Monday, April 9, 2018

Orange and Honey Melt and Pour Soap




I made this soap a little while back and wanted to share it with you. It's a simple project that only takes 10 minutes to make once you've gathered your supplies.  This is my second melt and pour soap recipe and I don't think it will be my last!  

I found the recipe in one of my many cookbooks, Holiday Gifts From a Jar.  It was a weird place to find a recipe for soap, but I'm glad I found it while I was flipping through.






As is usual, I made some adjustments to the original recipe.  While I'm sure the recipe would have come out great, I wanted to work with what I had.  I knew this soap wouldn't fail with the small adjustments I made, so I wasn't concerned with the outcome.

In the end, it came out great!  It was one of the smoothest and sweetest smelling soaps I've made so far.  You can scroll down to see my recipe.

This is a DIY product that I use daily.  Some of my recipes and attempts at homemade items fall by the wayside, but not this one!  Orange oil is said to be harsh on sensitive skin but I've found this product to be perfect for everyday use.


Orange and Honey Melt and Pour Soap

Ingredients:

12 ounces clear glycerin soap base
1 Tablespoon honey
15 drops sweet orange essential oil
Soap mold (found at most craft stores)

Slice soap base into chunks and place in a microwaves safe bowl.  Microwave on high 1 minute.  Stir.  Repeat, heating at 30-second intervals until soap is liquid.  Do not overheat but be sure soap is completely melted.

Quickly pour melted soap into soap molds.  Set aside and let firm up about one hour.  Remove from molds by running a knife gently around the edges of the bar. 

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This recipe made four bars using this soap mold from Michaels.  In my first soap making attempt I was not a huge fan, but this time I had better luck.  Practice makes perfect, they say!






You might also enjoy Nice and Spicy Melt and Pour Soap.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Paper Crafting Fun

My husband loves the color blue and woodworking.  This card captures both!

Ok.  I know this post is not timely at all.  And that's basically internet sin.  But just because I'm behind the eight ball doesn't mean I shouldn't share this fun craft!  Save it for next Valentine's Day or use the idea and modify it for Easter or any special occasion.  It's totally customizable!

My friend recently became a demonstrator for a popular stamping company.  Admittedly I've never really gotten into the paper crafting scene.  I've made a few cards here and there and even tried my hand at scrapbooking very briefly, but I've never invested in the necessary supplies or gadgets to keep it going.


This is a front view of my daughter's Valentine.
The heart and sentiment are stamped onto card stock.
This is a side view showing the paper sleeve that
I slid over the box.




















My friend always had so much fun making cards, though. Thinking it would be a good time, I told her I'd host a party and we'd have a fun night of making cards and having coffee and snacks with the ladies.  Good plan, right?

On the day of the party she brought enough supplies for everyone to make three cards and a box.  I actually ended up making two boxes (to which I added Dove Chocolates) and one card.  She had extras!  They turned out very cute and I think my kids and husband agree! The boxes held four or five Dove chocolate hearts.  

These are not your traditional red and pink valentines, but projects tailored toward the recipients.  My daughter's favorite color is green and my son loves gold.  My husband loves blue and woodworking.  As you can see I tried to incorporate a little of what they like in each Valentine.



My son's Valentine

At the party I purchased some supplies and so far I've made a few cute cards.  Stamping is more fun than I thought it would be.  If it turns out to be something I enjoy regularly, I'll post my creations here on the blog.  For now, you can enjoy my three little Valentines.



Leave a comment below with any tips and tricks if you are a paper crafter.



Friday, March 16, 2018

Pompom Bunnies



I got inspiration for this cuddly Easter craft here.  There was, of course, a pin that led me to it.  Pinterest rocks!  Although our bunnies aren't quite like the others that inspired them, I think they are darling.  And my daughter is getting so good at crafting!  She made the white one.  Adorable, right? 



To begin this kid-friendly craft, you'll need to make two pompoms.  First you wrap a bunch of yarn around a piece of cardboard.  Just when you think you wrapped enough, wrap some more.  Trust me.  You don't want small, sad pompoms.  



Once you have wrapped a whole bunch of yarn around, slide another piece of yarn into the space and tie it off.  Then pull the whole bunch completely off the cardboard and snip the circle in half, being careful to avoid your tie-off yarn.  Now start snipping and trimming until you get a pompom you like.  Click here for more detailed instructions on making pompoms.


Once you have made two pompoms, one slightly larger, hot glue them together.  Next, cut out some felt ears and glue them into place.  Finish it off with some googly eyes and a felt or foam nose.  

Voila!  


These are great for the kids!  Of course there must be hot glue supervision, but the rest is no fuss!


Pompom Bunny

Supplies
  • yarn
  • small piece of cardboard
  • felt for ears and nose
  • googly eyes
  • hot glue
Make pompoms according to instructions above.  (Alternatively, you may purchase pre-made pompoms.)  Glue the pompoms together.  Cut out ears and nose from felt.  Glue ears behind the smaller pompom then affix the eyes and nose.  
*I elected to exclude whiskers, but you could easily add those on with more yarn or fishing line.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Health and Beauty Roundup





Here's a post highlighting my health and beauty favorites.  Scroll down to see what you can make or use today!

