Something Whimsical: Easter Crafts with Pom-poms

Pom-poms

Something Whimsical: Easter Crafts made with Pom-poms

Pom-poms are brightly colored, come in different sizes, they are so soft and cuddly, can be used to keep a toddler and preschooler busy for at least 20 minutes and create adorable holiday decorations! I love pom-poms!

Discovering Whimsy

Pom-poms
Fun Easter Crafts to do with your kids

I recently learned that March is National Crafting Month (thank you Martha Stewart’s Instagram). Normally, my preferred medium for crafting is paper. I love scrap-booking and card making, but those crafts require scissors and with two busy little boys who get into everything, having sharp objects around is not the best idea.  In honor of National Crafting month, I wanted to find something whimsical that was toddler/preschooler friendly and craft related to bring to your attention. I wracked my brain,  when I realized it was right in front of me.  A and I completed a craft last month using pom-poms.

 I was initially inspired to use pom-poms for crafting after seeing some adorable Valentine’s Day canvas decorations created by Haeley of Design Improvised, her 6 canvases were so cute, we had to try it. I loved the way my pom-pom and foam sticker hearts turned out. 

We made adorable Valentine’s day decorations

Since we had so much fun making Valentine’s decorations,  I decided it would be fun to make an Easter egg on a canvas using pastel colored pom-poms. Making the Easter egg canvas was really easy and A had a great time. There were a number of pom-poms left over, so we  were able to make some Easter garlands too. Both crafts are a snap and when put all together with the foam decorations A and I did last year, it  makes for a whimsical mantel!

Easter decorations made with pom-poms and foam stickers, so much fun!

I love the way the pom-pom garlands look that I might need to make some more for other holidays. I bet you could do some really cute green and gold for St. Patrick’s day!
*This post has affiliate links for products or services that I use and love. That means if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may or will earn a commission.  For more information, please see my policies *

I made the Easter canvas and garland with 100 varied size pastel pom-poms and still had some pom-poms left over.  I bought my pom-poms at my favorite local craft store, Ben Franklin, but I think you could easily find similar products at JoAnn’s or Michael’s. If you don’t have time to stop at the craft store, below will be affiliate links to find the supplies online.

What you need for the Pom-pom Egg Canvas

56-60 Pom-poms (any colors you would like, I used pastel colors)

8×10 canvas

Egg template or you can free hand it (I also think a bunny would be super cute!)

Pencil

Craft glue

How to make the Pom-poms Egg canvas:

I used a felt egg template that I bought at Ben Franklin and pencil to trace the egg shape on to the canvas. If you have a steady hand you, could draw your egg or whatever Easter shape you would like. For St. Patrick’s day decorations, a shamrock could also be really cute or a rainbow!

After I had the shape I wanted, A & I laid out our color scheme. Once we figured out how we wanted to look, we began gluing the Pom-poms to the canvas. I tried to find the middle knot of the Pom-pom and place the glue there and then secure to the canvas. Repeat process until you have your shape covered with Pom-poms. Simple as that!

Pom-pom Easter Egg
All you need is a canvas, template, glue and pom-poms to make the Pom-pom Easter Egg.
Glue the pom-poms to the canvas in the pattern you want and you are done!

What you will need for the Easter Pom-poms Garland

24 Pom-poms (I used my left over pom-poms from my egg canvas.) 1 garland took 11 and the other 13.

Embroidery thread  (use whatever color you like; I used white)

Needle

Plastic hooks to hang garlands

How to Make

Figure out what pattern you would like and how long you would like your garland to be. I wanted my garlands to span my fireplace and mirror. Thread your needle and make a knot at the end. Find the middle of pom-pom, insert the needle and pull the thread through. You can eye-ball or measure the distance between the pom-poms. I was able to make two garlands with remaining pom-poms. I used some easily removable plastic hooks to hang them.

Threading the pom-pom in the middle to make the garland.

Finished Easter mantle, while not Martha Stewart fancy, I think it is pretty fun and whimsical!

Pom-pom Bonus: here are some other things you can do with pom-poms:

 

For Toddlers (adult supervision required, just in case they put the pom-poms in their mouth)

Fine motor skills: you need a clean plastic bottle with a large opening (I used a Gatorade bottle) and a package of pom-poms.  This kept my toddler busy for at least 20 minutes!! 

Using a plastic bottle with a larger mouth, let your toddler try to put the pom-poms in the bottle and then have fun shaking them all over the room.

Hide and Seek: both my kiddos love hiding the pom-poms and then finding them.

