Friday, December 28, 2012

Rosemary Orange Walnut Cookies: My Very Own Gourmet Recipe

Gourmet cookie recipe: toasted rosemary orange walnut

The other morning I woke up with an idea for a recipe. I don't know where it came from, but I couldn't get the thought out of my head. I kept wondering what it might be like to try a traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe with rosemary and walnuts instead of chocolate chips. Wait...what?? 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

DIY Lemon Butter Lip & Skin Balm in Altoids Tins

DIY beauty: lemon butter lip & skin balm in Altoid Tins

This rich Lemon Butter Balm is amazing and extremely versatile. You can use it as a lip balm, cuticle cream, moisturizer for hands, feet, elbows, knees, body, etc. It is deeply moisturizing and will do wonders for your winter dry skin, and it has a lovely subtle scent, which reminds me of honey lemon tea. 

Of course you can play around with the 'flavors' by adding essential oils to the mix. I really only used the lemon extract because I had it on hand and didn't have any lemon essential oil around, which would have made for a stronger scent (you would probably only need several drops instead of 2 tsp of extract).

I poured mine into Altoids tins because I happened to have a giant stash saved up (I used to keep them for jewelry making supplies...back when my stock was small enough to fit in these tiny containers :). Plus I thought they'd be kinda cool and they're the perfect size to stash in your purse!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Peek inside my favorite Craft Book: Decorative Crafts Sourcebook review

For me, choosing a favorite craft book must be like what a mother would feel like to have to choose a favorite child. I don't have any children, but I do have a shelf full of amazing craft and hobby books full of project ideas and inspiration.  I cherish each and every one of them for different reasons, and they are all equally special to me. And they really do light up my life!

However, I don't think I'll hurt any of their feelings if I did have to choose, so for the sake of not having to change the title of this post, I'll go ahead and tell you what my favorite book is...for today.

Decorative Crafts Sourcebook, craft book review
This Decorative Crafts Sourcebook is one I almost always turn to first, when I'm in need of an idea. It is a 300 page encyclopedia of techniques with pages and pages of step-by-step how-to's in each category for Paper, Fabric, Metal/Wire & Wood, Ceramic & Glass.

But not only does it give you hundreds of incredible techniques, it goes on to give you projects which use some of those techniques within each category.

For example, some of the techniques are embedding leaves or other botanicals into handmade paper, or dyeing paper with tea or beets. These bars of handmade soap are wrapped in handmade paper embedded with leaves which is dyed with tea, and embellished with a pretty ribbon and sealing wax. So, it uses a combination of a few different ideas, and the result is simply lovely!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Peppermint Schnapps Hot Cocoa {from scratch} Recipe

peppermint schnapps hot cocoa (from scratch) recipe

What better way to warm yourself right down to the toes this holiday season than with a rich, homemade hot cocoa spiked with Peppermint Schnapps? This tasty winter treat is an adaptation of my Bourbon Hot Chocolate recipe. I know I love chocolate and mint together, so I thought I'd sub the bourbon out for some Peppermint Schnapps and see what I got. 

Well? What did I get? Heaven. And here's the recipe! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Musings: No Pressure, No Diamonds

"No pressure, no diamonds."

I love this quote by Thomas Carlyle, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite people to turn to for inspirational nuggets and tidbits of wisdom. He was a Scottish satirical writer and historian during the Victorian Era, whose social commentary was considered quite controversial.

This particular statement caused me to reflect upon my own habits and productivity, and if I'm honest, I do some of my best work as an artist under pressure. Restrictions force me into creative problem-solving mode - an area in which I can truly shine. And if it weren't for (self-imposed) deadlines, I would probably never get anything done!

How do you work under pressure?

Original photo by Paul Hocksenar via (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), adapted by Jessica Barst
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