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Friday Finds

@Tipnut: I'd love to try out this recipe for a this homemade kitchen hand scrub.  It promises to remove stinky garlic odors!

@ParentDish: Seemingly-frugal-but-really-expensive mistakes that break your budget.  Such common sense (which is probably why I've made more than one of these).

@My Little Gems: We've been alternating lovely weather and drizzle, so these great rainy day ideas and themed books really caught my eye!

@The {NewNew}: A recipe for recycling scrap paper into paintable beads (and a moldable paper material that I can think of plenty of other uses for!).

@The Unexpected: Amazingly wonderful idea for a dragon-themed set of lacing beads.  Such a simple concept that could be adapted any number of ways!

@Pepper Paints: Can't wait to try this recipe for homemade poster paints.  Now on the hunt for powdered tempera!

Have a wonderful weekend!
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Baked Doughuts for a Rainy Day

Rainy days breed treats (cheap, delicious entertainment!) and this past weekend was no exception.  I'd bookmarked a recipe for Baked Doughnuts on 101 Cookbooks some time ago (okay, more than a year ago), and finally got around to trying it out. 

We mixed the dough up in our bread machine rather than hauling out the big Kitchen-Aid, but the kids were happy to do a little extra kneading by hand.  The dough was lovely and smooth--perfect for punching out a whole pile of sweet little pillows.  We used an actual doughnut cutter (more proof that I collect too much stuff), but large and small biscuit cutters would also work, or you can try shapes (as Jean at The Artful Parent did for this very recipe).

They rose one more time (make sure to cover them--if they dry out they won't rise enough and you get something resembling a doughnut-flavored cracker.  Oops!) and baked for only 8-10 minutes.  Just long enough to make a cup of tea.

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Stand-Up Spring Birdies

We had a lovely Easter--no houseguests, no parties, just a quiet rainy day inside, stuffing ourselves with chocolates.  Of course, a rainy day calls for crafty goodness, so we came up with these silly little birds that stand up by themselves, but are a piece of cake to put together.

-paper (white or patterned, copy-weight or cardstock)
-googly eyes (optional)

-Acquire an image of a bird.  You can draw one up, print out a silhouette from the web, or trace an image from a bird book, as we did (ours is a thrush!).

-Fold your choice of paper in half, transfer your design, and cut the bird out (you'll get two).  I just held my tracing paper on top of my folded paper and cut through all three layers. 

-On a bit of your folded paper, cut out a wing shape.  Unfold into a double wing.  Decorate the bird and his/her wings however you like.

-Unfold your paperclip a bit into a 'foot' for the bird.  This picture shows you how, since I'm not quite sure how to explain:

-Glue the top part of the paperclip between the two layers of paper so that it's in the right spot to make it stand. 
-After the bird shape is mostly dry you can cut a slit to slip the wing shape through and adjust the paperclip foot a bit to get it to stand up just the way you want.  
-Lather, rinse, repeat!  We put together a little chick and a, um, sparrow?
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Friday Finds

I'm a little link-weary from Tuesday's Jamboree (yay, big success!!), but I have a few things this week that I can't help but share (before I get back to work on my secret blog things).

@Let's Explore: Daisy's into origami, although her fingers haven't quite caught up.  These cute origami bunnies seem like just her speed.

@Whimsy Love: I knew that there must be a simpler method for DIY screenprints, and she found it!

@Adventures with Mimi: Create your own backyard bird buffet with snack-o's that you've got around your kitchen.  

@This Little Project: Yummy little bird's nests for your pet Peep.  Might be a bit of marshmallow overload (just kidding--can you really have too much marshmallow?)

@The Artful Parent: Wet-felted easter eggs.  So simple and colorful, it's our Good Friday craft (since school is out!), and I'm sure the boy will really be into it.

@Painting Pink Pajamas: You know that we love clothespins, and I just adore this little clothespin gator.  The possibilities are endless!

@Frugal Family Fun Blog: These field guides will be great for camping this summer.  I'm thinking birds, footprints, other signs of wildlife?  Will hopefully reduce whining at mile two.

@Craft Jr: Fun little Spring-y fingerpuppets made from crafty mainstays (I've got more pom-poms and googly eyes than I know what to do with, so this surely makes our project list!).

