Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy New Years! & Recap of 2011.

Happy New Years!
We had a wonderful Christmas and  I hope you all did too!

We enjoyed making our Raspberry Wine

I loved recycling our scraps to make Gifts for friends

Making more gifts, like the Red Neck Wine Glasses

Learning to share my very guarded recipe for Chai

Making some awesome Linen Spray that my family loved

And finally my 11th favorite project for 2011

These aren't the top viewed projects, but they were some of my favorites!
Happy New Years to All.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Triple Dose Root Beer Sugar Cookies

Tired of the usual plain white sugar cookies with the yucky icing that looks pretty, until you bite into them and want to toss your cookies?  Then you gotta try these yummy treats.

  I purchased some root beer extract from a wine supply store.  Make the usual sugar cookie recipe, but instead of the vanilla extract, add root beer extract.  I dumped in double what the recipe called for. 

Roll the cookies in wax paper and put in the freezer to chill. 

Take the cookie dough from the freezer and cut into 1/2 inch slices and bake according to recipe. 

Now the fun part.  Melt some white chocolate, add root beer essence and ice the little devils.  I put about 1/4 cup granulated sugar and added 1/2 tsp of root beer essence in a plastic container with lid  and shook until the sugar was thoroughly mixed with the root beer.  Sprinkle the cookies with the sugar for a triple dose of root beer.  


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Music Sheet Candles

 I believe Pottery Barn sells candles like these.

  I have been making them for quite a few years and would like to share them with you!  I was able to print off some sheet music onto a piece of tissue paper...courtesy of, none other than
The Graphics Fairy .  Thanks again!.

  I cut the printed tissue paper to fit the candle and held it in place with pins. 

With a heat gun  I melted the wax so that it stuck on its own to the candle.  You can see when the paper is melted on, as the color of the tissue paper changes to the color of the candle.   It's pretty easy to do. 

They make wonderful gifts, especially if you put them in a basket of spa items. 

  I usually put with a bar of homemade soap.  CLICK HERE for the recipe, and some scented Epsom salts, all tucked  nicely in a box or basket.  

Friday, December 16, 2011

Homemade Christmas Crackers

Something a Christmas table can't do without is the traditional Christmas Cracker.

Items were acquired to stuff into the crackers!

I cut up some cardboard that my awesome sister gave me.  (NEED SOME MORE CARDBOARD AWESOME SISTER  hint hint).  This is the same cardboard I used for my scented trees.  Click Here  if you would like to see the tutorial for these.  I made seven of these crackers so  I cut seven pieces 6"x12". 

I rolled them into a tube, overlapping maybe 1/2 inch.  I needed the bodies to be big for all the  awesomeness I was stuffing in there.  I hot glued the seam and reinforced with duct tape, but I must confess, I only did two that way.  The rest were just hot glued. 

It had to be big cuz I wanted to pack them full!
Bigger is Better!

I took the tube and hot glued it to the edge of some wrapping paper.
The snapper part was put inside of it but not glued in.

I cut fourteen more pieces of cardboard.  These were for the ends that held the snaps.  I put a bit of hot glue on the edge and attached a tube to each end of the snapper.  Through trial and error, (that's why you only ever see six in the photos),  I realized that they needed to be smaller than the center tubes.  I cut these at 3"x7".  Rolled them into tubes and hot glued them.

Now you get to roll up your stuff to fit in the tube.  Good Luck!  Nah, it was pretty easy.  I rolled the goodies up  inside the hat,  and stuffed away.

Roll your paper tightly around the center tube and hot glue it together.  The end tubes must be free from the paper so no glue is applied to these.  I did glue the ends where you see my fingers, just to hold  paper to paper.

Now this is a bit tricky.  Kinda scrunch up the paper between the end tube and center tube on each side.  I did one at a time so that I wasn't putting tension on the snapper.  Once one end is done, you can push it towards the center tube so that the other end has a little more play for you to scrunch it up.   
  We are almost done!  You get to put your pretty ribbon on the end and tie.  My ribbon had wire in it so it was pretty stable without a knot or a bow.

I must admit, I could have made them a little more glitzy, but this project turned into a four hour ordeal.  I quickly put initials on the round stickers.  You could put names on but nobody has the same initial in our family. 

I poked a hole through the sticker with my scissors and hot glued on a pretty button.

I used my trusty glitter glue and went around the perimeter of the sticker.

Next year these babies will be all decked out with this and that.  They are pretty simple but I think the family will enjoy them.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pine Cone Trees

Here's another take on the use of non Styrofoam forms.

  Click HERE for my first. 
I gathered pine cones, almost a garbage bag full for these trees.  Actually I made four but I gave two away.  I had some inserts from a box that I purchased at a thrift store.  They were thin plywood pieces, about 1/8 " thick,  and they had slots cut in them.   As we used the box for a base for a worktable in the shop, the inserts were garbage.  I decided to make 3-D trees.  I cut two tree shapes and measured the slots so they would slide into one another and meet in the middle. The total height of the forms is 30 inches.  You can make them any size.

This could easily be done with some thin MDF and a table saw, jig saw or whatever you have to cut with.   I slid them together to form a 3-D tree.

Next step is  gluing pine cones on.  Start with big ones all over and fill in any bare spots with smaller ones until no wood is visible.  It takes awhile to do this but they are so pretty when all done.
  It also takes a lot of glue and a whole whack of pine cones.  After the pine cones were placed and glued, I sprayed some cinnamon fragrance oil directly on the cones, and I must say they are wonderful.  You can add holly and other embellishments to them.  I did that with the ones I gave away.  They were very pretty but unfortunately I didn't take pictures.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Dried Orange Garland

 I gathered a few supplies that I actually had in my stash. Some dried oranges, buttons, a roll of jute, raffia, and hot glue. I strung my oranges together, few buttons, tied some raffia on and then put a bit of hot glue to hold the oranges in place. Hope you like them.  For other orange crafting ideas,

And now......with the annual railing garland.  I usually wrap my garland around the railing, but I was a little lazy this year.