Dutch Windmill Craft

Dutch Windmill Craft grandparentsplus.com

Wouldn’t this Dutch Windmill Craft would be fun to make when studying about other countries around the world?  We’ve been to Holland several times and love the windmills. By getting off the beaten path and touring the small towns and fishing villages, you’ll find unique places and some old windmills, too. On our visit, we looked up relatives that we had there. They lived in a small town and had an old windmill located right behind their house. It was used for grinding grain years ago, but was still in great shape.

Well, this Windmill Craft is one that I am using for our family reunion in Washington state. (by the way, we are from a Dutch heritage, if you didn’t already get that) I was asked to come up with a craft for the elementary kids, so here it is!

I got the idea for using a Solo drink cup from the Dltk-Kids site, but the origami fins of the windmill were a little confusing, so I opted for a simpler version and added a few extra details. I felt kids would be able to do this on their own without too much help. After all, I may have several kids. 


Red or Blue Solo cups  18 oz.

Construction paper: green, black

White copy paper

Glue sticks, scissors

Small flower stickers (if you can find tulips, great, otherwise opt for any small flower) I found these at Walmart!

Straight pin with a round head or brads



Cut 4 1/4 inch square from white copy paper and fold as shown.

Dutch Windmill Craft grandparentsplus.com


Mark a stopping point on each folded crease approx. 1/2 -3/4 inches from the center point. Use a pencil so the mark doesn’t show later.

Dutch Windmill Craft grandparentsplus.com


Cut all four fold lines as shown……

Dutch Windmill Craft grandparentsplus.com



Fold one point to the center and glue. Go over the center just a bit so all points will be on top of each other.

Dutch Windmill Craft grandparentsplus.com


Be sure to glue the same side point of each triangle to the center. Use a pin with a ball head and push it through all the points. (or use a brad) Set pinwheel aside and work on the cup.

Dutch Windmill Craft grandparentsplus.com



Take the Solo cup and mark a door with either a permanent marker or cut a door from black construction paper.  After drawing a doorway, I covered it with black construction paper. I thought it was easier and looked better. Add windows if you like. Use a small square or rectangles of black construction paper, too! I, also, found that the glue stick works better than school glue. 


Dutch Windmill Craft grandparentsplus.com

Cut a 3/4 inch strip from the length of a piece of green construction paper. Fringe it to look like grass. Glue it to the bottom edge of the cup. Add flower stickers and leaves, if desired. When you finish the decorating, stick the pin through the cup as shown. An adult should do this part…. Reach in the cup and bend the pin down 90 degrees. Use tape to hold it inside. This will allow the windmill to spin. For younger kids, use a brad.

Dutch Windmill Craft grandparentsplus.com


Side view so you can see the flowers….


Dutch Windmill Craft grandparentsplus.com


Dutch Windmill Craft grandparentsplus.com



That’s it! 

These little windmills would make cute centerpieces, too!

Have you been to the Netherlands? Did you see the windmills? Hope you got to see the beautiful countryside other than visiting just Amsterdam! 



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Vintage Finds Reused

Vintage Finds Reused grandparentsplus.com


I love the look of vintage items. Of course, you need to use your vintage finds in unique and often different ways from what they were originally intended. The fun part is not only finding them, but also putting them in just the right place. I think it gives a room lots of character and interest.

Up in my husband’s office, a bonus room above the garage, we have a small bathroom. The bonus room is converted into a guest room when married kids come home to visit. It serves a dual purpose.

The bathroom is decorated with vintage pieces. I’ll show three of them in this post.  Another vintage piece was highlighted in Vintage Washboard Wall Cabinet.  You might want to check it out, too.
Vintage Finds Reused grandparentsplus.com

Now, where I found this Post Office Delivery Box is beyond me. I can’t remember just where or when it was. Anyway, I roll washcloths inside it for the guests. I’d like to know the history of this piece and where it came from, wouldn’t you? Any ideas?

The mirror above the sink is a vintage window from the old cabin we took down on our property. I kept the handle on it and put mirrors in the broken window sections. It was an easy and inexpensive redo. 

Vintage Finds Reused grandparentsplus.com

To the right of the sink, I have an old Starch box mounted on the wall. It is for cups, lotion, and any extra items that guests might need.

Vintage Finds Reused grandparentsplus.com

So that’s my small guest bathroom with several vintage finds reused! What have you reused from days gone by?

Thanks for stopping by, 


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20 Crumb Crusts

20 Crumb Crusts

When you want a different twist on a dessert, try some of these tasty crumb crusts. Some of these I’m sure you’ve  heard of before, but many are very different. Pair these crusts with a complimentary flavor of ice cream, pudding, or pie mixture for a unique switch on your favorite recipe. It’s handy to have these all in one place so it’s easy to find when needed. Most are crumb crusts with some baked and some chilled. Two are roll-out crusts.  The crusts work well in either a pie pan, 8 x 8 pan, or spring-form pan.

