I just wanted to share a little Easter Egg inspiration for you, since this is probably the weekend that you will be doing this pretty little project.
And if you are like me and my family, you will destroy all of your countertops, white bowls and clothes in a single hour of too much fun.
But it might have been worth it. The real artist in the family seems to be Pia. Coco had some interest, but Pia couldn’t get enough, and spent so much time and energy very carefully dying and decorating these gorgeous eggs.
And I want you to know that I tried a technique that I saw on facebook. Where instead of boiling them, you place a single egg in each cup of a muffin tin and bake the eggs at 350 for 20-25 minutes. (the recommended 35-30 seemed to long.) Then I sprayed them with super cold water to stop the cooking process. This process seemed to make them pretty easy to peel and the yolk did turn out a really pretty bright yellow color (none of the weird gray color that you can get with boiling large batches). So over all I would try this technique again.
As far as Dye, we made three different kinds of Easter eggs.
The pale shades of lavenders here. We did this with food coloring and vinegar and water.
The intense purple. We did these with drug store Easter Egg tablets combined with the original food coloring water combo.
And then I found this really cool vegetable based dye at the grocery store (Met Market in Seattle).
Then I made “paint” out of it and Pia and I had lots of fun turning them into little works of art.
I hope that you have fun dying eggs!
Hi guys! Just in case you need some ideas for homemade Valentines Day gifts and crafts, here are some ideas that I made up for my New Day Northwest Valentines Segment from yesterday. You can catch the segment here.
Remember these from last year?
The heart color crayons made from scraps that were the highlight of the class Valentines! Well this year, I made them into the shape of flowers. To make them, just follow the step by step photo directions here.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Pops
All my husband really wants is chocolate chip cookies. PLAIN chocolate chip cookies. But it is ok to cute them up a bit for Valentines Day, right? Bake them with lollypop sticks in them and voila! Chocolate Chip Cookie Pops make for a very man friendly bouquet!
I took lollypops on a long plastic sticks and “threaded” DOTS, gummy cherry hearts and cinnamon hearts and then slipped them into striped paper straws for stability and to cover up any stickiness!
Chocolate Kiss Pops
Candy Melts and chocolate molds with a lollipop stick. These are the cutest ever and take 5 minutes to make! You can buy these molds here. They have directions on the package- but basically you just melt the chocolate in the microwave and pour into the molds. Add a lollypop stick and freeze for a couple minutes to set up. Done!
Made from Tag board and scraps of wrapping paper, paper straws, doilies and ribbon! Use your imagination!
Paper Treat Cones
I found cardboard cones at the craft store and again, decorated with Tag board and scraps of wrapping paper, doilies and ribbon! Use your imagination!
Then you can hang these and fill them with little sweets or a small gift.
Hope that these maybe lend you some inspiration for your own homemade Valentines!
With so many of you thinking about how to supply gift after gift for teachers, co-workers, neighbors and hostess gifts, I have had many requests for ideas for homemade gifts lately, and I though I would compile some fresh (and pretty easy!) ideas here for you. You can find last years ideas HERE).
-HOMEMADE INFUSED OIL:
I simply took a few slices of meyer lemon, dried chili’s, one sprig of fresh rosemary and 3 cloves of garlic and put them in the jar. I added 2 cups of olive oil and then keep it refrigerated. This should only last a couple of weeks (because of the fresh ingredients). Be sure to tell the recipient to keep it refrigerated. (By the way, I L-O-V-E this oil and have been using it for all my cooking and salad’s since I made it.)
I paired it with a really pretty vinegar, merlot salt and a gorgeous pair of salad tongs for a great gift. (I would be STOKED to receive something like this!)
You could add a dishtowel, pepper mill or a salad bowl for a really fabulous present!
This would be beautiful all on it’s own, or with a bottle of great apple cider to go with it.
This jar is filled with all of the dry ingredients for my Dark Chocolate Biscotti with Cranberries and Pistachios – but think of the possibilities!! Cookies, Quickbreads, Cake mixes. You could really make an endless supply of homemade “mixes.” Attach a bow and a recipe card and this is a sweet and thoughtful gift.
I found this recipe for candied almonds from David Lebovitz, but you could make my spiced candied pecans, or any other candied nuts that you like and fill a jar with them. These are thoughtful and delicious snack all on their own.
