January 31, 2012

Homemade Marshmallows

Have you ever eaten a marshmallow and wondered: "how the heck to they make these things?"

Have you ever heard about someone making marshmallows and wondered: "why the heck would you make marshmallows when you can buy them?"

Well, the answer to question one can be found here.  Yes.  They're not just marshmallows...they're candy cane marshmallows.  However, if you're not a fan of peppermint, just omit the flavouring and food colouring.

The answer to question two....because it's really cool!!  And pretty easy.  Be sure to read the entire method a few times over.  You need to get the timing right - which is why there aren't any photos of the process.  I was focusing on not screwing up...sorry.  You have to whip the crap out of the marshmallow goo for 10 minutes, so electric beaters (or better yet, a stand mixer) are a must.  You'll also notice my marbling didn't turn out quite as nice as Martha's (does it ever?), but they still tasted great!

Since these marshmallows don't have any icky preservatives, they should be eaten quickly.

Or if you don't want to eat them all yourself, why not package them up...

 ...and pair them with some jars of hot cocoa mix to give away!  I gave my marshmallows and hot cocoa away as Christmas gifts, but there's no reason why you couldn't do them up all lovey-dovey-like for Valentine's Day.

Have a terrific Tuesday.

January 19, 2012

More Love for the Urban Hoodie

Have you purchased an Urban Hoodie pattern yet?  No?


It has to be my most-used pattern (excluding the Big Butt Baby Pants of course) and is quite easy to make.  And you don't need a serger!

I made four hoodies for Christmas this year; three for my friend's baby girl and her cousins (they were all identical and I forgot to photograph them!  FOR SHAME!) and one for my niece.

I absolutely adore the red with silvery-grey hearts.

This is about as much modeling as I could coax out of Brianna on Christmas Day.  It fit like a glove!  She's also got a cute, new flower head band.

Satin flowers are really fun to make.  For the center of this flower, I put a glob of hot glue in the middle and pressed some teeny glass beads into it.  Yes, you'll burn your fingers a little bit, but it's totally worth it!

While you're visiting Heidi and Finn's Esty page, be sure to check out her other patterns.  They're just too cute!

January 16, 2012

Homemade Beauty Products

Like most women, I love bath and beauty products.  So this year for Christmas, I decided to make some to give as gifts.

I'll start off with the project that gave me the most amounts of quieted, internal hissy fits.  The bath fizzy.

Martha's directions seemed simple enough.  But heavens-to-Betsy,  I severely underestimated these little fizzies.  You have to be sure not to add too many water spritzes, or else you'll have your fizzies bubbling out of the mold like I did.  I wish I had a photo of my failure.  In hindsight, it was quite humorous.

My third attempt (I made one batch and divided it into thirds to make different colours) turned out pretty well.  They were a little on the dry side, so they crumbled a bit.  Whatever....they still worked!  Give them a go, but just be patient and try small batches until you get the hang of it.

I found a recipe for bath salts at Canadian Living.com.  It was a very easy project, and I'm not sure why I didn't photograph it.

I scented my salts with lemon essential oil and added some lavender buds.  Yummers.

Last but not least...my favourite.  It's SO GOOD.  But only make and use it if you enjoy smelling cookies.  Because you will end up smelling like a cookie.  Which, in my opinion, is friggin' fantastic.

This vanilla brown sugar scrub can be used on your hands or on every last inch of skin.  The ingredients are probably sitting in your cupboard or pantry right now.  So go make it!!

I really like it because it exfoliates AND moisturizes.  And you could eat it.  Bonus.  The only thing I would recommend is to keep it in the fridge and use it quickly.  If you leave it sitting out, you'll have to be very careful not to let water sit in it as it could grow...stuff.  Bacteria kind of stuff.  Yeah.  Ewwww.

This scrub is a close second to the one that I like to buy from a little made-on-location soap boutique in Peterborough called Simple.  Their vanilla bean body scrub smells like candy.  And don't even get me started on how delicious their bath fizzies are....

I should also mention that the ingredients for all of these projects were mostly purchased at a bulk food store.  Citric acid (used for the fizzies) was not available 'in bulk' and thus was a little bit more expensive. 

Have a happy Monday!

January 12, 2012

The Up-Cycled Necklace

Hey!  Happy 2012!  For my first blog post of the new year, I'll show you how I created a necklace out of pretty much nothing, as inspired by this post at Bromeliad.  You could go out and buy materials, but my challenge to you is to use items that you already have kicking around your crafting collection, jewellery box or sewing stash.

Gather up some pretty things.

My materials include a long, vintage pearl necklace (clasp was missing), a glitzy button and a satin sash from an old bathrobe.  You might also want to use earrings, flower pins, ribbon, etc etc etc.   Be sure to get out your glue gun!

Since my pearl necklace is reeeeeally long, I folded it in half twice.

I tied a tight knot with the sash at one end and secured it with a bit of glue.

At the other end of the pearls, I made a big bow.  I tried my necklace on before I glued this end to make sure it was the length I wanted....just a tip :)

Glue the button onto the plain old knot and...


I've gone full-on, knit-crazy the past 2 weeks.  But, I can't show you what I've been up to...mostly because the 3 projects I've been working on aren't finished yet.  I'll buy some time by showing you what I made for Christmas gifts over the next few posts.  Ciao!