Try it Thursday: Shower Melts

You see them everywhere. Bath bombs, bath salts, shower gels all make your own or DIY!
Mom and I thought it would be fun to make our own. We settled on our recipe, shopped the hobby store for our molds and coloring. We decided on cute silicone candy molds and some regular plastic molds in the soap aisle. We were set! Then we had to find more than a small box of baking soda; off to the big box store to purchase a HUGE bag, the essential oils we already had. Breathe, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Tea Tree, Peppermint, Wild Orange and more. We are going to have some fun!
(Thank you Busy Bliss for your recipe)

 Shower Melts Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 2-5 tablespoons water
  • 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • (or your own combination of oils)
  • Soap colorant (optional)
  • Silicone mold (this is similar to what we used)
We found you can use cake, candy, cupcake, soap and candle silicone molds.

Directions

Add baking soda to a glass or metal bowl.
Slowly mix water with baking soda one tablespoon at a time until you reach a thick paste consistency.  You may not need 5 full tablespoons, you may need a bit more.
Add in your essential oil and soap colorant if using and mix well.  We used colors which coordinated (or tried to coordinate with the scent of the melts)   I used 15 – 20 drops of each oil because we wanted a stronger scent.  If you find it’s not strong enough, you can also add a drop of oil to the finished melt right before you get in the shower. We found our colorants at Hobby Lobby and chose the primary colors first; second round was lilac, peach and sea foam. They are reasonably priced at both there or at Amazon. The primary colorants work well as you can mix these to make more colors than just the three. This is what the mixture looks like after the soap coloring is added.  It’s a little like wet sand.
Press your mixture firmly into your mold.  It may get watery at the top once it settles.  Just take a paper towel and blot the water away.  Put it in the freezer to dry.
After about an hour, your shower melts are ready to use (if you leave them in longer, they seem to collect more moisture and crumbles easily when removing them from the mold.  Store them in a dry, airtight container for 1-2 months.

Every gift which is given, even though it be small, is in reality great, if it is given with affection.

Pindar

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using my link, I will receive compensation at no additional cost to you.

 

DK

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Merry Monday: December Bucket List

Have you heard of something called a “bucket list”? Man, I have and I have tons of things on it.
Travel the world
Swim with the dolphins
Travel first class
See the northern lights
But what if… you take your bucket list and tweak it to each month?
How fun would that be?
I came up with a December Bucket list, hope you enjoy!
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Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store.
Dr. Seuss
DK

Try it Thursday: Knitting

Have you ever tried to knit? Have you ever wanted to learn to knit?
I love to knit; however, I can only knit one blanket pattern. It’s so easy and just as easy to change sizes. When I first started making them, I was making them for the babies of coworkers; I had one mom tell me she called it her daughters “crack” blankie, as she absolutely loved the blanket and wouldn’t give it up. I was absolutely addicted to the blankets, I found any reason to make them and they were great to work on when there was down time on the job, and it’s always made me happy to give these blankets.
Then I ran out of babies. So, I tried bigger ones for adults; LOTS of work with those and very heavy to carry into work; and it seemed, they were not as appreciated for the big people as they were by the little people. I was sad. I continued to make them though, running to every yarn sale at the craft stores, changing colors, sizes, yarn types:  just making them makes me happy. I ended up with about 25 I sent to the victims advocacy program and then 25 went to a church ministry. NOW, I have a boat load of partial yarn skeins, so I just use them up. Start with these two colors, one ends, change colors and move on.  Are the blankets perfect? Absolutely not! They aren’t meant to be. But, they are always made with love and I  pray the person getting the blanket can feel that love that’s tucked into each knit and purl stitch.
I have been lagging on knitting, instead always finding something else to do. Then, I got a new baby to knit for. My granddaughter. She’s not here yet, so I have time to make (try to make) a new pattern.
A New Beginning
Granddaughters Blanket Don’t tell her mom about it.
Besides working on the granddaughters blanket; I have challenged myself to start making scarves to leave in the parks for those in need. Yes, I am still making the blankets too, I always feel better after I’ve taken some time to knit, think and pray.
What is this amazing knit pattern? It’s all over Pinterest sometimes in this color or that color, but it’s like the most popular easy blanket to do.  I do make mine just a bit differently; instead of just one color of yarn, I use two complimenting colored yarns of the same weight. If you make it with a larger and smaller weight, it becomes wonky, and you don’t want wonky. It does cost a bit more to do it that way, but I believe, it’s a bit warmer with the two strands instead of just one.
Try it out, let me see yours. If you knit, show me some of your knitting.
Knitting not only relaxes me, it also brings a feeling of being at home.
Magdalena Neuner
DK

