February 8, 2010

Love Notes and Desserts I Shouldn't be Eating!

Well, we are on day four of covered-in-snow and the weather predicts another 3-5 inches starting tomorrow at ten which means that Briton will not be going back to school, my house will continue to be a disaster zone of hats, mittens, glue and half built wooden models and if it wasn't for the grocery delivery service, we'd starve since I can't see our car getting free of the giant pile of snow it is under any time soon.

But on the up side, there has been a lot of making and doing in our house. And only a minimum of "mommy is going to go stark raving mad if you two don't stop that!" moments. Most of the projects have been of the silly, picked the kit up at the craft store variety. Beading, plastic lacing, some giant paper dolls that Evelyn and I have been making clothes for. I knit a hat for Baby Four (don't laugh!) because Evelyn informed me that her doll (who is naked 99% of the time, including right now) was cold and NEEDED a hat and I may or may not be knitting her a sweater to match (I said don't laugh!) We made sandwich bread from this book which I got from the library again just in time to get it home before the snow hit and I'm embarrassed to say, baked and ate an entire batch of tollhouse cookies. But what else are snowstorms for, right?

I was, despite the constant presence of children saying "I'm bored! What's next!", able to be mildly productive and figured out some ideas for Valentines day. (not that we will be able to get out of the house by Valentines Day at this rate, but hey, it never hurts to hope!) made a start at refinishing the mudroom chest of drawers and made two devilishly good desserts. Well, one could be considered breakfast, maybe, probably not though. The other was just dessert.

The kinda sorta not too horribly bad for you could almost be a breakfast dessert was inspired by a recipe in this book. She has a beautiful dessert that calls for blending Greek yogurt, mandarin oranges and sweetened condensed milk which I have tried and liked but found a little too sweet. So instead this time around I just drizzled a teaspoon of sweetened condensed milk over plain Swiss yogurt )smoother and not as thick as Greek, but it's what I had in the house) and then crumbled one ameretti cookie on top. Yum. Seriously, who would have thought of sweetened condensed milk as a topping. Not me. But it is ridiculously good.

The other dessert is this which I highly recommend for a snowy and cold afternoon of cards with your friends. The only changes I made here were using 5 slices of raisin bread and 5 of regular and adding a heaping teaspoon to the sugar mixture. Divine. Really, truly divine.

On the valentine front, my mother sent me a little paper heart the other day which she found in a local shop in her town. I couldn't help dissecting it and playing around with some different variations.

You start with a pointy ended petal shape cut out of cardstock

Stitch a piece of colorful fabric to one side. I have a slow setting on my sewing machine that allows me to downshift and keeps the machine stitching very, very slowly. If you have that, this is really helpful here when you are trying to keep a very even, thin edge. Otherwise, just keep your foot light on the pedal.

Trim the fabric (if the fabric you use is apt to fray easily, you can add some Fraycheck here) around the edge of the petal.

Fold the top 1/3 in half, making sure the point is a nice, sharp one.

Then fold this up at a 90 degree angle, creasing it both ways.

Open it up and bend the petal in half, pinching the folded point together as you go.

Dab some glue between the fold and pinch to dry (a paper clip would work well too!)

Add a little more glue to hold the point down.

These are cute with or without a message. I'm hoping to make a whole jar full of these with little messages so I've always got a little love note handy. They can be all paper, all fabric (but you need a stiffener) or a combination.

In the end my favorite was a fabric/paper combination which was relatively easy and very cute. I slipped on into Will's pocket at lunch today and if Briton ever goes back to school (doubtful) I think I'll pop one in his lunch box now and again as well. I also came up with these for this week's craft article which Briton and I are supposed to be putting together this week, just in case they have school sometime this millennium and need Valentines for their class. Here's hoping.