Friday, December 19, 2014

Happy Birthday! Look who's 8!

I really believe this kid knew more about the universe than me the day she was born. That look of knowing and wonder never ceases to amaze me.

We had a great birthday week filled with friends, fun, The Nutcracker, and wild parties. Here's to being 8, and so far it's been great :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Handmade Holidays: Bottle Cap Candles & Lotions

There's nothing like last minute crafting! We were scheming for quite some time about what we would create this year, and we are so excited to share!

Our first gift was born from our love of essential oils. We have been reading about the healing effects and health benefits from certain oils and decided to mix up some of our own concoctions.

We chose peppermint and lavender for it's calming effects from tension and stress. Peppermint is also great to use for headache relief. Plus, they do mingle very well together. As coconut oil as our base, we had all our supplies on hand!

We've been using DoTerra oils lately. However, when making bulk gifts, I'm quite pleased with the Aura Cacia oils, they are good quality and much cheaper. They can be found at any health food store. 
Since I save every single container I've ever used, we had plenty on hand at the house. We found these in our mountain of empty containers and felt they would suit us well. 

We heated the coconut oil over boiling water and mixed in the peppermint and lavendar oils. Our ratio was 1 teaspoon each essential oil per every cup of coconut oil. 

Once everything was in liquid form and well blended, we ladeled it into our containers. 

With fancy new markers, we just made the easiest gift ever!

We knew we wanted to make candles this year but weren't sure which direction to head with them. We usually mass produce the gifts we give to neighbors. (Click here for last year's gifts.) I didn't want to use large containers since that could get expensive. We settled on bottle caps as tea lights. There seems to be plenty of beer bottles in our recycling each week, so I know we could gather enough bottle caps in plenty of time. Just in case, I had a friend help me out saving his bottle caps as well. Between the two of us, there was an ample supply of materials! Yikes! Here's a very, very small excerpt of our collection.

got supplies at AC Moore. You can get premade wicks, but for a fraction of the cost, you can make your own with the wick tabs and a roll of the wick material. The instructions were printed on the wick tab package and it was easy to assemble.

We simply melted the wax over boiling water, spooned the wax into the bottle cap and placed the wick inside. This was a little more time consuming as I didn't want the girls to pour the hot wax into such a small container. 

The results were awesome!

We are super excited about handing out these gifts this year! 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Halloween ----> Snow

Fun and shenanigans is usually the theme of Halloween around here. It also seems to be the theme for everything else I'm involved in as well, but that's another story. 

The girls were creative and decided to go vintage by donning a replica of candy buttons. I'm pleased to say they came up with the idea and created the costume themselves....except for the hot glue and styrofoam contact part, I think I'm still high from the fumes.

Cold temperatures and heavy rains arrived right at the start of trick or treat time. Luckily Dave and neighbor Steve and their innovative ideas gave us nothing to fear.

There's no need to put the patio furniture away just yet. We stayed (mostly) dry and warm for our evening of fun.

Spiked drinks and all, we had a great time. I'm glad we create such memories for our kids. Oftentimes I'm afraid of what they will remember most ;)

We had a double bonus the next morning 
as we woke to a wintery wonderland.

Oh what fun to have my first trail run in the snow, a walk in the woods with my family, and an impromptu gathering with some favorite friends later that night. Make us look forward to the season ahead. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Busy Hands

Our favorite time of the year has come! We are enjoying the crisp mornings, the night walks, and the pull of bringing everything inward. 
This is the most creative time of the year for the girls and I as we jump into fall projects and plan ahead for the winter months. 
Our business just doesn't include sitting inside and crafting, but enjoying the outdoors and the friends that gravitate near us. 

Of course I'm carving time in my schedule to dust off the Singer and start on some projects. It's almost predictable who comes out of the woodwork and shows up here to visit, craft, and create with me. I'm feeling the pull towards these folks as I'm finding a peaceful place within myself. I'm acutely aware of who I choose to spend my free time with, and I'm grateful for the insight of which battles I need to let go. Autumn and all its richness seems to come at a time when I realize I need to get away from some "friends" and find my way to others. A time when old ideas fade away and new ones are formed. 
I look forward to my women's craft nights, drinking a PBR by my singer, taking felt and floss with me as a portable project during my down time waiting for my kids, starting Crafternoons with some of my favorite neighborhood kids, and of course creativity.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Appliqué project for kids

This weekend we tried our hand at appliqué. It was quite a success! 
We had some plain t shirts that could use some spiffing up and some scrap fabric waiting to be utilized.

We found our designs via google images. You can find outlines of just about anything by putting the word "silhouette" after it. We searched "pumpkin silhouette" and "star silhouette" we printed out the images. 

The girls then traced their images with a Sharpie on to a piece of Heat & Bond. (Found at any fabric store with very easy instructions.)

Then fancy fabrics were chosen.

We ironed the Heat & Bond to the back of the fabric. Since the outline from the Sharpie was clearly visible, cutting the fabric was simple. (We did use fabric scissors for this step.)

Once the fabric was cut, the girls peeled off the paper from the Heat & Bind side and ironed the fabric right on the shirt. 

We reinforced our fabric with a fancy zig zag stitch around the edges.

The girls were quite pleased with the outcome. 

This will be on my radar every time I see plain shirts on sale. This project took just little over an hour and the girls had fun.