Visit Carina Gardner’s Blog to check out her adorable sneak peak of “Couquette” and give her input on which dress sample she should submit to Shabby Apple’s dress design contest!
I couldn’t sleep the other night and I was just letting my mind wander. I was feeling bogged down and realized that because I have a creative job, I use all my creativity to fuel that and not fuel myself. I think that creativity is what creates a happy life, doing the little things that are not necessary, but make life fun and different and exciting. So I decided that for the rest of the month of June, I want to do something creative every single day.
It doesn’t have to be something big. I don’t have to pull out all the stops and make a quilt or paint the whole apartment. What I want to do and what I want to encourage you to do, is to incorporate “little acts of creativity” into your daily life. Sounds easy enough, right?
I was trying to think up some of these little acts and I thought, just simple things that make our day’s brighter — when you make a sandwich for your kids, take out the cookie cutter and cut a heart out of the center — or for your significant other – a tiny heart out of their morning toast. Bake more often, look up a new recipe and just try it!
Sometimes little things like rearranging the furniture, changing a lamp shade, or buying new towels for the kitchen can give you the creative boost to be more productive in all aspects of your life.
Scrapbook! Yes, actually take out your stuff and commit to making a page — 1 page! See how much creativity and happiness that it brings to your day. If you’ve been wanting to learn how to digitally scrapbook, then just do it! Find an online tutorial and just watch it to see if it excites you and gets your creative juices flowing.
Resurrect an old hobby or craft. You already have all the supplies, just dust them off and start again. Remember how good it feels just to sit and knit for a moment or cross stitch or paint — whatever it is, put aside a tiny bit of time, and a little bit of effort and just open up yourself to that creativity again.
If you are out running errands, stop by the craft store, art supply store, or Local Scrapbook Store. Just walk around, touch and feel things and look at all the beautiful samples. Get Inspired! Sometimes inspiration is enough to keep us going, even if we don’t have time to actually create things.
Buy a home decor magazine that you find inspirational. As you look through it, close your eyes and imagine yourself creating those beautiful rooms or being in those beautiful rooms. Try and find one small project that you can do — repaint an old sculpure, hang a shelf, fill a jar with something fun and put it on display. Whatever inspires you to be creative!
Mod Podge. If you have some, and some paper, pick something to Mod Podge and then just do it! Make an ugly clipboard a beautiful clipboard, Turn a boring silverware tray into a chic silverware tray.
Craft with your kids. This was always my favorite thing to do growing up. Take out all that scrapbook paper that you’re not in love with anymore and just go to town. There are no rules — cut out little people or hang a big banner across the room. Fill up some old frames with your eclectic creations and hang them up just for fun. Let your kids know how important and beautiful their creativity is too.
I can’t wait to get started! I really need a shot in the arm on this stuff right now because I’ve been spending so much time working. I have so many projects in the works that I just have not been able to finish. So this month, I’m going to finish those and try and do a lot of little things to fuel my creativity.
I started this yesterday, and what I did was create a digital scrapbook layout just for myself! I just wanted to do it, so I stopped what I was doing and just dedicated 30 minutes to doing it.
So join me in this challenge, and just do one thing creative today, and tomorrow, and the next day! If your a blogger, copy my “be a little creative” button and put it on your blog when you post something creative!
I want cupcakes as my wedding favors. Cupcakes in cute little white boxes tied with ribbon and a cute label placed on top of a charger with a napkin and a menu card. Makes me all warm and fuzzy inside
But I don’t quite know where to get them from yet. I would love to take some from Sprinkles and bring them to Utah with me… but that is highly unlikely.
I did a lot of online searching and found a few Utah companies that bring it to the table.
Currently Mini’s is in first position. The nice thing about Mini’s is that they are affordable — $2.00 per cupcake including the box (though they are smaller than the other companies). They are also extremely beautiful and I’m willing to rank on a 70% beauty 30% taste scale. I am pretty much in love with the cupcakes in the above photo. The big negative that they have going for them is that I believe they run a bit on the “dry” side. I assume this is because of their small size. But I’ve never had a moist “Mini” but again thats only 30% of the ranking.
