Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Quick & Easy Gifts ~ Hand Cream

Quick and Easy Gifts seem to be the theme here lately. My hope is that you'll find something that will help inspire you for a last minute gift. I'm always looking for those. :-) Pinterest is my inspiration for quite a few of these finds.  Please tell me I'm not the only one that's completely hooked!

I found the recipe for the homemade hand cream on Patchwork Times. So thankful I did! I get seriously dry hands (and heels, gross...I know). Sometimes the skin on my fingers will split and bleed around the fingernail. Again, sorry for the detail. :-) Must be the dry air out here in West TX. Anyway, all you need is 3 ingredients! I found them all in the lotion aisle (or whatever it's called) at Walmart.


16 oz baby lotion - I used Johnson's Shea & Cocoa Butter Baby Lotion)
8 oz Vaseline
8 oz. Vitamin E cream

The Vitamin E jars are 4 ounces each.

Put ingredients in a medium/large bowl and use electric mixer. Mix until it looks like frosting. Warn the kids to not lick the bowl. :-)

I found this hand mixer at Ace Hardware for $13. That is AWESOME. : -)

Here comes the messy part if you have containers with small openings ( I used a small funnel and a small medicine dropper to kind of poke it down into the container). Put the hand cream in containers. I bought the small hand lotion bottles (3 oz each) in the travel size section at Walmart. The white containers are the ones that the Vitamin E cream came in, with the labels removed. There was about 12 ounces left over that I put in the green container. I ran out of bottles. :-)

I tried this right after making it, and it is the best hand cream I've ever used. Not joking! My hands actually felt softer, not like the lotion was just sitting on top of my hands. It seemed to sink in. I could see the difference. Sounds like  a miracle cream, huh? Pretty sure it's not, but it's what I'll be using from now on, and I know I'd be thrilled to receive this as a gift. Do you have someone on your list that would feel the same way? It would be a great stocking stuffer, too. It smells good just the way it is, but you could use a lavender baby lotion, or add a fragrance of your own. Mix it up! Have fun!

Have a blessed day, and thanks for stopping by!

~ Jaime

Come have some fun at these fabulous parties!

Created By Cori

Crafty Christmas at RaisingOranges

Monday, December 12, 2011

Quick & Easy Gifts ~ Polymer Clay Bracelets

The possibilities are almost endless.

I found a Polymer Bracelet Tutorial over on Delighted Momma's blog, and the only word that came to mind was "brilliant". So easy, and yet it had never crossed my mind to try it! This takes us way beyond 3rd grade and making clay dishes and ashtrays for our parents. :-) This is awesome. So many choices! Chunky bracelet, thin bracelets to stack, somewhere in between. The mix of colors. The choices are kind of overwhelming. Do you know someone that loves bracelets? Know their favorite colors? Great! The hard part is done. :-) Have fun with it!

I have my clay, one of my bracelets to use for size, and one of my daughter's bracelets. She is a Princess, and must have her jewelry. : -)

First one... Light purple with black wrapped around it.

I discovered that using this pizza pan to roll out the bracelets gave me a smoother, more uniform roll.

I didn't like how the black covered most of it after rolling, so I wrapped a thin roll of the purple over it.

Twisted pink and brown together to wrap around the metallic purple. I used the excess from the pink/brown to make one of the smaller bracelets.

Here it is. : -)

Chunky bracelet. Can you tell I like a mix of colors?

Bracelets all ready to bake, at 275. I love the red/white one. There is a metallic  grey look to the white.  Very Christmasy.

All done! Baked and cooled. They all fit fine.  The photo doesn't show how vibrant the yellow is in the  yellow and tan/gold one.

My daughter's bracelets.

I'll definitely be making more of these in the next 2 weeks. : -)

I hope you'll give these a try! They are so much fun, and you can let your creative side go wild. :-)

Have a blessed day!

~ Jaime ~

Come join in the fun at these fabulous parties!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Quick & Easy Gifts ~ Bird Seed Wreath

You'll also need cooking spray. : -)

I came across this tutorial on how to make a bird seed wreath. It looked so easy, that I had to try it! We have a bird feeder on our front patio, and birds are flitting about all the time. I made 2 of these about a month ago. I sent one to my Mom:

I mailed it, and miraculously, it made it from Texas to Maine in one piece!

The second one I put up in a tree at the edge of our driveway:

For the gelatin, I use 1 package of unflavored Knox Gelatine. This is a great project for the kiddos. My daughter and I made another one this afternoon, since our birdies have already devoured the first one. :-)

Materials Needed:

4 cups bird seed
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup warm water
3 Tbsp. corn syrup
1 package gelatin
cooking spray
bundt pan

Dissolve gelatin in warm water. Mix in corn syrup and flour. It makes a nice paste. :-) Add in bird seed, mix well. Put in bundt pan, and press down, smoothing out the top. Let set for 24 hours. Turn out onto a plate or paper towel. Let set another 1-2 days. Add a ribbon or twine, and hang up for all your birdie friends!

Whisking the water, gelatin, corn syrup and flour.

