11/30/20

Heart Santa Magnet

The Heart Turkey has a friend. Meet Heart Santa!

 
They both are made with wooden hearts and they're both refrigerator magnets, though you could easily turn them into napkin rings or ornaments. 


Paint one heart red and one with your desired skin tone. Set them aside to dry.
 
Cut two pieces of embroidery floss, each around 3 inches. Tie a pony bead to one end of each piece to make Santa's legs.

Cut a hat from red construction paper or cardstock. From the scraps, cut a tiny round red nose. Cut a thin black strip for the belt, a small yellow square for the belt buckle, then an even smaller black square for the center of the buckle. 

Tear the cotton ball in half. Shape one half into a beard, then divide the other half to make the fur trim of Santa's hat, the pom pom on the end of the hat, and two eyebrows. 


Orient both hearts so they are upside down (point at the top, rounded area at the bottom). Glue the googly eyes to the center of skin tone heart. Add the eyebrows, nose, and beard. Glue the trim and pom pom to Santa's hat, then glue the hat to his head. Glue the belt to the red heart, then add the buckle and the inner buckle. Glue the head onto the body. Glue the legs behind the body, trapping them beneath the magnet.


A typo while I was writing this post turned Santa into Satan and left me giggling on and off for ten minutes. This led me to wonder if there are any kid-friendly Satan crafts out there. Alas, there seem to be only Satan-as-serpent crafts and printables about avoiding temptation. But my search yielded this hilarious news story about Satan in Vancouver Island, BC. It's literally old news (2019) but even if you saw it last year, it's funny enough to read again. You're welcome.

11/27/20

My A-Z Animal Quilt

Now that I have created animal crafts for every letter of the alphabet, I thought it would be really fun to put them together into a digital quilt. It makes me SO happy seeing them together!


This collection of animals is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. While there are a few letters with just a single animal craft idea (iguana, x-ray fish, yak), some letters have literally dozens of options for cute, kid-friendly animal crafts. You can see them listed alphabetically or by animal group (mammals, fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians, invertebrates, and mythical creatures). 

I thought I'd share the process of how I made the digital quilt, because there are so many other things you can do using the same technique. For example, I've done this with Trevor's annual birthday photos to create a collage of him changing year-by-year. For this A-Z project, I needed the finished quilt to have at least 26 squares, but wasn't keen on the idea of a 2x13 quilt. If I added a title square, I could do a 3x9, which is better but still not ideal. An additional square meant I could do a 4x7. 

Once I knew my aspect ratio of 4:7, I multiplied each number by 300 and created a 1200x2100 collage in PicMonkey. I made 28 squares by dragging in a corkboard pattern. 



Then I dragged in my favorite animal craft for each letter of the alphabet. Here's how it looked when it was mostly complete:


I kept the collage saved in my PicMonkey Hub so that each time I finished a new animal I could drag the photo into the collage. After the x-ray fish, I added an A and a Z to the first and last squares. 


I love seeing some of my favorite projects together like this. 

11/26/20

Standing Cardboard Tube Moose

As the Editor of Fun Family Crafts, I spend a fair amount of time looking at cardboard tube crafts submitted by our readers. I love all the creative things people do with this humble item. My latest contribution to this category of recycled crafts is a standing moose. Can you guess material what I used so that the moose can stand upright?


If you said craft sticks, you're right! I left the sticks exposed for this picture, but you can cover them for a more finished final product. Affiliate links below. 



Standing Cardboard Tube Moose


Materials:


Steps:


Cover the cardboard tube with brown construction paper and set it aside. 

Using a craft stick as a guide, cut out two front legs and two back legs (double each if you want to hide the craft sticks on your finished moose). Then cut out the head, a pair of antlers, a pair of ears, the 'beard' (actually a dewlap), and the tail. Save a scrap that is around the same size as the face.

Use a black pen to color in the hooves, nostrils, and inner ears. 


