Monday, December 28, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Mini Gingerbread Houses stand on thier own!

My attempt at this awesome project from Not Martha. My boyfriend and I did this last night for a fun Christmas Eve project. Boyfriend was sick so I had most of the fun but he was a trooper and hung in until they were all done! He is so sweet!

I rolled my dough a bit too thick (note for next time) so they are puffy and don't sit on the rim of the cup properly, but they are delicious and they stand! Success!

 Below we have (from bottom left to back)
Witches House, Bluth Family Model Home, random unfinished house, Jaws house (see shark fin on top), Spike's house (from Mario Bros.), Easy Turf house, Stripe's house (the gremlin), My Country Bungalow, Patty Peppermint's house

If you live in San Diego you may have seen San Diego Charger
LaDainian Tomlinson's commercial for the fake grass EZ Turf. At first it was the Astro Turf house but after a couple of glasses of wine this seemed funnier - not as funny sober but I do love the color.

Naughty or Nice Giveaway Winner...


Please send your shipping info to

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Our little Christmas Tree

I debated trees this year and decided on this little artificial tree with fiberoptics lights that dance through the spectrum of color! I love it and wanted to share.

 Our Little Tree, gifts and some of our artwork on the wall behind. The paintings on the left were a gift from our roommate last year.

I know, I know - artificial trees are bad for the environment (trust, it was a difficult decision for me) but I am planning on having this guy for a long time and maybe "they" will figure out how to recycle artificial trees by the time it gets retired. Good news is the wired branches can always be used to make other things and the motor for the lights can be put to some good use. If nothing else that part can be recycled.

The best thing to do is get a live tree that you can plant or a locally cut tree from a sustainable tree farm, but planting a tree in the yard of our rented house may not make the owner happy and there is little space in our cozy living room after furniture and musical instruments are considered, so this little table top tree was a perfect option for us!

My boyfriends guitar ornaments and a little snowman ornament I made with clay and wire.

Our Tree topper is a little Day of the Dead Doll I made with clay, wire, vintage fabric and paper. The Santa was "stolen" from my parents collection of vintage ornaments.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Twas The Night Before (the night before)...

and would you take a lookie
a feast of sugary treats
Speculaas, cranberry and sugar cookie

ok, I'm not a poet but I love to bake!

These pretty imprinted cookie are Speculaas made with Springerle cookie molds featuring a little boy making a snowman.
  Below are one of my favorite cookies -
a Cranberry Walnut Cake cookie made with milk and lemon juice!

You may recognize this shape from my snowflake soap tutorial. When I find a cutter I like for soapmaking I always buy a second set for cookies!
The dough recipe is from Martha Stewart

Monday, December 21, 2009

Naughty or Nice Holiday Giveaway!

For this holiday I am giving away something for the men - one of my Men's Shave Sets, complete with handmade Shave mug by Muds Evolution Pottery, a boar hair bristle brush and my luxury glycerin Sandalwood Shave soap! Packaged in a lovely cream box! The Naughty and Nice may enter!

The Shave Mug is made from a grey stoneware with a beautiful rustic matte glaze in brick and cream! It is dishwasher and microwave safe! The brush sits bristle down on the rim of the handle!

To use the set just place the unwrapped soap in the bottom of the mug, wet the shave brush and start lathering!

With the brush you can apply an even layer of thick lather! You know - I have not tried it but I bet it would be great for the legs as well!

How to enter: Just leave a comment after this post.
Closes: December 24th 9 pm Pacific Standard Time (Midnight of Christmas on the east coast)
Winner: a winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator. Number is based on post order.

Claim your prize: Send your shipping info to

in the USA item will ship via Priority Mail (2-3 days)

for international the item will ship via First Class International Mail (up to 3 weeks)

Other styles for SALE in the Gift Set section of my Etsy store!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tutorial: Baby it's Cold Outside Snowflake Soap

Where did the time go! The holidays are right around the corner and the season has inspired this pretty snowflake soap - perfect for little handmade gifts or to decorate your soap dish! All of the supplies can be bought online and the project only takes about an hour! Enjoy!

