Sunday, November 27, 2016

Make a little something, for someone you love: Salt Dough Ornaments! (Practical Mondays #37)

I hate compulsive shopping. The pointless materialism that drives you to buy more stuff just simply because YOU CAN. Black Friday and other sales make it more affordable but we forget that it’s still stuff that we don’t really need. I love the buying pyramid the base of which begins with “use what you have”. Don’t have? borrow, swap, thrift or make. If you can’t do any of that and still really need it, THEN buy it.

We made a whole lot of Christmas Tree Ornaments last year (had to buy the tree and laces though!) and when I opened up the christmas box last week I was stunned to see them all intact! Just the way they were when I first made them! Who knew!

I made a fresh batch last week anyways, for a super cool christmas decorating activity at school & to send to our families back home. The kids were absolutely thrilled pouring copious amounts of glitter over it!

Kid-Made Christmas Gifts: Salt Dough Ornaments, Make a little something, for someone you love

Here’s how we went about it: I laboriously kneaded 2 cups white flour+ 1 cup salt +3/4 cup water, and got my annual arm exercise (yeah, baby!). Well of course there can be various combinations they'll all turn out fine. If you hate the stickiness of the flour, add some more salt. After rolling it on a parchment paper (baking paper) I had my kid cut out christmas shapes with cookie cutters. Then I poked a hole in each with a straw (to enable stringing it with wires or yarn) . I laid them all over a cookie sheet and baked it at 135C/275F for 1 hour 15 mins (*without any preheating).

What we used for decorations: yarn, glitter, sequins, confetti, scrap paper, wrapping paper, whatever I found at home.

Now for the pictures!

DIY Christmas Gifts: Salt Dough Ornaments, Make a little something, for someone you love
Fresh out of the oven!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

How this amateur made a Paw Patrol Cake, from scratch! (Practical Mondays #36)

After gently nudging my son for daaaays, i.e. showing him pinterest images of  ‘easy-to-make’ birthday cakes from finding nemo to superman, I finally conceded accepted the challenge of his current favourite obsession! Always chanting the mantra: Fondant is like playdoh! If little kids can do it, so can I!

{CAVEAT: I made the cake because I really wanted to learn. 
It is not easy, quick or cheaper than ordering from a cake shop!}

Practical Mom: Amateur Paw Patrol Cake, from scratch!

But before we even begin decorating..

  1. Bake cake (Here is my go to recipe- I’ve made it some 15 times in one year already!) 
  2. Level cake (i.e. Slice off the curvy top to get a flat surface. I purchased a cake leveller for this since I didn’t trust my serrated knife skills. Here’s a tutorial on youtube. For best results, level when cake is still warm!)
  3. Ice cake (With butter cream icing, this is to make sure the fondant sticks to the cake. Here is the recipe I used)
  4. Cover cake with fondant (Excellent tutorials available on youtube, here are the two that helped me: Wilton's & Artisan Cake company's )

Stuff we need to make the Paw Patrol Logo

  1. Printout of the logo, in proportion to the cake circumference. (I drew the logo instead for the trial round, but a printout gave more accurate results)
  2. Butter paper (Wax/ Waxed /Paraffin paper, to make stencils)
  3. Fondant (Dark Blue, Red, Yellow & White), 
  4. Rolling Pin
  5. Fondant knife
  6. Fondant glue
  7. A bit of powdered sugar
  8. Tiny Gems/M&M (for paw prints, can be substituted with fondant)

Practical Mom: Amateur Paw Patrol Cake, from scratch!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

And we painted with Eggs Shells & Yarn! (Practical Mondays #35)

That’s my approach to kiddy arts. Look around you. Use what you’ve got. The wet residue in your coffee machine? Sugar Cubes? Lemons? Straws? A little something something for an afternoon of pure joy!

Here's what we did with Yarn this time. And egg shells- Thanks to Ayan!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Marble Run +11 more ways to KEEP KIDS BUSY with Cardboard Crap (Practical Mondays #34)

Don’t let those beautiful Pinterest pictures depress you! They’re like airbrushed Victoria Secret models, LOL. But let me tell you why you should use all your non-craftiness to turn cardboard crap into ‘toys’. Other than that it’s free and, *AND*…. YOU CAN TRASH IT AFTER A WEEK. 

Kids understand the science behind constructing something against readymade toys Making toys is 5 minutes spent well:  painting, cutting, pasting. And the time spent playing with your child is never wasted.

Practical Mom: Marble Run +11 other ways to KEEP KIDS BUSY with Cardboard Crap

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween Pumpkin Yoda! (Practical Mondays #33)

I’ve never watched Star Wars. It is *so weird* to say that out loud, since I’m known a film and television buff and have seemingly watched everything under the sun from teeny bopping Twilight to the subtle, character driven Better Call Saul.

I’ve never watched Star Wars! And whatever I know of it is through the witty repartees that come out of the genius heads of Sheldon, Raj, Howard & Leonard. The three fingered Master Jedi was not only a super popular choice for TV & movie themed Pumpkin Contest at school, it was also the easiest to make; since it didn’t require any carving! 

While we painted the pumpkin and attached the ears with wooden skewers, I switched on Netflix and showed my son bits & pieces of one of the earliest movies with the unrecognisable Harrison Ford. Maybe we should commit this long plan-less weekend to Star Wars family nights?

Practical Mom: Halloween Pumpkin Yoda!

Halloween Walking Dead

{Shh! I am planning to watch The Walking Dead S6 this week, so no one say anything please!}

My favorite show in the whole wide world and my favourite character too. Dressing up as Michonne and her two Walkers was real damn neat! 

(Do check out last year's INSIDE OUT Costumes too!)

Practical Mom: Michonne from The Walking Dead, Halloween Costumes

Practical Mom: Michonne from The Walking Dead, Halloween Costumes

Practical Mom: Michonne from The Walking Dead, Halloween Costumes