Sunday, December 23, 2012

12 Days of Homemade Day 11 &12

Here I am at the end of my 12 days of Homemade! Wow that was fun! I know I slacked a little bit towards the end, but those baked goods aren't going to make themselves. But any who I made it! knowing me I won't be able to get to blogging tomorrow so I figured once again I would do a combo of 11 & 12.
But first a quick recap!-Day 1 was Cookies, Day 2 was jewelry for the ladies, Day 3 was for the gentlemen, and Day 4 was all about paper. Day 5 was homemade condiments, Days 6 &7 was about helping out others and Days 8 ,9 &10  were all about putting it in a jar!

With my last post, for those last minute gift makers. I left you with a easy one- Do you have access to a printer? YES?! Then you are in luck cause that's really all that you need. Homemade gift certificates! Yep easier then Pie (trust me). I have a few links to get you started but really be creative. Cook dinner, do the dishes, make cookies, wash the car, babysit, yard work, teach them something. the possibilities are endless!

Photo Gift Coupons- wow what a great idea! Now this would take a little bit longer then just printing out a a few pieces of paper- BUT check them out they are so cool!
Christmas Coupon Book-  is already made up for you all you need to do is print, cut and bind. or you can customize/
Laundry Coupons- this one is directed only at doing laundry type stuff.
Kodak coupons - they have a great set up that's ready to use.

I hope I have brought you fun and great ideas that you can make at home year round not just for the Christmas season. Have a great holiday and I will get back to you after Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

12 days of Homemade Days 8,9 &10

Whoa this 12 days of posting got a little out of control. My time has been going so fast! I have been thinking long and hard for some great ideas! This is by far one of the easiest concepts I have posted. Put it in a Jar. You don't even have to make anything. Give those friends and family a little bit of your style but let them do the dirty work. Do you catch my drift?  I'm talking about mixes, and spice blends.
Lukas Helping stack jars
 Last year I made all my family and friends in SLC spice blends for cooking chicken, pork or beef. I just gathered up the spices  mixed them together in a giant bowl and divided them up in baby food jars- (that I had cleaned out and painted the lids silver.) Then I wrapped them up in cellophane and labeled them "Rub with Love"  pretty cute right? Well you can get creative with the container, and it's contents. For bigger stuff I would use pint or quart size mason jars. Wrap it up with a bow, or some cute fabric.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Cookies in a Jar- Chocolate chip Oatmeal Cookies to bake when they feel like it.
Hot Cocoa in a Jar- This one has peppermint candies that can be omited if you want regular Hot Cocoa
Double Chocolate Brownies in a Jar- I love double chocolate brownies!
Love Soup in a Jar I have never made this but it's a fun name and look tasty
Vegetarian Black Bean Soup- This soup is super easy to put together
Baby food Jars ready to be re-used!
Curried Lentil Soup in a Jar- Curry is one of my favorite flavors. I 'm still working on lentils- not my fav but I can handle them in soup.
Rib Seasoning- Great gift for the grillers you know
Curry Rub- Again with the curry. So yummy would be great on chicken
Montreal Spice Rub- This is one that I made for my family. It smells so good!
Chicken Spice Rub- A nice sweet and spicy rub for the chicken lovers out there.

My Obsession with Jars comes in handy for this project. 
Thus concludes Day 8, 9 and 10 for 12 days of Homemade. I hope you got some great ideas.  Here's a quick recap of the last 7 days-Day 1 was Cookies, Day 2 was jewelry for the ladies, Day 3 was for the gentlemen, and Day 4 was all about paper. Day 5 was homemade condiments and days 6 &7 was about helping out others.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

12 days of Homemade Day- 6 & 7

Yesterday I skipped day 6 due to a very cranky 2 year old. I knew I was going to combine a few days so here we go. Lets recap the last 5 days-Day 1 was Cookies, Day 2 was jewelry for the ladies, Day 3 was for the gentlemen, and Day 4 was all about paper. Day 5 was homemade condiments and now on to day 6 &7.
I was thinking that this season is all about thinking of others. How about others that you don't know? Do they need help too? They sure do!
 I am fortunate enough to have a roof over my head and food to eat. Others are not as lucky.  When I was in high school I did plenty of community service, and it''s a great way to give back to the community.
There are plenty of places to donate your time or nonperishable items to: Food banks, homeless shelters, soup kitchens.
My old Boss would make little care packages- She made 5 last year, the kit included Socks, gloves, a hat, blanket, toothbrush/ toothpaste, shampoo/ conditioner, wet wipes, and a loaf of bread.  She went around  downtown Seattle and gave them out to a few people in need.
Anything small that you do for others will always help bring a smile to someone's face.

