Friday, May 31, 2013

Little chocolate pizzas ~ a fun gift from the kitchen

(Photo by Taste of Home -- full size pizza is pictured.)
I hadn't thought of these for a long time, but the other day, they came to mind.  Years ago, these were a popular item I included in college care packages.  I thought it would be helpful to put the link here on my Christmas blog, so I can make them again this Christmas.  Maybe some of you would like to try making these treats as well.  Here's the link for the basic recipe: Chocolate Pizza.

If you happen to have, as I do, some miniature round pans, you can use these to make individual pizzas.  If not, you can use muffin cups. 

I have never made these using the maraschino cherries, although I am sure that would be delicious.  Instead, I use red and green M&M candies.  To me, they make the pizza look a little bit more realistic -- plus, the red and green are fun for Christmas.

This would be a very fun recipe to make with kids -- just make sure that an adult or an older child handles the chocolate melting part of the recipe.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fantabulous Felt Food!

Kids love felt food!
 For many weeks and months (maybe years)  now, I have been wanting to put all of my links to various felt food projects in one place.  Here on my Christmas blog, I'm posting today with all of the links I can find.  These are all felt foods I have made over the past three or four years or so.  I have other links and projects saved, but only want to share links for the items I have actually made.

If you think you might like to make some felt food for children in your life for Christmas, birthdays, or just for fun, now is a great time to get started.  Felt food is easy, small, and portable, making it an ideal craft to work on during a road trip, at the beach, etc. 

So let the linkage begin!

I think that these Felt Cheez-It® Crackers were the first felt food I attempted.  Very, very easy.
You can see the cheese crackers toward the right back of the table.  We recycled a cracker box to present them in.
Unfortunately, I can no longer access the blog where I got the pattern for bacon and eggs; it has become a private blog.  This  pattern looks like a good one: Felt Fried Eggs and Bacon.  The bacon I made has a wavy, realistic look because one stitches along the edges using a wired floss in a tan color.

Bacon and Eggs
 These Felt Cinnamon Rolls are probably the easiest felt food I've ever made, but they sure do look delicious!

Cinnamon Rolls
These Felt popsicles are also very easy to make.

Grape, lime, and orange popsicles

Orange, cherry and lime popsicles
Felt Toaster Pastries might be a great starter project.  They are so quick and easy!  If your grandchildren are very little or if there are babies in the house, you might prefer to make colorful french knot "sprinkles" rather than attaching beads. 

Pop-tarts® in packaging
 I think I failed to take pictures of the Felt Coffee & Mini Donut set I made for these two.  (Maybe because I was somewhat disappointed in how the coffee cups came out.)  Their uncle owns a coffee shop, which is why I made these.  They are drinking from the coffee cups, which have sleeves from their uncle's shop.  The large donuts in the picture are the crocheted ones.  I think the pink and chocolate frosted mini donuts from this tutorial are in between the valentine cookies and the cheese crackers, in front of Emily.  (You can actually see these mini donuts better in the very top photo, where they are in the foreground.)

This pattern for Felt sandwiches and bags of chips has directions for potato chips, bags, and two kinds of sandwiches.

Sandwiches -- ham, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes on burger buns

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Bags of chips
Another look at the potato chips
I tried several tutorials for felt strawberries, but one came out as big as tomatoes!  I salvaged them by putting them in a tomato box and calling them tomatoes, but they weren't all that easy to make, so I've scrapped that pattern.  These Felt strawberries are the best pattern I've found.  I like to package them in plastic berry boxes.

A basket of strawberries
This Felt pumpkin pie with whipped cream is truly amazing.  I've made lemon, chocolate, and cheesecake pie slices as well.  A good bit of the sewing on this is done by machine, so it's not as complicated as it looks.

Pumpkin pie
Lemon pie
Chocolate cream pie
Strawberry cheesecake

Pumpkin, lemon and chocolate pie
And here is the link for pancakes:Felt Pancakes.  Again, very easy.  Partly sewed by machine.

Pancakes with butter pat
And here is one for Christmas cookies -- these are also very easy!  Christmas Cookies.  Obviously, you can make these into plain sugar cookies or into Valentine cookies -- or just cut-out cookies for any occasion!

Christmas cookies
Christmas cookies in their packaging
Frosted sugar cookies with sprinkles
Valentine cookies
More Valentine cookies
This Fabric Bow-Tie Pasta is not made of felt, but is still very easy.

Fabric bow tie pasta
A package of pasta
Not all play food is made of fabric.  Here are a couple of links for foods I've crocheted:  Crochet Sandwich Cookies

Crocheted chocolate sandwich cookies
and Crocheted Donut, which I've made in varying "flavors".  Again, if you suspect these or the felt cookies (really, any play food with "sprinkles") will go into a tiny child's mouth, then please use french knots rather than beads.

A pink-frosted doughnut
Chocolate frosted donut
A packaged chocolate donut
So there are all my links!  If you'd like more felt food inspiration, go to One Pretty Thing
and click on the "Categories" tab, then scroll down on the pop-up menu to "Felt Food Roundup".  From the list that appears on the right, choose a date and look at the felt-food roundup for that day.  And so on.  If you're interested in making felt food, I can pretty much guarantee you'll find something here that you want to make.
My grandkids are always happy to get more felt food!
Have fun cooking up some felt food!  A word of warning, though -- it's addictive!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Lego® Sacks -- a fun and practical gift for kids

I'm posting these here on my Christmas blog for a couple of reasons:
1) They are a great and very easy handmade gift for  kids;
2) I plan on making these for my Nevada grandkids for Christmas and they will be much less likely to see them here than on my regular blog, which they occasionally look at.

So -- I had seen this Lego Sack tutorial some time ago and put it on my list to make for the kids.  I have several Lego-loving grandchildren, and this would make a useful gift for them. 

Very simply, it's a large lined fabric circle which the kids can use as a playing surface for Legos or, actually, any toy with a multitude of small pieces.
Opened up as playing surface
Then, when they are done playing for the day, they simply gather up the drawstrings and voila! the pieces are all contained within one neat sack, which can then be hung from a peg or hook, a doorknob or even a bedpost.
Closed up for storage

I made this orange one for one of my grandsons, and his brother admired it so much that he wanted one for his birthday, too.  So I made his in the same print, only a teal color.  I failed to get pictures of that one.

I thought this sort of geometric print would look nice for Legos.  I found it at a Walmart that still carries fabric.  It was on clearance -- between $1 and $2 a yard, I forget which.  I bought it in orange, teal, and yellow.  I can't remember if there were other colors or not, but there may have been.  I will find out, though, as I need to go back and get more fabric for making more sacks for Christmas gifts.

For the lining, I lined the first one with part of an old sheet, and that worked fine.  For the second one, I lined it with a sturdier fabric -- think it may have been osnaburg -- which I had originally bought for lining tote bags.  I'll plan to use that for the remaining 3 or 4 Lego sacks, since I have plenty of it.

These go together almost unbelievably fast.  The hardest part, literally, is measuring and cutting the circle.  I used a 1-yard square to cut the circle from, and panicked at first because I thought it was going to be too small.  But it was just fine.  Actually, if you are using just regular fabric, you won't be able to cut anything larger than a 45-inch square anyway.  And you would have to purchase more than a yard to do that.  So for me, I think I'll continue using the 36-inch square.

For the drawstrings, I used wide ribbon.  Wide bias tape would work well too, and so would rope or a thick cord.  The instructions call for making one's own bias tape but I didn't have time or interest in doing that.

Hope this info is helpful to someone.  These certainly have been a hit with my grandkids so far!