Thursday, November 17, 2011

What's on the Desk..Getting Ready for the Holidays... Week 2 Spa Night and Candle Light

It's a two-fer week, mostly because candles alone would be a really short blog post but also because the two go together so well! I'm not going to lie I have ALOT of wax so making my own candles is just a matter of melt, pour into the mold, top off as it wells and pop out of the mold when cool. It's fun for me to play with coloring and fragrance and I Love the way several pillars look when grouped together and placed on a tray or mirror, especially pretty in front of the vanity mirror (double the candles!) while you're soaking in the tub filled with the same wonderful essence wafting from your candles. Talk about aromatherapy!

Source: via Dana on Pinterest

Spa night is all about those wonderful items you surround yourself with to pamper and enjoy. Whether your idea of pampering is a long luxurious soak in the tub or a massage by candlelight. See I told you they went together! Items to consider for spa night are bath salts, bubble bath, louffa sponges, body cloths, massage oils, potpourri, candles, pretty trays, glass jars, small scoops, and a basket or really cool crate to present it all in.

Source: via Dana on Pinterest

You can do as I do and melt and pour your wax to make candles, or you can buy sheets of bees wax and make your candles by laying the wick along one edge and rolling tightly into a taper candle or a small pillar, presto one hand made candle! You can buy candles at the Dollar store or you can buy artisan crafted candles such as the beeswax candles shown in the photo. I like to group them on a tray or mirror but another really pretty option is to find a really pretty sheet of wrapping paper or scrapbook paper and place that inside a frame under the glass just as you would a photo. This one again can fit any budget, flea market vintage frames, dollar store frames, or custom framing in exotic woods.

Source: via Dana on Pinterest

The wonderful thing about spa night is you can give everything the same aroma or you can make formulas. Use one for destressing, one for recharging, one for romance, one for pure fun or evoking memories, whatever aroma fits the bill for you. I have bottles and bottles of essential oils and fragrance oils from lavenders and roses to jasmines and amber. Some blend together for the most heavenly scents, others I use singly like lavender to treat a minor burn or peppermint to quiet an upset tummy. Making basic bath salts is pretty much a breeze, you just mix equal parts of epsom salts and sea salt add a few drops of fragrance oil and tadaa! If you've never made anything before equal parts is the really short way to say if you use one cup of this, use one cup of that too. :) Again you can let your budget do the talking, you can make, buy at Bath and Body or even Wal Mart or you can buy artisan crafted spa products. If making your own salts has got the crafting bug going for you here's my favorite website, Not only do they stock all the good stuff for making all your spa products, they have the recipes too!!

Source: via Dana on Pinterest

Source: via Dana on Pinterest

Source: via Dana on Pinterest

Flower Soap

Bath salts
Massage oil
Mirrored Trays
Chocolate Truffles
Beeswax Candles

hmmm maybe I could've split this into two blog posts! Til next time! Dana

Friday, November 11, 2011

What's on the Desk.....Getting Ready for the Holidays.... A Weekly? Gift Guide with Crafty How To's

This year like many years past I've taken the Hand Made Pledge. Meaning I pledge to make or buy hand made items for a good portion of my Holiday Gifting. Going Hand Made allows you to get creative with your Christmas budget, and who couldn't use a little creativity in the budget?.

As it happens the best and most memorable Christmases for me were small, paid for entirely in cash and largely hand made. I'm also the crafty sort and with a hand full of items I can make some pretty cool gifts. You can be the crafty sort too, even if you've never made anything before.

Over the coming weeks I'll give you some ideas and some instructions for creating so you can make at least some of your Holidays Hand Made. These are a few of my favorites to help get you started. You can keep them simple or really go all out it's completely up to you and your budget.

Movie Night Gift "Basket"
I have not only given this gift but I have also received it and loved it!
A favorite movie, some microwave popcorn (with or with out seasonings), a couple favorite candy bars, and a cool bowl to put it all in.
You can keep it simple and just pick the candy bars and seasonings up at the grocery store, you can make your own candy and treats, or you can go all out and buy hand made and gourmet treats like the effervescent chocolate shown here

Source: via Dana on Pinterest

Popcorn bowls can be as simple as a large bowl picked up at the Dollar store. Left as is or decorated, you can buy hand painted bowls (as shown here) or go all out and buy an artisan hand thrown ceramic bowl.

Source: via Dana on Pinterest

Putting it all together is a snap! Just take your movie, popcorn, seasonings and candy and arrange it in the bowl until you like the way it looks. Wrap it up with a basket wrap, curling ribbon and bows.
Effervescent chocolate can be found on Etsy in the trufflepigletchocs shop
and the popcorn bowl can be found on Etsy as well in the KudosKitchenByRenee shop

I hope you liked Movie Night :) I'll be back with Cookies and Cocoa, Spa Night, Hand Made Ornaments and Your Own Personal Art Gallery!
Til next time!