Thursday, March 22, 2012

Attack of the Plastic Canvas Bunnies!

Spring is upon us, and it's about that time when I start thinking about what to put in the kids Easter Baskets. For this year's "to cute " craft I decided to bring back an old favorite - Plastic Canvas Kiss holders - in bunny form! (Stay back! They're hungry!)

Basically they are just a 3-sided box, and when you squeeze the sides they open (in this case into a giant mouth). They can be an endless source of fun, you can keep small candy (like Hershey's Kisses, hence the name -kiss holders, or kissies), small toys or trinkets (rings, small ball, mini lego guy, etc.), or they can be clipped almost anywhere to keep you company - on to necklaces, purse straps, shirt sleeves or hems,etc. - I have one clipped onto the corner of my laptop screen right now ;) Another plus, the are fast to put together, rather indestructible (a plus since at least 3 of these are going to 2 year olds), and don't take much in the way of materials and/or skill to produce. For each bunny you need to cut from your sheet of plastic canvas 3 squares (12 x 12) and 2 ears (3 x 9).

For the bunny you don't even need much of a pattern -the only variation in color on any of the 3 squares is the nose-
to fill in the nose I just start toward the right corner and fill the two diagonals along the bottom and one up from the corner, and finish the edge around the nose (right corner). I know it looks like I started 3 spaces from the edge on the bottom row, but that's just where I finished the edge and tucked it back through. Really, if you didn't have 2 colors of yarn you could use a small pom pom for the nose or felt or something.
Once the nose is filled in, I go back to the left side and fill in my square. Then I finish the two edges that touch the nose - be sure you only finish those two sides because the other (unfinished) sides will be joined to other squares later to make the box.
One the face is finished you can work on the ears. Each ear is made from 1 piece of plastic canvas cut 9 x 3 then, chop off the top box on each side, leaving 8 x 3 on the left and right, and 9 x 3 in the middle. If you want to get creative (or overly complicated) you can use two pieces for each ear so that you can add a contrasting color to the middle of the ear (in which case you'd need the second ear piece to back the front one), but I didn't think it was worth the effort for my audience (mainly children who use them to "attack attach" the bunnies to each other). For me, it was easier to just take advantage of the fact the ears where 3 boxes wide which lends itself to going up on side, then back down and finishing all the way around.
When it comes to placement for attaching the finished ear, turn the square to be a diamond with the nose facing down, when you do this the fill pattern on the face look like dashes running across. Then, it's really just where you like it - I usually start my left ear somewhere about 3 dash lines in from the edge (attaching through the unfinished bottom of the ear).
The second ear I try to attach about the same distance in from the right edge. Once the face is complete you can fill in your other two squares. As you can see below, you'll need to finish 2 sides of one of the squares (this will be the bottom of the bunny and you are finishing the bottom of his mouth), and the other square stays completely unfinished around the edges (going to be your back piece).
Once you have all three squares you can line them up like shown above to make sure you have the edges in the correct places before starting to join them together. - I know, it seems silly, but it will keep you from attaching something where you shouldn't (don't believe me, mentally turn that piece in the top right of the picture a quarter turn counterclockwise and think about it).
Joining is fairly easy - (shown above) I start at the left corner of the bunny face and start attaching to the unfinished (on all sides) square. When I get to the corner I take the other piece with two unfinished edges and start attaching that to the unfinished (on all sides) square.
Once you get to that next corner you fold the next two unfinished sides together and join them. (shown above)
Now you have only one unfinished side on the back piece and the unfinished side from the face piece.
Push them together and join to complete your bunny.
His or Her face will looked sucked in, but you can poof it back out by squeezing his cheeks (or whatever you want to call the corners where his mouth opens) after you finish joining the sides.
And there you have it - easy peasey bunny squeezie! Ready for Easter,
or maybe just some random mayhem around the house, yard, or office.

Friday, July 2, 2010

4th of July? Time to make pie!

After 3 days of the children being deprived of swimming pools due to thunderstorms and heavy rain, my indoor summer activities list is getting pretty played out. With the 4th of July only a few days away, I figured we could make a pie. But not just any pie, no... Look at the picture, can you guess? Yes that's right - a watermelon cream pie! Now before you go saying, "EEEWW!," and "WHY??" just admit to yourself that berry pies are played out and you are intrigued, so read on -

The recipe is basically this one
that turns out to be very preschool princess friendly in the preparation department.

2 & 1/2 cups of watermelon chunks diced into small cubes. (seedless is probably the way to go here)
1 /2 cup sugar
1 8oz. package cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 drops of red food coloring (who doesn't love a pink pie!)
1 prepared pie crust
2 cups prepared whipped cream for topping (you had to buy some for this recipe anyway so why not whip your own?)
Whip sugar, cream cheese, sour cream, heavy whipping cream, and food coloring together until smooth and fluffy, about two minutes. Drain any excess liquid from your diced watermelon, then using a spoon or rubber spatula, fold the watermelon into your cream mixture.
Spoon into prepared crust and top with whipped cream. Chill for at least one hour if possible -

or just eat right away.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day to me...

