Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hot Cocoa Sugar Scrub

This is a great last minute gift to whip up (and it literally takes only about a minute!). Great as a hostess gift or stocking stuffer, you probably have almost everything in your cupboards right now!

To make this sugar scrub you will need:

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 cup oil of choice (a very light oil with little odor is important I recommend Sunflower of Safflower oils, Grapeseed oil also works well)
1/2 teaspoon Vitamin E Oil (optional-helps preserve freshness of product, recommended to increase shelf life)

You can also get extra festive and add in some peppermint essential oil if you want to make Peppermint Hot Cocoa scrub(about 3 drops should do)!

Mix all of the ingredients together well and put into container of your choice. I recommend plastic containers with air tight lids (you can find lots of pretty containers online or in craft stores) as plastic will not break should it be dropped in a bathroom or kitchen and risk causing injury. This is an especially yummy Winter scrub and I love it for my super dry hands and elbows this time of year! Simply wet hands, rub on the scrub and rinse thoroughly.

This product will stay fresh about 2 weeks without the addition of vitamin E, with the vitamin E oil it has a shelf life of 4-6 weeks (you can also elongate the shelf life of your product by storing in the refrigerator).

The link above is a Google affiliate Ad, any purchases made from the above link will result in a commission to myself, this is not a paid post.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Give Handmade

It's Holiday time, and while I will be posting a few easy crafts that can be done at the last minute, I fully acknowledge that we can't make all the gifts for everyone ourselves. That is when it's great to have sites like Etsy, that can provide lots of great handmade gifts for the awesome people in your life! Here are a few shops with super cute items that I found while perusing gifts the other day, I hope you enjoy them :)

Pictured at the top of the post are some earrings from Adriana Soto. I really love her jewelry and plan on "hinting" at my husband that several items here would be a great addition to the loot in my stocking. There are several great statement pieces, as well as some more understated things that would cater to almost anyone's taste and budget.

I found some great cards and stationery from Sweet Bella Stationery. I originally found their Etsy shop, but they have this great website you can check out. Not only are the Holiday cards cute, but don't forget Thank You notes for all the gifts you receive!

When doing a handmade post, I can't ignore all the great talent that comes from right here in Portland, OR. Nell & Mary is a great shop with various home textiles and they are great! They use eco friendly materials and hand print the designs in their small Portland studio. Why get your friends and family members the same old pillows, dishtowels, etc that everyone else has? Get a gift that is unique and handmade in the U.S.!

Finally, if you are looking for a super cute stocking stuffer, look no further than these great coin purses from oktak. They have bright fabrics and cute embroidery details! I, of course, am partial to this one with little rain clouds :)

One of the greatest things about Etsy shops is that a brief convo with the owner can often get you one of a kind, personalized items, and this time of year bargaining for gift wrap to get your item shipped to the recipient on time isn't hard either!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Banana Bread

One of my favorite things about Fall and winter is that I can bake up a storm in my kitchen without making my house unbearable to be in. What better way to celebrate this than whip up some super yummy banana bread? This is a super easy recipe and makes a great addition to breakfasts at the holidays or any time of year, and who doesn't appreciate the gift of baked goods?

This recipe yields one large loaf pan of bread, or 2 smaller loaves (I used 2 of the aluminum loaf pans you can buy in 3 packs at the grocery store, they are great for gifting to people because you don't have to worry about asking for them back).

To make this Banana Bread you will need:

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
2 overripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp. milk
2 eggs

I start by pre heating my oven to 350 degrees and mixing all of my wet ingredients together in one bowl, and all my dry ingredients in another bowl. Mixing them both well separately ensures that everything is evenly distributed without over mixing the final batter. For the dry ingredients I often use a whisk for the mixing as I find it does a great job of evenly distributing my dry ingredients quickly, but a spoon will work just fine.

Next, combine the wet and dry ingredients together and mix until everything has come together, try not to overmix, but you don't want dry clumps in your batter either!

Pour the batter into greased bread pans, filled about half way each (you can fill them up to as much as 3/4 full, but this bread does rise a very fair amount when baking). Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes for 2 loaves, or 60 minutes for one larger loaf. If you prefer to try this as muffins, I would check them after 20 minutes or so.

