As a woman, there is some stereotypes in our culture about women loving shoes. I like shoes. I don’t think I like shoes an inordinate amount for any old human being. That said, I’ve been obsessed with shoes lately.
Not just wearing them (I like the wearing) but really, I love painting them. Making fun shoes up. Wearing silly shoes that make my feel look like zombies because… well, because I can.
So here are a few shoes I’ve painted lately. Some for me, some for gifts, some for three giggly kiddos who really wanted silly painted shoes.
My cousin wanted Peruvian shoes for her birthday because, well, she’s Peruvian 🙂
I saw some zombie feet on Pinterest and then later found out that even Vans had Zombie feet kids’ shoes so I took an old pair of shoes and painted them into turquoise zombies. Right now, these are my favorite to wear!
Another cousin just had a baby and she has an older little kiddo as well so I made matching kid shoes and a matching tote for mom 🙂 I briefly considered keeping the tote for myself and making another for her… but finally just mailed them off before I started using it.
My littlest kiddo decided he wanted dinosaur feet… so dino feet it was.
This set of shoes I painted for my eldest kiddo who dislikes skulls and zombies and crazy feet, etc. and is a gentler soul prone to loving flowers:
I’ve made a couple more as well but failed to photograph them well and now they are… let’s just say they’ve been worn a lot and loved a lot!
So I have two other pairs of blank shoes (one me-sized and one middle kiddo sized) so I’ll probably be painting more.
This last Wednesday was the first day that I packed lunch for two. My kiddos are growing up and two are in elementary school now! *sniff* For the first day of school, I made wise little owls 🙂 You’ll see that one is packed in an EasyLunchbox and the other in a Lunch Bot… because one kid eats like an adult and the other… like a bird!
In today’s lunch:
Main PB&J Sandwich with yogurt raisins/ pistachios. I used Ritz crackers for the eyes and M&Ms for the pupils (held to the sandwich with a dab of peanut butter). One cashew for a beak. The one for the big kiddo also has half of a granola bar and extra cashews for claws.
Sides Strawberries and grapes. The flowers are made out of wafer paper; I bought these in Italy and can’t find an inexpensive alternative here in the US 🙁
Also included but not pictured Water
Today, I used (please disable AdBlock to see what tools I used for this bento):
I recently cleared up something with a friend: I do not make “pretty” bentos every day (the more elaborate ones I do about twice a week). I do make bentos every day because I have to make the kiddo lunch every day. But sometimes rather than looking like Super Mario Brothers or unicorns with rainbow fruit, they just look like this:
Some people say that’s a lot of work still but really this only took me five minutes. I use the sandwich cutter because my kiddo hates crusts and has me cut them off anyhow; the cutter just does it super fast for me. The grapes are stuck on a wooden skewer for fun and the strawberries are just stuck in the extra areas. I put little food picks for fun. Aaaaannnnd done. Five minutes because I took my time with the sandwich, what with helping small people get dressed and all. So bento doesn’t really have to take up much time.
Today’s bento, however, did take a bit of time because I’m trying out a new technique. I think one of my favorite themes in bento is flowers, just because almost anything can be a flower 🙂 I wanted to try my hand at apple carving but we had just gotten some pears in from our CSA box so I used those. I’m definitely going to be trying it with apples. My first try was just ok, I think. Not amazing, but cute enough for now. For the other flower, I used the trusted mandarin orange flower with strawberry center 🙂 This is not the main meal, as you probably guessed by all the fruit. It’s just a fruit side because the main meal was leftover pasta from last night inside a (deep, dark, hard-to-photograph-and-just-pasta-in-it-anyway) thermos.
(not pictured) Penne Alfredo with chicken
Carved pear with a blueberry on top (held with a toothpick); clementine orange with strawberry flower; blueberries; green grapes.
