Monday
Mar032014

sugar and essential oil body scrub...

 

Tiny indulgences make me happy. I love scented lotions, scrubs, oils, shampoos etc., but my skin is so sensitive that I rarely attempt to try a new one. With my sister's upcoming baby shower, I was thinking of an indulgent, useful and home made gift I could make for her guests. After looking through some pinterest ideas and checking my cabinets, I realized I had everything on hand to make this 100% natural, (organic and vegan) sugar scrub. I just tried it in the shower and it is AMAZING!! No need for extra moisturizer.

Here's what you'll need:

Two parts sugar

One part oil (olive, almond, jojoba)

Essential oil of your liking

Directions: In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil and a few drops of essentail oil. You can add as much or as little essential oil as you would like. For my test batch I used lavender oil, but for the shower favors I am going to use one invigorating scent and one relaxing scent--probably tangerine and lavender. I also ordered the little wooden craft spoons to tie on to the jars, raffia, glass jars and tags. Here are links to the items I ordered:

jars

compostable spoons

raffia

gift tags

Of course you can use any jar you have on hand that you have recycled, but in this case I want them all uniform since I am making them as thank you gifts (favors). 

Friday
Jan102014

tie dying with indigo...

News flash: I love to make things. I often times wish I was a clothing designer, a skilled seamstress, a buyer for Anthropologie or a home/fashion/floral boutique owner. Truthfully, if I could be all of these things, I would be. While that's not completely practical (or more accurately, how I figure out how to do exactly that), I spend months, weeks, days or hours doing projects that feed each of those passions. This week: Tie dye using indigo.

 

I used this tie dye indigo kit & the following:

-5 gallon bucket with lid

-Varying sizes of rubber bands

-White garmets you want to dye

-Rubber gloves

-Drop cloth

-Stones or small rocks

Mix dye and chemical packets per instructions. While the dye is setting up, start your designs:

 

   The accordian fold, the rock tie and the sunburst fold

 The accordian fold and the basic stripe (I made that up!)

 The rock tie and the wing-it tie (also made up!)

The book that comes with the kit gives you a few examples of how to tie your garmets. I tried as many as I could that looked somewhat reasonable to control the outcome. I was making some of these as gifts so I really didn't want to mess them up. Next, wet your garmets with warm water and squeeze all the excess out. Follow directions on how to dye. (Squeeze garmet and release gently in dye, don't let it sink) I held mine in for a few minutes, working the dye between all my ties and bands.

 Meanwhile...my dog insists on keeping a watchful eye on me.

 Place your dyed garmets on a plastic surface. I double dipped so I let these process for about 20 minutes, repeated the steps, and then immediately removed the rubber bands to allow entire garmet to oxidize and turn blue. I also found that if you hang them and let them dry overnight, the color stays deeper. I simply threw the dried garments in a cold wash with soap and tumbled dry.

 

 Sunburst, accordian and rock ties (baby onesies!)

 Accordian (on upper thigh) and basic stripe ties (yoga pants)

 

Rock and wing-it tie which happen to look identical somehow (beach tunic)

And there you have it! Please let me know if you would like to order any of the above items.

Friday
Dec132013

paper cone holiday wreath...

I was walking by a little jewelry store and was immediately drawn to these light and airy paper cone wreaths. The store was closed, so I went by the next day to inspect the wreaths to see how they were made. I came home and googled and googled but all the tutorials I found left me feeling confused with hot glue and foam and blah blah blah. So, I did what they did in the olden days. I closed my macbook and tapped into my common sense. Here is a step by step tutorial to make a beautiful wreath, for free. I am officially addicted.

 

Cut a circle out of thin, sturdy cardboard. Cut out a smaller circle inside. My cutting job is less than enviable.

Make your paper cones from an old book. I used one I never read; luckily, I don't think I would have liked it judging by what I did read when I was rolling my cones. Roll into a cone using the torn side as the point. A small piece of tape will secure seam. Make a ton of these. Drink some wine while you do or you may start to cry.

Staple the cones on the cardboard in a circular pattern evenly spaced apart.

Repeat the process and this time staple the cones between the original layer and lower down on the ring. Staple random cones together from the inside so the wreath is secure. Drink more wine. Repeat another layer.

 Voila, you have a festive flower wreath!

You can leave the center a circle by cutting out a circle from a page and taping or gluing it to finish it off. I cut out a circle from cardboard and stapled about 10 or so cones on to it and pushed it into the center to make it look more like a flower. You could also spray the cones with glitter spray (beware you will have glittler for years). Poke a hole in the cardboard to add a ribbon of your choice. You could take it one step further and staple two of these together for a double sided wreath for hanging in a window.

What you'll need:

-Cardboard

-Old book

-Stapler

-Scotch tape

-Ribbon

-Patience

-Wine

Monday
Nov252013

flea market finds: making chalkboards with vintage frames...

 I love flea markets. I love a good vintage frame. I picked up these two beauties for a cool $20.00. I decided I would give myself a little Sunday evening project and make these into blackboards just in time for Thanksgiving recipes.

...and voila!

Here's what you'll need:

-vintage frames, any size

-1/4 in. plywood from Lowe's cut in store to fit frames, so bring them with you!

-valspar chalkboard paint

-paint brush

-1/2 inch brads

-small self leveling picture hangers

How to: Clean the frames, use the brads to secure any wiggly pieces. Paint two coats on the plywood on the side without the knots, let dry and secure in the frames using the brads. Finish with a picture hanger. Easy, peasy! Enjoy!

 Vintage frames found at Treasure Island Flea, San Francisco

 

Monday
Nov182013

Coooookies...


 Ever wish you could make a cookie that tastes like the inside of a Reese's? Thank me later. I will warn you, this recipe made 36 cookies.

I ate 14 in two days.

I had to give the rest away.

At least they were gluten free?

Peanut Butter Cookies

2 C. room temperature chunky natural peanut butter (no sugar added--Teddy's is perf.)

2 C. white sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. (I only do one sheet at a time and use parchment paper--no grease.)
  2. In a medium bowl, stir peanut butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the baking soda, salt, and vanilla. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place them 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Press a criss-cross into the top using the back of a fork.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

I did find with refrigerating the dough between batches that the cold dough made a thicker cookie. So, if you prefer, refrigerate dough before baking.

Thursday
Nov142013

say WHAT?! i write on bathroom walls...

Which decorating pro said chalkboard paint "is so last year"? Pssh. Whatever. I say do what you want. Old in my book is like, cool. And while chalkboards are being replaced by whiteboards faster than we can blink--I would prefer a chalkboard in my nonexistant child's classroom; thank you very much. Offices are a different story.

Moving on...

A spinning studio just popped up in my hood (GO! Indoor Cycling), and the owner wanted some fun ideas for decor. Chalkboard paint is fun. With the entire studio being white, black is a nice pop and the chalkboard aspect adds some pizazz. Here is a little picture story of how you too can add some chalkboard art to your life very easily. 

 Step 1: Start with blank walls, decide on size and shape of chalkboard art, trace and paint two coats

 

 


 

 

 

 

The rest of the steps are pretty self explanatory. I cover the chalkboard with chalk, rub to give it a softer look, draw some frames, and in this case, added some quotes of the studio owners request (with multiple personality handwriting). 

 

A few ideas of how you can use chalkboard paint:

-In the kitchen for grocery and to-do lists

-In your child's bedroom for creative play

-In the mudroom for reminders and love notes

-In the kitchen for recipes

-In the office for calenders and reminders

See...you can use chalkboard anywhere! My favorite is Lowe's Valspar. It covers well and cleans well.