Friday, December 30, 2011

My Top 5 Posts of 2011

Since it is the end of the year and almost the one year anniversary of my blog I thought I'd do a quick post of my Top 5 Posts of 2011.  They are not necessarily my favorite posts either...  check them out if you never have:

1. Bubble Printing Fun!

2. Tie Dye Coffee Filter Leaves

3. Spaghetti Worm Painting

4. Glue Prints!!!

5. Tie Dyed Coffee Filter Easter Eggs

Stay tuned for my Top 5 Favorite Posts!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tie Dye Coffee Filter Snowflakes

Join me over at PreK + K Sharing blog today and find out how we made these Tie Dye Coffee Filter Snowflakes  here.   PreK + Sharing is a collaborative blog consisting of many talented bloggers believing in: 1. Excellence in early childhood education.  2. Delight and appreciation for all things "ART" related.  and 3. A shared joy in child-centered, child-directed, and genuine play-based adventures.  Hope you check my post out here and all the other great posts by other bloggers! Didn't these Snowflakes turn out wonderful?

PreK + K Sharing

Monday, December 26, 2011

Unbelievably Delicious Gingerbread Pancakes!!!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday!  Our Holiday will still be going on for the rest of the week visiting relatives we haven't seen yet.  Just wanted to share this quick recipe for Gingerbread Pancakes that we had Christmas Day!   Everyone enjoyed them!!!  We enjoyed them with chocolate chips and raisins.  We didn't think syrup or honey were necessary!

Here is the recipe:
(serves 4)

1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 dark brown sugar (we used light)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 tbsp. molasses
2 eggs
2 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled

1. Whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl whisk the liquid ingredients.
3. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and whisk until combined.
4. Let batter stand for 10-15 minutes to thicken.
5. Place 2 tbsp. of the mixture in a large greased saute pan over medium heat and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
6. Serve with maple syrup or honey.

These Gingerbread Pancakes made the perfect breakfast for the holidays!!! I may be making Gingerbread Waffles too!

What did you have for your Holiday Breakfast? 
(Please share)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays 2011

Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season! I've enjoyed sharing all our holiday ideas with you! Take care!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Beaded Snowflakes.....and Happy Winter Solstice!

Happy Winter Solstice!  So appropriate to be making snowflakes and other wintery things!  We made some Beautiful Snowflakes using some Chenille stems and some beads! They turned out rather Lovely! This is a nice simple activity that could make a great holiday gift of an ornament or just something to occupy your kids while you are so busy.  I know I have been super busy!

I chose chenille stems in icy colors like BlueSilver, and White to look more like wintery snowflakes. For the beads, I chose icy colors (cool colors like blue, green, and purple) and crystal clear beads to add to the wintery effect!

I cut the chenille stems in half and twisted three of them together to create a star or asterisk shape. You could use all the same color or mix like I did here.

The all you need to do is slide the beads on the chenille stems.  You could put them on randomly or in a pattern.

Here is one with more of a pattern! Then take another half of a chenille stem and twist on a loop to hang the snowflake!

I just love these! Cassie has been working on a few each day.  We'll have a collection by the end of the week!


Linked to: Kids Art Explorers

Monday, December 19, 2011

Painted Christmas Sugar Cookies

Have you ever painted on cookies before? We had so much FUN doing this and it was such a nice change of pace compared to the usual sprinkles and frosting decor! It is so unbelievably easy to do and has beautiful you can see here.  Painting on cookies is a great way for kids to take ownership of their cookie creations!!! Keep reading to find out how we did this!

First we made the sugar cookies and cut out the shapes.  Cassie never tires of is the third or fourth time we've done this so far this holiday season! Here is a great recipe for Sugar cookies here just in case you don't have one.

For the paint we used evaporated milk and food coloring.  I just filled an ice cube tray with evaporated milk in each section and then put a few drops of food coloring.  I mixed them together with a toothpick.
We used a new paint brush that never touched real paint for the decorating.

After mixing up the paints, we painted directly on the uncooked cookies.  C and I had a wonderful afternoon painting cookies.  She was so proud of herself!  We felt like "Cookie Artists" creating little paintings on dough.  Fun, fun, fun!  Can you believe I've never done this before?  I  absolutely LOVED doing this and plan to do it for other holiday sugar cookies!

Here is how some of them look before they are cooked.  Sorry about the glare of the foil in this picture!

Here are some finished cookies all ready to eat!  I love the shiny look they have, and of course they are delicious too!  The center cookie of C's traced hand looks a little like a Halloween cookie with those green fingernails!!! What do you think?

Gosh... we've done a lot of baking for this holiday season.  Be sure to check out our Cocoa Press Christmas Tree Cookies, Chocolate Christmas Sugar Cookies,  So Easy Peppermint Bark, and more that I haven't posted!

Do you have all your Holiday baking finished?

This post is linked to: Made By You Monday, It's Playtime

Friday, December 16, 2011

Paint Chip Candy Cane Garland!!!

We've done quite a few posts on paint chip art,  but when I saw Paint Cut Paste's post on Paint Chip Christmas Trees it got me thinking for a while about another idea! Paint chip Candy Cane Garland and ornaments!!! It was definitely an "AHA" moment for me! Take a look.

