Happy Birthday USA!

Today is the United States of America’s  239th birthday. I read an interesting article from NBC News. Here are some interesting facts from the story.

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I Love the USA! I like the Fourth of July because I get to spend my time eating at our annual cookout and watching fireworks. I love to do special crafts or cook special deserts on holidays.  When i craft and cook, I do it better than Martha Stewart! Just kidding.

Today I made some firecracker cookies. I found the recipe on the Cookin’ Cowgirls blog. Stephanie Hann is the blogger and she now has a business selling hand made jewelry.  Talk about coincidence, Stephanie is from Stillwater, Oklahoma.  The same state as I! Please check out her blog here.

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Firecracker Cookies
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Ingredients

1 box french vanilla cake mix, 16.25 oz
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 C vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C red sprinkles
1/2 C blue sprinkles

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Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix and baking powder. In a small bowl, mix together the eggs, oil and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the cake mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the sprinkles. Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack. The cookies will be very soft at first. Cool and enjoy!

Happy Mother’s Day

Today is the day we celebrate Mother’s Day. I read about the origin of Mother’s Day on History.com.  What I found interesting is that a number of people promoted celebrating Mother’s in the late 1800’s.   In 1868 Ann Reeves Jarvis organized “Mothers’ Friendship Day,” at which mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation. It was actually her daughter, Anna Jarvis, who conceived Mother’s Day as a way to honor the sacrifices mothers made for their children.  In 1908, the first official Mother’s Day was held in West Virginia.  Anna did not get married or have any children of her own; yet she pushed for Mother’s Day to become a national holiday.  What’s strange is that once it did, she later fought to have it removed as a holiday because she thought it was too commercial. Much like today, both the floral and card companies were a part of Mother’s Day celebrations. According to Statista.com, in 2014,  jewelry and dinner/brunch were the two largest planned expenditure categories in the United States for Mother’s Day (more than $7 billion!). Flowers were $2.35 billion.  At my dad’s church, everyone whose mother is alive wears a red flower, usually a rose or carnation. For those whose mom is deceased, they wear a white rose or carnation. This tradition is meant to honor all mothers. We rarely go out for Mother’s Day. Instead, my dad, you know the master chef (at least that’s what he calls himself) always cooks dinner.  This year, we had baked salmon, lobster mac and cheese, and salad. I made the red velvet cupcakes (see the recipe below).

Duncan Hines Decadent Red Velvet Cupcake

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Cupcake Ingredients: 2 Eggs, 2/3 cup of water, and 1/4 cup of oil.
Frosting Ingredients: 2 teaspoons water and 8 tablespoons butter.

This recipe is so simple all you have to do is follow the instructions on the back of the box:

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Salt Dough Handprint

I also made a simple craft. My brother made one of these for my mom when he was in the second grade. I’ve always been a little jealous that she’s got one of his hands (and she keeps it on her dresser and puts her jewelry in it).  Now she has one of mine too (and mine is much bigger than his!).  Ha, take that, Jacob!  I found this recipe on Mommymoment.ca

Ingredients: 1 Cup Flour; 1 Cup Salt; 1/2 Cup Water

Instructions:
Mix the salt and flour in a large bowl.
Make a well in the salt/flour mixture and add the water.
Knead until smooth and shape into a bowl.
Place the mixture in a tin pan and imprint your hand.
I pressed my hand into the pan but it did not make a good imprint. So I wet my hand and tried it again. This time it worked.
Decorate with food coloring.
I baked it at 200 degrees F until dry.

 

 

Makin’ Blue Slime

So the other day I tried four different homemade clay recipes I found on youtube.  Today I decided to make some blue slime. You know that slime from Nickelodeon? This time I only made one recipe. I’ve attached the video link so you can create it if you want to. Remember this was are my experience making the blue slime. Yours might be different.

 Blue Slime

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Ingredients: Liquid Glue, Borax or Liquid Starch, and Food Coloring 1: Put 1 Teaspoon of borax or liquid starch in a bowl 2: Add 1 cup of water 3: Mix with spoon 4: Get another bowl 5: Put in the whole bottle of glue (5 oz.) 6: Add cup of water 7: Add 16 drops of blue food coloring 8: Mix with spoon 9: Add two bowls together 10: Mix with hands 11: Enjoy
Review: It turned out pretty good! It feels cool to the touch, just like most store bought slime.
Check out the Youtube video here: How to Make Slime & Ooze! with EvanTubeHD

Clay Makin’

I tried four different homemade clay recipes I found on youtube.  All of the recipes are different and some were better than others. I decided to grade them based on number of ingredients, how easy it was to clean up, how the clay felt in my hands, and if it was moldable.  I’ve attached the video links so you can create them if you want to. Remember these are my experiences making each clay recipe. Yours might be different.

