Rainy Day Play – Jello Play Doh

It is gross out today.  Like, soggy back yard, dog hiding in the closet from the thunder, wouldn’t catch me dead outside gross.  For proof, here’s my back yard:

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So, I needed to find something to do with Monster, with what I had in my house, STAT.  A little Pinteresting, and I found the solution: Jello Play Doh!  I had a bunch of different colored Jello on hand (who doesn’t?), as well as all the other ingredients, since it’s just regular baking stuff, so I hit the kitchen!

To make your own Jello Play Doh, start by mixing

  • 1 (3 oz) packet of Jello – any flavor, any color
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup warm water

I hate doing dishes, so I mixed it in the pot that I was going to cook it in.

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Everything but the water (I used lime Jello)

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Everything mixed up – it’s ok if there are a couple small lumps, they’ll go away when it’s cooked

Then just “cook” the play doh on medium heat.  It will only take a few minutes – the pictures below are a span of less than 2 minutes.

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As you can see, it will start to get a little lumpy, then gooey and lumpy, and finally it will ball up like dough.

Once it forms a dough ball, pull it off the heat and set it on the counter to cool.  I don’t have any fancy silicone mats, and we don’t keep wax or parchment paper on hand, so I used aluminum foil, and it worked like a charm!  You can put it in the fridge to help it cool faster, too.

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I pulled the fork out a couple of minutes later, when it had cooled enough to not burn my hands

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The play doh did not turn pink! I actually made another batch with “berry fusion” Jello.

And that’s it!  The nice thing about using the Jello is that the play doh smells GREAT!  And you don’t have to mess with food coloring, which can dye your hands (and carpet and furniture and pets….).  It does not, however, taste great – both the kids tried it and did NOT approve haha!

 

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Monster decided it was good enough for his dinosaur to eat, though.  After he was done making footprints in it…

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Since I can’t part with Peach’s formula containers, they made the perfect place to store our special play doh for another day!

IMG_2192I hope your Saturday weather is nicer than ours!

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Dinosaur Birthday Party

Monster is obsessed with dinosaurs.  He doesn’t talk much, but boy, can he ROAR!  So, it was obvious when he turned 2 that he should have a dinosaur birthday party.

The theme started with the invitations:

IMG_2153This cute little guy held a card with his arm and his tail that included all the details for the party.  I made him on the Silhouette, and you can download the file here: Dino Invite.  The googly eyes were self-adhesive, so that made sticking them on easy (no extra postage required).

Monster needed a special shirt to set him apart from all his guests, so I bought a t-shirt and appliqued onto it.  I used Heat N Bond Lite to attach the fabric to the shirt (the fabric was the case from the dinosaur sheets he’s getting for this birthday, with felt for the dino ridge and tail), and a light Peltex ironed onto the inside of the shirt to keep it from stretching.  (Click here for more details on applique)

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I also made each guest a party hat, so they could also be dressed like dinosaurs!  I just cut some zigzags out of paper that coordinated with the hats, and used a dot runner to glue them on.

IMG_2146Each kiddo will go home with a goodie “box” filled with dinosaur-themed treats!  This adorable cut-out was in the Silhouette store (click here – they also have a stegosaurus and a triceratops).

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IMG_2156I made “dinosaur fossil” shortbread cookies.  If you’re imprinting in cookies, shortbread is the way to go because it spreads the least and will hold the shape best.  You still need to make a deep imprint, though!

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Cooked and ready to eat!

Shortbread recipe: Whip 4 sticks of butter at room temperature with 1 cup of sugar until fluffy.  Mix in 2 tsp vanilla extract.  Then, using a fork (and I found clean hands worked best at the end), mix in 4 cups of flour.  Roll into 1-inch balls and flatten on cookie sheet.  (Add dinosaur footprints if desired.)  Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, or until edges begin to brown.  Makes 4 dozen.

Each food station had a dinosaur theme – Carnivore Corner was chicken tenders, the Watering Hole was the cooler with drinks, Dinosaur Toenails were Bugles, Herbivore Valley was fruit, and then the Fossil Cookies.  I also made fruit dip, which was super easy and  HUGE hit (recipe below)!

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Publix chicken tenders are amazing!

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Those little orange pucks are called bench cookies; they work great as weights to keep napkins and plates from blowing away! I wrapped them in Press N Seal because they are less than sterile from living in the garage…

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Fruit dip recipe: Bring an 8 oz tub of strawberry cream cheese to room temperature.  Use electric beaters to blend well with a 7 oz jar of marshmallow creme (like Fluff), then blend in 1 cup of Cool Whip.  Refrigerate until ready to use, and mix with a fork before serving.

We rented a pavilion at the park, so I also made a banner to decorate it!  It said “Happy Birthday [Monster]” in this awesome prehistoric font I found for free!  You can find it here: Lost World Font… they have lots of other cool prehistoric fonts, just search for “dinosaur.”  I printed each letter about 5 inches tall, then glued them to paper.  It’s hard to see here, but the paper for the A, P, B, R, H, and A has dinosaurs on it!  Then I laminated each letter (we’re lucky enough to have a laminator here at home) to give it more structure, and used a 2-hole punch to make them easy to hang.  (Other military wives out there will recognize that string as paracord… good for everything!)

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We got our cake from Publix… if you don’t live in an area with a Publix, I recommend selling your house immediately and moving to where there is one!  Just kidding, but Publix does make the BEST cakes!  Radar had to poke the volcano… it was 100% frosting!  Can you say diabetes??

