Sheena’s Scottish Shortbread

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Good Morning Crafthackers.

This chilly morning, I bring to you the perfect thing for having with your nice hot tea or coffee. I don’t often run across food vendors when I go to markets and shows for makers but, as you can see, it does happen. I love when makers make food and bring them to craft shows. Not only because it’s a way to get some home made goodies made from family recipes out into the world, but as vendors, it can provide some delicious noms during the slow moments.May I present, Sheena’s Scottish Shortbread.

This particular set of noms comes from a 100 year old recipe that was literally passed down through the family. It is also a recipe that can be traced back to a Scottish origin, so these are true Scottish shortbreads. Not just that, they’re hand made, so you know that the secret ingredient going into the food is love. They also come in 3 flavours – original, lemon and maple.

You can buy these lovely shortbreads (I can tell you they’re lovely, I tasted them), at makers shows across the GTA, which you can find a list of here, something that’s pretty amazing is that when I talked with these ladies, they don’t just sell bags for your personal consumption. Orders can be put in to have wedding or shower favours made, or favours for some other kind of special occasion.

Be sure to check out their website, and their Facebook page for updates as to where they’re going to be and when as well as photos of not just the booth but new baked goods that are coming out of the kitchen.

Now that you’re hungry,

Happy Crafting!

~Megan


La Chacha Soaps

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Good morning, Thursday Crafthackers!

I bring to you a small business who I really enjoyed meeting a few months ago. This is La Chacha Soaps, which is a company that makes a wide collection of skincare products that are all hand made in Canada. Hand made in Canada, that’s what I like to hear. It has such a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? What’s even better is that this is a family owned company and it is their business philosophy to create high end, non toxic and all natural skin care products.

I love that they don’t just make soaps, though. They have a huge variety of skin care products that are made with love. Bath bombs, deodorants, face serums, shampoo bars and lip balms. You can of course see all the things they offer at the different shows they attend, and you can shop on their website also.

One thing that I loved was that when I visited this booth, the young lady who helped me (she must have been in her teens), was the one who was manning the booth and man was she informed about the majority of the products that they carry. She was able to explain much of how the different products worked and what ingredient in them made them exceptional, like their muscle and joint body butter. I love that they have a natural, topical alternative to muscle pain.

I also talked with this young lady about their facial serums and about what products that they might have that would be beneficial to eczema sufferers and I loved what she had to say and the products that they offered. It was quite a lovely experience, and I love the diversity of the skin care that they offer. You can check out their Facebook here, as well as their Instagram to follow and keep up with the goings on of the business and for new products.

I hope you enjoyed meeting them as much as I did.

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan


DIY Spa Style Mother’s Day Gifts

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Gift giving can sometimes put a strain on a budget. Depending on the person and expectations one’s family has, it can cause load of extra stress and pressure. Well, if you have someone you’re celebrating this mother’s day that enjoys a bit of personal pampering, I’ve got some DIY suggestion to help you out in the remain crunch time days here.

From the lovely folks over a Lil’ Luna, here’s all the info you need to make a simple custom set of spy type items; namely bath salts, candles and a sugar scrub. All you need is a custom mix of relaxing music to go with it and you’ve got the perfect at home relaxation kit. 🙂 You will need several supplies to make all 3 items, so if you’re strapped for cash, it might be best to pick 1-2 items that would work best for the recipient. You’ll need a container for all the items, so I won’t list that as other then the candle needing to be glass, the type/style is really up to you. We’ll start with the easiest:

Bath Salts:

  • 1 Cup Epson Salts
  • 2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
  • 3 Drops of Essential Oils
  • Zest of one citrus (optional) Citrus types include Oranges, Lemons, Limes, Grapefruits, etc.

Simply mix all the ingredients together and place them in your jar/container and seal it up. Doesn’t get easier then that. 🙂

Sugar Scrub:

  • 1 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Drops of Essential Oils

Heat up the coconut oil a bit in the microwave to get it nice and runny so everything will be easier to mix. Then, simply add all the ingredients together and pour in jar.

