Monthly Archives: June 2012

Construction paper stones!


I first made these about 10 years ago, when john and I taught at a summer camp together.
The process is very simple, dig up some scraps of construction paper…

Cut a whole pile the same size. The more accurate you are in your cutting, the less sanding you have to do. I had the kids cut out a temple and trace their shape before cutting.

We poured the white glue into little disposable cups and glued the construction paper shapes together by dipping our finger in the glue and rubbing it on the paper. Don’t skimp on the glue, in this case, it’s better to use too much.

Repeat this about 30 times until the paper is layered to the thickness you want…

Here are the ones Dylan Sam and I made…they took about an hour to glue together…and we let them dry for about 4 days…

Then for the part that the kids were looking forward to… The sanding… We started with 150 grit, then 220 as we got closer to finishing. The technique that I found works the best is to sand all of the edges first…


Then, start sanding on an angle, so you can see all of the layers. I tried to show you the angle by sanding only two sides for this picture…


Keep sanding until the shapes look like you want them to. Notice that we did this outside, it does create a bit of dust, so we worked on the grass.

Here are the ones we finished sanding today…

Pretty neat eh?

The final step was to add a varnish or sealer, and for that step, clear nail polish works wonderfully. Be sure to seal the sides and back too. You can see how it brings out the colours in the photos.


And here they are finished…




Drying roses


I wrote a post a couple weeks ago about making rainbow roses, using my neighbors beautiful roses that post through to our side of the fence… Well thanks to my neighbors fantastic gardening skills, we have enjoyed the roses for a few weeks now. But when the petals start falling off, I just can’t let them drop to the ground. So every couple days, I go out and shake the roses to gather the petals.

I spread them out on a small cookie sheet on top of the toaster oven where it is warm, but not hot.

Here is what the petals look like after a couple days on top of the toaster…

I put the dried petals into a couple mason jars when they become dry and crunchy. By the time the petals have dried, I have collected some more petals to repeat the process.

I’m thinking I can use them to make soap, tea, potpourri, or use them in a craft…not sure yet, but I’ll let you know..

Zucchini “surprise”


I have my garden all planted, and the plants are all growing, but none ready to eat yet… But, I know in a month, I will be desperately looking for different ways to eat zucchini, and tomatoes…
I saw a version of this recipe online, so Sam and I decided to give it a try, with of course a few modifications…Samantha decided to name it zucchini surprise…
We started by grating two zucchinis…

Then we used a clean cloth to squeeze all of the excess water out of the zucchini…

We grated about a cup of cheddar cheese, added about 3/4 of a cup of bread crumbs, some vegeta for flavour, and two eggs…

Mixed it all together in a bowl than spooned it into muffin tins…

Cooked them in the oven at about 400 degrees, for about 20 minutes…

Until they are a golden brown…

They were pretty good! Next time I make them, I think I will try baking them on a cookie sheet so they are crunchy all of the way through. The outsides were crunchy in the muffin tins, but the insides were soft. I think they would be great crunchy all the way through.


Two minute, two dollar bandana top


This was seriously one of the easiest projects I have done yet! We were in the dollar store picking up stuff for Sam’s party, and saw these bandanas. I have seen dresses made out of bandanas that look really simple, so we thought we would try it out!
We bought two bandanas, and a roll of ribbon.

The plan was to side two side seams and a seam to gather the ribbon around the top for the neck.

We sewed from the bottom hem up the side seams up to about 2/3 the way up, leaving the top third open.

Then we sewed a seam turning over the top edges of both bandanas.

Then I threaded the ribbon through the seams at the top.

And, gathered the ribbon, and tied a bow at each shoulder.

That’s it! It literally took less than five minutes, and it cost about two dollars!


Recycling crayons


I have seen this idea a million times, now I can finally say That i have tried it!
My kids are at an age where they feel too mature for crayons, so our poor box of crayons has sat unused for months. So yesterday when the kids from across the street came over, I set them to work peeling the paper off our old crayons…

Peeling the paper off kept them busy for about 1/2 an hour, which was great, but there were crayon bits all over the kitchen! As they were peeling, we separated the crayons into colours in my mini muffin tins, as you can see in the above picture. We tried to find monochromatic colours and mixed a little light green with the yellow, and orange with the red. Etc.
Then I put the oven on about 325 degrees, and we put them in the oven, watched, and waited.

In about ten minutes, they were almost liquid…

I took them out oven, let them cool for a little bit, then put them into the fridge to cool. Here is what they looked like just out of the oven. I have to say I was a little worried that all of the colours had mixed together…

But when we popped them out of the tins, the bottoms looked much better!

We gave some to the neighbors, kept a few, and gave some to my nephew for his first birthday. These are so much easier to hold than a regular crayon for tiny hands. It was fun, I would like to try using a candy mold maybe…maybe you could melt one colour at a time tomake rainbow crayons…don’t worry… .I’ll keep you posted if I try it!

Balloon juggling balls


I have made my own bean bags before using lentils (what else do you do with lentils?) but Sam gave me an idea last night when she found a bag of balloons and started stuffing one with the rocks that she found in the garden…i had a few concerns with this idea for obvious reasons…
So, we compromised on using rice as a stuffing for the balloons. I think I saw this idea in Today’s Parent magazine….
The only rice I happened to have was basmati, so that is what we used…

We cut the tops off the balloons, right about the point where they start to widen…

Then, I stretched the balloon open while one of the kids poured about a quarter cup of rice in. Notice how we are doing this outside, we ended up making three balls, but we never actually figured out how to do this first step without loosing half of the rice when you let go of the balloon.
We did however figure out how to stuff more rice in after you let go of the balloon. You can pack quite a bit more rice into each balloon if you pack it down with your finger, then pour a little more in the top and repeat until the kids are bored…

Once the balloons are filled to the size you want, cut the ends off of three more balloons.