Cupcake Chic Is getting a lot of wedding attention these days. I’m hesitant to recommend anyone who doesn’t have a store front – just because I can’t go and see and taste all the greatness going on. But I do have to give them an A+ for keeping it simple and awesome. I really really want to try their red velvet cupcakes and would love to have them at my wedding. They do sell their cupcakes at a few coffee shops in Utah County, so I might just have to go in search of them. A dozen cupcakes runs $25 so thats just a hair more than $2.00. I just called and they were super nice and are even sending me 4 to sample so I can make my decision. They do bulk price breaks – for every 6 dozen you buy, you get a dozen free! So I can get my 10 dozen for $225.00! The owner (sorry I can’t remember your name) said that most likely the individual boxes wont cost extra, but she was going to calculate pricing on those. I think this might be my new number one pick, it all just depends on taste now, cause the cuteness is there and so is the price!
Third position is held by The Sweet Tooth Fairy. I have never had their cupcakes, but I am really excited to go and try them. Their website/design is so adorable and hey, that does it for me! Their cupcakes are also completely adorable and they run $28/dozen which works out to be $2.33/cupcake. I love their custom medallians – that would be rockin for a wedding. I have a lot of hope for this company so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that when I taste them, I’ll fall in love! I just found out that they can come Individual boxed for $3.00 & if you are interested in custom monograms they are $.75 more and preferably atleast a weeks notice. It might just be too pricy for me
Another company in the running is So Cupcake. I was super UNimpressed by their flavor/moistness etc. There wasn’t really anything special about their cupcakes — but maybe my standards are a bit to high, I do admit that I am spoiled here in California. They are cute – but so are most other cupcakes. The reason they are even in the running is because of PRICE. If you’re all about the money they can’t be beat. The mini’s are $1.16 and the regulars (which are pretty darn big) are $2.16 when bought by the dozen – and they also come in a complimentary box. Money might just win over — maybe I just caught them on a bad day.
Last but not least is Dippidee. I must admit that I am definitely back and forth with this cupcakary. My first and only impression is that they over-do it a bit. Mile High frosting, filling inside the cake… can’t we just keep it simple. They look delectable but taste is just moderate — more youthful than sophisticated like the Mini’s & Tooth Fairy. I do have to say that Their vanilla frosting is the bomb, but man I had a killer headache afterwards, and I’m not a fan of their Chocolate at all. Maybe you can have too much of a good thing. I think I may have to try them again before I make my final choice. I just called to check pricing and I found that the little ones (which arn’t so little) called fun-size are $.99! killer deal. And the big tall ones are $2.99 – these are the ones with the filling etc. You can get them in individual boxes – I forgot to ask if those cost extra or not.
That is all the research I’ve amassed on the subject hopefully it will help any brides or party throwers. I’m sure there are lost more companies out there, let me know if you’ve had a great experience with a local cupcakary!
xoxo Jen Allyson
Today I got a bread maker! That definitely calls for a blog post. I wasn’t really in the market for a bread maker. I did make rolls the other day and was thinking how nice it would be to make all my own bread, but since my mother always made her bread the hard way, I didn’t really think about the possibility of getting a bread maker to do the task for me.
However, all this changed while I was wasting time on the Two Peas in a Bucket message boards. A fellow pea mentioned that she was looking for a bread maker and was hoping for some recommendations and general advice. Well this got my wheels turning and I thought, gee it would be nice to have a bread maker, but they are so expensive, maybe one day. And then as more people posted to the thread, many ladies were telling the original poster to get hers second hand either from goodwill or craigslist. Of course since I had my very own internet handy, I went right over to craigslist to check things out. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I promptly found a beautiful stainless steel Cuisinart bread machine for sale!
It was listed as only used twice, purchased for $130 and sellnig for $50. Not too shabby, I offered $40, cause well it is craigslist and you’re supposed to haggle a bit. The guy still had it and was home all day. So Mr. Project took care of the whole thing, correspondance, atm, money/product exchange at one shady apartment building in downtown San Francisco. The whole deal. A few hours later, I was a proud owner of a bread maker! Happy Valentine’s day to me.
Of course I had to make bread immediately, so after a quick run to the grocery store to pick up a few key ingredients. I decided to start with classic cinnamon-raisin swirl bread. Yum-o!
The whole process was very quick – which I do believe is the point. I cleared off some counter space, grabbed the recipe and all the ingredients. The cinnamon swirl take a bit more effort since it has “Mix-Ins.” The first step on the recipe was to mix sugar, cinnamon, and a whole lot of raisins in a small bowl.
