Transforming furniture with decor moulds

One of my very favourite things is getting to try different creative mediums, so when my friends at Phillips and Chestnut Victorian Salvage & Décor in Truro invited me to try decor moulds and air-dry clay, of course I said yes.

It had been ages since I’d played with moulds. Way back in the day, I’d used plastic moulds and plaster to make little ceramic shapes, frames and boxes. They were fun to make, but not very useful — highly breakable, leaving crumbles of powder wherever they smashed.

This mould from Iron Orchid Designs, though, is very different. It’s flexible and rubbery, and can be used with different mediums for making lots of different crafts. (It’s also food-safe, so you could even use it for fondant or chocolate.)

I picked one called Classic Elements that included nine different Baroque-style shapes, like delicate curves and friezes. I’m obsessed with Baroque frames, so I’m always drawn to all things textured and swirly.

For my first project, I decided I was going to refresh a small hutch we’ve had for a few years.

Transforming furniture with decor moulds {Heather's Handmade Life}
Here’s how it looked originally …
And here’s how it looked after being “well-loved” by markers.

It had been used to store the kids’ art supplies, so it was streaked with a few “accidental” marker swipes and needed a fresh coat of paint. Its smooth, plain doors would be an ideal surface for adding a little interest …

Transforming furniture with decor moulds {Heather's Handmade Life}

Continue reading in my weekly DIY column, My Handmade Home …

Transforming furniture with decor moulds {Heather's Handmade Life}

Continue reading in my weekly DIY column, My Handmade Home …

Transforming furniture with decor moulds {Heather's Handmade Life}

Or pin this idea and come back to it later!

Transforming furniture with decor moulds {Heather's Handmade Life}
Transforming furniture with decor moulds {Heather’s Handmade Life}

Custom Guess Who? family game

Custom Guess Who? family game {Heather's Handmade Life}

Growing up, one of my favourite games was Guess Who. You know, the one where each player has a photo of a mystery person, and you flip photos down as you try to guess which person’s on the other person’s card?

Custom Guess Who? family game {Heather's Handmade Life}
This kid on the box. Love him.
Custom Guess Who? family game {Heather's Handmade Life}
Maria!

I remember being annoyed, as a child, that there were only like five women and 19 men. Seriously, what gives, Milton Bradley?! My sister and I always hoped to get Maria, who wore a jaunty green beret.

(We’ve actually played the game even as adults, except with questions like “Does your person look super shady?” and “Was your person probably a substitute teacher at some point?” Hilariously, we always guessed right based on those weird clues.)

A couple of years back, I picked up a secondhand game for $2 with grand plans to turn it into a customized Guess Who game with photos of our family. However, I stuck the game into one of my cabinets of art supplies and forgot about it.

Custom Guess Who? family game {Heather's Handmade Life}

Last weekend, I dusted it off and decided I was finally going to organize and order the photos I needed for the game.

Custom Guess Who? family game {Heather's Handmade Life}

Start to finish, it took me a couple of hours to do — and that included ordering the photos and picking them up at Staples.

No joke, the kids and I played at least 40 rounds that very first day — and it was much more fun than the original version.

Custom Guess Who? family game {Heather's Handmade Life}

It’s just so darn CUTE!

Custom Guess Who? family game {Heather's Handmade Life}

Want to turn an old Guess Who? game into a fun, customized version? Here’s how …

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene …

I’d barely slipped the last photo into its slot when the kids excitedly started playing their first round of custom personalized Guess Who. They LOVED it!
Continue reading!

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Custom Guess Who? family game {Heather's Handmade Life}
Custom Guess Who? family game {Heather’s Handmade Life}

Best ever (compromise) pancakes

… and tips for making them faster + easier!

Whether or not I’m making pancakes is a good indicator of the state of my mental health.

When I’m my depression isn’t being managed well, I don’t want the hassle of making pancakes.