Glue one craft stick on the back of each leg. (If you want to cover the craft sticks so they don't show, now is the time to glue each duplicate leg in place, sandwiching the craft stick between the two pieces of construction paper.)

Glue the legs onto one side of the moose's body. These should be straight up and down. Let the glue set for a few minutes, then glue the legs onto the other side of the body. These will be slanted. Make small adjustments until they are balanced. Hold them in place for a minute or two. Then glue the tail in place. 

Add the eyes, ears, antlers, and dewlap to the head. Accordion-fold the scrap to make a neck. Hold it behind the head, making sure the scrap isn't visible from the front. (If it is, trim it so that it is hidden behind the head.) Glue one end to the back of the head and one end to the body. 

11/25/20

The Most Difficult-to-Pronounce Town(s) in Each State

Today, the day before Thanksgiving, is typically the busiest travel day of the year in the United States. I'm cautiously optimistic that it won't be this year. As much as we would love to travel and spend Thanksgiving with family, we're staying home. I hope many others make the same sacrifice for the common good. I thought a blog post that is tangentially related to travel would make up for the traveling we and so many others are not doing today. 




I was listening to a podcast recently where the host wasn't sure how to pronounce a place name. He gave it his best effort, then commented that listeners were sure to write in and correct him, like when he heard from a thousand people telling him that Helena, Montana is "hell-A-nuh or HELL-uh-nuh... or whichever one is right, because now I can't remember."

I've always said "HELL-uh-nuh" without a second thought, but suddenly wondered if I have been wrong all these years. A quick Google check yielded The Montana Pronunciation Guide. I determined that I'm OK on Helena, but woefully ignorant when it comes to many other Montana locations.  

From here, I continued down the Google rabbit hole and came across Reader's Digest's list of the most difficult-to-pronounce town in each state. I knew around ten of them for sure (my parents grew up near Puyallup, Washington) and made some educated guesses (California has Butte County, so I was confident that Crested Butte, Colorado would be pronounced the same way), but I definitely botched most of them.

Then I came to this list by USA Today. Again, a few were really easy for me but most were not. I have some connection or familiarity with the ones I got right, aced the ones with Spanish pronunciations, and lucky-guessed a few others. The rest, nope! 

Back in my teaching days, I worked in Vallejo. Vallejo is constantly mispronounced (and misspelled, for that matter). In fact, I pronounced it incorrectly until the year before I started working there, when a friend from Vallejo told me that the way I'd been pronouncing it all my life (vuh-LAY-ho) was definitely wrong. I actually argued with her. (Sorry, Barbara.) I'd grown up hearing the traffic guy on the local radio station pronounce it that way, and it never occurred to me that he (and everyone else who pronounced it that way because of him) might be wrong. Traffic reporters, I hope you know how much power you have! Anyway, Barbara kindly told me that it's pronounced vuh-LAY-oh. Sure enough, that's how everyone there and in all the surrounding cities say it (including our current traffic guy). 

Anyone have any interesting city names near you? Let me know how to pronounce them correctly so that I don't sound like a clueless tourist when I eventually visit!

11/24/20

Our Latest Favorite Game: Nomids

The deRosiers love all sorts of board games and card games, so when the folks at Looney Labs offered me the chance to review some of their latest games, I happily agreed. When Nomids arrived (affiliate link here and throughout the post), we couldn't wait to open it up and check it out! I'm delighted to say that we absolutely love it. 


Nomids is played with 30 pyramids (10 colors, 3 different sizes) and a single die. The goal is to be the first to get rid of your pyramids - when you have no 'mids left, you are the winner. Nomids is very easy to learn, but involves plenty of strategy. And it's really fun!

Nomids can be played with 2-10 players. I love that flexibility! We've only played with 2 and 3 (because COVID), but when playing board games with other people is a thing, Nomids will be at the top of our must-play list. It's really travel-friendly, so this will surely come along on Scout trips, cabin visits, and other travels once travel is a thing again (sigh... COVID).  

