Wednesday, April 25, 2018

DIY Hand Scrub Flowers

It's FINALLY spring here in the Midwest and that means I'll be out working on my flower beds, yard and the general mess that our winters leave behind.  With that in mind, I decided to make these hand scrub 'flowers' (you could use any shape mold) and am also adding them to my Tea Cup Exchange box for Stephanie's Tea Cup Exchange at The Enchanting Rose.  This is the TWELFTH one she's hosted - it's an amazing and wonderful way to meet other bloggers and it's SO fun to put together the packages!
It takes just four simple ingredients:  Epsom salt, baking soda, essential oils and distilled or filtered water.  You'll also need a spice or coffee grinder and some type of silicone mold.  I chose flowers for these.  There are a lot of different recipes on Pinterest but this one from One Essential Community seemed to be the simplest.
You definitely need the grinder for this -- a food processor will not grind the Epsom Salts finely enough.  Here you see the salts on the left and afterward, they are ground to a fine powder.
After you combine the Epsom salt and baking soda, you add your essential oils.  My daughter and I decided on Lavender and Lemon/Rosemary.  We did 12 drops of each and mixed with a wooden spoon (that I only use for craft projects).  Add two tablespoons of water and mix then continue adding by the tablespoon until you get a nice, smooth, but stiff paste.  We used 7 tablespoons of water.
Press the paste into the molds. 
Our mixture made 18 flowers.
Cover your molds with plastic wrap and weigh them down with a heavy book. The mixture continues to expand for several hours so you have to keep checking and patting them down, compressing the mixture back into the molds.  Let them dry over night and then you can pop them right out.
Store in an airtight jar.  When your hands need a good cleaning, simply wet your hands and rub one of these into your hands and the dirt of the day will come right off.  The bonus is your hands are exfoliated and smell great!  I've used them already and plan to make a lot more to have 'on hand'.
I just used a Mason jar for mine and made a pretty label and decorated the lid.  This jar is going into my Tea Cup Exchange box . . . MY jar isn't as fancy haha!

Be sure to check out Stephanie's blog, The Enchanting Rose -- she's such a beautiful lady and I know you'll enjoy all she shares on her blog!

DIY Hand Scrub

Use a spice grinder to grind 1 cup Epsom salt to a fine powder; add ground Epsom salt and 1 c of baking soda to a glass bowl.  Add 24 drops of your choice of essential oils.  Mix well, breaking up any clumps with a wooden spoon or your hands.  Begin adding 2-3 T filtered or distilled water to the bowl.  Continue adding water until it's the consistency of stiff cookie dough.  Press dough into your molds and let dry overnight.  The mixture will expand as it dries so cover molds with plastic wrap and weigh down with a book.  Continue checking and pressing down the dough for the first 3-4 hours.  After the dough has dried, pop it out of the molds and store in an airtight container.

On any given week (depending on how busy I am!) I love to participate in Link Parties.  These gals put a lot of time and effort into hosting these parties so I always want to show my appreciation by directing my readers to these blogs. 

Monday

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Sunday

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Another Brief Blog Break

It's been a difficult month with the passing of my mom.  Just when I thought I was getting back into a 'groove', we had to suddenly put our little 8-year old Cocker Spaniel, Ava down on Sunday.  

Ava had something called Hemangiosarcoma.  It is a tumor that usually affects the liver or spleen.  Hers was on her spleen.  There usually are no signs anything is wrong until the tumor ruptures and causes, in some cases, instant death.  Ava became ill in a matter of hours and by the time I rushed her to emergency, it was apparent she was barely alive.  We were able to hold her and be with her until the end.  I'm so, so sad.

If you have pets, you know how attached we become to them and how quickly they become a part of the 'landscape.  
It's just a bit overwhelming right now so I'll take a little time off.  I'll be visiting your blogs as much as I can and look forward to returning when I'm feeling up to it.

Thank you dear friends for understanding.




Friday, March 30, 2018

Weathered Wood Garden Signs


I don't have a very 'green thumb'.  I admit it.  I keep trying though.  Every year.  It helps to have a sense of humor about your shortcomings so I decided to create some signs for the garden (of course they're fun to use even if you DO have a 'green thumb'!)  I'm making multiples of these so they will be for sale in my eBay shop on APRIL 1 and are also available through my Facebook Marketplace shop right now.


I have a lot of reclaimed wood but you could use any scrap wood you may have.  I give the wood a white wash first.  This is important because the images are printed on white tissue paper and you want the tissue to kind of 'disappear' when applied to the wood.


