Friday, May 31, 2013

DIY Birdie Earrings

For my last post in May, I wanted to be sure to do one more project using left-over craft supplies :)  For a few other examples, check out my scrapbook cards, clay fox figurine, and embroidered canvas.

Remember when I thought I would have an Etsy shop?  No?  Well, it didn't last long.  My jewelry supplies, on the other hand, have stuck around for what seems like forever.  So I decided to use some left-over earring findings along with Sculpey clay from my DIY gift tag project.  To make your own, you will need:
  • 2 earring posts
  • 2 earring backs
  • Sculpey in three different colors
  • Bead or super glue
Choose which of your three colors will be the bird's body, belly, and wing.  Then, roll out the body color to about 1/8 inch thickness.  You can freehand a cut out of a bird, but I prefer to be safe and make a template.  Just draw a bird figure on paper and cut it out.

Use a tooth pick to trace around the template twice.

Use a small knife to cut around the bird outline.  Use your fingers to smooth around the edges.

Roll out your belly and wing colors thinner than 1/8 of an inch (you don't want them sticking way out).  Then, draw a belly and wing on your template and cut them out.  Trace and cut out two of each.

Place the bellies and wings on your birds and use your fingers to gently press the pieces to the body.

Bake the birdies at 275 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Let them cool completely.  Glue the earring posts to the backs and allow to dry.

Then, wear and enjoy!

Minnesota friends and family, did you see how many earring findings I have? Let me know if you want a pair!  I've got time and Sculpey on my hands.... :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rhubarb Syrup

First, I have to apologize for the pictures this post.  I'm a little limited on kitchen locations since we've gutted ours!  We're getting new counters!  I can't wait to show you the before and after pictures.  But for now, we'll have to make do with stove-top shots :)

The other week, I was at a baby shower and had the most delicious rhubarb bellinis!  Rhubarb syrup and champagne made for such a tasty cocktail, I had to get the recipe and share it with you!

You will need:
  • 4 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
Combine all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil.  Simmer until the rhubarb is soft and the liquid is thickened.
It will be much much mushier than this... I just couldn't get a good picture because of all the steam!

Strain the mixture through a metal strainer. 

Put the chunks of rhubarb in a jar - it's great on top of toast!

Pour the syrup into another jar and use as a yummy and unique drink mixer!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Chocolate S'mores Cupcakes

Has anyone seen the Duncan Hines frosting creations?  They are the coolest thing!  You buy a frosting starter and a flavor packet, and mix up your own frosting flavors.  I used the chocolate marshmallow flavor mix as the inspiration for these tasty cupcakes :)

You will need:
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (this ends up being about a sleeve and a half of crackers)
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Chocolate cake mix (use whatever kind you like- a favorite recipe or out of the box)
  • 1 Duncan Hines frosting starter
  • 1 Duncan Hines frosting flavor, chocolate marshmallow
  • Graham crackers for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a medium bowl.  Stir until well combined.

Place a tablespoon of the mixture into each well of a greased cupcake tin.  It should fill about 24.  Use a small glass to press the mixture into the bottom of the tin.

Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes.

While your crusts are baking, mix up your cake batter according to the package directions.  When the crusts are done, remove them from the oven.  Scoop a little less than a quarter cup of the batter into each cup.  Bake for 18 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

While they are baking, mix up your frosting! 

Let the cupcakes cool completely before you frost them.  When they are cool, remove them from the pan, spread your frosting, and garnish with a piece of graham cracker or a jet puffed marshmallow :)

So yummy!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Ginger Infused Vodka

This is a yummy, adults only, concoction :)  I've got step by step instructions for how to make the vodka, plus a yummy drink recipe for you!

For the ginger infused vodka, you will need:
  • Vodka
  • 2 mason jars
  • 1 large knob of ginger
  • Mesh strainer and/or cheese cloth
Peel and chop your ginger, then add it to your mason jar.

Top the ginger with vodka, put on the lid, and stick it in the fridge.

Shake the jar daily until a week has elapsed.  Then, pour the vodka over the cheese cloth or strainer (I used both... and would recommend a funnel because I had a lot of vodka on the counter!) into the other jar.

So simple!  The waiting is the hardest part :)

To make a great, refreshing summer drink you will need:
  • Ginger infused vodka
  • Lime flavored tonic or sparkling water
  • Lemon
  • Lime
Fill your glass with ice.  Top with 1 ounce of infused vodka.  Squeeze one thin lemon slice and one thin lime slice into the glass.  Top with sparkling water and serve with a lime wedge garnish.

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

DIY River Rock Garden Markers

On Monday, I showed you my fun color update to our flower pots.  Today, I'll show you the garden markers I made to put inside them!  This seriously couldn't be easier (I say that a lot, don't I?)

You will need:
  • River rocks (I got mine at the dollar store for a painted stone project- reusing materials again!)
  • Metallic permanent markers
Pick out some of the larger, flat rocks.  Then, simply write the names of your plants on them!  Seriously.  So easy.
I did a few doodles on some smaller rocks, too. 
I love that they're there to make it easier to spot the herbs I need when we're cooking up goodies in the kitchen :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Flower Pot Brights

Every year, I look forward to putting out pots full of flowers and herbs on our front steps!  Here are last year's pots:

Since then, I have been on the lookout for brightly colored pots to help add a jolt of color to our house's very white front... Except I didn't want to spend a bunch of money on them.  Turns out, that's nearly impossible!

Then, I had one of those "oh, duh" moments- paint the pots I already have!  And that's just what I did, using paint left over from my Better Homes and Gardens floral print project.

Are there any gardening projects you're working on?  Be sure to come back later this week for another super easy home garden project :)
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