One recent sunny Saturday morning before Christmas, Greta helped me make these stamped towels. With minimal prep and basic supply list, they are an easy morning or afternoon project for all ages.
– white cotton dish towels (pre-washed and dried)
– fabric paint or acrylic paint thinned with water
– plastic tray or plate for palette
– small brushes
– water for washing brushes
– paper towels or newspaper for blotting stamps
– rubber stamps, found objects, cut celery, cut apples, cut potatoes for stamping
I started with a set of white dish towels I ordered off of Amazon and washed and dried them. If they are wrinkly, it is a good idea to iron them as well.
Next, I mixed up some regular acrylic paint with a bit of water. I wanted to ensure that the paint would soak into the fabric, but not be so watery that it would not produce a clear stamp. Always test the stamp before using. If the stamp has too much paint on it, your image will be blobby – so blot on newspaper or a paper towel.
Takeout containers from our favorite Thai restaurant are the best palettes. I use them in my classroom to save paint palettes and keep supplies organized. A paper or plastic plate works well for a palette too.
We use several every day item stamps to create the polka dots – a cork with a handle, the base of a highlighter, and an eraser.
The secret to these waffles is in the eggs. The eggs are separated during the mixing stages – the yolks are mixed in with liquid ingredients. The whites, however, are beaten until stiff, but not dry and then folded into the batter just before cooking. This makes them light and fluffy beyond belief. No one can resist just one of these waffles! I like to serve them with fresh fruit and maple syrup or Nutella.
I use almost a 1/2 cup of batter in my waffle iron. I keep mine set on the lower side to prevent waffles that come out too brown. This is also helpful if you are planning on freezing and toasting them later – lighter waffles will not toast as dark.
Buttermilk Waffles – makes 6 – 8 waffles, from The Joy of Cooking, 1975
1. Sift: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt.
2. Beat in a separate bowl until light: 2 egg yolks. Add and beat 1-3/4 cup buttermilk (or buttermilk replacement), 6 tablespoons melted butter or margarine.
3. Combine the liquid and dry ingredients with a few swift strokes. Allow to sit while preparing egg whites. Beat until stiff peaks form, but not dry: 2 egg whites. Fold egg whites into batter. Cook according to waffle iron and preferences.
I recently made these cookies for the holidays – the nice thing is I was able to share them with three sets of gluten-free people. Having friends, family, and colleagues who are gluten-free means experimenting with different recipes and ingredients frequently.
I started with the square origami paper and then cut them in half, using my paper cutter. One could also fold them if you wanted your garland to be two-sided. I stacked them up according to the in order in which I wanted them to appear on the garland.
Then, I ran them through the sewing machine using a simple straight stitch through the middle of the triangle. I used festive gold thread to complement the gold theme throughout the origami paper. Be sure to leave a little space between each piece of paper to allow for movement and hanging abilities of the garland.
The finished design looks festive, though I am thinking that this garland plus the ornaments may be a bit much. Like I said, I am still figuring out how things work in this new place – perhaps the garland will find a new home today. Sometime in the next few months that chandelier will get a makeover. I have bright plans for it.
This holiday season I have been making a point to create and use alternatives to wrapping paper. When we moved to Iowa, I gave away much of the wrapping paper, deciding it was one thing that did not need to make the 1,000 mile journey. I bought a roll for the kids’ paper, but for adults I have opted to make my own unique paper.
This first paper was made by attaching a small section of bubble wrap to a small cardboard box. The bubble wrap stamp was then dipped in green paint and stamped on a large section of newspaper. My paint was a little on the thin side, so the stamped designs could have been clearer had I opted for a thicker paint.
The next alternative to wrapping paper uses everyday tissue paper. I laid it out on glossy newspaper ads for protection of the surface underneath and then splattered with drawing ink. You could also use water color paints, which is also less permanent if you miss.
The finished wrapped present has a few splashes of color – I like the deep blue for a cool wintry look.
I got out the brown paper bags and cut them up for the stamped wrapping paper. The snowflake designs are a rubber stamp from a craft store and the squares are the actual silver stamp pad itself. I added red ends to the package to cover my sloppy tape job and to add a pop of festive red color.
The blue-gray printed fabric ribbon adds even more class to a simple brown paper package.
For this package, I used a watercolor painting of Greta’s. She makes such lovely abstract paintings with minimal lines and colors. This wrapping method works better with thinner paper, so you can bend, fold, tape it together.
Lastly, my favorite alternative to wrapping gifts – the simple Sunday comics page. If you don’t subscribe to the newspaper, look for other every papers – catalogs, mailings, lined paper, etc.
I have been busy making block prints this month – it all started with making return address labels via a block print. This one came about due to a shirt I love to wear with the state outline and home on the inside – I got it back in Greensboro from a fun shop downtown. Here is the link to the Etsy profile for these shirts.
Each print is done on a page from a dictionary. Most of the pages have some sort of significance to the state of North Carolina – basketball, Tar Heel, sweet gum, etc.