Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Metallic Look Vessel with Clay

metallic look clay bowl

My son received some Crayola Air Dry Clay as a birthday present. He has loved making all sorts of treasures, but he usually wants me to participate too. Unlike my son, I am not interested in making "fossils" and dinosaur models for my room. Instead, I made a useful, little vessel.

I don't have much experience with clay, but this stuff is easy to use. Just get your fingertips damp and start sculpting. For this bowl I used a "coiling" method where you roll ropes of clay into an even thickness (not too small or thin or it will compromise the strength). Then you coil your clay rope into your desired shape. Once I had my coils in place I used slight pressure and wet finger tips to help fuse the seams together. Then I used a little bit more moisture to smooth away any rough spots on the surface. The hardest part is having to waiting 3 days for it to completely dry. The package actually says to wait 2-3 days, but I would rather play it safe.
DIY gold clay bowl

When my vessel was all dry, I painted it with Martha Stewart brand metallic paint. The finish is my personal mix of gold and silver tinged with green and brown. For added strength I could have sealed it, but I chose not to this time.

Can you tell that I was totally winging it with this project? The shape of the bowl is free form and primitive. I mixed the paint right on the clay and slathered it around. Personally, I like that sort of rough hewn charm. It's simple, imperfect, and very handmade. As a bonus, no-rules sculpting is wonderfully liberating.

air dry clay coiled
I have a lot of fun making artsy stuff, but isn't it delicious when it's useful too?
Hello, lovely little trinket catcher!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Oh So Easy Ice Cream Sandwiches

Summer Dessert from Scratch
Ice Cream Sandwiches from Scratch
I was feeling ambitious recently and made these chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches from scratch. When I say from scratch I mean the whole thing. Yes, I even made the vanilla ice cream.

Honestly, it was pretty easy, even from scratch. I was feeling all kitchen crafty so I did it. I thoroughly enjoyed the delight it brought to my boys and reveled in surprising my husband.  He is the chefy one at our house so it is kind of a big deal when I make anything from scratch.

If you happen to be feeling ambitious or kitchen crafty, go for it and make your own from scratch ice cream sandwiches, but if you're not...try these!
Easy Ice Cream Sandwiches
 Ice Cream Sandwiches with Store Bought Short Cuts
Store bought ice cream, graham crackers, and sprinkles make a fun and easy surprise for your family.  I know store bought ice cream sandwiches are inexpensive, but assembling your own will thrill your kids.

If your kids are old enough, try letting them make their own "recipe" by picking their favorite ice cream and pre-packaged cookies to combine. It is a simple and delicious kitchen craft for kids.

For the adult crowd, you can still keep it effortless by buying bakery quality cookies and premium ice cream.  You won't have to heat up the house to get a stellar dessert you can entertain with.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Handmade History: Beth

handmade history
These are the stories of items I didn't even realize I had saved, that were lovingly made by friends and family. They are all part of my family's handmade history. I bet you have a handmade history too. 

So I have a lot of sisters, six to be exact,  but the one who is closest to me in age is Beth. Well, her name is really Elizabeth, but I never call her that. Beth is one of my big sisters. She is the one who let me tag-a-long when we were little. She shared a room with me forever and even indulged my neat freak ways. She also watched over me in my first year of high school and made sure I always had someone to sit with at lunch. In short, Beth is a really great big sister.

When I had my first baby, Beth, having fabulous quilting skills, sent me this amazing baby blanket.
colorful baby quilt
 I loved it instantly. It is everything bright and graphic and fun in a 3' x 3' square. I often used it as a car seat cover to shield my baby from the sun.  Everywhere I went, people would ask me where I got such a beautiful baby blanket.

Now I loved this quilt and Beth knew I would because she is savvy like that, but it was actually a gift for my child. Here is how my child enjoyed his gift:

Only weeks old, he stared rapt at the patterns on the fabric, (particularly the black and white backing).

From 2-8 months, he spent many hours playing on this blanket.  It resisted bunching up even though he wriggled and squirmed fiercely.

As he became a toddler, it moved around from his bed and then to a chair.

Now he is five and he tells me what I am allowed to do with the special blanket his Aunt Beth made him.

I love Beth. I love sisters. I think they make marvelous aunts and even better friends.
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