Sealed! DIY Whipped Butter

whippedbuttercream

It’s been almost four days since we got Bro’Ham. To say having a dog is a whole different experience doesn’t begin to describe what being a pet parent means.

I have to feed another living being. Every day. He wants affection and reassurance that he’s okay and a good dog. He follows me around. He’s left a layer of dog hair that has broken my clean freak spirit. Two tongue baths (I am still weirded out by that, but another day). And he’s brought me a real sense of peace and calm.

Bro’Ham being here means a lot of handwashing. A lot. And for some reason, terrible static electricity. I know there’s some correlation between ash and getting the shock of life, so I figure now’s a good time to make some whipped butter.

I’d made a batch before and didn’t love the consistency. The recipe added beeswax, which isn’t something I’ve used before. It felt… waxy. It took forever to liquify and was just all around not a good deal.

This time I had the bright idea to substitute coconut oil for the beeswax. The end result is exactly what I wanted: a light, whipped cream that melts and glides on my skin easily. No more welts from all the rubbing.

Whipped Butter

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces shea butter
  • 3 ounces cocoa butter
  • 4 ounces coconut oil

Measure both butters and the coconut oil into heat safe  medium-sized bowl.  Set the bowl in a pan and add enough water to come about halfway up the bowl. Heat on medium-low until melted. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Using a whisk attachment, blend at high speed until frothy, about 1 minute.

butter1

Refrigerate 10 minutes or until just solid.

butter2

Once solid, using beaters, mix on high speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until desired consistency. Store in airtight container.

butter4

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I Shirt You Not: T-shirt Refashion

 

tshirt

I tickle myself coming up with titles for each post. I’m still chuckling at this one.

So I’m going through my stuff again, seeing what can be released from my life to make space for something else. Is there a such thing as too much letting go? Because I feel like I was just getting rid of stuff at the beginning of December. There are still items that need to get the boot though.

Unfortunately, I seemed to slack when it came to my t-shirts. While there aren’t many I don’t like, four of them immediately came to mind. It’s not that I don’t like these particular shirts. They’ve simply outlived their original lifetime. Perfect DIY candidates.

Now to find some t-shirt inspiration. Where? Pinterest of course.

Rant alert: Okay… what did they do to Pinterest? It’s so much work trying to find projects now. Was Pinterest rehab so effective that it’s been long enough to miss some majorly minor site enhancements? Sheesh. There was a day when everything I could possibly want to make was right there on my landing page and I’d pin to my heart’s content. Now there’s some kinda fancy algorithm that makes me do the work to look for projects. Ugh… who wants to use the search function? Why, Pinterest, why?!

Focus. DIY. I was looking for a cool project I could finish in a short amount of time (think 10 minutes or less). I found a couple that looked promising. I figured I’d start with the easiest one: a simple cut-out.

DIY T-shirt Refashion: Cut-out 

Supplies

  •  T-shirt (jersey works best)
  • Scissors
  • Fine-tip marker

Directions

Iron the t-shirt, if necessary. Put it on to see where you want to make your marks.

Mark three points on the shirt to define the area you want to cut.
tshirt2

Start by cutting the neck (1 to 3). Then cut from 1 to 2 and 3 to 2. Grab at 1 and 2 and pull gently to curl the edges in. Repeat with 2 and 3.

And… you’re done. Simple.

Verdict

You may have wondered why there’s a lot of cleavage in today’s main picture. This post is a DIY and fail all rolled into one. I like the idea, but having almost 82% of my cleavage on display was not the intended outcome. For the next one, I have to rethink the angle and length. Luckily, I have three more tries to get it right. I’m not giving up on this. Unless it involves geometry.

Mr. Postman! DIY Notecard Envelopes

diynotecardenvelope

You know how much I care about y’all? A lot. So much that I should actually be finishing up packing and getting ready to head to the airport for my girls’ trip. But I’m here scheduling posts in the midst of a chaotic room. The only clear space right now is what you see in the pictures below. I know. I gotta do better. I mean it’s only week 2 though so cut me a little slack for this post’s basicness.