This last one is the hardest/most expensive so if you think it’s beyond your skill then buying a candle may be the better choice

Candle:

  • Soy Wax, enough to fill your container twice
  • Container
  • A Wick
  • Skewer
  • Essential Oils
  • Pan

First, wrap the top of the wick around skewer and set in container. Then, melt the wax in a double boiler, stirring constantly. When the temperature reaches 170 F remove from heat, addind about 8 drops of essential oils and wait til it drops to 150 F before pouring the wax into the jars. Leave for a few hours to set, and then snip off the top of wick, leaving about 1/2″ above the candle for lighting.

You can get fancy and add various colors using food grade dye for the body products or colored wax for the candles, or even mix and match essential oils to get a custom fragrance you know they’ll love. 😀


Special Delivery for Mom

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Happy Sunday, all!

Next Sunday is Mother’s Day here in the U.S. and there is still time to find excellent items for that wonderful Mom in your life. During my usual romp through Etsy, I found some great ideas, starting with this cute mug for those that don’t live near Mom:

So she can think of you every morning!

Up next, I was never really a fan of those children/grandchildren necklaces with birthstones until I came across these “family tree” style ones that look like leaves:

A monogram leaf and a birthstone for each child/grandchild looks so elegant.

The third idea I came across that really hit close to home for me was a custom printed recipe towel. My Mom, Grandmother, and I used to spend a lot of time in the kitchen together, making family recipes. This seems like just the thing to bring that nostalgia as well as preserve some of those treasured recipes:

Grandma’s Snickerdoodle recipe can be immortalized in towel form!

Finally, I won’t call this a cop-out gift but it IS kind of a default in our family…chocolate. We can bump up the special factor a bit by personalizing the message on the chocolate at least:

A tasty treat and a cute sentiment.

I love giving my Mom homemade gifts, even if they aren’t made in my home!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Sew Much Love.

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers.

I come with a lovely maker who I met at the Craftadian craft show here in Hamilton. Her name is Ally, and she is a sewer. She is the owner of Sew Much Love Studio and is the purveyor of lovely off the rack and custom makeup bags as well as brush storage bags.

After years of buying cheap makeup bags to hold things, and ones that you can’t wash, that it was wrong. I learned this when I  bought my expensive brushes and wanted to keep those costly little things safe, especially while travelling. I can’t count the times that I’ve caught brushes in zippers, squished them at the bottom of my  bag so that they look like an overused toothbrush or they just plain broke from being handled so roughly. Ladies, meet Sew Much Love Studio.

You can buy one of their ready made pieces, they’re all in varying sizes for your makeup needs, or you can have one made for you in the fabric that you enjoy, in the size that you need. Her prices are absolutely reasonable for some great quality sewing, and another fantastic part is that you can have a matching set. Or a contrasting set done in the same colour scheme. LADIES, WE CAN ACCESSORIZE! And remember convention goers, you don’t want any of your cosplay makeup anywhere but your body. These are handy to keep all that business contained!

If you’re in need of some protection for makeup that needs to be taken care of – I know that my nice stuff isn’t just going into some ratty old bag – take a gander at her Etsy shop to see what she has available, and remember to get in contact with her if you’re looking for something custom. You can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram to see the new things she’s putting out. These could be great sets for bridesmaids, for birthdays, for Christmas. I always support local and hand made items, and I think everyone else should too. This is how we get some of the coolest stuff made!

Happy crafting!

~ Megan


Happy Happy Joy Joy & Polish Co.

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers!

I was at the Craftadian craft fair in Hamilton, Ontario, where local artisans get together to sell their wares and I had a great time and I met a whole bunch of new people. I will be doing a series on the artisans that I met there who made some amazing hand made things. On that note, I would like to introduce Joy & Polish Co. who is a handmade nail polish company. That’s right. Hand made nail polish.

Check out our Spring Collection, available at Craftadian Spring Market this Saturday and on Etsy. Looks like someone figured out iMovie.

