Monthly Archives: February 2013

Most Popular Internet Healthy Granola Bars


Once again, the more you research, the more you get confused, but I googled, “the healthy granola bar”, and a version of this granola bar recipe was on several different websites, so I thought I would give it a try. It has to be better than those quaker granola bars the kids eat!

You need whatever of the following ingredients you can find…
2 cups of rolled oats
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 cup of wheat germ (I used wheat bran…is that the same thing???)
1/2 cup flax seed (ground)
2/3 cup of hemp seed (I added this in because I had it)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon (I reduced this a bit)
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp molasses (Which I didn’t have so I added 2 tbsp of agave nectar…same thing, right?)
1 cup apple sauce

Start by toasting the oats by stirring them on medium heat in a dry pan for 5 minutes, as you can see, I had a trusty helper as usual…


Then, mix all the dry ingredients together, then mix the wet to the dry. As you can see, my first helper got bored of stirring, so I acquired another helper who just came in from outside playing with Dad.

Once it is thoroughly mixed, pat it into a 9×12 pan with a fork.

OK, I have to confess, with all the flax seed, wheat germ, oats, I slipped in a few chocolate chips and cranberries before it went in the oven…hey, I never said I was perfect!


As you can see, I lined the pan with some parchment paper and left it hanging out on either side. This way, I avoid having to scrub the pan, and the excess paper can be used to lift it out of the pan when it comes out of the oven.
Then bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes

Here is what it looked like right out of the oven

I let them cool for a couple minutes, then lifted them out and cut it into bars while they were still warm. If you let them cool too much, they will be too hard to cut, so cut them while they are warm!


After they had totally cooled, I used the extra parchment and some waxed paper to wrap them so I could pop them into lunch bags for snacks…

The kids seemed to like them, it’s funny how they like anything they help making. They were chewy, a little sweet, and not bad tasting. I will admit that they weren’t my favourite, but I would make them again, just because I know what’s in them, and we can eat them guilt free!

How to Make touchscreen gloves in 3 minutes


I have no idea how this works, but did you know that metallic thread can convert a regular pair of gloves into touchscreen gloves? Last year I spent $40.00 on the cheapest pair that had holes in them within a few weeks.
All you need is a pair of gloves, some metallic thread, and a needle.

Because the thread was so thin, I folded in half, then threaded the needle so that I was actually sewing with four threads.

I turned the glove inside out so that my knot was on the inside, and because I am right handed, I used the index finger of the right glove.

Then, I sewed a little starburst design on the fingertip.

Knotted and cut off the thread from the inside, and that’s it! You just saved yourself $40.00!


Valentine’s Garland


Happy valentines day! I have been sick with that horrible cold that has been going around, but I can finally think straight again, so I will share a Valentine’s day project I made last week.
Every month to decorate my library, I am always looking for quick and easy projects. It’s even better if the projects are easy enough for kids to help!
This idea is quick, easy, and really cute! I used a recycled encyclopedia, but you could use any paper…anything from newspaper to scrapbooking paper would work.
I started by ripping a few pages out of an encyclopedia. Cutting the paper into strips would be easy to do with a paper cutter, but I just had scissors, so I cut about 5 pages at a time. I started by cutting a bunch of strips lengthwise. I didn’t measure, I just cut the strips about an inch wide.

Then I cut a bunch of strips the width of the paper.

So, you should end up with two piles of strips of paper…

Then staple four strips together, put the two short strips on the outside, so they are in this order.

Then stack them in a pile so the ends are even, and staple them together like this…

Next, fold the strips over so that they form the bottom of the heart, like this…

Before you staple the bottom of the heart closed, add a long strip and a short strip to each side. The short strips should be on the outsides.

Then staple all of the strips together like this…

After that, bend the strips over to make another heart, make sure to make them even on the bottom..

Then, just like before, add another short strip and a long strip to the outside, then staple.

Before long, you will end up with a great looking chain!
I made my chains four hearts long and I hung them in the windows of my library. It’s hard to take a good photo, but here is the best I could do, I think you get the idea!


When I got home, I thought I would try out the same idea, but with nicer paper. Off course, the kids wanted to try too, so here are their creations. As you can see, Dylan made a long chain, but Samantha ended up making a heart person…




Melted Plastic Bag Valentine Pins!

Melted Plastic Bag Valentine Pins!

In my quest to find and endless supply of craft ideas to occupy our every spare moment in our house, I came across this website with an idea I had never seen before… art made from melted plastic bags!!
Alpha Mom Website

The craft project was to make felt patches or pins by drawing on plastic bags, then ironing them onto felt. No way! I didn’t know you could iron plastic bags! We HAD to try this idea!
So, we dug up an old plastic bag, some polar fleece (the closest thing I could find to felt), and some Sharpie Markers…

We started by cutting a plain white plastic bag into small pieces, and I gave each of the kids a couple pieces to play around with…

They started drawing their own designs. Sam drew a teddy, and Dylan designed a car.


The kids found it a little tricky drawing on the plastic because it was a little slippery, but larger pieces of plastic were easier to colour. Since it was so close to Valentine’s day, I thought we would also design a few hearts. So we coloured a few hearts on the plastic, then cut the polar fleece a little larger than the heart.

This is important: to iron your plastic bag artwork, you have to use parchment paper between the plastic bag and your iron. It must be parchment paper, do not use waxed paper, because waxed paper will melt!
OK, I’ve warned you. So, we put a layer of parchment paper on top of the plastic bag heart and fleece fabric…

And ironed it for about a minute at the highest heat setting.