Last week, I showed you my DIY notecards from all those nice adult coloring pages I’ve done to keep from losing my sanity or freedom. This week’s DIY is the companion envelopes for those snazzy cards.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a picture tutorial so bear with me. I’ve never done a template so it too is basic (read: I literally figured it out a few minutes before I started typing this post). But the project is really simple. The template can be modified to fit a larger card if you need it. Otherwise, your standard notecard should fit.

DIY Notecard Envelopes

  • Template
  • Cardstock
  • X-acto knife or scissors
  • Ruler
  • Glue
  • Embossing tool, optional

Directions

Print the template and trace on the card stock. Cut out the template.

envelope1.png

Using the ruler and embossing tool, score the card stock. This will make the folded edges crisp and easier to fold.

envelope2

Fold the two short sides up. Fold the bottom to meet the shorter sides. Trace the outline where the three meet and glue the bottom to the short sides.

envelope3

Fold the top flap down. The template is versatile. You can opt for a straight edge, cut out the scalloped edge or use a different decorative finish.

envelope4.png

Easy. Now go mail that notecard you wrote last week.

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Say It Pretty with DIY Notecards

diynotecards

When I was younger, I took pride in making posters for my friends’ birthdays and events at school. As I got older, I was the person in the store reading every greeting card in the section because it had to say the right thing for the event. When I say I read every card, I would read every card. It’s my mother’s and grandmother’s doing. They were the queens of picking the cards that made my eyes leak.

The Internet really made me lazy though. I got away from handwritten notes and easily transitioned to text messages and social media as ways to let people know I was thinking about them. Within the last few months though, the excitement of going into Papyrus and looking at all the stationery and accessories made me nostalgic of my handwritten days. But the price tags would make me clutch my pearls and hide my wallet.

Along comes the adult coloring trend. As a snob colorer, I use markers. I have four sets of markers. Four. No shame. Anyway, the markers made the blah picture come to life. After the relaxation coloring provided though, I had a piece of art. On my desk. Looking at me like ‘come on… you gotta do something with me.’ I framed a few and put them in my office, but that seemed selfish. Everyone should enjoy my coloring works of art.

Biggest idea of 2017: notecards! I get to color, share and make someone’s day with this project. And so can you. All you need is:

  • Coloring page
  • Markers (if you must use pencils, I GUESS that’s okay)
  • Heavy card stock
  • Computer and laser printer
  • Paper cutter or X-acto knife
  • Optional: ribbon, decorative scissors, gold leaf and any other finishing touches

Instructions

  1. Color the picture (duh).
  2. Scan the picture. If you don’t have access to a scanner, take a high-quality photo with your phone.
  3. Open a new document in your word processing software. Insert the pictures into the document and resize them to the size you want for your notecard. I opted for postcard-style notecards to maximize my limited amount of card stock.
  4. Print on heavy card stock using a laser printer so they don’t bleed if they get wet.
  5. Using a paper cutter or X-acto knife, cut the cards.
  6. Optional: finish the edges with decorative scissors. Or use gold leaf. Punch a hole and add ribbon. You get the point. Make it yours.

Not only will the person getting the notecard feel special, it’s was made with love. And a lot of creativity. Plus you got to relieve some stress coloring. Triple win. Next week’s project: making envelopes. But… go ahead and write the note this week.

Plethora of Necklaces

Necklace Collage

 

Okay… so not really a plethora, but I did finish three easy ones in about 90 minutes (including taking the photos). Each one came from an existing piece of jewelry or something I had on hand.

The Pin

The first necklace was a pin I scored at the Dress for Success bag sale in November. I had big, big plans to start wearing pins, but after unsuccessfully realizing that I couldn’t pin them straight or figure out when to put the pins on and when to leave them off, I decided I’m good at necklaces. So… I broke the pin back off, put a couple of holes in the earring and added chain and a clasp. New necklace I love. Boom!

Round Gold Necklace

The Earring Turned Bracelet Turned Necklace

The second necklace was an earring that I tried to make into a bracelet. Seems I didn’t use the right adhesive because after I got home from work, one of the earrings fell off. Seeing as I had already used a bunch of different glues on the bracelet, I decided to repurpose part of it rather than try to repair it. After taking inventory of my necklace stash, I discovered I could really use a black necklace with gold chain. A little Sephora black polish, more holes and gold chain and I’ve got a new necklace I love.