Throwing the pom-poms was also a fun way to keep my little guys busy.

For Preschoolers

Color sorting and counting. All you need is a muffin tin and pom-poms, let the fun begin! 

Using a muffin tin have your preschooler sort colors and count out pom-poms.

Painting: I have also seen people on Pinterest use the pom-poms and clothes pins to paint.

I hope this post has inspired you to do some crafting with your kiddos or to make some time to do some crafting for yourself!

I would love to see what you create send me an e-mail or post to Instagram with #discoveringwhimsy, #whatsyourwhimsy .

Don’t have time to craft now, pin and save for later!

 

Happy National Crafting Month and Happy St. Patrick’s day!

Cheers,  Amy

Molten…My Favorite way to Eat Chocolate!!

Super Easy and Delicious Molten Chocolate Cake

Chocolate makes me happy! I love chocolate pretty much in any form. If it comes in the form of Molten Chocolate or Lava Cake, then I am over the moon, it is really my favorite way to eat chocolate.

There is something so decadent, silky, and over the top about eating molten chocolate. I have tried making molten chocolate cake at home and had varied results. Sometimes the cake is over baked (bummer), I’ve burnt my hands trying to turn the cake out of the ramekins, had part of the cake stay stuck in the ramekin, and had the ramekin slip while turning it out causing molten chocolate to cover the counter and floor. The cake has only turned out well a few times in the past, so I disappointingly moved on to other recipes in my recipe box.

A few years ago my fairy godmother told me about this little dessert place in Ballard, called Hot Cakes-Molten Chocolate Cakery.  Hot Cakes specializes in molten chocolate cakes (obviously), grilled chocolate sandwiches, boozy shakes and more! Being the chocolate admirer that I am, I had to check it out. Their molten cakes did not disappoint! The first time I ate there, I had the molten chocolate raspberry cake, it came with ice cream and chocolate syrup. It was delicious!

Chocolate Raspberry Molten chocolate cake

I have also tried their original, peanut butter and s’mores cakes. Hot Cakes has changed the way I approach this little pot of chocolate gold. Their cakes are amazing, but it was also their presentation that really changed everything for me. They baked and served their cakes in a Mason jar,  pure GENIUS!! No more burned hands, no more cake left in the ramekins or on the floor.

If you are in the Seattle area, you need to check out Hot Cakes!! It is a tiny place and gets really busy on the weekends, but it is worth the wait. If you can’t make it to Ballard, have no fear, they sell their original and vegan molten chocolate cakes via their website and at PCC markets.

Now that I have two little boys at home,  going to a hip restaurant in Ballard is not always an option, but the ingredients for  molten chocolate cake are items I always have on hand. After my many delicious experiences at Hot Cakes, I bought some Mason jars and tried my recipe again, SUCCESS!!!

my molten chocolate cake
This blog post was inspired by my most liked Instagram picture, people love chocolate!

*This post has affiliate links for products or services that I use and love. That means if you click on and/or make a purchase through one of these links, I may or will earn a commission.  For more information, please see my policies 

The Molten Chocolate Cake recipe I use is adapted from the one in my Chocolate Deck by Lori Longbotham , (yes I have a deck of cards featuring chocolate recipes). The Chocolate Deck has 49 other awesome chocolate recipes, but the molten cake is my favorite. Her recipe is based on an original recipe created by Jean Georges Vongerichten. Here is a link to  Jean Georges making his Molten Chocolate Cake on Good Morning America. The ingredients for molten chocolate cake are very simple and you probably have most of them in your pantry and fridge right now. The preparation is a breeze, the problem for me was turning the cake out, but thanks to Hot Cakes, not anymore!

Here is what you will need:

6 –4oz Mason jelly jars , these are the ones I am using

4oz to 6oz of your favorite bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate

Typically, I use 4oz of Ghirardelli Semisweet chocolate . I think it is a good cost to quality ratio. But I have also used 6oz of Scharffen Berger semi-sweet chocolate  for a richer chocolate flavor.

1/2cup of unsalted butter

Tiny pinch of salt- or you can leave out all together

2 large eggs

2 large yolks

1/4 cup white sugar

3 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour

Ingredients
what you need to make Molten Chocolate Cake

How to make:

Preheat oven to 325.

To prep your Mason jars,  just place on a rimmed baking sheet, no need to butter or flour the jars!