Graham Cracker:

1  1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs, 3 T. sugar, and 1/3 to 1/2 c. melted butter. Press into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Try cinnamon or chocolate graham crackers, too.


1 cup finely chopped pecans, 1/2 c. crushed gingersnaps, 1/4 c. sugar, 1/4 c. soft butter. Bake at 450 degrees for 5-7 min.


Combine 18 crushed chocolate Oreos with 1/3 c. melted butter. Press into pan and chill. Try other Oreo flavors, too.

Chocolate Wafer:  (these are found in the baking section; not in the cookie aisle)

Combine 18 crushed chocolate wafers with 1/2 C melted butter. Chill.


Combine 2/3 c. finely ground almonds and 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs. Slowly add 2 T. oil or melted butter. Press firmly into spring-form or pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Try it in this recipe…. Blueberry Cheesecake Dessert

Blueberry Cheesecake Dessert grandparentsplus.com


Combine 16 crushed graham cracker squares (approx. 1  1/2. cup) or 20 crushed chocolate wafers with 1/4 c. melted butter and 2 T. Kahlua. Press into pan and chill.

Add ice cream and you’ll have a delicious dessert pie!

Vanilla Wafers:

Combine 1  1/2 c.  crushed vanilla wafers with 1/4 c. melted butter. Chill or bake a few minutes.

Try using this in Best Banana Cream Pie

Best Banana Cream Pie grandparentsplus.com

Pretzel Crumb:

Combine 1 c. pretzel crumbs with 1/3 c. melted butter and 2 T. sugar. Chill.


Mix 1 c. zwieback crumbs, 1/4 c. powdered sugar, and 2 T. melted butter. Press into pan. Chill.

Corn Flake:

Combine 1 c. crushed corn flakes, 1/4 c. sugar and 1/3 c. melted butter. Press into pan and chill.

Peanut Butter:

Make graham cracker crust, except, in place of butter, use 1/4 c. butter and 1/4 c. creamy-style peanut butter. melt together and add to crumb mixture.

Rice Krispy:

Combine 1 c. rice krispies, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/3 c.  melted butter. Press into pan and chill.

Butter Crunch:

Combine 1/4 c. brown sugar, 1 c. flour, and 1/2 c. butter. Add 1/2 c. chopped pecans or coconut. Mix with hands. Spread in 9 x 13 pan and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Take from oven and stir with spoon. Save 3/4 c. for topping and immediately press rest of mixture into 9 inch pie pan. Chill.

Try this one with your favorite Coconut Cream Pie recipe!

Chocolate Krispy:

Melt 1/3 c butter with 1 (6 0z.) pkg. chocolate chips. Add 2  1/2 c. crushed Rice Krispies. Press into pie plate and chill.

Vary this recipe….  Buster Bar Dessert

Buster Bar Dessert (copycat) grandparentsplus.com


Sour-Cream pastry: (Roll-out)

Cute 2/3 c. butter into 2 c. flour, until coarse and crumbly. Beat 1 egg with 1/3 c. sour cream and stir into flour mixture. Shape into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 30-40 minutes. Roll out and bake in a 9 inch pie pan.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Try this with  Lemon Blueberry Pie

Lemon Blueberry Pie grandparentsplus.com

Cocoa Pie Crust:

Combine 1/4 c. cocoa, 1 c. Bisquick and 2T. sugar. Cut in 1/4 c. butter and add 3 T. boiling water. Mix until dough forms a ball and sides of bowl are clean. Pat into 9 in. pie pan. Bake 8-10 minutes.

Chip and Chex Pie Crust:

Combine 1/3 C. chocolate chips, 1 1/4 crushed Rice Chex cereal, 1/4 c. brown sugar, and 1/3 c. melted butter. Press evenly onto bottom and sides of buttered 9 inch pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Add: Your favorite ice cream! (mint chocolate chip, chocolate chip, or any flavor with a bit of chocolate in it!)

Chocolate-Coconut Crust:

Melt 4 oz. chocolate chips and 2 T butter over low heat. Stir in 2 c. flaked coconut. Mix well and press on bottom and sides of a 9 in. pie plate. Freeze.

Toasted Coconut Pie Crust:

Combine 7 oz.  pkg coconut which has been toasted in the oven, with 3 T. butter and 1 T. cinnamon. Press into 9 in. pie pan. Freeze 15 minutes.