But when things are mostly OK, I make them without fail every single Saturday morning. It’s a nice routine we all look forward to. C will see me come into the kitchen and get out the griddle and squeal “Oh yeah! It’s Saturday! PANCAKESSSSSS!”

Now, you guys know I am NOT a food blogger. I can bake, but I’m a terrible cook.

Regardless, I get a lot of compliments on my homemade pancakes when I make them on trips, for sleepovers, etc. They’re damn good.

I’ve been making the same pancake recipe for years, so I don’t even look at my recipe card anymore.

I call them “Two and a Quarter Pancakes” because everything is either two of something or a quarter of something. Usually, I don’t even use a measuring spoon for the salt and baking powder! (#rebel) They’re pretty impossible to screw up.

Two cups of flour. 
Two teaspoons of salt. 
Two tablespoons of baking powder.
Two cups of milk. 
Two eggs. 
A quarter cup of oil.
A dash of vanilla extract.

Wait, where does the “compromise” come in? I’m glad you asked.

It’s all about the thickness!

Darling Husband likes thick pancakes, the kids like thick or regular pancakes, and I like paper-thin pancakes with those amazing air bubble holes for butter to soak into. Mmmm.

You can play around with this recipe to get ALL THREE TYPES very easily, in the same bowl of batter.

Best-ever pancakes + tips for easy cooking {Heather's Handmade Life}
Best-ever pancakes + tips for easy cooking {Heather's Handmade Life}
Best-ever pancakes + tips for easy cooking {Heather's Handmade Life}

I make the recipe as described above, but then I add a bit more milk (or water, if we’re low on milk) to make it slightly runnier. Probably just 1/2 cup to start. I find the original recipe just a bit *too* thick, and I like to get a lot of pancakes out of each batch.

I’ll make a bunch of pancakes for Darling Husband and the kids — usually with chocolate chips added, unless I’m feeling especially mean — using this regular-ish batter …

Best-ever pancakes + tips for easy cooking {Heather's Handmade Life}
Tip: Drop chocolate chips onto your pools of batter, rather than mixing the chocolate chips into the bowl of batter. Each pancake gets exactly the same number of chocolate chips, which means your kids stop fingering through the pile trying to see which ones have more.
Best-ever pancakes + tips for easy cooking {Heather's Handmade Life}
Best-ever pancakes + tips for easy cooking {Heather's Handmade Life}

Once I have plenty for the kids, for Darling Husband, and for the freezer (I’ll often do a double batch and save some for school lunches), I modify the batter to make MY style of pancakes.

It depends on how much batter is left in the bowl, but I’ll usually add another 1/2 cup of milk or water to what’s there and stir it well. I want it to be really runny to get the super-thin pancakes I like.

Best-ever pancakes + tips for easy cooking {Heather's Handmade Life}
Tiny butter holes. Mmmmm.

After I’ve made my own style of pancakes, the bowl’s empty and I can turn off the griddle for another week!

I’ve made this process even easier by keeping a large ziplock bag in the baking cupboard with one Saturday’s worth of “mix” (dry ingredients) inside.

Best-ever pancakes + tips for easy cooking {Heather's Handmade Life}

Every second Saturday, I fill the bag at the same time as I’m pouring dry ingredients into my big mixing bowl. Then on the Saturdays in between, I don’t have to get out all the ingredients — I just grab my pre-made bag, dump it in a bowl and add the wet ingredients. #winning

Having this little “pancake system” in place makes it more likely that I’m sticking to our weekly Saturday morning pancake tradition. I enjoy making them, seeing the kids gobble them up, and eating a few myself.

But mostly, I feel good knowing I’m in a good enough place, mentally, to be making pancakes.

***

Like this carb-heavy post? 😉 Don’t forget to pin it for later when you’re craving pancakes and need the recipe!

Best-ever pancakes + tips for easy cooking {Heather's Handmade Life}
Best-ever pancakes + tips for easy cooking {Heather’s Handmade Life}