Archive for the ‘holiday’ Category

Pretty Plastic Eggs

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

It’s 3 days before Easter, and no, we haven’t gotten around to dying any real eggs yet…yes, there are about 3 dozen extra eggs in the fridge for that sole purpose, but is it just me or is the whole dying eggs thing quite messy and time consuming.  Which is ok, except that you can’t keep the eggs indefinitely, and so we end up not eating half of them, and the half we do eat become egg salad which gets old after the 3 day of having it for lunch.

So for an easier (and less messy) project to keep the kids busy the other day, we dug out the permanent markers and plastic (egg hunt) eggs and decorated those.

I like them.  Not only did it liven up the eggs, but it kept the kids busy over an hour without needing my help.

So if you want to occupy the kids over the holiday weekend, just give them some markers and plastic eggs and relax.  (or do all that cooking, baking and egg hiding and holiday stuff you have to do without interruption.)

Making Peanut Butter Eggs

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Forget that the house isn’t decorated, and we haven’t dyed a single egg yet…and then there’s the girls Easter dresses that I havne’t even started, and yes Easter is only a week away…

…Rather than do any of that, we decided to try something new and make candy eggs yesterday.

This is a simple project, but definitely not quick.  In fact, we actually only got about one-third of the eggs completely finished yesterday.  There’s about 70 more left to dip in chocolate today.  But it is alot of fun for the kids, and the eggs are very tasty and much much cheaper than store bought candy eggs.

To start, you only need a few simple ingredients.

1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter

1 8oz. package of Cream Cheese

1 1/2 cups of Creamy Peanut Butter (about 1container)

2 pounds of Powdered Sugar (yes 2 whole pounds…it is candy after all)

1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp. Salt

24 oz Milk Chocolate or Semi Sweet Chocolate (for dark chocolate eggs) Chips

Mix the softened butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl.   Add about half of the confectionary sugar one cup at a time then add the peanut butter, vanilla and salt.  Mix well and then with a wooden spoon (and then your hands), mix in the rest of the powdered sugar one cup at a time.

Place the mixture in the refrigerator or freezer to harden the dough.

Form the peanut butter mixture into egg shapes (the dough is very easy to work with and not sticky) and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.  Then refrigerate again for at least an hour.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave, adding a bit of shortening if it needs to be thinned.  Dip the eggs about two thirds into the chocolate then spread the chocolate over the rest of the egg with a knife so that the chocolate coating is not too thick. 

Place the finished eggs back on the wax paper till the chocolate has hardened.

Store in an airtight container and try not to eat too many at once.

NOTES:

The kids really enjoyed making these, and were thrilled to find out they could make their own candy.  They’re even more thrilled that there are now about 100 peanut butter eggs in the house for consumption. 

For cute (and inexpensive/green) packaging wrap each of 12 eggs in a small piece of plastic wrap and place them in an egg carton.  Tie the egg carton with a big bow.

Easy Painted Eggs

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Ok, so truth be told, I planned on making newspaper Easter Eggs for us to paint this year.  Newspaper eggs like these newspaper beads we made a few months ago.

But, alas, I can guarantee we won’t get around to doing that this year, so I opted for the easy way out. 

We purchased some wood eggs and some brown paper eggs at the craft store and painted those with our stash of acrylic paints.

I think they turned out pretty cute.  Coming up with designs is always the hard part….and we still have more to do.

And in case you’re wondering, the speckled eggs were done using a dry toothbrush with some paint and then pull back on the bristles with your thumb and let go.  The paint will splatter finely like you see on the photos.

What are some quick last minute Easter crafts you’re doing?…I’d love to try some and share the links!

Oh… don’t you just love the ladybug fabric.   It has clovers on it so it was considered a ‘St. Patrick’s Day’ design and was half price at Joann’s this week!

Carpatho Rusyn Christmas

Friday, January 8th, 2010

We celebrated Christmas yesterday, according to the Julian calendar.