I had a bunch of paint chip samples on hand and just happened to have red and green shades! So happy! I know there are other colors of candy canes, but I just wanted to stick with the traditional colors! You can either free draw the candy cane on the back of the paint chip or use a cookie cutter as a pattern for a more uniform result!  I made the candy canes slanted so the white stripes would run diagonally.

After I traced the candy canes,  I cut them out and punched two holes on the top.  Then I strung a red and green ribbon through the holes. I made sure the red ribbon showed through on the green candy cane and vice versa!

I just love the results!!!  If you are worried about the back showing on the candy canes, trace two candy canes back to back and glue together.  Then the garland will look pretty from both sides!

You could also make ornaments with the candy canes or whatever you choose to make with them!

Cassie even made her own Colorful Paint Chip Candy Cane Garland!!!

Other Holiday Paint Chip Ideas Around The Internet:

Be sure to check out Paint Cut Paste's Paint Chip Christmas Trees here.

Dilly Dali Art has a great post on a Paint Chip Christmas Chain here.

Angela Sgro Designs has some wonderful Paint Chip Christmas Tree Cards here

A Spoonful of Sugar has some cute Paint Chip Gift Tags here

Our other Paint Chip Posts:

Paint Chip Collage and Easter Egg.

I'm thinking of more paint chip ideas for the future....
Stay Tuned!!!

This post is linked to: It's Playtime

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chocolate Christmas Sugar Cookies

Everyone always makes the old stand-by for Christmas:  "Sugar Cookies",  and I thought to myself, "I want to make Chocolate ones!"  So, since we are chocoholics here at The Chocolate Muffin Tree, I searched for a recipe (there are not too may of them out there!!) and found a wonderful recipe at here for Chocolate Sugar Cookies! Yum! Here are some of our beautiful cookies. Here are some with just sprinkles. They are pictured with are So Easy Peppermint Bark that we made!

The recipe makes a less sweet chocolate cookie, but with added sprinkles or frosting the taste is perfect!

Here are some with frosting and sprinkles.  I made a frosting recipe that is shiny when it dries!! Here is the recipe for the frosting:
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons of Corn Syrup
1 Tablespoon of milk (I added a little more)
few drops of vanilla
food color

Beat with a hand mixer until smooth.

Cassie had a lot FUN making them! Make sure to put the sprinkles on before baking.  If you are making the frosting kind, frost after baked and then put on the sprinkles!!!

More Chocolate recipes are on there way....stay tuned!

Have you ever made Chocolate Sugar Cookies?

What kinds of Chocolate Cookies do you make?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Spin Art Christmas Tree Cards

We've been making Christmas cards!  Have you sent out your Christmas cards or do you even send them? There are just too many things to do for the Holiday Season! Is anyone ever done with everything??? I enjoy sending Christmas cards,  but agree that it can be just another added thing that we all think we must do! (Kudos to those who just agree to not send them!)  Cassie and I spent a morning creating these cards using our spin art scraps from our Spin Art Christmas Trees from last week! 

Here are all the scraps that we had left....I knew that we could use them for something!!!

So basically we cut out triangle shapes from the scraps and you could use any kind of paper because I'm sure you all don't just have spin art scraps on hand! (but you might!)

Then we added a brown construction paper tree trunk an white cotton for snow!

Then we used q-tips and paint for the light and ornaments and a star sticker for the top! Simple and sweet!

Here is another. You can cut out all different types of triangular shapes: tall , wide, curvy, etc.

Here are a bunch we did!

I have a feeling we'll be making more Christmas cards!

What do you think?

What is your take on sending Christmas Cards???

This post is linked to:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Newspaper and Tissue Paper Ornaments

We created these beautiful newspaper and tissue paper ornaments over the weekend! What do you think? I like the funky shape of them and that they are not perfectly round in shape!!! They are a little messy,  but I think they had nice results!  To make these you'll need:

(preferably non-bleeding kind)
Paper clips or wire
masking tape
paint brushes
glitter (or not)

First crinkle about a page of newspaper into a ball.  Try to make them hold their shape as best as you can.

Then take aper clip or piece of wire (or even ornament hanger) and shape it into a triangular shape like this.

Try tucking or embedding the paper clip into the wad of newspaper and tape it into place.  I added making tape on the top to so it would stay in place.  Tissue paper will cove over this so it doesn't matter if you can see the masking tape now.  If you don't like the appearance of the ball,  you can use more masking tape to help make the shape more "round".

We tore up some tissue paper into small pieces first.  Then take your brush and put some mod podge on the newspaper and place pieces of tissue paper over it.  Make sure to brush over the tissue paper too with the mod podge.  It gets rather messy!

As you can see the mod podge is covered all over.  My daughter C needed some help to get some of the spots smoothed out.

We put all the ornaments on a foil lined tray so they could dry and not stick to anything!!! We added gold and green glitter to add some sparkle! Everything needs some SPARKLE! Don't you think?

After they were dry,  I added some ribbon as a finishing touch! Now they are ready to be given as gifts!
They remind me of our Tissue Paper Mache Easter Eggs.  I guess we could have used little balloons too?

I think they look fabulous on our Christmas Tree!!!  I like the glossy shiny look of them! Can't wait to give them as gifts! I hope everyone will enjoy them!

What Are Your Favorite Christmas Ornaments?