Me Monday: Crafts & Hobbies

Happy Monday!
Happy Fall!
Happy October!
Today is about me and crafting or rather me and crafting addictions.
I am kind of picky about the crafts I do. But then, you just never know.
I’ve always loved to decorate cakes. I started decorating when my youngest sister graduated high school and I got to make her cake. I had never had any instructions, just picked up the Wilton Yearbook and found what I wanted to do. Back then YouTube wasn’t around and quite frankly, I don’t have patience for YouTube. I would rather do a one on one with someone or a class to learn something new. I can’t ask YouTube questions and they can’t see what I am doing; right or wrong. Cakes were baked, frosting was made and I was going to have to do 50 Royal Icing roses. I had never done roses OR messed with RI. My grandma and I rolled up our sleeves (well, she got up on her stool to watch) and dug in. RI is tricky and if you don’t start out with it correctly made, it won’t work. Except, if you’re me and you just keep trying to fix it. 3/4 can of Royal Icing mix and 250 roses later, my wrist was swollen and in great pain (who knew RI got firmer and firmer with more mix AND more air?). But, I got it done. It wasn’t my best work, but it was my first cake.
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One of my last cakes I made after “quitting”
I continued with cake decorating; taking & teaching classes, making them for friends and family and finally running a cakery out of my house. I haven’t done many cakes since I had to quit in 2013 due to my health problems and I had a wedding cake that completely me shook me to my core. I was happy with it, but it wasn’t exactly like the bride wanted so I freaked out. I miss it, but then I look at all the new techniques and get a bit overwhelmed.
Next was ceramics. My mom did that when I was little and also thought it looked fun. I started out with the pieces you paint and not fire and moved onto the unfinished pieces. I really had a great time with those, but after a while, I decided it just wasn’t for me. I have one piece I love and still have.
At 42, I learned to knit (and crochet). It was something I had wanted to learn for some time, so I treated myself to knitting lessons. I now hold the world’s title for most “yarn explosions” and I can complete one kind of blanket and some scarves by knitting and washcloths and towels, with crocheting, that was nice years ago.
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I’ve also tried (very unsuccessfully) scrap-booking; I bought lots of fun stuff…with very little results.
Bottle cap jewelry/hair bows/key chains etc. I had a lot of fun with those. They got me through my surgeries. Gave me something to do. I now have about $500 in supplies and $1500 in finished caps!
Coloring; I love to color. It helps reduce my stress and let’s me think without having to pay attention to what I am doing.
Photography; I took this one slower, mainly because I didn’t have the money to purchase the camera I wanted. I received several gift cards for Christmas one year: The camera was on sale, with the GC’s I paid $90 for the camera, case and memory card. This your for my birthday, my son gave me an upgrade on my camera. My dream camera would be one I can take pictures of the moon, the stars and the skies! Mostly, the moon and stars!
And now, painting rocks. I have really kept myself in check cost wise and found, I still have a good time!
The moral of the story, if you don’t find your niche with one craft project or hobby, don’t be afraid to try again. Just don’t go out and blow your whole paycheck each week for supplies!
Go forth and CRAFT!
A young actor once asked me, What do you do between jobs? I said, Hobbies, hobbies, and more hobbies.
Robert Duvall
DK

