Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Homemade chocolate syrup! Yes please! I go through a ton of syrup as I am very fond of chocolate milk, hot chocolate, banana splits and brownies with ice cream and syrup. So when I saw this recipe on Pinterest I HAD to try it. Please visit the blog that I got the recipe from. It is a blog called 
SMALL NOTEBOOK. You can see how she packaged hers. Here is the recipe.

½ cup cocoa powder
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla
Mix the cocoa powder and the water in a saucepan. Heat and stir to dissolve the cocoa. Add the sugar, and stir to dissolve. Boil for 3 minutes over medium heat. Be careful not to let it get too hot and boil over! Add the salt and the vanilla. Let cool. Pour into a clean glass jar, and store in the refrigerator. Keeps for several months. Yields two cups.

I cooked mine in a large pot so I didn't have a problem with it boiling over. This syrup is super yummy - and the best part - no preservatives and other chemical junk to worry about. 
I am totally making some for gifts this winter. I put my syrup in an empty maple syrup jar. I found a fancy French Chocolate label from Graphics Fairy, and made another label saying what it is in English and the date it was made. If you love chocolate - YOU HAVE GOT TO TRY THIS!

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ribbon Storage Idea

I have always had an issue with ribbon storage - but I am hoping this new idea I saw on Pinterest is going to solve all my problems. I have tried the wrapping ribbon around cardboard, with elastic to hold it and putting it in a bin. My bin got too full and so I moved on another idea of old fashioned clothes pins - thinking they are thinner than the card board - but the ribbon kept unraveling. When I saw this clever idea on Pinterest with a regular clothes pin - I thought it was brilliant.  The original post was from the Everything I Dreamed blog.

1. Start with a clothespin ( I bought a bag of 50 from the dollar store).
2. Open the clothespin and close it on the end of the ribbon. 
3. Wrap loose enough around the pin that you can open and close the pin, checking once in a while if you can open it as you wind the ribbon around. Clasp the end of the ribbon in the pin.

Then I made these mini hangers to pin the ribbon on so I can hang them in my craft closet. I can fit four clothespins comfortably on a hanger, although some I have six, depending on how much is on each pin.

When I need ribbon, I will bring the colors I need out of the closet and hang it on my workspace. When I get it all in place I will post how I set it up in my closet.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How to Make a Mini Hanger

I needed something to do at an enduro race my hubby was in and this is what I made - mini hangers! I am wanting to utilize the hanging space I have in my craft closet - but didn't want to use the full size hangers. I plan on putting ribbon on the hangers. The following tutorial comes to you via my sweeties truck.

1. The wire length is 18 inches. I honestly don't know what gauge the wire I used is. It was on a roll from the $ store and didn't say what strength it was. It is not as thick as a hanger wire - but it is not too thin that it won't stand up to some handling. After the wire is cut - make a hook shape and make a bend to the right at 3 5/8. This bend is the bottom of the hanger hook. 

2. From the bend at the bottom of the hanger hook, measure 3 1/2 inches and make a bend to the left.

3. Measure 6 inches and make a bend to the right.

4. Measure another 3 1/2 inches of wire and make another bend to the left, wrapping around the bottom of the hanger hook.

5. Twist the remaining wire around the hanger hook wire, using pliers to tighten it.

6. Shape the wire to make the hanger look even on both sides and manipulate the wire using your hands until it gets the look you desire. I had some pretty funny looking hangers at first, but the wire is pretty forgiving and even the weirdest looking hanger looked good after a bit of shaping. 

These hangers were a lot of fun. I have made twenty so far. 

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Wedding Day Survival Kit - Wedding Shower Gift Idea

I LOVE survival kits. They are so much fun to make. This is the second wedding day survival kit I have made and I had a blast putting it all together. I didn't do anything funny as I decided that I wanted this to be a  kit that would make the bride feel all the more special and prepared on a very important day. This is what I did....
I purchased/collected/made the following goodies for the kit:
1. CASE - I bought a really cool cosmetic bag that was like a mini suitcase, but the size of a small lunch box. I found it at London Drugs.
2. deodorant
3. Tylenol
4. Mirror compact
5. wipes
6. water bottle
7. mints
8. lotion
9. tissue
10. munchie bag
11. clear nail polish
12. sewing kit
I totally forgot to buy a mini hair pic - but I meant to put that in the kit as well.

I got some pretty paper and covered some of the stuff to make it all go together. Next time I will cover all of the items to make them uniformed in the kit.

The tissue case - I covered a mini pack of tissues with paper, making creases using the tissue packet as my guide. I cut a half circle with a 2" circle punch and fed some tissue out of the packet.

The sewing kit - I love this little matchbox sewing kit. Click here for the tutorial on how to make it.

Place everything carefully in the case.....

Print out a tag - and tie a pretty bow - and you have a sweet Wedding Shower gift. 

Here is the tag I made. If you would like to use this one, right click - copy and paste into your favorite publishing program and resize to your liking. Once printed off  -  cut the top corners off to make a tag shape. 

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Print Directly Onto Fabric? Yes You Can!

I have seen this around blog land - and had to know for myself - can you really do it? Can you really print directly onto fabric without the printer going into seizures?? I have tried putting paper bags, envelopes and kraft paper through - and have had mishaps - so this was going to be a creative "try"al.

I don't know about you, but I have heard people say they printed something off their printer like it was something simple to do - then I go and try it - and for some reason I am doing major surgery trying to remove pieces of it from my printer. With all that I learned through my mishaps - I put into play with my next printing adventure - FABRIC.

I used three test subjects (1) a smooth cotton poly - fairly light weight (2) light denim (3) drop cloth medium weight. I ironed the fabric, and cut to 8 1/2 width  - the length really didn't matter but I cut it to approximately 11 inches.

What I learned from my previous mishaps with other materials is to tape whatever it is to a piece of paper. The paper guides it through the machine. I used double sided tape. I have heard of people using whole sheets of sticky paper and I am sure that works fabulous - but I am cheap - so yeah - double sided tape from the $store worked for me. I taped the length of the paper at the top (where it will be entering into the machine) and two strips on the sides. I used card stock for the light weight fabrics and regular printer paper for the medium weight fabric. All printers are different - so make sure you put the fabric on the side that it will print on (mine is face down).

I was sweating when I hit print. I had my finger over the cancel button - but to my surprise they all printed lovely and with absolutely no problems. I did try and use the double sided taped sheet twice - and it printed fine - but it did lose its grip a bit the second time so I would re-tape for every one.
And here are the results.

My practice graphic is from  Graphics Fairy called  Fluer De Lis. My favorite is the drop cloth because of the texture, but all turned out nice! Now to go make something with my customized fabric!!

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Homemade CD/DVD Pouch

I am on a quest this summer to do some organizing around my house and this is one of my first projects. My daughter has a pile of discs that don't have cases. An easy fix are these paper pouches that I am going to put in a basket. Might as well make them pretty! Here is what I did....

I printed off some antique french opera sheet music from Graphics Fairy. I had to do two of these images to make it long enough. I also added an ornate frame label to have an area to write what is in the pouch. I used kraft paper from a roll and cut it to 8 1/2 x 11 inches to fit my printer. I taped this paper to cardstock with double sided tape so it would go through my printer without it being eaten. I cut the graphic to 5 1/2 inches wide x 10 inches length. I folded it in half and sewed the sides fairly close to the edges. I also cut a partial circle off the top with a circle punch so it would be easy to grab the disc from the pouch.

Here is the back. 

I made a few pouches that had lace in the middle too, using up some scrap lace. My daughter loves the pouches. Now to think up something for her DS games.....

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