You Are Special Today Plate

Does this plate look familiar to anyone?

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When we were little, we were allowed to use this plate on our birthdays and on a big occasion like graduation. It wasn’t an option to use it other times (at least, I don’t remember asking to). It was truly for special occasions.

For that reason, it really did make you feel special sitting there, usually beaming, with the bright red plate at the dinner table.

I know they still make these plates, but I thought I would experiment to see if I could make my own.

There are many tutorials out there regarding this and many of them suggest different things. Some say a regular Sharpie works fine while some say you have to use a porcelain paint pen. Since I already owned colored Sharpie markers, I decided to experiment with those first before buying anything new.

My assistants and I did a test run on a couple old pieces.

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To get started, you will need some Sharpies or porcelain pen markers and a plain porcelain plate. I bought mine at the dollar store.

Draw on the surface with your markers and let dry completely. You can use a stencil template or just draw free hand.

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Place in oven and THEN turn oven on to 350 degrees. These pieces can be delicate and you don’t want to shock the piece. This allows it to slowly heat with the oven.

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Let bake for 30-45 minutes.

Leave in oven to cool completely. Don’t take out to cool. They will be HOT.

Wash well with soap and water. Dry. Enjoy.

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Here are my findings.

Sharpie will work just fine but if you hand wash the items, you cannot use an abrasive sponge. It scratches off the marker. Hand washing with a regular soft sponge is fine. I tested mine in the dishwasher and it started to fade. I recommend hand washing only.

I’m conflicted on the toxicity factor. On one hand, it is permanent and doesn’t wash off without abrasive scrubbing so I am not worried about it rubbing off onto food. And since this plate will only be used a couple times a year, the exposure level would be low.

Ideally, you could do this project with a mug and only draw on the outside of the mug. Problem solved.

But for this project, I just played it safe and mainly drew on the outside of the plate, leaving the food area clean.

This would be a fun project for the holidays. Buy some cheap mugs or plates at the dollar store and let each of your guests have their own personalized place setting.

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Have Fun.

Fall Squash Pumpkins

If you have picky eaters and need to disguise your vegetables or if you just want a fun fall idea, these little squash pumpkins are perfect.

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All you need is Butternut Squash, nutmeg, cinnamon (or whatever spices you enjoy), raisins for the eyes and mouth and pieces of walnut for the stem.

DSC04335Cook the squash as directed (I usually slice mine in half and bake or microwave it until it is soft). Mash the squash up in a bowl and add nutmeg and cinnamon to taste.

Then just scoop about 2 tablespoons out and make a small ball with your hands. Poke raisins in as eyes and a mouth and a piece of walnut for the stem.

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This makes a great side dish with dinner or as a snack.

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The nutmeg and cinnamon give the squash a sweet taste so it actually also goes well in ice cream.

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Yum! Enjoy!

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