Then, of course there are cookies and cookies and cookies!
Such as these Almond Poppy Seed Cookies with Almond Frosting
Or some of the rest of the 60 something cookie recipes I have here. I think I might have a prob.
There are packaging ideas here!
Here are all of my ideas from LAST YEAR for Homemade Gifts!
I HOPE THESE IDEAS HELP!! Please let me know if you have other homemade edible gifts up your sleeve- I would love to hear about them!
I realized that while I have the addresses for all of my family and my old friends, that I don’t have yours. And if a Christmas card is a nice way to let those that you care about know that you care about them, then of course I should be sending them to all of you too. So this is how I could do it. JOY. Happy Holidays. Merry Christmas. I love you guys.
I also love Christmas cards because you get to see how big everyone’s kids are getting. Pia turned (5) in September and Coco turned (3) 10 days ago. OMG. They are really so funny (Coco) and serious (Pia) and creative and clever!! Don’t all moms think that about their little kiddies? Sometimes I try to rock coco like she is a little baby and she is horrified by me. “I’m big!” or “I’m huge!” follows everything she says.
In case you might be curious, In an unprecedented turn of events, I have already managed to send out my Christmas Cards. For the record, this has NEVER happened before. To make matters clear, I am typically so late to this, that I have had to send them out for New Years before.
But this year, on a cold and rarely clear day a few weeks ago, I got a koo-koo idea, and asked the girls who are pretty much always dressed as they are in the photo to bare with me (and the cold) and come outside for a bit…
I unrolled a huge swath of paper and forced my poor children to lay on the paper covered concrete.
I then barked: “DON”T MOVE!!!” and began to fast as a flash paint around them with some tempera paints. Guess what happened next? They both moved. All over the place and got paint in their hair, on their dresses. Pretty much everywhere.
I had wanted Mason to be in the picture too- but he didn’t fit. Even remotely. Plus, he would have been harder to get the paint off of.
Anyways- I thought in case some of you haven’t done your cards yet, that this idea could be helpful? IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES!!!!!
And then I just emailed it into an online card company. 5 days later I had my cards. Not bad huh!?
I just thought I would share this quickie craft with you.
Mason chewed up Pia’s flats. Not only did they get a good layer of slobber on them, but he ribbed off the tuille flower embellishments that used to be there.
Well, there was no way that I was letting these perfectly good shoes go to waste.
I headed to the fabric store and snapped up some velvet flowers.
A little hot glue…
A Ballet Flat makeover! This could certainly work for grown up ballet flats too.
I am writing this post from an airplane (gotta love gogo internet!) flying home to Seattle. I arrived earlier today in LA where I meant to hang out with my brother and sister in law for the evening and then film a Valentines Day segment on “DIY Cute and Sexy Valentines” with Billy Bush and Kit Hoover for Access Hollywood early tomorrow morning.
When my plane arrived I found out that due to the tragic passing of Whitney Huston that not only my segment, but all of the segments that were set for tomorrow have been cancelled. The entire show will now be a tribute to her. Of course, this was out of everyone’s control, and while it was very disappointing for me, it was also appropriate.
So it turns out that my older brother and his wife drove all the way to LAX to give me a hug, and then I ran upstairs to book a flight straight home to see my husband and children. And now I am sitting on an airplane watching a Twilight movie and sucking down a bloody Mary while simultaneously eating Junior mints and writing this post. I didn’t say it was pretty.
I know that this is on the opposite end of the spectrum from my “Family friendly Valentines Day Breakfast” Segment, but I still want to share the crafts with you because I worked really hard on them, and if I do say so myself they are pretty darn “cute and sexy”!
Also, if you are a Seattleite, I will also be featuring them in 4 live segments on King 5 news Tuesday morning, so please tune in!
ADORNED CHOCOLATE BOXES
I purchased inexpensive boxes of chocolates at the drug store and embellished them with wrapping paper, origami and scraps of ribbon.
I also found some scrapbook embellishments that really made them pretty.
BATH and MASSAGE GIFT
I used 4 stacking boxes to create this gift idea.
1) Homemade Massage Oils: They are simply a combination of jojoba oil and essential oils, (the ratio is about 5 drops essential oil to every Tb of jojoba oil.) I used the scents of Jasmine: sensuality, Lavender: Relaxation, Grapefruit: Happiness. Combine in vials or bottles and cork or seal.
