Homemade Easter Gifts: Easter Brunch Basket

This Easter Brunch gift basket is a great homemade Easter gift for a family, friend, or new neighbor. You can make your own homemade Easter brunch gift basket for a personal touch for someone special.
To Make Your Own Homemade Easter Brunch Gift Basket You Will Need:

1 Basket

Foods (to be discussed)

Paper Grass Filler

Plastic Bag

Ribbon

To get started you need to buy the brunch food for the gift basket. Try ideas like Swiss chocolate pancake mixes, cornmeal pacakes or even organic pancake mix. Pancakes are a hugely popular breakfast food and so easy to make.

To finish this out try adding special syrups, chocolate chips, and fresh fruit.

If you will be dropping the Easter brunch gift basket off yourself, then try customizing it to the family you ar giving it to. If they eat healthy, try including the options for the Denver Omelets. They can supply their own egg whites!

It is also a great idea to include recipes or instructions whatever food options you choose to go with in the Gift basket. Adding fresh fruit, bottled juices, bottle water, and jams and jellies always make great fillers Don’t forget a bag of coffee or cocoa as well.

Now, on to assembling the Easter Bunch gift basket. Lay a layer of shredded paper grass in the bottom. Opt out on the plastic grass since it is less eco friendly.

Now, start layering in the large items towards the back. A you work to the front and top of the basket lay in the smaller items like the jams, jellies, coffee mugs, and smaller items.

To seal the Easter brunch gift basket slide the whole basket down into a large clear bag. These can be bought at raft stores.

Pull the bag up around the breakfast gift basket and tie it off in a bow at the top.

You can turn the outside of the bag into a Faux Easter Bunny by adding googly eyes glued to the outside of the bag. Add whiskers using floral wire and a pom pom nose glued in the middle.

Use a ribbon with built in wire in the edges to tie the bag shut in a double knot. The ends of the ribbon can be stood up to remember bunny ears!

This is a fun way to give a homemade Easter brunch gift perfect for family and friendly to enjoy! Get creative with the fillings. Kids can make the homemade card to attach or even make items out of air drying clay, like napkin rings, to add to the homemade Easter gift as well.

Lovebird’s Soap – the Valentine’s Day Gift Anyone Can Make

It’s beautiful, it’s useful, it’s easy to make (even for you guys) and it won’t add a few pounds to the waistline! It’s Lovebird’s Soap! Even if you’ve never made soap before, this project can be completed in under an hour. All you need to do is gather some basic materials and follow a few easy steps.
This soap is made from a melt and pour glycerin soap base available at craft stores in the soap making section and from various internet-based soap making suppliers. Melt and Pour soap is becoming increasingly popular in the soap makers world because it is easy to use and it opens up so many possibilities for the creative mind!

Ingredients:

– Gold Mica Powder (Any soap coloring can be used in this recipe, but the mica in this recipe creates such a lovely shimmer in the light)
– Burgundy Mica Powder
– Fragrance Oil of choice (floral fragrances are a good choice for this project)
– 1 lb Clear Melt and Pour Soap Base, cut into 1 – inch cubes (white soap base can be used but the mica won’t have much shimmer and the colors will be lighter)

Tools Needed:

– Large, clear microwave-safe container (I use a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup)
– Small, clear microwave-safe container (I use a 1-cup Pyrex measuring cup)
– Plastic teaspoon
– Small mixing spoon or craft stick (I use a chopstick)
– 2 small custard bowls (for mixing fragrance with mica)
– Small plastic dropper or spoon (for filling in gold details of soap mold)
– Spray bottle with 100% rubbing alcohol
– Wax Paper
– 4 Cavity Mold – Doves and Hearts (or similar mold that makes three or four oz. Bars with a raised design on the top)
– Cellophane bags and ribbon (optional)

Step 1: First, place 1 to 2 teaspoons of the fragrance oil in a custard cup. Add a small amount of gold mica to the fragrance oil to create a thin paste. Be sure to remove any lumps. In the other custard cup, mix together 3 to 4 teaspoons of fragrance oil with some of the burgundy mica. Again, make a thin paste free of lumps.

