A Toy Story Bento

A Toy Story Bento | OneCraftyThing.com
In this lunch:

Today, the kiddo asked what she was going to get for a special lunch and I decided to surprise her. Truth was, I had absolutely NO idea what to do. I was inspiration-less! And suddenly I looked into the toy, um, pile and saw a Mr. Potato Head sticking out. And so this lunch was inspired by my kiddos’ mess. At least it’s good for something!

Main PB&J sandwich with PB as on the face as well. The black parts (mustache, eyebrows, pupils) are all pieces of blueberries except for the bowler hat (that was wilton dough). Ears were slices of mandarins and eyes were made up of bread. The mouth was a small piece of raspberry.
Sides A green alien kiwi. I used a full kiwi and held it in place with the silicone cup. The ears are cut up pieces of kiwi (with the skin on, for rigidity) and the little antenna on his head is a piece of kiwi topped with a skinned blueberry on top. In the next compartment, some Pirate Booty with cheddar stars.
Also Included but not Pictured Yogurt and a string cheese.

Today, I used:

More Easter Eggs and Tips for a Watermelon Rose Success

After a fairly sick Easter weekend, I managed to get the egg dyeing activity done for the kids but had to wait until night time to work on my own eggs. I had big plans for wax-resist, pysanka-type eggs but I just couldn’t work it. Oh well, such is life (and the mantra of the site! Get what you can/want done!) So instead I spent a little time blowing out some eggs and using the food coloring in a watercolor-like way (putting drops on top and dripping water on top which results in a cool effect) and then drawing on top of them. And here they are, what I could do in an episode of Scandal and an episode of Call the Midwife ;)

The first egg I dyed was this neon green that reminded me of the same color as luna moths… so it kind of themed itself :) The second egg was a turquoisey blue and I really wanted to do a botanical print. I drew them first with a pencil and then with a Sharpie pen and a Sharpie Marker.


Another part of Easter this year was a small BBQ at my mother’s with all our family. It was low-key and nice and after the kiddos’ Easter egg hunt, we had a potluck. I brought watermelon, as I do, and since I hadn’t spent a lot of time planning it out, I decided to practice my watermelon rose:

Watermelon Fruit Platter | OneCraftyThing.com

This rose was actually one of the best ones I’ve done. I still have a bit to learn, but I think I have a good enough start to give out some tips on watermelon rose carving tips, right?

Watermelon Fruit Platter | OneCraftyThing.com

Tips for a Watermelon Rose Success

  • I watched a million (ok maybe four or five a million times) YouTube videos to learn watermelon roses and the one that I found most helpful was this one.  She’s amazing and her roses are exquisite.
  • A sharp paring knife with a curved tip is a good instrument to start with.
  • I use a cheese plane to peel the part of the watermelon that I’m carving.
  • The way you hold the paring knife is important. Look carefully to see where the lady in the video above holds her knife. It makes a difference.
  • When carving the middle, I had a tendency to cut at an angle toward the middle of the rose. DO NOT DO THIS. Try to keep your knife straight going into the watermelon, otherwise you will learn that you’ll start cutting petals off accidentally (I learned this the very hard way).
  • When I first started roses, I made thin petals and cut out thin strips behind them for definition. Thin petals are a yes, but the melon that you cut out for definition should be nice, thick pieces (refer to the video).
  • When you accidentally cut off a petal or you swish right when you should’ve stopped and chopped off part of the melon that you needed, fake it. YES, FAKE IT! I usually have a couple of toothpicks handy to tuck into the flower, under the petals in case of mistakes. Hey, I’m still learning! And it ends up looking good.

Hope those tips were helpful for anyone attempting this craziness hobby! It’s definitely a fun one though.

All Kinds of Easter Fun

Easter Bento | OneCraftyThing.com

I’ve been meaning to post this lunch since Thursday but I’ve been under the weather, so it’s going to be smooshed together in one of two Easter posts. I actually had planned a different lunch altogether with nothing but bunnies but you have to improvise when your bunny-shaped eggs won’t take well to the egg molds. So here we go, an Easter themed bento :)

In this lunch:

Main A cream cheese sandwich with a little mozzarella tail. In the baking cup, cheddar bunnies.
Sides  An egg cut to look like a chick — actually, it was supposed to look like a rabbit but oh well. The chick has a piece of carrot for the beak and sprinkles for the eyes and sushi grass around it. Also a blueberry carrot “patch” consisting of baby carrots (with dill for the greens) simply set into blueberries.
Also Included but not Pictured String cheese and a banana

Also in this post, the kiddos’ Easter eggs! We had lots of fun with the rice dyeing method of coloring Easter eggs that even the two year old kiddo did it and did it well. It was really simple.

