I saw these two videos in my CBS (Community Bible Study) class and they made such an impression on me.  I love it—so cool!

It’s Friday but Sunday is Comin’

That’s My King!

Find more here: http://www.ignitermedia.com.

I love this tutorial from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam!  When I had my daughter almost 2 years ago I was trying to figure out how to make one of these and gave up.now pregnant with my 3rd and will have to give this a try for this one.  But really—are you ever too old for one of these???  Maybe I’ll still make one for her—they’re gorgeous!  Thank you Balancing Beauty and Bedlam!

Pottery Barn Inspired Bedroom Decor November 30, 2009 Hearing that a post has inspired both creativity and frugality in one of my readers delights me to no end. When Cara emailed me that she had some Pottery Barn inspired bedroom decor and had conquered a Pottery Barn chandelier for under $10, I was delighted that she shared the pictures. Her ideas can be fitted to any number of varying decorating tastes. I am in the process (yes, the process has been stalled on quite a few occasions) of finishing my girls’ room with a PB inspired butterfly theme. I can’t wait to show you how an entire room makeover can happen for under $100 (with furniture). This butterfly chandelier is a wonderful start. Here is the original inspiration from the Pottery Barn, which is no longer sold. Considering that this gorgeous Chapiz Chandelier is selling for $129 right now, I am guessing, the butterfly one would not have fit into my frugal bedroom decor category. But Cara’s sure does!! Let’s see how you can make one of these Pottery Barn inspired chandeliers for less than ten dollars. Your daughters will love you for it. Supplies: Embroidery Hoop (only the solid hoop is needed; the hoop I used is about 14in in diameter) Twine / String Ribbon (1/2 inch or so width) Ribbon (thin) Beads Card stock Paper (I used 3 colors) Butterfly Template or punch (I wanted my butterflies to be about 3 inches wide – larger than any of my punches – so I used this template from Martha Stewart. Hot Glue Gun Ribbon Punch (optional – this is a tool I use for scrapbooking that punches out two slits for ribbons to feed through) (1) Take the embroidery hoop and tie a grid across it with the strings. I chose to do three strings in each direction. (You can see the grid in image directly below). Make sure to tie the strings tights. (2) Using the hot glue gun, wrap the ribbon around the hoop until it is completely covered, periodically gluing it so that the ribbon stays put. Once the hoop is covered, add two ribbons criss-crossing for hanging. (3) Cut out your butterflies. I opted for 36 butterflies in dark pink, pale pink, and white. Cut slits in the middle of the butterflies just wide enough for the thin ribbon to feed through. You want a tight fit so that the butterflies stay put on the ribbon. I used a ribbon punch, but you cut also just use scissors. You could also try using an adhesive if you have trouble getting the butterflies to stay, though you might want to wait until the end and the butterflies are exactly where you want them (4) Start assembling the butterflies on the thin ribbon, threading a few beads on the bottom to help weight each strand. You can add as many butterflies on each strand as you like for your design. For the chandelier effect, have a longer string in the middle and gradually have shorter strand toward the outside. Based on the size of my butterflies, I opted for four butterflies on my center strand (tied to the middle point of the grid). Then I had 4 strands of three butterflies, 4 strands of two butterflies, and 12 strands of one butterfly. I then used to three beads at the end of each strand. As a hint, find someplace to balance the hoop so you can look at the strands as you attach them to the grid. That way, you can play with the length you want. Since I tend to do crafts on my living room floor while watching TV, I brought in two of my kitchen chairs and balanced the hoop between the seats. That let me keep shifting things until I achieved the look I wanted. (5) After you have attached all the strands to the grid and have everything set, clip any excess ribbon from where you tied the strands and go hang your chandelier I hope you have enjoyed this beautifully frugal way to decorate your girl’s room. I know I sure did.

et beautiful letters designed by Jessica Hische at Daily Drop Cap.  She will be posting a new letter each day.  Beautify the ordinary!

