Drinking your way through the Holidays

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Happy Monday, friendly crafty folks!

Whether you live in the frigid Midwest or the sunny LA coast, the Christmas season is one of the best seasons for tasty (and sometimes alcoholic!) beverages! From classic eggnog to German gluhwein worthy of Christkindlmarket, there are tons of options to imbibe throughout your December. Here are a few recipes I have either always wanted to try and make on my own (gluhwein) or are some of my holiday favorites.

Classic Gluhwein Recipe

Ingredients:

1 bottle of robust red wine

1 cup water

1 lemon peel

3 cinnamon sticks

10 cloves

Juice of 2 oranges

1 star anise

Dash of allspice

Directions: Combine all your ingredients in a large pot on the stove top. You can also do this in a crock pot on low/med heat (depending on your crock pot’s cooking temps). Heat all ingredients without boiling. Once warmed, simply strain and serve. If you’re feeling extra festive, you can add a dash of rum!

 

Homemade Healthy Eggnog (serves 4)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups almond milk

1/3 cup raw organic honey

3 egg whites

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Pinch of ground ginger and/or cloves (optional)

Directions: Blend together all ingredients. Pour into a large pot and simmer (without boiling!) for 15 minutes. Serve in mugs with a cinnamon garnish.

Peppermint Cocoa

Ingredients:

Your hot cocoa of choice

Peppermint schnapps

Directions: This one’s super easy. Make your favorite hot cocoa. Add peppermint schnapps (to taste). Enjoy!

 

I hope that these yummy drink recipes keep you warm and happy throughout this holiday and winter season!

~Scribe Sarah~


Halloween Celebration!

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Happy Halloween everyone! I know it’s on a boring old Tuesday this year, but make sure to have some fun with it in a small way. Be it taking kids trick or treating, enjoying a scary movie, or ya know, decorating your house elaborately for the Holiday.

No, it’s not that other guy, this is a light display done by Tracy, a California music school teacher set to one of the best Halloween songs ever: “This is Halloween”. A fun watch though, I think I’d go crazy if I lived near anyone that does these big light displays. Definitely invest in some black out curtains at the every least, lol.


Some Heartfelt Decor

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Happy Sunday, all!

There’s less than two weeks until Valentine’s Day and I’ve been feeling quite crafty lately (not that there isn’t truly a time when I don’t feel it) so why not dig up some cute V-day DIY décor ideas? I found a few that seem easy and look great, including, of course, one that helps with a little recycling. On that note, first up is this very tasteful cork heart:

Classy and an excuse to drink a little more wine!

The tutorial (found here) is pretty straight forward – use some corks, hot glue, paint, and cardboard backing to give your place a bit of flair! Next up, I was never really a big fan of those little conversation hearts as they all tasted pretty much the same…like chalk. But they are cute to look at! So why not personalize some super sized ones for your wall:

Even if you don’t want to include names, you could make these naughty hearts as well!

Again, this tutorial (found here) seemed straight forward and simple – find the heart shaped wood (I’ve found them at local craft shops), add some paint and ribbon and voila! A sweet little decoration for the home. What about personalizing things a bit further? Do you have some pictures of family sitting around? This next one I simply love and don’t think it should be relegated to JUST Valentine’s décor:

I simply adore the idea of including pics of grandma and grandpa or mom and dad with the kids.

Truly a beautiful expression of how V-day doesn’t have to be about romantic love but love of family, as well. The tutorial (found here) does recommend using high quality paper and a laser printer simply so the images come out crisp and don’t smear but if you wanted to give them a dated, antique feel, I’m fairly certain regular will do just fine. The last tutorial I discovered actually introduced me to a new paper folding technique that I fully plan to put into use in the future, iris folding:

Just like the iris in a camera, these folds draw your eye to the center!

Named after the iris of a camera, this folding technique purposely pulls the eye towards the center of the piece. The tutorial and many others on the technique can be found here. You could make a whole series of these out of different color schemes, frame them, and then arrange them on the walls! I hope you are all feeling the love right now. Next week I’ll have some follow-up ideas on creating some of your own unique Valentine’s greetings.

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


Put a Wreath Around It

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Greetings Sunday readers!