It’s more church, and few gifts (we do most gifts on the 25th), and it’s our family’s official end to the holiday season….

…Now what will I do, now that I don’t have the holiday excuses not to work on all the projects I’m supposed to be doing.

Happy Winter!

Foam Photo Ornaments

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

These were a fun way to keep the kids occupied yesterday.  They loved making them and getting to go through pictures from the last few months to choose just the right one for their ornament.

They’ll hang on this year’s tree a little while then get packed away for next year, when we’ll marvel at how big they gotten since ‘last year’.

We used craft foam, scissors, favorite recent photos, glue sticks, ribbon or fabric for the ties,  a permanent marker to write the year and a hole punch.

The one extra thing we do is to cut a matching piece of foam for on the back to secure the picture in place better and to make it look more finished.

Happy Crafting!

Recycled Tin Punch Ornaments

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Ever since Jarod made this neat Tin Punched Car at church last month I’ve been working on ideas for making some punched things for Christmas.

Frozen orange juice lids (the cross design), those round metal ends that come off the package of crescent rolls (the star design), and canning lids (the snowman) made for some fun ornaments of different sizes.   And for kids, they all have smooth edges that won’t cut fingers.  

We started by drawing a design on the lid in pencil and then we tapped a nail 2 to 3 imes for each hole, along the drawing.

After the design was punched we spray paint the lids in gold or silver and then added embellishments with a glue gun, color with permanent markers and acrylic paint and on some we had to add glitter, of course.

The kids loved making these, and are already working on more designs for our tree.   As soon as our tree is up (I have two weeks yet), I’m sure they’ll look beautiful hanging with lights glittering through the holes. 

Christmas Packaging from Upcycled Pasta Boxes

Friday, November 27th, 2009

As I sit here thinking that it’s early for me to start our Christmas packaging, but in the dark recesses of my mind, I also know that every year I think it’s early and then all of a sudden it’s a day or two before Christmas and I’m in frantic mode .  

So we started our Christmas boxes this week, and since we give lots of food we thought these boxes would be perfect.  There’s a little window to show through the mixed nuts or candies or cookies that are tucked inside in a sealed plastic bag.

Trying to be green (and frugal) we used all recycled stuff. 

Pasta Boxes (ours had the window on the bottom but many have the window at the top or middle which I think would be cuter)

Old Wrapping Paper, Construction Paper, Tissue Paper, and Magazine Pages in the color that we needed.  Some ribbon and Mod Podge.

Oh… And a stapler to attach the ribbon handle at the top sides.

For bigger recycled gift boxes ideas check out this post.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Be thankful… 

and have a very Blessed Thanksgiving.

Festive Fall Jars

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

I needed some fall decoration for the table .

I had no time, and even less ambition but lots jars (recycle) and fabric (go figure).

The original plan was to have them on a platter like this….but I like them lined up too.  Now I’m not sure which to do.  Maybe I should put up a shelf somewhere that I could line them up on.

The bonus to this 5 minute decoration was that it cleared some of the bags of dried goods from my pantry.   The jars contain walnuts, red skin peanuts, yellow and dark raisins, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds.

Homemade Robot Costume

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

There’s nothing like a completely upcycled Halloween costume to make you feel thrifty.

Combine a box, a black plastic flowerpot, buttons, toilet paper and paper towel tubes, an old cd and some pipe cleaners and we had for a very happy robot.  (I know he doesn’t look real happy on the photo…so you’ll just have to trust me).   

 The initial modeling of the costume had to be done by Alexandra…because, well, she wanted to try it on first.

We used toilet paper tubes cut in half on the top of the body to secure the head in place without having to glue it.   I didn’t want to mess with trying to glue the head to the body, and I wanted Jarod to be able to take the head off without having to remove the whole costume.

An old cd, buttons, and the painted tubes made for the knobs and gadgets.

All in all it looked pretty good, too good in fact, since both the girls want one after Halloween so they can all play robot family.