Set on a rack to cool and serve warm with or without any toppings you choose. The husband and I ate a whole pan in an afternoon, but we're kinda shameful that way ;)


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Earrings Giveaway!

Happy Halloween everyone! It is sadly the final day of my Birthday Month for this year, but that is great news for you because you can enter below to win these fabulous earrings and the tiny thimble plate they are sitting on. I actually got these items for myself for my birthday and liked them so much I got an extra of each to share with one lucky reader! Enter using the widget below, and read on at the bottom of this post to get the scoop on everything I have coming up in November!

Please be patient while the widget loads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don't like these items yourself, I won't be insulted if you want to try to win them as an early holiday gift for someone else. That time of year is quickly coming up. November at The Craftinomicon will be full of great recipes and projects to help you prepare for the upcoming Winter Holiday season. Make sure you check back often!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Roundup

I still have a last minute Halloween project in the works, but to tide you over here is a roundup of Craftinomicon Halloween/Day of the Dead projects past!

First off, my super easy Halloween Jack-o-Lantern cards! Clip art and a marker and you are done in no time flat!

For those of you with zombie costumes on the brain, check out a great tutorial on zombie makeup from my cousin Carli! My original post here.

Don't forget my latest, a cute Halloween treat bucket. A small bucket, tape and ribbon is all you need :)

Day of the Dead more your style? Try out this Sugar Skull Mask or Skull votive candle.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Halloween Treat Bucket

Before I do a whole Halloween craft roundup of past crafts, I thought I'd share a new and easy craft that can be done by any skill level. Using a small bucket (that I found in the dollar area of Target) and some craft ribbon (on sale!) along with some Washi tape, you can turn your bucket into a pumpkin shape. This is great not only for Halloween, but with different ribbon would make great little Thanksgiving treat buckets as well.

To start, the most important materials you will need are a small bucket and some ribbon. The ribbon can be any width, just keep in mind that wider ribbon will require fewer ribbon loops, while skinny ribbon will need many more.

For this bucket, I used 8 pieces of ribbon about 9-10 inches in length. Make sure you cut each piece of ribbon the same length, and then space them evenly around the top of your bucket. I used invisible tape to secure my ribbon, that way it can be easily removed if I decide to reuse the bucket for something else.

Next, I used invisible tape again to secure the ribbon pieces to the bottom of the bucket, again evenly spaced. To finish the inside of the bucket, I covered the raw edges of ribbon and invisible tape with a decorative washi tape.

For a Halloween touch instead of just an Autumn craft, I found this great skeleton ribbon with glitter!

What Halloween crafts are you working on?

Friday, October 5, 2012

IKEA Giveaway!

Today is my birthday, and if there is anything I like as much as getting gifts, it is giving them. So, I am going to be giving away an IKEA prize pack filled to the brim with goodies! The total prize will be $25 in IKEA goods, and you get to pick out your favorite item(s) totaling $10 or less*, and since I love giving gifts so much I will select enough stuff to fill up your prize pack (because isn't it more fun to open a surprise in the mail?). As I am buying and shipping this prize myself, I am sadly only going to be able to offer this contest to readers residing in the U.S.

*Winner will select prize(s) totaling $10USD, I will then select $15USD in prizes to fill up your package. Winner will be sent an email with some questions so I can make better choices on special things just for you!

If you aren't familiar with IKEA, you may think that $25 is a pretty puny prize, which is why I made these two photo collages of products. As my birthday is on October 6th, not a single item on this page costs more than $6!! In fact many of them are much less expensive than that. To enter to win, simply follow the instructions on the rafflecopter widget below. As an added bonus, I have added a daily entry to this giveaway if you tweet about it each day. I want as many people as possible to have a chance at the fun. The contest runs until midnight on Oct. 15, I will then contact the winner via email.

Please be patient while the widget loads
a Rafflecopter giveaway


1.  bathroom organizer baskets 2. owl hand puppet  3.  decorative bowl  4.  fake flowers  5. autumn candle  6. hanging flower pot  7. bath towel  8. picture frame


Monday, October 1, 2012

Lots of Buttons!

Hey everyone, I'm super excited because it's finally October! If you haven't had a chance yet, make sure you check out the first of my October Giveaways (in honor of my glorious birth 31 years ago) here, and be sure to check back all month for new giveaways and plenty of crafty tutorials.