Each player starts out with three pyramids, each a different color and size. On your turn, you roll the die to determine whether you take a pyramid from the middle or another player, give a pyramid to the middle or another player, or trade pyramids. When you have all three pyramids of one color, you return them to the center. If you don't have any pyramids left when you do this, you are the winner! Here's one of our three-person games in progress. 


Nomids is unique in that the game pieces can be used to play other games, including Pharaoh (a math strategy game), Pyramid-Sham-Bo (a party game), and Treehouse (a spatial skills strategy game). Nomids can also be used as an expansion pack for Looney Labs' Pyramid Arcade, which is a 22-in-1 game system. 

Nomids is a great choice for practically anyone on your gift list. It's recommended for ages 6+. If you are looking for other board game ideas, be sure to check out my Family Fun Gift Guide

11/23/20

How to Draw an Advent Wreath

I'm the chair of the Education Ministry at our church. My job is to oversee the committee that provides adult and youth Sunday School, Bible studies, youth groups, and other educational opportunities to our members and visitors. Last year, we introduced a special all-ages Advent Fellowship that took place between services on the four Sundays of Advent. We had craft days, sang carols, shared beloved holiday cookies, and celebrated the season together with joy. It was a great success. 

COVID-19 means that this year we can't safely hold in-person Advent worship services, let alone come together for crafts, caroling, and potlucks. We're going to do the next best thing, holding our Advent activities via Zoom. Advent starts next Sunday, November 29 and I'll be leading the congregation in drawing an Advent wreath for that first Sunday. I've made three sample drawings. Each uses a different medium (alcohol markers, crayons, and colored pencils) and they have some other variations as well. Affiliate links below. 

This first drawing is done with my favorite Prismacolor markers. Gorgeous color, great blending, and no streaks. 


I did this drawing with Crayola crayons. I am very brand loyal when it comes to crayons; Crayola crayons are sturdy and provide the smoothest, most vivid color. This was my first time trying out their new Pearl Crayons, introduced in late 2019. I'm a fan!  


I used both Prismacolor colored pencils and Crayola colored pencils for this version of the wreath. The Prismacolors give smoother and richer color than Crayola, but they're also way more expensive. The Crayolas are the best of the student-quality colored pencils. 


Now that I've shown you some coloring options, let's start drawing! Orient a piece of paper vertically and draw four staggered candles just below the center of the page. Do not draw the bottoms of the candles. 

As you can see, I drew my samples with a Sharpie because it's easier to see. You can use a pencil if you want the option to erase. You can also use a ruler if you want straight lines. Imperfect candles don't bother me, but it's up to you.  


Now we're going to add holly. Draw two or three holly leaves at the bottom of each candle, using the same motion you'd make to draw waves in an ocean. Vary the orientation of the holly leaves. Once you've covered the bottom of the candles, continue adding leaves randomly around them to make an oval-shaped wreath. 


When you have filled in the whole wreath with holly, draw little circles in between some of the leaves to make holly berries. Then add a wick and a flame to each candle. 



Now decide what you'd like your text to say and how you want it to look. I used a portion of Mark 1:3 (Prepare ye the way of the Lord), but there are many other verses or phrases that you might prefer. You can also choose to label the four candles or not. Looking at the samples again, you can see three different options for how to use text and how I incorporated the Star of Bethlehem. 
 
    

If you're interested in seeing my other Advent crafts for kids, click the link. Happy Advent and happy crafting!

11/20/20

Family Fun in Idaho

In a way, scrapping photos from a trip is like taking that trip all over again, right? That's what I keep telling myself. This is the second page from our July 2019 family reunion in Idaho.  

Family Fun! (affiliate link)

We were supposed to meet up in Montana this summer, but that was canceled. I'm so glad that we have technology that keeps us connected, even if we can't get together in person. Emails, phone calls, and Zoom get-togethers make such a difference. 

