Create Your Own Incense & Magical Clouds

Incense, you either love it or you hate it. That’s what I’ve found in being a lifelong pusher of it!

“Hey, you don’t mind if I burn incense do you?”

Often met with a casual eye-roll or possibly a sure and then, can I put this out? It seems a person either appreciates the presence of it in their home or they despise it because of the sheer invasiveness of the smokey scent. Many times powerfully strong, incense can leave your environment highly fragrant in a matter of minutes.

The process of making herbal incense without the use of salt peter, or even charcoal is actually quite easy. However, perfecting the art is another matter. Perhaps the easiest way is by using a binder commonly called Makko. Makko not only serves as a water soluble binder, but as a burning agent as well. Makko is a natural tree bark from an evergreen tree and contains no synthetic chemicals, charcoal, or salt peter.

Incense began use as an instrument in spiritual practices. With the killer scent it packed in such a small size, it also became a hit with hippies and homeowners everywhere. If you can appreciate the presence of lemony-sweet sodapop in your home, or more commonly a woody-spicy fragrance, you’re definitely a contender for incense!

Now, you can buy incense for pretty cheap just about anywhere that sells fragrant candles. If you can’t find it in your area you’re in luck because there’s an even bigger selection online! Be sure to gaze at the carnival of delicious, handmade incense scents on etsy and imagine the sheer wonder of your home or studio being transported to a fragrant fantasy land!

… but if you wanted absolute control over the fragrance you could make your own as well.

DIY Incense

Now, it sounds very easy to create your own incense but the trick is mixing the ingredients correctly so that you get a nice, even burn. Your incense might be too smokey, might not burn properly and could keep going out prematurely.

To begin making your incense (this is the Japanese way), mix an incense base with makko (incense powder), and add some warm water. When using a resin your incense will become more difficult to burn. Therefor you should use resins, like Frankensense, at much lower percentages as the burning agents (makko and sandalwood).

“Sandalwood is common to almost every incense formula, and serves as a wonderful base aroma as well as a burning agent of its own right. If you were making an incense of sandalwood alone, the amount of makko required may be a little as 10%.”

Mix the ingredients into a dough-consistency and knead it thoroughly. Form into cones or sticks (form sticks around bamboo reeds) and Knead the incense-dough thoroughly and form into cones or sticks. Allow them to dry slowly, about a week. Check them to see if they’re dry and enjoy your new incense.

In-SCENTS

My favorite part about candles and incense is the *aroma*, like most people I adore a waft of delicious fragrance to pass by me while working at my desk. It’s a shame you can’t have them in cubicles! It definitely would have lightened the atmosphere in the slightest way. Especially when there happens to be a microwave area in your office.

Don’t use cheap oils — they can irritate the skin and the aroma can provide no benefit.

You can combine your favorite oils to create aromatherapy benefits *or* just to delight your nose.

Incen-spiration

Ehehe.. my favorite part of blogging has always been the eye candy.

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(By Ilkka Suppanen)

After seeing this incense design exhibit I *had* to find rainbow incense, cute holders, and well-designed incense packages~

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Japanese incense comes in many shapes in sizes, sometimes with especially cute scents and packing like these Cafe Time incense sticks.

Incense Holders

Now that you have some great incense to try you might want to purchase a cute handmade holder *or* make your own.

Bowl / Teacup Nab a cute bowl or teacup from the local antique shop or use your grandmother’s you’ve been saving in the attic. Fill it with sand, stick your incense in the bowl — add some to the middle or add in a circle around the center. Light and enjoy!

Holder These leave the most ashes but hopefully you’ll have this in an area where ashes can be easily cleaned up! Create a clay sculpture, be it a cupcake, mushroom or anything you like. Grab an incense and stick it into the (still wet) clay where you’d like your incense to be.. Move the incense around a bit to make the hole a little wider. Remove the incense and bake your holder (or let dry if it is no-bake clay).

Tray The typical wooden (or clay) tray is usually longer than the length of the incense stick, has a little ash dip in the middle and a hole on one of the ends for holding the incense. These generally leave ashes scattered also.

Plant That’s right, I often stick a lit stick right in a big, potted plant.

His & Hers: The Gingerbread Show-Off: Make a Gingerbread House

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Recently I went outside to find a gift bag on my sidewalk filled with graham crackers, handmade icing, gumdrops and assorted candies. It was a surprise from my neighbor, Becky, who is the sweetest ever to even think of such a thing after I had only leant her my mixer. A few weeks prior I made gingerbread houses with the children and so I decided I would ask David to have a gingerbread house making date with me! He, who had never even attempted such a thing and had been pretty anti-holiday decor and kitsch until this year, turned on the Christmas carols and we had a blast. As you can see, he cannot do anything half-way so he made quite a house.. show-off..

