Yesterday I actually braved the “Black Friday” crowds and hit up JoAnn’s and Target.
At JoAnn’s - I stocked up on ceramic ornaments ($0.30/each) and paint for tomorrow’s decorating session with the grandkids (speaking of which – I better start baking sugar cookies for them…I don’t want them to think I’m a super-stale grandma). Got a couple gifts and an armload of clothing for my nephew at Target…I swear, sometimes I feel like I’m single handedly supporting the economy ;)
I also got busy making candles and soap (yay). The chipotle-caramel and sandalwood-vanilla massage oil candles turned out great – and I have a feeling they’ll be super moisturizing since they’re packed with avocado oil, coco butter, and shea butter. I also made orange blossom, gingerbread, and cinnamon bun soy candles. I have a gingerbread candle burning right now, and it smells wonderful.
Inspired by my coworker, Leigh, this morning I decided to make a chipotle-caramel, cream cheese frosting, and gingersnap layer soap. Its packed with shea butter and olive oil and smells good enough to eat. Its about three pounds, and I’ll def get at least 12 nice sized slices out of it. Can’t wait to make some labels!!
I spent the end of last and the weekend in Spokane celebrating my BFF Lis’ wedding (congrats Lis and Bryan!!). Couple that with a visit from my sis and nephew (aka the “human hurricane”) who were in town for the wedding – and you’ll see why I’ve been out of crafting commission for a while.
Well – no more! I got a big box of supplies in (soy wax, fragrance oil, shea butter, coco butter and what not) and I’m ready to get busy!! On the menu – massage oil candles, soy candles, and more cute little soap squares. I also have the grands coming on Sunday for a little Christmas ornament painting fun and then the following weekend the g.daughters and I are making lip balm. Yay! I LOVE the holidays.
Ed’s back on the job as well and whipped up a lovely dinner of cod and white asparagus with a mustard sauce. Delicious and light…which is what we need after binging on snacks all weekend.
The human hurricane playing in the snow
Our yummy (and pale) dinner
The latest brambleberry.com order (prepping for the grands)
After procuring a double-boiler on the cheap from Bed, Bath, and Beyond (20% off the discounted display model, so about $10) - I proceeded to engage in my new favorite craft: making candles!
The soy wax was easy to melt and I already had most of the tools I needed (pyrex measuring cup, candy thermometer, silicone spatula). I picked up the containers from brambleberry.com, Ross, and the sale section at Anthropologie.
cinnamon roll scented candles
gingerbread and vanilla sugar
While Ed was making dinner (lentil soup with smoked game hen), I got motivated to wrap my little soaps (the wine helped). They turned out great!
Def. a good Christmas Gift for co-workers
finished product in its storage jar
The yummy lentil soup w/smoked game hen and a pinot
I have a LOT to say, so I'll try to organize my ramblings a bit
#1 I am a toffee making FAILURE
My initial excitement over my beautiful toffee was crushed when I came home to a gooey unset blob. After a little googling - I discovered I didn't let the melted ingredients get hot enough (who knew 300 degrees is the magic temp?). I reheated the mess and it came out a bit firmer, but not perfect.
Oh well – that’s what I get for assuming I can make candy for the first time in the 30 minutes between my shower and leaving the house to meet up with Lis downtown.
Don't let the pic fool you...the toffee is still a bit gooey
#2 Boka was DELIC (and they have half-price happy hour starting at 2:30PM!)
I had the crab cakes with pickled shallots, capers, and truffle fries. Maureen had the mussels in a tomato-wine sauce with sumac dusted fries. Afterwards we infiltrated the restroom in the lobby of the Hotel 1000, and used the lovely Molton Brown toiletries to our hearts’ content (Maureen was even venturing into scent blending). All-in-all…a productive Wednesday afternoon.
#3 Lis is a earring making genius
I thought I’d brag a little for her…don’t kill me Lis
This morning, before my 7:30am dental appointment, I purchased approximately 3 lbs of soy wax, 10 wicks, 10 cannisters, three fragrances, and a couple of dye blocks. Afterwards - I applauded myself for my restraint. I could have purchased a LOT more. In fact, I probably reassigned $75 worth of stuff from my cart to my wishlist. I'm winning the fight against my obsession.
Candle making here I come!!!
It was absolutely necessary to start the search for the perfect candle containers after work. I picked up a couple of bowls and stoneware ramekens. I can't wait for the candle supplies to come in.
When I got home there were a couple of strangers (window washers) gallivanting (working) on our balcony - so I took it as I sign I should abandon my workout (P90X - thanks Lis (I say sarcastically while having flashbacks to all the times I almost passed out doing the DVD)), turn my nose up at that paper I'm supposed to write, and make strawberries and cream cupcake soaps. They smell soooo yummy.
If you dare - check out http://www.brambleberry.com/. Best site for the supplies needed for my various obsessions (soap, candle making...hey, you can make your own makeup).
My dear husband was recently in Singapore and Australia for two weeks on business - and boy did I have a "food" reality check.
When Ed is home I'm the typical Seattle foodie, dining daily on gourmet dishes prepared by our in home chef (Ed - cooking helps him harness his chi after work and is his creative outlet on the weekends)and intermittently indulging in the newest restaurant offerings from our local culinary superstars.
When Ed is not home I eat crackers. Literally. For two weeks I ate crackers and cheese, crackers and turkey, crackers and salmon...Lis came over a couple of times while he was away...and I fed HER crackers.
I justified my college-esque diet by telling myself, "You're too BUSY to eat. There's too much crafting, and too little time." In actuality - I'm just a lazy bum.
Anyway - Ed is back and my taste buds and appetite have come alive again. Last night he made wild rice salad with artichoke hearts, olives, and sundried tomato (vegan for Natalie), along with chicken breast with a mushroom and tomato wine sauce. Tonight he made brussel sprouts with anchovies, red pepper flakes, and capers. Delicious.
Last night my husband, in an off-hand sort of way, suggested I start a blog about all my various projects. I'm not sure if he was just trying to divert my attention, since I probably made him smell my gingerbread cream-cheese frosting cupcake soaps a billion times (all the while asking for his comments on the way the brown mica in the soap shimmered in the sunlight) or if he was actually serious. Anyway - once an idea takes hold there's no stopping me.
To catch you up: I spent my Sunday morning making cupcake soaps. Lis, my best friend, donated her old hand mixer to my cause - so I could make lovely/fluffy soap cream cheese frosting (yummm...if only it was edible). In the end I had left over frosting, so I rolled it into a blob that ended up looking like ice cream. The sprinkles on the top are jojoba beads...cute and moisturizing.
The soaps drying on the counter
Soap blob and extra gingerbread soap made into cubes