Kids Making Butter

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It doesn’t get better than this.  I gave my kids (at least half of them) something to do while I was making dinner.  It worked, tasted great, and there’s more than enough for the rest of the week.

My husband notified me of a CRAFT post about homemade butter, told me about it, and I knew we had to give it a try.  CRAFT linked to this site here which has a nice photo and lovely instructions.

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What we did:

Pint heavy cream put in a
Ball jar with lid (which did leak a little bit)

shaking_butter.jpgSHAKE and shake and shake some more

Chill to harden a bit (I put it in the freezer for a few for sake of time)

Use in mashed potatoes and on corn on the cob.

Now, to make some bread and/or muffins to try it out!

I should note that the directions said to drain off the buttermilk that’s on the top when it first starts to harden.  Well, I don’t know if we were just shaking too much or what, but we didn’t have any buttermilk when I took the lid off to look, and it was already pretty thick.

Also, after being in the fridge for a day, it still has a whipped texture.  That could be from using heavy whipping cream and not just heavy cream.  I didn’t think there was a difference, but I’ve been wrong before.  Perhaps that accounts for the lack of buttermilk as well.  Hmmm.

It’s super easy, though, and I highly recommend it, especially since butter is so expensive.  Plus, it’s a novelty.  What better gift than homemade bread and butter?  Now to find someone with extra baby food jars . . .

Have fun!

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Kids Craft Weekly

A friend shared this link with me, and I quickly subscribed to the newsletter.  May you find some inspiration for your little ones, too.

Kids Craft Weekly : “A regular dose of crafty goodness for young kids”

Notice that she has a monthly book giveaway if you submit a photo of your crafty kids.  Good luck!

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Getting Creative and Looking Pretty

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I got inspired a year or so ago to try my hand at apron-making.  I truly enjoyed the process and the result.  One I gave to my sister-in-law, and the other I gave to my cherished art/soul companion.  I’ll be working again here soon on a couple of others that I’ll share after they are gifted.

The thing about aprons is that they are classic, and they seem to be making a comeback.  Just search for apron patterns, and the result returns thousands of links.

After I made my first apron, my husband picked up a magazine at our co-op.  I hadn’t before read MaryJanesFarm, but I was hooked.  Though I haven’t treated myself to a subscription (though I plan to soon!), I cherish the magazine I have like a book; it was the Artists in Aprons special stitchery issue, and there was a particular article about MaryJane’s mother.  Helen was the type of mother I only aspire to be.  (Browse around the site.  You’ll probably fall in love like I did!)
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utasapron1.jpgIn the magazine, it said that when you’re wearing an apron,
people know you’re up to something.  So whether you’re in the garden, kitchen, craft room or garage, tie around an apron of your choice and let your creativity soar.

* * * * * *

Gifts are given, and below are the two aprons we gave to the daughters of the mom with the art apron above.  Interestingly enough, the aprons double nicely as a lovely cape, especially great for the fairy princess.  My four-year-old was playing with my camera and caught me gathering the top of the smaller apron.

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Stormy Day Card-making

The skies just darkened and the rain’s pouring down.  It’s a day to do some indoor craft-time but not ideal for being on the computer.  I have what feels like a billion cards to make, giving thanks and birthday wishes to many, so I’m going to do that in just a bit.

Share in the creative energy and spirit of getting things done.  I’ll post photos when they’re finished.  (Apparently my son feels it’s a good idea to seek shelter with the cat . . . on my leg.)

* * * *

A lot can be said for cards that look handmade; they come in handy for  last-minute engagements, especially for us procrastinatin’ folk.  Below, however, is my husband’s birthday card — handmade and hand-stamped, of course.

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Crafty Inspiration

For daily inspiration and to see what others are busily doing, Etsy is a one-stop shop.  It can also be your portal to selling your own goods.  Let me know if you do!

  • Craft Magazine:  You won’t believe what some people have the creativity and time to do!  This is thie site from which the others were found.
  • Hyena Cart:  Has some craftily-made things and are noted to be earth-friendly

This is certainly not an extensive list by any means, just a little bit of what I look at.  Feel free to share your sources of inspiration.  I don’t spend that much time perusing others’ wares, but there’s enough out there to keep you at the computer all day.  Let’s get away now and get to our own crafting!

Have a good one!

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Getting Crafts Done

Some people do “things,” but last night I did “crafts.”  I did round 2 of tie-dying, and I worked on our Earth Scouts display for the Living It Green Expo this weekend.  See, I’m trying not to wait until the last minute.  It’s important for us to pace ourselves in the good works we’re doing.  If only it could be done more within normal waking hours.  : )

Lessons from second tie-dye experience:

  • Being indoors made me more conscious of my mess.  I had to be indoors since it was rainy and dark outside.  Doing this was entirely possible only because all youth were asleep.  I would NEVER do this inside with all the kids around by myself!
  • Washing Soda instead of Soda Ash.  We used all the soda ash at our last hoorah, so I took the information from the site I found and used Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (that I had on hand from making laundry detergent).  As the site says, it takes considerable more soda because of the hydration content.  I’ll take their word for it.  The thing is, I won’t know how it turns out until Friday!  So, the verdict’s out until then.  We’ll probably go back to the soda ash for next time, and next time I’ll make sure not to be trying to make dinner when the clothes need to come out of the wash.
  • Gloves are highly recommended!  I just got rid of the last traces from the last experience, so I wasn’t about to go around with colored cuticles for another three weeks.  I don’t have latex allergies, so I just used some disposable rubber gloves — a pair for wringing out the soda wash and a pair for dying, simply because I’m lazy.  ; )
  • Branching out to larger items.  We’re dying a sheet I tore in half and have used for slab clay work.  It will be the table cover for the expo.  I used two spirals, one on each end, twisting until they came together.  I had folded the section in half, so if it turns out, I should have four pinwheels (what we fondly call them).