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Make Your Own Deodorant
I've been turning to this DIY deodorant for about ten years now.  Think of that.  I've been saving my armpits from aluminum all that time!  It's the only deodorant I've used that doesn't irritate my sensitive skin.  Bonus: it works!




















This mask is great for moisture and detoxification, especially at this time of year.  Super simple and easy to prepare, this mask won't let you down.


















Click above for an easy DIY project that you can put together in minutes.  This easily customizable project is great for everyday use or unique gifting.  Give it a try!

























Click the link above to see my favorite beauty product. This one is not a DIY, but I love it nonetheless.  It's a staple I turn to every day!


























This post does not focus specifically on health and beauty, but I'd be remiss to exclude it.  Look at numbers 8 and 9 for ideas on how to treat athlete's foot and sunburn.  This is good stuff!



















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Friday, November 10, 2017

GUEST POST!! Catching Christmas Spirit: DIY Cat Toy


Thank you to Natalie McKee over at Leaping Cats for this lovely guest post!!  I am so excited to share with you her handmade creation.  We met through the Ultimate Blog Challenge, one of my best blogging experiences so far.  I hope you like her post!






Catching Christmas Spirit: DIY Cat Toy
By Natalie McKee

Cats are natural predators, but instead of stalking fabric mice or birds, this diy cat toy has them catching Christmas spirit! 

I know, pretty corny -- but really -- if you were looking for an easy Christmas craft, look no further. This “fishing pole” cat toy requires little more than ribbon and yarn, but will bring the magic of the holidays to your feline family members. 

Materials: 

-- Yarn (in one or more festive colors)

-- Ribbon (Christmas patterns are a great choice) 

-- One ¼ Dowel 

-- Pair of Scissors 

-- (Optional): Hot Glue Gun




Instructions: 

First things first, you’re going to want to make your pom poms. There are a number of methods for doing so, but I personally like using either my fingers or a kitchen fork to make the different sizes. The method for creating the pom poms is the same whether you use a fork or your fingers, simply replace the fork tines with two, three (even four!) of your fingers in the steps below. 

Pom Pom Creation: 

Take the end of your yarn and tuck it between two tines in the fork. Next, start wrapping the yarn around the fork over and over until you have a big bunch gathered up. The more yarn you use, the puffier the pom pom (and what’s better than a puffy pom pom?). 




Next, cut the yarn connecting the fork to the spool, and then, cut a piece of yarn that’s about 5 to 6 inches long. You are going to use this piece to tie off the pom pom. 




Now, slide one end of the yarn piece through the tines of the fork and gather it in a loop above the fork. 




Loosely tie that yarn around the yarn bundle, and then carefully slip the yarn bundle off the fork onto a flat working surface. 








Tie the knot very tightly, and double knot. You are creating the “heart” of the pom pom, and if it’s too loose the pieces will fall out once you are finished (I learned this the hard way…). I recommend tying and knotting once, and then doing it twice for good measure. 

Remember: Your cat is going to be batting this to pieces, and you’d like it to last longer than a few hours, ideally. 

Now, it’s time to cut the loops on either side of the center knot with scissors. (Sorry for switching colors on you in the pictures.) 




When you are done, you’ll have something akin to a bad hair day. You’ll need to carefully trim around the pom pom like you’re trimming a shrub to get a round shape. 








Note: The chubbier the yarn you use, the puffier the pom pom. The yarn I chose was definitely on the thinner side, and looked best in smaller pom poms made with the fork, rather than the larger one (pictured above) made by wrapping the yarn around three fingers. 

I made a total of five pom poms, but only ended up using my three favorites for the toy. 




Assembly: 

Next up, I tied a longer piece of yarn to each pom pom and then tied the yarn to the dowel. Double knot, again, for good measure.

You can use a dab of hot glue here to hold the yarn (on the dowel) in place. I offset each pom pom, so they hung at different lengths. You can make them hang as low as you’d like, but the lowest pom pom on mine hangs about 12 or 14 inches from the dowel. 

I then cut the ribbon into 10-inch pieces and tied bows onto the hanging yarn at the top of each pom pom. I cut the excess ribbon ends to keep each bow proportional. 

Tip: Using a lighter (verrrryyyy carefully!), melt the edges of your ribbon to keep it from unfurling. Keep a cup of water nearby, just in case ;) 




Now it’s time for the long ribbon! I simply looped long sections of ribbon (perhaps 2 ft. long? It’s up to you!) over the dowel and then trimmed each piece to a different length like with the pom pom yarn. I used three different ribbons, but you can use more or less as you see fit: 










In order to hide the yarn on the dowel and to keep all the ribbons together, I pushed the knots on the dowel close together and then tied another piece of yarn around all the hanging yarn/ribbon pieces and knotted it, covering the yarn knot with another ribbon knot. 




Finally, I used scissors to curl the pieces of ribbon (not because the cat cares, but because it made it pretty!). 

The finished product? Pretty magical! You could always buy some catnip spray and spritz a little onto each pom pom to make this new toy even more enticing. 

Simply hold it over your cat’s head and see what happens -- it might even distract him from climbing the Christmas tree.






About the Author: 

Natalie McKee rescued her family’s cat, Pumpkin, from living as a stray when he was just a kitten. A decade later she writes at Leaping Cats about ways to keep your indoor cat fit, healthy and happy. 


Do you like what you see?  Leave Natalie a comment here or on her blog to let her know!  



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