Getting Crafty: The Christmas Edition, Part 2

I have been a busy bee these last couple of days. I’ve been making all types of goodies.

πŸ˜€

Of course, this happy crafting did not come without a bit of legwork.

Ready for a story? πŸ™‚

Alright, so the goal for my staff gifts this year was to make them some shea butter hand cream and soap. My assistant manager is getting a little something extra: vanilla bath salts.

Ok, simple enough, right? I live in NY, the land of the shea butter on every corner. Well, the shea butter wasn’t the issue, it was finding all the oils I wanted in the quantities I needed them in. I have a staff of 5 now, and just a couple of small vials of oil wasn’t going to cut it. I needed a shop.

Google did it’s thing, and finally, after about a day of searching for stores that didn’t want to send me home with 25 pounds (!!!!) of shea butter and a vial of oil small enough to moisturize a mouse, I finally got hold of all of the products. Yay!

Victorious, I grabbed some food and headed home. Right when I was getting ready to mix up the goodies, I realized…

…that I had no jars, containers, anything to put the finished product in. Of course I didn’t.

-_-

Now, it’s important to note here that I’d already taken off my bra, and typically that means I’m in for the day. But the hand cream had to go intoΒ something, right? Doggone it.

So, I reholster everything and get bundled. I head to the city to see if I can find some small jars. I tried the dollar store–nothing. Michael’s? Nothing but a line that stretched TO THE BACK OF THE STORE, OMG. But I kept looking. They had favor jars that held a thimbleful of cream. That wasn’t gonna get it. Then they had Mason jars big enough to sip some good iced tea out of. Nope, that’s too big.

Unlike Goldilocks, I couldn’t find one that was just right.

So, I keep wandering the area, and step into Utrecht. I wanted some supplies to make cards, and I picked that up and tried to pick up the cute cashier too.

What? Don’t judge me! πŸ™‚

Still, no jars.

So, as I’m wandering 6th ave, I see a Blick’s Art Store. Hmm. Maybe it’s in here?

And…

SUCCESS! They had all the jars I needed, and at a pretty good price! So, I scooped up a few two ounce jars and headed on back home to get to work. I was able to take all of this:

wpid-img_20141215_134736.jpg

And transform it into this:

wpid-20141218_102812.jpg

Now, I’m not done with the packaging (the little creams will get tags and glitter on the tops, the soaps will be wrapped in tissue paper, and the bath salt gets some cellophane wrap and ribbon+tag), but I got the bulk of the crafting done.

Want to make your own shea butter hand cream? Here’s my recipe:

Ingredients:

Shea Butter (that’s a pound package up there, I used half the container)

Sweet Almond Oil (2 tbsp, feel free to substitute this oil for jojoba, grapeseed, safflower oils if you have a nut allergy)

Olive Oil (2 tbsp)

Coconut Oil (2 tbsp)

Essential Oils for scent (I used lemongrass and vanilla. It smells like cake!)

Bonus: if you want to use this in your hair, add in some castor oil and vitamin E oil in too.

Place all items except for essential oils in a bowl and whip with an electric mixer until fluffy and creamy. This works best if your shea butter is at room temperature. Fold in essential oil, a few drops at a time, after whipping. Β If you’re giving this as a gift, place your cream into a plastic baggie (ziploc one), cut the corner off, and pipe it into your containers. I had enough to fill five-2 ounce containers, and still had a bit left over for me. πŸ™‚

As for the bath salt, that’s even easier. Combine epsom salt with essential oil or even extract (I did vanilla extract because of the softer smell). Mix, place in container. Done!

Soap? I used a kit I found at Michael’s to make my soap. Pro tip: get yourself some other scents in case you don’t like what comes in the kit( there was a vial of scent in that package that smelled like wet leaves. Old wet leaves. Ew.) When your soap has hardened, wrap it up in plastic wrap to keep it from drying out before you put it in paper.

I want to say I’m done with my crafts, but I still have some jewelry and baking to do. Stay tuned for more!

Crafting Shopping Stories

Getting Crafty: The Christmas Edition, Part 1

I’ve already gotten myself a present this year, so I’m looking to find some supplies to make my friends, family, and coworkers some nice things for Christmas.

Normally, I get my staff little things to show my appreciation. This year, the size of both my store and staff has doubled, so I won’t be able to purchase a lot. But I do enjoy making and baking things, so this year, I’m looking to do some crafty things that come from the heart and can keep me under my budget.

One of my favorite crafting sites, hands down, is Darby Smart. Not only can you get kits to work from, they also have a separate craft store section that you can purchase additional odds and ends from. I’m looking to get this:

I spy diy collection 1 web

You’ll recognize at least one of the pieces here; I did the clear clutch for my birthday earlier this year. I’m also looking to get this:

Tie diy soap kit critters 1

Homemade Soap Kit!

