I'm sure. What a great transition into spring with these light cotton knits!

Ribbon roses for some flair!

7/8" grosgrain in apple green, 5/8" grosgrain in yellow chevron

WashU Bear needed a beanie too. His is made out of a long-shirt sleeve with ZERO sewing. Cut at seam where arm joins shoulder, knot off the top. Done. Great for teddy bears and newborns!

Inspired by:

  • For 2-5 year old size, cut so hat circumference is around 17-18" (prior to sewing) with a depth of approximately 7" prior to taper (for tying a knot on top) and taper quickly until 2" width for 3-4" depending on thickness of shirt.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Felt Board: Owls, Pigs, Apple Trees, and More

Hoo! Hoo!

I feel like the felt board rendition of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. 

E says, "Mama, turtle?"
Mama makes turtles.
E says, "Mama, pigs?"
Mama makes pigs because turtles are friends with pigs.
E says, "Mama, tree?"
Mama makes tree because pigs and turtles need shade.
E says, "Mama, apple tree?"
Mama makes apples for the tree because pigs and turtles eat apples.
E says, "Oh no! Pig and apples!"
Mama makes ladder because pigs can't climb trees.

Oh, and that's not all.

Five little owls,
On a branch by the shore,
A squirrel scampered by,
And then there were four.

Four little owls,
Perched high up in a tree,
The wind shook one off,
And then there were three.

Three little owls,
With nothing fun to do,
One got very bored,
And then there were two.

Two little owls,
Just having some fun,
A bear came along,
And then there was one.

One little owl,
Winked at the setting sun,
Flew into the forest,
And then there were none.

How about some lady bugs?