Lots of sanding by hand and using my sander help to make the tissue 'disappear' into the wood.


I love this verse!  I thought it was also a great way to display God's word in the garden.  I normally like the NIV but for some reason, I really liked the King James for this verse.


Patience pays off when the tissue disappears making it look like these have been hand-painted directly onto the wood.

It's still a bit cold here although the flowers ARE starting to make an appearance and the grass is starting to grow so hopefully in the weeks to come I can get out to the garden beds and begin getting them ready for another attempt at making SOMETHING bloom this summer!

It may not FEEL like Easter but it IS and I wish you all the most blessed Easter as we celebrate the risen Savior, 
Jesus Christ!

I'm sharing with you one of my favorite songs by Selah called "Glory".  It was a great comfort to me as we sat with my mom before she went to be with the Lord.  It's such a great description of all that awaits when our Lord returns.  Because of His sacrifice on the cross and his resurrection, "one day death will retreat and wave it's white flag"!!  Amen!!



On any given week (depending on how busy I am!) I love to participate in Link Parties.  These gals put a lot of time and effort into hosting these parties so I always want to show my appreciation by directing my readers to these blogs. 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday




Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Birds On A Wire String Art

Welcome to the March Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop, hosted by My Pinterventures. The purpose of this Pinterest Challenge is to motivate all the participants of this hop (and you too) to not just pin, but to make it happen! So this month, I chose to create/make Birds on a Wire String Art.


Now it figures that the thing that grabs my attention doesn't have a link to the original source.  It has been reproduced many times by different people but no source for the pattern/idea is ever given!  Here is where I first saw it on Pinterest. Others have recreated it but no where is the source given so if YOU know it, let me know so I can give credit!


I used small 5/8" brads, a small hammer (smaller is better -- it's easier to get into the tight spaces) and needle nose pliers. You'll need the pliers often to hold the nails while you hammer (again, tight spaces . . .). You can use any type of string but I like the wide color selection of embroidery floss so that's what I used.  


I started by printing the picture out in black and white.  I took an old piece of fence board and white washed it first and distressed a little.  Laying the picture on the board, I pounded in a few random nails to hold it in place.


You do want to try to keep the nails evenly spaced and at the same height.  Once they were all in, I used the pliers to bend or straighten the nails and looked over the top of the board to see if any needed to be pounded in more.


Next you simply tear off the paper pattern and you're left with


your birds, ready to be 'strung'.


There are different 'styles' of string art. Some use very little string so a lot of the background is showing through. I kind of went for 'more' string to give more of a solid look since the background was white and I wanted the birds to show up better.  Simply start at the bottom of each bird by tying the string in a knot, then begin outlining first. 
I would suggest reading the great instructions at The Marathon Mom's Blog.  She shows you how to outline and wrap the string with great pictures and instructions!


It's up to you how many times you want to go over the piece to fill it in.  


Next I added the wire for the birdies to rest on.


I love this quote so decided to add it to this piece.  I simply printed it out on tissue paper and then used watered down Mod Podge to apply it to the board.


Once it was dry, I sanded it to fade/age/distress the lettering.


I love how this looks on my dining room wall!

NOW, let me just say that this is NOT the quick project I THOUGHT it would be.  It's SIMPLE enough, but let me tell you, pounding in all those nails is a bit challenging and winding the string takes some patience because if you're not careful, it will unwind and unwind a lot which can be frustrating.

That being said, I think I will definitely be making more of these haha!  There are lots of sights with free patterns but really, you can take ANYTHING and by simply outlining the shape, create string art.  Just don't plan on doing this while anyone is trying to nap!!

Now let's see what other things Pinterest inspired! Head over and visit the other hosts to see what they crafted, cooked, built, or tried!
Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop
Joanne - Our Unschooling Journey • 
Roseann - This Autoimmune Life • Kelli - The Olympic Nest
• Lynne - My Family Thyme • Beverly - Across the Blvd.
Debra - Shoppe No. 5 • Lauren - Mom Home Guide • Pili - My Sweet Things
Julie - Sum of their StoriesGwen - Geez, Gwen!
 • T'onna - Sew Crafty Crochet • Kenyatta - My Design Rules
Lauren - Mom Home Guide • Deborah - Salvage Sister & Mister
Gail - Purple Hues and Me • Terri - Our Good Life • Lisa - Blogghetti


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Temporary Separation


This is my mama.  On March 9, she went home to be with her Savior, Jesus Christ.  I titled this post, "Temporary Separation" because that's exactly what this is.  

