Homemade Play Dough

My kids love play dough...
even the older ones still like to make sculptures out of it....and it is so easy to make.  It makes a great rainy-day activity--the kids can help every step of the way...

Here's what you need:
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups salt
3 cups water
2 Tb oil
1 Tb cream of tartar
food coloring
coconut, mint or any other extract you like to smell :)

1. Combine flour, salt, water, oil & cream of tartar in a large, heavy saucepan.  Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until clumps begin to form (it will look really ugly for a while) and then forms into a bigger 'blob' and is too hard to stir with a spoon.  Remove from heat.

2. Allow to cool off a little, then turn out onto the counter and knead until smooth. Add the extract here if you like (I used coconut)...remind little kids that although it smells great--it doesn't taste good at all :)

 3. Divide play dough & place in resealable plastic bags. Squeeze in a few drops of food coloring.  Close the bag and smoosh it around a little to start to mix the color in...once there are no more pockets of food coloring (it will appear marbled) remove it from the bag and knead until a solid color...why do this? it keeps your hands from being multi-colored for a few days-once the color is mixed in a little, it won't stain your hands :)

Store in an air-tight container....Have fun!

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Halloween Costumes

It's the time of year again to start thinking about Halloween Costumes!..we still haven't decided in our house.  I like to make our costumes--it's extra work (but I try to simplify...they don't have to be perfect for the kids to run around in them for one night...in the dark), I just can't justify spending so much money on pre-made, flimsy costumes.

Here's a few from years past...

Two Peas in a Pod
Since I made this one 8 years ago...I can't seem to remember how I made the pod :) the rest is a green sweatsuit with stuffed "peas" safety pinned on to her belly :) and a little green hat.


Witch & Ghost
These were two of the easiest costumes I've made...
the witch:
Make a pillow case dress, layer it over a black turtle neck & striped tights...and add a hat.
About the same for the ghost, only I did an all elastic neckline & lots a layers, a couple of shimmery-transparent cloth & a bleached cotton lining underneath.  Slip it over a white turtle neck & some white sweatpants & add a white stocking cap & gloves.


Fighter Plane & Princess

the pattern for the plane I found in a Family Fun magazine...
of course this was about 5 years ago...but you may be able to find it online still :)

Flower Fairy & Alligator
The Fairy hat is made out of crepe paper...you can find the directions for other crepe paper costumes on Martha Stewart's website ...the alligator...is one of the few costumes I've bought :)


3 Pirates
This was a year we found ourselves with out a lot of money...so I scoured the kids clothes for old, holes in the knees, worn out clothes & roughed them  up :) ...the only thing I had to buy...3 bandannas, the eye patch, the parrot & 2 pairs of striped socks.

Cowboys & Indian
(or Native American...as my daughter would say) :)
For the Indian I found this great "suede" costume fabric at Jo-ann's with nice cut-out details, I just strung beads on to the fringe.  I made a very simple, almost poncho-like shirt & a simple tube skirt.
For the Cowboys I made the vest & chaps....the chaps are lined with old white towels (for the sheep skin look).


Mario, Luigi & Princess Peach

For Princess Peach I altered a princess costume pattern to get the right look, her crown is made from fun foam with a little glitter added.
For the boys, I used their pants as patterns & added the overall tops. Their mustaches are felt, stuck on with a little eyelash glue.  I found their hats on Amazon.

What's the favorite costume you've made?
(mine was the Mario Bros & Princess Peach)

If you like another idea...here's a tutorial for


My favorite time of the year...

I am so excited for fall to arrive...I love everything about autumn, the cooler weather, the smells, the colors, the food, being wrapped up in sweaters and blankets all cozy....

Here on the east coast it's still warm (too warm I think)...but, the leaves are starting to change, the first hints of yellow (and a little red) are showing up..it's a good sign :)

**hints of yellow in the woods out my back door**

Here's a treasury I put together....
it makes me feel like fall's in full swing...

you can visit it here.

you can also visit these other treasuries I've been featured in:

Are You Ready For Some Football by Stellasknits

No Purple Pumpkins by laurastirrett

The Makings of One Spooktacular Party
by littlebeeps

Going Batty by AnRocaid

Football Season by knmoreau
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