Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Quick and Easy Cream Puffs

Cream Puffs are a fun and easy recipe to try with kids.

It hit me last night, summer's winding down and there are just two weeks before school. I decided today was going to be a family fun day - no chores!! So we decided to spend our day making treats. If you've read our blog before you know I'm not great at baking - but today we struck gold with sweet and easy cream puffs. I'm telling you anyone can make these, even me.

We followed a very basic recipe from our Better Homes and Gardens cookbook - this is our go to source for everything. If you don't have this cookbook, the recipe is also online. The best part about today was that we had fun at home with stuff already in our kitchen. The basic ingredients for cream puffs are water, eggs, butter, flour and a pinch of salt. That's it!! For the filling we used instant pudding which we stirred by hand. With two eager helpers five minutes of stirring was perfect - everyone had several turns.

I couldn't believe how easy it was to make the dough and when I first put it on the baking tray -I admit, I was skeptical this was actually going to work. But after 30 minutes in the oven they looked great (although not all the perfect shape or size).
We had fun scooping out the inside and adding pudding - topping it off with, of course, chocolate sauce and confectioners sugar. Definitely try this at home - super easy and very YUMMY!!

Of course real cream puffs are the best, but felt creations are fun too and last long after the real treats are gobbled up. The other day I experimented with felt circles and made a bunch of cream puffs to use on our felt food. Just like real cream puffs, these were super easy too.

To make these you just need a small circle of felt with triangle shaped notches cut out all the way around. Think of it like a clock and keep the cuts symmetrical - 12, 3, 6, 9 and one in between each of those. Sew each layer to the next, tie off and your done!
We'd love to know...
What's your favorite recipe to make with kids?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Late Summer Blooms

This time of year there is so little color in our garden. We're enjoying the hydrangeas and are surprised by a few late blooms on other climbing plants like our violet clematis. Usually I just enjoy these flowers from a distance because they grow over our arbor, but I love the detail in this close up shot.

Although this felt creation isn't quite a clematis flower, it has a fun, rolled up felt, fringe center that adds a nice detail.

A few years back I added a hydrangea tree to the back corner of our yard. It's been growing slowly in height, but has tons of great blooms. The other day after a rain shower I went outside to take a few pictures for inspiration. This shot really captured the shape of each individual flower and gave me a good starting point for creating this treasured flower in felt.

Here's a sneak peak at my work in progress - which features my version of a felt hydrangea flower. Visit our shop on Etsy soon to see the completed projects!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Transportation Themed Boy's Room

Affordable, heirloom quality wall hangings

We all know the dilemma - you want to decorate you're child's room around a theme but you don't want to plaster the licensed characters all over the bedding, walls and accessories. PJs are definitely OK. Last month a mom was designing on her son's "big boy" room and she turned to Etsy for a solution.

Like many seasoned Etsy shoppers, she posted a request to Alchemy. If you haven't checked out this feature on Etsy - please do!! Alchemy is a place where shoppers can request custom items - really anything under the sun - and Etsy shop owners will bid on the request.

This mom wanted something to decorate her son's walls that was based on the bedding. The bedding set she selected offered optional wall decals, but she wanted something nicer.

We bid on her request and she selected us to create two custom wall hangings based on the wall decals shown above. We had a few conversations and settled on the Jeep and Truck icons.

It was so much fun to take these cute images and turn them into heirloom art for her son. As it turns out the week I mailed these to the family - they were still welcoming home a new baby boy!

Our wall hangings are made with wool felt and are sewn entirely by hand. We'd love to hear from you and talk about how we can create a custom design for you.