Posts Tagged ‘easy’

summer journal: making hula hoops

homemade hula hoops

Making hula hoops is surprisingly simple and cheap to boot: some polyurethane pipe, a connector, and duct tape. Done.

homemade hula hoops

I scanned some random directions quickly when I was in the hardware store, but there are many good tutorials for making hula hoops out there. This video by Elizabeth Mitchel–who is awesome by the way–tells you how it’s done.

hula hooping

 

summer journal: grape sculptures

grape sculptures

toothpicks + grapes

grape sculptures

=sculptures and snacks

summer journal: scavenger hunt

Color coded egg carton scavenger hunt before:

egg carton scavenger hunt

Color coded egg carton scavenger hunt after:

color coded scavenger hunt

 

painterly skirt tutorial

For my contribution to Skirt Week 2012, I made this little tutorial for turning an old, rather boring skirt into something a bit more interesting. Sometimes you don’t need to make a new skirt, but you need to liberate one from the back of your closet. I had planned on doing a tutorial for a button placket, but then I saw this picture and could not stop thinking about it:

These pants are from a shop in New York that specializes in super awesome Japanese children’s clothes. The idea is so simple and so effortlessly cool that I had to steal it.

painterly skirt tutorial

painterly skirt

materials:

  • 1 unloved skirt
  • a bit of cardboard or freezer paper
  • paint of your choice, fabric or acrylic or even house paint*
  • stamps
  • very small paint brush

painterly skirt materials

 

directions:

1. The first thing I did was carve some starts out of an old eraser. If you’ve never done this before it may sound hard, but I assure you it is not. I carved two stamps from a big eraser and two from the tiny erasers on a pair of new pencils. It took me all of 10 minutes. There are many good tutorials for carving stamps from erasers out there (this one and this one for example). The stamp you make should be quite small, so stick to a simple shape–stars work well!

starting the stars

2. Put a piece of cardboard under where you will be stamping, or you can iron a bit of freezer paper to the back. You need something under your design, so the paint doesn’t bleed through to the other side.

3. Start stamping! You can be as fussy or as messy as you want. The look we are going for is paint wiped on the side of your skirt, so there aren’t too many rules you have to follow. It looks nice if the stamps are concentrated a bit in one area and then fade out towards the edges.

stars painted

3. After you have stamped to your heart’s content, take a very small paintbrush and go over some of the stamps with more paint. This will make some of the stars stand out better and give the design a little more dimension.

4. Let the paint dry and go over it with an iron to set it.  Waalaa! a new skirt! One that will be loved and worn again!

before after painterly skirt

*a note on paint: I don’t paint on my clothes very often, but when I do (like here and here) I like to use a product called fabric meduim. You mix the meduim with any acrylic paint and it makes it into a fabric paint. A good friend of mine turned me on to it. Another good friend told me to get out of the not-so-great craft acrylic paint aisle and go to the actually-an-artist acrylic paint aisle: the colors and the quality are better.

painterly skirt after

 

lamb burgers with tzatziki

lamb burgers

Usually, I hold off posting recipes here until I have the exact measurements and directions for making it, which means I never get around to sharing any recipes with you. Dinnertime is always crazy and often straight up chaos. My cooking style has become a few glugs rather than tablespoons, half a palm full rather than teaspoons, and whatever cup-like thing is in reach rather than a cup, because the actual measuring cups are in the sandbox. But I still want to share some recipes with you. If you keep in mind that my ingredient measurement are estimates and the directions are guidelines, then I think we’ll be okay.

 

Lamb and Feta Burgers with Tzatiki

lamb burger ingredients

for the burgers:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 lb ground lamb (I like to make a lot to insure I can have some for lunch the next day)
  • 4 or so oz feta
  • 1/4 cup (handful) chopped cilantro or parsley (a little mint thrown in there is nice too)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • zest of one lemon
  • salt and pepper

for the tzatziki:

  • about 6 inches of a cucumber, peeled
  • 1 cup good yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic (optional, my children think it’s too spicy, silly children)
  • salt and pepper

frying the lamb burgers

directions for the burgers:

1. Put the lamb in a big bowl with the garlic, herbs, and lemon zest. Crumble the feta into the bowl as best you can, smallish is better but really if there are big chunks it doesn’t matter. Mix everything up with your hands. Salt and pepper the mixture liberally.

2. Shape the patties. I usually make them on the smaller size: 3 inches, I’d say. Obviously any size is going to work.

3. Fry or grill those suckers until they are done to your liking.  If you end up frying them, use only a bit of oil in the pan because lamb gives off a lot of fat.

for the tzatziki:

unsqueezed, squeezed cucumber

1. Grate your cucumber into a bowl

2. Put all of it in your hands and working over the sink squeeze out the excess water–there is a lot. See unsqueezed, squeezed cucumber photo above.

super natural whole milk yogurt

3. Add your yogurt. As a side note, I really love this whole milk yogurt. We used to get the Stoneyfield yogurt, but then they very abruptly stopped making the cream on top kind and now their yogurt just tastes like gelatin to me. Obviously I’m picky and should probably make my own, but until I stop being lazy this Super Natural yogurt is totally delicious.

4. Add chopped garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. That’s it. I’m going to show you this picture because when it’s all mixed up it looks rather boring.

tzatziki

Tzatziki is delicious slathered all over the burgers. The kids use it as a dip. I try to get away with not even putting the damn ketchup on the table for the kids, but one of them usually remembers (the picky one).  We don’t use buns, but you of course could. To round out the meal, I use the rest of the cucumber for a salad and then make some other vegetable. That night it was peas (because I was so freaking busy taking pictures), but sweet potato fries are perfect with this meal.

lamb and feta burgers, tzatziki, cucumber salad, and peas

There you are. This is dinner for two adults, one first grader, one garbage gut of a 5 year old boy, and one very picky toddler. Adjust to the size (and size of appetite) of your family.