2) Homemade Bath Salts: 1 cup Epsom salt, ½ cup Kosher salt, 12 drops essential oil. Shake and store in an airtight container to preserve fragrance.
3) Bath Tea. I just chose some organic chamomile tea and attached two stickers (with the string in between) where the tag originally was. A few bags in a tub of hot water are lovely. I also love Jasmine Pearl tea.
4) A homemade gift certificate for a massage (to go with the oils) would undoubtedly be well appreciated by your loved one!
HOMEMADE CUOPON BOOK
These accordion style books were meant to be full of special mementos, gift certificates (homemade or purchased) and certificates for “romantic gestures” of your choosing.
I used a mailing box, card stock paper, double stick tape and then all different envelopes, note cards and items, quotes and poems that were personal.
Of course, these could also be made for your children and filled with sweet things for them, or for you to do together.
EDIBLE BODY PAINT
Ooh-la-la. This is where we get to the good stuff. Maybe it’s better I didn’t have to show Billy Bush how to use edible body paint- I might have died of embarrassment.
I used a wooden flower box and spray painted it red and then covered it in wrapping paper.
I used the four open compartments of the box to hold the goodies.
One was filled with paintbrushes, some small, some are big fluffy Japanese calligraphy brushes. I tied them with red satin ribbon.
The fourth is a little more exotic. I simply took a brand new (crayola) watercolor tray and popped the paints out. Then each empty color compartment was filled with a different color of luster dust. When you mix a few drops of vodka (I used dragon fruit flavored) into the luster dust, it become edible, (and beautiful) edible body paint.
Ok ladies and gents. Let your imaginations run wild, and have a wonderful Valentines Day!Pin It
Pia and I made these ADORABLE melted crayon hearts the other day.
I saw the idea while browsing through pinterest. If you didn’t already know this, I have a serious pinterest addiction. Follow me and see the depths of my addiction issues.
Of course it’s all harmless fun when I go on binges filled with interior design lust, food porn and kids craft idea hoarding.
This was one of those kids crafts that I saw and frantically found the original idea on a site called messychef.com. She is awesomely creative.
Pia and I promptly started the project in order to make these valentines for her whole class. (Great alternative to candy in my opinion!)
Here is how you do it:
Preheat your oven to 230 degrees.
I got a mold- these silicone molds work great and just need to be washed before they go back to being cake molds. (But my mom used to make these crayons in muffin tins for us when we were little.)
I assume that anyone with kids also has a huge bin like this half full of stubby broken crayons?
Peel a bunch of old crayons.
Don’t be like us and spend 2 hours peeling your crayons. In the last 5 minutes of that 2 hours, we discovered that if you put the crayons in a dish of warm water, that the paper comes right off.
Break the crayons into different sized chunks.
Combine the chunks into each heart mold. Be creative or deliberate about your colors.
Place the silicone mold on a sheet pan.
Bake the crayons at 230 degrees for 15 minutes.
Pull the melted crayon hearts out and let them cool. When they have completely cooled, pop them out. Repeat with the mold if you need more hearts!
I glued them onto the envelope of her valentines and then we stuck them into a small cellophane bag and sealed it with a red sticker. SO CUTE!!Pin It
Homemade Gift Ideas and creative packaging…
Here are some of my favorite ideas for edible gifts and creative packaging for your cookies, and other scrumptious treats!
*My very favorite! This is a vintage style lunch pail, spray painted with chalkboard paint. Fill it with chocolate ginger cookies- and you have an amazingly cool gift.
*Sterilized paint cans (available at container and hardware stores. Wrapped in paper, or just clear (I also love the traditional tin ones) make an amazing receptacle for Nutella cookies with dark chocolate and sour cherries.
*An acrylic jar that typically would have been used for cotton balls becomes the perfect coffee shop style biscotti holder. Add tea or a lb of coffee for a great gift!
*Make homemade caramel corn and package it in a cool tin for a whole new take on “popcorn tins.”
*They sell these paper boxes at craft store and packaging supply store. I let the girls decorate this one, filled it with white chocolate-cranberry cookies and gave it to a neighbor. Adorable cookie house! (and great project for keeping the kids very, very busy!
*One of my favorite gifts my husband ever got at the office was from someone who brought him a bag of scones and some homemade jam. We ate them all same day and I still remember it years later. AMAZING gift idea.