11/19/20

MCI-DEN-BOI

I've been struggling with how to scrap last summer's family reunion in Boise. I had enough photos for two pages, but they would be back-to-back rather than side-to-side once I put them in the album. So I wanted to treat the event as two 1-pagers instead of one 2-pager. 

I decided to cut down all of the activity photos to squares and set them aside for the second page. The first page would include our group photo. When I started digging through my travel product, I came across the "You Are Here" journaling card that happened to have Kansas City printed on it. We'd flown from Kansas City to Boise (via Denver) to attend the reunion, so I came up with the idea to fussy cut a Boise photo and use an arrow to connect the two cities.  

Kansas City to Boise (affiliate link)

I included just a single line of journaling to explain that we'd gone directly from our Missouri/Kansas trip to the reunion in Idaho in order to maximize our vacation days. The second page, with all the reunion activity photos, has lots of journaling. I'll share that page tomorrow. 

11/18/20

Heart Turkey Magnet

I was joking about making place cards for Thanksgiving since it will only be the three of us this year, but then I noticed that the wood hearts sitting near my desk would make awesome turkeys. The next thing I knew, I had this:


The turkey is not connected to the place card; it's leaning up against it. It's actually a refrigerator magnet that my theoretical guests could take home after the meal and put on the fridge. Affiliate links below. 


Heart Turkey Magnet 


Materials:



Steps: 


Paint two hearts brown and set them aside.
 
Cut two pieces of embroidery floss, each around 3 inches. Tie a pony bead to one end of each piece to make the turkey's legs. Cut seven pieces of ribbon, each approximately 3 inches. These will be the tail feathers.  


With the heart upside down, glue the legs and the tail feathers to the turkey body. Add glue to the second heart and sandwich it against the first, trapping the ribbon pieces and embroidery floss between the two. 

Cut out a beak and a waddle from cardstock. Glue them and the googly eyes to the turkey's face. Adhere a magnet to the back and the turkey is done. 

11/17/20

The Annual Birthday Layouts

Nothing has been normal in 2020, which is why I'm just now sharing the layouts I made for my godchildren's July birthdays. After not seeing each other for WAY too long, we finally had a chance to meet for a brief, socially-distanced gift opening. 

Here is the page I made for Ellia, age 11. She's getting so big! I didn't get close to her when we visited, but I wouldn't be surprised if she is nearly as tall as I am. 
Ellia at 11 (affiliate link)

At the 14-year old's request, I'm sharing a censored version of the birthday layout. I know for certain that I'm the shorter of the two of us. 


And speaking of shorter, check out this photo that Courteney snapped when Trevor and I delivered the birthday layouts. 


Am I slouching? (I don't think so.) Is the pavement sloped? (Doesn't seem like it.) Or is it time for me to make a new version of this layout? (Probably.) Could Trevor have grown that much between September 23 and November 13 when the two photos were taken? (Yes, based on how much he eats.)

It's crazy seeing these kids growing up! Crazy awesome, that is. 

11/16/20

X is for X-Ray Fish

Another major project completed! With today's x-ray fish, I now have a kid-friendly animal craft for each letter of the alphabet.  
 

Creating an x-ray fish was a bit of a challenge. Step 1 was learning more about this interesting fish. Step 2 was deciding what media to use to show the translucent skin of the x-ray fish. Once I settled on vellum, it was just a matter of sketching, coloring, and layering. Affiliate links below. 


X is for X-Ray Fish


Materials:


Steps:


Start by finding a picture of an x-ray fish to use as a reference. On a piece of scratch paper, sketch the body shape, along with the position of the eye, backbone, and internal organs. 

Cut out your sketched fish, then trace it onto a piece of vellum. Cut it out and set it aside. Use the vellum scraps to cut a backbone. I used the microtip scissors, but using scalloped pinking shears is faster, easier, and more effective. Next, cut out the the fish's organs. Treat the brain, digestive tract, and everything else in there as one piece. Finally, cut out an eye. 

