DIY Natural Molasses Cookie Sugar Scrub

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Are you tired of spending ridiculous amounts of money on fancy store-brand scrubs and skincare? Next time, try out this recipe! It's easy on your wallet, smells wonderful, and keeps your skin healthy and hydrated. It's PREFECT for combatting dry winter-beaten skin.
 photo Photo-3_zps6f499bb2.jpg Brown sugar is a gentle exfoliant so it's fine for sensitive skin. It's also a humectant, so it absorbs moisture from the environment and transfers it to your skin. Honey has anti-aging and anti-bacterial qualities and olive oil fights inflammation and hydrates.

2 Tablespoons Honey
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Cups Brown Sugar
5 Drops Clove Essential Oil

Cute Jar for storage
Small Mixing Bowl
Fork for Stirring
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Step One:
Combine sugar, honey, and olive oil in mixing bowl and mix together with fork until blended.
 photo Photo-5_zps80bba2da.jpg Step Two:
Add a 3 to 5 drops of Clove Essential Oil and stir with fork.
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Step Three: 
Put mixture into an air-tight container (a mason jar or jelly jar works great).  photo Photo-7_zps19dea40f.jpg
Step Four: 
Enjoy! I use my scrub after soap int he shower and it leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated...AND you smell like freshly baked molasses cookies...YUM! They also make great gifts!

Until next time!
~Steph @ Calamity Layne

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DIY Stamped Holiday Table Runner

DIY Holiday Table Runner

It should come as no surprise that I am not a fan of "traditional" Christmas decor - red and green and cartoon Santas and such. But I'm not a total Grinch. I just like to do things my own way, and unfortunately, there aren't a whole lot of Christmas decorations for people like us. So I end up making a lot of my own things. Here's one example.

I tried to find a table runner that would a.) look good on our table, made from reclaimed wood, and b.) not be cutesy horrible red and green Christmas style. I decided that a black table runner with some sort of star-like motif would fit the bill. Before I make anything, I typically do a search online to see if anything already exists and is within my price range, because sometimes making something yourself can get a little pricey and/or time-consuming. But I had no luck in this case.

Enter the DIY: I would purchase a plain black burlap table runner (I found my Burlap Table Runner on Amazon for less than $15), and stamp it myself!

DIY Holiday Table Runner

Step one: You need a stamp in your desired design. Because this will be a very rough print (burlap is not a smooth fabric), you want to keep it simple. You could purchase a pre-made stamp, but I actually just cut my own stamp from a clear-plastic-y printmaking material (it was a sample of this stuff). You could easily go super thrifty and cut an actual potato stamp for this and call it a day! (Here's a quick potato stamp tutorial using a cookie cutter for the design.)

DIY Holiday Table Runner

I used white block printing ink to do my stamping. It's not as involved as you might think. Here are my materials:

  • My stamp
  • A piece of plexiglass to roll out ink (you can use any smooth surface, or an old cookie sheet even)
  • A brayer (the thing to roll out and apply ink)
  • A baren (used to press down the stamp evenly; not needed if you go the potato route)
  • Paintbrush (for touch-ups)
  • Block printing ink in white

DIY Holiday Table Runner

I decided to use block printing ink because it is thicker and stickier than paint. You could probably get away with using screenprinting ink if you wanted a more washable runner, but then you probably shouldn't use a burlap runner - get something cotton.

Here's how inking works:

DIY Holiday Table Runner

  1. Squirt out a small amount of ink (tablespoon or less) onto your smooth surface, and roll out until it has evenly coated your brayer. 
  2. Roll the brayer over your stamp until there is an even coating of ink
I actually allowed my ink to be a little bit thicker since I would be stamping onto a rough surface. I placed newspaper under my fabric runner to protect my work surface. I then "eyeballed" the placement of my stamp so that my pattern appeared more random, and printed each star individually like this:

DIY Holiday Table Runner

  1. Place the stamp ink-side down carefully onto the fabric. 
  2. Use the baren to evenly apply pressure to the stamp (don't wiggle it or your stamp might move!)
  3. Carefully lift up the baren and the stamp (my stamp actually kept sticking to the baren). 
  4. Admire your work. Touch up (if needed).
I actually re-stamped again on top of a couple of my stars, but the shape was so simple that re-aligning wasn't really an issue. Otherwise, I would not recommend doing that.

DIY Holiday Table Runner

Every half-dozen stars or so, I would wash off my stamp completely, re-roll some additional ink, and reapply before stamping some more. The whole printing process probably took less than 45 minutes. By the time I got to the end, the first stamps had pretty much dried.

DIY Holiday Table Runner

I really like the rough texture of the prints on the burlap.

DIY Holiday Table Runner

Here's the completed (dried) table runner against my actual dining room table, for full effect.

DIY Holiday Table Runner

I am very happy with the end result! My beaded Christmas trees look right at home on my new stamped table runner. (Did you miss that DIY? Check it out here.)

I especially love that I can now use this technique to create all sorts of motifs for different occasions, not just for Christmas. I might make an everyday version next!

*** This post contains some affiliate links, which helps to keep Betties N Brimstone up and running! ***

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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A Winter Cape

Winter Capes OOTD
cape - Sheinside / boots - MooShoes.com / leggings - Target / skirt - ASOS Curve / long sleeve tee - Target

I read a lot of blogs, and I am easily swayed by a mention or photo of something that catches my eye to go out and buy it - particularly if the price is right! So when I spied this post by Danielle at Sometimes Sweet regarding winter coats, I was sold on this stripey cape.

It took a little while for my cape to arrive (they're international), and when it did, I realized that it's not actually substantial enough to be an actual winter coat. Hey, I paid less than $30 for it - you DO get what you pay for. 

I was not sad about this though, because this cape is AWESOME for cozy warm everyday dressing!

Winter Capes OOTD

I wore this on parent-teacher conference night, and I felt dressy/professional enough for the event, yet comfy enough for a long day of work. And... pockets! Big pockets.

Winter Capes OOTD

Don't worry about my coat predicament - I ended up scoring an awesome military-style Hell Bunny coat via eBay for a great price (I'll talk about it and show you more in a later post).

This is my second cape this season. Heh - I'm starting a trend.

Winter Capes OOTD

Here's a close-up of the collar. The fabric itself is kind of fuzzy, like fleece. I paired the ensemble with my trusty combat boots, also good for an extra-long day at work.

Winter Capes OOTD

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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