Half Moon Necklace

The Hot Glue Necklace

At one point in my creative life, I was ALLL about making beads with clay. I invested in some molds, a pasta machine (for conditioning the clay) and a bevy of other tools to make my own creations. In the past year or so, I’ve gotten away from that; however, I still have all the supplies. One night, I decided to see if I could make a pendant with nothing but hot glue and a mold. After generously oiling one of the molds, I filled it with glue and came out with something workable. Add some more black nail polish, gold paint and the last of my gold chain and I came out with a cute, casual necklace.

Long Gold Chain

All three of these took less than an hour to make. It’s always great to create new pieces from old items.

Cinnamon Baking Chips

Cinnamon Chips

This has been on my list of projects for months. After actually making them, I’m ashamed that it took me this long to get it done. It literally took 10 minutes and that included measuring the ingredients. Shame on me.

Of course, this was born out of necessity. I love Bob Evans’ cinnamon pancakes. Like… love them. I remember going in to get said pancakes and they weren’t on the menu. What the…? Thinking that my poor eyesight finally caught up to me, I asked the server. She verified that said cinnamon deliciousness wasn’t on the menu anymore. Ever see a toddler having a tantrum in a store? That was me. In adult form. Hissy fit because I couldn’t get pancakes. We left.

I looked up the recipe for cinnamon chips, but you know who I am: I had cinnamon and sugar, no shortening or corn syrup. I wanted to cry because by then I’d eaten two Snickers, a short stack of non-chip cinnamon pancakes with bacon and a piece of chocolate cake to try and satisfy my cinnamon chip pancake void. After the binge, I surrendered to my laziness, mourned Bob Evans’ annihilating their menu and gave a moment of silence to all previous cinnamon chip pancake dates I took for granted. Sigh.

Then, months later, something miraculous happened: I had everything to make the cinnamon chips AND time to make cinnamon chip pancakes. It’s a celebration (in my Dave-Chappelle-as-Rick-James voice)!

I’m not a fan of shortening, but I figured that it 1) helped with shelf life and 2) stabilized the chips in a way that butter couldn’t. At heart though, I’m a butter girl, so, you know, it’s in the chips. And the corn syrup had high fructose corn syrup in it so I kinda didn’t feel all that great about using it (after the bottle was almost empty of course), so I made my own sugar syrup. The results were stellar. If you’re a perfectionist, go ahead and cut the chips evenly. I’m not though and it just prolonged making cinnamon chip pancakes.

Cinnamon Baking Chips
adapted from Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker

  • 2/3 c granulated sugar
  • 3 tblsp cinnamon
  • 1 tblsp vegetable shortening
  • 1 tblsp butter, softened
  • 2 tblsp sugar syrup (recipe below)

Sugar Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat over medium high heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool. Store remainder in an airtight container in the fridge.

For the chips

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Grease lightly with shortening or spray with cooking spray.

2. Combine all the ingredients together in a medium bowl and stir until crumbly. Spread on prepared baking sheet. Flatten with another baking sheet or other large flat surface.

3. Bake chips for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cut or break into pieces. Allow to cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Cinnamon Chips

Gold and Metal Necklace and Earrings

Gold Chain

This necklace and four pair of earrings came from a pair of chandelier earrings I found in my mom’s jewelry box. I liked the earrings as they were, but upon closer inspection, I realized that several dangles were missing on each earring. And since I knew, they suddenly became less desirable to wear out in public.

I took all of the dangles off and discarded the original frames. When I counted, there were three of each of color, so I decided to make a necklace. I’ve been dying for a simple, long gold chain necklace for a while, but hadn’t come across one I wanted to buy. With all the colors, this one was perfect. It can be worn with jeans and a tee or with a dressier outfit to work.

The design was pretty simple too. I created a coil with my coiling tool, added jump rings to the dangles and attached them to the coil. When I first wore the necklace, the dangles had all slipped to one side of the coil. So… I went back, placed the dangles and squeezed the non-dangle coils together to keep them in place. Worked like a charm.

Gold Chain

The earrings were even easier. Dangle attached to jump ring attached to earring wire. All four pair were finished in less than five minutes.

Gold Chain