Thursday, December 13, 2012
Personally, I prefer to donate money to a class fund to purchase a gift card or some other group gift. That way I don't have to worry about gifts.
This year, being short on time, I just had the kids help me put together some gifts with things we already had at the house.
We made snowmen containers from old peanut butter jars and DH's old socks. The cuff on the socks made great snowmen hats! I got the idea from here.
I also found some directions for a felt owl ornament from Juicy Bits. I put the front of the owls together and each of the kids sewed and stuffed an owl.
The kids also helped me make chocolate covered pretzels. We bagged those up and put them in the snowman jars along with the ornament. The kids made cards using clipped images from last year's wrapping paper.
I made gift bags from newspaper. We put the gifts in the bags and decorated with paper snowflakes. The red ribbon was from a gift my daughter received the other day at her class holiday party.
I might be just nuts or cheap or both, but I love reycling or finding new ways to use old things. I hang onto anything I think might be useful down the line. DH thought I cut up a pair of his perfectly good socks for the snowman hats. I told him they were socks he had discarded because they were worn out. I just never threw them out. What do you know, they actually did come in handy...lol.
Newspaper Gift Bags
Felt owl ornaments
Card decorated with clippings from previous year's wrapping paper
Monday, November 26, 2012
I donated some used gift bags. I also donated some bows made from magazines and some gift bags made from newspaper. My kids helped me make and decorate the bags. They were so fun to make.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Thursday, August 23, 2012
The last batch of homemade stuff I made had to be scooped out of each container, and it was just gross. I kept all my original Play-Doh containers so that I have containers in which to put the new homemade play dough.
So back to the original problem…gooey dough. I think I finally have a solution to non-gooey play dough. This stuff actually resembles the store bought brand. At least it's the closest I've come. The solution was so simple it was almost ridiculous. Just add less water. I make Chinese dumplings all the time and realized that the 2 cups of flour to 1 cup of water would probably be appropriate ratio for the play dough recipe as well. This ratio makes for a really nice pliable dough.
I didn't want to have to cook to make play dough so I really was wanting a non-cook recipe. The salt is important but I didn’t like the recipes that called for a ridiculous amount of salt (1 or more cups). I think too much salt makes the texture of the play dough grainy. That and I think it’s a waste of perfectly good salt. Overall, I am really liking this recipe. There is no cooking involved and it's really simple. Most people already have all the ingredients in their cupboards.
Non-Gooey Play Dough
2 cups flour
2 Tbs. Vegetable oil
1/2 cup salt
2 Tbs. Cream of Tartar
1 cup hot or warm water (I did not use boiling water)
Gel food coloring
I mixed all the dry ingredients together. Then I drizzled the vegetable oil over the mixture. After that I added about 3/4 cups of the water. As I kneaded the dough, I added a little more water as needed. You really shouldn’t need more than 1 cup of water. The dough might seem a little stiff at first, but it should become more soft and pliable as you knead. It also helps to let the dough sit for a couple of minutes before kneading again. I used gel food coloring since the liquid food coloring just adds more moisture to the dough.
I will try and remember to blog again in a month or so about how this play dough has held up. So far it has been a couple of days and no gooey mess. The kids have played with it a lot and so far so good.
If anyone has a recipe for homemade play dough that holds up well under humid conditions, I would love to try it out. Until I can find a better substitute, I think this will be my recipe of choice.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose white flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
4 Tbsp. Canola oil
2/3 cups water
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter (softened)
2/3 cup milk
I mix the dry ingredients together first. Then I put in the butter and milk and mix it all up with a fork. There is no need to knead the mixture. Make 9 small balls (just pat the dough together) and put on a greased baking sheet. Brush the tops of the biscuits with a little bit of milk. Put in the oven at 220C for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Back in August, I posted about planting some chili pepper seeds and green onions in plastic buckets. Well, months and months later, we finally have chili peppers! I’m not sure what the variety is, but the peppers are a mixture of slightly sweet and spicy. The package said it was a hot pepper, but milder than other varieties. I tried planting a couple of other things, but they didn’t turn out so well.
The green onions do well in the plastic buckets as has kang kung (green leafy vegetable). Sadly, my tomatoes grew some kind of fungus and died without ever producing fruit. The strawberries never even sprouted, and the pumpkin sprout died. Of all the things we have planted, the chili peppers have been the most successful. The kids think it is pretty fun to harvest the chili peppers. They also enjoy going out with a pair of scissors to cut green onions for me. Although it’s pretty tiny, it’s nice to have our own little garden.