Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Embossing Without an Expensive Machine

Oh Internet, I'm so excited!
I randomly ended up with some of these little embossing mats.

I thought "Well I guess I could use a rolling pin?"
No, not really, it was just too much work.
So I thought for sure there would be some kind of cheap option to roll these darn things.
I turned to google to figure it out, I saw one lady spray them with water before doing the rolling pin thing (I was not sold on this idea) then I saw another person use a kitchen aid pasta maker... and unless you already have one, EXPENSIVE.
So I checked the cost of manual pasta makers and the cheapest one was about $20. OK, much better than $40+!
Well, while I was searching for the cost of the pasta makers some clay rollers came up.
I was at Michael's and saw the clay roller, I checked to see if it looked like it would be possible... so I figured I'd give it a go.
It was listed for $24.99, and I had a 40% coupon. So I got it for $14.99

I got it home and anchored it down...
Here Goes!
 I had to help it a little by moving the plastic thing forward...
 Sweet sweet victory.
So happy!

So folks, yes, you CAN use a clay roller for paper embossing.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Earring Holder

I made an earring holder!

I used to keep my earrings above my mirror, which was nice... but kind of a pain in the ass.

I had planned to make some sort of holder but wanted to use things I already owned.
The other day I asked my mom if I could have some of her skewers. Then today while going through my storage I found some leftover wood (that I have possibly been hoarding for more than 6 years)
Once I saw the wood I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
So I came home and put it together... I was so distracted I forgot to eat, ha!

Here it is!
All loaded up. 

I even made a lip at the bottom and a bit of a backing so I could store the earrings that dont dangle and the 2 rings I own. I also added some nails for my necklaces.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Homemade Lip Balm

Dude, I seriously  just made homemade lip balm... I actually thought I would screw it up so I didnt take pictures throughout the process. Its actually AWESOME!

I slightly tweaked the recipe from here: tidytipsy

Crap I used

What I used: (updated after trial and error, this recipe is a huge hit - makes approx 25)
2 tbsp Beeswax (I kind of heaped them a little since they were the pellets)
2.5 tbsp Coconut Oil
1.5 tbsp Shea Butter
4 tbsp Olive Oil
6 capsules Vitamin E
Something to put the lip balm in (I got mine from Amazon)
(ETA: if you would like to add essential oils, use a LOT - think at least 2 drops per tube, this updated recipe makes about 25 tubes, so 50 drops of oil, go by smell, you want to smell the oil more than the beeswax)

I used my warming base from my crock pot (you could use a double boiler - or whatever you damn well please) put all the crap in there except the Vit E and let it warm (I put it on high) until it is all melty - I mixed it with a spatula to help it.
I used a glass container that I had from a beverage company that makes too much money.
After its all melted I cut a tiny hole in the capsules and squeezed the goo out.
Mix again.
Messily pour into little containers - I had too much made so I ended up looking around my house for something to put it in and used a mint container.


I used a couple napkins to clean up my mess (I also scraped up the crap on the counter and put it back in the melty container - dont worry, my counters were clean)

Lip Balm!

I freakin love it, I've had it on for like an hour and am so happy.
I didnt add any scents - which you could, but I dont mind it kind of smelling like beeswax.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Just Browsing

So I was looking through my blog and realized that I started it after pumpkin roll season!

I'm going to Bunco this Friday (unless we don't have enough people) and I'm going to be making that... So I'll have to show my step-by-step! (I think I actually already have pics of this)

Also, I was doing the whole project thing, in reality I probably succeeded in doing the projects, I just didn't blog about them. Which I've admitted I'm horrible at keeping up with.

This month is super busy!

I'll be making cupcakes the following weekend for my niece & nephew's birthday party. The day before that I'm going to an adult's Birthday party. And the weekend after (well not quite) I head to California! (Disneyland)
Plus work in between.
I had to bow-out of some stuff just so I wouldn't over-do it before the long drive!

I made another snowman. This time I put the stencil all the way to the bottom (so that I don't cut the bottom of the book, it remains flat...) I'll update the last post!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Book Snowman

Summers over (thank goodness) and now I'm in a crafty mood again!

I found this book pumpkin tutorial on pinterest from Craftberry Bush and promptly headed to pick up some books with my mom so we could try it out.

It ended up that I enjoyed it much more than her.

I made my first three, boy did my hand hurt after that!

Then my neighbor asked me to make her some and gave me two books. I whipped out the dremel for those!
And even with the burnt edges they looked super cute.

I also made mini ones!

I then had the idea to make trees...

and finally, today while browsing pinterest and seeing them over and over I had the idea of a snowman!

Book Snowman

  • book (more pages=fuller end result)
  • scissors
  • card board
  • xacto knife (possibly a box cutter)
  • glue gun (or other glue if you're more patient - I am not.)
  • stick/dowel
  • white paint + water
  • paint brush
  • scrap paper for had
  • scrap fabric for scarf
  • tiny piece of paper for nose
  • buttons

First you'll cut out your snowman shape, I used to circular things and traced half of them onto the cardboard, then cut it out

Remove the cover of the book and hold the cardboard near the spine and trace with your xacto knife
(Update: I made a 2nd snowman and cut the bottom of the cardboard template flat and put that against the bottom of the book, so when you cut you're only cutting into the spine of the book once, leaving a flat bottom)

After I've got through a few pages I remove the cardboard and just use the lines I've already made.

When you get a good amount of your knife in there you'll be able to remove some of the excess.

Keep going!

It can start to get harder because the previously cut stuff getting in your way.

So I move some of it over (being careful not to fold too hard and snap the spine)

almost there!

