Christmas Crafts for The-not-so-Crafty
I got this playdough recipe from blog surfing, off Memories of Mine to Thine. This mama claimed to have perfected play dough, and since I am dedicated play dough buyer (WalMart $1.62 a four pack) now residing in a country that sells it for way more than a dollar a can, I thought I would try it out. This recipe involves cooking it, but I did not read that part and just did it in a bowl and it worked out fine. The best tips was if it is sticky, add more oil, not more water. Here is the recipe. She claims this version is the most efficient and uses the least of each ingredient that it can and still come out well. It came out great for us, and I have had playdough failures in the past with other recipes.
1 c All purpose flour
1 c Warm (not hot) water
2 tsp Cream of Tarter
1 Tbs Vegetable oil
1/4 c salt
(1 pkg Unsweetened KoolaidFood coloring as desired)
You may get the impression from the side bar, which is full of links to interesting places and activities, that I am a super creative stay at home mom who always has something fun up her sleeve. Well, really those things are reminders to me of what I could be doing, to give me inspiration!
I am no crafty whiz. I do not have a sewing machine, I was gifted some knitting needles but can't seem to get the yarn, instructions, and needles together in the same place at the right moment, and I have tried needle felting and think it's a cool craft I could get into here in this land of sheep and wool, but I need to buy some supplies to get going. I really enjoyed water color painting and had done some nice ones right about when I started midwife school, but I spent last decade on call for birth working 'round the clock as a midwife. That meant I cultivated few other interests or talents during that time. I do have some natural artistic ability, but I am out of practice. I can, however, draw a fairly good picture of the fetus at what ever gestational age it is at, in the current and correct position on your pregnant abdomen if you want me to. And there's only one thing I am really great at sewing, and you have to inject lidocaine first.
We rolled these out and then baked them up.In my life right now, I am a pregnant tired person whose main recreations are napping and cooking things that involve hefty doses of protein. When my daughter is home from school, which is two days a week, we make an effort to do four things during the day- get outside, make a craft, take a nap, and cook something.
Now I am blogging, I am aware of the many really amazing creative mamas out there who are making felt advent calendars, quilts, and all manner of other beautiful creations. That is not me. It is fun to browse the blogs full of fabric stacks next to the vintage tea cups, but it always leaves me wondering where they get the time and energy! However, the craftiness is inspiring, and helps me get ideas of things to do that are more with in my scope. Reading all those blogs makes me want to do more crafts, but I tend default to the familiar old tried and true crafts of my childhood. For Christmas we made playdough ornaments, like we did in Brownies/Girl Scouts when my mom was the leader! It involved a rolling pin, and an apron, which was enough to satisfy my three year old. I do crafts for three year olds, and can blame the 'low quality output' on the fact that my daughter actually made the thing! Maybe someday I will catch back up on my artistic skills, but for now, this is the kinda thing we make around here. It's a fun start. Maybe in ten years time I will be quilting, too.
We use what we have, like we happen to have water colors, and while that is not the ideal paint for ornaments, it does work! Ditto on using rubber cement on these- we were out of regular glue, and I am sure it would have been better...
I also have as part of my art supplies a HUGE box of glitter my sister gave us, that had been left at her house when she moved in. It is AWESOME to be able to be free, and not skimpy, on the glitter.
The secret to using glitter with kids- play dough. Put trays, and paper, and all that under them, and supervise like a hawk...and rinse everything in the sink to wash away pieces so they do not escape from a trash can later. But then when the little magic dots get spread all over as they always do, roll playdough over it and it will suck it up, and you end up with nice glittery play dough and clean tables and floors.
We used a few non glittery ornaments for gift tags on the cookies we made for the teachers, and the rest of these are awaiting fixative glue so they can go on the little one's tree and not spread the sparkle everywhere.
Here was another skill less, crafty thing we did. We combined a nature walk with our craft activity. We went on a walk and found such lovely and interesting items as a feather, a few rocks, a huge rubber band, and a broken bike reflector (which was her favorite treasure). We came home and used finger paint to paint them, and then of course, used the Swedegirl's favorite- GLITTER- to make 'em special.
Finger painting rocks was FUN, thought SwedeGirl Paint is a lot like lotion
And the glitter was in the bag, so she shook, shook, shook it...And then we had glittery rocks. She had me paint her name on one, and LOVE on the other. What a girl!