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Create A Day

One creative project every day for a year

Jan-20-2013

Day 329: Homemade Shampoo… FAIL!

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

Let me preface this post by saying that I’ve had several posts ready to go over the last few days, but have been sick and/or otherwise busy, so I didn’t have time to post! So, there will be several posts over the next day or so.

As you all know from my recent cooking endeavors, I caved and signed up for Pinterest… and it has since taken over my life!! But, it has also given me a lot of inspiration for creative projects to do for this blog, so I feel like it’s worth it in the end. At any rate, I saw a few recipes floating around Pinterest for homemade shampoos, and decided to do a little research and make my own! I searched on Pinterest as well as online to find the recipe that I thought would be the easiest and would work with my hair texture. I ended up using the Lemon and Cucumber Recipe on this site.

So, I followed the directions exactly and blended everything then stored it in little travel shampoo bottles in the fridge. Here’s the only picture I took of the process… sorry I forgot!

I could have put all the “shampoo” into one big bottle, but since it had to be refrigerated, I decided to split it into smaller bottles just in case I accidentally left it out. That way, only part would go bad versus the whole batch. Anyways, the next morning I decided to put the stuff to use… and I HATED it! It didn’t froth up at all, so I didn’t feel like it cleaned my hair at all. AND it left me with tiny bits of cucumber all in my hair that I couldn’t just rinse out! So I had to use shampoo to get it all out, which totally defeated the purpose. I will say, though, my hair did seem to feel softer after it dried, but that could also be because of the new conditioner I used that day, so who knows!

So, ultimately I would say this creative project was an utter fail… but I may try using it again and see if I can git all the bits out with just conditioner, but I’ll keep you updated

Keep an eye out for more posts tonight or tomorrow!

Anna Grace

Jan-7-2013

Day 328: Digital Portrait of Dad

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

As you all know, when there comes an occasion where I need to give a gift, I usually try and make something rather than purchase it. This christmas was no exception. I made one thing for most of the people in my family that I will post at a later date, but for my dad, I decided to crochet him a hat! I found this really cool pattern that was rated as easy, so I thought, “I could do that!” NOPE. For reasons unknown to me, it ended up big enough to completely cover Bob Ross’ fro without smashing it down a bit and the bill could have doubled as a paddle.  So, after all that, I unraveled the whole thing and started over with a smaller crochet hook. Half-way through I realized I was going to have the same problem again!! So, the whole point of that story was that I ended up doing something completely different for my dad for Christmas: a digitally drawn portrait. It’s a completely random gift and I don’t know that he’ll ever print it out or anything, but I had fun doing it!

I’ve done digitally drawn portraits in Photoshop before, but I had never done one on my iPad. I had heard and seen pictures of these amazing images people created on their iPads, so I decided to give it a go!

This is the original picture I copied and it happens to be one of my favorite pictures of my dad!

I read some reviews about different free drawing apps and decided to use Sketch Book Express from Autodesk. Autodesk is the maker of AutoCad, a computer drafting program that the majority of designers, architects, and engineers use, so I figured it had to be good! And I’m glad I chose it, because it was so nice to use! I started by loading the original image into the background layer, then slowly layering colors onto a new layer using the paintbrush tool. In photoshop when doing this sort of thing, I could have it select exactly the color I needed, but SketchBook didn’t have that tool, so I changed around the CMYK levels until I got the colors I needed. I started with the face and hand, then the hair (this was more of an airbrush tool to soften it), then the shirt. I finished with the background, or a rough interpretation of that! And here’s the final product!

I totally meant to crop out the edges where I went outside the lines, but I sort of like the messy, artsy look of it! Overall, I’m really happy how this turned out! I sent it to dad, and he loves it too! It’s sort of goofy, but so is my dad, so it works. :mrgreen: I think I will definitely be using that app again as well!

Anna Grace

Jan-6-2013

Day 327: Dry-Roasted Edamame with Cranberries

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

This is the last in the series of healthy snacks I found on Pinterest. I’m sure there are a TON more out there, but these are the ones I came across that looked interesting. I may do another series of these next weekend because it was fun! …other than the hummus :neutral:

Anyways, this creative food project is Dry-Roasted Edamame with Cranberries! This is such an easy snack and SO GOOD! I started by thawing and peeling my frozen edamame (the Kroger here in Clarkston, GA doesn’t have pre-peeled edamame… what?). Then I just spread it out on a pan with some olive oil and sea salt.

Then I just baked it for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then tossed in the dried cranberries and I was done!