Once that was mixed, I put it aside and got down to business! Putting the remainder of the ingredients, very carefully in order and according to directions, into the bread maker’s bread pan. This was a basic white bread recipe, all the expected ingredients, sugar, salt, egg, butter, bread flour, yeast.
Then I just let it do its thing. Since it was my first time with a bread maker, I watched for quite awhile and even gave it a name. Henceforth the Bread maker shall be referred to as “Gina the Bread Machine-a”. Or just Gina for short. Once Gina was finished kneeding the bread, an alarm went off and it was time to add the raisin mixture. I pulled out the smoooooth dough and plopped it on my cleaned and floured counter and then rolled it out. After rolling it out, I spread the rasen mixture on like so:
Next, I rolled it up, yes this is just like cinnamon rolls, super easy.
Finally, I pinched all the edges – top and sides – and placed it ever-so-gently back in the bread maker for rising and baking.
I realize now that I probably should have put the bread in upside down — making the completely smooth underbelly face up instead of the pinched top, but It still looked yummy! After replacing the bread pan, I pressed start again (it had been paused). and then just sat back and let Gina do all the work. About 2.5 hours, I had this beautiful loaf of yummy, warm, and practically perfect raisin bread to show for!
YUM! it was seriously so good and a great late night snack for this super late night blogger. The moral of the story: craigslist is awesome.
I have a batch of ingredients in the bread maker which has a timer on (so cool) to have a loaf of honey whole wheat bread all kneaded and baked by the time I wake up tomorrow. Yeah, I’m living the dream. Now I really have to find my running shoes.
Every crafty lady daydreams about an impeccably decorated and organized craft room. One day you’ll get yours and I’ll get mine! But for now lets look at some great craft room ideas!
My most favorite craft room of all time is Heather Bailey’s. Everything about this room is perfect. From the pale pink walls to the funkified antique furniture. It is the perfect blend of beauty and function. I want!
Here is another great craft room. Simple, clean, classy. Desks can be made with any sort of shelf or cabinetry and a hard surface on top. Keep your eye out for furniture items that you think could be made into a desk.
This is such a beautiful closet craft room. I love the wallpaper behind the shelves. The color palate is what really makes this space delightful.
Of course most of us will never get a huge dreamy craft room, but whether you get a whole room, a closet or corner, or just the occasional daydream, here are some things to remember when planning your craft space:
Of course the number one reason that you have a craft room is so that you can actually do crafts. In all your glorious plans make this aim the central focus of your room. If you spend a lot of time sewing, then think of the best way to store thread. Sketch out your space and imagine yourself working through a project, where would things be most easily accessible. If you scrapbook or paper craft, an old card catalogue with lots of small drawers can be a great way to organize your embellishments. Just think about the things that you’ll be using all the time and build your room around that.
Remember that your room is a place for you to go and create. Sensory input is a huge part of inspiration. Paint your walls your favorite color, or the compliment of your favorite color. Put up a huge bulletin board and every time you see a great photo, postcard, magazine article grab it and post it on your board. Here is a great idea from Martha Stewart — A large frame painted white and a piece of homasote fiberboard cut to size and covered in fabric.
Use the height of the walls to your advantage, when you buy furniture for your room go big! You’ll never know when you will need an extra drawer or a nice long work surface. If your space is pretty small, a drop-leaf table is a great item to have. Ikea has big ones and small ones, this one is only $50.
Don’t get caught up in making everything match or coordinating the style of your desk to your cabinet and shelf. Have some fun with it! Go to garage sales and pick up some unique items, China hutches make great storage units, Just take out the glass and everything becomes more accessible. Anything that has a shelf in it can have holes drilled and a dowel inserted and you have a ribbon rod. The best thing about variety is that you can add to your room at any time, you don’t have to do it all in one day or one week, just collect items here and there, customize them with a little paint or glaze, maybe add a shelf, rods or hooks, and pretty soon you’ll have a beautiful and functional space.
The reason you have this dedicated space is because you love to create! Don’t rush through the “decoration” process, use it as your creative outlet. Paint some wide horizontal stripes on the wall, Mod Podge patterned paper onto the top of an old table, sew some chair pads or reupholster your chair. Whatever crafts that you like to do, tie those into your room and really make it your own.
Tell me about your craft room. Do you have your dream room? I’d love to see it. If not, what great ideas do you have to make your space truly yours?