David has happily found that holiday kitsch is lovely and he even got the Christmas tree out this year before Thanksgiving after repeatedly telling me not until closer to Christmas. Wee! He says I’ve shown him another side of Christmas that is filled with fun and magic and I couldn’t be more grateful. That is one of my ultimate goals in life spreading magic and whimsical kitschery that induces smiles and heart expansion!

So yes I made a silly video vlog to go along with the gingerbread house making date! I hope your holiday was also filled with laughter and magic! xo

King Rabbit Carrot Cupcakes & Frosting

Yesterday (Oct 8th) was my best friend and soul mate David’s 40th birthday so guess what I decided to do? Use the frozen carrot mush we had leftover from juicing earlier and make him some birthday cupcakes! He told me I had hoarded way too much carrot mush and would never use it and so VIOLA I’m going to make it delicious. Our family name means land of the rabbits so what better way to celebrate his life than with CARROTS!? I know.. there really isn’t one. This recipe is catered to him but you could substitute all sorts of things such as adding crushed walnuts, raisins, etc.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LOVE!

King Rabbit Carrot Cupcakes

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup grated apples
  • 1 1/3 cups grated raw carrots
  • Queen Bunny’s Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • King Rabbit Carrot Cupcakes

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease 12 muffin cups or fill 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

    Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix. I like to use my clean hands so that I permeate my heart into whatever I’m making and I can feel that everything is adequately mixes. This is how I make all baked goods, bread, desserts, etc. Love it or leave it.

    Evenly fill the greased muffin cups or muffin liners and bake at 350 degrees for around 18-22 minutes. Check around 18 minutes depending on how quickly your oven bakes, your tins etc. I like to check early as opposed to cooking things too dry. If a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean then remove the muffin tins and let cool before frosting.

    Queen Bunny’s Cream Cheese Frosting

    In a bowl use your mixer to beat the butter and cream cheese until very smooth and creamy while slowly adding the powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Pipe the frosting on the top of the tops of the cupcakes. For quick piping I like to add the icing to a ziplock with the corner cut off and pipe on top of the cupcakes.

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    How to Create Your Own Signature Smoothie


    Smoothies have been all the rage for many years now and healthy smoothies are only becoming more appreciated in this drink/dessert niche. Upon staying with my best friend in California and having her craft the tastiest protein smoothies for lunch and then moving in with my health-conscious soul mate and watching him prepare his own green smoothies I started to really appreciate the craft and every unique technique. Fruit or vegetables? Protein powder or vitamin powder? Honey or sugar? Ice cubes or frozen fruit? Milk, water or tea? So I decided it would be fun to discuss the basic craft of the smoothie and all of the ways you can change it up to fit your own specialized taste so that you too will have a signature smoothie recipe! I’ll even throw in my own go-to smoothie recipe at the end.

    First you need to have a blender or a food processor. I use a blender at home but have tried both.

    Next you’ll probably want to select some fruit which will likely be one of the main parts of your smoothie. Use fresh (if so you’ll later add some ice cubes) or frozen, one fruit or several. Have fun blending your fruit and creating new favorite flavors.

    Fruity ideas: Mangos, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, bananas, apples, kiwi, avocados, pomegranates, oranges, watermelon and pineapple.

    Next you’ll want to select a liquid or semi-liquid to add so you can blend your smoothie. There are obvious ideas and some creative ideas to create a more unique smoothie.

    Liquid ideas: Milk, soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk, coconut water, greek yogurt, tea, fruit juice, ice cream, sherbet, frozen yogurt, sparkling water or water.

    Next you may choose to add protein or extra vitamins to your smoothie by using any number of protein powders or vitamin powders. We have a few here that are chocolate and vanilla flavored that adds a bit of sweetness and more vitamins to the smoothie making it more like a meal.

    Next you may want to add some greens or vegetables to your smoothie to add some more healthy benefits. Some greens, such as spinach, don’t change the flavor and contain more nutrients. Others to try are kale, carrots, celery, beet root or green powder made from an array of green plants. When using veggies be sure to blend alone with water to make sure your smoothie is smooth and not like a cold vegetable soup.

    You can add a sweetener to your smoothie if you feel it will not be as sweet as you would prefer. Try ripe bananas, sugar, honey, agave nectar or, if you must, artificial sweeteners. For me the vanilla protein powders or vitamin powders sweeten the smoothie enough.

    To change the taste of your smoothie you can also add different flavor enhancements such as vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, salt, coconut shavings, peanut butter, nutella, chocolate syrup and any number of extracts and flavorings you may have or prefer.