Mixing in the bird seed. : -)

Bundt pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Putting the mix into the pan. : -)

Smoothing out the bird seed mix with a spatula.

I discovered that a spatula worked much easier than a spoon to smooth out the top.

Let it set for 24 hours before removing from the pan.

What it looks like after 24 hours.

One more look of what it looks like after 3 days of drying.

This would make a great gift for any bird lover, and a great gift for the kids to make and give. Hands on time is 10-15 minutes. I hope you'll give it a try!

~ Jaime ~

Please come and join in the fun at these fabulous parties!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Quick & Easy Gifts ~ Flower Bookmarks

Today's Quick & Easy gift are these flower bookmarks! I found the pattern on Rockin 4 God's blog. Cute, right? The great thing about these is that you can make them as long or as short as you need. All the ones pictured above were made by the instructions. They take 5-10 minutes to make. I think the longest part is chaining 70 to make the length of the bookmark. :-)

To make these, you need to know how to chain, single crochet, half-double crochet, double crochet and triple crochet. I am putting a few of these in my daughter's Christmas stocking. I discovered that with cotton yarn (the light pink one), it doesn't curl as much on the end. The rest are made out of worsted weight yarn (Red Heart and Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn!).

A little long for this book, but still oh so cute. :-)

My daughter's favorite book, Goodnight Moon, on the top of the pile. :-)

Have a Blessed day!

~ Jaime ~

Please come and join in the fun at these great parties!

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Quick & Easy Gifts ~ Spiral Coasters

I thought I'd start doing a series of posts about Quick & Easy gifts. I find my inspiration in many places. Craft magazines, blogs, Pinterest, friends. Having a list of quick gifts to pick from is great for me, especially this time of year. We have stockings to fill, teacher's gifts to make, friends to send gifts to. How long is your list?

Today I'm posting about Spiral Coasters. I found a video on YouTube, posted by Crochet Geek, that showed how to make them. I wrote down the instructions as I watched the video.

I keep a basket of these coasters on our dining room table.

Materials Needed:

Size L crochet Hook - I find that the size made with the L hook is perfect for my small candles. I prefer a slightly larger coaster for our glasses and mugs. I found that with an N hook, I got what I was looking for.
Cotton Yarn - You'll be crocheting with 2 strands held together throughout.
Scissors/Needle for weaving in ends


Holding 2 strands of yarn together, make a slip knot.
Chain 2.
6 Single Crochet in the first chain. [6sc]
2 Single Crochet in each Single Crochet. [12sc]
Place marker around last stitch made, so you'll know where each round begins, since you're not joining with a slip stitch at the end of each round.
2 Single Crochet in each Single Crochet. [24sc]
Single Crochet in each Single Crochet. [24sc]
Skip 1 stitch and slip stitch into the next stitch, to even out the round.
If you want to make a reverse Single Crochet edging, watch this video. It shows it better than I can explain it. :-) Basically, you're doing Single Crochet in reverse. It makes a great border.

It takes me about 10 minutes to make one of these coasters. The possibilities are almost endless, with the mix of cotton yarn out there to choose from! I know I would be thrilled if I received something like this as a gift. Anyone on your list that would feel the same??

The first 2 spiral coasters that I made.

These Christmas coasters were made with a variegated red/green/white yarn and a solid green yarn. Love how they turned out!

So many colors to choose from. :-)

So cozy! These make great candle coasters. :-)

I would love to know if you give these a try!

~ Jaime ~

Come join in the fun at these great parties!

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

*Yarn Along* A Finished Sweater & Scarf, Flowers & Coasters

This is my first time joining in the fun of the Yarn Along over at Small Things, and I'm excited about it! I've been inspired by my friend Serena over on Casting Pearls. Inspired enough to write a blog post after almost 3 months.  :-)

Before I share a few photos, I need to apologize... the quality of my photos are not the best. The lighting in my house at night isn't great.

I FINALLY finished a sweater for my little cousin (she turned one a few months ago) last night. Yay!

 In the upper right hand corner, there are 2 flowers that I crocheted this afternoon to go with it. Now I just need to attach them to hair clips.

Another sweater made from the same pattern.

Two nights ago I finished a Shell Stitch Scarf for my niece. I hope she likes it!

Note: If you try this pattern, I discovered that in Row 2, after you work 5 double crochet, you need to skip 2, single crochet, then skip 2 and 3 double crochet to finish off that row. :-)

Measures just over 5 feet long.

This is what I'm working on now. I am finishing up a set of 6 coasters for my cousin. The link takes you to a Crochet Geek video on YouTube. These work up quickly, about 10 minutes for me.

I am also making a basket/bowl of sorts to put them in. I just made a crochet coaster, going one round more, then did a row of single crochet in the back loop only, and now I'm just doing single crochet around in a spiral to build up the sides. :-)

This set of coasters was inspired by my cousin's favorite colors.

I am currently reading By The Light of The Moon by Dean Koontz. I never get tired of his books.

Good luck with your projects!

~ Jaime ~