Sharing Saturday #13

It is hard to believe that Palm Sunday is this week. All the Easter and spring crafts seem to be everywhere on line including at our Sharing Saturday from last week. Thank you to everyone who linked up. We are very sorry for all the technical problems that Linky Tools had last weekend. Now they are all set and there shouldn't be a problem this week.

Spring and Easter Crafts

This week we have been busy making Easter egg crafts and some spring crafts. We got a few ideas from Family Fun. The first is a paper mache egg diorama made to look like the sugar ones. I bought some water bomb balloons so they would be more egg shaped than the round ones. We used their recipe for paste and did our best to get three layers one. Hazel had a few issues but it was not too bad. The hardest thing was finding things to go inside the eggs.

This is messy, so make sure you put the newspaper down! They also can drip while drying, so leave it there for the first bit. The nice part of the flour water paste is that it cleans up fairly easily. This is a simple paper mache of dipping the tissue paper into the homemade paste and smoothing it onto a balloon. Some are smoother than others, but when making with a three-year-old we are not looking for perfection.
After they have completely dried you pop the balloon and cut a hole. Then you fill it with some Easter grass and a figurine. You can also decorate the outside around the hole, but you have to make more paste for this. Then glue a bow on top and glue a jar lid to the bottom to get it to stand.
The next craft we also got from Family Fun. We got to use our water balloons and I made the homemade paste again instead of the glue mixture and we invaded my yarn supply.
Hazel had more difficulty with these. She did not quite get the idea of wrapping the yarn. She wanted to apply it in bunches which did not stick and she also got a lot of the paste on it so it showed (this is the one downfall of using the paste and not the glue mixture). She decided to make all red ones because Chrysanthemum (formerly Ducky) wanted them red. She also experimented with putting the balloon in the paste instead of the glue. It didn't work but she kept trying.
The general idea of these are to dip the yarn in the paste/glue and wrap around the balloons. You let them dry and then pop the balloons and have a beautiful yarn egg.
I decided to use the ones we made to decorate the dining room. I hung them from the chandelier (which is high enough so the cats can't play with them).
I also made Hazel some flower fairies. I found this package of flower bath petals or something like that in the clearance section at Michaels for 45 cents.

Having recently seen Marie's of Softearth World post on Thumbellina, I bought them with that in mind. So I pulled out some peg dolls and made them into fairies to match the blue flowers.
Hazel also painted some wooden butterflies that I bought at the Dollar Tree. I then glued one ribbons for her to hang them on her tree.

We have been a little behind on switching her tree to spring so these will help.

Ok, that catches you up on all of our crafting this week. What have you been up to? I hope you will come back and share at Sharing Saturday! And if you have any family time related posts please come share at Happy Family Times each Tuesday.

Peep Inspired Crafts

We all know those marshmallow Peep candies--bunnies or chicks--right? I loved them as a child. I bought some bunnies for Hazel, but haven't given her any. Do they have these in other countries? Anyway, I've been seeing many Peep inspired crafts lately. Some were shared on Sharing Saturday and others I saw on Pinterest.

First I will feature two of the crafts from Sharing Saturday.

From Toys In The Dryer: Bunny Bunting Banner:

And from Tippytoe Crafts: Easter Chicks
 Ok, this one I actually saw before it was shared at this week's Sharing Saturday and used it as inspiration. It also reminded me of a book we have been reading lately. It may also be the name of Betsy's blog that made me think of this connection. Anyway, the book is Tippy-Toe Chick, Go! by George Shannon.
It is a very cute book about a hen and her three chicks. They go every day to the garden for treats until one day a dog is there blocking their way. The biggest chick decides to take care of the dog, but the dog scares him. The middle chick then tries and gets scared. They are all ready to give up when the little chick says he wants a chance. The hen gets upset since he is too small, but he calls back he can run. He runs the dog around a tree so the dog's rope is all caught up. Then they can get their treats. They run of course on their tippy-toes. So here is a great craft to go along with this book.

