Friday, January 30, 2015

Conversation Heart Soap

 I saw this idea last year at a craft show.  Random items in soap? I can do that!  So simple....first...I found some conversation heart erasers at Walmart.
 I melted a square of soap (found in the soap section at the craft store).  I've had this mold forever-I found it at the Target dollar spot, back when things were actually a dollar, BUT they also sell this shape via Wilton.  I sent the erasers in the soap.
 Once it set (about 15 minutes) and hardened enough to hold the eraser where I placed them, I melted two more squares of soap (only takes about 30 seconds in the microwave) and poured it over the back of the erasers to cover them.  You could add a fun cherry scent, or a few drops of dye to jazz it up even more.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cupid's Arrow

 I had these little pink bags last year for Valentine's Day and some cookies to pass out.  I saw the idea for making these little cupids arrow clothes pins at I gotta create and knew I had to try it out.  Super easy and adorable.  I glued the feather to the end, and covered the bottom with pink yarn I also hot glued onto the end.  I added sticky rhinestones (from the scrapbook section), stamped love onto the end, and glued a little triangle.  Easy and cheap.  Not two words to describe your Valentine, but...it'll free up lots of money to fill your bags with diamonds instead of cookies...though...sometimes I say skip the jewelry and bring on the sweets.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Chalkboard Information Boards

I had some old clipboards from the beginning of my teaching career with some ugly stains I wanted to revamp.
I saw this idea on sointovintage and so I pulled out some chalkboard paint to give them a makeover.
These would be cute boards in a center at school to give the students directions, or in my case I'm using these to sell a few things I've been making-which is a rarity for me, but I decided to give it a go.  It gives me the opportunity to adjust the price as well.  Fun and super easy.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Chocolate Crepe

 I've been crepe obsessed since I turned 30 and had these done 'the right way' a la Paris.  I saw the recipe for these chocolate crepes last year via CrunchyCreamy and I thought-uh....crepes+chocolate-I think so!  I've had chocolate on the inside of a crepe, but never AS the crepe!  It wasn't as rich as I imagined it would be, but it turned out to be the perfect mix once you add the sweet cream and strawberries.
I made the batter the night before and then pulled it out in the morning to pour into my pan.
Chocolate Crepe Recipe 
Ingredients:  
For the crepe:  1/2 c cold water, 1/2 c cold milk, 2 eggs, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 c  flour, 1/4 c  cocoa powder, 1/4 c shaved chocolate ( not chocolate chips-I just took a Hershey bar and a veggie peeler and curled some off into my cup ), 4 Tbsp butter (melted)
For the filling:  4 oz. cream cheese, 1/2 c powdered sugar, 1 tsp heavy whipping cream, 8 strawberries (washed and sliced), powdered sugar
Instructions:  
1.  Use a blender to mix water, milk, eggs, shaved chocolate, and salt.  Blend for about a minute.  
2.  Add flour and cocoa powder and blend again.  
3.  Pour in butter and blend for another 2 minutes.  
4.  Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.  
5.  Make the filling by combining the cream cheese, powder sugar, and heavy whipping cream.  
6.  Preheat non-stick skillet.  
7.  Spray with cooking spray and pour 1/4 cup batter into pan.  Let it cook for one min at medium heat.  The edges will start to pull up a bit and the middle will start to bubble slightly. This should take about a minute. 8.Flip to the second side for about 10-15 seconds. 
9.  Place filling on 1/2 with strawberries on top.  Fold over and sprinkled with powdered sugar.   
*It does take a minute to get the hang of flipping it over-the original recipe warned (and it's true)-the first one usually tumbles apart , but by crepe two I was good to go.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Ballet Shower