I promised recycled holiday goodness and I aim to please! Last week I offered up some recycled ornaments so the next progressive step to decking out the home for the holidays should be fairly easy – a wreath for the door. I had some fun finding a variety of different materials to use while just staring around the house at possibilities. The first and most obvious for me is magazines. We don’t have as many physical subscriptions as we used to but we still get enough to put some solid weight at the bottom of the recycling bin. This first DIY is one of the more time intensive ones on the list but the results are just lovely:

Gardening or floral magazines would work best but even junk mail catalogs could work!

Gardening or floral magazines would work best but even junk mail catalogs could work!

Really, you could probably just use any kind of paper you have laying around for this but I think the glossy paper in magazines give it that shiny, leafy realism. Ok so now I’ve used some of the old magazines up, what else? In the kitchen I have…corks! We don’t drink nearly the amount of wine in this house as beer but we still occasionally bring out a bottle with the evening meal. I definitely have enough to do a slightly larger wreath than this:

This would make a great gift for those wine enthusiasts in your life, too.

This would make a great gift for those wine enthusiasts in your life, too.

I keep all of the corks and bottle caps I want to save in a clear jar on the counter under the cabinets. What’s in the cabinets? I have some canning jars that were used for projects/preserving last year and they have lids. So what could be better than candy-striped canning jar ring wreaths:

We always re-buy the lids every year so I have a ton!

Remember to use a couple for those shadow box ornaments from last week, too.

I wandered into the closets at this point and thought about all of those old ornaments we had packed away that are getting replaced with handmade ones. What should I do with them? Toss them or donate them? No! Let’s make them into another wreath!

You could even ask the parents or grandparents for some of their old sets for nostalgia purposes.

You could even ask the parents or grandparents for some of their old sets for nostalgia purposes.

While in the closet, I had some of the husbands clothes brushing the top of my head and I wondered if there were some cool recycled clothing wreaths out there (of course there are). He’s not really into wearing ties so we’ve accumulated quite a few that were gifts. I think there are enough colors to do a variation on this:

If you don't have enough/any, I'm pretty sure the local thrift store does.

If you don’t have enough/any, I’m pretty sure the local thrift store does.

Whew, not only did we get some great craft ideas but it allowed me to clean out a bit! Just in time to receive more gifts and start the cycle over. Have a great week, crafters and next time we’ll try our hand at some recycled centerpieces.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


DIY Holiday Essential Oil Blends

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There’s nothing quite like the smell of the holidays. Weather you prefer baked goods, fresh pine, or maybe peppermint, the holidays likely have a special smell in your memory. So today I’ve brought together a list of custom essential oils blends made by Healthy Happy Momma that you can make to help achieve that perfect holiday smell. 🙂 These blends will work in and essential oil diffuser (like this one from doTERRA or  Amazon) but if you don’t have one handy you can also use a pot of hot boiling water on the stove that you add the oil scent to. More water will need to be added as it evaporates, but it’s a cheap and easy solution if you don’t have or care to buy a diffuser.

I recommend looking at what oils are required for a scent style that you like before rushing out to buy one to help save you money, but many of these can be found online, and I tried to pick ones that weren’t special blends so you weren’t limited to a brand line. You could also look at getting an empty glass vial so that you can mix up half an ounce to keep on hand all season long, or maybe give away as a custom gift. 🙂

Cozy by the Fire
2 drops White Fir +  2 drops Cinnamon Bark + 1 drop  Clove + 1 drop Cedarwood

Christmas Energy
4 drops Peppermint + 4 drops Wild Orange

Christmas Cheer
3 drops Lime + 3 drops Wild Orange + 2 drops Cinnamon + 2 drops White Fir + 2 drops Cypress +  2 drops Bergamot + 1 drop Eucalyptus

Winter Wonderland
4 drops Peppermint + 3 drops Bergamot + 2 drops Cypress

Gingerbread
3 drops Ginger + 2 drops Cinnamon Bark + 2 drops Clove + 1 drop Nutmeg

Oh Christmas Tree
3 drops Douglas Fir + 2 drops Cedarwood + 1 drop Juniper Berry

 


Recycling for the Season

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Hello Sunday readers!

Now that all of the turkeys have been eaten here in the US, it’s time to start gearing up for the next round of holidays. This means it’s time for some decorating! But instead of just going out and buying a whole bunch of things, what about recycling some items you may have lying around the house? Maybe you’d like to start small because it really isn’t even December yet, so how about some recycled ornaments?

