Thursday, December 8, 2011

Children Christmas Crafts Child"s Apron

My granddaughters love to cook, especially baking, as soon as they see the flour, and sugar coming out of the pantry, they run to put their miniature aprons on. My granddaughter enjoyed helping to paint her apron. look at her face, as she models it, that tells the whole story.

Wooden gingerbread cut out to trace
Textile medium Americana
Denim apron  half yard denim materiel
Americana paints- honey brown, white, opaque red, black, hot pink, burnt sienna
Size 6 angle brush, liner brush
Water bucket for rinsing brushes
Paper towels.
White charcoal pencil
Pallet  ( I use a white square ceramic glazed tile, a plate will work just as good)

I made this simple denim child's apron, by turning down the raw edges. Making tie backs from remaining material pieces, and attaching a neck band.

Use the wooden cut out to trace the gingerbread on to apron. Use white charcoal pencil.

 The white charcoal pencil will make it easier to see.

Dip your paint brush into the textile medium, then into the honey brown paint. Paint using your angle brush, along the line of the pattern.
While paint is still wet side load burnt sienna, on top of the honey brown, while it's still wet. It will blend easier.
Cheeks are done with hot pink.
 Eyes are black (use the back of the paint brush dipped into paint from pallet.
White is thinned out with water until it's as thin as cream. Load your liner brush to paint the icing lines. Hold the brush straight up, move your whole arm in a sweeping motion. Pushing down makes thicker lines, lifting up on the brush makes thinner lines.

Lips and, buttons are drawn in black.
Hearts are done in red.

Hear are some other designs...Christmas Stars,Gingerbread Garland,Toy Soldiers.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Toddlers Raglan Sweater 24 months

This is my first try at making a raglan sweater. It is worked from the top, to the bottom, what I like about this sweater is that the sleeves are knitted into the main, body there aren't any bulky seams at the sleeve area. The edging is knitted at the same time also, so there is no attaching the ribbing and removing the ribbing until you get it right.

I tried putting metal snap buttons which I didn't care for. I wound up sewing small gray buttons, The guarder stitch was large enough , to allow the buttons to slip through with out having to knit button holes.
Here's my first try at making a sweater 4 years ago. This sweater was knit in sections, then pieced together. It just doesn't have the smooth look of a store bought sweater.

4 double knitting weight yarn (150 yards)
2  circular knitting needles size 4   24 inch
4 small button
Large blunt eye needle
4 plastic ring stitch markers
2 Rubber stoppers

Gauge 5 stitches per inch

Cast 71 stitches on circular needles.

Start working the ribbing  p2, k2 for first 5 rows this will become the neck.

Row 6  k17 place marker, k8, place marker,  k21, place marker, k8 place marker, k17

Row 7  k5, purl to last 5 remaining stitches, k5

Row8  k up to one stitch before marker, yo, k1, marker, k1, yo, knit to end of row

Row9  k5 purl to last 5 stitches k5

Every even row will be knitted the increases will be done at the markers before and after the markers. Every odd row will be k5 purl to the end, k5

Knit until it measures 5 3/4 inches long from top to bottom. 226 stitches on needles. Knit up to the marker, place the next 48 stitches on a separate scrap yarn, knit up to 3rd marker, place next 48 stitches on scrap yarn. This separates sleeves from body of sweater. Continue working in stockinette stitch,  remembering to  knit first 5, and last 5 stitches. The last 10 rows are worked in garter stitch which is knit right side, and wrong side of sweater.

Sleeves: Transfer the sleeve stitches from scrap yarn onto both sets of circular needles.  Working both sleeves at the same time, I like to do it this way because it makes for more even looking sleeves.

Place a rubber knob at the end of the set of needles your not using. This will help you keep up with the correct needle.
 Decrease 1 stitch at row 13, 18,21,25,28,35,36,37,38,39,40
Work ribbing, p2,k2 for next 15 rows, bind off.

Here's the same pattern with designs, knitted right into the pattern.
Flowers were designed on this sweater.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Children Christmas Crafts Toy Soldier Ornaments

This is a great project for little hands to help with, plus they are so proud of the results. Toy soldier Christmas tree ornaments! The adults need to help with the cutting, and sanding of the cloths pins. Have fun with this family project.

Old fashioned cloths pins these are sold at Jo Ann's, and Micheal's
Hand saw
Paints dark blue, red, white, black, skin tone, pink acrylic Walmart carries a variety of Folk-Art paints
Paint brushes
Closed eye hooks
Jewelry glue
String or thin ribbon to hang ornaments

The flat cloths pin on the left be comes the body, the one on the right becomes the head, and hat.

Cut this cloths pin 1 1/4 like shown in picture.
Cut this one from the bottom 1 1/4 at the bottom.
This the toy soldier ready for painting.
The head is painted in flesh color, the hat in dark blue, the body top is done in red, the pants in dark blue, the hands are painted in white.
To paint the brim I use a black permanent marker, it makes a neater brim.
The cheeks are done in a blush pink color, a white dot in the opposite corners of the cheeks, a tassel  in drawn with the marker in the middle of the hat. Dots for eyes. Screw metal eye screw on top of the hat to attached string through.