By the way, I didn't notice that I'd shaped the caudal fine (tail) incorrectly until after taking this photo. Fortunately, it was a very easy fix. 


Use a yellow colored pencil to add a band of color to the fins, as shown below. Then, use a black colored pencil to color in the center of the eye, the bans on the fins, and the small spot on the body behind the eye. With a white colored pencil, color in the outer portion of the eye and the tips of the fins. Then lightly draw ribs and the lines on the tail. Finally, use a brown colored pencil to lightly add shadowing between each of the vertebrae. 


Now, adhere the pieces together. I recommend vellum adhesive or a spray adhesive. If you don't have either one, spread a very small amount of liquid glue with your fingers. It will show through vellum, so try to keep it to areas where it will best be hidden (behind the eye, fins, backbone, etc). 


The slightly darker areas you can see on my x-ray fish are actually fingerprints, not adhesive. They weren't visible until I put the pieces onto true black cardstock and scanned (as opposed to the poorly lit photo of the pieces sitting on cheap black construction paper). The fingerprints don't really bother me, but if you want a pristine x-ray fish (or just want to feel extra fancy), consider wearing these. Or, if you ever need to surreptitiously collect someone's fingerprints, encourage them to make an x-ray fish and then abscond with the finished project. 

11/13/20

Paint Swatch Nature Scavenger Hunt

Nature's colors are gorgeous. Here in Northern California our leaves are still mostly green in mid-November (they usually fall in mid-December), but nature's colors are on display in the flowers, bushes, and grasses. Regardless of the season, nature always offers such beauty. 

A Paint Swatch Scavenger Hunt fun activity for kids (and adults!) to do together. Simply cut swatches of white cardstock or index cards, paint them with Folk Art paint (affiliate link), and let them dry. Then punch a hole in the corners and put them on a binder ring. Then take your paint swatches and a camera and head outdoors!


Trevor and I put on our masks and took our paint swatches for a walk through our neighborhood. We found leaves to match all four of our green swatches...


... and flowers that were exactly the color of the oranges and yellows. 


We found mulch and bark to match the browns. 


  

The sky wasn't a perfect match for our blue, but we photographed it anyway. What a gorgeous color!


The best thing about making a set of paint swatches is that you can use them over and over. Use them in different locations, or in the same location across different seasons. Nature is constantly changing and this scavenger hunt is a great way to get out and appreciate its beauty. 

11/12/20

My New Craft Storage

Last year, I shared with you my method for storing our seasonal artwork in pizza boxes. It worked really well, except for one problem: over the year, some of our holiday crafts outgrew their respective pizza boxes. Rather than having two pizza boxes per holiday, I decided to invest in clear storage containers. Each is able to hold about twice what a pizza box held. 

I decided on this 6-pack of Iris containers (affiliate link here and later). I divided up the artwork and was thrilled with how much room remained in each container. I made a label for each container using Happy Planner Seasonal Stickers. I love how they turned out!

The six tubs fit perfectly on a bookshelf. It's so easy to grab the correct container when I am ready to hang new artwork!


I am so happy with my new storage!

11/11/20

A New Flag for Mississippi

With all the focus on our recent presidential election, you might not have heard about some other news from Election Day. Mississippi voters approved Ballot Measure 3, which named a new state flag.   




This flag was one of five designs that were finalists to replace the flag that had represented the state since 1894. I think this is a great choice. (It was my second favorite; my pick was the one with the western border of  the state, but nobody asked me.) Frankly, they could have chosen literally anything and it would have been better than the flag bearing the dishonor of being the last state flag to include the Confederate emblem. We had a wonderful time visiting Mississippi 11 months ago, but it bothered me significantly to keep seeing such an offensive flag. And if it offends me, a white tourist with no connection to the area, I can only imagine how offensive it would be to someone allegedly represented by that flag. 