I’m still loving my Cricut machine.  I used it to cut out letters for our tri-fold display and posters.  The tri-fold will just be informational about Earth Scouts, and the posters will offer “eco-friendly ways to celebrate spring” per the tree hugging family blog.  Give it a look; it’s a great site.

Now that I’ve got some crafts done, it’s time to move on to the “things” on my list, which, I kid you not, is over a page long!  No stress, though.  Everything that needs to be done gets done in its own time.

I’ll post pictures of everything set up at the expo after this weekend.

Have a happy day!

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Easter Success and the Rest of the Dress

Let it suffice to say that Easter was pretty good this year, but as ever, I get another lesson on why I shouldn’t wait until the last minute.  The kids really enjoyed it, but, night-owl though I am, I do not enjoy staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning because of how I feel the next day.  I’ve actually considered buying an ’09 calendar and starting to fill in my commitments now as I go through these little lessons so I can at least try not to make the same mistakes again.  Something about planning one year out, though, doesn’t seem natural.  We’ll see.

easter_crafts.jpgYou can see the eggs I dyed.  (I know, I did it without the kids, but this year that was okay.  At least they had real eggs to find and make deviled eggs out of.  I should mention that the recipe I’m linking to isn’t one I follow.  Instead of vinegar and sugar, I just use sweet relish.)  I dyed the eggs the old-fashioned way with food coloring, vinegar and hot water.  I just followed the instructions on the food coloring box.  This is not necessarily preferred because of the artificial colors that make up the dye.  There are sites that have posts about using natural dyes, and I especially loved this one about making fabric eggs.  I wasn’t sadistic enough even to try it for this year.   : )

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While the eggs were boiling, I made a cake from packaged mix that my daughter had picked
out.  To spruce it up, I used some cherry preserves between the layers and a snazzy stencil I got from my best pal in Germany to make a bunny out of powdered sugar on top.  Mini chocolate chips make for eyes and nose to carry out the Peeps theme.  (I personally don’t like Peeps, but we have a ton of them.  I figured this was a good way to use them!)

easter_spread.jpgMany thanks again and again to aforementioned best pal in Germany for supplying us with at least a week’s supply of chocolates (understatement, even for the 6 of us!).  I let the Easter Bunny set it all out, so the kids had quite a spread to wake up to Easter morning.   Believe me, they woke up quite early.

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I managed to finish the dress Easter morning since we had attending the Easter Vigil the night before.  I made mistakes, but all in all, it makes for a nice dress.  Daughter said she feels like Cinderella, so I figure that translates into “I like it a lot.”  See a few more pictures that I added on making it at the original dress post.

I hope your spring is a good one.  As the sun shines, posts are going to be sporadic throughout the day.  Playgroups and gardening are time sensitive!  But there’s always time to write and to craft!

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Wee Little Critters . . . and “Zombie Bunnies”

tinas_monster.JPGSunday afternoon brought us our crafting time this past weekend.  Leave it to my ever-talented sister-in-law to bring in something delightfully creative.  My daughter likes to say she’s “the coolest aunt.”  So, thanks to the folks at Etsy for showing us some inspiring projects.  (If you haven’t heard of Etsy, go there . . . NOW.  You’ll visit often and maybe be inspired to start your own store.  It’s at least a great alternative for handmade gifts and a way to support artisans — if you’re not going to do it yourself.)

Some of our inspiring links —

Now, for our experience, it was made easy with some prep work by the “cool aunt.”

  • Sketch designs, trace onto paper for templates, cut out.
    craft_time.JPG (Envelopes with the picture on the outside housed the easily lost little pieces.)
  • Gather felt, buttons, thread, glue, scissors, needles, cotton balls/stuffing, paint, glitter, keychains, magnets, etc.
  • Cut out felt.
  • Assemble using felt/fabric glue and/or hand stitches, stuffing as need be.
  • Add embellishments.
  • Attach keychain, insert magnet or place atop popsicle stick.

Like I’m fond of saying, if you can see it, you can do it. 

Sharp, pointy scissors really make cutting the felt into little pieces loads easier.

zombie_bunny2.jpgGlitter on top of the red puff paint gives the bunny “blood” a  nice glimmer.

We ran out of time on Sunday, but I brought home a couple of bunny cut-outs to make some for my boys.  When I get those done, I’ll post in the comments.  Obviously, this project is for those old enough to wield scissors well, sew or at least be very patient and follow instructions well.  Thus, my making them for the boys!  The girls who did their own were 9-13 years old.

It’s a week for felt, I guess!  Thursday I’ll have another felt project to share, one not so graphic.  

Enjoy!

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Craft-T Days

Starting this week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’ll be sharing some sort of project of the day or recent past.  Hopefully you’ll be inspired yourself or will want me to make something for you!

This next week . . . pinatas, baby blankets and, of course, Valentine’s Day cards.

Stay tuned, and take care.

(Get it . . . craft-T days)  ; )

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