Wednesday, December 23, 2015

DIY: Mug Gift Set

Tagging onto the Hand Painted Mug here is the perfect way to gift it to someone!

Materials needed:
~Mug-- use my tutorial to make your own!!
~Candy Cane
~Cocoa Mix
~Chocolate Covered Spoons
~Confetti-- paper shreds, sparkly stuff, etc.
~Shrink Wrap
~Gift Card (opt.)

To assemble put your confetti (or whatever are using- I used that sparkly silver stuff shown in the picture above-- not sure what it was called!) in the mug and then put everything else in...  The cocoa packages I place in the back-- was able to fit about three in with a Pete's Coffee giftcard, then the candy cane was in the middle with chocolate covered spoons in front facing upward. By the way those were pretty easy to make too!!  I just melted some chocolate chips with some shorting and vanilla extract.  Then spooned it onto the plastic spoons and dipped in crushed candy cane.  After allowing them to totally dry on parchment paper- I used plastic wrap and some curled ribbon to make them look pretty!

Finally wrapped the entire mug and it's contents in a shrink wrap bag I found at the dollar store (had to cut it to size) and ended with a curled red ribbon to match with everything else.

Ta-da!!  Perfect easy DIY gift!!

Here's another design I did-- gift wrapping it with only some sparkle shreds:

Be creative and have fun!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

DIY: Hand Painted Mug

This is totally a super easy, DIY and a great gift idea!!

Materials needed:
~Porcelain  Mug
~Rubbing Alcohol 
~Paint pens: DecoArt Glass Paint Marker

To make your mug start by figuring out what you want on the mug.  I did some google searches until I found a cute Disney Princess quote I wanted to use on the mug I made.  Then I cleaned it with some rubbing alcohol.

I've read extensively on different ways to make these mugs and lots of fails too!  From what I've read normal plain old Sharpies don't make it through the dishwasher, but supposedly the oil based Sharpie pens do...  I had these DecoArt Glass Paint Marker pens on hand so I did some research and they are supposed to work so I used them!

Some people like to draw their design in pencil first and then go over with their paint pens.  I just free-handed it, decided I didn't like how it turned out so I washed if off, and free handed it again.  :)

After letting the mug dry overnight (or in my case until I was able to use the oven!)...  I baked it at 400*F, but put the mug in the oven during the preheating, then started the timer for 40 minutes once the oven reached 400*F, and then after baking it for 40 minutes-- I turned off the oven and let the mug sit in it until it was totally cool.  This allowed the porcelain to slowly heat up with the oven and then slowly cool down.

Viola!  It's out of the oven and ready for use (it's recommended that you wait 72 hours before use)!  Totally love how this mug turned out!!

Stay tuned for my next DIY post about putting together a gift set with this mug!!  Another perfect gift idea!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Book Look Bloggers Review: The Mountain Midwife

Ok, so when I saw this book I was like "Midwife!  A book about a Mountain Midwife!!" Then I read some review that mentioned that the book talked about the history of mountain midwifery....  well now I guess maybe the person actually meant the midwifery history of the character in the book.  I told my parents that I was getting a book about mountain midwives and was super excited so pulled up a random internet review for my mother and started reading it....  um...  maybe this isn't what I was expecting....  so yes, this book is *not* a historical story about a Mountain Midwife....  it's actually a *novel* about a modern day midwife.  

From the back of the book: Ashley Tolliver has tended to the women of her small Appalachian community for years.  As their midwife, she thinks she has seen it all.  Until a young woman gives birth at Ashley's homes and is abducted just as Ashley tries to take the dangerously bleeding mother to the nearest hospital.  Now Ashley is on a mission to ind the woman and her new born baby.... before it is to late....  read more here

Details: After reading what the *novel* was about...  this isn't book I'd give a second look at, but since it was on it's way to my house and I'd already agreed to review- I did.

The story starts with a mysterious woman who shows up at Ashley's door and births at her midwifery clinic/house and then suddenly disappears.  Ashley sets out to find the mystery woman.

Meanwhile a man name Hunter McDermott is on a mission to find his birth mother after a sudden phone call from  her.  He ends up checking with the midwife clinic where he was born which leads him to meeting Ashley since her grandmother was the midwife present at his birth.

They end up working together to find his birth mom and all mysterious are solved in the end with some surprising twists and turns!

Pros: It is obvious that the author made sure to have the midwifery information in this book accurate. The writing style is easy to read, mysterious, and captivating.

Cons: I did not like the over-the-top romance references/descriptions.  They were unnecessary.  Also the back of the book talked about how the woman was dangerously bleeding and how Ashley needed to find her before it was too late.  The book never stated how the bleeding taken careof-- so it ended up not sounding very urgent or dangerous. 

Conclusion: I'm giving this book a 2.5 star rating for it's writing style and midwifery information.  

Disclaimer: I received this book free for review.  All thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Crochet: Heart Afghan

Finished my Heart Afghan which I mentioned in the last last crochet post....  :) :) I'm pretty sure I've set a record with finishing afghans quickly with this one which took roughly a month to finish...  I'm so happy at how this turned out!!  I used my cousin's favorite color as the main color (the Plum wine) and then picked white and a sparkly teal to contrast with it.  I fell in love with the sparkly yarn so much that I bought some blue sparkly yarn for my next project!!

One of my goals with this blanket pattern was not to have an exact pattern!  So instead I picked which yarn I wanted to alternate next, made sure I never got stuck in a repeating pattern, and randomly decided what looked best and how many rows I wanted of each color, etc.  I really like how it worked!!

Stitches: Heart Pattern: Chain, Half Double Crochet, Double Crochet, Triple Crochet, and Double Triple Crochet.  Granny Square Pattern: Chain and Double Crochet. Heart Edging: Triple Crochet, Double Crochet, Single Crochet, and Chain.
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Plum, Wine and White & Caron Simply Soft Party Yarn, Teal.
Gauge: Who knows?  Shiloh's Gauge-- whatever that is!!!  :) 
Hook: US J10/6.00 MM
Amount: Plum Wine: two skeins, White: two skeins, and Teal: 4 skeins

Usually Granny Square Afghans are started with a square, but I love how this heart turned out!!  Perfect for a surprise blanket for my cousin! <3

I changed the original heart pattern into a smaller heart for this blanket.  Maybe I'll post the pattern here someday when I have the chance to type it all up and remember all of my changes.  

For my edging I ended with even Triple Crochet in each hole and then a single crochet stitch between the two made them look like little hearts all around the blanket!  Finally two rows of chains made a perfect ruffly edge.

Here's looking down on the blanket.  I'm excited to give this to my cousin next month and ready to finish up my next project which is another blanket, but a rectangle one this time....  :)  I think I'll go open my new package of yarn right now!!

Happy Crocheting!!