Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Crafts: Mishloach Manot Cans

I love crafting with tissue paper. My favorite thing to do with it is to Modge Podge it on to things. I have lots of coffee cans in my recycling bin and I thought that they would make cute containers for our Mishloach Manot this year. I decided that the girls and I would decorate some white contact paper with tissue paper and Modge Podge and this was the result. Below is a quick tutorial:

Here's what you need

Empty coffee cans with removable paper labels
White contact paper
Colored tissue paper
Modge Podge (I used glossy but matte also looks nice)
Paint brushes
Tape measure

1. Take the label off the cans and then measure the can with a tape measure. Use the measurements to cut out white contact paper that will fit over the can and completely cover it.

2. Cut out the contact paper with a scissors or use a craft knife on a self healing mat.

3. Cut the tissue paper that you are going to use into small (but not tiny) squares. Don't make them all the exact same size.

4. Start Modge Podging the tissue paper on to the contact paper you cut out. You can layer the pieces on top of each other and create different shades shapes and colors. When it is totally covered let it dry.

5. When the contact paper is dry gently roll the paper so that it will "mold" around the can.

6. Strip the backing off the contact paper and stick it on the can.

7. Fill with yummy treats!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Purim Sameach (Happy Purim) Purim Door Garland

Purim is one of my favorite holidays. It's so festive and fun. On Purim Jews give each other something called mishloah manot. Mishloach manot are small gifts of food (usually sweets!). According to Jewish law each person must give at least one gift of at least two portions of food that are cooked and ready to eat. Ideally the giver should hand deliver the mishloach manot to the person who is to receive the gift. This means that on Purim a lot of people come to your front door, hence, the Happy Purim (Purim Sameach) Purim Door Garland. This garland combines two things I really love; wool felt and hand sewing. Surprisingly it was quite easy to make. I was able to sit with the kids and sew while they did their thing. Below is a quick tutorial.

-1/2 yard of two different colors of wool felt. I definitely had a fair amount left over but I needed the width of a 1/2 yard to make the felt piece that the flags hang off of. I ordered my felt from Weir Dolls and Craft it it got here in 2 days! They also have a huge selection of all kinds of different felt.
-Matching embroidery floss the same 2 colors as the felt.
-Scissors and a rotary cutter if you have one
-Computer paper and pencil to make the triangle pattern and letter patterns

1. Cut off a 1/2 inch by 30 inch wide piece of felt in both colors from the wide side of the felt. I used a rotary cutter and a ruler but you could also mark it off with a ruler and use a scissors to cut it.

2. Make a 6 inch equilateral triangle out of paper and use it as your pattern. Using a rotary cutter and ruler or a scissors (pin the pattern on if you are using a scissors) and cut out 4 triangles of each color so you have a total of 8 triangles. If you keep "flipping" the pattern over you will use less felt (see above picture).

3. Write Purim Sameach (in Hebrew!) using bubble letters on paper. Cut the letters out and use them as the patterns. Pin the cut out, paper, bubble letters on top of the felt that you will be using and cut them out. Make sure to cut out a purple letter for a red triangle and visa versa!

4. Pin the felt letters on to the triangles. Cut off the piece of embroidery floss you will be using and sepreate 3 of the 6 strands ( gently pull 3 strands off of the 6 strands that embroidery floss has). Sew on each letter with the 3 of the strands of floss using the staight (running) stich. Don't forget to use the red embroidery floss on the purple felt and visa versa.

5. When you are done sewing on the letters pin the triangles onto the long felt strips. Use 3 of the 6 strands of red embroidery floss and the straight stitch to sew on the purple triangles on the wool strip and visa versa.

6. Hang it on your door!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Recipe: Soaked Whole Spelt Chocolate Cake (Parve/Dairy Free or Dairy)

This recipe was inspired by a recipe for carob brownies I saw in Nourishing Traditions. I have made both the parve/dairy free and dairy version. The parve/dairy free version was really delicious but as we all know most things taste better with butter (and yogurt) in them and this is the case with this cake. The picture above was taken about a half hour after the dairy version had been out of the oven. I had to quickly freeze the rest so that my kids would not eat it all up.

3 cups whole spelt flour
2 cups of full fat yogurt or 2 cups of water with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
3/4 butter softened or extra virgin coconut oil
1 1/2 cup Rapunzel organic whole cane sugar or sucanat (I have bought both of these at Fairway and Whole Foods.)
4 eggs beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 cup of cocoa powder (not dutch processed!)
1 tablespoon of baking powder
oil/butter and white flour for the pan

1. Soak flour with the yogurt or the water and lemon juice on your counter for 12 to 24 hours.

2. Cream butter or extra virgin coconut oil with whole cane sugar or sucanat.

3. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, salt, cocoa powder and baking powder. Please note: I have found that the eggs don't combine well with the dried whole cane sugar/sucanat and butter mixture. It does, however, all come together when you add the flour soaked in yogurt. I did not have the same problem with the coconut oil.

4. Mix in the soaked flour mixture until well combined and pour into the pan.

5. Pour batter into a 9x13 inch greased and floured pan.

6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Toilet Paper Roll "2 or 3 Fingers" Finger Puppets

I was staring at all my saved toilet paper rolls recently, trying to figure out what to do with them, when I realized that they would make cute "2 or 3 fingers" finger puppets. I finally got around to doing this project with the girls last night and I think they came out really cute. We also had a really good time making them and playing with them. I predict that we will be making more of these soon. Below is a quick tutorial on how to make these easy finger puppets.

Supplies that you need:
Toilet paper rolls
Felt, fabric or colored paper scraps
Yarn cut up in to pieces for hair
Glue (we used Tacky Glue)

1. First we glued on the eyes and drew the mouth and nose.

2. Then we designed clothing from our felt scraps and glued them onto our puppets.

3. The last thing we did was glue on the yarn for hair (R gave her puppet's "hair" a trim and added side bangs!).

The finger puppets were super easy and super fun to make. By the way this project worked well for my 4yo, 7yo and 10yo.


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