I love, LOVE this idea from Jenny Garland—she’s so crafty I’m envious!  She modeled this stocking off of one from Ballard and it turned out really great.  Although I am not nearly as skilled, I think I’m going to take her tutorial here and give it a whirl.  Nothing sweeter than personalized, handmade Christmas stockings.  Thanks Jenny—this is AWESOME!

A Christmas Stocking Tutorial Just for YOU!

The Final Product

 

Ballard version

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 14th, 2009 1 Comment Sewing · Tutorials
Tags: , , , ,

If you would like to make your own Ballard-esque Christmas stocking, here’s how to do it:

Materials:

  • 5/8 yd ivory duck cloth
  • 24″ x 7″ rectangle of leopard print cotton for ruffle
  • 12″ x 2″ rectangle of leopard print for loop
  • 12″ x 2″ rectangle of interfacing for loop
  • 8.5″ x 4.5″ scrap of cotton fabric for embroidered name (optional)
  • 8″ ball trim
  • red and green scraps of felt/cotton/flannel/etc for accents (circles, bones for dogs, or fish for cats)

Directions:

  1. Download pattern PDF and tape pieces together.
  2. Cut out (2) stocking pieces (front and back) from duck cloth.
  3. Cut out desired number of accents from red/green fabric and pin to front and back pattern pieces. Be sure to leave space on the front piece for the 8.5″ x 4.5″ rectangle if you are adding a name.
  4. Use a zigzag or decorative stitch to attach accents to stocking. Trim any part that hangs over.
  5. If adding a name, take your embroidered 8.5″ x 4.5″ rectangle. Press under 0.5″ on both the top and bottom. Pin to front of stocking and edge stitch top and bottom. Trim sides to match edges.                
  1. Serge or zigzag the top of the stocking (both front and back pattern pieces).                
  2. Sew trim to the top of the FRONT stocking piece with a 1/4″ seam.
  3. Place the front and back pattern pieces right sides together. Serge or sew around all sides, leaving the top open. Finish edges with a zigzag if you didn’t serge.
  4. Turn stocking right side out and press well.
  5. Take your 24″ x 7″ leopard fabric and sew short ends right sides together to create a tube.
  6. Press tube in half, wrong sides together. Edge stitch fold. Finish raw edge.
  7. Baste the bottom of the tube twice. Pull bobbin threads to create a ruffle the same perimeter as your stocking opening.          
  8. Slide the ruffle over the stocking opening, aligning raw edges.
  9. Sew ruffle to stocking with a 1/4″ seam allowance. 
  10. Press ruffle up. Edge stitch in place. 
  11. Now for the loop. Iron the 12″x2″ interfacing to the wrong side of the 12″x2″ leopard print fabric.
  12. Sew long sides, right side together. Turn tube right side out. Press. Edge stitch sides.
  13. Fold in half to make a loop and zigzag raw edges together. 
  14. Pin loop to the inside of the ruffle. Box stitch.  
  15. That’s it! (I just added this step because 20 steps sounds better than 19).

I’m all about doing the natural thing whenever possible.  I love this post from Simple Mom on doing just that—Natural beauty and how to go about it.  Here are the tips from Simple Mom:

by Tsh on November 16, 2009

in green & frugal living

So we’ve talked about going shampoo-free, and we’ve talked about using oil to clean your face naturally. But a few of you have asked — what about the rest? What about soap, toothpaste, lotion, deodorant, and the like?

I’ll be the first to admit that going natural with my toiletries and cosmetics is new to me. This isn’t something I’ve done for years, and am just now dispensing my experiential wisdom. Switching to homemade or natural is something I’ve been doing just over the past six months, so I’m learning as I go.

I do know that the more I learn about what ingredients are in conventional toiletries, the less comfortable I am in spreading them on my largest, most porous organ. But I’m not an alarmist, so we’re doing this gradually, as we run out of the stuff we’re already using.

Here are the remaining product choices we make in our family, tweaking and adjusting as we go.

