Join Me and Finish It UP!

A quick look around the house showed me how many incomplete projects were lying around. I had started them with a vengeance! I was on fire! Unstoppable! And then somewhere along the way, I became…much more stoppable.

So. Unfinished projects. Let’s knock them out.

 

I’m starting the Finish It UP (Unfinished Project) campaign in order to get myself back on track and clean some of these projects off my plate. Won’t you join me? Simply choose one project a month and complete it. It can be anything that you started and walked away from. You can choose in advance what project you’ll finish up, or you can pick something at random at the beginning of each month. I’m going to focus on it for six months, and if things go well, hopefully I’ll keep it going longer.

Please join me! What do you need to finish up? Is it a writing project, art, quilting, sewing, music, or something else? I need to finish up some quilts I started, a turquoise necklace that broke midway, and a bench that I want to upholster and paint, among other things. Completing something feels so good, and it also declutters our homes. Let’s do this thing!

 

The Best DIY Present For An Author!

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This gift is so insanely thoughtful, I can’t even tell you.

My Angry Ginger made these beautiful shadow boxes for my birthday. She took her favorite passages from each book, printed them out on gorgeous paper, and put them inside a shadow box she bought at a craft store. Then she put the corresponding book cover on top with a foam inert to give it some depth.

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Beautiful. Meaningful. Simple. I teared up when I opened it, and I can’t wait to hang them on my wall. She promised to do the same to the rest of the Bone Angel trilogy when it comes out. Won’t that be a thing of beauty?

I know many authors who frame their book covers and hang them, but this is the first time I’ve seen these shadow boxes. I adore them. Please let me know if you make one for yourself or the author in your life.

Miss Murder’s Easy DIY: Three Ingredient Aromatherapy Shower Tablets

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This is an exceptionally easy, joyful little thing to whip up in the kitchen, and they make beautiful gifts.

You will need

2 cups of baking soda

1/2 cup of water

About 10 drops of your favorite essential oil

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Put the baking powder in a bowl, and stir in the water until it has a mostly dry consistency like Moon Sand. It took about 1/2 cup for me, but it will depend. You want to be able to pack it like brown sugar.

Mix in your essential oils. I used bergamot and rosemary for a pick-me-up.

Fill your ice cube trays or silicone molds with the paste and pack it down firmly. You want it to maintain its shape.

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Let them dry. If you’re using a silicone mold that can go in the oven, bake it at 200 degrees for an hour. If your mold isn’t heat resistant, just let it dry on the counter for three days. If they don’t dry completely, they’ll simply crumble and you’ll be a sad panda.

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Take one tablet and put it on the floor of your shower. The water will break it down and release the mood-boosting scent. It’s just one tiny little thing you can do to add a bit of sparkle to your day. Have a great one!

Feed The Birds: A Quick Craft for Kids

I wanted a few activities for the kids to do besides watching Godzilla: The Original Animated Series, so we made bird feeders this evening.

Cute. Sweet. Best of all? They were very, very easy.

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We took some small pine cones, birdseed, peanut butter, and yarn.

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Tiny Daughter spread peanut butter on the pine cones. I managed to pull her hair back so it didn’t fall in the peanut butter (too much). Points for Mom!

Then you roll the pine cones in the seed, and tie yarn around it. Voila!

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And hang them outside. Easy peasy, lemon squeasy.

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Really, it only took us about twenty minutes from start to finish. But the kiddos were so excited, and it didn’t overwhelm me.

Enjoy, my friends!

Dehydrating Pineapple! An Easy Tutorial.

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Okay, so maybe I went a little crazy when I bought 32 pounds of pineapple .

I’m not sorry.

Fresh pineapple. Frozen pineapple. Pineapple on homemade pizza. Finally, though, I knew I had to dehydrate it or lose it. Woman cannot live on pineapple alone, although she may try.

Cutting and dehydrating it was incredibly easy! You can do it yourself quickly.

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First lop off the top and bottom of the pineapple.

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Cut off the rind and then quarter it, as my handsome husband demonstrates.

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Cut out the core and then slice.

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Load up your dehydrator and set it to the “fruit” setting. That’s it. You don’t need to put anything on the pineapple. It will be crisp and delicious when it’s finished. I ran mine for about 18 hours or so.

image(116)A delicious, natural snack that tastes better than any candy on the planet. If you’re looking for a healthy snack that still tastes sweet, this is the way to go. I hope you enjoy!