Today I used:
I’ve always wanted to try doing this. I’ve eaten (and loved!) Edible Arrangements for a while. I think they’re a great gift to give but seriously, they cost SO much. Even a really small bouquet is above $50. I had a potluck party to attend today and on a whim buying fruit last night, I went ahead and bought my supplies to make this. It was made of pineapple, cantaloupe, grapes, and blueberries. I used a flower cookie cutter I had around from Easter, but it was plastic and took a bit of effort to get the flowers nice and even, so I think next time I’ll just buy a metal cutter for this. Surprisingly, the whole thing took much less time than I thought (an hour and a half, maybe two?) and came out cute for a first try. I think it would’ve been even better if I had used a floral foam for the arrangement, but I actually just used the top of the pineapple to stick the sticks in. Next try will hopefully be much more artfully arranged! And I think next time I’ll include chocolate dipped strawberries.
Some tips on making them:
- Melon ballers make perfect half spheres for the middles.
- Hold them to the middles to the pineapple flowers with toothpicks but cut off the sharp ends with scissors so no one pokes themselves
Today I used:
These last couple of weeks, the kiddos have been at home on summer vacation. We had intended on doing a lot of different projects and such but there were issues (an emergency root canal for me!) and so we didn’t do as much as I was hoping to do. Still, one of the things on the list were rainbow roses. When I was buying my mom flowers for Mother’s Day, I came upon these rainbow roses and thought, hey, I can do that! I thought it would be a fun project for the kids too. So here is how to do it:
How to make Rainbow Roses
I wish I had taken pictures of the whole process but it was hard to try to keep three kids entertained/included in the process and try not to cover everyone in dye. Basically what you have to do is:
- Cut the stems of the rose into several parts (I cut them into three parts because I wanted to use three colors).
- One Crafty Tip: I cut the stems with a straight cut first underwater — this keeps air bubbles out of the flower’s stem, which can inhibit the uptake of dye. Then I took them out to cut on a cutting board with an exacto knife into three equal parts. I cut around 4 inches of stem. Put the rose back in the water.
- The next step is to prep your dye. I used regular food coloring that you can get at any supermarket (baking aisle). Some people put their dye in short, disposable cups (like the little paper dixie cups) but I figured the dye would be more concentrated in less water, so I used teeny weeny soy sauce containers like this:
I used plastic wrap to keep them all together. I also used a large glass container to keep the roses upright, as you’ll see below.
- One Crafty Tip: Remember to buy containers that have a wide enough mouth to fit the stem.
- Wait. The Kindergarten Kiddo saw our first flower taking up the dye as we were cutting our second flower. It was very fast! The following results were from overnight.
- When your colors have been achieved, submerge stems underwater again and cut above your original cut. Place roses in fresh water and enjoy!
- One Crafty Tip: You will see some of the dye leak into the water from the stems. It didn’t bother me any but if it does, I think the only way to avoid seeing it is to use an opaque vase.
So I started with white roses:
The plastic wrap stems:
These roses were supposed to be blue, yellow, and magenta but for some reason, I didn’t have very good luck with the magenta taking well:
A close-up of my “best” rose:
You can see some of the leaking dye here:
These two were our less successful roses. The one on the left was supposed to be pink and purple (as per two giggly girls) and the one on the right was supposed to be red, white and blue but for some reason, none of it took (I did this rose twice, so it might have been the rose).
Stuff we learned (AKA, more Tips):
- The girls ended up learning about how water is taken up from the stem of the flower up into the petals. K-Kiddo even saw some green petals and concluded that the yellow and the blue colors mixed to get green.
- I learned that the red dyes weren’t taking very well. Not sure why. I had two different types of red dyes (all from the grocery store) and still they weren’t very successful, especially in the ones that were supposed to be blue/yellow/magenta.
- Young roses with less woody stems took up the dye much better than the bigger, woodier roses (the “patriotic” rose was a little bigger and woodier than the others). The fresher the rose, too, the better.
So there you have it! Rainbow roses. I think I might do it again although it gets a little pricey buying white roses… maybe we’ll try daisies or carnations next.
Today I used:
Salami Rose / flower bento 🙂
Done before, now with little candy butterflies, my easy Easter twist.