Posted by Joy & Polish Company on Wednesday, April 5, 2017

When I met this company at the show, it was an unassuming little table with a really simple set up, and what caught my eye was my feminine inclination for pretty, sparkly cosmetics.

These nail polishes are free of the “big 5”, which, if you’re not aware, are: dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and camphor. Formaldehyde is what is used to preserve bodies, so, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want that anywhere near my live body.

The colours are fantastic, as you can see, and they wear well. I did 3 coats on my own nails (yes, I bought some), and even without a topcoat or bottom coat, lasted for 3 days without chipping. And I work with my hands.

These guys sell on Etsy, and you can check out all their stuff here, on Facebook too. Their prices are not more than what you’d find in a drugstore and they do shipping (and pickup if you’re in the area).

Hope you enjoyed this post, and check them out. Their colours are just phenomenal!!!

~ Megan


DIY Simple Paper Cup Gift Box

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Gift wrapping can be hard. Like, really hard. Have something weirdly shaped or super small? You’ll be better off just using a gift bag most of the time. While I don’t have the perfect solution to large weird shapes this time, I have a pretty simple and cheap DIY for making one out of a paper cup.

Made by the folks at fabartdiy, this simple image guide shows how to turn any 10oz or large paper cup into a cute and simple gift box. The supplies you will need are:

  • Scissors
  • Paper Cup 10oz or larger
  • Sticker for sealing
  • Stickers/markers for decorations (optional)

You start by cutting the top rim off the cup (typically this is white). Then make 8 equal length vertical cuts around the top. Once that’s done simply fold the tabs in, making sure to go clockwise around as you do with each tab overlapping on the right side. Push them all down and seal with a sticker. Done! ^_^  Use them for wrapping gifts to even for making little grab bags for your shows  if you have small items like stickers or charms.


Cute in the Kitchen

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Happy Sunday, all!

The unseasonable warmth continues here in the midwest US but that does not mean that I’m not spending time with a warm oven on! I do spend a great deal of time in my kitchen as I have an especial passion for baking. Creating comfort foods is one of my favorite activities for stress release. If you’ve followed the Sunday posts for a while, you may have also grasped that I love all things cute. So imagine my surprise and delight to come across many of the adorable Studio Ghibli oriented kitchen utensils in Zeniba’s Attic:

No Face, Catbus, and Totoro spoons for that geeky chef in your life!

Joanne, the artist, burns the images into the very functional pieces to create these wonderful and adorable items.

Some soot sprites to help scoop with the spatula?

I think many of them would make fantastic gifts for any Ghibli enthusiast.

Like this Totoro cutting/cheese/serving board!

She not only creates cute kitchen utensils but also paints ceramic items to match!

Maybe you shouldn’t have a Calcifer oil burner near your bacon, though.

Since she makes her items to order and they are shipping from the UK, it may take a while to receive your lovely pieces but it looks like all are well worth it! Zeniba’s Attic can be found on Etsy and Facebook.

Have a wonderful week, everyone – I’m off to bake!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


A Hand Warming Experience

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Happy Sunday, all!

While we are enjoying some unseasonably warm weather this week, it’s still winter and the Midwest US is famous for it’s sub-zero temperatures. So how to keep warm? With a little help from some grains (or seeds)! I’m talking hand/feet/neck warmers here. If you spend any time at all on Pinterest, I am quite sure these have popped up in your feed at one point.

If they have unicorns on them, even better!

They are pretty fantastic and a tutorial for the rice type ones has been posted before on Craft Hackers (here) but I want to go a little more in depth because these things are super effective, easy to make, and great for gifts. I’ve seen tutorials for rice, corn and flax seed types but hadn’t quite settled on which one would suit me. Lo and behold, someone has actually done some informal research on the subject! Sew4home compared the three for the time it take for each type to cool down (read the entire article here).

Which will it be? Will longer grains prevail? The seeds? The round kernels?

