Saturday, December 24, 2011

DIY: Peppermint Bark

Here's my favorite Christmas treat! Greg and I decided to make it ourselves this year and count it as our first family tradition!

Before I start I have a huge disclaimer (mainly because I am letting myself down): this is the only time I will ever use instagram to do a DIY or recipe post. I do not mind using it when I am just updating on life but I think it is such a cop out. I promise this was a one time thing. forgive me.

Whew, I feel better, now we can start!

1. chocolate wafers (2lbs)
2. vanilla wafers (2lbs)
3. peppermint extract/flavor (1/2 tsp)
4. candy canes (12)
1. You can really do this which ever order you feel, we crushed our candy canes first so it was out of the way. You can use any method you like to get them ground up. I used a cutting board, rolling pin and strong man:)
2. You are going to need to double boil, You can do this with two pots or use pyrex like me.
All it means is in the bigger pot you'll have the water boiling which will melt the chocolate wafers in the smaller pot. do not rush, you will burn your chocolate.

3. when the chocolate is fully melted, pour it into either a 9 by 13 cake pan or a cookie sheet. It depends on how thick you want your peppermint bark. we did a cake pan so we could make big chunks but I've seen people use a cookie sheet then cut out cookie cutter shapes, I think that is super cute too!
After you have it spread pretty evenly, put it in the freezer.
4. It wont take long for it to harden and once it does you can start the white chocolate wafers repeating step three. Only this time once the chocolate is melted add in your peppermint extract and candy candy pieces.
5. Lay on top of the hardened chocolate spread evenly and sprinkle some larger candy cane chunks on top. Put in the freezer and wait for it all to harden.
6. Once its done it should come right out of the pan in a big brick. Its super hard to break. I'm sure there are more conventional ways to do this but we honest to goodness put it in a bag with a towel over it and took a rubber mallet to it. hahha it was so fun!

It is SO delicious. I packaged it in christmas tins and sent it out for the holidays. When you and your brother are getting married in the same calendar year, you gotta to holiday on a budget! haha! More last minute DIYs to come!

Merry Christmas Eve everyone!!!!
xo j

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hyvää Joulua!

I will never forget the first time I ever walked into Greg's dorm and the gigantic Finnish flag that took up an entire wall. I was slightly puzzled, and intrigued, because you do not have a flag that big for no good reason.
I learned all about his love and pride for his mothers homeland. So much so that he has become a dual citizen, and often talks about how if he had never met me, he would have moved there. (haha!)
If you have been reading this blog for awhile you probably know that I have since adopted such pride into my life, as if I myself am scandinavian. Which from my height alone could never be true!
I have loved talking to Greg's mom about all her adventures in Helsinki, and always love learning about traditions that we can keep alive in our family.
One of my favorite little things I've noticed that Mum does every year is put these little gnomes in all the windows. I asked her what the story is and she shared with me and and I wanted to share it with you!

Joulu tontut (this is the Finnish name of the elves!)
These elves live with Santa Claus at the North Pole. They help
him make toys for good little children during the year. They
usually wear gray outfits and red hats with jingle bells on them.

Around December 1st they leave the North Pole and start making
trips around the country. They look for children, usually from
behind the windows. They then report back to Santa what they
have seen and heard. Maybe you have seen one of them? Or did
you hear the jingle bells?
When Christmas comes, they help Santa deliver the toys and
sometimes even leave a big sack of them behind your door!
(click to enlarge)
So cute! The lovely fiance made a template to share in case you wanted to share the story of the christmas elves with your family too!
I printed them at 200% and love seeing them in the window. yay family traditions!

I am sorry for the absence, I have just had SO many christmas orders to finish up I was barely at my computer at all. And I know christmas is pretty much here but I had all these DIYs all ready so I'm going to post them all anyway:)
xo jess