@Dollar Store Crafts:  I also have plenty of stickers, and I know that the kids will love trying out this idea for sticker-resist dyed eggs.  I see dino eggs in our future.

@Summer Sky: And we'd like to try dying our eggs with natural stuff this year (I mean to try this every year, but this one for sure, right?)
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Kid-Craft Jamboree #1

Spring is such a great time of year with children and presents so many opportunities for having fun together! We all seem to be eager to escape our Winter cocoons, so I wasn't terribly surprised that Chrissie and I got so many entries for this, our first Kid-Craft Jamboree!

Kate at Picklebums shares instructions for putting together some lovely Easter Egg biscuits. "Loads of fun for little fingers to decorate and pretty good to eat too!"

Kat from Slugs on the Refrigerator posted about a mural she and her children created. "Harnessing a toddler's intense desire to paint with their whole body, this spring scene uses feet prints for bluebells and tulips, hands for tree leaves and a re-purposed painting for a kite." Fun!

Suzanne from Reverend Artist Mother offers up a Spring printable project. "I created nature and spring lacing cards for my preschooler. These are hand drawn images, 3 per sheet, which can be colored and created for sewing. The nature cards he's already told and re-told the transformation story of the butterfly. You can add the egg to the leaf drawn, and create your own chrysalis."

Jennifer at The Ramblings of a Crazy Woman created a funny little bunny out of an oatmeal container. Great for keeping your eggs safe!

Anjeanette from Roots and Wings Co offers a simple home decorating project to whip up with your little ones "A super easy and messy fun craft for you to do with your kids. Use paper plates and paint to create a bunny, chick and flower for Easter."

Karen For Your Inspiration This is a really easy craft/decoration for Easter. My daughter decorated craft foam-shaped eggs with foam stickers. I attached them to ribbon and hung as a garland on the mantel.

Mama King from 4 Crazy Kings Is Easter crazy with all the fun Spring crafts at her blog this month. I just love the bunny napkin rings, though! "A fun craft you and your kiddios can make to dress up the Easter table. Make bunny napkin rings using paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls, felt, scissors and some glue."

Caryn over at Smooch Designs shares a PDF downloadable "tutorial to make an Easter Bunny Chenille Softie out of scraps of fabric. An Easter Treat without the Calories!"

Karen at For Your Inspiration and her daughter dressed up their mantel with a great egg garland made from craft foam. Simple and cute!

Lynley with Save the Phillips offers up a great Easter painting craft for the youngest crafters! "My post details a craft where one can make and paint Easter eggs using paper plates, condensed milk, and food coloring."

Basia United Teaching is ready for Spring ! "In preparation for my theme on flowers and gardening, I have created a simple post on how to make scented home made play dough with essential oils."

Kira, who blogs over at the wonderful Tangarang, shares a pattern for a lovely Easter cone. "I wanted to create an easy alternative to an Easter basket; something that would work in multiples for favors for an Easter Brunch/Egg Hunt and could do double duty later as a little play purse for my daughter."

Chrissie offers up a fun project at flipflops and applesauce: Plant a paper garden on top of your head!

Jenn with Hostess with the Mostess makes the most of Spring themes with her "super easy terra cotta "Easter Baskets". Fun for an Easter table centerpiece! :)"

Katie at Katie's Nesting Spot shares a fun craft to go with the book Little Quack! They read together and created a book-inspired collage. "My 2.5 year old glued paper strips on independently and we made a handprint duck shape together." Thanks Katie :)

Jo, a good friend of kiddio, from A Bit Of This And A Bit Of That is sharing a sweet little downloadable PDF pattern to stitch up some easter chicks!

Michelle at Her Cup Overfloweth and her little one put together a "Spring chick collage using contruction paper, scissors, googlie eyes, and feathers (that's what spring chicks are made of, right?)"

Kendra from My Insanity Shares a favorite Spring treat of mine: "Edible Easter nests! Simple project for Easter dinner or decor."

Sarah from In Need of Chocolate posted about "the violet cupcakes we made to celebrate the first day of spring. I give recipes for the cupcakes and icing and directions for making them with icing flowers or real flowers on top." Such a lovely treat!