Technically, despite voter approval, this magnolia flag design has to pass through the Legislature when they meet in 2021. But I didn't want to leave a confederate-inspired flag on my website a day longer than necessary. The Mississippi link on my US Travel page now displays the image above. And Minnesota and Missouri, the states that come before and after Mississippi in alphabetical order, got updates too. No more confederate symbols in the navigation bars at the bottoms of their pages. 



I hope to return to Mississippi someday so that we can explore more of the beautiful state. And I'm so glad that when we do, we'll be greeted by this new version of the state flag. 

11/10/20

Sesame Street Characters Ranked (and a Cardboard Tube Guy Smiley)

Today is the 51st anniversary of Sesame Street. I grew up watching it and introduced it to Trevor when he was young, but he was never very interested. He didn't start enjoying TV until well past the age where he'd watch Sesame Street. 

Recently, The Wrap posted their list of the Sesame Street characters ranked from Worst to Best. I completely disagree with their rankings and thus am compelled to present my own. Since I haven't watched Sesame Street regularly since 1975 when I was three, I'm not familiar enough with some of the newer characters to include them. Telly was introduced when I was seven and Elmo when I was eight, so while I know the characters somewhat, I have no childhood attachment to them. I've never seen an episode with Julia, Abby Cadabby, Zoe, Rosita, or Karli

I do, however, have many fond memories of Sherlock Hemlock and another character not on their list, Guy Smiley. Affiliate links below. 


Cardboard Tube Guy Smiley


Materials:


Steps: 

Mix approximately 3 parts Medium Yellow with 1 part Terra Cotta to make a mustard color. Paint the cardboard tube and let it dry completely. 

Cut eyebrows and a mouth from black felt. Then, make the hair. I recommend two pieces so that there is a visible part line. I cut the smaller portion, but tore the larger portion in order to make it look a bit more than hair. The cheaper the felt, the easier it is to tear. Use the scissors to snip a tiny bit, then put hard. Feel free to cut both pieces, particularly if you have higher quality felt that doesn't want to tear. 

Cut two ears and a nose from yellow. Then cut four tiny circles for the buttons on Guy's blazer. This is where microtip scissors really make a difference. 

Cut a scoop neck into a rectangle of white felt. Cut a gumdrop-shaped piece of red felt for his tie, then two large triangles of blue for his blazer. 

When all the pieces are cut, you're ready to glue them into place. Start with the mouth; it goes in the center of the tube. Then add the nose, just above the mouth. The eyes go on either side of the nose, with the eyebrows above them. The ears are even with the nose. Glue the smaller piece of hair down first, then layer the larger piece over it. Next, glue the shirt and tie in place. Then layer the two blue triangles so that the blazer covers the shirt. Finally, add the buttons to the blazer. 


--------


Back to my rankings. I am going to include the characters who appeared on the 2019 postage stamps honoring the 50th anniversary of Sesame Street, minus the ones created after my early childhood. That leaves 10, a very good number for a countdown.  



10) Herry Monster

Herry's personality was basically that he was strong, which is not even really a personality trait. There aren't any skits that stand out to me as my favorite starring Herry Monster. 

9) Snuffleupagus

Even at three, I was annoyed that Snuffy couldn't do Big Bird a favor and JUST ONCE stay around for someone else to see him. I have vague memories of skits with Snuffy's parents, but ultimately he's just Big Bird's (alleged) imaginary friend and doesn't stand alone, any more than Oscar's pet worm. 

8) Guy Smiley

Guy Smiley cracks me up. I love how he comes out of nowhere to host a game show and that the prizes are completely ridiculous. I linked one of my favorites above, but here's a whole Guy Smiley playlist

7) Grover

Grover is awesome. My favorite Grover skits are him as a waiter. And I strongly believe every child should grow up with The Monster at the End of This Book

6) The Count

The Count (real name: Count Von Count) is a one-trick pony, but I still love him. This is classic Count, with bonus Kermit. 