Soap

Typical ingredients for conventional shower gels are detergents, preservatives, fragrance, and foaming agents. None of these things are toxic in very small quantities, but they do enter the bloodstream from our pores, and they’re technically not necessary to get clean. So I figure — why bother using them if I don’t need them? And they’re extremely dangerous in larger quantities.

 

Many people make their own soap, but I don’t. I just don’t have the time right now. So for us, we use Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap. It’s concentrated, so just one bottle will last ages. There’s nothing in it but pure castile soap and essential oils (if it’s scented).

Once you start using pure and simple castile soap, you’ll realize the film that traditional shower gels leave. Dr. Bronner’s is cost-effective, long-lasting, and serves many purposes. My husband actually washes his hair with this instead of the baking soda and water rinse that I use.

Not only can you wash your body and hair with castile soap, you can also use it as a household cleaner, as dish soap, as a produce rinse, as laundry soap, and even as toothpaste.

Toothpaste

Most conventional toothpastes have dyes synthesized from petroleum, sodium fluoride, foaming agents (also used in engine degreasers and strong household cleaners), and a myriad of other toxins.

There’s something about the fact that it’s used in the mouth that makes me squirm when I read about the nitty gritty ingredients in toothpaste. If you’d like to learn more, head here for more information.

I recently started making our own toothpaste, and I’m still tweaking the recipe. My husband isn’t crazy about the baking soda flavor, but I like it. Admittedly, if I had access to natural toothpaste brands like Tom’s of Maine, I’d probably stick to buying that. But since I don’t, here’s the recipe I’ve tried.

 

Basic Homemade Toothpaste

  • 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Stevia powder
  • a few drops of pure peppermint extract

Mix it all together until it resembles toothpaste.

Coconut oil has a melting point of 76 degrees Fahrenheit, which means this toothpaste feels more liquidy during warmer weather. It doesn’t change its effectiveness, though.

The Stevia provides a bit of natural sweetness, making the toothpaste palatable, as does the pure peppermint extract. You could try a variety of flavors to your liking.

Right now, I’ve got this toothpaste in a small lidded jar, and I scoop out a tiny bit with a tea spoon onto my toothbrush. But you can also get empty squeeze tubes, often found among camping supplies at stores.

Lotion and Moisturizer

Caramel Pecan Double Vanilla Bean lotion from Verbena Custom Blends on Etsy.

Body Lotion

Right now I’m using a deliciously divine lotion a friend here made from me. I watched her melt the ingredients together in just a few minutes over the stove, then whipped together in the blender to make a rich, creamy lotion. She used lemongrass and lavender essential oils together, and it smells heavenly.

There are a wide variety of homemade lotion recipes; it just requires the ingredients. Most ingredients are easily found in health stores or online, so don’t let finding these things stop you. If you’d like to make your own, Brambleberry is a popular and reliable source for lotion ingredients.

Lotion is simply a mixture of water, oil, emulsifier (which blends the water and oil together so that it doesn’t separate), a thickener (the most common is stearic acid, found in cocoa butter), and a natural preservative.

You could also support homemade and buy from an Etsy shop — there are thousands of options there.

Facial Moisturizer

In warmer months, I don’t need a moisturizer with the oil cleanser I use on my face. But as the weather cools, I find I do need a touch of moisturizer in the morning. I use straight up coconut oil, easily found in major stores. A tiny bit goes a long way, and since it’s also a common ingredient in other natural toiletries, a jar of this stuff really comes in handy.

Lip Balm

Photo from Diaper Ware

There are also lots of easy recipes for homemade lip balm and salve, but I use 100 percent lanolin. Yep, it’s the same stuff you use while breast feeding. In fact, I’m still using the tube I used when I was nursing my son a year ago! This stuff lasts forever.

It doesn’t dry out my lips like manufactured wax-based products, and a little lasts me almost the whole day. Lanolin is simply an ointment secreted by wool-bearing animals to protect their coats from water. So yes, it is essentially sheep sweat. But it’s not gross, I promise.

