It goes without saying with pregnancy come lots of changes. One of those being my skin. The cold winter weather isn’t helping much as my normally sensitive skin is now also dry. I thought I’d share some of my winter skin care routine – the pregnant version….
Handmade & Crafts
A few years back, I visited a home of a friend of my mother’s during the winter in New England and she had a lovely indoor garden made up mostly of terrariums I completely fell in love with. I asked her how to make a terrarium also known as a fairy garden; and discovered not only were they easy to make, they were super simple to care for.
The best part about terrariums is that you can make them as big as you like or as small as you need. The only thing terrariums really require is a light spritzing of water and indirect sunlight. Uncovered terrariums will need a bit more work because you’ll have to water them more than the covered type. Open or closed, you will need to keep in mind the type of plants you’re using. Sun loving plants like cacti require have different soil requirements than say succulents, so doing a little research before hand will ensure you’re terrarium will thrive.
I like an eclectic desk. I tend to use items to store things like note cards or pens that weren’t necessarily designed for that purpose. I also want the items that sit on my desk for any length of time to be aesthetically pleasing to my eye. As a writer I have to sit at my desk a lot. Having cool things to look at I find helps to boost the creative in me. I also discovered when I get creative in other ways like crafting my overall creativity is given a boost (as if I needed a reason to craft.)
Washi tape is a great way to personalize your tech gear or even to remake home decor accessories or every day items like candles (see photo below), jars, boxes etc.
This of course isn’t the fist time I’ve spruced up my tech gear. I gave my MacBook a boost using a lap top cover and some decoupage, because I didn’t want to do anything physically to my actual laptop. You check out my DIY Decoupage Laptop Cover post to find out how.
To create this personalized external hard drive I simply grabbed three types of coordinating washi tape and lined them up. I didn’t even use scissors as I knew I’d cover the torn edges – though it looked pretty cool that way too.
Last Friday morning I awoke with a mission. To paint a shelf and spruce up my office. The sprucing up of my office involved rearranging some books and tackling a dress form I had leaning against a wall because it was somehow broken in our move.
It wasn’t bothering me as you really couldn’t tell it was “leaning” because the skirt of the Book Fairy costume I had on it kept it up right. However it was taking up serious real estate and I knew I either had to fix it. Give it away, or find some new purpose for it. I chose the latter and I got to recycle my costume as well.
It was super easy to do.
Here’s how you can create your own DIY Decoupage Dress Form.
If you have a beat up dress form like I did, simply remove the soft fabric cover and foam. Scrape away as much if not all of the foam you can. I used a sharp knife for the areas that were glued on and wouldn’t just pull away. Once you’ve cleared away as much as the foam as possible you’re ready to begin decoupaging.
I didn’t have enough Modpodge left to complete this project, and waiting the 10-12 days for Amazon to deliver it to me just wasn’t an option. So I turned to Pinterest and discovered a ton of recipes for Modpodge, the one I used was so simple. I can’t believe I’d not made some sooner. I found the recipe on this delightful blog called Lulatastic.
To make your own decoupage glue you’ll need:
PVA Glue AKA Elmers Glue and water. That’s it. Nothing else.
I used 1 cup of Elmer’s Glue All and 1/3 cup of water. Mix them together in a jar via a vigorous shaking and voila! You’ve got your very own Modpodge glue to decoupage to your heart’s content! This formula produces a matte decoupage which is just how I prefer it.
Once you’ve got your glue you’re ready to begin to decoupage your dress form.
In addtion to the glue, you’ll need paper or fabric of your choosing to decoupage with, a brush and something to “smush” out the bubbles.
When decoupaging I prefer to use a sponge-brush but you can use whatever sort of brush you like and something to flatten out the air-bubbles. On this particular occasion I used my fingers but a silicone spatula works great too. If you don’t mind glue all over your fingers do it my way. If you’d rather not be taken back to elementary school, use gloves.
Grab your paper dab the back with glue. Brush some glue onto your dress form, place the paper glue side down and brush the air bubbles away, any that don’t come out smooth with your fingers or what-ever device you choose. Continue in this manner until you’ve completed your project. Overlapping as you go.
Don’t have a dress form? You can make your own. Grab and friend and some duct tape and head over to this page for the instructions on how to make your own DIY Dress Form.
Today’s DIY Upcycle post is brought to you by my long hair and lack of hair ties.
