12/23/12

Last Minute Homemade Christmas Gift: Stenciled Scarf



Late to the game, but you still want make a homemade gift for your best friend? Well, do what mine did, make her a stenciled scarf! (Thanks Kara!)


To make: Buy a pre-made blank scarf, grab a stencil (she used a Martha Stewart pattern), a fabric friendly paint, and stencil away! (Tip: Use a drier brush and do a few layers of paint on each stencil, building the paint up, to avoid any paint bleed.) Let it dry and gift! Happy holidays!

12/18/12

Easy Winter Crafts for Kids (& Last Minute Christmas Gifts!)

Crafting as a family is an awesome way to bring everyone together, off the TV, away from Facebook, and get the whole gang creating, talking, and having fun. We recently went to a holiday program where they had crafts for kids and mine fell in love with the project so much they begged me to make more at home. Of course, I complied.

Pipe cleaner and pony bead snowflake make excellent Christmas tree ornaments (that can easily turn into wonderful last-minute Christmas gifts!) and when strung together, would make a lovely and unique garland to string along a mantel, to frame a window, or drape over a room from the ceiling. They are super simple to make for all ages (even my three-year-old made them with ease).

Pipe Cleaner and Pony Bead Snowflake Ornament Tutorial

Supplies:
  1. Plastic pony beads
  2. Pipe cleaners
  3. Thin ribbon
  4. Scissors
I bought all of my supplies at Michael's!


Instructions:

  1. Bend one pipe cleaner in half. (Repeat several times if you plan on making multiple snowflakes.)
  2. Use scissors to cut pipe cleaners in half.
  3. Take two halved pipe cleaners, wrap one around the other at their midpoints. This will create an "X" shape.
  4. Take a third halved pipe cleaner and wrap it around the midpoint of the "X". This will give you the base for your snowflake.
  5. Set that one aside and keep making snowflake bases.

6.  Have your kids pick the color of beads they would like to use. (Now is a good time to talk about how to create patterns!)

7.  Have the kids slide the beads onto each spoke of your snowflake. Leave about 1/2" at the end of each pipe cleaner. Now bend the ends over to secure the beads. Repeat folding the ends over until the last spoke of the snowflake.

8.  Before you bend the last spoke, take about a 10" piece of ribbon and tie it to form a loop. Place the middle of the loop on the last spoke, and bend the pipe cleaner over the ribbon. Twist the pipe cleaner around itself to secure the ribbon. 

Variation: If you would like to make a garland out of the snowflakes, tie two opposite spokes with ribbon and form a chain by connecting each new snowflake to the preceding snowflake's ribbon loop. 


9.  Next, straighten out any snowflake spokes that may have bent or were misshaped while beading and you're ready to decorate with your snowflakes!

12/12/12

Sweet Potato, Chickpea, & Kale Samosa Wrap (Vegan)

My lunch today: a whole wheat tortilla wrapped around mashed, baked sweet potato, chickpeas sauteed  in cumin, coriander, fennel, and ginger with red bell peppers, and sauteed, finely chopped kale flavored with light coconut milk, curry powder, garam masala. The whole shebang was the baked at 425 degrees on a baking sheet for about 10-15 minutes. Simple and healthy!

12/6/12

Nine Ladies Dancing! It's a Big Sale in the S&S Etsy Shop!


20% off the Scissors and Spice vintage Etsy shop! Use coupon code LASTMINUTE at check out. (Now expired, but if you really want the discount, send me a message!)

12/5/12

Look Who Came to Visit!

Our vintage, probably 1950s, Elf on a Shelf! My kids are equally freaked out and fascinated with it. Hopefully, he will keep them on their best behavior until Christmas.

12/4/12

Recently Random Christmas Haircuts









This time of year is certainly the favorite of everyone in my family and we're trying to squeeze out every and any bit of holiday cheer we can out of our area's seasonal offerings. We've been the "Christmas House," (a house located near us lights up [you can see it from the highway!] their house and grounds and lets neighbors stroll around), had fun at the Philadelphia Christmas market at Love Park, toured Northern Liberties during their holiday shopping spree (and had a great meal at Dos Segundos), and I even splurged on a great new haircut to get ready for the festivities. AND! We even bought our Christmas tree from a local charity already! Now, to light it and decorate it...  Hope you are all enjoying the season so far!

12/3/12

Spice in the Kitchen: Recipe: Balsamic Vinegar Braised Brussels Sprouts with Dried Tart Cherries and Roasted Walnuts



Super easy to make, these brussels sprouts with dried tart cherries and roasted walnuts make an awesome holiday side dish! I whipped the dish up on a busy weekday as a side, and it was a hit.

The brussels get browned on their cut side, and then the pan is then deglazed with balsamic vinegar before being flavored with mustard and sweetened with a liquid sweetener of your choice.



Balsamic Braised Brussels Sprouts with Dried Tart Cherries and Roasted Walnuts Recipe
vegan/ makes 2 servings/ time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups of brussels sprouts (de-stemmed, bad leaves removed, and cut in half vertically)
  • 2-4 TB olive oil
  • 1/8-1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TB mustard
  • 1 TB liquid sweetener
  • salt
  • 1/8 - 1/4 cup walnuts (Toasted in oven at 350 for about 10 minutes.)
  • 1/8 cup chopped dried cherries (Montmorency cherries are the best!)
Directions
  1. Generously coat a large saute pan with olive oil, heat oil for a minute on medium and place brussels cut side down. Let fry for about 5 minutes, shake pan to make sure they are not sticking, and cover for about 10 minutes. Keep checking to make sure the sprouts aren't browning too quickly. If they are, turn down the heat. 
  2. When they are soft, pour in vinegar to deglaze the pan and turn down heat to low. Stir.
  3. Add mustard and liquid sweetener of choice. Add salt if desired.
  4. Toss in cherries and walnuts. Serve.

12/1/12

New to You, Newly Listed, and Goals!

Take a look at what's new in the Scissor and Spice Etsy shop!

Something really cool happened last week. I reached a really awesome goal. I like goals, they keep me motivated. So to keep me going strong with the Etsy shop, I wanted to put all the profits earned towards paying off my very last student loan. Yes, my. Last. Student, Loan. I was hoping it would happen before the end of the year, and it did! Hoo-ray! Seriously, I can't wait to write that "paid in full" check. Thank you to all my awesome customers for your patronage; I couldn't have done it without you!

Now, I still have some really good listings up, and I will continue adding more in the next few weeks. Take a look at some of the recent items in the shop. I can rush orders for the holidays; just let me know and we can make arrangements for priority shipping!

Check out all the new items here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ScissorsAndSpice