Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Georgia: Gozinaki Recipe (Candied Walnuts)

Gozinaki is a traditional Georgian candy made around Christmas or New Year.  A friend of mine is visiting from the country of Georgia and she brought us this delicious treat she made herself.

3 1/2 cups shelled and toasted walnuts
1 cup honey
1-2 tbs sugar

Chop walnuts coarsely.  In a deep saucepan bring the honey to a boil.  Add sugar.  Stir in the nuts and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring periodically with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is think.
Pour the mixture out onto a moistened wooden board.  With a spatula or hand , spread it 1/2 inch thick.  When cool, cut into 2-inch diamonds.

Kids Activities: Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Here is another holiday craft we did over the break: homemade pine cone ornament.  This is kid-friendly and easy.
You'll need a pine cone (either store bought or from a nearby park), string or ribbon for hanging, white acrylic craft paint, Mod Podge, glitter, brush and some kind of glue.
First, attach a string or ribbon to the top of the pine cone for hanging.  For this, I used hot glue (the only part of this craft that you'll need to help with or use school glue instead). 

Apply white paint to the pine cone as shown below:

Apply a layer of Mod Podge on top of white paint and immediately after that shake glitter on top of Mod Podge.  Allow to dry.  Spray with Clear Acrylic Sealer spray from Mod Podge.  Allow to dry.  Done.

homemade pine cone ornament

We also made a snowman face with an extra Styrofoam ball.  One could also decorate Styrofoam ball with old buttons, beads, tissue paper and even scraps of fabric.

homemade snowman
This year we decided to make Russian Tea Cakes for Santa since they kind of resemble snow balls.  Here is a link to the recipe we used.  Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Kids Activities: Yarn Ornaments

homemade yarn candy cane
Merry Christmas to you!  Here are some yarn crafts I did with my children who are eight and six.  I did have to help them a lot especially with hot glue.

To make three candy canes you'll need:
red and white thick yarn (LionBrand from Walmart for under $3 each roll)
one wire hanger (will make 3-4 candy canes)
tin snips
hot glue

With tin snips cut the wire in 3-4 straight pieces about 6-7" long.  Bend one end of each piece to resemble a candy cane.  Then tie red a white yarn together and hot glue to the straight end of the wire.  Twist your yarn (red and white together) around the wire, using small amounts of hot glue.  Once finished, just tie another knot and hot glue to secure.  As I said above, I had to do hot gluing for my kids.  With the younger kids you could just use pipe cleaners as shown here. 

homemade yarn and Styrofoam ball ornament
For the yarn ball ornament (above) we used Styrofoam ball, red and white yarn, and hot glue.  

 Tie red and white yarn together and hot glue the knot to the center of the Styrofoam ball.  Twisting the yarn glue it to the ball in circles as shown below. 

With a separate piece of yarn (about 6" long) make a loop for hanger and hot glue it to the ball.  Then finish up the rest of the ornament.  For more kid friendly version, maybe try Tacky Glue instead of hot glue.

Next craft is a yarn ball without any Styrofoam (see the photo below).
red yarn ball homemade ornament
For this craft we used red yarn and twine (to make two separate balls).  Instead of yarn or twine, I think one could use cord, string or even jute.  For the excellent tutorial, go to this website.

homemade twine ball, DIY moss ball

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Break Kids' Crafts: Yarn Ornaments

Christmas break starts tomorrow and it's too cold to play outside.  To keep my little troublemakers out of trouble (and to keep my sanity) I've been searching for some new Christmas craft ideas.  Here are just a few links for simple yarn ornaments.  Will update you on our own version later.  What's your "secret weapon" to keep your children busy when they're out of school?
Happy Holidays to all!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

DIY: Glitter Cowboy Boots

Bought these genuine leather cowgirl boots for my daughter for $6 (Goodwill).   There were already beautiful but black leather just did not match Nina's girly character.  Pink would've been so cute, but I did not want to dye them myself.  So took the easier road of turning these into glitter boots.  Nina loves them!

jumbo multi-colored glitter from JoAnns, Mod-Podge, large brush, masking tape and plastic container (not pictured)

in a container mix Mod-Podge and glitter (about 1:1 ratio)

tape off the soles and apply your first layer

let it dry 40 min to 1 hr

apply your second layer, let it dry as well and then apply just Mod-Podge alone to seal


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