Monday, December 17, 2012

12 days of Homemade -Day 5

Wow Christmas is really creeping up on us! In one week it will be Christmas eve and I will be off work and done with the crazy Holiday orders! Then on to New Years! Just a quick recap in case you missed the first 4 days. Day 1 was Cookies, Day 2 was jewelry for the ladies, Day 3 was for the gentlemen, and Day 4 was all about paper. Now on the Day 5! In years past I have made people condiments such as mustard, jam, fudge sauce ect.. . Even if you aren't into canning you can still make some great spreads. Especailly if you are going to a party they make great hostess gifts.
Here are a few reicpes some are for canning and some are to be eaten within a week or so.
Tapenade is something I could eat everyday - and when I worked at the Pink Door in Pike Place market I did! this recipe is similar to theirs, it uses black olives but any kind of olives could be substituted.
Bumbleberry Jam- Sounds fancy right?! well It's just any combination of 3 berries. When making this jam you can follow the canning processing instructions OR pour into desired jars and refrigerate until you give them away.
Grainy Beer Mustard- I L-O-V-E this mustard. Same as the jam you don't have to can it. It keeps in the fridge for a a few months.
Caramelized Black Bean Butter - This layers the flavors of onion, black beans, balsamic vinegar and cocoa. So quick and easy!
Sweet onion and Rosemary Jam- this is a  savory jam that will be great on breads or chips.
Salted Caramel Sauce - Something to add to some ice cream, or make milkshakes.
Chocolate Fudge Sauce- Everything is better with chocolate! That's all I really need to say about that!

That wraps up day 5 of 12 days of homemade! Come by tomorrow  and see what I am up to for day 6!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

12 Days of Homemade -Day 4

With Days 1 , 2, and 3  of 12 days of Homemade under my belt here is day 4. Day 4 is paper. What can't be made of paper? As long as it doesn't get wet or smashed. Gifts made out of paper will last a long time.
 Photo from :Martha Stewart
  • Greeting Cards are the ultimate way to express yourself with paper. A card made from the heart means everything. Don't let Hallmark have all the fun!
  • Paper Crackers are a great way to pack up small treats, and it's fun to open them too!
  • Photo Booklet- Sending memories in a small booklet so family can keep photos in their bags, office.
  • Paper Flower Bouquet- If none of the "real" flowers look good or you can't  run out and would rather stay in this bouquet is perfect for you. I could do this why Lukas is napping.
  • Ornaments- I see that Better Homes and Gardens has out done themselves. There is a whole slideshow of Paper Ornaments which includes: Ribbon Candy, Pine cones and snowflakes. It would be way fun to give someone a "set" of ornaments for a tree or wreath..
Well that about sums things up! I hope I have inspired a few of you! Until tomorrow. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

12 Days of Homemade- Day 3

Since 12-days-of-homemade-day-2 was for the Ladies. I figured Day 3 was for the guys in you life either it being  a Dad, Brother, Son, Husband, Boyfriend, Nephew, or Father-in-law. I know if you make them something special  they will Love it.

  • Fire Starters- Do they have a fireplace? Well you can make them easy Pine Cone Firestarters OR make some out of trash with Lint & Egg Cartons.
  • Beer Bread for that beer drinker in your life! It has a nice hint of beer. 
  • Bow Ties- Do you know a guy who likes top wear bow ties? or needs to dress up for work? Well if you are a sewer then this should be a snap for you. 
  • Map Coasters- Do you have a world traveler? I do. Usually after traveling they like to sit back and relax with a drink.
  • Photo Bookmarks- While reading that novel it's nice to have a photo bookmark to remind them of loved ones. 
I hope you gathered up some good ideas for the men in your life.In case you missed 12-days-of-homemade-gifts-day-1. And stay tuned for day 4 tomorrow.

Friday, December 14, 2012

12 days of Homemade - Day 2

Look at me I am keeping my promise to post 12 days of homemade. For day 2 -I was thinking about something for the ladies. How about homemade jewelry? Something like this is great, it can be personalized for each person you make it for. I have found many different links to DIY jewelry for that mom, sister, daughter, wife, or best friend in your life. If you missed Day 1 check it out now.