Step 2: Next, divide the Melt and Pour soap cubes between the 2 clear microwave-safe containers. The smaller dish should have approximately 4 ounces (1/4 of the cubes) and the larger dish should have 12 ounces (3/4 of the cubes).

Step 3: Starting with the smaller container, microwave the soap in short 10 to 15 second bursts, stirring carefully between each round. Avoid overheating the soap.

Step 4: Once the soap in the smaller container is free of lumps, carefully mix in the gold mica/fragrance mixture. Do not stir quickly or whip the soap. This will cause unwanted air bubbles to form in your soap.

Step 5: Using your small plastic dropper or small spoon, carefully fill in the raised portion of your soap mold with the gold colored soap. This is the design that will show up on the top of your finished soap bar. Once the area is filled, spray the gold soap lightly with rubbing alcohol to remove any air bubbles and allow to set.

Step 6: While the gold soap is setting, repeat steps 3 and 4 using the large container of soap cubes and the burgundy mica/fragrance mixture.

Step 7: Lightly spray the gold soap once more with alcohol and then carefully pour the burgundy soap into each cavity the remainder of the way to fill them. Spray each filled cavity with alcohol once more to remove air bubbles and allow the mold to sit in a dry area.

Step 8: After about 20 minutes, the soap should be cooled and set enough to remove from the mold. Turn the soap out onto a sheet of wax paper and allow to air dry for a while in a cool, dry place. They may need some pressing to get out of the mold. If the soap is too difficult to remove, let soap sit a while longer. Melt and Pour soap shrinks as it hardens. As it shrinks, it releases itself from the mold.

Step 9: As soon as the soap is dry, package in an airtight container. Cellophane bags work well for these. Tie with a gold or burgundy ribbon and give to your Valentine to enjoy! For alternative Valentine’s Day Gift please consider getting

 

Ten for $10: Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Lovers with a Big Heart and Small Budget

Being young and in love is a wonderful thing… …Well, it is until February 14 rolls around–the universal day of showering your better half with tokens of affection–and you realize that your wallet is rather light.
However, empty pockets can still fill hearts. For the handy and/or crafty, here are four ideas that can get the creativity rolling, and your significant other’s heart thumping:

Write a love letter

Writing love letters seems to be a lost art in today’s digital age, when email and instant messenger are at the tips of everyone’s fingers. Find some nice stationery, like parchment paper, and put your thoughts into words, perhaps using a felt tip pen–but a 15-cent Bic will work just as well.

Tell your significant other how much you love them; reminisce about a first date or a silly story you shared together. Make your love come alive with words. A letter is personal, from the heart, and something that can be cherished for a long time if stored in a shoebox or scrapbook. For an added touch, seal the envelope with melted wax and carve his or her initial on it.

Create a photo album

Check the “doubles” box when getting those disposable cameras developed. Gather up some extra pictures of you and your sweetie and organize them in a personalized photo album. Include pictures from school, dates, vacations, concerts, holidays, family events and more. For the artistic types who have time to spare, take this idea a step further and go all out with a scrapbook. Include other memoirs, captions, and more.

Make a mixed CD

Many couples have “their song,” or one that reminds them of a first kiss, first concert or a road trip. Back in the 80’s, it was cool to tape songs off the radio onto a cassette. Nowadays, music can be downloaded online or recorded onto a hard drive using a free program called Free CD Rip, and then saved to another CD. Throw together a mix of love songs or songs that remind you of your special someone.

Coupon Book

Get some construction paper, scissors, markers and a stapler and make a booklet full of a dozen or so coupons describing things you promise to do for your girl or guy. Some other ideas: 20-minute massage, dinner for two at a favorite restaurant, breakfast in bed, a day of pampering, and so on. You can even add things like, “I’ll stop playing my video games” or “I’ll get off the computer” — two things which will add more quality time to your relationship. A homemade coupon book is free and can last for months and months, giving your loved one a little pick-me-up over and over again.