The cutting is done! Now youll want to go through and crease the spine so that itll flare out nicely. Youll then notice that the front and the back of the book doesnt match!

Thats OK, its the back of the snowman anyway.

Now for the assembly

If your books spine has weak spots and is splitting like this:

you can run a line of glue down the inside and hold it closed til dry (this is why I use the hot glue gun)

One thing I hadn't thought about until I was done was that I didn't make the bottom flat! So I corrected that (this was my first snowman so you get to see my mistakes too)

Now for the paint...
I wandered around my house for a while because I don't actually have paint. I used food coloring for the pumpkins and trees.

Then *bing* I remembered my friend had left a whole gallon of white paint at my house for a project I helped him with (over a year ago!)

I put some in a container and mixed it with water. You want to paint to show, but not make the pages stick.

I put quite a few layers on, fanning out the pages in between. (I didn't let them dry, just added to it)

Time for the stick, this helps with support. When you bend the book around the stick it should just fit the stick.
Glue the spine and one of the pages.

Now you'll notice the back has a lot of gapping. I use the same idea as before where I run some glue along the inside. This helps with the major gapping.

I used two circles and a strip for the hat.
(the hole in the big circle is so it fits through the stick - I did not glue the hat to the snowman)

I added eyes, buttons, and a nose... but still felt like something was missing...

A scarf!

And there he is folks!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Swiss-Meringue Buttercream

Strawberries were on sale the other day when I went to the grocery store so I thought it would be the perfect time to try this recipe from pinkparsley.

Got all my stuff together for the cake part
Chocolate Cupcakes
(I'm not a coffee drinker but happened to have a packet of instant)
Got it all mixed together then added the coffee and got a bit worried... it was SO THIN.
But then as the recipe calls for I mixed it with a spatula a bit and went with it, they ended up baking perfectly.

Then came the frosting...

Strawberry Swiss-Meringue Buttercream

I've never done one of those stove top sugar egg white frostings before so I was a tad worried I'd mess it all up... I mixed and mixed and mixed while it was over the heat, and it just want getting completely 'smooth' between my fingers. So I decided it looked good and went on! (ok, so maybe I'm impatient)

It ended up coming together nicely!

Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Swiss-Meringue Buttercream

I've already delivered to 3 of my neighbors and had 3 mini ones myself! I just dropped them off so I'm not sure what they think of them yet. I REALLY like them, def. making again.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Biscuits and Papa Haydn

I made biscuits for the first time in my life the other day (minus helping mom when I was a wee one). I find this very strange since I love baking... and I love biscuits!

I found a super easy recipe during my online food hunting at 'and now for something completely delicious'. It took about 5 minutes to prepare (partly thanks to the butter moosher my mom gave me - its actually almost the same one as in the pic of that blog) then like 10 minutes to bake.

I made mine a bit smaller and ended up with 12, I also did the milk + lemon thing since I almost never have buttermilk on hand.

mmmmm - topped with home made strawberry jam from a friend.

And now for the Papa Haydn portion!

This was mom and my 2nd stop for our Treat Tasting. I already knew one treat I liked at Papa Haydn's, but I hadnt actually tried anything else.

They also serve food so when we got there we were very nicely greeted to be seated but let them know we were only on a mission for the treats!

The guy behind the nom case was very pleasant and patient. We looked at everything. One thing I LOVE is that the treats in the display case are the ones they serve, so most of the time they are already cut into so you get to see all the inner goodness.

I asked if I could take a picture and he said 'of course!' It was pretty sunny so theres some glare. The treat we decided on isnt in the picture because just as we made up our minds another person ordered it so he had already removed it.


All the goodies have little name-tags with the price on them.

We decided on:
Autumn Meringue
Swiss meringues layered with rich chocolate mousse and pot de creme, wrapped in ribbons of chocolate.

(image from their website)

The grading was hard... because I already have love for another one of their treats which I'll mention later...

So I gave it a B
It tasted great! The mousse was a wonderful smooth texture and the meringue (I only like the crunchy kind) was ACE. I dont know if I wasnt feeling like chocolate or if my other love was intruding in my taste buds. So I just couldnt give it an A. (plus I gotta give room for future sweets!)
My favorite part was the meringue... so I saved most of it for the end!

Papa Haydn's gets an A+
The setup is perfect (I basically already mentioned all the good stuff)

I do realize that I'll probably have to recap when I have quite a few and may have to re-grade! Thinking back I dont know if I would still give Piece of Cake a C-!
Maybe I'll re-review in clumps of 5 and assess in my afterthought and other experiences.
I also see I didnt give pricing, so I'm adding that now
Piece of cake: $5.75
Papa Haydn: $8.00
Mom and I are splitting all the treats we get (if possible) so we are actually only spending 1/2 of whats listed.

My Papa Haydn love....
Boccone Dolce
Swiss meringues drizzled with semi-sweet chocolate, layered with fresh fruit and chantilly cream.

(image from their website)

When we walked in I didnt see it... then as I said "its not here!" it was put back into the case *phew!*
Mom and I had already decided a slice was going home with each of us... how could we go and NOT get one?!
Its not always the same as they use fresh fruit so it goes by what is available. This time (I havent actually eaten it yet I just nibbled a few bits and took pictures) it looks like theres banana and strawberry.
This one gets an A+ every time and is also $8 per slice. This is one I wont share!
may not be the prettiest treat... but that doesnt stop me!
*sigh* ily

We havent decided where we'll go next, or when! But I'm excited! (ok some of that excitement may be from knowing I have amazingness in my fridge waiting to be consumed)