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

DIY: Glitter Flats

Good morning everyone!It's sunny here which means I'm feeling extra productive and inspired. I love feeling the warmth of the sun through my window and I drink my coffee and prep for all I have to do today.
But before I start my work, I am here to share another promised DIY to help you have a handmade holiday. It is the season for holiday parties, cookie exchanges, and wintery outings and we all to look our best while looking festive.
These shoes are sure to make you feel extra fancy this holiday without breaking the bank.
-an old pair of flats (the plainer the better)
-glitter (any color glitter you like, you'll need a good sum of it)
-mod podge (I already had this, but they even have a sparkle kind you can get)
-hot glue gun
-clear spray glaze (not pictured but after I made them I used some to make sure the glitter really held tight to the shoe)
1. This will vary by the shoe being used but I cut off the existing bows very carefully. If you end up using a shoe that has something such as a buckle you may want to take this time tape off anything you do not want glitter on.
2. Start painting on the mod podge. Be sure to use a real good helping of it.
3. You're going to start covering the shoe with glitter. Mine has a shaker option which really helps, but if yours doesnt be careful when you're pouring it out. You may also want to put something under the shoe to catch the glitter.
4. After you finish both shoes they are going to need to sit and dry for awhile. The longer the better, don't rush it.
5. make your bows. I used wider ribbon and made bigger bows because thats what I like but you can really make yours however you like.
6. Use your hot glue gun to adhere the bows to the front of your shoes.
7. ENJOY!!! (make sure you also spray with a coat or two of clear glaze just to keep everything in place)
I love them so much I cannot help but smile when they are on my feet!

Hope today is wonderful!
xo j

Monday, December 12, 2011

handmade holiday.

Yesterday was was another wonderful Hearts and Crafts event. Everything was decorated extra wonderful for the holidays and lots of happy people came out to support handmade.

Greg and I have fallen in love with doing shows. Not only because we seem to have prep, set up, and even stress under control, but because we feel incredibly blessed to be apart of such a wonderful community of people.
Some of my babies were still hanging out over at Thread, so I asked miss eichas to bring them over for me. She made sure they were super safe:)
[my sarah lovie]
[my bestie came to sit at my booth with me]
[one of Greggie's newest animals! I could barely stand how cute it was so he let me keep him]
It was a really great day for everyone. Also it was of my favorite combo of vendors, I felt like there was so much variety and I loved looking at everyones pretty things.
Hope all of your holiday shopping is going well.
Be back soon with another DIY!
xo j

Friday, December 9, 2011

Dance your cares away, worries for another day.

I found the best treasure the other day..
Yes. A Fraggle Rock vinyl.
Now you may think this is the silliest thing ever, or you may be thinking I do not even know what that is, and well I am here to enlighten you.
Fraggle Rock was a kids tv program in the 80s and it was my very favorite show.
Now when I say favorite, I mean my dad still sends me something fraggle related every year. Over time his has sent me every season on dvd, the christmas special, every character in stuffed animal form, and even a a Fraggle Rock snuggie (yes, I'm serious).
I am a huge Muppet fan in general, I think Jim Henson was a brilliant man with a beautiful heart.
(this version is shortened, but I just wanted you to see!)
This album is one of those things I cannot wait to share with my kids, I was just so happy to find it and add it to my collection.
Now that I have totally geeked out, I am going to go get some work done.
Hearts and Crafts in two days, and I have another holiday DIY all ready to share with you!
Happy First Snow Fall!
xo j

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

DIY: Advent Calendar

The holidays are here and I have been working on some fun little projects to help you have a handmade holiday:)
First things first we have to start counting down so here is a holiday calendar that the whole family will enjoy and would look lovely anywhere in your home.
First off you'll have to gather up your supplies
1. brown paper bags 2. clothespins 3. date stamp
4. ink pad 5. glue sticks 6. your favorite candies
7. paper dollies 8. twine 9. ribbon
10. hot glue gun

1. with your glue stick, glue all your paper dollies to the front of your brown paper bags.

2. take your date stamp and stamp each date from now until christmas.

3. make cute little bows for all your bags.

4. hot glue each bow right above your paper dollie.

5. (a) fill bag with your sweet treats for the family.

5. (b) fold all your bags over.

6. Choose a place in your home to hang twine (clothesline style), hang bags with clothespins. Enjoy your little treat everyday as you countdown to christmas!!
More handmade holiday fun to come!
xo j

Friday, December 2, 2011

It really ain't that bad.

Just writing that sentence makes me feel super liberated.
And if that isn't enough in itself to think about I also:
-have Hearts and Crafts holiday market this Sunday
-should be planning a wedding
-finishing christmas orders
-personal christmas gifts
-and I'm sure other things I cannot even currently process
In an effort to not completely lose my mind, I am trying to take breaks and see some people I love. (they always get my mind off being a crazy person)

visited my bestie Maria on her lunch break.
First Friday at Joe Bean with some lovely ladies.
Saturdate with my love.
And getting out the christmas albums. (and some audrey)
So here's to another crazy week ahead. I have have some super simple christmas DIY's to share with you. I also had the realization that I get to decorate my Hearts and Crafts table all holiday this time, CANT WAIT!
hope you had a lovely weekend, and are having a much less chaotic life.
xo j

ps did you notice the new banner my boy made me today?! ekks! love it!