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28 February 2011

Tempering the good with the bad...

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Flax seed is good.  Marshmallows...not so much.  

I want my boys to eat flax seed.  They aren't going to do it unless some marshmallows are involved.

So, I temper the good with the bad and hope the ratio will work out so their little bodies are healthy and happy.  These "treats" are packed full of good things, but they are similar enough to rice krispies treats that the kiddos think they are a treat. 

There is no "recipe" really.  
Just a formula.  

You need a binder and sweetener (marshmallows, honey) and some fat (butter).  Then you add in all your good stuff.  

Start with the bad stuff though...bury 1/2 stick of butter or so and a half bag of marshmallows in a non-stick pot and put in on med-high on the stove.  You don't want the marshies to burn, so stay close to the stove.  (Feel free to adjust quantities...you need about 1 part bad stuff for 2 parts good...)

Then, you collect all of the good stuff.  
This time I had cranberries, sunflowers seeds, flax meal and oats.  
Oats are the constant, as is some type of dried fruit, but otherwise, 
mix in any grain and seed and healthy bits you want your kids to eat.


The marshies take a few minutes to loosen up and melt, but once they start, 
it will happen quickly and you need to stir constantly while they fully melt.


The butter melts at first, then your marshies will be covered in melted butter (YUM!) 
and then in an instant it will break and become a white mixture akin to marshmallow fluff.  
At this point, quickly TAKE IT OFF OF THE HEAT and dump in all your good stuff and STIR right away.


 The mixture will ball up pretty quickly in the pot.  If it doesn't, you need to add more binder...

Tip the finished ball out into a greased pan.


 Spread it out a bit and wait for it to cool.  


We just take to it with fingers and spoons, but if you would like to be civilized, 
either make a bigger batch or use a smaller pan to hold the bars.  
When they are fully cooled, you can cut them into actual bars. 

25 February 2011

Cutting Boards and Trivets = Clipboards and Corkboards in my World

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The last of the IKEA Hacks!  ...at least for now...

This is one of the simplest hacks I've done, but one of my favorites.  
It is a drawer front (from a dresser I believe), and the best part is the angled top which will hold a writing utensil nicely once it is hung on the wall.  

This board has the same angled top, but I added cork trivets as cute circular corkboards for a change of pace.  
Those little rosettes are attached to pins, so they can be removed (maybe grey is more your style?)

I also used a trivet on a cutting board...and the little wire holding the pencil is the top of the ruler ripped off.

...and because I am a bit fanatical about clothespins and because I found a GIANT bag of them for $1...
...there were a few more, but let's not go too crazy IKEA hacking...

Inquiring minds...the panels were all between $1-2, clothespins were under $1, trivets are $1.99 for 3, the cardboard cutouts were from packaging and the letters were under $1.  The photos are mainly myself and my boys.

23 February 2011

How to Make Tissue Paper and Crepe Paper Flowers | Irrational Season Follow-up

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So you want to make some paper flowers? 
The great thing about these flowers is that you should only have to buy a few very cheap things.
You will need some sort of stem.  You can use wire or paper stems that you have on hand or purchase some cheap floral wire.
You'll also need to purchase floral tape and you can use whatever tissue paper or crepe paper you already have or purchase new.
I also use little plastic pacifiers for the buds, but it is only because I had them and they save a step.  You don't need them.

There are three different basic types:  a pom-pom, a rose-type and a daisy-type.
 The pom pom is on the right in this photo and is the easiest to make. 
You simply cut little slits in tissue paper and wrap it around and around your stem.
The only trick to mastering this type is to keep your layers alternating and random as you wrap so it looks more natural.
The smaller you make your slits the more they will curl like these white ones.
I also used a smaller crepe paper center for the white flowers as opposed to tissue paper in the blue.
Both flowers used basic tissue paper for the outer layers.

The daisy and the rose both have center buds.
How do I make a bud??
Make sure your wire is inside the floral tape and wrap the base as tightly as you can.

Once you have a bud made, you need to cut the petals out of tissue paper.  
Take a big stack of tissue and cut several petals at once. 
You can use a template if you want, but they are easy enough to freehand.  Nature isn't always perfect in its' lines, you know :)
Put a few petals on the outside of your bud and attach a piece of floral tape.
Here is what it looks like after one layer of petals.
Keep rolling on layer after layer.  I use one long strip of tape and keep adding petal rows.
See how the petals are layered from left to right and by height.  This is the trick to the natural look.
After each layer, roll the tape around tightly to secure the petals.
...after a few layers...
After wrapping layers of petals, pull them out to fluff them up a bit.
Keep adding layers until the rose is the size you want it to be...here's the finished product:

If you want to make a daisy-like flower, you cut the sqaures into 3-4 long petals with a large slit between them.
The rest of the process is the same.

Questions?   
Was that clear as mud?


If you didn't read my irrational season post about paper flowers, you can CLICK HERE!

22 February 2011

Girly Hoops

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Inspired by Ashley (always), I picked up a bag of assorted embroidery hoops at the thrift store.  
I had wanted to try these for awhile, but they are a little pricey new, 
so I didn't get around to it until the giant bag of them crossed my path :)

I used all scrap materials using a base of blue cotton (these were from old curtains in T's baby nursery....sniff sniff...) 
and some scrap lace. 

This is one of the simpler ones...
On top I used grey fleece for the flowers and various little notions to decorate.  
This is the perfect project to just indulge your pretty whims.  
You can be as girly as you want and these are very much in the NOT-useful category.  They're just pretty :)

I think these monogrammed babies might be my favorites...

I left the lace off some and used zippers and little scrapbooking metal letters 
with some rolled fabric flowers.

I used real branches and little fake flowers cut off of ugly plastic green stems.

Aren't they just so girly???

21 February 2011

It's a stool?!?

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Does anyone actually know what this is supposed to be?!?  I found it for $2.99 and pounced on it because I saw a perfect solution to my kids dragging chairs into the kitchen constantly to see what I am cooking.  This little stool fits in perfectly in a small nook in the kitchen and is the perfect height for the kiddos.  No idea what it is actually supposed to be used for...but a quick coat of paint freshened it up and made it custom fit for our UPDATED KITCHEN.

BEFORE

AFTER

See how easy it is to carry it around the kitchen?  
Much better than bending over to shove little baby chairs around...


20 February 2011

Feathers are a girl's best friend...

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...feathered headbands have been added...
...and vintage gloves and purses and funky necklaces and a million and two frame projects like this one...
...and all of this stuff needs pretty tags...
I'm beginning to think this store is just a dream...it is too much fun to be a business...

Did I forget to mention the zipper collection I found?


...back to dreaming of feathers and yarn....

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