Wednesday, June 8, 2011

HOLIDAY GEMS-GREAT CRAFTS FOR KIDS

God has given me the talent to work with children so for more than 50 years, I have taught Sunday School, Bible School and participated with other kids' groups-Girl Scouts, summer programs for inner city children, sports teams.
It is my opinion that making something that is associated with the lesson of the day helps the children retain more and longer so most of the time I tried to have a hands on craft for the child to take home.
Since there has been little budget for any of these groups, we have done a lot of scrap crafting and believe me, at times it has been a real challenge but always fun to take practically nothing and create. My friend, Mary, can't understand sometimes why I save so much stuff but that "stuff" has become a treasure on occasion. 
In case you didn't know, the secret life of an Altoid box is a sewing box or personal treasure chest, crushed up egg shells are mosaics when glued onto a wood box and painted or a 2 litre bottle is a bird feeder or yarn holder or acorn caps make dandy picture frames when glued onto cardboard or hats for stick people-almost everything has its own secret life waiting for someone to uncover. 
So before you throw something away, play sleuth to discover what it really truly wants to be.

I have used what I call "glass globs" for several projects and there will be more. Bible verses and pictures have been printed and glued on. They are economical and easy to work with.
I made pins with Bible verses for our church's Mother's Day presentation a couple of years ago. Our young people did the honors of reading Bible verses and pinning one on each lady there. The pins turned out well.
This video shows how to make a similar pin.

THE GLASS PHOTO PIN & FOCAL BEAD


Now, get into those old greeting cards, look at all that wrapping paper or scrapbooking paper or magazines and look at them with a new eye. What stories can they tell on those "glass globs"? Would  they look good as a grouping for a gift, perhaps?
I hope the following video gives you more ideas and gives you a jump start to look at things in a new way.


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MY FAVORITE RECIPES


[This thought just ran through my mind since we are talking kids- there always needed to be a treat on hand, one that was easy to transport and not so messy to eat and no cleanup. Have you ever tried baking cupcakes in those flat bottomed ice cream cones? Easy made with easy cleanup, easily transported, easy to eat/not too messy! I have made many, many. Just prepare cake mix as per instructions, fill cones 2/3 full, place on large baking sheet, bake 15-18 minutes.]

The older I get, the less I want to be in the kitchen but I still love good food. I cook in quantity and we eat leftovers or freeze meals so they can be popped into the microwave on days I reeeaallly don't want to cook or when company comes. 
I used to clip and collect recipes that I liked from everyone. No more. If we are at a gathering, I'll just wait til the next gathering for that dish. I am retired. In fact, I would unlearn cooking if I could. That's bad, isn't it?
I am at the age that I want to do what I want to do and  most of the time, it is not cooking-really-none of the time.
Well, anyway, here is a dish that is made ahead and is a really different macaroni salad. The macaroni is kept in a sweet-n-sour brine so it is ready whenever you need a quick salad.

CATFISH'S DELI-STYLE MACARONI
8 ounces macaroni

brine:
2 cups cider vinegar
3 cups sugar

salad ingredients:
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 medium cucumber, diced
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon basil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook macaroni until al dente [not quite done-fairly firm]. Drain well and rinse with cold water to prevent further cooking.

In a small saucepan, bring vinegar and sugar to a simmer. Stir to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Place cooked macaroni in a bowl and pour brine over. Allow macaroni to marinate in the brine, refrigerated for at least 24 hours. Pasta will keep for up to 2 weeks in the brine.

To serve:
Drain the macaroni from the brine. In a large bowl combine:drained macaroni, diced tomatoes, green pepper, cucumber and onion. Toss to combine. Add the mayonnaise, basil, salt and pepper.
Yield-6 to 8 servings.

This is the best macaroni salad I ever ate. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Happy Homemaking and God bless you,
Carolyn Wainscott

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