Speckled Rice Dyed Easter Eggs (with Tutorial!) | OneCraftyThing.com

You need:

  • Containers with lids, or, alternately, disposable cups and tin foil/plastic wrap, or whatever will cover the top completely.
  • 1/4 cup of rice for each container
  • Food dye
  • Hard-boiled eggs

And the (super easy) instructions:

  1. Pour the 1/4 cup of rice into each container (we used cups because we had recycled our containers already).
  2. Place 15-20 drops of dye in each of the colors you want.
  3. Place hard-boiled egg inside and cover the top with lid or foil/plastic wrap
  4. Shake vigorously (or until you giggle).

And that’s it! That’s all. Some tips we learned:

  • The sooner you put the eggs in after you put the dye in, the more vibrant/more colored your egg will be.
  • For speckled eggs, dye the rice and wait 15 minutes to 1/2 hour. When we first started our project, we put the dye into the rice and were shaking up the rice and then Dad came in with our take-out dinner, so we had to wait to dye the eggs. The result was speckled eggs because with the time we gave it, the dye had absorbed more into the rice.
  • You can put them in different colors after each layer is done. Each kiddo was given 3 eggs (so few because only ONE of the three actually eats hard-boiled eggs) so to keep the activity going, we put them in different colors. I think the ones my eldest kiddo did were the loveliest, with the “Monet-inspired” one seen below as my favorite :)
  • For younger kids, I’d use the lidded containers. My kids used the tin foil and shook them so hard that some ripped through the top and lost some rice, getting it pretty much all over the table. So much for a no-mess activity!

Here were the best of the best, done (in order)  by eldest kiddo (7), youngest kiddo (2), and middle kiddo (4). Love that we got such great results by putting them in different colors. The layered approach was really great.

Speckled Rice Dyed Easter Eggs (with Tutorial!) | OneCraftyThing.com

Today, I used:

Into the Woods… and Home Before Dark!

Into the Woods Bento | OneCraftyThing.com

Another beloved movie! I saw Into the Woods in a play as a teenager and I instantly loved it. I loved the tongue-in-cheekness, I loved the characters, I loved the less-than-happy ending. Loved. When Disney put it out this last year, I took my husband out on a date to see it. It was great! I talked about it so much that my kiddos started to want to see it, and they saw it with their grandma. They loved it, too! One soundtrack and many many many repeats later, it’s the only album the whole family can agree on in the car. So when the kiddo asked me for an Into the Woods lunch, I had to do it!

This lunch was inspired by the Witch’s curse which needs to resolve itself through:

One: the cow as white as milk,
Two: the cape as red as blood,
Three: the hair as yellow as corn,
Four: the slipper as pure as gold.

In this lunch:

Main A cream cheese sandwich (by request) in the shape of Milky White– in this particular lunch, I guess it helped that my child will only eat white bread (booooo!).
Sides The cape as red as blood (or as red as a strawberry) with a little bread face. I used sprinkles for the eyes and mouth and a few peels of blueberry for the hair. For Little Red Riding Hood’s dress, I cut up a little piece of cupcake liner! Also included was a banana with the hair as yellow as corn, and a piece of bread shaped like a foot and painted with yellow paint for the slipper as pure as gold (over a mix of nuts). Also, two little trees with blueberry leaves.
Also Included but not Pictured Yogurt

Today, I used:

Big Hero 6 Bento

Big Hero 6 Bento | OneCraftyThing.com

With Big Hero 6 out on DVD, my kiddos have been watching it over and over again. I personally haven’t seen it (erm, I’ve used it as a babysitter while making dinner, though!) but I caught enough here and there to make up a lunch based on the characters. So here we go, a Big Hero 6 lunch!

In this lunch:

Main Not a sandwich for once! My grandma has a recipe for no-syrup pancakes which is great for lunch, as there is no mess. They are only very slightly sweet and taste good with a little butter (although I didn’t add butter here). So a set of Baymax pancakes (so easy to make!)
Sides Lol, a mini sandwich (PB&J of course)– I painted Hiro’s face on it; blueberries with a suited up Baymax made from a couple of strawberries, a bit of bread and a teensy bit of food dye– kept together with peanut butter.
Also Included but not Pictured Bunny graham crackers

Today, I used:

A Simple St. Patrick’s Day Bento

Simple St. Patrick's Day Bento Lunch | OneCraftyThing.com

I was trying to figure out what I was going to do for St. Patrick’s Day’s lunch and thought up a few different themes. In the end, I decided to go really simple clover themed (with a couple of extra goodies in there!). I just love when a simple lunch comes together and practically anyone can make this!