I used the pattern Betsy shared on Tippytoe Crafts. It comes from Easter Couloring. I cut several of these patterns from cardstock. I had Hazel use her dot markers to color them in. Then we cut out a beak and feet for them from orange construction paper and glued them on and glued on a googly eye. Hazel also glued on some feathers for the tail.

These chicks would also work for an Easter book we have been enjoying. The Easter Egg Farm by Mary Jane Auch. One of the hens on this farm is having trouble laying eggs. The other hens tease her and she turns her back and concentrates very hard. Low and behold she lays an egg, but it isn't an ordinary egg. The other hens tease her some more. Every egg she lays has weird designs. She moves outside and the owner sees the egg she lays before she can hide it. It looks like the sky. The owner figures out after two days that her eggs look like whatever she is looking at. She brings her into the house and takes her on road trips for inspiration. A lady comes by to buy some of the eggs for the egg hunt. She wants one for every child in town. Of course when she comes to pick them up some of the eggs (which have been sitting on the window sills) begin to hatch and out come very colorful chicks. They grow up to look like their egg designs and also lay extraordinary eggs. Needless to say these colorful chicks could definitely represent her chicks.

Then for the bunnies I used the pattern I found on Dandelions and Lace. Again I cut several from cardstock (oh, and I also cut the complete pattern from pink fleece and blue wool felt). I'll share that picture as well. I gave these to Hazel to use the dot markers on as well. We used pom poms and googly eyes to make front facing bunnies and cotton balls for tails for back facing bunnies.

Then I did some sewing and made these using the same pattern for the bunny. First I cut one out of some pink softie fleece. I sewed this one on the serger. I added the eyes and mouth after I stuffed it.

I also cut one out of 100% wool felt and used wool stuffing. This one I hand sewed with thread. I also did some French knots for the eyes and mouth. (I need to practice my French knots a bit.) I also added a tail with a small bit of the stuffing.
Don't they just make you want to go eat some Peeps! Hope you are having a great day!!

Whole Wheat Bread Baking

Some Signs of Spring in Our Yard

We are lucky enough to knead bread and bake it every week at school in our parent/child class. Hazel has been asking if we can make huckabuck bread at home as well. We did last year around this time. The teachers have been kind enough to share the recipe with us. This week however I decided instead of huckabuck bread we would make whole wheat bread to go with the soup we will be making in a bit for dinner.

So first we looked for a good recipe. After checking a couple of cookbooks I decided on one from my Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book (I have the 10th edition). I adapted the recipe a bit, of course.

2 cups bread flour
1 package active dry yeast
1/3 cup of honey (not sure I used a 1/3 of a cup since I used whatever I had left)
3 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups water
3 cups whole wheat flour

Combine the bread flour and yeast in a bowl. Hazel did this step.

Heat and stir the honey, butter, water and salt until warm (120 to 130 degrees) and butter almost melts. (I did this since it involved the stove.)
 Add to the flour mixture. Stir with spoon (the recipe called for a mixer but that takes some of the fun away).
Add 2 cups whole wheat flour and mix as best you can. I eventually used my hands. Then add 1 to 1 1/2 cups more flour ( I used whole wheat the recipe called for white) until the consistency is what you want.
Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead. At school we sing songs and say rhymes while kneading. We sang one:
Chorus: It's down with your heals and up with your hands.
This is the way you make huckabuck bread.

My mother and father have just gone to bed.
They left me alone to make huckabuck bread.

My sister and brother have just gone to bed.
They left me alone to make huckabuck bread.

My kitty and doggy have just gone to bed.
They left me alone to make huckabuck bread.
Hazel demonstrated how she likes to knead at school by poking holes and breaking off pieces.
She also made a walking fairy house that had a bunny tail. See above. She is moving it so it is walking.