Air Dry Clay

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Ingredients: 1/2 Cup White Glue, 1/2 Cup Cornstarch, 1 Tablespoon Baby Oil, 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar, Lotion 1: Add 1/2 cup of Cornstarch into a bowl 2: Add 1/2 cup of white glue 3: Mix with spoon 4: Add the tablespoon of baby oil 5: Add the vinegar 6: Microwave from 1 min but do it in to 30 sec sections 7: Mix with hands using a drop of lotion 8:When done playing with clay get out clear wrap and put lotion all over one side of it. Fold clay into a block and wrap it up using the clear wrap. Put whole thing into Ziploc Bag and get rid of any extra air.

Review: This had the most ingredients, but it was also the easiest to make and there was little to no cleanup. The clay felt light and very moldable. The best clay recipe.

Check out the Youtube video here: Air Dry Clay by Crafty Pops

Bread Clay

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Ingredients: Bread, Dishwashing liquid or Glycerin (This will preserve clay), Liquid Glue 1: Get one piece or pieces (optional) of bread. 2: Rip off the crusts of all pieces 3: Rip the bread into small pieces 4: Pour 2 Tablespoons of liquid glue onto the pieces 5: Pour 1 Teaspoon of Dishwashing liquid or Glycerin onto the mix 6: Mix with hands 7: Enjoy

Review: This clay had the least ingredients. The clean up was a little more difficult because it was glue, soap, and bread. The clay felt like dough but it was very moldable. The second best clay recipe.

Check out the Youtube video here: Clay Bread by Ami G. Mee

Squishy Clay

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Ingredients: 1 Cup of Flour, 1/2 Cup of Salt, 1/2 Cup of Vinegar, 1 Tablespoon of Oil Food Coloring 1: Add flour into a bowl 2: Add salt 3: Mix with spoon 4: Add oil 5: Add water 6: Add food coloring 7: Mix with spoon 8: Mold into whatever you want 9: Bake it on a tray (metal or glass) on foil or a cookie sheet in the oven at 230 Fahrenheit degrees for 20 min 10: Wait to cool 11: Enjoy

Review: I decided to try food coloring with this recipe. It was not too difficult to make. It felt a little sticky compared to the top two clays. Molding the clay into a bowl was not too difficult. The third best clay recipe.

Check out the Youtube video here: Squishy Clay Crafty’s Way by TheCrafty Nikki

Salt Dough (Polymer Clay Substitute)

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Ingredients: Half a cup of flour, salt and water Vinegar 2 Tablespoons of oil Food Coloring 1: Pour flour into a bowl 2: Add salt 3: Mix with spoon 4: Add water 5: Add oil 6: A drop of Vinegar 7: Mix with spoon 8: Add food coloring 9: Mix with spoon 10: Mix with hands 11: Enjoy

Review: I decided not to use food coloring with this recipe. I added more flour, but it was too sticky and did not create a clay compared to the top three clays. The fourth best clay recipe.

Check out the Youtube video here: Salt dough 3 ingredients by Heidyjackson14

All American Wind Sock Craft

In celebration of the Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, I created an all American wind sock craft.

All American Wind Sock Craft Supplies

Supplies needed:

  • A cylindrical cardboard oatmeal box
  • Construction paper  or gift wrapping paper (red, white or blue)
  • Red, white or blue crepe paper streamers
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • String or Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch

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Cut the bottom off a cylindrical cardboard oatmeal box.

Cover the box with construction or gift wrapping paper of your choice

Decorate the box in any way you like. Remember that you must use the combination of red, white and blue.

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I for example:

Glued on white construction paper stars.

Cut some blue crepe paper streamers and taped them on both ends of the wind sock.

Once you have finished decorating the wind sock, punch four holes along the top.

Cut two pieces of string about a foot long. Tie the strings to the wind sock (tie the opposite ends of a string to holes on opposite sides of the cylinder).

Tie a longer piece of string to the smaller pieces – you’ll hang the wind sock from this piece of string.

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Hang your wind sock from your window or porch.

 

Here’s my Fourth of July Fashion Statement!

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