Try it Thursday: #KindnessMatters T-Shirts

I gotta say, this summer has flown by so very quickly, sometimes I don’t know if I am coming or going. Today we have the Sisters Craft Day.
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Awhile back I saw a photo of a #KindnessMatters t-shirt on Pinterest I wanted to get, however, it was just a bit outside of my price range, so I resorted to the most resourceful person I know, my sister. She has a Cricut, not the bug type, but the craft thing. We had discussed making my t-shirts awhile back but like I said, the summer and the days flew by. Finally, she had time, I had time and it was girls day out. First we went out to lunch at a neighborhood restaurant, it’s the diner type of food, you know, the large portions, the great food, the cheap prices? Sister got a grilled cheese and french fries and I got two eggs, two pieces of bacon and one (HEAVENLY) biscuit with gravy! Food was marvelous, however, the waitress scared us both a time or two. But, we talked, ate and had some girl fun.
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Off to the Dollar Store after we checked out the Estate Sale shop. I have to say, it’s a good thing I have no room and on a budget, I found so many items in the Estate Sale shop!! Sister and her hubby remodeled their house over the past few months and decided to add chickens to the mix, so she was on the lookout for a decorative chicken, not a real one. Sadly, we went home without a chicken.
Off to the Craft Store. We had COOPNS! Good coupons along with some pretty good sale prices too! Found me a couple of t-shirts in colors I love and found some glittery vinyl to compliment the t’s with the hashtag #KindnessMatters on them. While she’s checking those out, I’m checking out paint for painted rocks. Truth be told, I love going to the craft store and love to look at lots of stuff and therefore, hard to keep track of.
Back to the story!
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Sister being crafty and working hard.
Who knew there were so many fonts to choose from! We found a couple of different ones we thought would look good and away she went. Setting up the system, creating the wording, printing them off, then she did something called weeding (you will notice, there are no weeds in the house and it was 95* outside, I was so glad she didn’t mean we had to actually go outside and weed). Center the wording. Measure twice, cut once, wait! we aren’t cutting anything. She did trust me with the chore to keep the iron on and hot, she must not have heard about my fights with the glue gun.
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No worries though, I didn’t let it turn off, fall off or burn me. I had a successful day!  

Once the transfer was on the back, we decided we should also add the #bekind to the sleeve. However, #bekind looked a bit off so it was changed to #BeKind.

So the T-Shirts turned out awesome! Huge thank you to my Sister for helping me! Who knows what Girls Craft day will be next time!

 

“You may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows through both your hearts. You need her, as she needs you…”
― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

 

DK

Try it Thursday: Christmas in July

OK, I know it’s not July still, but I thought about doing Christmas in July too late. So, I will be doing some more random ones through the rest of the holiday season.
Today we do another tree. I already had the form so I was saving money. Right?
I found several different instructions and since I am working with a budget, I found I really liked the one with buttons. I LOVE to collect buttons, I have some of my grandfathers, some new ones, some from the store, but I had to purchase some gold(ish) ones for the look I wanted. I didn’t use any of the fancy buttons of my grandfathers, saving those for something else.
Off to the hobby store to find some gold or Christmasy buttons. B was in the car with me, in fact he was driving, so he also got the pleasure of taking me to the hobby store. I have to say, he is not one for the hobby stores, but he does make times fun. I’ve learned  to play WITH the shenanigans instead of against them. Usually we end up with lots of people laughing with us, which is better than laughing AT us…which that happens too.
Bruce
Yes, I LOVE going to the hobby store
Anywho Back on track.
I had my tree form, buttons, stick pins and glue gun.
Glue gun wasn’t in the project, however, when I got to pinning, there were gaps and instead of the pin heads on the teeny tiny buttons, I just glued them on.
Start from the bottom of the form and work your way up, I found it easier to use bigger buttons on the bottom and then different sizes on the way up. Make sure you secure the button with a stick pin (and maybe even a splash of hot glue). I choose the pin heads with a white pearl color instead of just a white; I wanted red, but didn’t find any. I found a small box of the pins for just $4.99 for 150, my buttons were on sale for 50% off (regular price was $5.99 for 32) for just $3.00; the cost of the tree, just about $10.
Randomly add your buttons all the way up, took me about 45 minutes to complete. May have taken just a little less if I hadn’t decided to hot glue a button to my finger. Yes, it stuck, yes it burned and yes, it blistered. I know, I know, I gave the PSA about using HOT glue guns, which makes this even worse to tell. Once I started, I thought of all kinds of other things I could do to this, but I just didn’t have the buttons I really wanted.
Since I had a Christmas back drop, I took a “family” photo of the trees
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Hope you enjoyed the Tree Series. Next week, Peaches!!! It’s harvest time!
“The discipline of creation, be it to paint, compose, write, is an effort towards wholeness.”
― Madeleine L’Engle,
DK