    When everything is in the blender add a few ice cubes on top. I like my smoothies to be really smooth and icey almost like a smooth sherbet but some just use frozen fruit.

    It’s time to mix the ingredients together and create your smoothie! Put the lid on the blender and turn it on medium until the blender starts to smoothen the ingredients then slowly turn it up one notch at a time. Start slow and let the blender work the ingredients for a minute until they are as smooth as you would like and pour into a glass. If you’d like to garnish your smoothie use slices of fruit, skewers of fruit, loose berries, a wedge of citrus fruit, a sprig of mint, flat-leaf parsley, a few leaves of lemon verbena or even a little umbrella. If you’re feeling in a bubble tea mood try to add some BOBA or small jellies to your glass before you add your blended smoothie and garnish with a wide smoothie straw.


    My Own Recipe

    Add these ingredients to the blender as noted, blend and enjoy!

    • Fresh spinach leaves (blend with cup of water until smooth)
    • Ice (as needed, might need to add more water to blend)
    • Mango chunks
    • Pineapple chunks
    • Apple chunks
    • Strawberry slices
    • Scoop of vanilla vitamin powder (may substitute protein powder)
    • If you like add boba to the smoothie glass and pour in your smoothie after it has been blended smoothly and enjoy with a wide straw!

    Delicious Starbucks Drink Recipe

    First of all let me start of by introducing myself. My name is Angee Maree, a 27 year old girl who resides in Ohio. I’ve been doing Interactive Media Design for over 10 years and not only is it my job, but a passion of mine. I’m also a photographer, guitarist, singer/songwriter, avid gamer and mother. I started talking to Amber about Miseducated on AiM and how much I loved the site, and we instantly clicked. She is such an amazing person and I’m thankful she let me be a part of Miseducated! I intend on posting a lot of DiY things, whether it be craft items or photoshop tutorials. I also love to make wallpapers, backgrounds, avatars, gradients, brushes etc! So you can probably expect a lot of online resources from me! Okay let’s get onto the actual post!

    Do you like Captain Crunch Cereal? (Some say this delicious drink from starbucks also tastes like strawberry shortcake!) Well if you do, why not try it in a delicious drink from Starbucks?! Just ask for this the next time you stop in Starbucks, it is defiantly my favorite thing to order from there!

    Starbucks Recipe

    For ordering.
    Strawberry frappuccino + 1 pump toffee nut

    Tip: Do NOT get more than one pump in a tall… you will regret it! Also, make sure its mixed well and let me know if you try it!

    Add More Whimsy Into Your Life

    If you’re reading this blog you’ve probably already found lots of ways to include more whimsy into your lifestyle but here are a whole lot more. Most importantly you should enjoy every single day because every day is special. Find ways to make your days special and you have a key for more happiness.

    1. Sprinkle your cocoa froth with stars sprinkles.
    2. Hide sweet fortunes (found in cookies) in boxes, cabinets and drawers to be found throughout the day.
    3. Adorn your walls in whimsical prints from Etsy and local art gatherings.
    4. Use cherry icing as chap-stick.
    5. Burn a fruity candle and a dessert candle at the same time but different areas of your living room. Feel free to include fizzypop fragrance oil in one room and vanilla in the other. Walk through your home and enjoy the candy aroumas, imagine you’re in a candy store or soda pop shop!
    6. Purchase frames, paint them your favorite colors with acrylic and hang them on your walls filled with art and favorite posters and clippings.
    7. Dip your finger into a container of cool whip and then stick it into your mouth. Yum!
    8. Purchase some sand and a sunlamp.. place the sand in a container large enough for your feet and heat it with the lamp overhead. Feel the warm sand with your hands and stick your toes in it as well!
    9. Don’t toss the sand! Add a bit of water and build a sand castle.
    10. Tea party! Bake cupcakes, make small sandwiches cut-out with cookie cutters and brew your favorite tea. It doesn’t matter if no one else is able to come, enjoy your tea party! Have daily tea parties.
    11. Take a bubble bath with candles and tea. Read in the bath. Relax.
    12. Listen to Rockabye Baby Lullaby renditions of your favorite songs while you relax for a nap.
    13. Sketch out ideas and images that cheer you up. Add color with pencils or paint. Start going with it and see where you end up.
    14. Top your pancakes with ice-cream syrup topping and sprinkles for a cute and sweet dessert.
    15. Turn your toast into fairy bread (see below).


    Fairy Bread Recipe

    • Toast bread.
    • Spread lightly and evenly with butter.
    • Top heavily with sprinkles.
    • Cut into 4 triangles. (or use cookie cutters if you’re REALLY feeling whimsical!)