Way back in high school I worked at a shoe store where I had to dress up. In the mid 1990’s that equated to having to wear pantyhose.
Panty hose and going up and down ladders to retrieve shoe boxes always didn’t work out to the benefit of my stockings. As a result I went through quite a few pair.
I can’t take credit for this ingenious and rather industrial idea, as it actually came from my mother who had used her own pantyhose to create hair ties. She offered up this wisdom to me one day when I found myself in without a scrunchie.
Way before blogging, when scrunchies were the go-to hair accessory I was using pantyhose to tie back my long locks.
Panty hose actually make for a really good hair tie because it won’t pull or damage your hair.
All you need are a pair of scissors and pantyhose.
Step 1. Cut off the toe portion of your stocking.
Step 2. With a sharp pair of scissors (preferably one used only for fabric) cut the stockings, move up in thick bands. I prefer 2-3 inches.
Step 3. Gather the edges of the cut pantyhose to make rings.
That’s it! Now tie back your hair!
When we moved into our Italian home one of the first things I asked my boys was if they would like a particular theme for their bedroom. They did and with out question they proclaimed Star Wars!
Yay. I love my little geeks!
So I set about finding things for their room that would bring Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, aliens, and distant galaxies to life in their bedroom. It’s definitely a work in progress as finding Star Wars themed items here in Italy is a lot harder than I anticipated it would be, so we are slowly deciding on things and ordering online.
This summer as I was going through my youngest son Evan’s clothes I came across an old Star Wars t-shirt I’d gotten for him at Old Navy. I knew immediately I had to incorporate it into their bedroom some how.
As it turns out I had a few old canvases that were perfect for this project and this DIY Star Wars Canvas Wall Art Upcycle was born.
Once I gathered my supplies it took me about five minutes to complete.
So easy. So cute. My boys love it. I am even debating taking one of my Star Wars t-shirts and using it to make another.
The best part about this project. It cost me absolutely nothing to make. You can easily make one of your own using fabric (think pillow cases, sheets, anything really) and even an old piece of wood or a cereal box would even work for this project. If you make one of your own please come back and share your creation with me!
de·cou·page – the art or technique of decorating something with cut-outs of paper, linoleum, plastic,or other flat material over which varnish or lacquer is applied.
I’ve been searching for a cover for my laptop for well over a year, but couldn’t find anything I liked at the price I wanted to pay. A few weeks ago while browsing in Best Buy I came across a clear cover I liked. It was $50 which was still more than I wanted to pay, so it stayed in the store and I went on my way.
That cover stayed in the back of my mind, until one day a few weeks ago I was at a Starbucks and I saw a woman with the same case in pink. Seeing it in action I got an idea for a craft project.
I came home and searched Amazon and came across this clear case and instantly I knew, if I couldn’t find a case I liked, I’d make one! The best part, it was only $20.
When it arrived I was momentarily disappointed because though the description said “crystal clear” it wasn’t. It was sort of foggy, I thought I’d have to return it, but a quick check proved that it would be suitable for my idea and I went about gathering the items I would need to craft a personalized lap top cover for my Mac.
- Lap top cover. I used this one from iPearl.
- Mod Podge I like the matte version.
- craft scissors I use these by Martha Stewart
- flat paint brush – a good size for this is about 1 inch.
- Paper, photos, post cards, what-ever you fancy, so long as it’s paper.
- A printer if you’ll be printing the images you use.
Then be sure to seal the outer layers -the ones on the inside of the cover with more Mod Podge.
I suppose one could use any lap top cover they chose, if they decoupaged on the out-side, but for this project I wanted all of the crafting done from the inside.
If you’ve never decoupaged before check out this tutorial. Here is a tutorial specifically for reverse collage -which is essentially what this project is. It’s also a good idea to practice on something first, to make sure you’ve gotten a feel for the technique, before you begin work on your cover. The good thing about this -if you’re not 100% satisfied with the end result, or you eventually get bored, you can soak your cover in a bit of acetone.
These are the products I recommend for this project:
In case you’re wondering what/why I chose the things I did. I’ll tell you.
