Saturday, May 25, 2013

Children's Activity ~ How to make a Pinwheel Toy

We recently made pinwheels.  The children just loved them, they had so much fun making their pinwheels... so I decided to do a blog about pinwheels and their diversity in styles.  They are such great little toys.

The Pin-less Pinwheel... Great for children... no sharp pins!

Pin-less Pinwheel

This website has many free craft ides for projects!  
Here is the link so you can check it out... Here is a tutorial from Craft Ideas .

 Another great site for children's projects of all sorts is Artists helping children.  What an awesome site packed full of many, many days of activites.

These are the coolest pinwheel ever, they have so much character.  I would like to give Heather Baily  a special thanks for sharing her pinwheel toy project with us... it is awesome! 

Scissor Craft is another great site for unlimited children's craft projects.

Firework's and Music Pinwheel


 This site has many different paper snowflake craft activities for young children, here is there Old-Fashioned Paper Snowflake Pinwheel Craft Project They have several different patterns you can choose for your project.


Another great site for children's crafts is Craft Jr .  Here is just a few of their variations of their pinwheels.

Click here for
See Through Pinwheels.

Direction for a Pinwheel Garden.

Pinwheel Treat Bags

Pinwheel Flower Centerpiece

A Pinwheel Card

 Pinwheel Favors - A colorfully striped pinwheel that can be used as a favor at a child's party or as a room wall decoration.

 Modern Pinwheel - Parental guidance and help may be needed in the cutting process of this easy art craft project.

Flower Pinwheel Bouquet – These are not just dainty summer toys but decorative art pieces as well. Follow this easy guide to making your own pinwheel bouquet.

I would have really like to have found this style pinwheel tutorial above.  If anyone knows where I can get it please let me know.  I really like this one!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Multicolored Flower Pants ~ Children's Clothes

Here is some toddler pants that I made from a pattern that was sized as 1-2-3-4.  This pattern will be able to be used for several years.  I made the size 2, I didn't want to cut the pattern so I would be able to use it for the next couple years.

The way that I was able to do this and not to destroy the integrity of the pattern where I couldn't use it later for the other sizes 3 & 4.  I used a tool known as a tracing wheel and carbon paper.  I traced out the size 2 and then cut the pants out and sewed them up.  You can see in the picture above how the carbon paper traced out onto the fabric when using the tracing wheel tool.

These flower pattern pants shown with a yellow ruffle top that I posted about late last year, I think it was around September 2012. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Lemon Tarts ~ Shortbread Cookies and Lemon Curd Recipes

I had a  good friend give us a whole bunch of lemons.... I surely didn't know what I was going to do with...  so many lemons.  So... I started looking for new recipes to try that we could use all these lemons!  
We'll we decided to make these awesome little lemon tarts. 

Shortbread Cookie Dough Recipe 
2 1/2 cups flour 
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 sticks chilled butter
I used my kitchenaid professional mixer to mix together the flour, salt, and sugar.   Then I cut the butter into cubes and added to the mixture.  I mix until the butter is cut into the dough thoroughly and mixture is crumbly.   Take the dough and make two balls, then flatten and the wrap with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes or more.  Until the dough is hard enough to roll out and cut without sticking.  Sometimes I do the the night before.   Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thick and bake for about 25 minutes or until edges start to brown.  Let cool in the baking sheet / muffin pan for a minutes before transferring to the cooling racks.  Let cool completely before storing or serving.  Now if your going to make tarts...  I used my hibiscus cookie cutter, it is about 4 inches in diameter and lined them in the muffin pans.  They went into a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes, don't forget to fork the dough like you would a pie crust before baking. 

Now for the filling, I used about a teaspoon to a tablespoon of lemon curd mixture in each of the baked flower shortbread cups.  Then baked for about 8 more minutes.  These lemon tarts were so delicious that they didn't last but a nano second and they were all asking for more!

Lemon Curd

3 large eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2-4 lemons)
4 Tablespoons unsaled butter, cubed and at room tempature
1 Tablespoon of lemon zest

Note: Room tempature lemons provide more juice, after squeezing, strain the juice to remove pulp and seeds.  Zest is the yellow sweet outer rind of the lemon.  Use a fine grater or zester to remove the rind.  Cold lemons are much easier to grate.  Grate lemons just before using as the zest will loose it's moisture if it sits too long.   

In a stainless steel bowl place over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended.  Cook stirring constantly to prevent it from curdling.  Stirring until the mixture becomes thick at about 160 degree F, this will take approximately 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and immediately pour through a strainer to remove lumps.  Take your cubed butter and whisk into the mixture until the butter is melted.  Add the lemon zest and let cool.  The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. Cover immediately (so a skin doesn’t form) and refrigerate.  Lemon curd can be refrigerated for 2 weeks.

Oh my Gosh... Joy of Baking has a couple recipes I want to try!  

Pecan Shortbread Cookies 
Oh my my.... I found this wonderful blog from Karen @ MyPantryShelf were you can actually make Lemon Curd and preserve it for later use.  She gives you a recipe for Lemon Curd, which makes about 4 cups and then gives you the process of canning the Lemon Curd in a hot water bath to preserve it for later use...
Just like Grandma use to do!  I plan to browse her blog often.... she has a bounty of so good things!  


 Here is a  Meyers Lemon Curd Recipe and it also tells you how to preserve/ can for future use thru the year to come.  This is a Traditional English Dessert Spread served at afternoon tea, it was spread on top of bread or scones.  Homemade Lemon Curd is also delicious spread on crepes, french toast, pancakes, waffles and other breakfast pastries.   


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Repurposing for longer wear life - Children's Clothes

This was a cute little green polka dot onesie that got to short wat to fast for my granddaughter.  So I cut off the bottom part and took and sewed some bias tape to the bottom of the tonesie top, then I turned under the bias tape for the hem and sewed it up.  Now... because this was a jersey style fabric, I had to increase the size or length of the stitch on the sewing machine, so not to pucker or ripple the fabric which would affect the finished look.  It can be a little hard to sew on this type of fabric if it is your first time... one wouldn't think about increaseing the stitch length. 

This is such a cute little 3-6 month onesie...  I think we will keep it for her dolls.  Doll clothes can be hard to come by if you don't plan when you have the infant size clothes around anymore, when they reach the age for playing with dolls!