Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Blog world, sorry for the lack of posting.  I think winter has finally gotten the best of me.  The paleness of my skin, my growing winter waistline, snow, ice...the past couple of weeks I have found myself rather glum.  Now finally the sun is out in the Lou, I just signed up for a pilates class, and I got to see two of my besties last night for dinner so there is finally spring back in my step.  
So back to the matter at hand Valentine's Day.  In the midst of the weakest snow storm in history, I got a little crafty with Sonya .  I had read on a blog about making salt dough ornaments at Christmas time, here.  I didn't have time to do them at Christmas, so I kept this little project in my back pocket for Valentine's Day.  I made sure I started this project two weeks before Valentine's Day because I knew it was going to take a couple of days to complete.  
All you need is:
4 Cups Flour
1 Cup Salt
1 & 1/2 Cup Warm Water
Here is what you do:
Whisk dry ingredients together
Then add a dough hook to a standing mixer
Gradually add warm water while the dough mixes together
When the dough has pulled together, take it out of the bowl and roll it out
Quick side note:  Notice my rolling pin in the back of the photo, I have recently switched to a tapered french rolling pin.  
It is amazing, so much easier to manipulate dough than a standard rolling pin.  
I got this from Williams Sonoma for $14.  
Back to the salt dough.
I rolled out the dough and decided to just cut out hearts for all of Sonya's classmates.
Then I lined cookie sheets with parchment paper, just in case they stuck.  
Then I took a straw and put holes on through the tops of the hearts so we could tie a string for a necklace.
Now when I baked them at 250 like the other blog said, it took longer than two hours.  So I cranked up the heat to 350 and just kept my eye on them.  When they were all done, I tried to brush off all of the excess flour, but it wasn't working.  I went ahead and washed them off in the sink and threw back in oven, that worked great. 
That was phase one of this project. 
When the temperature finally warmed up, and we were able to leave to house without getting frost bite walking to the car.  The kids and I went Ben Franklin to get some acrylic paint so we could decorate the hearts.  Sonya's favorite color is blue.  Favorite is an understatement, she has an obsession with the color blue.  I knew she would pick out blue as one of her paint colors.  When she went to pick out the two other colors I gently pushed towards pink and white.  I knew when we started painting the colors would get all mixed together, so I wanted something that would make a nice color and not just brown.  She gladly took my direction, HOORAY!!  So that afternoon when TR was down for his nap, Sonya and I painted.  Since we were using acrylic paints I had her wear gloves.  
They were a little big on her.
I helped her paint all of the hearts. 
That was phase two of this project.  
A day or two later I went to one the scariest places on earth for this novice crafter...Hobby Lobby.  I was on a mission to get glitter, some ribbon, and then get the frack out of there.  After my heart palpitations stopped and I wiped the sweat from my brow, I actually enjoyed myself at Hobby Lobby.  I even picked up a few more art/craft supplies that I needed, and look forward to going back.
Phase three of the salt dough necklaces was the toughest.  Sonya decided she wanted to write the names of all 15 of her classmates on the hearts, all by herself.  I asked her she just wanted to write LOVE or FRIENDS, but she insisted on writing their names.  I knew this would take a couple of days because there was no way she would write more than three or four names in one sitting, and I was right.  
Here is how we did it: 

  1. I would give her a sharpie
  2. She would pick a heart for one of her friends
  3. I would spell the name very slowly as she wrote all the letters, 
  4. We would sprinkle glitter on the heart,
  5. Then I would coat it in Mod Podge.  

This is the first time I have ever used Mod Podge, it has been sitting in my craft box for almost a year, but I have to too scared to use it.  Now, I think I am addicted.  Don't be surprised if a lot of shellacked items start popping up around my home.  
Like I said, this part of the project took a couple of days.  Sonya and I took a little break from the hearts so we could create her Valentine's Day box for her school party.  I was going to go old school, like my friend Cary suggested, cover a shoe box in foil, but it looked awful.  I did pick up a heart shaped box from Hobby Lobby, just in case the shoe box didn't work out, and I am glad I did.  Sonya and I painted the inside and outside of the box a combination of blue, pink, purple, red, and white.  After it was dry, we sprinkled it with glitter and then I, of course, Mod Podged it.  I had picked a bunch of stickers at Hobby Lobby to decorate the box.  My favorite ones were these old vintage looking stickers that I tried to get Sonya to use.
Here is what she chose to use.
If you look close, you can see where she covered up the stickers I chose.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this box.  I think it turned out so sweet.  This is something I want to keep for Sonya, and give it to her when she is an adult.  
Back to the necklaces.  
After Sonya finished writing all of her friends names, I moved onto phase four.  Tying the ribbon the heart to complete the necklace.  Some of the paint and Mod Podge had seeped into the holes, so I just took a tiny screwdriver back through the hole so I could get the ribbon through.
The finished product.
  I asked Sonya if I could take her picture wearing her necklace.  
She said yes, but only one picture.  
Here is what I got.
Lovely, I know.  At least you can see the look of the necklace.  
All in all a two really great projects.  
The salt dough ornaments are really easy and can be used for all types holiday shapes, or you could cut out letters.  The possibilities are endless.  
Sonya and I had way fun more creating these Valentines, than having her sign her 15 store bought Disney princess cards that we also passed out  
I never thought I would say those words, but just goes to show you never know.


Sara D. February 15, 2011 at 12:26 PM  

Welcome to my world of Hobby Lobby and Mod Podge. I love it here.

The DeVries' February 15, 2011 at 6:40 PM  

LOVE Miss. How special and memorable---definitely keep the box!

Greta February 15, 2011 at 7:36 PM  

Adorable. I am going to have to do that with the kids on the next rainy day or maybe not because that looked like a lot of work:)

Terri February 15, 2011 at 11:03 PM  

You did it! Proof forever that sonya took adorable valentines to school PLUS a home made box! When she is a teenager, bring out this blog to remind her that she was the envy of her classmates....she did not have to call you from school because you forgot to send in cards.
You are a superstar Mom!

Cary February 16, 2011 at 4:37 PM  

The blog that you got that recipe from is one of my favorite blogs...weird. That's where I got the recipe for that honey cinnamon butter. And, Rush has two of her t-shirts. So random.

Marsha February 18, 2011 at 6:32 PM  

Hey Miss, did you ever notice the dough ornaments on our tree at Christmas? Becky Smith and I made them one long boring winter before kids and had so much fun that I made them a few years later again and gave them for gifts when we were forever broke! We painted them and sprayed them with hairspray once we realized that they lasted longer that way:) I love the idea of thinking of other holidays and things to use them for. You and Sonya are an amazing team!


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