Comic book strip -For it’s melodrama and color. There are three references to my favorite book, Pride & Prejudice. Swans are probably my favorite bird, and it’s got some meaning to my first novel. Rhett Butler & Scarlet O’hara, because these two characters, are probably among the best ever written. That little mirror graphic with “Yes you’re the fairest of them all.” I love Snow White, and I think it’s a good thing to look in a mirror and like the person you see. A snowy owl, I also love owls-but the vintage kitschy home decorating type. This one is to pay Homage to J.K. Rowling. Unicorns to remind me of magic. Freckles…because I’ve got them. “Corner of awesome…” -because I am. “Tell you’re story” and “you’re a writer”-just because. Finally, my husband and I-because he is my very own, story book, Prince Charming, come to life, romantic novel, drives me crazy, love at first sight, leading man.
This weekend my youngest son Evan was (finally) baptized. My husband and I have been waiting to do this with our family for nearly four years and I am relieved it is done and that it was all so special.
Evan was baptized in an intimate ceremony at our Church. After wards we had our family and friends over for a little celebration. I’ll share a few pictures later this week.
As a memento I made up these little doves (to symbolize the Holy Spirit and reference scripture). They were hung on a grape fine wreath I decorated with white pine cone Christmas garland (we were still officially in the Christmas season of the Catholic calendar) and an artificial dove. I purchased my supplies for the wreath at Michaels. With a coupon (I scanned in from their new iPhone app) the entire wreath cost $15.
The entire thing was lovely I think.
Last October my cousin in-law was married. I hung on to her invite to make the newlywed couple a Christmas ornament for their first Christmas tree which would also serve as their wedding invitation memento.
I got the idea from this post on Pinterest.
It really turned out quite lovely.
To make one of your own you’ll need: an invitation, a clear plastic or glass ornament, scissors or paper cutter, a pen. Optional supplies: ribbon, decorative embellishments, spray paint.
I purchased a clear fill-able ornament from Michaels. I looked for the glass kind but only found the plastic sort.
The wedding invite was in hues of green and ivory. Although the ornament itself was obviously clear the metal part that you hang the bulb from the tree was silver. I used some spray paint in a green patina color to make it match better and to give it the look of stamped metal.
Basically all you need to do is cut the invitation, twirl it around something round like a pen and fill the ornament with the curled pieces of the invitation. I used the ribbon that was on the ornament to further decorate it and added in a lace ribbon to hang it from the tree.
I was tinkering around on Pinterest the other day when I came across a link to make your own laundry detergent. My curiosity piqued, I checked out the post and a few others, then I Googled and found this recipe was quite common, with a few variations, some that add in Oxy-Clean for instance. I also found recipes for a liquid version which required boiling water and other things that sounded like cooking. I wasn’t particularly in the mood to cook soap, so I opted for this version which did not require the use of an oven. You can check out my “home-made” board on Pinterest for other versions of this recipe or just conduct your own web investigation.
Needless to say I was intrigued by the notion of making my own laundry detergent especially since the cost was a lot less than the laundry detergent I buy.
After dropping my son Michael off at school one morning last week I dashed on over to Wal-Mart with my iPad cued into this post on DIY Suds for guidance. It actually took me longer to search for glue-sticks (which they did not have!) than it did to find the ingredients for this recipe. I whipped up this batch in my Mother-in-law’s kitchen that morning in under 10 minutes.
With my fresh batch of homemade laundry soap in hand I put it to use and found that it worked great! This soap doesn’t get all “sudsy” like one would expect from your usual laundry soap, but the amount of suds in the water doesn’t relate to how well your clothes are being cleaned and I could see no notable difference in the cleanliness of my clothes using this soap when compared to the store bought soap I usually use. I’ve since used it a few other times and will continue to do so. This detergent doesn’t imbue any scent to your clothes, but I do use a fabric softener which does. Keep that in mind if you like your laundry to be scented.
To make your own laundry soap here is what you’ll need:
Homemade DIY Laundry Soap Ingredients:
- Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap (1 bar)
- Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (1 cup)
- Borax (1 cup)
- Cheese grater or similar to “shred” the bar of soap
- Canister or something to store your detergent in.
To Make Your Own Homemade Laundry Detergent:
Gather your Fels-Naptha soap and cheese shredder thing. Shred the bar of soap-I read that any soap would do such as Ivory but this is what I used. The scent of this soap reminds of me of Pine-sol. However when the clothes are in the wash it smells very lemony and not at all like your toilet bowl.
Soda and the Borax. I used a “really” big container I found at Wal-Mart. You could easily fit this into a smaller container or jar.
Use one to two tablespoons of the mixture per load of laundry. (I use two).
I think I’m going to give some of this stuff away as gifts.
I’ve got plenty of Borax and Washing Soda left over!
Love & making things yourself,