Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Fun with DIY Playdough

I remember many fond hours with playdough as a child, and, honestly, you'd be hard-pressed to find a child who *doesn't like playdough*. From my experience, children are drawn to it and love it.

 

Why? Because they can play autonomously. They are in charge, and they don't have someone harping on them to "do this" or "do that" in the one, right, way. It's free from pressure, from stress. (It's great for children's emotional health and is used by therapists!)

With playdough, you can just be, be yourself, be a child, be free! You can touch, and no one's going to stop you from touching, squeezing, rolling, stamping, and punching. You can create. You can make sounds. You can talk to other children and make props to tell a story.
 

Now, playdough is expensive... BUT, it's also incredibly simple to make. The upside to homemade playdough is that it is safe to eat (not tasty) and non-toxic. I made a video detailing one method for super-soft, super-smooth and non-sticky playdough. It's amazing!



You can learn about colours, about cultures, about numbers, about textures, about patterns... the sky's the limit, and playdough is the ultimate tool.

Playdough mooncakes!!





Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

Throwback: Marshmallows in 3 Flavours

Peppermint Goodness
Candymaking has been a cherished hobby of mine since procuring the all-important candy thermometer. Marshmallows are the ultimate confectionary delight and they are surprisingly easy to make (and fail at too, haha!)

Vanilla marshmallows and Daddy's espresso
It has been really fun coming up with variations on the marshmallows  as well - next up: matcha!

Vanilla, cocoa and peppermint marshmallows in the pantry cupboard
Here's a great recipe for small batches on DessertforTwo.com I *think* it's the one I used. 


Handcrafted Felt Dolls

One of my latest hobbies has been handcrafting dolls. There are already been seven dolls at least, all sewn by hand, designed individually, and marked by their own unique quirks. They do get better with each attempt! Each doll takes about a week a complete - two days to sew and embroider the doll, and a much longer time to design the hair, clothes, shoes and accessories. My pattern is adapted from Nunodoll's "simple felt doll".
Within the next few weeks, I should be able to upload a video detailing the process of making the doll by hand and by sewing machine.


This darling was my second doll. Here she in a formal black dress.

Beeeeeeeg eyes!
Amethyst


 And here's her final outfit - dressed as a forest fairy named "Amethyst", she wears a wreath of jeweled flowers, as well as a bodice with a organza petal "tutu".
 This "Xiao Peng You" is a sweet East Asian girl with piercing green eyes. I've get to fix her ears properly and redo the yarn do. She was my first attempt and I  absolutely love the embroidered eyes and the dainty lips.


 Her best friend is a blue denim horse.
This dolly had red hair and is full of spunk. Above, she's dressed as "Anne of Green Gables". Below, she's a spunky modern girl in a pretty print dress. She has long spindly legs

  


She also dresses up as the incredible unbeatable Kimmy Schmidt.





 

Finally this is a young elfling, inspired by Arwen. Well, she is Arwen haha, with a shimmery grey cloak, sparkling blue eyes and a very elf-like gown. Perfect outfit for riding horses around the countryside and running from  Black Riders.

A new dolly is coming soon, and she's gorgeous!!! I can't wait. 



Thursday, June 16, 2016

Soap Cupcakes

The recipe includes aloe vera, coconut oil, castor oil and distilled eucalyptus extract oil.


Note to self: Don't over-trace the soap! It was getting harder and harder as I piped, a real workout for the knuckles. It was also hard to fill the cupcake molds nicely as the soap was waaaay too solid