    Let’s Make Cupcakes with Disney

    In a cupcake making mood? I definitely am after seeing all of the adorable cupcake decorations on Disney’s Family Fun website here. I joined a few kiddie websites for fun inspiration and I cannot wait for Colette to be old enough to enjoy them! There are so many cute recipes here for kids and adults to enjoy together. If you haven’t seen the magazine yet it’s also filled with adorable recipes and crafts! I highly recommend it.





    It’s Time to Throw a Tea Party!

    It’s spring and sunny here in Victoria, so what better time to have a tea party, and I invite you to host your own! If you are much like me and don’t have a fantastic matching bone china set, no worries you can always pick some très chic mismatching ones from thrift shops and any store where you find these items.

    tea

    Tea

    Offer the basic black orange pekoe, earl grey, and herbal teas. Have sugar lemon slices and cream available.

    Tea Cups, Saucers and Teapot

    All of which you find anywhere that sells house wares, and vintage and thrift stores.

    Table Décor

    a cute centerpiece, table linens

    Tea Treats

    Tea sandwiches, scones, cookies, because what’s a tea party without scones? Clotted Cream or Devon crème pairs well with the scone and tea.

    Cucumber Mint Tea Sandwich

    1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, rinsed, spun dry, and chopped fine
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    2 tablespoons cream cheese
    6 slices of white
    3-inch length of seedless cucumber, cut into thin slices

    In a small bowl combine the mint, the butter, and the cream cheese and stir the mixture until it is combined well. Spread the bread slices with the butter mixture, top 3 of them with the cucumber, distributing the cucumber evenly and seasoning it with salt, and top the cucumber with the remaining bread slices. Cut off the crusts, and do the basic rectangles or use cute cookie cutters

    Have fun!

    Mew for Today: Tickle Me Green

    It’s St. Patrick’s Day, green shamrocks and rainbow bridges to pots of gold. Green beer. It’s time to celebrate because, as if you needed a reason anyway, there’s a holiday underway.

    Green is the color of life and the earth. It signifies growth, health, environment and is often used for it’s calming effects.

    Spend Your Day Tickled Green

    First, start your day by preparing the cutest of the sweets, pistachio macarons at Tartelette. If you’re feeling thirsty grab an iced green tea to refresh and wake you up. Use milk and matcha powder or brewed green tea with ice.
    Next get prepared for a night out on the town or for a very-green party at home. Make sure your outfit contains lots of green and is reminiscent of whimsical St. Patrick’s Day for extra fun — I relate green, rainbows and gold to St. Patrick’s Day due to the decorations!
    Add a couple of drops of green food coloring to just about anything to green it up in a flash. This is great for beer and drinks as well as baked sweets.
    No matter what you do I hope you can spend it with loved ones having fun and enjoying great food as every holiday should be shared.

    Dress Up, Go Out

    Green Love

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    Enchanted Petal Blythe

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    Irregular Choice

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    Jennifer Ladd

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    Cutecumber

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    Green Tea Cupcake

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    Rainbow Soda Snowskin Mooncake

    When I first talked with Aunty Yochana I was absolutely charmed, her appreciation for food (namely sweets!) and the aesthetic decadence of it was so inspirational. Always having been addicted to sweets and cuteness (my sweet tooth is deadly!) I was immediately drawn to her and her love of expressing herself by creating mouthwatering masterpieces.

    I couldn’t wait to know her secrets and of course I had to ask if I could share them with you as well, with these on your cake platter (don’t forget to adorn with raspberries and macarons as well!) you’ll make quite an impression. Tea party anyone?

    Ingredients

    90 gm. fried glutinous rice flour
    10 gm. wheat starch
    30 gm. shortening
    40 gm. powdered sugar
    200 gm. ice-cream soda or 7-up
    a little pandan (green), pink and lemon yellow food coloring

    Filling

    600 gm. lotus paste
    30 gm. melon seeds

    * convert grams here

    Method

    1. Sift the glutinous rice flour and wheat starch into a mould.
    2. Add in icing sugar and shortening and mix till thoroughly mixed.
    3. Pour in ice-cream soda and mix into a soft pliable dough.
    4. Divide dough into 4 portions. Add colouring to each portion, leaving one portion white.
    5. Place each dough between plastic sheets and roll into a rectangular flat piece of the same size. Stack the dough on top of one another, then roll into a swiss roll.
    6. Cut into 6 equal pieces. Divide the lotus paste fillings into 6 portions.
    7. Roll the spiral part into a flat piece and wrap with lotus paste filling. Press into a mooncake mould then knock out.
    8. Chill before serving.