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If there’s something I’ve learned from all the OSC (Officer’s Spouse’s Club) events I’ve participated in in the past, it’s that you will never regret bringing tape (packing tape is best), scissors, and a Sharpie to an event not at your house (indoors or outdoors)!  We ended up having to tape down the table cloths because of the breeze, the scissors were used to open packages and cut string for the banner, and I used the Sharpie to write on the tablecloth to remind the guests to bring their goodie boxes home.  It’s only 3 more things to bring to the party, and so worth it!!

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And my little dinosaur is polite, so I designed some sweet thank you notes on the Silhouette to send to his friends (find the file here: Dino Thank You Cards).  Just score and fold 3.5 inches in from the solid side (without the dinosaur and words), and the card is ready to send!

IMG_2152Does your little dinosaur have a birthday coming up?  How are you going to celebrate?

Felt Lunch

That sounds delicious, doesn’t it??

I treated myself to a pair of pinking shears this week, and thought that some play food for the kids would be a great way to break them in.

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I know, I need more excitement in my life!

Supplies:

  • Rotary cutter, cutting mat, acrylic quilting ruler
  • Pinking shears
  • 3 – 9″ x 12″ pieces of brown felt
  • 9″ x 12″ piece of off-white felt
  • 9″ x 12″ piece of red felt
  • 9″ x 12″ piece of green felt
  • 9″ x 12″ piece of pink felt
  • 9″ x 12″ piece of orange felt

I started with the bread – for each slice, you’ll need 2 – 4.5″ square pieces of off-white felt, and at least 18″ of 1″-wide brown felt (as you can see, I didn’t have one large piece, so I just sewed them together).

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Sew the “crust” onto one side of the bread, pivoting at the corners.  Overlap the beginning and end by an inch or so, just to keep the stuffing from falling out.  Trim excess crust off.

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Attach the 2nd off-white square likewise, making sure to line up the corners.  Leave an opening for turning.

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Turn right-side-out and ladder stitch to close!  (For a great ladder stitch tutorial, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CjOXMuTFXo – that’s how I learned!)

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Repeat for the 2nd piece of bread.  I promise, the rest of the sandwich is easier!

For the insides of the sandwich, I went with meat, lettuce, tomato, and cheese.  For the non-square pieces, find a pattern here: Sandwich Pattern

For the lettuce, cut 2 of the pattern pieces (use pinking shears for a ruffled effect), sew around the edges, then sew ribs in the middle.  I did a straight stitch for the edge, but thought the ribs would be a good opportunity to use one of the 8241279 fancy stitches my machine does (OK, so that’s an exaggeration, but I’m always looking to try something new!).  Be sure to test on a scrap piece of felt before you do it on your project!

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For the tomato, cut a large and small circle (included in the pattern above).  Then I used a zigzag stitch to attach the two, but if you’re more comfortable, you can use a straight stitch (I will say, practicing a zigzag on something like this is a good way to ease into applique if you’ve never done it).  Use a straight stitch to add the insides of the tomato.

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For the cheese, cut 2 – 4″ squares from orange felt, place them back to back, and straight stitch around the edges.  Trim any uneven edges (felt is stretchy and often shifts while you work).

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The meat is similar to the cheese: cut 2 – 4.25″ squares, and straight stitch them together.  I rounded the edges to make it more lifelike, and again, trimmed after sewing.

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For the bag, use 2 whole 9″ x 12″ sheets of brown felt.  Cut one of the short ends with pinking shears, then put the sheets back to back and sew around the other 3 sides, backstitching at the beginning and end.

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Cut a 1.5″ square out of each of the bottom (sewn shut) corners.  Open them up, and pinch the seams together; sew.

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And you’ll end up with a flat-bottomed bag!

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To make it look more like a paper bag, you need to add “creases” to the felt.  Pin a straight line up from the bottom of each of the 4 corners, and sew as close to the fold as possible.  This will give your bag the appearance of folds.  The two pictures are the same bag, just different lighting.

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And there you have it!  A felt play sandwich and paper bag to put it in!

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I’ve had to remind Monster several times that this is not a real sandwich! He is obsessed with cheese and does not like the fuzzy texture of this particular slice.

Inaugural Post

Hello everyone!  This post will not include any tutorials, but just a little intro on myself.

My name is Megan, and I’m a stay-at-home mom and Navy wife.  My husband, Radar (yes, I’ll be using pseudonyms for my family), is a pilot for the P-8 Orion aircraft.  We are currently stationed in Jacksonville, Florida.  We have 2 kids: a little boy, Monster, who just turned two, and a little girl, Peach, who is 6 months old.

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Here we are, in front of the P-8!

I learned how to sew from my Grandma – I can’t even remember the first time we sat down at the sewing machine together for the first time, I was so little!  She has always been my inspiration for the sewing I do… she taught herself, and without Google to boot!  We spent so many hours in her sewing room every summer, she really is the reason I have the confidence to do all the sewing projects I do.

I have recently started papercrafting, and have a Silhouette Cameo in my craft room.  I’m still learning how to use the machine to its full potential, so I’ll be starting with some basics and adding more complex tutorials as I learn it myself.  I’ll also share my original Silhouette files here, for free, for those who are interested!

I guess that’s about it for now!  My goal is to post a new project once a week, but depending on my inspiration that may be more or less often.  Thanks for reading!