Bath and body gifts are my favorite gifts, especially if one took the time to find my favorite scents. While this kit comes with a scent, I’ll probably use some essential oils in it to customize the smell. I’ll also be making a shea butter cream to go with the soaps–(quick recipe: shea butter, carrier oil(s) (can be olive, sweet almond, vitamin e, or all of those plus more), and coconut oil. Mix with mixer until creamy. You can also add essential oils (a few drops will do) if you want it scented. I promise to put up a proper recipe when I get the proportions down!)

I’m also going to bake. Baking always manages to bring me to my happy place, and my brownies seem to bring everyone else to their happy places. So, I’ll be baking up boxes of delicious for the rest of my store staff and my landlords (they’re getting a Cardamom Spice Pound Cake.)

Whoa. I have a lot to get making! But it never feels like labor–I love to create and make people happy with my creations. πŸ˜€

Anyone else out there making it a do-it-yourself holiday? Have any great crafting places I can get supplies from? Leave them in the comments!

Crafting Retail Therapy Shopping

Nerdy Girl Adventures: Riddle Me This, Batman

I meant to have this post up Friday, but Life.

Then Hangover.

I had fun. πŸ™‚

Anyway! I wanted to show you all the look I did for NYCC on Saturday (about a week ago.)

So, when we last left off, I’d changed my costume at the last minute.

I decided I wanted to be the Riddler. πŸ˜€

I’d sourced new materials, and eagerly waited on them to arrive. I had two ways of doing it: either using paint, or using felt and a glue gun. I wanted the felt and the glue gun.

That didn’t show up until Friday afternoon. I didn’t procrastinate this outfit, though. It was already done by then.

I took this dress from Modcloth:

1-Fullscreen capture 10192014 94325 PM

Got some fabric paint (I used this), a sponge brush, and made a question mark stencil out of cardboard. About 3 1/2 hours later, I had this:

1-DSC_0027

1-DSC_0026

Shoes are from Payless (I know!)

I also made myself a bowler hat. I just got a small party sized hat from Amazon (you could probably get them in bulk around this time of year) and added some rhinestones all over it:

1-DSC_0028

Now, the original design had the dress with black felt question marks all over it. But I have to admit, glittery just seems so…me. And of course, my nails had to coordinate:

wpid-20141010_225234.jpg

I really loved how everything came out! I also have a new respect for those cosplayers that actually do stitching and things. Just painting those question marks took absolutely forever, and taking the sleeves off the blouse I had on underneath the dress took another hour. That’s why I am already planning next year’s costumes. And next year? There WILL be Lady Joker.

Also: Jaime Bond.

πŸ˜€

Crafting Nail Adventures NYCC

Fatshion Friday: The Birthday Outfit!

Last Wednesday, I celebrated my 29th birthday. Since the weather was less than ideal that day (yay pouring rain!), I postponed my dinner to this week so we wouldn’t need a rowboat to get around.

I’m glad I did.

We went to City Island for dinner, to a really nice hibachi restaurant where I ate all of the seafood and gyoza I could hold.

Mmm. πŸ™‚

And of course, I did it quite fashionably.

20140506_225733

Dress2

wpid-dress1.jpg

I went with the Floral Print Scuba Dress from Eloquii. Now, I normally don’t do bodycon dresses, as I am still self conscious about my belly. But I decided to let that go. At the end of the day, my belly is there no matter what, so I’m gonna wear what makes me happy! πŸ™‚ It’s very comfortable, and if you decide to do a shaper (I have a Spanx on here), you aren’t able to see it through the dress.

My shoes are from JustFab. They’re called Kacie, and can we talk about how sexy this shoe is? Cause, really. 4 1/2 inches, and they only started to get uncomfortable for me towards the end of the evening (I have a bad ankle, and me and spiked heels often don’t play nice…but I had to have this pair!)

And I still ended up carrying the Darby Smart clutch I made, because it’s so cute. It worked with the outfit after all! The cuff was overkill, though, so that will have to be for the next outfit.

My coat is from Old Navy. I didn’t really need it, as it wasn’t too cold, but it was a bit breezy so I’m glad I had it.

My hair is in a high puff with a few curls on the side…simple and quick, because I kept going round and round on what to do with it. Fun fact: if you manage to break your elastic, an old knee high stocking does the trick as well. My makeup is neutral since everything else was so colorful. I used the Stila Dare to Bare palette here, and Kitten lip glaze.

And there you have it! Still continuing to step outside this box of mine and fully enjoy the world of style out there.

Have a lovely weekend, y’all!

Hair Positivity Shoes Shopping