5) Big Bird

There's something wrong with you if you don't like Big Bird. It turns out that ranking Sesame Street characters is HARD, because they're all so good. I agonized about this, but Big Bird comes in at #5.

4) Cookie Monster

I love cookies and I love Cookie Monster. Always have, always will. I chose Cookie Monster as the theme for Trevor's 2nd birthday. Even though Trevor wasn't really into Sesame Street, he was (and is) really into cookies. 

3) Oscar the Grouch

My favorite thing about Oscar is that he lives in a trashcan. He says what's on his mind unapologetically. Rather than share a classic clip, here's one that's very timely. I can SO relate to Oscar!

2) Ernie

Ernie is hilarious. Ernie annoying Bert is even more hilarious. I love his laugh. The Bert and Ernie skits were my favorites when I was a kid. I still laugh about Ernie's beard

1) Bert

Bert is the straight man for Ernie's jokes, but his boring personality is hilarious on his own. And his laugh! I love Bert. Pigeon jokes are incredible. 

11/9/20

Diamond Art Thanksgiving Pumpkin

I'm all about experimenting. I had no idea whether Diamond Art would work on a real pumpkin, so I gave it a try. I'm happy to report that it worked beautifully! This pumpkin will make a great Thanksgiving centerpiece, but it would be even more cool to use mini pumpkins with guests' names on them to act as place cards. In future years, anyway. In 2020, Thanksgiving will be deRosier, Party of Three. Affiliate links below. 


Diamond Art Thanksgiving Pumpkin



Materials:


Steps:

The first thing you need to do is transfer your design to the pumpkin. I printed out the word thanks, then used a retractable craft pick to pierce holes along the design to give me a guideline for where the gems would go. It worked really well, although I'm concerned that poking holes in the pumpkin's skin will hasten its spoiling. A smarter idea would be to print out the word, scribble on the back of it with a pencil, then trace the word, transferring the pencil marks to the pumpkin. 

Next, paint liquid adhesive along the marked lines. Let the adhesive sit for 15 minutes, or until it appears clear. Then start adding dots. I work from right to left since I'm left-handed. 


That's all there is to it! 

11/6/20

Glazed Flower Rolls

I enjoy making bread from scratch, but tend to make the same favorites over and over. That's not an issue; I've made enough bread in my life to have a half-dozen tried and true recipes that I love and I don't have too much incentive to mess with perfection. 

That said, it is fun to use the same bread dough to create different shapes. This week, I challenged myself to come up with a new shape using the same dough as Rose Rolls. I ended up with these glazed flower rolls. 


To make them, I followed the recipe for Rose Rolls until the shaping step. Instead of making coils, I made rounds. Then I used kitchen shears to snip straight down six times on each roll, making the cuts an equal distance apart to form the petals. I gently pushed the petals, then rolled a small ball of dough to place in the center. 


This is how the rolls looked after baking:


When they were completely cool, I put the rolls on a wire rack, made a simple powdered sugar glaze, added food color, then drizzled it over the rolls. 


I am kicking myself for not adding LorAnn flavor extracts (affiliate link here and below) to the glazes. I have 6 or 7 flavors and they are awesome. I particularly love the raspberry and lemon extracts, which would be perfect for the red and yellow rolls. I'm thinking grape for the purple, strawberry kiwi for the pink, and orange cream for the orange. Yum! 


In searching for the LorAnn affiliate link, I discovered that LorAnn sells 'You Choose' packs ranging in size from 2 dram bottles to 100 dram bottles! While I don't think I can justify getting 100 bottles (even though they're much cheaper in larger quantities), I will be putting one of the smaller 'You Choose' packs on my Christmas wishlist for sure. I think it will be a lot of fun to see what flavors someone would pick for me (hint: not banana). There are so many things you can flavor with these oils: water (no calories, lots of flavor!), lollipops and other hard candies, frostings, and baked goods. 

You can see a list of all the flavors in the third photos for the 100 dram bottles listing. Tell me in the comments what flavors you've used or which you'd most like to try!