I had an early birthday present last month when I was contacted by Sharon at Lots of Buttons and given $10 to shop for buttons at my leisure. I haven't incorporated buttons into many of my craft projects before, but I was up to the challenge and really can't recommend this site highly enough. They sell buttons in every shape, size, color and material you can think of. Even better, the prices get lower the more you buy of each button. I am going to go back and pick out some new buttons to revitalize my thrift store wool coat for this winter :)

As an October birthday gift for all of you, Lots of Buttons is offering all of my readers an additional 20% off their total purchase the entire month of October and December with the following coupon code: V1JKQS7NF3S2

I will be sharing a button themed craft each week in October to inspire you, as well as to show off some of my neato buttons! First up, some cute button earrings. These are great because anyone can make them and they take very little time and materials for the final product.

You will need:

2 buttons
a set of earring backs (can be found at any craft of jewelry supply store)
glue (I recommend E6000 for a permanent bond, but hot glue will work as a temporary solution if it is all you have on hand)

Make sure to clean the backs of your buttons as well as the earring backs before applying your glue. Apply a small amount of glue (I use a toothpick) to the back of your button and push the earring back on firmly. Allow to dry completely, then wear with pride!

I happen to be partial to green, isn't this a cute little button?

With Halloween coming up, I couldn't resist this little guy. Come back later this month to see what kind of craft he becomes!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Vintage Craft Workshop Giveaway!

As many of you may know, October is my birthday month, and to celebrate I am going to be doing a few giveaways to thank you, my loyal readers for spending time with me and my crafty endeavors. The prizes are going to vary widely: crafty books, supplies, and even some non craft related things that I just plain like. It's my birthday, and if I want to break from crafting for a prize or two, who's to say I can't? Make sure to check in frequently so you don't miss out on any fun projects or new giveaways! So without further ado, let's break out our boomboxes and headphones and get this party started!

I am starting my Birthday giveaways a little early! I'm just so super excited to be old (ha!). The first giveaway is one copy of Vintage Craft Workshop. This is a fabulous book filled with vintage inspired crafts that fit any experience level!

There are easy to follow tutorials, patterns, and great step by step instructions. It is also published by one of my favorite independent book publishers, Chronicle Books!

I can vouch for the super cuteness and ease of use for this book as my sister gifted me a copy last year :) I am trying out Rafflecopter for this giveaway, so please leave me your feedback on whether or not you like this platform better than simply leaving a comment. I think I like the fact I can reward my followers and facebook "likers" with extra entries. I really do appreciate the time you all give me :)

*Please be patient while the widget loads*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am sponsoring this giveaway myself, though I do participate in Chronicle Books' affiliate ad program. If you would like to support them by buying a copy of any of their fabulous books, you can find a coupon link at the bottom of this post that will give you 30% off your entire order plus FREE shipping.

Be sure to check back the entire month of October for more crafty projects and weekly giveaways. Thanks for visiting and spread the word :)

Chronicle Books - 30% + Free Ship Banner

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Latte Body Scrub

Oh, I have been so excited to share this with you all! Several of my favorite blogs have been sharing their excitement with Fall and the fact that it means the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I, however, don't think it can in any way compare to this Pumpkin Spice Latte body scrub. I don't actually like the taste of coffee. Have I mentioned that? Yeah, I'm weird. I do really love the smell of coffee though, so this body scrub has enabled me to share in everyone else's Pumpkin Spice Latte joy this season.

This would make a great gift by the way, and smells super delicious! To make it you only need a few ingredients:

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 heaping Tablespoons of your favorite ground coffee (I have been told that instant coffee can also be used, but my husband doesn't go for that stuff)
1-2 Tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice (this is a blend of nutmeg, ginger, cloves and cinnamon. If you have all of those but do not have pumpkin pie spice, just combine them in your favorite ratio instead)
3/4-1 cup oil, depending on how "wet" you like your body scrub (I used flax seed oil and grapeseed oil, you want light oils without much of their own flavor or scent in this one, so it doesn't overpower your other ingredients)

Start by pouring your sugar into a bowl and breaking it up to get rid of any large chunks. I generally use a whisk or fork for this, they work great!

Next, measure in your ground coffee and spices. You can add more or less of each depending on your personal taste. I used 2 heaping tablespoons of ground coffee, and 1 1/2 Tablespoons of spices. Mix this all together evenly before adding your oil.

