‘Bad Weather’ Days

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Happy Wednesday! Across many parts of the United States, we are being hit by bad weather towards the end of our winter. Trees had begun blooming, grass growing, and in rolls the storm. Suddenly you are stuck at home, with or without power, wondering what to do with your day off…

As long as I am warm and there is power, I try not to worry too much. Relaxing on my favorite chair with a book or movie and drinking some coffee or cocoa is a great day for me. Some people like to keep busy, though. This may be the perfect time to bring out some crafts or games you’ve been waiting to try.

  • If you like to crochet, this fun PDF pattern of an Octopus Scarf looks great!
  • If you like knitting, maybe some fingerless gloves!
  • If it look like there might be power issues, a candlemaking project might be a good one. Check here for a recipe!
  • Some people love to cook, especially a one pot stew or recipe. I’ve found some great ones on Epicurious, or you might open up one of your cookbooks- I have several from family members.

Whether it’s a project or a lazy day, stay warm and safe this week!

 


Sweet Smells of Success

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Happy Sunday!

This week has been all ups and downs as far as weather is concerned here in the Midwest U.S. The beautiful amount of sun and pleasant temperatures have got me thinking about all of the activities I enjoy in the Spring/Summer, one in particular being my trips to the local Renaissance Faire. I love the fun and frolic to be had at Faire but as I’ve also mentioned before, I love the vendors as well. There are certain vendors that I patronize every year but I always look forward to finding new ones (or at least new to me)! One I was very pleased to stumble across last summer was Beeswyck Chandlery/Scenter Square body products. A note for the “non-Rennies” (those that don’t attend Faire), when you are a merchant at a Ren Faire, you are often expected to create a period appropriate character, name, and ambiance for your shop. So at Faire, Shannon’s (the proprietor) shop is known as Beeswyck while online she runs Scenter Square. I have fallen head over heels for her soap. It’s light, airy, doesn’t strip my skin of all moisture and comes in a wide array of scents/colors. It’s all vegan, natural and, of course, handmade!

   

Her formulas are safe for my sensitive skin and her often whimsical (and geeky!) scent blends evoke their namesakes. Two of my absolute favorites are the Honey Meade and the Scottish Heather but the Princess Bride themed As You Wish soap was sweet/light and definitely made me think of “twoo wuv”. This is not to say that we are limited to just the soaps. I have not personally used any of the other products YET but from the reviews, it appears I absolutely need to get my hands on some of her natural deodorant, solid shampoo/conditioner, and lip butters.

   

Coming from someone that cannot use most commercial deodorant sticks, I think a further future product review is in order. After all of these lovely items, I can’t very well forget her Faire shop’s focus, either. The candles come in most of the same scents (some additional ones, too) in beeswax pillars or tapers or in soy tins or even wax melts! The whimsy is here as well with names like Pixie Dust and Unicorn Farts (I seriously laughed out loud at that one).

 

I highly recommend a look through her wares and if you find yourself at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Wisconsin this summer, stop by for a sniff! Shannon is very willing to work with you for the best in customer service, online and in person. Scenter Square can be found on their website and on Etsy.

Unfortunately, my Renn Faire dreams have to stay just dreams for a few months yet but at least I have the scents to keep me going.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Epsom Salt Christmas Candles

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers!

I have for you today a lovely DIY that’s cheap and cheerful and can make for some easy gift giving for those in your life that you’d like to acknowledge but, like for co-workers, maybe you don’t want to spend a lot of money on gifts for such a large group of people. This tutorial is taken from Hub Pages and what I love best about this tutorial is that it can be done in so many different ways with so many different colours that can make them a great token gift for occasions that aren’t holiday related, as well. One thing to keep in mind, it’s not ideal for the epsom salts to be burned so you may want to inform the receiver.  That being said they make amazing decorative pieces, and if you’re using large pillar candles, they can be used so long as they are not burned straight to the edges.

Your materials and tools are simple: You will need some undecorated pillar candles – they can be any size and height but I do recommend that you splurge a little bit and get ones that are of a higher quality paraffin wax and cotton wick so that you don’t have smokey wicks or extremely drippy candles that would make them more of a pain to use. You will need your preferred colours of acrylic or tempera paint (which any craft store will have), clear craft glue, epsom salts (which you can buy on the cheap at any pharmacy or grocery store), masking or painter’s tape (painter’s tape is easier to remove), as well as paint brushes. Also make sure to cover whatever surface you’ll be working on. You can also get some glitter to mix in with the epsom salts, but glitter is far less easy to clean up.

Candles taped and ready for painting. Notice that you can do any type of design, and to make them safer to burn, you can avoid putting anything around the top rim.

Candles taped and ready for painting. Notice that you can do any type of design, and to make them safer to burn, you can avoid putting anything around the top rim.

First, you will need to tape off the areas of the candle that you don’t want painted or salted. Before you start, you’ll need to mix your paint and glue together, to eliminate any extra steps. Just use equal parts of glue and paint to ensure that the salt will stick to the candle. Pour some (or lots) epsom salts on a plate and set this aside for rolling.

