Easy Hand-Drawn Gift Wrap
First off, here’s a little photo gallery of the wrapping I did for some of his gifts! Toby loves turtles, and so the theme of course, was turtles and turtle-doves. This is our favourite method of wrapping: brown shipping paper and sharpies or markers. I googled “galapagos turtle” and found a few images I liked, using them as models for my free-hand drawing. Then, I did a bible word search for “turtle” and found a nice reference to turtle doves in the Song of Solomon that I thought was most appropriate for the gift of a bible sent from our family out in California. Et voila: turtle wrapping of all kinds!
Marbled Oreo First Communion Cake
1/2 recipe of your best chocolate cake batter [in a pinch? use a box mix and amp it up with vanilla or a shot of alcohol!]
1/2 recipe of your best white cake batter [in a pinch? use a box mix]
1 recipe of your best buttercream frosting [in a pinch? use pre-prepared icing!]
Gel Colour or Food Colouring of your choice [We used Wilton Kelly Green Gel Food Colour]
7 chocolate covered oreo-style cookie or plain oreo-style cookies
[We bought ours from the fabulous Ed's Real Scoop ice cream shop here in Toronto - Yes! They do fab chocolates, too!]
1 package of oreo-style cookies, smashed into bits with a meat cleaver or rolling pin [We used PC "Eat the Middle First" Cookies]
Wilton Cross-Cake Pan [We found ours at Bulk Barn - and we share it with other families at the kids' school]
Heat the oven to 350.
Spray the Cross-Cake Pan with baking spray or grease and flour it as you see fit.
Prepare each batter in a separate bowl.
Pour small clumps of each batter into the cross cake pan.
Use a spoon, fork, skewer or coffee-stirrer stick to swirl the batter in the pan.
Bake the cake for 40-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
[Okay, it's a little weird "testing" a cross cake with a knife or pick!]
Colour Frosting with gel or food colouring of your choice.
Invert Cake onto a large serving dish.
Decorate top of cake with chocolate covered oreos.
Using your hand, press smashed oreo bits onto the sides of the cake.
I really enjoyed reading about my friend and former colleague Nathalie’s experiences knitting with her son in the September 2011 issue of Today’s Parent Magazine [see her blog post: Teaching Griffin to Knit for a quick precis]. I thought it would be fun to get my own kids started by introducing a family knitting project: a long, pieced together Dr. Who-Style Scarf. On a few sets of the same sized knitting needles, I’ll cast on the same number of stitches. And the kids will get started learning how to knit and purl with some of my leftover yarn. The plan will be, in the long run, to join their bits of scarf together with a simple seam or with my own creative knitting and to keep adding to the project over time. I am hoping this single, long scarf [inspired by Dr. Who #4, Tom Baker - the original "infinity" scarf] will become an anti-stress/welcome guest knitting project. We’ll leave a basket around the house with a few spare balls of yarn and our scarf in progress on a single set of needles for anyone who wants to sit and knit a few rows when they get the urge. It’s not as cool as my Aunt Peggy’s family colouring book, but at least it will be “colourful.”
UPDATE: Rome wasn’t built in a day…and the Dr. Who scarf certainly won’t be completed overnight. But, things are going well here. The fat pair of needles I had around worked well for teaching purposes. Tobes, who ended up with the little pair of needles, wanted to leave off after about fifteen minutes in order to play video games, but I managed to help him knit a good long row. And, Bea is still at work!
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