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Something Lovely. A Handmade Beaded Bracelet.

Something was missing. I wanted something lovely and wonderful in my day. So I went to my stash and pulled out some beads that I had previously purchased. They glistened in the sunlight. They filled me with whimsy.

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I took a few beads, strung them on a t-pin, and then bent the top into loops until I had a bunch of dangles. Then I added two or sometimes three onto a chain link.

image(5)I finished up and added a few matching dangles for earrings.

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And I have a finished bracelet. I’m thinking of turning it into a necklace instead because the sparkles and chiming get a bit distracting on my wrist, but it’s still a wonderful thing of joy. šŸ™‚

Do you do jewelry at all? Do you have any pictures to show?

Easy Cheery Cinnamon Voodoo Ornaments! A Tutorial.

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Christmas spirit is lacking this year. So I’ve been trying to do simple, stress-free things with the children to add joy and spice. Yesterday we made cinnamon salt dough ornaments, and it was just what the doctor prescribed!

I found the original recipe here.

This recipe has four ingredients and doesn’t require cooking. Easy, charming, and the cinnamon smelled so good! We did hearts, stars, bunnies, and voodoo dolls, of course.

The Recipe

1 cup flour

1/2 cup of salt

1/2 cup of cinnamon

3/4 cups of warm water

Mix your ingredients together. It’s easiest to mix the powders first and add the water last.

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If it’s a little dry, add more water. If it’s a little sticky, add more flour. Really, you can’t mess this recipe up.

Knead it with your hands and roll it into a ball.

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Roll it out and use cookie cutters to cut out your festive Christmas (voodoo) shapes!

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After you cut out your ornaments, put them on a cookie sheet to dry. Use a toothpick to make a little hole in them so you can run a string or ribbon through them later.

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Let them dry for about a day. It took us a little less than 24 hours. They’ll lighten up considerably, and you can paint them at this point if you’d like. We left ours as-is because we liked the rustic look.

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Adore me! Like I adore you!

When they’re dry, string them on a thread and hang them from your tree! They’re just darling, they take less than half an hour to do (minus drying time) and it really helped bring some holiday joy. I hope you try it! If you do, perhaps you could show me some pictures. šŸ™‚

Miss Murder’s Easy DIY: Lavender Soap

Simple. Beautiful. Charming.

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It’s exceptionally quick and best of all, the kiddos can help. And it doesn’t heat up the house, which is important when it’s 110 degrees in Las Vegas. So let’s make some soap!

You will need:

A soap base. (I used this one,Ā but there are plenty to choose from.)

Lavender essential oil

Dried lavender flowers

Microwavable bowl

Soap mold

 

I went to Michael’s and picked up some of their soap-making supplies. I chose not to use lye because that’s a great way for my children to burn their eyes out, and I wanted them to help.

I like the look and feel of goat milk’s soap, so that’s the base I chose.

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It generally takes about four cubes of the goat’s milk base to equal one bar of soap. (I chose the pre-scored base simply because it was easier.)

I cut up the cubes and put them in a glass Pyrex measuring cup. Microwave it for 30 seconds. Take it out and stir it. Then microwave it for 30 seconds again. Keep doing this until it’s nice and melted. You don’t want any lumps. It took me two minutes in the microwave to melt completely.

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Now it’s time to add your essential oils! I used a few drops of lavender and a relaxing oil blend that I picked up at the craft store. Add it until you’re happy with it. Once it cools, it’ll still smell the same. Then I added about 1/4 a cup of dried lavender flowers. Stir everything up and pour it into your mold.

The lavender flowers will float. There isn’t really much you can do about it. Sorry. šŸ™‚

Let the soap cool for about an hour. Then pop it out of the mold. It’s that easy!

You can mix and match your soaps by simply swapping out ingredients. We made lemon soap by using lemon essential oil and dried lemon zest. You can also buy super cute molds, too. Like this Calimari or skully mold.

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If you’re gifting the soap, you can wrap it up in paper and ribbon. I added some lavender from the garden because I’m obsessed with the stuff.

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I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you try it, and what oils you use! I’d love to hear how it turns out.