Notice that both the top and bottom sections of candle are taped off, so you'll have a cool design that still lets you have a usable candle. (For those who haven't burned pillars before, you generally have a shell of wax as you burn through the centre and only have to worry about the top edge being covered)

Notice that both the top and bottom sections of candle are taped off, so you’ll have a cool design that still lets you have a usable candle. (For those who haven’t burned pillars before, you generally have a shell of wax as you burn through the centre and only have to worry about the top edge being covered)

When you get started, apply the paint/glue mixture liberally to any area that isn’t covered in tape, but be sure not to paint the bottom of the candle. To make it easier to take the tape off afterwards, try not to paint all over the covered areas.

When you’re finished, roll the candle through the epsom salts a few times to ensure you get lots adhered to the candle, and when you’re finished, give it lots of time to dry, say, 4 hours or even overnight.

Once everything is dry, you can peel the tape off and throw it away to reveal your work of art. You can do whole candles to make it look like snow if you use clear glue, you can paint diagonal lines like a candy cane, or you can just detail the bottom of the candle. Your imagination is your limit, so find things to inspire you! A snowy candle wrapped with a bow is a gorgeous thing.

Have fun and happy crafting!

~Megan


Constellation Luminaries

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I love space. I find it to be so beautiful and filled with so many questions and not being in space kinda bums me out sometimes. While these aren’t space, they’re still pretty awesome.

Made by etsy artist Modern Mud, these are hand made ceramic luminaries with holes and lines that imitate the major constellations. The design was originally a wedding commission, they turned out so lovely that Naomi Singer decided to make them available to the world. 🙂 My space needs certainly appreciate this decision.

These candle holders mean business too. Measuring about 7″ tall, they can hold a small votive or even a pillar candle! I’m already picturing them paired with some of my favorite scented candles and the view is beautiful and smells great. 😉 She also makes all sorts of other delightful ceramic items such as ring dishes, vases and even personalized holiday ornaments. 😀 All of her work is in this same simple and clean style, so I highly recommend giving her gallery a look.


Tree Lights

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I bring you a small project that is super cute and can lead to a lot of different customization depending on how creative you are. I’ve taken the photos and you can find the full tutorial from The Fanciful Miser, who provides a lot of excellent photos and tips.

To make this beautiful piece, you will need some supplies:

Two colours of ribbon

Six glass votive candle holders (you can easily find these at a home store, dollar store or craft store)

Six battery operated tea light candles (so there’s no homes burning down)

Wide burlap ribbon

Branches – sturdy ones (either scavenged outside or bought from a garden or craft store)

A large glass vase

Sand and medium sized rocks

Glue gun and stick and thread (for the sewing)

 

 

Your first step is to arrange your branches with the medium sized rocks in the base of the vase. These rocks will help to keep the branches sturdy and keep them from moving.

For further stabilization, you’ll need to add the sand and smaller stones. so that those branches won’t be blowing in any breeze.

Next cut your burlap ribbon to wrap around the vase to hide the sand and branches. Glue the ends together with your glue gun to secure it around the vase.

If the burlap is too plain for you, you can tie some of the ribbon around the burlap or decorate it as you see fit. Next, take your coloured ribbon and cut two strips of the same size and cross them under the glass votive holders at the middle. Use your glue gun to affix the ribbon to each other and to the glass.

Hold your votive upside down and pull the ribbons together tightly and folding the ends over. (Make sure the ribbons are held so that the votive will balance without tipping to one side.)

Take a look at the image below – this is how you want your votives to hang.

After you have balanced your ribbons, you can fold the ends over so they look a little more finished and either sew or glue the ends of the ribbon together

Complete those steps for all the other votive holders, and make sure that you have three in each colour of ribbon.

I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial. Remember that your creativity is your friend with this project. Use ribbons that match with the season or your decor, you can fill the glasses with glitter covered fruits for the holidays, or candy for halloween. You could fill your little votives with some water and even put fresh flowers in each. Have fun!

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan

 


Light Up Your Autumn

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Greetings Sunday readers!

As promised, even if the weather isn’t complying, I am going to continue hoping that autumn will burst forth with a riot of lovely colors and I will be ready to meet it with my crafts! Last week we had some great warm crafts and this week I’d like to continue the warmth idea with a few ideas for fall candles.

First I thought, what about the scent of autumn? The leaves, the crisp air, and most of all the spices! I would love to have a spicy pie scent permeating my home. So I found this lovely pumpkin pie a la mode DIY candle:

Mmmmmmm....tasty.

Mmmmmmm….tasty.

It looks and sounds like the perfect thing to put me in the autumn mood. But perhaps we could capture some of that glorious color just beginning right now? We may have to wait until the actual leaves start falling (or maybe substitute fake leaves if you can’t wait) to get this particular look:

So pretty, festive, and cheap!

So pretty, festive, and cheap!

It’s definitely a start but once the season really gets rolling, I’m going to want something more. If you, like me, have a love affair with fall gourds maybe this last one is right up your alley:

Yes, yet another use for those lovely gourds!

Yes, yet another use for those lovely gourds!

Despite the lingering summer weather here, this makes me feel a little more in the right mood for the calendar date. Just one more week until it’s official!