Cheap Gift Ideas: Ten for Ten

For the not-so-crafty types, here are 10 gift ideas for $10 or less:

1. Panties or boxers- buy your gal a cute pair of panties or two-even Victoria Secret’s has a bargain bin! Girls- buy your man a pair of silk boxers from a discount store. They are sexy and comfy!

2. $10 gift certificate to Ebay: Let your sweetheart bid on whatever they want. If they are collectors, this online auction extravaganza may help to boost their collection.

3. Book and a bookmark: If you are dating a bookworm, what a better present than a new book–a novel idea. Paperbacks are usually pretty cheap.

4. Massage Gift Certificate- before you think this will break the bank, think again! If you have a local massage therapy school, they most likely offer cheap full-body massages. One school in PA offers them for $10 for a full-body and they have gift certificates available.

5. Cheesy Movie on VHS: They sell these at grocery store checkouts and in the “value” section of most electronic stores. Laugh together as you watch corny flicks.

6. Journal and Pen: These are the days to remember, right? Journaling has always been popular. If you think your honey would like to start this hobby, pick up a journal at any department or stationary store for them.

7. Gift Book: These are available at the checkout of places like Barnes and Noble, Hallmark and other gift stores. They are pocket-sized books of all types of neat ideas for gifts, inspiration, sports and humor. They are handy to keep in a purse or in a desk drawer.

8. Cards and Poker Chips: Texas Hold’em is the latest rage. Start a card night with your sweetheart by getting him or her a cool deck of cards and some starter chips.

9. Gag Gift: If you are, of course, 18-or-over, there are plenty of ideas for under $10 in the aisles of adult book stores. Go wild.

10. Candy: The old standby that never gets old. Local candy shops are sure to have unique confections. The always-traditional Russell Stover’s in a red, heart-shaped box can be found in your local drugstore. Or, buy a glass jar and fill it up with your sweetheart’s favorite sweets at your local bulk candy shop!

Putting Together Masterpieces: Quilters Share Their Art at Quilt Show

People with a gift for picking up the pieces and putting them together displayed their creations at the gathered at the fifth annual Cabin Quilters’ quilt show in Bartonville, just outside of Peoria, Ill. The artform is something that’s been passed down. The show featured nearly 70 handmade and machine-quilted creations by club members.
Fran Slater, 75, of Peoria nearly could keep her excitement in check. “I just love these quilt shows. I’m like a kid in a candy store,” Slater said. She said quilting is, for her, nearly an addiction. “If I don’t get to my machine, I just don’t feel right,” Slater said.

Cabin Quilters club historian Kathy Henderson, 55, who lives between Bartonville and Glasford, said necessity and nostalgia inspired her to quilt. Henderson said her grandmother left behind about 10 unfinished quilt tops that held memories.

“I could see dresses and shirts Grandma had made,” Henderson said, referring to the fabric used. Henderson recalled her grandmother making quilts and clothing on a treadle sewing machine. “I can’t paint. But, I feel like this is our creative outlet,” Henderson said, of herself and fellow quilt club members. She said, like her grandmother, she machine-quilts. Doing it by hand just isn’t her style. “It’s too slow for me,” Henderson said.

Club President Cheryl Mangold of Bartonville, 58, also said her grandmother’s love of quilting rubbed off on her. Since Mangold’s grandmother lived far away, Mangold said she only saw the finished product — not how her grandmother created it. Mangold said failure to find quilts she liked and the featuring colors she liked and a desire to leave a legacy behind inspired her to quilt. “I just started having grandkids and thought I better start quilting,” she said.

Retired schoolteacher Delores Haller of Bartonville, 73, said her mother as well as her maternal and paternal grandmothers quilted. “They used to put it in the quilt frame. When I was kid, we used to have fun playing underneath the quilt,” Haller said. According to Haller, her quilt collections includes ones dating back to the early 1900s. Haller said keeping her quilting experience full of variety has helped maintain her interest. “Sometimes, you look for a pattern that’s challenging,” she said.