In this lunch:

Main A PB&J heart sandwich with a cut out clover. The green under the cut out was a small spot of peanut butter with some green food dye. I cut out the clover with a tiny heart cutter.
Sides Trail mix with two little chocolate coins and green grapes cut into hearts (and held together with a toothpick) and arranged like a clover. The grape-clover sits on top of a piece of lettuce, but there are more grapes under that.
Also Included but not Pictured Yogurt and a banana

Today, I used:

Every So Often… I Get a Day Off

Ardenwood A | OneCraftyThing.com

It’s true that bentos are my main form of art at the moment. It’s a pragmatic choice to work with a medium I’m forced to use anyhow (I have to pack lunches, so why not enjoy doing it?) but sometimes, more often than I admit, I miss sketching and drawing. I’m a graphic designer by trade, so sketching tends to be part of my routine anyhow, but it’s often rushed and on post-its. Sitting with a detailed drawing takes delicate and delicious time, which I sorely lack between a houseful of kiddos and a job (although my job as a graphic design instructor is awesome because I get to talk design all day long, I am usually helping others with their work). Anyhow, every so often I get a day off. I took the kids to school this morning with the intent of having breakfast with friends and then spending precious hours sketching at my most favorite place, Ardenwood Historic Farm. We go there often, practically every week, but with toddlers underfoot it’s difficult to take time to soak it in. So today, I had every intention.

Except I forgot it closes on Mondays. Epic fail.

Regardless, I spread a blanket out on my lawn, took out my instruments and drew. And drew and drew. For a good three hours. And my Ardenwood “A,” instead of being a result of watching the eucalyptus trees for reference, was referenced by pictures I’d taken instead. The best laid plans…

What I learned was that it was nice to sit in my own home, by myself, grass under me with tiny insects occasionally trudging across my page. Felt nice to have the luxury of time and the quiet of the day. I finished a thought. It was good.

Today I used: Scotch Modern Swash Italic for its beautiful reference to 19th century typography, and in reference to the fact that Ardenwood Farm was created around the same time.

Butterflies, Again Bento

Butterfly Bento | OneCraftyThing.com

I never get tired of creating new butterfly bentos. I love Monarch butterflies… they mean a lot to me because to me they represent California (which I adore), and they overwinter near my home. I love the fact that they are immigrants here but at the same time natives; I love that they fly so many miles and die along the way but something instinctual urges them to keep on the path. They feel magical in the woods where we see them every year.

For this bento, I thought about those overwintering butterflies, clustered with their families and spanning California.

In this lunch:

Main A PB&J heart sandwich with little bread butterflies clustered and glued down with peanut butter. To give them a little bit of dimension to their wings, I used the wrong side of a butter knife to fold the middle inward.
Sides Trail mix, two mandarins with a wing cut out of each mandarin and squished together and almonds.
Also Included but not Pictured Yogurt and string cheese

Today, I used:

The Day After Grammar Day Bento: Conjunction Junction

Conjunction Junction Bento | OneCraftyThing.com

Yesterday, it was National Grammar Day. It’s a nerd-like-me’s dream day! Unfortunately, I had to leave my house super early yesterday and had to work the night before, so I didn’t get a chance to make a Grammar Day lunch for the kiddo. So today I made up for it. It’s sad that it won’t be for Grammar Day… but then again, grammar is good all year round :)

In this lunch:

Main  PB& J AND cream cheese mini sandwiches (see the conjunction?) with cheddar cheese words
Sides Carved banana with the Conjunction Junction engineer on it, kiwi go sign and a couple of mandarins
Also Included but not Pictured Yogurt and a string cheese

Today, I used:

Dr. Seuss Day Bento

Dr Seuss Day Bento | OneCraftyThing.com

Today is Dr. Seuss Day (AKA National Read Across America Day) and the kiddo’s favorite Dr. Seuss book is One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish and one of her favorite characters is the (unnamed) girl. She’s having a fun school Read Across America event at school today (with pillow and blanky and stuffed animal) so I thought this would be appropriate!

In this lunch:

Main PB&honey with the girl from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish painted on. TIP! It’s actually pretty hard to paint on a piece of bread because of all the holes in the bread (even harder with healthier, chunkier bread), so I make it a double sandwich, using a two regular slices of bread and having the top one (the third piece) slightly flattened by a roller, just enough to make it a little more dense and flatten out the holes, so then when it’s painted, you don’t have inconsistencies in the painting.
Sides Goldfish crackers (one painted to be a red fish and the second, a blue fish) and half an apple carved with the “To There, To Here” sign from the book; it was outlined with the black dye.
Also included but not pictured Applesauce and an orange.

Today, I used: