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Written by guest blogger Carla, the fern’s sister.
When I sent my toddler off to daycare this past September, my daycare provider asked me to send along a yoga mat for nap time. Now, the rational side of my brain knows that sleeping on a ¼ inch mat for 2 hours a day certainly does not pose any real health risk to my little one. However, the emotional side of my brain cringes at the thought of her sleeping basically on the floor.
So I went on a hunt for a solution and found the Nap Mat. There were so many beautiful
designs and a variety of different patterns but I particularly liked one at sewlikemymom.com,
an awesome site full of amazing ideas. I altered the pattern slightly in a few spots and voila…a
comfy and fashionable place for my little one to get rejuvenated in the middle of the day.
If you are in the area take a drive out to beautiful Almonte for the best craft show around! For sneak peeks of swag bag items and general awesomeness like the Handmade Harvest facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/HandmadeHarvest
Written by guest blogger, Kat from You Fancy Thing
You know when you were a kid, and homemade playdough always smelled weird, and was gritty and salty, or slimy, or made your hands sting?
This stuff isn’t any of those things.
I adapted this recipe from here, and it is by far the best homemade playdough I’ve encountered thus far. It’s smooth and elastic, and even though it’s food-based, it tastes gross so no one should actually enjoy eating it (though don’t, like, test this out by serving it to your kids for dinner), it’s reusable (it just needs a good kneading each time you take it out, and voila! it’s as good as new), and it lasts for up to 4 days in the fridge (or more, depending on how often you use it. Ours never lasts past the 4 day mark because generally Innis wants to build playdough elephants and dump trucks and snakes every single day).
UPDATE: I made an extra batch of playdough recently and left it in the fridge until we were ready to use it. It was just as good as new when we eventually opened the tupperware, a week and a half later. So basically, this stuff would outlast even the cockroaches after a nuclear apocalypse.
Here’s what you need (plus some water):
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup corn starch
3/4 cup water
Heat resistant spoon or spatula
Air tight storage container
Mix dry ingredients in your sauce pan, set aside. Squeeze some food colouring into the 3/4 cup of water, and then add this water mixture to the soda and corn starch. I didn’t count the drops of food colouring I used, I just squeezed the bottle for about two seconds. A smarter person would have used a clear measuring cup to gauge the colour to water ratio during the actual combining part, but, well.
Blending the food colouring with the water ensures that your playdough will be evenly hued.
Once stirred, your mixture should look like this:
Cook at medium heat, and stir constantly until your playdough gets … playdoughy — the constant stirring is important, but don’t worry, it doesn’t take long. In about a minute and a half, your playdough will get all foamy on top and then pretty much twenty to thirty seconds right after that, you shall reach the pinnacle of desired playdough consistency:
Scoop your playdough out onto a plate to cool, wash out your sauce pan (it’ll have stuff stuck to the bottom, but it’s important to start with a clean pan each time so you can keep your colours nice and crisp), then repeat until your desired number of pretty playdough colours has been reached:
Knead your playdough until it’s nice and smooth (you’ll encounter some dried up bits on the surface, but these will blend in nicely, so don’t worry). If you find that your playdough is a little sticky, just add some more baking soda (just like you would add flour to overly-moist pastry) until it’s the consistency you like:
It’s better to store slightly moister-than-desired playdough rather than the slightly parched variety because it’s inevitable that your playdough will dry out a little bit in the fridge (even if you put it in an airtight container).
I divided each of the colours in half, then cut each of those balls in two so I ended up with four smaller balls of each colour instead of one giant one. This makes sharing easier during play dates, and they also fit better into my tupperware as itty bitty versions of themselves:
Aaaaw, so itty bitty!!
Find a willing toddler (sort-of-sharp pointy plastic tool optional).
Artist Keeley Durocher attached four table legs to the bottom of the suitcase and spray-painted it a glossy black. via: Design Sponge at Home
Shelves made from vintage suitcases by: Ki Nassauer, Editor-in-Chief of Flea Market Style magazine
Upcycled Green Suitcase Pet Bed – Handmade Wood Legs, available at AtomicAttic
Fabulous suitcase medicine cabinet via apartment therapy
Beautiful upcycled vintage train case by: GetReadySetGO
making wrist cuffs is a fun way to use up small scraps of fabric that are just too nice to part with. these sew up so quick and easy you can make one to match pretty much any outfit!
difficulty level: beginner
1. measure your wrist by wrapping a piece of string snugly around your wrist and then measure the string. you can use this chart to figure out how big you need to cut the fabric and how far apart to place the snaps (all measurements are in inches)
2. cut 2 pieces of fabric, one for the front and one for the back. i ironed some fusible medium weight interfacing on to the back of both pieces, this will add a little structure to the cuff.
3. place the two pieces of fabric GOOD SIDES TOGETHER and pin all around.
(side note: i love these pins so much. even if you don’t sew a lot i recommend getting some nice pins, they are so much easier to work with, and a magnetic holder, get one of those too while you’re at it, pure magic.)
4. using a 1/4 inch seam allowance, sew the two pieces together leaving a 2 inch opening in the middle of one of the long sides. remember to backstitch on each side of the hole.
5. clip the corners, this will give a nicer square shape when you turn it right side out.
6. now i will reveal my secret weapon for corner poking, behold the knitting needle! turn your cuff right side out and poke away.
7. this step is very simple and very important, i know you have an iron, so use it! simply pressing the seams makes your sewing look more finished and professional.
8. next apply some snaps following the directions on the package. sewing is always more fun when you get to hammer on something.
9. now we have to close up that turning hole.
you could top stitch all around the cuff (before you apply the snaps) but i prefer to hand sew it closed using the hidden stitch.
finished! snap it on your wrist and admire your sweet sewing skills!
ps. i also sell these in my esty shop! http://www.etsy.com/shop/3rdlife?ref=si_shop
All dressed up & ready for her ballet class.
Since becoming a mom my dedicated craft time has been pretty much non existent. I’ve been able to steal a selfish evening here and there but for the most part my time is split between cooking, feeding, cleaning and diapering. But now that my little one is 10 months old, day time play time is becoming more independent – opening the door for me to pick up some little project that I can work on in 5 minute intervals while Nora is distracted by the empty fedex box or engrossed in one of the foam books Aunt Carla brought over for her to ‘read’.
So the question is…. What can I do that takes almost no concentration at all, that uses few or no dangerous tools, that I can just drop if I need to rescue my wee baby (or I just need to tickle that little tummy), and that fulfills my need to make stuff??
The answer… crochet outfits for my cabbage patch doll, Corine.
(And as an added bonus these little outfits are quickly using up all those partial skeins of yarn left over from past projects that my thrifty side won’t let me throw away!)
I call this one “A Garden Party”.