I like to finely chop the chocolate; it will melt faster. You can melt the chocolate and butter using a double-boiler method (make sure you don’t get any water in your chocolate, it will seize up). You can also use the microwave to melt it.  10 seconds on high, stir, another 10 seconds and stir, keep heating and stirring until all chocolate and butter are melted together. Add in pinch of salt. Set aside.

Place eggs, yolks and sugar all in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high until it is thick and pale. This usually takes 8-10 minutes. Hand whisk or fold in the chocolate/butter mixture. Then mix/fold in the flour, then pour batter into Mason jars. I used a cookie scoop to fill the jars. Fill the batter close to first lip. At this point, you can either put on the lids and place in the fridge to bake later or put on your rimmed baking sheet and put in the oven.

Molten Chocolate Cake ready to Bake
Ready for the oven! Bake at 325 for 15 minutes

Bake at 325 until the cakes rise a bit over the rim, there should be a thin side crust. You should be able to see a lighter color and really tiny bubbles on the side of the jar. The middle should wiggle when you shake it gently. Since I am using 4oz Mason jars, I found 15 minutes in my oven did the trick.

Place mason jar carefully on a plate (they will be hot!!), dust with powdered sugar, add a pop of color with raspberries or strawberries.  ENJOY!!!

Notes: Can be made ahead of time. Keep in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for up to a month, if you can wait that long.

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Thanks for stopping by!!!

Cheers,

Amy

Welcome to Discovering Whimsy!!! First Blog Post Ever

Thank you for taking some time out of your busy day to see what my blog is all about.

Why did I start Discovering Whimsy?

What is whimsy? It is something lighthearted, playful, or amusing. My focus is about finding whimsy, reflecting on some of my favorite things and finding joy in everyday life.

Lately, I’ve felt like I’m constantly holding my breath waiting for the other shoe to drop. With so many crazy things happening in the world, so many causes to fight for, it gets overwhelming. I can’t imagine how stressful and frightening it is for people directly affected by current events. From the look of Facebook feeds and news articles, I am not alone in this feeling.

This overwhelming feeling has inspired me to create an outlet, the discoveringwhimsy blog, where I can breathe and recharge for a little bit and hopefully, help others do the same. I know we can’t always live in the realm of whimsy and ignore reality, but it’s important to find a way to re-energize and to look for what brings us joy. I believe we need this positive energy so we can keep moving forward and fighting for the causes we believe in. If we constantly see and watch for dark storm clouds, we will forget to look for and appreciate the sun breaks.

Just starting this blogging process has been a bright spot for me. Originally, I planned to launch my blog on 3.20.17, which is first day of spring. What’s more whimsical than spring? Maybe Christmas, but let’s get back to spring. Spring brings sunny days, flowers in bloom, baby animals galore, Easter, and Easter candy, I could go on, but you get the idea.  I found I could not wait until March 20th. I wanted to get started today.

About me

I am a stay-at-home parent of two wild, awesome little boys (ages 1 and 3), married for 10 years to the most amazing and kind man, whose razor-sharp wit and desert-dry sense of humor keeps me guessing what he will say next. I am also a dog-mom to Bailey, our geriatric Lab-mix.
Before becoming a stay-at-home parent, I worked in higher education as an academic advisor/recruiter helping students navigate the sometimes murky procedures and policies of the higher education process. Working with students and helping them brought me so much joy. I still do some occasional advising and teaching at my previous institutions.

What you can expect to see from discoveringwhimsy

I plan to do a weekly blog on events or things that brought me joy during the week; it could be a craft/DIY project, recipe, travel, fashion, or anything else that I found to be whimsical.

My goal is to also deliver exclusive e-mail content once a month, highlighting information that did not make it into the blog. In the coming months, I plan to add some products and services to the discoveringwhimsy website. A percentage of the product proceeds will be donated to some of my favorite Pacific Northwest charitable organizations. Please subscribe to my e-mail list and you will be the first to know when they are available.

Follow discoveringwhimsy on Instagram for daily posts of something whimsical, joyful or funny. Use #discoveringwhimsy #ifitmakesyouhappy #whatsyourwhimsy to show me what you are up to.

Follow me on Pinterest, Discovering Whimsy to see all the new things I want to try or that inspire me.

Facebook and Twitter coming soon.

I hope the discoveringwhimsy blog and social media sites can make you smile, laugh and encourage you to reflect on your whims and things that make you happy. Please share your whims in the comments; I would love to hear what brings you joy!

Thank you for taking the time to read this  first post and to follow me on my journey to find joy in every day!

Next post, will be about one of my most liked Instagram posts…clue: Chocolate!

Cheers,

Amy