I wish every weekend was three days long.
I know, I know – I’m sure pretty much all of you wish that, too. I do realize that I am not alone here. But I must confess that I have a problem – a serious problem. You see, I’m a bit of a relentless, obsessive task master for myself and on any given weekend I will likely have created so many pseudo-important jobs for myself to complete that I have little time to relax (something I’m bad at by nature) and I end up harried and frazzled by the time Sunday night rolls around. When a three day weekend rolls around, however, something almost magical happens. That extra day gives me time to do all the stuff that I feel I need to, plus have some frivolous fun time, too. This long weekend has been no exception. I’ve been busy, but I am pleased to report I’ve done some pretty fantastic and relaxing creating.
I continue to surprise myself with how much I enjoy creating things. Until recent months, I never considered myself to be a creative person. In fact, I thought of myself as quite the opposite. If asked to describe myself, I likely would have included terms such as left-brained, analytical, and generally unimaginative. For so long I associated creativity with the likes of high school art class – painting, drawing, chalk, and magazine cut-out collages. (By the way, I was REALLY bad in high school art class.) This belief about what constitutes creativity was one of the few ways in which I was so very close-minded. Happily, I have recently discovered that creativity emerges in a multitude of ways – many of them having nothing to do with a sketchpad or easel. For me creativity has been manifesting in baked goods, knitting (of course), sewing, liqueur-making (yum), and bath scrub (yes, bath scrub). Here’s what I’ve been up to:
Who knew I would ever be a modern crafter?! But, I am – proudly. There is, of course, my knitting. I am currently starting on holiday gifts (I know it’s early, but I’m a planner) and I hope to get my TARDIS shawl cast-on tonight. I’ve been positively itching to get that shawl on my needles. Allons-y! (Any Doctor Who fans out there??)
In addition to knitting, last weekend I took my first sewing class and I must say that it was amazing. Honestly sitting in front of a sewing machine was a bit intimidating, but completing my first (albeit very simple) sewing project was so exhilarating. I have successfully created a small, but functional drawstring pouch. I have no idea what said pouch will hold, but it will certainly hold something. Spurred on by my new found inner-seamstress, I have promptly purchased some fabric to go back and sew up my second project (more on that another time.)
I am already trying to calculate how long it will take me to save up for a Bernina.
This weekend I made this marbled banana bread. It came out quite beautifully and very tasty. It also happens to be a great option for a fairly healthy bread/loaf, and, its vegan. I am not actually vegan, but I have found that I quite enjoy vegan baked goods. In general, they strike a nice balance between indulgent and healthy. Between sweet and sugar-overload. In my neighborhood, I have become quite smitten with vegan pastries from Sweatpea Baking Company. I am pleased to learn that I, too, can create a delicious vegan snack cake in my kitchen. This banana bread totally fits the bill. Whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, ripe bananas and brown sugar (my favorite of all sugars) combine here to make a satisfying and non-sugar coma inducing treat.
3) Making Liqueur
I am very fond of rhubarb. I am also very fond of a tasty cocktail. Enter rhubarb liqueur. When I came across a recipe for making a simple rhubarb liqueur at home (with vodka, a homemade simple syrup, and Grand Marnier as the other components) I knew I needed to give it a try. Now I haven’t been able to try this yet, as it takes 2-3 weeks to infuse, but I am anticipating shaking up a refreshing drink on a warm summer day. Maybe a rhubarb-flavored gin fizz? Or a rhubarb mimosa? So many possibilities. I’ll let you know.
4) Shower Scrub
Homemade exfoliating bath scrub that leaves my skin super soft and smelling just as I choose? I will have that, please!
I picked up Weekend Handmade by Kelli Wilkinson from the library a couple of weeks ago. This book is full of diverse, modern, useful projects that can be completed quickly and (generally) on a budget. Several of the projects have caught my attention, but my first to tackle was making my own shower scrub. I am a sucker for a great smelling bath/shower/body products, but my budget rarely permits me to indulge in the ones I really enjoy. I find that so many of the more affordable ones smell too factory-produced, over-the-top, and artificial for my liking. So making all natural scrub to suit my preferences was a project right up my alley. My first batch has been prepared with a delightful and energizing blend of grapefruit and sweet orange oils, with just a touch of vanilla for sweetness to tame the tart citrus scents. It was so simple to make and is every bit as effective on my skin as anything I’ve ever purchased. I anticipate making many, many batches of varying scents and styles in the future.
It’s been really fantastic to have some time to be creative. My senses are pleased. My mind and body have been fed well and I know there is more to come. So, here is to long weekends, leisure time, and an active mind!