Saturday, January 28, 2012

Puff Pastries

I haven't had the chance to cook or bake in a while, and I miss it.  So I spent today doing crafty things and baking.

I tried my hand at these French puff pastries.  They didn't turn out bad, but they do taste really eggy.  To balance that out, I whipped together some garlic and herb butter, and it makes them better.  Maybe next time, I'll try with less eggs.  Anyway, here is the recipe:

















1 cup water
1 stick of butter
1 cup flour
1 cup of eggs (4 eggs)
1 pinch of salt
1/2 cup finely grated cheese (I used Gruyere)

The butter in the picture above is hiding in the blue grater.

Preheat your oven to 425 F.

In a medium pot, bring the water and butter to a simmer.
















Add the flour and with a wooden spoon or spatula, stir very quickly in one direction. You'll see the dough start to form.  Add the cheese and give it a good stir.  Remove from heat and let it cool about 10 minutes.
















Mix the eggs and salt in quickly.  The dough should look slippery.
















Spoon the dough into a bag and work it toward one of the corners with your hands.
















Snip the corner and pipe the dough onto parchment paper.  Flatten any peaks, as they may burn.
















Bake for 10 minutes at 425 F, and then 18-30 at 325 F until golden brown.




Customized hand painted mugs

If anyone is still keeping up with this blog, I appreciate your patience with me!

I promised to try to do a DIY each week.  Last weekend, my sister got married, so I wasn't able to blog.  So, I will blog about part of her wedding gift!




















My brother-in-law (that still sounds so weird!) drinks a ton of coffee, and now that they got a nice Keurig coffee maker for Christmas, so does my sister!  So in addition to buying them some great stuff for their new home, I made them some mugs, inspired by Red Velvet Art! (http://www.shopredvelvet.com/)

To make your own customized mugs, you will need:

Mugs, of course
a hot oven
ceramic paint- I used Folk Art Enamels for ceramics
paintbrushes

Clean and dry your mug, and then paint the design you want..  You may need to do a couple of coats.  Let it dry completely for an hour (or with the Folk Art paint, you can just let it dry for 21 days).

I followed the directions on the ceramic paint, which said to put the mugs into a cold oven, turn it on for 350 F, and bake for 30 minutes.

















These mugs need to be hand washed.  Also, read the precautions on your paint- not all of it can come in contact with liquid or food.




Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mini Bookshelf Wall Hanging

Hi everyone!  Here I am with this week's DIY!

This is a tiny and cute bookshelf hanging.  Here is how I did it.

You'll need:
















Paint in a color of your choice
a small wooden plaque
a miniature bookshelf (I got mine at Hobby Lobby)
wood glue
a picture hanger

Paint the plaque whatever color you want.  While it's drying, glue the mini books together.

















When the glue has dried, pure more glue on the bottom of the row of books and press it onto the bookshelf.

















When the books have dried on the bookshelf, glue the whole thing to the plaque.

When that's dry, glue a hanger to the back.  I used Amazing Goop for mine and let it dry for a couple of days.


















TA-DAH!



Sunday, January 8, 2012

Love is in the Air

These love-based items probably fit better in a Valentine's Day post.  However, my sister is getting married in a couple of weeks, so love-themed things are on my mind.
















I did this for my boyfriend.  It's framed in a 4" frame and took me about half an hour to stitch up.  I washed and dried it so that it's not all stiff and you can't see the transfer lines.  Have you tried embroidery?  It's one of my very favorite things to do.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stampy stamp stamps

As promised, a DIY!

I love stamps.  When I see cute ones, I buy them.  I never use them.  I suppose they're another one of my collections!  I'd love any ideas on how to display them.

Anyhow, I also love the foam stamps you buy at craft stores.  However, they don't always have the shapes I want.  So I thought, " How can I make these?", and came up with a great idea!  It's pretty simple, actually.

What you will need:
a sheet of craft foam- any color.  I used white.
wooden blocks- I used some that were 1.5"
wood glue
templates for stamp shapes
scissors (I used embroidery scissors because I needed to make small details)
















Using your templates, cut shapes out of the craft foam.  Glue them onto the wooden blocks and let them dry.
















Let them dry for a bit, then dip them or paint them and stamp away!


Mustaches


Acorns (I don't know why these didn't turn out better.)




















Asterisks




Mushrooms (my favorite!)


Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Day Two: Goals

New Year's Resolutions are so ordinary.  People always set them to lose weight or start working out or eating better, etc.  I don't usually have any.  However, I do this year.  But I prefer to call them goals.

1.  Make time for crafting weekly.  I have done craft-related stuff lately, but my heart wasn't into it.  I get in these moods where I just don't feel inspired or crafty.  I had to do stuff for Christmas, though, so I was forced to craft.  I have just been so busy that I haven't really had time to sit and create anything.  I need to change that!  With a new year, I've gotten a burst of creative energy and I have a lot of projects and D.I.Y. tutorials to share!

2.  Make something new each week.  This should keep me on my toes.

3.  Blog weekly, or preferably, daily.  I only feel like blogging when I've done something interesting.  Maybe I should do something interesting more often!  I think I will start, and stick with, some features. They may not be weekly, but they should be semi-regular.  I started this with an Etsy shop of the week, and then with a blog or website of the week, but I couldn't keep the momentum up.  Maybe I'll feature a band now and then, or show some pics of my apartment where I've decorated it all cute.  I will definitely do tutorials, though.

4.  Get my e-commerce site running.  It's stocked, but it's not pretty like I want it, so it's sitting there.  I wanted to get it up before Christmas, but I have been swamped at work, so I like to just come home and do something mindless.  It helps keep me sane.

5.  Cook more often.  Along with being busy, last night was the first time I've cooked dinner in probably two months.  It was fun, and it was nice to eat dinner at home with Allen.  I love cooking, and I need to make time for it.

6.  Learn a new skill/craft.  I haven't given a lot of thought to this, but there has to be something fun I can pick up.

7.  Become friends with a sewing machine.  I really should use those to sew things.  I bet I could come up with some kick-ass clothing designs for plus sized girls.  Maybe I could even sell then online!   Don't let me get ahead of myself, though...

Later, I'll post a picture of my first official project of 2012.  It's very simple, and something I do all of the time, but hey, it's a project, and I had fun doing it, and it came out super cute!  And tomorrow, I have a cool D.I.Y. to share!



Sunday, January 1, 2012

What I've Been Doing

Here are some photos of things I've done over the past few months.

























And a work in progress...


Tomorrow- a new project and some goals for the year!

New Year, New Blogging!

Happy New Year, everyone!

I'm sorry I haven't been blogging much.  With moving, the holidays, getting promoted, and then having to take on the work of two managers until the spot is filled, I haven't had time for much crafting!

I will be blogging more, hopefully, and definitely when work calms down.  Promise!!

For now, I leave you with this clip, brought to you by Homespun Horror, an independent film project I joined last fall.  I have a little cameo in it, too.  Just look for Karma Chameleon.  And I will be back later tonight with a vengeance!