This is DELICIOUS! When dried out, the edamame take on this sort of nutty, crispy quality that is perfect for a snack. And the tart/sweet craisins really help balance the flavors. The only thing I didn’t like about it was the fact that it made so little! I could’ve eaten all that I made in one sitting if I let myself. I will definitely be making this again in a much bigger batch!

Anna Grace

Jan-6-2013

Day 326: Eggplant Spread

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

After the whole sweet potato hummus debacle last night, I was a little hesitant to dive into another healthy snack recipe today. I was especially wary of this Eggplant Spread because it also involved a food processor… which I didn’t have. But, I’m really, really happy I decided to make it!

I started by splitting the eggplants in half and stuffing thyme and garlic then drizzling olive oil and sea salt on top.

After baking for an hour at 400 degrees, they came out looking like this:

And they smelled AMAZING!!! I mean, my mouth was watering like crazy! So then I scooped out the meat and added the rest of the ingredients into the blender. Once it started blending, my fears about it not working went away! It blended perfectly and easily, and tasting so, so, so good!! It’s not the most appetizing color, but just trust that on crackers it’s as addictive as crack!

So good! And so good for you! I had to stop myself from spoiling my dinner by eating too much! My uncle tried some and was amazed at how good it was. I’m so, so happy with how it turned out, and I’ll definitely be making it again!

Anna Grace

Jan-6-2013

Day 325: Sweet Potato Hummus

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

As I mentioned yesterday, I found a few recipes on Pinterest for healthy snacks, so I decided to make some! The next one I made was Sweet Potato Hummus. Well… I have to tell you. It was a major struggle to make this stuff. I mean, one thing after the other kept going wrong. I ended up finally finishing it after about an hour an a half, but it was anything but enjoyable. I won’t go into all the details here because it would take me forever to type it all out, but I did take some process photos.

I started by chopping the sweet potatoes into cubes.

Then I was supposed to use a steamer basket in a large pot to steam the potatoes… what the crap is a steamer basket?? So obviously, my aunt didn’t have one in her kitchen, so I tried to improvise with a colander balanced in a pot…

This is where my problems started… this method SUCKED! I was supposed to cover the pot with a lid, but because of the colander, the lid didn’t seal at all, so after tripling the amount of time to cook the potatoes, they still weren’t soft! So I ended up popping them in a bowl in the microwave with wet paper towels on top for steam and then they were finally cooked.

So then I was supposed to put all the ingredients in a food processor, but I didn’t have my tiny one and my aunt didn’t have one, so I used a blender. Major. Fail. The thick sweet potatoes with the hard chick peas and paste-like tahini just would not blend! The tahini was a nightmare in itself…. You’re supposed to mix it before using and it was so separated, it was like straight oil on top and then cement at the bottom. I splattered oil everywhere, including on my brand new cardigan and ended up having to blend it up in the blender to be able to use it… Never doing that again! At any rate, I ended up having to sort of mash what wouldn’t mix in the hummus by hand. It turned out a bit lumpy, but ended up tasting good!

I think it actually turned out pretty tasty and I will definitely enjoy it this week, but I am NEVER doing it again!!! It was soooo stressful that I just can’t even think about it… And while it tasted good, it wasn’t good enough to be worth all the suffering. But there’s a lot of it, so I froze half and will be able to enjoy it for awhile!

Anna Grace

Jan-6-2013

Day 324: Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

I recently started a Pinterest account, and now I’m obsessed!! I resisted jumping onto the Pinterest band wagon for a long time, because I knew that once I joined I could potentially spend hours upon hours on there. I’ve actually been able to control myself for the most part, but the first day I was on there for like 2 straight hours! At any rate, today I decided to see if I could find some easy recipes for healthy snacks! I realized again for the millionth time that I am most definitely a snacker, preferring to have several small meals throughout the day rather than three big meals. While nannying I’ve been just grabbing whatever they have around… meaning junk food! So, I found several recipes that looked tasty and decided to give them a whirl!

The first recipe I tried was Baked Cinnamon Apple Chips (called “crisps” on the site they’re from, but here we call ‘em chips)! This recipe was sooooo easy! You just slice some apples as thin as you can, throw them on parchment paper, sprinkle on some cinnamon and bake them for 20 minutes on each side at 250! I ended up just doing 15 minutes on the second side because the thinnest ones started to burn. If I make them again, I’ll probably pick out the thin ones and then keep cooking the rest, because some of them weren’t as crisp. I have to say, these are so, so good! I only made 2 apples worth, but I think I will definitely make this again in a bigger batch! The only thing I didn’t like about it was all the slicing, which took me forever because I have zero knife skills, but it really wasn’t bad at all! I didn’t get process pictures because I’m awful, but here’s the finished product!