A wall hanging, which Haller’s mother pieced in the 1940s, was featured in the show. “When I look (at it), I can see pieces of clothing that I wore when I was a kid,” Haller said. She stressed it was a genealogical artifact. “It’s just good memories of the family,” Haller said. Her grandmother’s love of quilting, Ida Picco of Bartonville, 52, said she inspired Picco to use fabric to make masterpieces. Picco said the double wedding ring quilt, which her grandmother gave her in 1973, is among her most prized possessions. Her grandmother, Picco said, used a treadle sewing machine to piece quilts for other people and make clothes to help raise her six children. But her grandmother, Picco said, isn’t her only source of inspiration. According to Picco, a high school teacher, her workplace has given her a place to employ her talents. Making baby quilts for colleagues has given her a lot of practice, she said.

A higher power has also been an inspiration. “I think the biggest challenge is the banners I make for my church,” Picco said, referring to Bartonville United Methodist Church. Getting the the banner’s message was clear was that challenge. The banner features a sunrise over cross, with strips of satin that represent the whips used on Jesus. That banner usually hangs over the church’s altar. Picco said she considers her quilting expertise a blessing. “Quilting, in itself, is a gift you are given,” she said. But quilting isn’t just for women’s.

John Marquis, 55, of Peoria — Picco’s boyfriend of 25 years — has learned to love Ida’s interest. “I’m in a world of sewing. I’m not afraid to sew. Since I’m around it all the time, I just do it,” Marquis said. He said he’s quilted for nearly two years. According to Marquis, he knew how to sew before meeting Picco. But Marquis credited her with mentoring him.
“She kind of fine-tuned me,” Marquis said. She and Marquis, Picco said, have quilted together and noted a couple of those quilts were in Saturday’s show. An “Elizabeth Sampler” quilt, which Marquis hand-quilted, was also on display. He made the quilt for Jean Sigulas of Peoria, a widow for whom he’d done some handyman work.

“It’s not a quilt, unless it’s handmade,” Marquis said, noting Sigulas’ opinion. He said it took him 40 days to complete Sigulas’ quilt. “I think enough of her to do this,” Marquis said. Slater was impressed. “This is great for a beginner,” Slater said, before wondering out loud whether it had been made on a machine. “There is not a machine stitch on it,” Picco said, proudly. Sigulas, who was unsure which quilt was hers, searched the show for it. That search didn’t take long. “I saw it right away. My eye drew right to it,” she said, after Marquis made certain she knew which one was her quilt.

Discovering her quilt nearly overwhelmed Sigulas. “John, can I hug you?” she asked, after examining her gift. The quilt is an heirloom that she’ll always cherish, Sigulas said . “I love (the quilt) because John means so much to me,” she said.
Marquis isn’t the only loved one with whom Picco quilts. She and her mother, 81-year-old Ethel Picco, create together.
“She and I spend a lot of time together,” Ethel said.

While, Ethel said, she’s quilted for nearly a decade, she’s been a Cabin Quilters member for only three years.

 

etsy

40th gift ideas – let’s get personal

The 40th birthday is huge day for just about everyone that reaches it. Finding the perfect gift for a friend of relative that is having their 40th can end up a tricky task. What do they like? What do they need? These are just a few of the questions that will flash across your mind. The perfect present is one that is memoriable and also if possible inexpensive.

In the last few years there has been a huge rise of personlised gifts. From candles to Tshits there is a huge range of presents available for personlisation.

Two of the best examples we found that looked fantastic and were very reasonably priced the two presents pictured below.

The first is a 40th print that is made of memorable words that have huge meanings.

etsy

The second is of a love heart again made of words that mean have meanings.

word art app

Gift ideas for Girlfriend or Wife (part 3)

8. Write for her
Book lovers adore the idea of their loved ones writing a piece expressing their love and value in one’s life. To make your girlfriend or wife recognize how much you appreciate her existence in your life, you can grab a paper and start penning down your thoughts. It doesn’t matter if you find yourself unable to compose a poem or a paragraph that is perfect when it comes to the choice of words or grammar skills. It is the thought that counts!