*Speaking of homemade jam- that is in incredible gift all on its own. I dressed these up with muffin liner hats and a little twine!
*Go a step further and add a loaf of homemade bread. People will freak out with happiness and devour immediately!
*Easiest fudge recipe in the world- treat the pieces like truffles, and create a very elegant gift!
*Have a favorite spice rub? Whip it up in bulk and pour into these little latch jars. Add an apron and a pair of tongs for your favorite BBQ master.
*Candied nuts make a wonderful gift. I put them in pencil tins wrapped in origami paper. Make it bigger with A recipe card for a great green salad with a balsamic dressing and add a bottle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
*Take your brownies (in mint, peanut butter or pretzel varieties) to a whole different level by slicing them into rectangles and laying them on display in a paper wrapped tie box. Sprinkle them with edible gold glitter for extra fanciness!
*Homemade Granola is a wonderful treat. Whip up a batch, and put it in this large latch jar with a scoop for your favorite health nut.
*Homemade Peppermint Hot Chocolate Kit! Toss together a blend of ½ unsweetened coco powder and half powdered sugar and put in a latch or mason jar. Follow up with marshmallows and peppermint candies.
*Chocolate dipped pretzels. A piece of cake to make, and totally cute when piled into a clear acrylic pencil box with a simple tag!
*Candy Cane meringues, easy and beautiful- one more solution for the acrylic pencil boxes!
*If all else fails, take a paper wine box and or regular gold box from the drug store. Wrap with strips of paper or tons of ribbon for an instant artistic update.
I made these rings for my Halloween dessert buffet and the "> Halloween segment I did a few weeks ago. But they are so beautiful, I thought I should do a quick “how-to” for anyone feeling the need for a last minute Halloween glitter spider ring. I’m sure some of you are out there that just HAVE to HAVE a homemade glitter spider ring? No?
I love these rings, they are so fast and easy, that they should win an award for best fast and easy Halloween craft. I also happen to think that these are so pretty, I am considering incorporating them into my costume this year. Too bad I still don’t know what my costume is going to be. Usually I am all over this, making homemade costumes every Halloween, complete with bad sewing and hot glue. I have just been so busy this year, that I let it slip through the cracks. And now here I am with no costume and a big party to go to on Saturday night. Can I have your help please!? What is your Halloween Costume this year?
Just for context, I don’t do sexy costumes. Only funny or goofy. In the last few years I have been: Scooby Doo, A ghoul, A giant orange chicken (homemade), Cookie Monster (homemade) and a giant, fat bumble bee with buzzer and wings. Hmmm… I should dig up some pictures.
Ok, onto the Homemade Glitter Spider Rings!!
First you get some cheap plastic spiders. My favorite are the black plastic spider rings, which are sold 99 for $1.79 at my local drugstore right now.
Then, you brush it with a little glue. (I had some “craft glue” around, but plain old Elmer’s glue will work just fine.)
Then I sprinkled it with some black and dark grey glitter. If you are going to make a bunch of these (like 99) then I suggest pouring the glitter into little bowl and dunking the spiders in.
Voila! All done. Shockingly sparkly.
You can get really fancy and do multi-colored spiders.
(Of course you could deviate from the color scheme here- I bet purple and green spiders would be really cool. Or maybe white albino spiders….)
By the way- this is a great craft for kids- my girls loved it!
I don’t usually do posts like this (crafty), and I wasn’t sure if this would appeal to you guys? (please let me know if it does!) But as it is something I L-O-V-E to do, I thought that it might be interesting to some of you ?
This is really an ode to the homemade thank you. I am a firm believer in doing something special when someone has done something special for you. In the age of technology, sometimes it feels as if there are so few ways to make that gesture anymore -at least in ways that feel truly from the heart.
I had a group of women recently that gave me a valuable gift of their time (sometimes the most precious gift of all!) and I wanted more than anything to show them how much that meant to me. This was what I came up with:
If you are interested in sending out a thank you, or even just a homemade gift for a friend or neighbor- maybe consider this method!
I took a wine box in plain wood and covered it in pretty hand made papers and different types of ribbon.
I stuffed it with tissue and my favorite summer cookie recipe, Dark chocolate with fresh mint (recipe this Friday!)
There are endless options, and if you are interested I will share some of them with you!