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Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 | 1 comment

Simple DIY Scented Candles

Simple DIY Scented Candles

I got together last week with a few friends for a festive and hands-on holiday activity – making candles.  This was a perfect group craft project for the holidays. We had a lot of fun learning the process together and enjoying an evening of casual crafting. Everyone brought various heat-resistant containers from home. I opted for old jelly jars and reused mason jars. Some people used handmade pottery. We had sent around a list of supplies that we could gather from our homes, and one of the participants, Shelu, purchased a 10 pound bag of soy wax online and cotton wicks in bulk. Materials list: Soy wax Wicks Glue gun with cartridges Tape Heavy pot Heavy duty glass container to create a double boiler effect Candy thermometer Essential oils like orange, pine, cedar, cinnamon, and lavender Wooden spoons Making the candles was both fun and easy. We consulted these instructions every step of the way, but it really was not that complicated. We started off by gluing the wicks to the bottom of each container...

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Posted by on Dec 10, 2015 | 0 comments

DIY Gifts: Chocolate Truffles in Origami Boxes

DIY Gifts: Chocolate Truffles in Origami Boxes

The elves in our house are hard at work making gifts for family and friends, and we hope these origami boxes filled with chocolate truffles will please their recipients! First, the truffles — easy enough since they only require three basic ingredients (and a few extra for toppings). We used this recipe which calls for: 8 ounces of bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao) 1/4 cup cream 6 T of unsalted butter (I used slightly less) I heated the cream in a pan, then added it to a bowl set over a pot of simmering water with the chocolate and butter. I gently stirred the chocolate mix until it was silky smooth and after it cooled, I put it in the fridge covered with plastic wrap to harden. After a few hours, it was time to roll the truffles. For each truffle, I scooped a hefty teaspoon of chocolate and rolled it in my hands until round, then passed it on to Calvin to coat in the toppings. Half of them...

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Posted by on Dec 2, 2015 | 1 comment

2015 Del Ray Holiday Studio Show and Sale

2015 Del Ray Holiday Studio Show and Sale

We attended the Del Ray Studio Sale and Show last December and can’t wait for the repeat show this Sunday, December 6 from 12-6 p.m. The show and sale features a variety of fine art and fine crafts from Del Ray artists and their friends, including carved and turned wood creations, jewelry, pottery/ceramics, fiberwork, paintings, turned pens, and more. At this year’s event you’ll meet these and other local artists: Nathan Imm, a third generation woodworker who makes lathe-turned creations in a variety of woods. Paul Hyde carves exquisite rocking horses in the time-honored English tradition. He also builds dining tables. (Read more about about his work in this post from last year.) Stephen Lally creates wood-fired stoneware and porcelain. Jill Yutan makes hand-crafted whimsical creations in felted wool. Felton Gilliam turns pens and other works in exotic woods and stone. Sherrill Farley paints oil and watercolors. Risa Hirao creates illustrated objects where folk art meets Japanese science fiction. Diana Papazian makes jewelry and wearable arts consisting of mixed...

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Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 | 4 comments

The Many Uses for Rosemary

The Many Uses for Rosemary

Of all the plants in our garden, the hearty rosemary is doing the best. Its woodsy scent is divine, noticeable every time you pass it by. So what to do with a bumper crop of rosemary? Here’s a few of the ways we’re using it this season. Orange Rosemary Salt Scrub This recipe for orange rosemary salt scrub couldn’t be easier and makes a great gift. Pulse the dry ingredients in a food processor (1 cup salt, zest of one orange and 1 tsp. rosemary leaves taken off the stem), transfer to a bowl, stir in 1/3 cup olive oil until evenly combined, then place in a jar. To use, rub a dab on wet hands, rinse and dry. Not only does it smooth and soften your skin, it also smells wonderful. Lemon Rosemary Room Scent Leslie made some of these room scents for a past food swap. Place a few sprigs of rosemary and lemon wedges in a jar and fill with water. When ready to use, just...

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Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 | 3 comments

DIY Kids: Homemade Valentine’s Day Favors

DIY Kids: Homemade Valentine’s Day Favors

We welcome 11-year-old Ana Duss as today’s guest blogger. It’s almost Valentine’s Day, so I knew I needed to make something for my friends. I found a lot of inspiration from YouTube videos and Pinterest. After thinking long and hard about what to make for my friends, I decided I would make a few simple candy kabobs with red, pink, white, and purple candies. I told my mom about my idea, and she took me shopping to get the things I needed to make my kabobs. I got Sweet tart gummies (in purple and pink of course), Jolly Rancher gummies (I found these X and O shaped ones that were really cool), a bag of Dove chocolates (shaped like hearts), and delicious white and red Peeps marshmallows shaped like hearts as well. A few days passed and I decided I needed to make these kabobs pronto! So I spread my supplies out on the kitchen table and went to work. My mom had gotten some clear treat bags, string,...

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