Cream Cheese pastry:  (Roll-out)

Beat together 8 oz cream cheese, softened, with 8 oz. softened butter. Then beat in 1/2 c. heavy cream. Add a pinch of salt to 2  1/2 c. flour and add slowly to cheese mixture, forming dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour before rolling out. Bake crust, according to specific recipe used.

Enough pie crusts for you? Now, try using them on some of the recipes you have and combine them with a new crust to give your dessert  or pie a different flavor!



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My Bluebird Story


My Bluebird Story  grandparentsplus.com

Over Memorial Day weekend, we noticed that there was a lot of Bluebird singing going on. It was pretty to hear, but didn’t know the reason for it. The next morning we saw a bluebird sitting on the edge of my baker’s rack right on our back deck. This baker’s rack is under an overhang and I have decorative items displayed on it. I usually have some plants there,  but that was one of the projects that wasn’t finished, yet.

On the top shelf, there’s a cute decorative birdhouse with a heart-shaped opening. It has been there for a few years.  Upon looking inside the birdhouse, I found that there was the beginning of a nest! This certainly isn’t the ideal spot for a nest. We have an outside cat and an occasional raccoon rambling by. This female must have had a creative streak in her because she certainly settled for “cute” rather than “location, location, location”!


My Bluebird Story  grandparentsplus.com

Bluebird checking out my decorative bird house to the right.

The female was persistent and laid six eggs in her new home. My husband was afraid that a strong wind would blow it off the rack so he secured it on the edge making it so that the cat didn’t have a place to sit and reach in. We, also, limited our use of the deck by using a different entrance. (Anything for the birds, right?)

Finally, the eggs began to hatch. I had to quickly take pictures while the parents were away getting food.

My Bluebird Story  grandparentsplus.com


After about  1  1/2 weeks, we noticed that only two survived. Their eyes were not completely opened yet, but the blue feathers are now visible.

My Bluebird Story  grandparentsplus.com

We began reading about these birds and found out that they really like mealworms. Well, where do you find mealworms?

After calling around, we found them. They are not cheap, but anything for our little Bluebirds! After putting them out in a dish, they saw those things and dug right in. 

My Bluebird Story  grandparentsplus.com

How many worms can a Bluebird hold in its beak?

It was so fun to watch them feed their young with them. They were not selfish about just keeping themselves fed.

My Bluebird Story  grandparentsplus.com

Just near the deck is a White Pine Tree. This is the place where at least one of the birds would guard the nest while the other hunted for food. I caught this picture after they fed their young. It looked like they weren’t speaking to each other! Ha!

My Bluebird Story  grandparentsplus.com

They were growing quickly and when I would go out to take their picture, they crouched down and wouldn’t smile for the camera. One morning, I was going to try one more time for their picture, and they were gone! No good-bye or thank you! I did see flutters of blue in the woods. The parents are gone from their watch on the branch, too. I’m sure they are tending to their young and teaching them to find food on their own. It was fun to have them so close, but now we get to use the deck!

And…. that’s “My Bluebird Story”! I marvel at God’s beautiful creation, don’t you?

My Bluebird Story  grandparentsplus.com


Thanks for reading “My Bluebird Story”!


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Blueberry Cheesecake Dessert

Blueberry Cheesecake Dessert  grandparentsplus.com

How can you go wrong with both cheesecake and blueberries? You can’t, because this Blueberry Cheesecake Dessert is outstanding! I have combined my  Fresh Blueberry Pie recipe with a graham cracker crust, along with an added cheesecake layer. You can make this dessert in an 8×8 pan or make it as a pie. It is a rich dessert, so if you make it as a pie, cut the pieces small! 


16 graham cracker squares, crushed – approx. 1  1/2 cups

1/4 cup. melted butter

3 T.  sugar


Cream Cheese Filling Layer:

12 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup sugar


Blueberry Layer:

2 pints fresh blueberries  ( use one for the blueberry sauce and one fresh pint on top of the cooked cream cheese layer)

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup sugar, scant

3 T. lemon juice


Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter together and press in either an 8×8 pan or a 9 inch pie pan. For the filling, mix the softened cream cheese, beaten eggs, and sugar together and spread on top of crust. Bake 25-30 minutes until center is set. When cool, put one pint of fresh blueberries over the cream cheese layer.

Blueberry Cheesecake Dessert  grandparentsplus.com

Make topping of 1 pint fresh blueberries, sugar, and cornstarch. Mix together and cook, stirring constantly,  until thick. Cool. Pour cooled blueberry mixture over the fresh blueberries on top of the cheesecake layer and chill.

Blueberry Cheesecake Dessert  grandparentsplus.com

Serve the Blueberry Cheesecake Dessert with a dollop of whipped cream.

Blueberry Cheesecake Dessert  grandparentsplus.com




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