Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Pilgrim Mom and Baby Craft

Here's a twist on the toilet paper tube aliens we made back in December 2010.  Pilgrims!  With babies! 

Happy pilgrim playdate with two mommies and their babies
Alien variation instructions are here:

Why I like this craft:
I went for the traditional Pilgrim (inspired by South Park and the WeeMee iPhone app).  My daughter copied mine and added a pink princess twist. 

What you need:
  • toilet paper tubes
  • adhesive card stock
  • googly eyes
  • scissors
  • jewels for the princess look
  • glue stick
  • tape
  • crayons or markers 

Widdy, biddy baby pilgwims
For the pilgrim babies: 
Cut a toilet paper tube in half to make a short body.  Cover in cardstock and tape it shut at the back.
Cut a head out of card stock and tape it on the back side.
The short cotton swab arms on the baby crack me up.  Make the slit for the arm extra big and poke one cotton swab all the way through the front of the toilet paper tube.

For the pilgrim mommies:
Cover a toilet paper tube in card stock and tape it shut in the back.
Cut a head out of card stock and tape it on the back side.
Cut out clothes and shoes and sleeves and attach them to the body. 
Poke the hole in the toilet paper tube last and insert one end of the cotton swab.  Attach card stock sleeves with tape. 

Now go eat some some turkey and pumpkin pie!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Indian Corn Thanksgiving Slice-N-Bake Cookies

I recently found a new hobby of making my own slice-n-bake cookies.  Land O' Lakes' recipe for Sparkling Candy Corn Cookies sparked this inspiration.  You can make adorable cookies in vast amounts without having to spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen.  Plus, you hardly need any ingredients.  Ever since making Candy Corn and Frankenstein (see pictures at the end of this post) cookies for Halloween, I've started to conjure up ideas for Christmas cookies, but I still have a few weeks until I start that baking.  However, this week is Thanksgiving and I wanted to try out an idea I had.  Tonight my son and I made some Indian Corn cookies to share with his Kindergarten class.

I realize I really need to learn how to use my camera. But, you get the idea of how adorable these cookies are!

Age: 5+

Time: 10 minutes to make the dough, 35 minutes to assemble the 'dough canes', at least 2 hours to refrigerate the dough, and 8 minutes to bake.

Cleanup: I think slice-n-bake cookies leave a whole lot less mess than your typical cutout cookies.  10 minutes to clean up the dishes, and a least 5 more minutes to get the food coloring off of your hands.

What You Need:
  • Cookie dough (I really like this recipe from Land O' Lakes)
  • Green, yellow, and red food coloring
  • Plastic wrap
  • Knife
  • Oven
  • Sugar
Why I Like This Craft:
I am by no means a baker, as I always need recipes to bake sweet treats. However, I do love to get creative when making cookies.  My kids both love helping in the kitchen, but cutout cookies are a bit fragile in the hands of a 2 and 5 year old.  These slice-n-bake cookies let the kids play with the dough as if it was Play-Doh.  What kid doesn't like rolling snakes? 

Step 1: Dye the Dough
My son now requests to pose in the pictures.
Split the dough in thirds.  Dye 1/3 green and 1/3 yellow.  Divide the final 1/3 in half.  Dye 1 half orange, leave the remaining white.  I was a mean mom and didn't let my son dye the dough.  I like to use gel food coloring, and it's pretty potent.  I had visions of him sitting at the Thankgiving table with green dye still on his forehead.

Step 2: Make a Bunch of Snakes
My son did the majority of this step.  I did help him out, but he was more than eager and more than capable of making a bunch of dough snakes.  Roll the snakes about 10 inches in length with about 1/4 diameter.  Stack them randomly into 2 piles.
It's ok if the snakes break.  Just pinch them back together.
I know, these aren't pretty.
Step 3: Smooth and Roll
Roll each of the logs (I think in the crafting world, these are referred to a 'canes') until the snakes become smooth and the log is about 18".
See, he loves the model his masterpieces.
Step 4: Cut & Stack the Corn Cobs
Cut each of the logs in half and stack the halves on top of one another.  You should still have 2 logs when complete.
2 not so pretty logs.  These are the corn cobs.
Step 5: Add the Corn Husk
Split the green dough into quarters.  Use 2 quarters per log.  Roll each out into a fat snake and attach it to the yellow corn cob.  Gently pinch the green dough so it completely covers the bottom of the yellow dough.  I also slighly pinched the yellow dough to form a ridge along the length of the log.
Pinch the green dough

Side view.  It doesn't look pretty now, but it looks better when cut.
Step 6: Wrap the Logs of Dough
Wrap the logs of dough in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  You won't be able to easily slice the dough if it's not firmed up.  This dough is pretty soft.