Try it Thursday: Christmas in July

I know, I know. It’s too early to start thinking about Christmas. Evidently, Michaels and Walmart thought so too. Hobby Lobby had my number though, they realize it takes crafters more than just a week or two to craft items. B was not at all happy about this, so he just dropped me off and went to the hardware store, it’s easier on us both if he doesn’t craft shop with me.
My shopping list:
Styrofoam/floral styrofoam cones (I got different sizes)
Glue (just plain old white glue, I did opt for the clear though)
Spray Glue
Decorations
Glue gun/sticks
What I didn’t have on the list, but needed:
Yarn
Embroidery thread
saran wrap
Starch (I used what I had on hand for ironing)
Christmas Trees 
I found these instructions when I was madly pinning one night, so I tucked them in one of my boards, at the time, I just glanced over them. You will find, I do this a lot and sometimes, not always, it comes back to bite me in the rear. This time, I went back to the ones I had saved on my Pinterest boards and they were all in Spanish. Don’t worry, I studied the pictures, however, that may have lost something in translation, but it’s all I had to go on.
The instructions had pictures of both with either yarn or embroidery thread. I liked the thread idea as it wasn’t as bulking as the yarn, did I make a good choice? Stay tuned. Mom and I have stashes of both the thread and the yarn, so there was no need to purchase anymore as we have our own little craft shop in the closets…hiding… Next was to decide, thread or yarn, or both! I chose both. I had two forms, let’s try them out at the same time.
I found the colors closest to Christmas (soon found this would be great for any holiday really). What was in my arsenal were reds, blues, greens, whites and greys; so I choose greys and white for the first tree of thread and in my yarn stash, I chose light green and white.
I set up my table with my forms (I chose two sizes) newspaper, my choices of thread, a small Tupperware bowl and my glue.
Step 1: Untangle the thread, put it in the bowl, then poured glue on top of it. Remember when you were a kid and you put glue on your hands and peeled it off? Best thing EVER! You will get to do that again!
I didn’t remove the plastic wrap on the forms as it’s in experimental stages right now, I’m trying everything. If you wanted to, this would be when you would wrap your form in plastic.
Step 2a: Take the end of the thread (I didn’t separate the thread, it’s your choice if you want the fuller or skinnier effect), make sure it has plenty of school glue on it then stick it to the lowest part of the form. Wrap the thread around a few times to make sure it has a sturdy support system, then wrap the thread up and around the form, making sure you always have plenty of glue on the thread. I did two skeins of the lighter grey and two skeins of the white.  Once I had it all wrapped like I wanted, I had to find my fingers in all the glue, so a quick trip to the sink to wash off my hands.
Step 2b: I did the same thing on the larger form, except, I used the spray glue. I lightly sprayed the form still in the plastic wrap, then wrapped some of the yarn up the form, making sure I had a nice foundation on the bottom of the forms so it would be able to stand. When I got about half way up the form, I lightly sprayed the already wrapped yarn and repeated wrapping and spraying until I had the coverage how I wanted.
***Note: you should do this outside for better ventilation. Also, I held the form as I sprayed it, it may have worked better if I had it sitting on some newspaper. Why? I glued my feet to the porch from the falling glue. Just sayin…
Part 3: Patience is a virtue~ Let the form set overnight or at least a couple of hours just to make sure it’s good and dry.
Part 4: Now, it’s time to remove them.
With the regular school glue, I went around the form and kind of squeezed it lightly and twisted to loosen it from the plastic wrap. Just another note, if you use the plastic wrap on the form, take off the sticker of identification, the glue loves to stick to that and I ended up with a weak area where the sticker was. Took some time to get it loose, but I also didn’t want to compromise it’s structural integrity, after all I was building a forest.   Time was not my friend on this one, after a few hours,  it started to droop a bit, so I went and found the starch and I sprayed that on the starch the tree. I did just a little bit at a time just to make sure it was evenly coated and because I didn’t want it too stiff, but no longer sagging.
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Thread tree
The form with the spray glue and yarn didn’t work out so well. It wanted to stick to that plastic and forget about getting it off of the sticker. I ended up cutting off the plastic wrap and removing the form that way, instead of just sliding it like I had done with the thread. After I removed the yarn from the plastic wrap (it was very sticky, but still usable), I used yarn and thread to make a new one, I did the school glue method again and I wrapped first with thread and then with yarn.
Adding decorations:
 
Even though the craft store had it’s Christmas crafting goodies out, they didn’t have any tiny decorations I was looking for, so I improvised. I purchased some of the berry sticks from the floral department and then snipped them off the branch to use. I used the glue gun, please remember, they can be a HOT glue gun and the glue does get HOT!
The white one is the thread one. I think if I had used more thread, it may have stood up better. And yes, the white one is leaning.
If one takes pride in one’s craft, you won’t let a good thing die. Risking it through not pushing hard enough is not a humility.
Paul Keating
DK