Homemade Playdough

Have you ever made playdough for your kids? My mum used to make it for us all the time. Here’s her recipe:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • a few drops of food colouring

Method: 

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a medium saucepan.
  2. Stir over medium heat until dough thickens.
  3. Remove from pan and kneed on bench until pliable.
  4. Allow to cool and store in a well sealed plastic bag.

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There are plenty of playdough recipes out there.

Here’s one that doesn’t need cooking.

Here’s an edible version.

Here’s one that’s great for kids with sensitive skin.

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Well, baby E loved playing with this playdough. She loved the feel of it in her hands, and loved poking and prodding at it. I think she’s a bit small for cookie cutters, but I’ll get some out next time and try them. She also decided she liked the taste. Oh dear!

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Do your kids like playdough? What recipe do you use?

 

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How to get stuff done with a busy baby

This is what works (or doesn’t work) for me 😉
  1. Create when your baby naps. This works really well about 50% of the time when my baby decides to nap for 2-3 hours. Sometimes she’ll only sleep for a short while, and then I’ll be halfway through rolling a tray of beads, hands dirty with clay, and I’ll have to get her up. Other times, housework wins over making. This only happens when the house actually resembles a pigsty, and I feel guilty for letting my baby crawl around in it.
  2. Give your baby a new toy to keep them occupied. Right now my baby is going through a bit of a clingy phase, so unless she’s only just woken up in the morning and isn’t hungry, this doesn’t really work for me. She needs me to be playing with the new toy with her, thus defeating its purpose.
  3. Work after your baby has gone to bed at night. This works well, but the downside to this is I miss out on spending time with my husband. But I don’t really mind if all he’s doing is watching his favourite show: COPS.
  4. Give your baby some TV time. This actually doesn’t work for me. My baby gets bored of the TV very quickly. Even when something interesting (like Play School) is on, she prefers to be crawling around, throwing blocks, reading books or standing at my chair pinching my belly.
  5. Get a babysitter. I haven’t done this yet, but my baby has two grandmothers who are both very keen to spend time with her. I’m sure if I asked, they would be happy to mind her for a couple hours so I could get some beads rolled and baked.

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How do you get stuff done with a baby (or kids in general) around?

(This post first appeared on my shop blog)

Gold Christmas Garland.

I love Christmas. I love most things about it (except for how much money is spent and wasted – is Christmas really just about presents?). I love that Christmas is about the incarnation, Immanuel – God is with us. I love spending time with family and friends. I love all the food. I love looking at the lights, making presents, and decorating the house (which is what this post is all about).

I wanted to make some sort of sparkly gold garland to string up at home, but I wasn’t really sure what I wanted. I saw a few different ones on Pinterest, but none really took my fancy. So I wandered into Spotlight and spent half an hour browsing the craft isles. I finally found some shiny gold and some sparkly cardboard, and a big circle hole punch (I thought a big star would be better, but in the end I really liked the simplicity of circles).

When I got home I cut a bazillion circles out (and some that weren’t quite circles):

imageThen I went to my mum’s house and used her sewing machine to sew down the middles and join them together into one long chain.

imageI really like them. They’re so shiny and bright and Christmas-ey!

image I ended up blue-tacking them to the wall, because I couldn’t get them all to just hang nicely and all be facing the right way. They kept spinning around so you’d see lots of white backs. But then it got really hot one day and most of them fell down, so I got less precious and just let them hang how they would.

Mum made me this angel ages ago. I think she’s really sweet:

imageAnd here’s my Christmas tree. It’s a Norfolk Island Pine in a pot. It lives outside most of the year but we bring it inside for Christmas:

imageHappy Christmas everyone!

The HanMade Christmas gift guide!

I like making things, and I especially like making presents. And since there’s no better time of year than Christmas for giving presents, and since there’s only 19 sleeps till Christmas, I thought I’d share a few fun ideas for interesting Christmas gifts you can make.

1. Homemade ginger beer. I’ve been making this for over a year now, and last year I gave some finished ginger beer, as well as a ginger beer making kit as presents.

2. Homemade chocolates. I might try making some little chocolate balls this year. Maybe like these ones.

3. Photo magnets. I know they’re not technically home-made, but at least they’re personalised. I made some for myself a couple of months ago, but I reckon they’d make great gifts for certain people.

4. Coasters. I like these ones with maps, these fabric ones, and these crochet ones.

5. These sweet bath fizzies.

6. Fun and colourful animal bookends!

There’s just a few fun ideas for you. And now for something completely different:

 

Instead of getting wrapped up in the materialism of Christmas, why not give Really Useful Gifts. It’s crazy that Australians are expected to spend $8.5 billion on presents this Christmas. Probably half those presents will be wasted. Imagine if we spent half that money on chickens, or healthy mothers and families, or teacher training. Imagine all the good that could be done!

And could there really be more to Christmas than Santa and presents and getting together with family? I think so.

 

Some baby embroidery.

A few weeks ago my sister-in-law held a baby shower. At this stage the baby’s gender was a mystery (he’s born now!) It can be challenging to find nice clothes that would suit either a baby boy or girl, (they’re all pink or blue!) so I embroidered some white body suits.

One with ducks:

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Another with bees:

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And a third with rabbits:

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They’re a bit sweet aren’t they!