It turns out that flax seed keeps the heat steady for the longest period of time but there are other parameters to consider such as smell, feel, and cost. Each has a bit of a smell when heated but this can be reduced by adding in some aromatherapy (a great tutorial with different smells can be found here).

A little lavender can go a long way!

As far as feel goes, corn with all of it’s round bead-like size can be the most soothing against the skin. Corn also heats up faster and has great heat staying power as well. My favorite tutorial for making corn bags comes from the PlaysWithNeedles blog where she has a handy dandy tip sheet for making a “Cozy”:

The final parameter they mention is cost but I would also put in an honorable mention for availability. Rice is generally cheapest and most widely available but if you have a feed/grain store nearby, corn and flax can still be very economic. Flax does recommend itself as a reasonable option, especially as it is a seed and won’t need replacing as often (a purely flax tutorial can be found here).

Although I can just imagine the mess that comes with flax vs rice vs corn cleanup.

Whichever you may choose, there are some items they all share in common when making a warmer/cooler (yes, these can be stored in the freezer for soothing ouchies and headaches as well):

  1. Only use 100% cotton fabric, flannel is preferable for feel but not a necessity.
  2. Only partially fill the bag so that it still has movement and is not as hard as a rock – this also helps when sewing the end closed.
  3. Ensure that before the first use, you zap it a couple of times in the microwave to kill off any possible bugs and eliminate moisture.
  4. A funnel is your best friend when filling.
  5. Put a double seam around the edges to prevent these from breaking open (the temptation to toss them like bean bags is great).
  6. A cover is a great way to prevent these from getting too dirty but again, not a necessity.
  7. Heat in a clean microwave as I’m fairly certain you don’t want them to pick up the smells of leftovers.

That’s everything I’ve saved along my way in the quest for fantastic hand warmers! I think I’m going to use some of this good weather to open the windows while I get some sewing done, in prep for colder temps I know are just lying in wait.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Recycled Gifts to Warm the Heart

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Happy Sunday, all!

There is only one week left until the big holidays hit so if you still have some gifts to find, I have a few suggestions that are not only budget and environmentally friendly but also rather thoughtful. First up is a tutorial to help you make a nice new pair of warm mittens out of old sweaters:

Just think about how many mittens could be made out of some thrifted ugly sweaters!

Just think about how many mittens could be made out of some thrifted ugly sweaters!

Even if you don’t have many older sweaters to use, the second hand stores (pun intended) should have plenty in all kinds of awesome patterns. One sweater usually has enough fabric to make a few pairs of mittens OR you could use this tutorial to make a matching hat.

So now that you’ve made some gifts to keep warm outside, I think an inside warmer is in order. Let’s make sure that it’s fun and stylish, too! A tea wreath is a cute present for those tea drinkers in your life:

This may also help to get rid of some of that excess tea in the cabinets. Or is that just me?

This may also help to get rid of some of that excess tea in the cabinets. Or is that just me?

Using recycled cardboard, old clothespins, and bright paper with some colorful teabags would make a wonderful, functional decoration. Maybe tea isn’t their thing? How about music? I don’t know about you but my ear buds always get tangled or lost in my purse. I could really use something to keep them contained and I bet others could, too. This earphone holder made from a recycled mint container is just right:

Super adorable and just the right size. No more tangled cords!

Super adorable and just the right size. No more tangled cords!

I think the only issue would be mixing up mints and earphones when digging around in the carry-all. The last tutorial I have pains me a little because it requires you to cut up a book but I think the prospect of “saving” an old book from the trash is incentive enough to make this neat portable art case:

Never fear, the tutorial also includes links to further crafts you can use the pages for.

Never fear, the tutorial also includes links to further crafts you can use the pages for.

Any artist on-the-go should be well equipped with it in hand. So there we are, folks! I hope one of these at least inspires an idea or two for that hard to buy for relative. I’ve got a lot of crafting to do in the next week so I’d better get to it. See you in a week for the big day!

Stay crafty!

~Laura