Finally, measure and add in your oils. I used a full cup of oil total, about 3/4 cup of Flaxseed and 1/4 cup Grapeseed oils. You may also use Sunflower or Safflower oils in this, they work great. Mix everything together well and then scoop into an air tight container of your choosing.

I found this glass container at my local Dollar Store, but you may want to find something less breakable, especially if giving as gifts. Broken glass in the shower does not a Merry Christmas make. You can find lots of different shops online that specialize in homemade soap and body scrubs that have all kinds of containers for sale, just poke around and I'm sure something both beautiful and function is out there!

This leaves your skin feeling smooth and super soft, and I have seen in many places that coffee can have a myriad of benefits for your skin (some places even claim the caffeine in coffee can shrink fat cells and reduce the appearance of cellulite! Coffee body scrub for one and all!)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

DIY Boutonnieres

As many of you know, my sister's wedding is fast approaching and I am making all of the flowers out of paper. Today I will be sharing with you some ideas for making your own boutonnieres. These come in handy not only if you have an upcoming wedding, but also any formal dance or prom. Above you can see a variation I did in Sister's wedding colors, with some eucalyptus leaves and guinea hen feathers.

A traditional boutonniere is simply a single flower on a long stem (it is inserted into a special button hole on a men's suit lapel). As such, you will start with a single bloom on a stem, since my flowers are paper my stem is wire covered in floral tape. Make sure to leave yourself at least 3 inches of stem to work with, it may always be trimmed later.

Next you will want to decide if you are adding extra foliage or decorative "flair" to your boutonniere. You can get really creative with this: if you are doing a beach wedding, why not add some seashells or sand dollars? You could add tinsel or holly for a Christmas wedding. Simply attach any extras to some wire (you can tie the wire around the object or use glue) and then position it however you like!

Position your foliage, I used a decorative Autumn leaf, and cut a piece of floral tape to attach to your flower stem.

Make sure to wrap your floral tape snugly to prevent your boutonniere from moving or falling apart. I typically wrap each item on individually and then wrap the entire stem again once I am satisfied with the final product.

If working from the back, make sure to turn your piece over and make sure everything is lined up correctly. Make any adjustments before wrapping your stem with floral tape a final time. If you want, on your final wrapping of floral tape you can add in a pin back or alligator clip to fasten the boutonniere to a suit without the use of a long straight pin later. The final product may also be wrapped with ribbon if you don't like the look of floral tape

Which style is your favorite?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dollar Store Harvest Centerpiece

If my Caramel Apple Dip wasn't enough to get you in the Fall spirit, here is a cheap and easy centerpiece that may help you out. All of the materials for this centerpiece were purchased at my local Dollar Tree store, so the grand total for this centerpiece was $6 (and I had a bunch of leftover leaves and flowers for another project coming this week).

I love the smell of vanilla in my home, it brings to mind holiday baking. So I started my centerpiece by finding this candle and a holder.

Next up: how to make it more festive? I could easily have gotten out my enamel paints and just painted the holder, but what fun is that? I found a great willow wreath, and bunches of fake flowers and glittery leaves!

To make this project, it is helpful to have a wire cutters, as the fake flowers come on wire stems (which is great for bending them into place on your wreath!). Just cut your stems a few inches below your flowers so you have some wire stem to work with, and start weaving it into your wreath. Bend the ends to secure them, or use glue if you prefer. You could also get a foam wreath and really fill it up with flowers, but since I found a great natural willow wreath, I wanted you to be able to see the wood in my end project.

I arranged my leaves with a red flower in the center of each bundle, this covers up the bare stem of the leaves with bright flower petals.

After spacing out three bunches of leaves with daisies, I added in a couple sprigs of yellow pom pom type flowers. All that is left is to add in your candle in the center. Having a candle holder is important here so you don't risk setting your centerpiece on fire (though my Dollar Store also had some flameless candles in stock, if you went that route you could save the extra dollar for the handle holder and just use a flameless candle).

What do you think?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Caramel Apple Dip

I am so excited that Fall is well on it's way! I am not a fan of hot hot weather and I just burn to a crisp in the sun no matter how much sunblock I slather on. What better way to celebrate weather's return to Fall than with a yummy Caramel Apple fruit dip?