  • Bird Nest necklace- This looks so easy and something that anyone who loves nature would surely enjoy. With the beads they can be customized to her favorite color.
  • Jersey knit bracelet- Now I did say that I don't knit. However this is made by using your fingers. The link takes you to a video that shows the process. But once you get the hang of it it shouldn't take too long. Recycling old t-shirts won't cost much. 
  • Glitter Rings- Need I say more? It might just be me but I L-O-V-E Glitter! Just adore it. 
  • Rose Gold Necklace- This is very interesting. For this project you will need to take a trip to the local hardware store. This craft might be the most simple. 
  • Mirrored Headband- Grab a thick headband and hot glue, gems, beads, mirror pieces to it. I say that's pretty simple too. 
I hope that I have given you some ideas to for some fun homemade gifts. Check out Day 3 here for more fun ideas.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12 Days of Homemade Gifts- Day 1

 For years now I have just made simple gifts for my family and friends. I think the personal touch makes it that more special. I know not everyone is super crafty, but that's the beauty in it you don't have to be. Everyone has special talents. For example I don't know how to knit- no big deal, but I can cook and sew. I will obviously pick something from one of my strong categories.  Since I have so much to say about each item I figured I would break it up into 12 days of gifts. I have found  great inexpensive gift ideas for your friends and family. They will save you stress and money this season.

For day 1 I picked Cookies! This is a ageless gift. People have been making holiday cookies for friends and neighbors for a long time. It's fun to decorate sugar cookies with colorful sprinkles and icing. Or if you don't have time to decorate cookies then the basic "drop" cookie will suit your needs. Here are a few good recipes.
I hope that these cookie recipes help you in you quest for Holiday Cookie Domination. I will be doing my share of cookie baking and decorating this year -at home and work. Cheers until tomorrow to continue my 12 days of Homemade gifts. check out day 2 here 12-days-of-homemade-day-2

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Homemade Laundry Soap

I know what you are all thinking  have I gone a little nutty? yes I am making my own laundry soap. Lets face it laundry is inevitable no matter who you are, clothes need to be cleaned and I would rather have them smell yummy! Don't you hate it when you buy fresh smelling laundry detergent for really dirty laundry and they don't turn out "fresh" smelling. In my attempt to go back to the basics, this is an essential task.  This recipe has 5-6 ingredients and makes enough for 150 loads!

1 Box Borax 4lbs
1 Box Baking Soda 4lbs
1 Box Washing Soda 3 lbs
1 Bar ZOTE SOAP 14 oz
1 Bar Fels-Naptha Soap 5 1/2 oz
Optional: Purex Fabric Crystals
Grate the bars of soap-  it can be done in a food processor or with a hand grater. I did it by hand it's easier to clean up. The ZOTE soap was a harder soap that when grated turned into a pink powder. With the Fels-Naptha it was softer like cheddar cheese. Once grated I broke it up into smaller pieces by hand.  In a large bowl or bucket mix everything together  There is an option to put in fabric softening crystals. I read about them someplace and they were on sale, so I figured I would try it out. How easy was that?!! Now you are ready to wash. Just put in 2 heaping Tablespoons into the washer.  I hope you find this as easy as I did and at least try it out. Homemade Laundry Soap makes great gifts, and inexpensive. Just bottle up quart and attach a cute little tag.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

D.I.Y. Jewelry Board

Silver with polka-dot fabric
I recently received a large amount of jewelry and realized if I stored in a box it would get all tangled., and I would forget about it. Looking online I was trying to get ideas for storage. I found alot of choices:  jewelry trees, and boards. Off I was to goodwill looking for the perfect option. I found a fireplace screen, it had 3 parts that I could easily take apart. 2 smaller screens, and a large one. With everything I have using the bigger screen would work best. It had to be cleaned up a bit and I wanted to paint it. My color options were silver or brown since that's what was in my craft closet.
Before it was cleaned up.
It took about 45 min wandering around home depot to figure how to hang my jewelry. I ended up using peg board hooks for tools. It was inexpensive and just what I needed. Later I did find out that my fireplace screen was magnetic, so getting magnetic hooks would have worked too.
Now what to do with the 2 smaller screens?  After realizing that they were magnetic I figured I could use them around the house. 1 in the kitchen and the other in the spare room.  Then to class the screen up a bit I wanted to put fabric behind it to pull the whole thing together.All I did was hot glue the fabric to the back of the screen. Then  voilia a jewelry board or a magnetic message board. The silver one really does look good in person, the camera doesn't do it justice.
With my jewelry I try and surround myself with unique pieces of art. Many have been made by local NW artists. I have quite a few peices done by a good friend.  Sinful Solace is her website and is worth checking out. She has unique taste and is very creative.

brown with polka-dot fabric
silver-glitter with ship fabric