First, I don’t know about you but I get a ton of holiday cards around this time of year and quite frankly, I don’t know what to do with them. I mean, I know most people don’t expect us to keep them but it seems like such a waste to throw them away. In this lovely tutorial, we are presented with an alternative to that waste that creates a lovely keepsake ornament in the process:

Festive, artsy, and responsible!

Festive, artsy, and responsible!

If you want to bump up the wow and interactive factor a bit, might I suggest this recycled card “shadow box” ornament:

A little bit of snow and 3D thrown in for more fun.

A little bit of snow and 3D thrown in for more fun.

Now I’m not one to dismantle books because of my great love for them. But if I were to “rescue” some that were bound for the bin, this Swedish-style star ornament would be the best way to keep those pages in the house:

The folds are a lot less complicated than they seem.

The folds are a lot less complicated than they seem.

Finally, I used to love puzzles as a kid but inevitably at some point, pieces would go missing. What do you do with a puzzle with missing pieces? Recycle them into ornaments, of course:

I'm sure snow or gingerbread people could also be accomplished using pieces.

I’m sure snow or gingerbread people could also be accomplished using pieces.

These were just a small fraction of recycled ornament ideas I came across in a quick search. There are plenty more, I assure you! I plan on featuring a few more recycled holiday ideas in the coming weeks so stay tuned.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


October Greetings

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Happy Sunday and happy October! It’s finally here! While I am sure this month will be full of spooktacular ideas and projects, I wanted to kick off with some excellent purchase ideas. I really love getting into the spirit of the season by changing the décor in our condo to fit the mood. So why not make your home a lab with this great light switch cover:

Flip the switch, Igor!

Flip the switch, Igor!

If we want to go with something a little bit less subtle and perhaps freak out guests, there is always this creepy pillow:

I think it really pops...right out of that pillow!

I think it really pops…right out of that pillow!

Now that we’ve seen some things for the home, how about a lovely bit of shiny goodness to put on yourself to show off your love of the season:

Because one can never have too many pendants, especially with cats on them.

Because one can never have too many pendants, especially with cats on them.

As it is definitely the costume season, this post wouldn’t be complete without at least one. So I give you the cutest destroyer costume ever:

The form of the destroyer has been chosen and it is adorable!

The form of the destroyer has been chosen and it is adorable!

I assure you that there is plenty more where these came from. Next week I’ll have some DIY ideas for the season.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


A Very Egg-cellent Day

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A very happy Easter to all those that celebrate!

I don’t know about you but at all of the Easter celebrations I’ve been to, there is some kind of egg hunt for the kids. In case you’re the one put in charge, here are some last minute ideas for alternatives to the traditional finding eggs in the lawn from She Knows:

EasterEggHunt

If, however, you’d like to give the grown-ups a chance at the fun, I would also recommend the Egg Hunt Ideas for Adults list I found on International Business Times.

If you use beer instead, it could make for a hoppy good time!

If you use beer instead, it could make for a hoppy good time!

In any case, enjoy your day and I will be back next Sunday with a report from St. Louis Comic Con!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 

 


Sparkling Icicles

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We’ve been having some surprisingly warm weather lately where I live and so one of my favorite parts of the season have not even had a change to form. There is just something magical about sunlight hitting beautiful icicles hanging off the eaves of a house or from the branches of trees. I’ve been a little disappointed that my sparkling fairy forest hasn’t manifested yet so I went searching for an alternative. Enter Third Wind Studio with shiny hand blown glass icicles to save the day! The simple lines and lovely artistry help to create that image I crave.

Clear, classic, and so pretty.

Clear, classic, and so pretty.

For a bit more of a holiday spin, they also offer different colors swirled into the glass.

RedIcicles GreenIcicles

If you aren’t quite as enthusiastic about these seasonal decorations as I am, then how about a little bit of beautiful geekery? If you would like something to bring “light to dark places”, Third Wind also makes replicas of Galadriel’s phial of starlight for that Tolkien enthusiast in your life.

 

May contain the light of the elves' most beloved star.

May contain the light of the elves’ most beloved star.

Third Wind definitely seems to have the sparkling part pegged down. You can check out their other work on Etsy and Facebook.

Here’s to hoping I will still get my real icicles sometime this winter.

Stay crafty!

~Laura