See you on the other side and remember to stay crafty!

~Laura


The Melting Library

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Like Hermione do you love the smell of books? Or perhaps you’ve always wondered what some of your favorite book locations have smelt liked while reading about them. If you are then the Melting Library is just the store for your olfactory senses.

Designed by Raquel Nevarez back in 2012, these candles are perfectly named and blended to invoke the scents from some of the most fantastical locations. I also love the way her labels look like the old library book return cards. Every feature has been well planned with her candles and having worked with candles before, I love the idea of ordering them online so I don’t have to kill my nose in a store full of them instead. XP

Even if you don’t want the scent to be of a book location you’ll still find lovely ones like the Summer Reading which give you the smell of the beach while staying in the comfort of your home. Just take a browse through her etsy store for a whole menagerie of scented delights. If you like candles you won’t be disappointed.


DIY: Moroccan Candle Holders

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Hello Thursday readers,

It’s time for another easy yet satisfying DIY tutorial.  If you’ve read my posts, you’ll know how much I love doing things with plain glass, whether it be frosting, painting or drawing. I bring to you another project which you can do in mason jars, stemless (or stemmed, if you prefer) drinkware, or any other plain glass jar or container that you think would look great with a candle inside it.  This tutorial comes from Creme de la Craft and is super easy and looks a lot more complex than it actually is.

You will need a few things for this project, and all of them you should be able to find at your local craft store. You will need transparent glass paint in two different colours (you can get a few and mix and match as you see fit), puffy paint (sometimes called dimensional paint) in whatever colour you wish, but silver/gold/black seem to look the best, in my oh so humble opinion. You’ll also need a paper plate so a mess isn’t made, and your oven.

First thing you’ll need to do is pour your first colour of glass paint into the bottom of the glass so that the bottom is completely covered. Start tilting and turning your glass so that gravity can pull the paint up the walls of the container. Feel free to add more paint if you find you don’t have enough to swirl. While still holding your glass on it’s side, you can add your second colour of paint to the walls and continue to rotate the jar so that all of the walls have some of the second colour of paint on them.  Rotate the jar a little bit more to get the paint moving, and then turn the jar upside down on the paper plate and the excess paint will roll down the sides of the jar.  After a few minutes, if the walls aren’t fully covered, you may need to add a little more paint and repeat this step.

Let the excess paint drip down for about an hour, though you should rotate your jar every 15-20 minutes so that it doesn’t actually dry and stick to the plate. After the hour has passed, turn the jar upright and let it dry.

For a durable finish, let dry for a full 48 hours then bake the jar for 30 minutes at 200°F in a non-preheated oven. Allow to cool with the oven door open. (based on instructions from paint manufacturer – please follow the directions on whatever paint you buy.)
Using the applicator tip on the dimensional paint bottle, paint your desired pattern onto the bottle. For best results, first sketch a design on a piece of paper and practice using the paint before applying onto the jar. You can also search for designs. I find that Indian henna designs are a great inspiration and look fantastic when they’re done.
Happy crafting!
~Megan

Light Up Your Life

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Happy Sunday, all!

There was a third vendor at Philly Comic Con that I really must gush about. Dan at Altruistic makes some of the most wonderful wooden geekery! They make clocks, pendants, amazing cosplay accessories, and other nerdy goodies.

AltruisticGallifreyClock  AltruisticVaultBoyPendant  AltruisticMasterSword

Their most unique creations, though, are the tea light boxes. Small, carved wooden boxes in your favorite fandoms with your choice of different colored battery operated tea lights!

AltruisticGreenTealight  AltruisticJSTealight  AltruisticMKTealight

These would make absolutely fantastic night lights for the kids (or yourself) or great accent pieces for your game room. The best part is that the “faces” are interchangeable, so you can buy some to make everyone in the house happy and just switch them around when you like. Let it be noted that if you don’t see your heart’s desire on their site, they also do custom work!

If you like what you see and want to add some clever geek pieces to your home, Altruistic can be found on Facebook and their website.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Recycling in a New Light.

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Hi there folks!

Just a quick and easy diy from Practically Functional for candle lovers! Additional photos and a second tutorial can be found here.

So for this project you’ll need some old washed and de-labeled tuna cans (or cans of equivalent size), some string if you’d like to hang them, spray paint (or regular paint), and some beautiful wrapping paper. You’ll also need a few tools, a glue gun and a hammer and nail will do the trick. If you’d like to hang these on the walls without string you’ll need some adhesive tape.

 

First thing you’ll need to do is clean your cans and then when they’re dry, paint the insides a different colour if you’re not a fan of the silver. If you like the tin, you can just skip this step.

 

Next, you’ll need to cut your wrapping paper into strips that are the same size as the outside of your can, and glue these to the outside.

The last step, is to simply decide how you would like to hang them. You can use some double sided adhesive tape to stick them to the walls since they’re so light, or you can also use a hammer and nail to make a hole in the side of the tin which you can tie a string to so that you can hang them.

Add a lighted candle and, voila! A diy that is super impressive for how easy it is.  I hope that you have a fantastic week!

~Megan