We’ve got a guest post on the way about making your own deodorant, and later, we’ll discuss using natural makeup, so stay tuned.

Natural Beauty: Clean Skin, Teeth, and Lips

This tutorial on Living With Lindsay on how to make a Book Page Wreath is AMAZING!  What a cute, inexpensive, and EASY idea for decorating a corner of the house!  Thanks for the idea Lindsay!

Librarians, Please Avert Your Eyes When we came upon my now-favorite booth during our trip to the City-Wide Garage Sale, I think an audible gasp could have been heard from within our little shopping group. It was one of those booths that has something you want to buy in every square inch of space. I found a wonderful chippy side table exactly like I’ve been looking for, but the vendor wanted $50 and I wanted to pay more like $10. Thrifting has certainly spoiled me! At the same booth, we came across a pair of simple, but stunning wreaths made from book pages. The vendor told me that she made them sitting in front of the television. That’s my kind of crafting. I honestly don’t remember how much she wanted for these lovelies, but I think it was at least $40 a pop. Yeah, um, that’s way too rich for my blood. How about I show you how to make my version of the same wreath for just $2? Librarians and book lovers, please avert your eyes. Book Page Wreath Tutorial Supplies: •10″ foam wreath ($1 at Dollar Tree) •Paperback novel ($1 at Dollar Tree – depending on the length of the book, you may need two) •Brown and/or gray craft paint •Glue gun & glue sticks •Small strip of ribbon •A few paper towels •A few straight pins (optional) 1. Assemble your cast of characters. I felt slightly guilty about purchasing an author’s work from the Dollar Tree for the sole purpose of ripping up. I read a few pages of Loving Charity just to make sure I wasn’t about to destroy a literary classic; let me assure you that I wasn’t. You could definitely use vintage books, magazines or sheet music for this project or even select a book off of your own bookshelf that you don’t think you’ll read again. 2. Using the paper towels, I applied the brown paint to the edges of the book. I simply squirted some paint onto the towel and wiped it on the book. I painted the brown first and then applied a bit of gray. This will give your book pages a vintage look. To be honest, two colors aren’t completely necessary, so you can use just gray or just brown if you would like. Lay the book on a clean paper towel for about 5 or 10 minutes to let the paint dry. 3. Cut or tear a page out of the book and roll it in a method of your choosing. I put together a video tutorial to show you some different ways to roll the page if you are interested in seeing how I did it. The main thing to remember is that you want to roll the paper and not actually fold or crease it. 4. After rolling the page, apply some glue at the end of the roll and glue it to the wreath. Make sure that the painted edges are facing up. You will do this layer all the way around the wreath. When you have finished the full circle, flip the wreath over. That layer will become the bottom. If it won’t lay flat, put something heavy on top of it to flatten it out for a few minutes. 5. Continue rolling pages for your wreath. You will now fold a little tab on the bottom edge and apply glue only to that tab. Work your way from the bottom of the wreath up to the top, finishing one layer before moving to the next. 6. Once you get to the inside of the wreath, roll the paper and apply glue to the edge much like you did with the bottom layer. When you glue it on, the pages will be shorter than the wreath of the wreath. That’s okay. 7. At this point, your wreath will be mostly done, but there will be some sections you need to fill in. It should look roughly like this. To fill in your spaces, you’ll simply roll a page, apply glue to the ends, and just stick it in the wreath. The filler pages don’t necessarily need to touch the styrofoam wreath; they can stick to the pages already glued to the wreath if need be. Use the filler pages to fill in holes and add some height and visual interest to your wreath. 8. After I was finished filling in, I flip your wreath over and glue your scrap of ribbon on the back to serve as a hanger. I stuck a few straight pins in it to make sure it held tight to the wreath, but that’s purely optional if you glue it on well. All that’s left to do now is to find a spot to hang your new creation!

Here was another great article I found that I would like to keep on hand to have this information as we choose whether or not to selectively choose immunizations for our kids.  You can open up this PDF and save it to your computer for future reference A User-Friendly Vaccination Schedule.

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