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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesday Tutorial -- Martha's Bath Fizzies

Here's a tutorial from Martha Stewart that we all could use.  I know that the holidays are over, but there are many more gift giving opportunities in the coming year and with money as tight as it is right now, we can all probably enjoy a gift that someone made just for us.  Bath fizzies are a great way to de-stress and relax.  What a great way to pamper someone!
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Ice-cube trays serve as molds, giving the fizzies their shape. Using a flexible silicone model lets you slide the cubes out smoothly without breaking them.

Show off the colors of the bath fizzies in glass jars with screw tops, the kind used for storing sugar and flour. Pack each type of fizzy in a separate jar so the scents won't meld. Write the name of the scent on a vellum tag (choose a shade that matches the fizzies), and punch a hole in the top. Thread the tag with ribbon, and tie it around the jar.

Citric acid, a common food additive, is available at wine-making-supply stores, some spice shops, and online. When citric acid is combined with baking soda and placed in water, a chemical reaction creates bubbles.

Makes 1 dozen (use 2 per bath)

Tools and Materials
1/2 cup citric acid
1 cup baking soda
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
About 6 drops food coloring
10 to 15 drops essential oil(s)
Special equipment: 2-ounce travel-size spray bottle, plastic pipette, silicone ice-cube tray, storage jars

Directions
1. Stir together citric acid, baking soda, and cornstarch in a glass measuring cup.
2. Pass mixture through a fine sieve or a flour sifter into a mixing bowl. Stir in sugar.
3. Fill spray bottle with water, and add food coloring. Spritz mixture lightly (it should become damp but not fizzy) until you can pack mixture with your hands.
4. Using pipette, add oil, 1 drop at a time, until strength of scent is to your liking. Using a metal spoon or your hands, mix ingredients until color is even throughout (mixture will begin to dry out; when this happens, spritz until packable again).
5. Spoon into ice-cube tray, pressing firmly. Let dry at room temperature overnight. Pop out of tray gently. Transfer to jars.



Read more at Marthastewart.com: Bath Fizzies - Martha Stewart Crafts
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Monday, February 7, 2011

Free Heart Book Template

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I thought I'd post something easy to do that would be a nice valentine to give to others.  I found this really cute tutorial for a Valentine Heart Book on About.com and I hope you enjoy making at least one of these cute books to hold special mementos from this year's Valentine's Day.

On another front, we started to decorate the nurses' station at work yesterday, but decided that it looked too much like a baby shower because we could only find pink and green valentine cards and pink streamers.  We just gave up and went to the store next door for rootbeer float supplies instead.  I think the floats were a hit!

Here's the tutorial.  Enjoy.  After you make this book, go to the original site and see all the other wonderful templates and tutorials they have to make beautiful boxes and cards.

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Folded Paper Heart Book

Folded Paper Heart Book
Folded Paper Heart Book
Kate Pullen
This folded paper heart book is deceptively easy to make. The book is formed from a single piece of paper. When the cover is added the book contains four pockets, each providing a space to hold a heart shaped billet-doux or love note. If you don't want the book to contain pockets then simply glue the pockets together. Although this book is small in size, it contains plenty of space for decorations, small photos, special notes and more.
The heart book is made using this free printable template - Heart Book Template. While I normally suggest printing templates onto scrap paper and using these as templates to transfer the design to best paper, in this instance, where the folding and cutting needs to be reasonably precise in order to get a neat finish, I suggest printing the template onto best paper. I have included two versions of the template, one in black and the other in a light gray. The gray template is ideal for use on lighter paper. Although the print is on the reverse of the book, the light gray ensures that the folding lines will not show through the paper and this is ideal if you are using a lighter weight paper.

Materials Required

  • Template
  • Paper and card
  • Scissors, glue, paper folder or folding bone and ruler
  • Ribbon
  • Rubber stamps, inks and other embellishments as required

Cut Out the Template

Cut around the template
Kate Pullen
Print the template directly onto best paper or onto scrap paper and transfer the image to best paper as required. Cut around the edges. Add decorations to the paper now or at a later stage if more appropriate. This is the best time to stamp on the paper as it is still flat.

Fold the Paper

Fold the Paper
Fold the Paper
Kate Pullen
Use a paper folder or folding bone to score and fold the paper. With the right side facing, fold the first heart under and continue folding the rest of the hearts in concertina style. This will give you a book with four pockets. Folding it the other way will give you three pockets. I prefer the four pocket version, however this is just a personal choice.

Make a Cover

Make the Cover
Make the Cover
Kate Pullen
Cut a cover from a piece of paper or card stock. Use the hearts as a template to cut the cover, making it slightly larger than the hearts. Score and fold the cover.

Attach the Ribbon

Add the Ribbon
Add the Ribbon
Kate Pullen
The ribbon that ties the book is sandwiched between the cover and the first pocket. Cut two lengths of ribbon. Mark the point on both sides of the cover where the ribbon is to be attached. Glue the ribbon in place on the inside of the cover. Glue the cover in place.

Make the Inserts

Make Inserts
Make Inserts
Kate Pullen
Cut four heart shapes for the billet-doux inserts, these need to be a fraction smaller than the heart pockets. Add any decorations as required and attach a ribbon tab to each insert.

Put the Inserts into the Pockets

Place the inserts into the pockets
Place the Inserts into the Pockets
Kate Pullen
Add any decorations as required on to the inserts. Place the inserts into each pocket. If you are looking for inspiration for things to write on the inserts, take a look at these short love poems or why not turn them into fancy conversation hearts!

Finish the Book

Add any finishing touches as required to the book. I added a row of beads around the edge of the one in the photograph.




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