Step 7: Slice-N-Bake!
With your oven set to 375 degree, pull the logs out of the fridge and slice them into 1/4 inch pieces.  Beware, the end pieces tend to look a little ugly.  Toss each cookie into sugar and place on a cookie sheet.  I like to use parchment paper to make sure the bottoms get perfectly golden.  This single recipe makes about 8 dozen mini-cookies.  I baked mine for 9 minutes.
1/4 inch pieces
Dusted in sugar and ready to bake.
I might adjust my technique the next time I make these, but I think this was a good start.  I think I need better shaping for the husks.  Lesson learned for next time.  Now, I can't wait to try out my ideas for Christmas designs!  Here's what I did for Halloween:
Frankenstein and Candy Corn Slice-N-Bake cookies!
Have fun and good eats!
-Rose @-}---

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Monster Dancing Clothes!

Remember those days when you had a tiny little baby and you had to pack up or give away perfectly pristine clothes every three months?

Those days are over at my house. 

My kid has been climbing and running and falling down in some of her clothes for two years now and they are full of holes.  This past week I've found holes in three pairs of pants, two shirts, a dress, and a pair of shoes. 

You know what that means.

Time to get all Incredible Hulk and let her rip them off her tiny muscular body and bedazzle them!

We busted out the scissors, glitter glue, and googly eyes to make some fancy ripped up clothes with monster faces.  I can't describe the fantastic dances that were inspired by the fluttering sleeves and exposed legs.  It was a whirlwind!

Age:  3+ depending on how fancy you want the end product.  I don't mind if mine end up in the trash tomorrow.  What the heck, let the almost-2 year olds play, too!

Time:  about half an hour plus time to dry the glue overnight.

Cleanup:  pretty easy, about 5 minutes to wipe up the glue and wash hands.

What you need:
  • Old clothes or shoes, the more stains and holes the better
  • Scissors
  • Glitter glue, acrylic paint or permanent markers
  • Paint brush or cotton swabs
  • Googly eyes
  • Privacy so your kid can strip off the clothes to paint after cutting them up

Why I like this craft:
1) It feels incredibly naughty and fun to rip up your own clothes (you will have to decide for yourself if your kid is capable of restraining herself from ripping up clothes you don't intend to turn into monster dancing apparel.  My kid is pretty trustworthy.  Famous last words, right?)
2) I hate throwing away anything that might possibly ever maybe sort of have a useful crafty afterlife.  I don't mind throwing away finished preschooler craft projects.
3) It was a great craft to do before bedtime so we could let the clothes dry undisturbed overnight. 

Step 1:
Cut and rip up the old clothes.  It's particularly exciting to rip the clothes starting at the holes instead of using scissors.  But scissors add extra danger and excitement.  For heaven's sake don't give your kid pointy scissors to use next to their skin!  This calls for blunt tips.
Make sure you rip at least one sleeve or leg up the side so it flutters around when they're dancing later. 

Step 2:
Take off the clothes and start decorating!  My kid decorated the bejezus out of the inside of her shoe and filled it with glitter glue and googly eyes.  Cute and sparkly, but not very comfortable to walk on.  Plus I had to hide my chagrin at seeing our entire supply of googly eyes covered in glue so I started plopping pairs of them on the old clothes.  Then I added a mouth.  And some eyelashes.  And some eyebrows.  Then my kid started adding mouths.  And eyelashes.  And noses.  And big globs of pink glitter that she said looked just like brains (they really did!)  And big globs of blue that somehow ended up in her hair...

Step 3: 
Use the paint brush or cotton swabs to thin out the thickest globs of glue if you want it to dry quickly.  Leave the brain shaped globs if you have a full 24 hours or more to let it dry. 

Step 4:
Put the clothes back on and dance, dance, dance.