Liz at Kelley Family Blog shares a great way to upcycle: "spruce up your old plastic Easter eggs with Mod Podge and fabric scraps!" I loves me some Mod Podge!

Agnes from 3 O'clock Walk offers a technique for covering Eggs with beautiful paper. "In Japan, where the eggs originated from they are covered with thin Washi paper, but origami paper works just as well, which is what I used for the tutorial. Washi eggs are quite beautiful and an unexpected touch of Japanese culture for the Easter season!"

Lisa at Franny Kate's Creative State has been busy making "yummy Easter basket cupcakes using waffle cone bowls" and sharing a "tutorial for how to blow out Easter eggs to decorate for an Easter Egg Tree."

Deanna from Garnish, Deanna, Garnish! and her little one had fun strawberry picking, making jam, and strawberry fruit leather. What fun!

Becca and Bethany at Kids to Parents share a project for making "Spring daffodils using paper plates and egg cartons" with the little ones.

Chica and Jo over at Chica and Jo created "felt Easter egg sachets to hold small candies." I love these!

Colleen from CraftPad shares her picks for favorite bunny books for kids, including my favorite: The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by Dubose Heyward, plus a pattern for "simple Easter felt finger puppets. Perfect for Easter baskets or just for fun!"

Valerie at the Frugal Family Fun Blog offers her technique to "make sunflower prints with potato stampers!" I love the way that this turned out :)

Lynn with Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile offers up an awesome post with "a list of 75 recommended Easter books for children. It was compiled by asking readers for their kids' favorite Easter books." Oh, how I love Gossie and Gertie!

Jen over at Creative and Curious Kids! shares a guest post at Parenting Pink on crafts to share with your daughter. She focuses on "the following crafts: Peek-a-boo chicks, Spring finger puppets, and Tissue Paper flower gardens."

Sarah at Create Studio has been spending a little extra time inside and made her "little guy his first Easter Basket. (Complete with a cotton tail!) I've posted a tutorial so you can make one for your little one too!" She also put together a little playhouse to entertain him on those Spring rainy days--I love the mail!

Patrizzia at iCreate has started a new Easter tradition with her daughter: Ressurection rolls! I love the story that goes with the recipe :)

Jedda at This Little Project shares her clever technique for making the cutest little "birds and nests to make for fun!"

Stephanie Dusty Bottom Acres - Stitch Ewe & Mike's Smite Shares a printable PDF pattern to whip up some felt Peeps! "My new obsession is felt food for my daughter to play with. I love marshmallow Peeps and really wanted to share the fun chicks with my baby."

Catherine at Gingham Cherry and her not-too-little daughter shares a tutorial for an AMAZING "Easter basket which I think gives great results and is relatively easy to do. A good craft for time together with the not so littlies."

Erica at Un rincón más del mundo virtual and her daughters created Easter baskets from empty cereal boxes and painted eggs in preparation for their Easter egg hunt!

Se7en and her brood have been busy, and they're sharing "a list of se7en easter craft ideas we did: all eggs and nests, some edible and some gift-able. All kid friendly!"

Katherine at OneInchWorld solved her disdain for plastic eggs by creating a pattern for "fillable fabric Easter eggs - less plastic in your life!" ...and I love the button!

Wow, I'm feeling so inspired, and excited about all of the fun new blogs I've found! Thanks to all the participants for sharing their posts and opening up their blogs to us, and make sure to pay a visit and leave a comment--tell them that you came from the Jamboree :)

Happy Easter!
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Hatch a Brood of Pecking Chicks

In spite of a bit of snow (rather than the full-force blizzard we were promised), we're still feeling the Spring love. Bring a little Spring to your craft table with these simple pecking chicks!

Cut circles of cardstock in various sizes (I used my circle cutter, but they don't need to be perfect...you can even use paper plates for a larger chick), and fold in half. We used markers, googly eyes, and feathers to decorate ours. Set them on a flat surface and bob their nose down to set them pecking!

Daisy was concerned that they have a place to sleep and a nice place to scratch so she made this chick a little home. The other baby chicks have yet to hatch (see the pretty blue eggs in the nest?), but I'm sure we'll be adding plenty more babies our brood this Spring!

Tune in tomorrow for the Jamboree!
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