Not the prettiest looking things ever, but really yummy! If I had a mandolin slicer, that would make it a lot faster and more even, but I don’t so oh well! I think it would also help to cut it more in rings like how they picture it on the website, so I think I’ll try that next time!

Anna Grace

Jan-4-2013

Day 323: Crocheted Teddy Bears

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

It’s been FOREVER since I posted last. BUT I’ve had a complete life change in the last month and a half or so, so I think it’s forgivable! At any rate, I’m now living in Atlanta with my Aunt and Uncle and have been working as a nanny for a precious newborn! As per usual, I made all of my christmas gifts I gave away this year! Two of my favorite things I made were crocheted teddy bears! I made them for two of my little second cousins! I used the pattern on this website for the most part, but I changed it up a bit by making a teeny scarf instead of a bow tie!

I started out with a pink bear for Wells. This being the first bear I made and the first time I had crocheted in awhile, it turned out a bit wonky, but I was still happy with it!

The yarn I used on this pink bear was a bit thinner than what the pattern called for, so that’s why you can see the stuffing so well, and it was sort of hard to work with! Fun fact: I bought a ton of cotton balls at the dollar store and used those to stuff the bears!

The second go around went a lot better, mostly because it was the correct yarn and I knew what I was doing! I made this bear blue for Gunnar!

I feel sort of bad for Wellsie that Gunnar’s bear came out so much better, but they both liked them a lot! And honestly, Gunnar will probably be much rougher on his as a rambunctious 3 year old boy! My aunt sent me this picture right after he opened his saying “He can’t stop hugging him!”

I’m so glad they like them! I hope they will keep them forever and appreciate that their awesome second cousin made them especially for them! I think I might make one more for the baby boy I’m nannying!

I made several other gifts this holiday that I’d like to post on here, but forgot to get adequate documentation of them! So, I’ve texted all the recipients to send me pictures, so more present posts coming soon!

I’m going to try and get one more post in tonight, but we’ll see! I’m not sure if I will be able to finish this 365 project by the time my birthday rolls around next month, but I’m really going to try!

Anna Grace

Nov-9-2012

Day 322: CUPCAKES!!!!

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

So this isn’t super creative since I just used a boxed cake and icing, but I thought I’d share it anyways!

Tomorrow is my last day at my job, so I decided to make cupcakes to show my appreciation for those who have been so helpful! I just used the boxed Duncan Hines Butter Golden cake batter. I couldn’t decide on which icing I wanted to use, so I bought two of the new Duncan Hines Frosting Creations plain bases and the mixes to make cotton candy (which my roommate loves and she was having kind of a bad day) and caramel frosting!

I decided to make them a little more pretty than just slapping the icing on by putting it in zip-lock bags, cutting the tips and making my own piping bags! I started with the cotton candy… and they were a big mess! I cut the tip a little too big, so I had some issues with it being lumpy. Some of them look fine, but there’s a couple that aren’t too hot. :/

Then I did the caramel, which turned out little bit better because I cut the tip more. You can see one of them in the pic above, and here are the rest!

Here’s the best one, I think and an instagram photo for good measure!

They are so yummy! I think people at work will love them!

Anna Grace

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You all should know by now that I love the musical Spring Awakening! I’ve already done several songs from it and I hope that one day I’ll have done them all! In an effort to do that, I decided to record a couple of songs a capella that I hadn’t done before!

The first song is The Mirror-Blue Night. I started out a little low with this one for my range, but it gets higher as the song progresses, so I think it needed to be that low.

The Mirror-Blue Night

That song was pretty short, so I decided to do another one! The second song is The Dark I Know Well. I was reluctant to do this song at first because it’s about two of the girls being sexually abused by their fathers, but I decided I needed to tackle it anyways.

The Dark I Know Well

I think that both of these turned out pretty well for just single take a capella songs! I’ve just got a couple songs left, then I will have recorded the entire Spring Awakening Soundtrack!

Anna Grace

Nov-9-2012

Day 320: In Between

Posted by annagrace under Days 301-365

I recorded this and couple of other songs about a week ago, but kept forgetting to post them! At any rate, this song is In Between by Linkin Park. I really like this song because it’s much softer and calmer than the majority of LP songs, but still stays true to who they are.

I searched a bit for some chords and couldn’t really find any that worked for ukulele, so I adapted some I found to be easier. Just recorded this in one take.

In Between

I think it turned out pretty good! I was thinking about going to Market Square sometime and playing my uke and singing, and I think this one would be a good one to add to the mix! :)

A couple more posts coming up tonight, so keep your eye out for them!

Anna Grace