NOt too exciting as Mother's Day's go, Tayne has found a new hobby using the Flip Mino HD though,

and I'm sure there will be many more interesting videos to come...
and like this one,

I'm sure many of them will be iDog related...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

I'd like to thank the good folks at Nickelodeon and my lack of eco-preparedness for a lovely morning at the beach!

Of course I had no good answer (or projects) pepared for the question "Hey, what are we doing for Earth Day?" that my not usually hyper-environmentally-concerned child uncharacteristically yell at me this morning - Usually only influenced by the commericals to buy exciting things like Bendaroos and Moonsand, somehow he was spurred into awareness and demands for action around 8:45 in the morning by his TV "friends" who have yet again betrayed me when I was counting on them to distract him while I did something selfish -you know, like doing laundry or the dishes or taking a shower -

Garbage (AND recycling) day is Tuesday so I was out of luck on an easy save there, so I decided to distract him with the nature appreciation angle - who doesn't love being distracted by a trip to the beach?

It was supposed to be a "wading only" trip, but as you can see, the gulf waters have warmed up nicely even and even thought nights around here keep it a little too chilly for unheated swimming pools, the beach is ready and waiting (not to mention full of fun suprizes like giant random logs too)!

Now we're back home and tired lunched up kids are taking a break, now I just need the internet to tell me what kids want to do on Earth Day - Nickelodeon got me into this, I'm sure their website can help me out...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pay your Taxes ALREADY!

Ah, what an exciting afternoon - beautiful weather so I decided to take the kids to the park - well, it turned out that was the park they were having the Clear Lake "Tea Party" - I thought, "Oh well, it's a big park and the kids will probably be tired by the time this thing gets going so we'll just stay" - It was a great day park wise, Pallas has mastered the little slides, she can go down all by herself as long as you get her sitting down first (the "toddler" play space was killing me - everything was on criss -cross sides so if I helped her onto something I practically had to be on the other side so she didn't plunge down a slide, or if I was on the side with the slide there was a big opening for her to leap out of - sheesh!) ANd Tayne had other kids to play with so he could put up with me just kind of waving at him while saving his sister from walking off this or that... it wasn't until we were ready to start heading back to the parking lot that Tayne saw the party setting up -
Tayne : (while still far away and out of earshot) THat's crazy, why is there a party?
Me : Well, those people are having a party to tell the government they don't like how their tax money is being spent.
Tayne : (yelling) We don't want your party!
Me : Oh, don't say that!
Tayne : I was just electing not to participate
Me : That's fine, but maybe you should say that or just keep it to yourself and show them (you don't want to go to their party) by just walking to the car.
Tayne : ok
Tayne : (as we are practically walking through the party set-up and just after refusing a tiny American flag from some kind older woman) Attention everybody, attention - this is not the 4th of July, it's April 15th -go pay your taxes already! Sheesh!
Me : Uh, no - he didn't mean... um, he's just...oh well, you know freedom of speech goes both ways. And have a lovely party!

I hope they enjoy their protest, and I hope they've all paid their taxes (because if they haven't, they've been warned!)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Who's ready for Easter?

Long time no see eh? Well, here are a few pictures from Troy's birthday (celebrated at Chuck-e-cheese of course)

Pallas really enjoyed the games

Well, ok, she really didn't understand most of the games, but she did love pushing the buttons

Tayne really couldn't be bothered to smile, you know how 8 year olds are...

But enough of that - here's some pre-Easter photos of our little fashonista - these were the only shoes she wanted (and the only ones not on sale...grrr!)

-Can you believe this? Not even 2 years old and she chooses a shoe with a little wedge heel, it didn't even slow her down & it was incredibly cute at the store when she kept almost kicking the other Easter shoes shopping mommies in an attempt to show everyone how great her new shoes looked on her...

And it the shoes weren't cute enough - Grandma and Grandpa P. brought her this new outfit (complete with ears, I would say optional ears, but are they really optional this time of year???)

Hopefully the weather will be nice for Easter weekend, I look forward to getting outdoors and watching the kids run around, this winter has been too long, and the sidewalk chalk marks on all my indoor walls tells me these kids need to be supervised more and inside less!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spring is coming

Ok, so if you are looking closely you'll notice the Christmas decoration in this picture, no - they aren't still up, this was actually taken on a warm day before Christmas (I've been horrible at taking photos, much less putting those few somewhere people can see them)
- but the yard still looks like this - we'll have to mow the grass soon, and we've been spending the weekends and days before trash day cleaning up the back yard before the bugs start getting too busy. Usually this time of year I'm thumbing through the seed and plant catalogs and dreaming of what type of garden I'll get around to planting this year - but instead this year we are busy trimming things back and taking out plants that are too wild and need to be moved - this year instead of adding we are making more space,
because these two need some room to run!