This recipe is so easy and when you dip apples in it, it really does taste like a caramel apple (without the hassle of trying to eat a whole apple off a stick without getting sticky sweet caramel all over yourself--not that that has ever happened to me).

To make this yummy fruit dip you will need:

1 8oz. package of cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese)
1/2 cup of your favorite caramel sauce, room temp

Whip the cream cheese and caramel sauce together in a bowl with a hand mixer (you can use a stand mixer if you want, but I find you have to scrape the bottom far too many times and still hand mix some unless you use a hand mixer).

Serve with sliced apples, or any other fruit you have on hand. I am also a huge fan of this dip with sliced pears! Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container (if you happen to have some leftovers). One of my favorite parts about this dip is that it is still creamy and usable right out of the fridge, while a regular caramel sauce hardens and needs to be heated. Gotta love the magical powers of cream cheese!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Coconut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know I haven't had a recipe post in awhile. Heck, I have been so busy it has been hard to get ANY posts up in awhile. I do appreciate you all hanging with me, I'll try to squeeze in some more posts soon! I came across this recipe the other day and had to try it! These cookies did not disappoint, and I have to say that if you are not a fan of coconut, I think you could easily substitute something like marshmallows (and even add nuts for a Rocky Road cookie that'd be AWESOME!). To make these cookies you will need:

1-¼ cup All-purpose Flour
¼ cups (Rounded) Cocoa Powder, Unsweetened
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
⅛ teaspoons Salt
6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
½ cups Granulated Sugar
½ cups Light Brown Sugar, Packed
1 whole Large Egg
1-½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla
1 cup Shredded Coconut (sweetened was all I had, so I used it and it was yummy, you can also use unsweetened)
1 cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl; set aside.

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter, coconut oil, and sugars. Scrape down the sides and then add the egg and vanilla; mix to combine. On a low speed, gradually add the flour and cocoa mixture, until incorporated.

Next, add the shredded coconut and oats and mix. Add chocolate chips and mix until just folded in. The dough will be pretty solid. Form into balls about the size of a heaping tablespoon and place on a lined baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper, you could also use a Silpat Baking Mat).

Bake at 350ºF for 11 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 2 minutes more on the sheet, then remove and place on a cooling rack. This recipe makes about 36 cookies, and they disappear fast. Between my husband and I they didn't last a week, I'm both ashamed and proud of this :)

If you should happen to try these with nuts and marshmallows, let me know, I'd love to hear how they turned out!

*This post contains an affiliate ad, by clicking the ad and purchasing this item I will be granted a small commission.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Nautilus Desktop Theme

As I mentioned earlier this week, just because it is Shark Week doesn't mean sharks get all the fun here on The Craftinomicon! My husband sketched me this cute little nautilus the other day, and I haven't quite figured out what I'm going to do with him.

While I'm pondering, I put together this cute little August calendar desktop theme for any of you that may want to stare idly at a nautilus for the rest of the month of August (you can always just tile the nautilus image without the calendar too!). Click the image to enlarge.

I'm thinking he might become some fabric, or I might enlarge it and trace it onto a pillow. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Shark Cupcake Toppers

Here is a great, quick paper craft to start off your Shark Week right! The best part is this template can be used not only to make the shark cupcake toppers shown above, but to make cute little shark cutouts for scrapbooking and other collage and art projects. You could also print out a larger template if you want to top a full sized cake!

To make these cupcake toppers you will need:

Shark template (found at bottom of this post)
decorative papers or cardstock
toothpicks (or larger skewers if topping a full sized cake with larger shark cutout)

Begin by printing out your template (found at the bottom of this post). I recommend using a thicker cardstock to make tracing easier. Cut out your template and trace onto the paper of your choice. Scrapbooking papers are great, but you can also use colored printer paper, construction paper, old magazines, etc.

For a double sided cupcake topper, make sure to cut out two sharks of the same paper, one facing each direction, so that when glued together they match up with your design on the outside, as shown above.

Spread glue evenly onto the back side of one of your sharks. Place your toothpick in the desired location, and sandwich your other shark cutout on top, smoothing together evenly. Allow to dry before storing or using.

You don't have to limit yourself to using these as cupcake toppers. These would easily make a fun sandwich toothpick as well. Have fun and enjoy!