The Craft Room…

I haven’t been blogging much lately (or doing much of anything), as Christmas completely kicked my a$$.  However, this weekend I am partaking in a long outstanding tradition in the Larson Household of ridding the house of all the crap we no longer use and making room for all the new stuff we got this Christmas.  In addition, this year I will begin the process of redecorating my master bedroom and revamping my spare bedroom into my craft room/office.  I am super excited.

I found some “inspiration” to start off my craft room at Pier 1 this week….

INSPIRE sign from Pier 1

 I haven’t completely figured out the entire craft room, but I know it will have a lot of color.  I am leaning toward turquoise walls with coral colored accents (like a rug, drapes, etc.), but nothing is set in stone.  I want it to be extremely colorful and lively in order to really get my creative juices flowing. 

It more than likely will be a slow process, but I’m hoping the majority will be done within the month or so.  I’ll keep my blog up to date with pics of both rooms…

Another Cake Ball Recipe

I just finished another successful batch of cake balls, and boy where they yummy!!!  They taste just like Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, but in ball form.

I baked a traditional chocolate cake.  While it was still warm I crumbled it up and mixed it with 1/2 container (maybe a little bit more than 1/2) of chocolate frosting and 1 cup of peanut butter.  I rolled the “dough” into balls and let them sit in the freezer for a couple of hours.  I melted peanut butter flavored melts in a double boiler and dipped the balls. 

Absolutely awesome….  Gotta love cakeballs!!

“You did what with my old t-shirts?”

Another day, another craft….  this one turned out really cool!! 

I saw a book the other day at Michael’s and paroosed through it as I waited in the tremendously long line (my fault for going there on a saturday, less than 2 weeks before Christmas).  The book is called “Generation T” and has some awesome ideas to turn boring old t-shirts into fabulous fashions.  I am going to go back and get it for my daughter who loves to make t-shirt designs, but I have to wait for another 40% off coupon.

Anyway, the book had this idea for a scarf made from an old t-shirt.  Which was super cute, but required a little bit of sewing.  Since I don’t have a sewing machine, I went home and googled “t-shirt scarf”.  I found some of the cutest designs, many of which required no sewing at all. 

Next I found some under t-shirts of my husbands that he has never worn because they were too short (being 6’6″ – it happens much too often).  I chose those because they are super soft and have no seams on the sides.  I took some fabric dye and dyed them a light teal color.  Once they were dyed, washed well and dried, I got out my sharp scissors and started snipping. 

I cut across the shirt just under the armpits.  Then I cut off the bottom seam.  This left me with a “tube”.  I laid the tube down flat and cut 1″ wide strips from side to side leaving me with around 10 strips of fabric that formed a circle.  I cut a strip from what was remaining from the t-shirt that was 1″ wide and about 1′ long.  I gathered my 10 strips and tied them together with the extra piece.

Example I found to inspire....

My Pink Tie-Dye Scarf

  I like to double it around my neck for a fuller look and warmer feel. 

Pink Tie-Dyed Scarf wrapped twice

I plan on trying some of the other designs that I found as well.  I’ll keep you all posted on how they turn out!

Mmmmm…. Beer Soap…..

So I decided to dabble a little in the art of soap making. However, I chose to go the easy, less time-consuming, less toxic route and tried my hand at the melt and pour technique. 

I’ve heard and read all about the different ingredients that you can put into soap and all the benefits that go along with them.  However, the one that has always intrigued me is beer.  It is said to be very good for the skin, plus I know what to do with the leftovers!

I bought some melt and pour glycerin soap at Michael’s that also contained goats milk.  I also bought some different essential oils at Super Supplements (and had a few on hand) like clove oil, orange oil, tea tree, lemon, lavender and peppermint.  I bought some Guiness, poured a can into a cup and let it sit until it was flat and could be worked with.  I melted the soap, mixed in the beer and oils, then poured the concoction into a soap mold.  I  let it sit for and hour or so and then released it from the mold.  Easy peasy pumpkin pie. 

Tip: I did read that your soap to liquid ration should be about 4:1 for it to set correctly.  I see this being a very important tip that may have saved me a lot of time and frustration in the process. 

One thing I really liked about making the soap is that if I didn’t think the scent was strong enough, I could cut up the bar of soap, re-melt it and then add more oil.  It was a no-brainer and I have the facilities for it (especially this time of year).

I am a pretty sensitive skinned person, so I tested some of the samples I made (leftover that I poured into dixie cups for testers) out in the shower the next morning and it was NICE!!!  My favorites were “Citrus and Clove” and “Peppermint”.  They lather up really well and leave my skin soft without irritating it.

I covered them in a little syran wrap, labeled them “Tera’s Drunken Goat Soap” and put them in Christmas cellophane bags with curly ribbon for gifts.  Finally, a craft project without a thousand hic-ups!!

Have I become a Grinch?

I’ve noticed that in the past few years, I have become less and less excited about Christmas.  I use to look forward to it every year… baking cookies, going out at 4 in the morning on black Friday, finding just the right gift, decorating the house, ornately wrapping presents with fun paper, tags and big colorful bows…  I would do all of it, and I would do it with a smile on my face.

Now I have to drag my butt to the store to find gifts.  I don’t bake nearly as much as I use to.  I put off decorating until I absolutely feel I have to… and I have noticed that half of my decorations never make it out of the box.  I still love the idea of Christmas, but it just doesn’t seem as magical as it use to.  It has become a lot like a papsmear… I know it has to happen, however, I feel it will go a lot smoother for everyone if I could just be sedated the entire time.

I had all these ideas earlier in the year for “Hand-Crafted” gifts that I was going to create for Christmas gifts.  And even though I am still making a lot of my gifts by hand, I have compromised and purchased many “substitutes”.  Instead of sewing or knitting, I bought scarves and purses.  instead of making handmade soaps and sugar scrubs, I went to Bath and Body Works. 

I am so disappointed in myself.  I guess I still have time to redeem myself by getting done some of the projects that I set out to do… but I am not trying to kid myself.  Maybe I’ll start working of presents for next year…

(On a positive note, I have watched either National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Elf and/or A Christmas Story every day since Thanksgiving.  At least one tradition is still alive and well!)