Flowers for my Hair

I’ve been looking for crafty things I can do that do not involve sugar and butter. It’s surprising difficult, actually.  After much searching on http://www.pinterest.com (the site I wrote about a few posts ago), I found some more flower ideas.  Check out my first attempts.  Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.  The orange(y) fabric is made from the scraps of my bridesmaid dress (I sweet-talked the seamstress for my own fabric scraps after she hemmed the 5-in. off the bottom).

 

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Molly’s Non-birthday Celebration

Today we celebrated my friend Molly’s non-birthday. What this really means is that she hates her birthday but as her friends, we still want to celebrate the day with her.  I spent Friday night and Saturday making her gifts.  First, I started with her coasters and matching magnets (a requisite gift from me at this point).  I really think I nailed the design this time – matching Molly’s personality and her home decor.  These photos show the coasters before the coat of lacquer was put on.

While the glue was drying, I cooked up some homemade Kahlua. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a photo of it, but check out my Baking & Recipes page for instructions on how to make it.  It only has coffee, brown sugar, vanilla, and vodka. I needed this to make my White Russian cupcakes – which turned out amazing.  According to my official taste testers, they are the best ones to date. And truthfully, they were the most beautiful.

Chocolate Making Class

A few weeks ago, a friend ran across a really cheap groupon special for a candy making class ($15 instead of the usual $50) so three of us spent the evening learning how to be true chocolatiers. We were each given a sucker with our photo on it as a souvenir of our experience. How cute are we??

The first thing we did was learn to use the machine (she called Bobby – because she’s a girl and she named it) that keeps the milk chocolate at just the right temperature and has a built in waterfall and conveyor built.  We chocolate covered potato chips – yummy.  You can see the chocolate-fall in the background with some chips moving along the belt.  It was nerve-wracking to have to catch each chip before it fell off the belt and into the vat of chocolate.

Next, we practiced our balloon tying skills – not so easy with gloves on.  We dipped the balloons to create small chocolate bowls – which eventually held our ice cream. My bowl is the one to the right of the gloved hand, slightly tilted to one side.

While those were hardening, we moved on to creating the non-puerile dots you see in stores and at movie theaters. Ours didn’t quite look they were supposed to.

While these were hardening, we got to re-dip a white chocolate covered strawberry to create a tuxedo effect (shown below – for some reason, this is the clearest photo I was able to take).  We also dipped frozen bananas and decorated them, but didn’t get to take them home with us. Truthfully, I think the owner just forget because it seemed that she just threw that last part in about the bananas. While mine looked amazing, milk chocolate with white chocolate drizzle, I wasn’t able to get a photo.

There were seven others there besides us, making it a full class of 10 adults. I think it might have been better with a smaller class, maybe 5 or so, because the work area was pretty small and we spent most of the time waiting our turn and trying to see what were were supposed to be doing.  There was only one guy who came – with who appeared to be a new girlfriend.  I think this would make a great date…you can talk to the person while doing something (presumably) neither of you has done before and have a souvenir to take home.

Overall, I the three of us had a really great time and our planning our next “date.” We’re thinking pottery painting.  Any other suggestions?

Got Caulk?

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I had a WONDERFUL 3-day weekend.  I started off Friday night with a musical at Jensen Beach High School. My friend Molly is the theater teacher, and she and her students did a great job.  Into the Woods was a cute compilation of a variety of fairy tales (Rapunzel, Jack & the Bean Stalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella).  The HS band even played the soundtrack for the actors.  All in all, a great show.

Saturday, Sam and I started with breakfast, followed by errands and then of  by the pool.  Later that night, we spent some time at a bar in Ft. Pierce called Mother Tucker’s to support a band that a friend’s husband plays in – a beach bar where we all promptly got eaten alive by sand lice.

Sunday, I made some coasters and matching magnets for a friend’s birthday – Happy Birthday, Mischele.

While the coasters were drying, I worked on my spare bathroom.  I’m not sure when the last time the crevices were caulked, but they needed to be re-caulked.  I actually really enjoyed doing it. Home repair with instant gratification – and quick clean up. Tubs don’t photograph well, but you get the idea.  It doesn’t look professional, but it does look like a homeowner who cares did it.

On Monday, Sam and I took Mischele to Crawdaddy’s for a birthday lunch celebration.  Afterward, we went to an afternoon matinee and saw The Hangover: Part II.  It was hilarious, but definitely much darker and raunchier than the original.  Still, it’s worth seeing.

Emily Post Etiquette + Marble Tiles

For months, I’ve been telling myself (and everyone who listens to me) that I’m going to be more creative and follow through on my, well, plans.  “Ideas” is not the right word because, thus far, none of the ideas I’ve written down have been my own. They’ve been crafts that I’ve seen others do and try to sell that I’m too cheap to spend the money on if I can make it myself easily enough.  So, I pulled out my “Personalized Coaster” craft project that I’ve had on the top shelf of my closet for nearly 5 years. No, really. I got it out of the Freebie Closet when I worked at Country Sampler magazine.  It was a sample product that I loved the idea of that long ago and never followed through.  Last night, after nearly a week of scanning the crafty projects at Esty.com, I decided it was time to take down the box.  I didn’t follow the directions, though.

Should I spill the beans and give away all my secrets?  No reason why I shouldn’t – It’s not really a secret at all.  All you need is paper, special glue, tile, and some time on your hands.

1.  I decided that since I like manuals and books so much, I’d make my coasters out of my old Emily Post Etiquette books that I bought nearly 5 years ago to begin my collection (that hasn’t gone any further than those 4 books).  Once I found the passages that I wanted to immortalize on my coffee table I was ready to get started.  My favorite passage is “How Far May a Girl Run After a Man?” – pictured below.  I covered each of the four pages with a few layers of the specialized glue I purchased yesterday.

2.  Once they were dry, I used that same glue to adhere them to the marble tiles – with a few layers put on to keep the paper from being damaged from my ice cold beverages.

3.  While I waited for the new coats of glue to dry, I put on the cork feet so that my beautiful creations don’t ruin the tabletops they’re meant to protect.

4. Add more coats as necessary to adequately cover the paper.

I know that they are just coasters, but you’ve got to admit, they add some homemade class to my living room.  For my next set, Sam said he’d give me one of his old comic books – not sure which super hero he’s going to let me cut up, but it should look pretty fun with colors and pictures rather than just plain old words, no matter how amusing I might find the text.

Adventures in…Sewing?

I asked for and received a sewing machine for Christmas this year. Part of my quest for self discovery and/or my passion is to start sewing things for my home (so that I can afford to continue decorating).  I figured the easiest thing to start with would be a large square of some sort, even better a large square that would be useful but not so in-your-face as a placemat.  What better than a dog bed? Not much as far as I can tell.  I sewed a cover last weekend for our original dog bed that Bear (the large one) decided to eat out of boredom.  It turned out so well that the dogs spent two days fighting over who got to lay on it. In all reality, they were probably fighting over having access to a soft bed rather than the awesome sewing job.  Either way, I was kindly requested by Sam to sew/make another bed. After shopping around longer than I should have, I found a cute fabric that I was willing to spend my hard-earned cash on.

Bear enjoying the newly made bed – stuffed with the filling he really loved eating when chewing his old bed that is now unfixable.

This is the holy terror Lucky, keeping Bear at bay from the first pillow when there was only one.

Both puppies just looking cute…