Then, stretch one of the balloons around the rice filled one. I figured these are made to be kicked around, so I actually added a third layer too, just to be sure….


To make the balls look really cool, take another balloon, and cut a few holes in different places…

Then, stretch it over the ball… (sorry, just realized I changed colours of the balloons)

And repeat with different colours, trying to overlap the holes so you can see through…


Look at the finished products!

The kids had a great time making them, but even better was the fact that they could play with them after!

Fortune cookies made out of foam…


Back by popular request…


After we made real fortune cookies, I did a little research on line and found instructions for paper fortune cookies, so I thought, why not make foam fortune cookies?

I am going to use this as a craft with the girl guides group I volunteer with, so these pictures are of the samples I made. I typed out a few fortunes, and cut them into strips to put inside, but I also cut some blank strips for kids to make up their own fortunes. I added photos of the fortunes I made when i baked fortune cookies with the kids too. These would be a lot of fun to personalize, and add some humour.


Start by cutting a circle. You can trace the top of a yogurt container, or just free hand cut a circle.

Fold the circle in half and add your fortune…

Now, this step is tricky the…

View original post 100 more words

Homemade deodorant


I have been making my own hand and body cream for over a year now, and I love it, I could never go back to store bought cream. I have had this recipe for deodorant for a while now, but decided to try it out this weekend. It is chemical free, great if you have allergies, or sensitive skin, and it is really easy to make! Only Three ingredients. Baking soda, corn starch, and virgin coconut oil.

I melted the coconut oil in a pot on the stove, on low heat. The great part is you can use your regular food pots because everything in this is actually edible! (note -for the record, i do not suggest eating it. It’s for your armpits!)
I poured the melted coconut oil into a plastic container and mixed it with three tablespoons of the baking soda, and three tablespoons of corn starch.

Then, I poured the mixture into a few small containers I had around…I bought a couple of the containers I used from the dollar store, they were labelled as salad dressing containers.

The next time I make this, I think it would be a whole lot easier to actually apply if I had saved an old deodorant container to use. I will also use a couple drops of essential oil to add some fragrance.
I have to admit that I haven’t used it every day, it has been really hot and humid, and I think I will save putting it to an extreme test until I am off on summer holidays (I’m sure the people I work with will thank me!) but it seems to have worked well on days where it hasn’t been too hot.
The other thing to note is that it does leave a white residue. I wouldn’t recommend using this when you are wearing a black tank top…The corn starch and baking soda are a little powdery.
The way I look at it is that even if I just use it a few days a week, it has got to be better for me than the store bought kind!

Food colouring roses


We are lucky enough to have some beautiful roses growing in our backyard, ok, well actually, we are lucky enough to have neighbors who grow beautiful roses that poke through our side of the fence in the backyard! Lol. Btw I can’t tell you how excited I am that they have just planted a cherry and peach tree too….right beside our fence!
Anyways, my general strategy with growing my neighbors roses is to let them poke through the fence until they bloom, then cut them off and put them on our kitchen table.
So today was no different, except for the fact that I made a trellis to support the rose branches on our side of the fence, before I cut a few of the flowers. Dylan and I picked off the thorns and planted them in water. Then, we got the idea to try to add some food colouring to the water.
Here are the roses…

We added red food colouring…

We added about 20 or so drops of colour to the water…

But, then we thought, wouldn’t it be cool if we added TWO colours! So I used a knife to slit the stem in half, then got a couple small glasses with a couple tablespoons of water…

The kids added red to one glass and blue to another glass..



I had to use a BBQ skewer to hold up the rose with a twist tie, but here is what it looked like after an hour…

And here is what it looked like by the morning!

The kids were so excited! The other roses in the larger vase with just the red food colouring was a really subtle change, I think it is because there was a lot more water, and not as much colouring…I think in this case, it needs a lot of colouring.
We decided we want to try another one with four different colours, I think I am going to have to sneak some miracle grow into the neighbors backyard… We need more roses! I’ll post again when we try it… I wonder if it would work with different leaves or flowers….

Healthy granola and rice crispy square hybrid squares…yum.


If a rice crispie square had a baby with a chocolate granola bar, it would taste like these bars! Yummy!

I have always been good at rationalizing my food choices. For example, if I eat an organic salad with homemade balsamic dressing for lunch, it’s ok if I eat McDonald’s for dinner, because it balances out… Right?
You can look at these bars with the same logic, they are made with a little brown sugar, honey, organic oats, hemp hearts, and flax seeds… And that balances out the fact that I also added butter, rice crispies, chocolate chips, and marshmallows…right?
Well, they have got to be a little bit better for you than plain rice crispie squares! That’s the way I see it! Let’s call it optimism!

To make these, I started by melting a couple tablespoons of butter along with brown sugar and honey.

Once that had melted a little, I added the marshmallows…

I stirred until everything melted, then I added the oats, hemp, flaxseed, and rice crispies. I added a few tablespoons at a time until it became very hard to stir…

Then, I let it sit for a minute and lined a pan with waxed paper. Then I mixed in a couple handfuls of chocolate chips, and quickly poured it into a pan before the chocolate chips could totally melt…

And I packed down the mixture in the pan with my hands (greased up with a little butter first)

Finally, I picked up the wax paper to take them out of the pan, and cut them into squares, while they were still soft and warm.

Then I let them cool…

Mmmmmmm… And the best part is they are fifty percent guilt free! Lol.