Glue head to body, and arms to the side. Add finishing touches like buttons, sash, and boots. Insert ribbon,or string through the eye hook. Enjoy making these toy soldier ornaments.

Friday, October 7, 2011


I normally make tamales around the holidays, mostly because of all the preparation involved in making them. I have learned if I make them in smaller quantities they are much more manageable

Ingredient for masa
1 pound of fresh ground masa  (tortilla factories, or some grocery stores carry fresh masa.)
1 cup lard or butter
1 cup of oil canola or safflower
2 soft bullion chicken cubes
1 1/2 water
1 package dried corn leaves
1 fresh cut corn off the cob

Meat filling
1 small pork roast
5 poblano peppers seeded and roasted
5 garlic cloves peeled
1 28oz can of red enchilada sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
1/3 cup brown sugar

Sour cream
Franks, or Red Devil hot sauce
Slice and seed poblano peppers, roast in the oven until skins turn dark, on broiler setting
Place pork roast, peeled roasted poblano peppers,and garlic cloves to cook in crock pot for 8 hours. Or you may cook it the night before.

To prepare the masa start by placing the masa in a large bowl, notice how dry, course it is in appearance. 

.Work the lard in by hand.
Add the oil, Add chicken bullion to the water until well incorporated, last add the corn off of 1 fresh ear of corn. The masa should have a farina like texture. Set to the side while preparing the filling.

Pull the pork roast apart add to a bowl, Add the can of enchilada sauce.
Place the cooked roasted poblanos, with some enchilada sauce to grind completely as shown in the picture. Add to the bowl meat mixture it will add another layer of flavor, plus thicken the sauce. Add the 1/3 cup of brown sugar at this time also. Set to the side while preparing the corn leaves.
Place the dry leaves in large bowl with water to soften. Take leaves apart cleaning off the dry corn silk.
Spread masa about 1/4 inch thick with the back of a spoon. Just like buttering bread.. Placing masa at one edge leaving the other edge clean.
Place about 1 to 2 teaspoons of filling in the center.

Roll up.

Bend in the middle flip over on the other side.
I converted my pot into a tamale pot by adding a grate to keep an inch of space between the pot and the tamales.
I lined the pot with aluminum foil so the tamales would not fall into the water.

Line the tamales with the open end up, stacked against the wall of the pot. Add 3 cups of water in the bottom of the pot this will steam the tamales. cook on stove top at medium heat for 1 hour the steam from the bottom will cook the masa. Check for done by pulling one tamale out peel back corn leaf if it holds together it is done.
Garnish with sour cream and hot sauce. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mexican Style Sweet Roll Pan Dulce

There's nothing quit as satisfying as dunking pan dulce in a glass of milk. The first time I enjoyed one of these jewels I was a child living with my abuelita Rufa in Mexico, I remember the bread man coming to the house just about every morning with a huge large 4 foot basket on top of his head selling all the Mexican pastries.  There were a couple of things that caught my attention, I wondered  how does he carry that basket on his head, and where did he learn to bake so good, I was delighted to receive the recipe so now I can make my own pan dulce at home anytime I desire.

1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoon yeast
2 eggs beaten
4 to 41/2 cups of flour

Cinnamon Topping
1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 stick butter
4 egg yolks from size large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In medium sauce pan place milk, sugar, shortening, and salt to warm up, the shortening will almost start to melt. about 115 degrees or you can stick your finger in it it should be slightly warm.
Remove milk mixture from the stove add yeast and stir till well blended. Add 2 eggs to a small bowl slightly beaten.
Place a bit of the warm milk mixture to the bowl containing the beaten eggs to warm the egg mixture so not to cook the eggs. Then pour all of the egg mixture into the warm milk mixture.

Starting with 4 cups of flour, placed in a mixing bowl with dough hook attachment.( Saving the 1/2 cup for use if needed). Pour egg milk mixture into flour.

Mix till dough comes together and starts climbing up the hook, about 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth, moderately stiff, and elastic.
Place dough in a greased large bowl. to rise. Take the edges of the dough and insert them in the middle, as shown in the photo. Turn over once  to grease other side of dough. This procedure helps the dough rise evenly.
Cover bowl to rise the dough.
I like to cover my bowl with clear plastic wrap I find it works better, than a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until the dough doubles in size. It should take about 2 hours.
Punch down the dough, divide into 16 portions, shape into ball, and place on greased baking sheet. Pat down with your fingers to the size of 3 1/2 inches, about 1 inch apart. Cover the dough to rise again, in the mean time make cinnamon topping.( I spray the back of the clear wrap with Pam and cover the dough. I find if I spray the wrap won't stick to the dough when I remove it.)

To make cinnamon topping, place in a bowl, 1 1/4 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoon cinnamon, half cup butter, 4 beaten egg yolks, half teaspoon vanilla. Mix well with a fork. Divide into 16 portions, place topping on lightly floured surface roll out into 3 1/2 inch circles, use a  spatula to help you place cinnamon topping on top of pan dulce.
With the back of a spoon make design on the cinnamon topper. Cover again allow to rise till the dough doubles in size.
Bake in preheated oven, 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes till lightly golden. Eat within 3 days, because they are perishable, due to using fresh ingredients without preservatives. Enjooy