 Last fall my friends and I hosted a shower at work for my friend Amber.  She was a dancer growing up and was planning to use her toe shoes and tutu as part of her nursery decor, so I took that idea and ran with it.
 I made a little sign that said twinkle toes, and we had everyone sign a book.  They had decided to name their littler girl, Charlotte, so we got Charlotte's Web.  It seemed appropriate since this was her work shower to give her something a little educational to remember us by through the years....not that I'm not planning to be around for those years!
 I found this little sign about the definition for a girl on etsy.  One of the other host had a sister in law that teaches dance and she let use borrow all these hair pieces from various recitals, old toe shoes, tutus etc.
 I have a bunch of pink feathers/tulle, ribbon etc I threw around.
 I made this little tulle wreath to welcome Charlotte.
 We decided for munchies to hold a yogurt bar with fun toppings.
 It pays to work with teachers in events like this b/c you know someone is going to have some spectacular handwriting-in this case, Courtney.
 I folded some little 'ballet shoes' out of paper to decorate the jars.
 We served cupcakes and punch as well.
 One of the other gals, Katie, wrote the names of various dance positions and we put them on little flags and stuck them in the cupcakes.
 I found these little ballet slipper socks online via mudpie, and this little bodysuit with a ruffle all the way around....her first little tutu!
 For favors, we bought these containers of cotton candy (at Sam's) and called it tutu fluff.
 I printed off mini 'girl' definitions and  we put them on top...with more tulle.
 For a gift from the hostesses we got a bank (Amber also likes owls...I later found a pig with a tutu, but already had this one...).  We filled it with cash to help Charlotte pay for her first ballet class....or whatever mom and dad deem important as she grows.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Movie Date Gift

 I've done variations of this gift quite a bit in the past.  I love giving 'dates' to folks, especially when I attend multiple wedding showers.  I usually get a few things from the registry, but to have a little fun, at the second shower I try to bring some sort of date for the couple to enjoy.  This gift I put together last year for my Secret Sister at work who was getting married and said she enjoyed the movies.
Super easy-I got movie gift cards, a popcorn bucket from the dollar tree....
 I filled it with movie candies, popcorn, and the cards and then wrapped it up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sour Cream and Cheddar Baked Mashed Potatoes

There are a few dishes each holiday I don't mess around with, but potatoes isn't one of them.  Whenever I make mashed potatoes I always try out new recipes.  I guess b/c it's not one of my favorite dishes, so....I have to mix it up so I CAN enjoy it.  I tried this out recently and it was really good and a fun little twist with a pile of cheese I can dig my fork into.  The original recipe is from cozycountry.
Sour Cream and Cheddar Baked Mashed Potatoes
Ingredients:  5 lbs of potatoes (peeled, rinsed, and cut into 2 inch chunks), 4 T butter, 16 oz sour cream, 1 1/4 c. milk, 1 t. salt,  1/ c shard Cheddar cheesed (grated/divided)
Instructions:
1.  Boil the potatoes in a large pot of water until tend (check with a fork).  This took about 45 minutes.
2.  Drain your potatoes and then mash them.  Add the butter, half of the sour cream, and half of the milk.  Continue to mash them together.
3.  Add the remaining milk, sour cream, and salt and continue to mix.
4.  Stir in 1 c. of cheese until well blended.
5.  Spray a 9x13 pan and spoon the potatoes into the dish evenly.  Top with the remaining 1 1/2 c cheese.
6.  Bake at 350 for (cheese should be melted and bubbling).

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Mini Sewing Kit Pin Cushion

 I recently got an embroidery machine....but that's another story.  It doesn't fit where the rest of my sewing stuff is (shoved in a closet). I'm dreaming of a craft room....maybe next year, but in the meantime...I needed quick access to things that usually live in that closet.  I've seen versions of these little pin cushions around the net, so I decided it was the perfect solution to my problem.  The one thing I have on hand....always are mason jars.  I took a wide mouth mason jar and some scrap fabric.
 I cut the circle (I use this word lightly) one inch large than the lid.
 I used hot glue to hold down the edges, but I stopped short of sealing it so I could stuff it.
 I filled it with regular ol' stuffing (they sell it in bags at the craft store, or if your lab puppy destroys her toys .5 seconds after you bring them home-you can also use that stuffing...just sayin').
I filled it until I couldn't push anymore stuffing inside.  I then finished off the gluing process and slipped it in the lid ring.
 Cute, huh?
I filled up my mason jar with some little scissors, pins, buttons, thread blah blah blah....all the things I have to hunt down and now will have on hand!