9. Scrapbook
A collection of all of your memories in the form of photographs, tickets, notes etc carry with themselves not just an overflow of emotions but also a reminder of how much your significant other longs to see you smile wide. Collect all of the photographs of you and your partner that hold happy memories that can make you giggle or even cry a river. All the tickets to the movies you’ve seen, the carnivals you’ve been to, the theatres or museums you’ve visited that you might have stored somewhere can become a part of the scrapbook along with pictures.
So, once your girlfriend sees the lengths you’ve gone to in order to save all of the things that might seem small to others but are big enough for her, she will surely never think of letting go during the hard times.

10. Leave happy thoughts everywhere
Consider the last gift idea for your girlfriend or wife an added bonus because the little things matter to her. Leave little tiny notes of appreciation everywhere your wife or girlfriend happens to pass through. Praising your woman for being in your life works wonders.

Conclusion
Now that you are equipped with all sorts of wonderful gift ideas for your girlfriend or wife, take a close observant look at the things your girlfriend or wife has always been interested to experience or deserves to have. Know that when it comes to true love, your attempt at doing something out of your comfort zone will always outweigh the big bucks spent on presents.

Gift ideas for Girlfriend or Wife (part 2)

4. Concert night
These sweet gestures should not just be for her birthday or Valentine’s Day, but also a day that holds a special memory for the both of you. Does your wife or girlfriend have a favorite singer she has always wished to hear live and cry happy, joyous tears singing in the same room as her? If that day is close to a concert night of her favorite singer happening in your city or a place near you live, book the tickets before it’s too late!

5. You belong in the kitchen too
So instead of getting in the kitchen like every morning to find the table laden with eggs and tea, try getting up early on her day and make breakfast yourself.

6. Surprise getaway
Who doesn’t love a little surprise visit to a week’s stay at the plaza or a cottage. Places that can drift you away from the harsh realities of the world and allow your soul to be rid of negative thoughts in the oasis of serenity. Staying at the plaza over the weekend could include spa session, movie night, bonfire and so much more. Whereas a nice little cottage or farmhouse near the beach could give you and your wife/girlfriend sometime away from work to enjoy life sipping on your favorite drinks in front of the sea.

7. Basket with love
Your lady has a sweet-tooth and doesn’t need to be full of anxiety or tension to feed her stomach with sweets. If you can relate to this, grab your keys and visit the store that sells her favorite chocolates. Buy all of her favorite sweet items and purchase a basket to store them in. You can even accessories the basket to make this gift idea for your girlfriend or wife look even more presentable!

Gift ideas for Girlfriend or Wife (part 1)

If you are in search of gift ideas for your girlfriend and wife that are not too ordinary to be forgotten 10 years from now, then you are on the road to finding the most remarkable ideas to make your girl the happiest person on the planet!

1. A musical evening
If your girlfriend or wife loves to sing or play the guitar or piano, you need to prepare for this at least months before you surprise her with this extraordinary gesture of your love. Get yourself enrolled in taking lessons whenever it’s possible for you daily or on a weekly basis to learn her favorite instrument. It’s even better if you have the voice of an angel. On the big day, surprise her with a song written by you dedicated to her. It is guaranteed to melt her heart considering how much effort she’ll know you’ve put into those lessons just to see that smile on her face.

2. Dinner for two with a surprise
This surprise comes with a twist. Instead of taking her out for dinner, cook her favorite meal from scratch. If you are not confident about your cooking skills, practice her favorite dish in the kitchen a couple of times or ask a friend or even a family member to guide you regarding how the dish can be cooked and served best. So if your wife comes back home from work after a long, tiring day or your girlfriend comes back after study group, her love and respect for you is bound to triple in size.

3. For your art lover
Girls or women who are found to have a deep interest in theatre, music, sculptures, paintings etc are very fond of watching theatrical performances or visit the art museum. Plan a visit to the place you are aware that she has always expressed her liking towards. Finding you seated next to her whilst watching her favorite play or admiring the great works of artists as you move along with her hand in hand will make her remember this day forever.