• Snowflake 5 piece cookie cutter set (see link below)
• 2-3 oz white soap
• 17 oz clear soap
I love naturally clear and bright white soap base in the Soapylove Collection at Brambleberry!
Super Pearly White Mica
Shredded Iridescent Glitter
Liquid Blue – non bleed
• Fragrance of your choice – I used BrambleBerry's Moroccan Mint for this but one of their holiday fragrances would be lovely as well! How nice would their Fresh Snow fragrance be?!
• 2 cup capacity containers or glass microwave safe measuring cup
• 1 cup capacity pyrex containers or glass microwave safe measuring cup
(if you have two, 2 cup capacity pyrex containers that will work just fine!)
• 9 in. x 9 in. Silicone brownie pan (see link below)
Scale that weighs to a tenth of an ounce
• Clean cutting surface
2 Plastic droppers – one for fragrance, one for soap
• 1/4 Teaspoon measuring spoon
• sprayer with rubbing alcohol
• food thermometer
• cup with just under boiling water
• plastic wrap

1)    melt 5 oz of clear soap in 2 cup microwave safe measuring cup – about 1 minute. Add about ¼  teaspoon of shredded glitter and set aside.
2)    melt 1.5 oz of clear soap in 1 cup microwave safe measuring cup - 20-30 seconds. TIP: add a little white soap or more mica to make it more opaque! Add ¼ teaspoon of Super Pearly white Mica.
3)    pour clear soap with glitter into the bottom of the silicone cake pan – spray with rubbing alcohol to remove air bubbles.
4)    pour pearly soap over the clear soap in a thin horizontal and vertical lines about 1 inch apart. TIP: – make sure soap is not too hot at this point or your lines will bleed into each other and you will get a solid sheet of pearly soap.
5)    using your wooden skewer or toothpick start slowly at one corner creating swirls in the soap using long motions in a diagonal to the cake pan. Time permitting do lengthwise lines perpendicular to the cake pan as well. The soap will form a skin quickly so work as fast as possible. No matter what happens the swirls will be perfect! If you have air bubbles spray with rubbing alcohol. Let soap set at room temp for about 20 minutes.

6) Now that the first layer is all set up, we are ready for the second layer! Melt the remaining 12 oz of clear soap in a clean pyrex about 2.5 – 3  minutes
7)  Mix 10 drops of BB liquid non bleed blue plus ¼ teaspoon of super pearly mica – you can add more or less blue to your liking but we want it dark so that there is nice contrast with the pretty swirls you just made. I like the non bleed blue here. After time a bleeding color will muddy up the swirls. Add 6 -8 ml of your fragrance oil. Really scent it well since the first layer is not scented.

8) Spray the first layer of soap thoroughly with rubbing alcohol and pour your blue soap over it – make sure the blue soap is not too hot, you can use the food thermometer to make sure it is about 120 degrees. We don’t want to melt the first layer! Spray with rubbing alcohol to remove air bubbles if necessary. Let that set up for another 20 minutes or so, until it is completely set up.
9)  Yay! Our soap ready for cutting – remove the soap from the cake pan by gently peeling it up starting at one corner, and pulling it away from the cake pan. Lay it on your cutting surface with the swirl side up.
10) Using the 4 inch (the one in the middle) snowflake cutter from the set cut out 4 snowflakes from the sheet. Press on all edges until the cutter is completely through the soap – a small plate works well to press the cutter into the soap.

11) Using the small detail cutter in the set cut six times on each of the six sides. You want the two pointed side of the cutter to be on the same plane as the first indent, and the single pointed side to be facing the center of the snowflake as shown TIP: use the wooded skewer to pop the tiny piece of soap out of the cutter! Do this for all 4 snowflakes

12) Next fill in the cut outs with white soap. First lay out a piece of plastic wrap on your table and gently press the soap onto it, swirl side up. We want a tight seal between the bottom of the soap and the plastic wrap so that we don’t get bleeding on the back of the snowflake.
13) Melt the remaining 1 oz of soap. Lightly spray cut outs with rubbing alcohol.
14) Get the cup of hot water ready. Using a plastic dropper fill the cut outs with white soap. It is ok if you don’t fill them all the way – it looks pretty like that! If you get a little white soap on the face of the snowflake just wipe it away with your finger tip while the soap is still liquid. Make sure to clean the plastic dropper in your cup of hot water!

15) Spray with rubbing alcohol to remove air bubbles. Let set up and let the rubbing alcohol completely evaporate from the surface of the soap.
16) You are finally done – a what a lovely reward! They are pretty from the front and the back!

Save all of the leftover soap – you can use it in another project or re-melt it with a little more blue to use as the second layer of another sheet of snowflake soap!

Shrink Wrap or package in a poly bag with ribbon!
You can even use your wooden skewer to make a hole in the tip of one of the snowflake sides and string a ribbon through it for a pretty “soap ornament”!

Be sure to label it as soap when giving as gifts!


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