It worked! The plastic melted and bonded perfectly to the fabric! The bag melted evenly and adhered itself without bubbling or wrinkling. It looked great, but should mention that I am not sure it could withstand a washing.
Also, I would irresponsible if I didn’t mention at this point that you should do the ironing in an area with lots of ventilation, I can’t imagine that this would be too healthy to breathe in for prolonged periods of time.
After making and ironing a few hearts, I thought it might be easier for the kids if we ironed first, then coloured. So we drew a bunch of heart outlines on the plastic bag, roughly cut them out, then ironed them onto the fabric. I only ironed enough for the plastic to stick to the fabric.

Then, we coloured the hearts in, and ironed them again. It was just easier when the plastic was secured in place.

Then we cut the hearts out…

I was really pleased with the way they turned out! After ironing, the plastic does stick to the parchment, but we learned to wait until it has cooled before peeling it off. If you peel it off when it is hot, the colour peels off as well, but if you wait until it has cooled, the colour will be much brighter.
We decided that we wanted to make these into pins, so I cut out a bunch of circles of felt,

And used a glue gun to attach a safety pin to the back of each one.

Then, I started to think that maybe they would look nicer, and be more durable with some stitching around the perimeter. So I stitched a blanked stitch around a few. Here is what they look like finished…

We ended up making over twenty of them! So, I made another collage photo, and we attached the pins to the photos.

In the past, the kids have made small things and given them out at my Grandfather’s retirement home, or we have gone to visit my Great Aunt, and made some special deliveries to friends in her building. Aunt Isabel, are you free for a visit this weekend? We have some free time on Saturday!

I would highly recommend this idea. It was easy to do, didn’t require any special materials, and the finished product is really cute. I think I am going to do this with my Brownie group too!

Dream Catcher with a Modern Twist and a Little Bling-Bling

Dream Catcher with a Modern Twist and a Little Bling-Bling

I volunteer as the leader for the Girl Guides with Samantha every Wednesday night, so some of the crafts we try out at home, we do with the Brownies after. In this case, I wanted to make a sample to show the Brownies. I thought it would be fun to make dream catchers, but I also thought that they would be cuter if we updated the idea a little, and gave them a little sparkle!
To make a “modern dream catcher”, you need some yarn, a metal hoop, a few rhinestones and feathers.
I started with a full ball of yarn, I didn’t cut it because I didn’t want a knot in the middle, but tying it is not a problem if you need to. The first step is to cover the outside of the hoop with the yarn. Basically, you are just tying a knot around the hoop. Do this by bringing the yarn across the loop…

Then, bring the end through the middle and pull tight.

Repeat tying all the way around until the metal hoop is totally covered with yarn.

After covering the entire ring, I decided to attach a loop to hang it from, so I made a braided cord by making a loop, like a slip knot. You make a loop, then pull another loop through the loop, and pull it tight, and repeat until it is the length you want.

Then, to make the inside of the dreamcatcher, you loop the yarn the same way as you did around the outside. The trick is to evenly space the loops, and pull tight.

Then pull each loop tight…and keep looping around the center of each string.

And keep going around…

Until you get to the middle, then tie a knot…

Then, I tied on a few feathers to the end of the yarn.

Then I glued on a few rhinestones with a hot glue gun.

All done!



Samantha’s Magnetic Magic Show

Samantha’s Magnetic Magic Show

Samantha’s homework this weekend was to make a toy with a force. Part of her homework was to share how she made it. The kids are constantly saying, “You should put this on your blog!” For this project, Sam had to explain how she made it, so I thought, why not let her write a blog? So…..I would like to introduce my special guest blogger for today… 8 year old daughter……SAMANTHA!!!! So I’m passing control of my ipad over to her…From here on… it’s all Samantha!


Hi my name is Samantha and I am going to tell you how to make a magnet magic set (that uses forces). The plan i came up with was to use a magnet wand to magically pick up a spoon, but then I realized that spoons are not that magnetic. The spoon kept dropping from my magnet so I put it into a container to catch it. Then I decided not to use a spoon at all, just to use two plain old magnets. But then, we decided to decorate the magnets to make it more like a magic trick, so it looks like something is flying.

So here is how you can make your own magic trick. First you will need: tape,magnets, markers, sticks made out of wood, and also a container.
To make the wand, place a magnet on the top of the stick and wrap the tape around.

This is what it looks like!

The next step is to design what you want to make fly, and i drew myself.

Then you cut your figure out like this…..

After that you glue or tape your figure to a magnet.

When you are finished that, you draw a picture for the background and colour it.

The next step is to tape the background on to the container…

…After that place your figure inside and the wand at the back and PLAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To make it move you just drag the wand around the back of the container where you want your figure to move. To make it seem like magic, you could say some magic words.

Remember I told you that this magic set uses forces? Now I will explain what forces it uses and how. The first force I knew was magnetic force or magnetism because we are using magnets to make it move (and so it’s magical). When I was playing with this magic set, I realized it has two other forces. It has friction because the magnet is rubbing against the background and it has gravity because when when you hold it up, the magnet pushes the gravity so the magnet goes up against gravity.
I hope my class likes my magic trick when they get to see it!
Guess what? Dylan made one too! He made a race track and it looks like this:

Here is mine…

Oh, I forgot to mention that if you want to make different tricks, you can just draw another background.