Then we combined both halves back to one ball and placed in a lightly oiled pan cover with a towel and place in a warm draft free space for an hour to an hour and a half. Sorry I didn't take pictures. I had warmed my oven slightly and used it for the rising space. I also was too excited to show Hazel how the dough doubled and get to punch it down to remember the camera. Punching it down is my favorite part. We split it and kneaded a bit more. Then cover them with the towel and let them sit for 10 minutes. Then shape into loaves and put into lightly oiled loaf pans. 
Let it rise again for 45-60 minutes until it has almost doubled.
Then bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes. The instructions said something about covering the last 10-20 minutes if necessary. I didn't see a reason to.
Then cool a bit and enjoy!! Hazel and I sampled it while it was still warm, but there is plenty left to go with our soup tonight. Now we have to go make that.

I especially link up baking with Hazel at:

Happy Family Times--a new weekly link party!!

Have you done something fun with your family? I know it is something we all strive to do more of. Kelly over at Happy Whimsical Hearts and I are starting a new weekly link party--Happy Family Times--to share those activities in hopes that we all may get some new ideas. So if you all danced one night, went for a walk, or something and you posted about it, please link it up here!!

This week we did a few things as a family that we enjoyed. The first is we went to get pictures with the Easter Bunny at my church. It was a church fundraiser and I had signed up to volunteer at it. Hazel and I headed over early and Steve met us there. In the past Hazel has been completely afraid of the Easter Bunny (and Santa) so all of pictures with either are family shots or have at least one of us in it. Hazel insisted that I dress up with a dress and hat like her today. Our friends at church thought we looked so cute and had to take pictures before we saw the Easter Bunny.
Showing off her white gloves
We fell in love with her dress at KMart. It really is a bit big for her so I'm hoping it may still fit next year as well. Daddy actually missed the picture taking because Hazel decided she was ready before he got there. (I'm not really sure what took so long for him to get there since he was home from his run before we left and his showers only take five minutes.) They also had crafts to do while waiting. Hazel did those first and then she worked on the crafts I brought for her--knowing we would be there all morning.
We will share some of our crafts later this week. After Friday and Saturday, I think we have enough crafts to post all week long. Hazel drew pictures for everyone there--our minister, our friends and the Easter Bunny. The Easter Bunny who at this time happened to be the same college student as last year when she cried to see him dressed as the Easter Bunny got a hug from her after she gave him the picture. A HUGE step for her!! Unfortunately I didn't have my camera on me to get the picture.

On Sunday after church we went to McDonalds. You may remember we went last week because we thought Elmo was going to be there, but the sign had been wrong and we saw Dora instead. Well, Elmo was there for lunch this time so the family went for some quality time with Elmo. Unfortunately, Hazel decided she wanted to wake up at 2:30 a.m. and was a bit tired by lunch time (as were Steve and I). She did not have the energy she had with Dora, but was so much more excited to see Elmo.
And we survived another week of eating McDonalds or as Hazel calls it Old MacDonalds. She did not like her lunch there this time, so besides seeing the characters I don't see us going very often. Here is a picture of Hazel, me and Elmo. Unfortunately Steve is not great with the camera. Sorry!!

Now we want to see what you have been doing!!

~ please link up (family time oriented giveaways are ok, but please no Etsy shops)
~ use our button so others can join the fun


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~ we'd love for you to follow us Crafty Moms Share and Happy Whimsical Hearts
~ check out our Happy Family Times Pinterest board where we will be pinning some of our favorite ideas

Ok, now for our PARTY!! Please share your FUN Family Times!!

The Conductor--Book and Craft

Recently we got out of the library a book called The Conductor by Laetitia Dervenay. It is a wordless book that combines an orchestra conductor and a grove of trees and lots of magic. The conductor climbs to the top of the tree and begins to conduct. Soon the leaves begin to swirl and then take flight looking like birds. After the conductor finishes, bows and climbs down the leaves return to their place and the trees are no longer bare, but full again. It is a fun book. We made the leaf birds as we call them. Some of which looked like this but in black and white in the book.
I cut out the body of the bird from black paper (well I used black with gold sparkle) and some leaves from green and brown paper and gave them a slight fringe edge. Then gave Hazel a glue stick. She came up with this:
I cut out another and glued it myself. This time I made the leaves a bit smaller, so you could see more of the shapes we were using. The picture at the top of this post is mine.