Feeds:
Posts
Comments

I couldn’t help but snap some pictures of my basket full of finished items ready to be packaged up and sent to their owners!

 

Hard work, turned into beautiful figures!  How satisfying!

Here’s a simple science experiment.  Fill a jar of water halfway.  Gently try and float an egg in the water.

The egg sinks.  Now stir 5 to 7 teaspoons of salt into the water until it dissolves.  See what happens if you try and float an egg in it now!

The egg sinks the first time because it is denser, or heavier than the water.  When you add salt to the water it becomes more dense than the egg, so the egg floats!

We made these super yummy lavender cupcakes for A’s birthday party.  I got the recipe off the back of a thank you card someone gave me years ago!

First we gathered lavender over the course of a couple weeks.  Then when we had enough, we picked off all the little lavender flowers, which I posted about here.
Then you need to soak the flowers overnight in the milk you will be using in the recipe.

The next day, you have this yummy smelling lavender milk to use to make your cupcakes!  Here is the recipe from Hummingbird Bakery.

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 tbsp dried lavender flowers
  • 1 cup all-purpose / plain flour
  • a scant 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 12 small springs of lavender (optional)

Lavender Frosting

  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tbsp dried lavender flowers
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar)
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • a couple drops of purple food colouring (optional)

Directions

  • 1.  Put the milk and dried lavender flowers in a measuring cup, cover and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight if possible. Do the same with the milk and lavender flowers for the frosting, in a separate cup.
  • 2.  Line a 12-hole cupcake pan with paper cases. Preheat oven to 325F (170 C or gas mark 3, except it worked better on 4 with my oven.)
  • 3.  Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
  • 4.  Strain the lavender-infused milk (for the cupcake) and slowly pour into the flour mixture, beating well until all the ingredients are well mixed. Add the egg and beat well (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula).
  • 5.  Spoon the batter into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cake bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the center should come out clean. Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  For the lavender frosting:

  • 1.  Beat together the confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar), butter and food colouring, if using, in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Turn the mixer down to slow speed. Strain the lavender-infused milk and slowly pour into the butter mixture. Once all the milk is incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.
  • 2.  When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the lavender frosting on top and decorate with a sprig of lavender, if using.

It says it makes 12, but it only makes 10 for me!  And it makes enough icing for about 18 cupcakes, the way I frost them anyway.

Source: Ingrid – Hummingbird bakery

These beautiful, floaty, silk butterfly wings arrived today from a cool Etsy shop called Ziezo.  My daughter absolutely loves them!

They blow so nicely in the wind.

Then I got our their homemade ribbon sticks, which I thought would work really nicely on such a windy day!

Gnome Homes

We started making these gnome homes in the winter when there wasn’t much reason to go outside in the cold.  We preferred staying inside and being hermits, so I thought this would give us a good reason to go out.

Once in a while we go visit them and fix up their little homes from the damage done by the weather.  This time, we made them beds of moss and little canopies of ivy.

We bring them little treasures, too.  Sometimes we bring them treasures of glass marbles. This time we brought wooden beads.  Usually the gnomes are little sticks because we don’t want to leave our real gnomes outside.  Sometimes we bring the real ones out for a visit.  You can see them having a rest here on the little moss bed, in the shade of the ivy leaf canopies.

I saw this awesome idea on the Twig and Toadstool about how to make leaf crowns!

Pick a bunch of leaves, break off a small piece of stem about 1 to 2 inches long.  Then overlap the leaves a bit, and using the stem, push it through both leaves to hold them together.

Do this for each leaf until your crown is big enough to fit.  Attach it together at the end the same way you did for the rest of the crown.  My girls felt like leaf princesses!

I love making these and putting them in the freezer to eat whenever we want!  And I love that they don’t have preservatives or anything in them, they taste awesome!

Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

1 cup plain flour

1 cup wholemeal flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder

3 Tbsp butter

3/4 c very hot water ( I microwave it for 1 and a half minutes)

1.  Combine dry ingredients in bowl and mix well

2.  Cut in the butter till like course cornmeal

3.  Add the water and mix to form soft but not too sticky dough

4.  Knead about 15 times to form a smooth dough

5.  Form into 8 equal sized balls.  Cover and let stand 30 minutes

6.  Flatten each ball into a circle with a uniform thickness

7.  Cook in a pan on medium heat on each side

I keep a few out for the day and freeze the rest.  I like melting cheese on them and eating with salsa!  My girls like them plain because they’re boring and picky.

My brother sent us a pack of 12 sponges from Trader Joe’s for the girls to play with.  They were all dried and pressed really thin.  First they had fun building towers with them, but I didn’t get a photo of that.

Then we dropped them into a tub of water and watched them grow!

Afterwards, I put them on the radiator to dry and gave E some tongs to take them off and put in a pot, and back on the radiator again.

Who knew sponges could be so fun?  Well, I didn’t, anyway!

My 5 year old got a wooden princess magnet decorating kit for her birthday from her grandparents and E wanted one too!  So I quickly made this for her.  Some paper, a pencil and scissors, and then some glue and sequins for E.

You could also use coloured pencils, bits of tissue paper or fabric, or glitter.  E is not allowed glitter, though, after she somehow covered her scalp the other week in red and green tiny tiny glitter that I think will still be there at Christmas.

This is so fun!  You need paints, paper, a tray and marbles.

Put a piece of paper in a tray and squirt some paint on the paper.  Then put some marbles in and move the tray around so they roll through the paint.  See what work of art you end up with!