"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord . . . " 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 

It's hard to write this post so I think I'll just share the eulogy I gave at her Celebration of Life Service along with some of my favorite pictures of her.

I'm sure we all have memories of mom. Memories of her as a sister, as a neighbor or friend and for me as a mom.
Now those who knew mom knew some simple facts about her.


If I ask you her favorite color you would say ….. of course, PINK. Whether it was picking clothing, jewelry, flowers or furniture—we knew what she would pick. Even in recent years when her ability to communicate failed, she would still always point to the pink option!


Mom loved to laugh. Whether it was watching some dumb TV show or laughing by phone or in person with her sisters or neighbors or accusing someone of cheating at Uno, she loved a good laugh.

(Mom dressed for a Halloween costume party!)

She loved to eat. Enough said. She hated to cook though. When they invented hamburger helper she rejoiced.  And as each new version came out, we had them all.
Mom loved perfume. Even in recent years as we'd wheel through the mall, a stop at the perfume counter was a necessity to spray on as many different samples as possible.


She loved music. As a kid I remember from very early in the morning until late in the day,  Moody's radio station WCRF blared from a radio and later a stereo in the living room.   Most of you know how she loved the Gaithers. In recent years when she had lost most of her physical and mental abilities she would watch old reruns for hours marveling at how good everyone looked, even those who had long ago passed away.


Mom offered her I love you’s and hugs freely which is a treasure many don’t often get from their parent. She was generous with not only her immediate family but her brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and grandchildren. She had a tender heart and hated to see any one in pain.

(Yes, that's me next to my mom on Easter Sunday. We always got new dresses, and white gloves. Dad always got mom and me a corsage to wear to church.)

Mom was a product of the 50's and good Hungarian upbringing that shaped many of her opinions about proper attire and homemaking. Now mom and I often butted heads because I didn’t share her penchant for things like jewelry, a clean house and ….. lipstick. My own husband and kids may remember her telling me to "Put on some lipstick…. You look dead." Before mom went to be with the Lord, I was talking to my daughter Sarah on the phone. We were reminiscing about mom when Sarah asked me, “Mom, are you wearing lipstick ??” Well mom, today I’m wearing lipstick in honor of you.

(I found this dress the other day still in her closet in pristine condition. It's a real treasure!)

Mom was clean. I mean REALLY clean. There was a set schedule for ironing days. (SHE ironed pillow cases. Mom, I DID iron mine for a FEW  weeks after I got married….). There were certain days for laundry, mopping floors, dusting and washing rugs. There was the spring and fall cleaning which entailed washing all the walls, baseboards, taking drapes to the cleaners and dusting the ceilings. You could always see out of HER windows.  You could safely eat off of her floors. When she came to visit I would apologize for the condition of MY house. She would shrug and say something about having little kids and being busy…. Then she’d say "Where's your Pledge?"

(Mom and dad were married for 63 years!)

As a young wife of, as she would say, “a tall, thin, good looking man”, I needed to fix myself up before he came home each day. I remember as a little girl seeing her go into her room just before dad came home where she would then powder her nose and yes, refresh that lipstick. To this day (most days) I “freshen up” before Matt comes home mom just like you did.


After my first date with Matt, she told me in so many words that he probably wouldn’t be back. 36 years later….and today he’s here to do your funeral. So you weren’t right about some things. But you were right on target about a lot of other things.

You were right that when teaching Sunday school, a snack for the kids is essential.

You were right that my husband is tall, thin and good looking.

You were right that once I had kids of my own I’d understand sacrifice.

(That's mom holding me)

You were right to set an example of reading the Bible. I remember every afternoon you would go into the spare room, sit in the rocker, take out your Bible and have your devotions. You loved the Lord. You accepted JESUS at the age of 28 with Pastor Simm. Because of this, you were confident that when your spirit left this body, you would be with your Savior Jesus Christ.


You were right that a mother's love is unconditional. I learned that from you. While we disagreed fiercely on much, I never doubted your love. 

(Holding our twin girls Sarah and Megan 26 years ago)

Even when you couldn’t often string two words together in recent months,  you would often shock me by ending our phone conversations with “I love you!”

(Mom with our son Aaron 29 years ago)

You were right about your faith in Jesus. You were right that because you placed your faith in him for salvation of sin as a young woman that today, you are dancing in heaven, with a perfectly clear, dementia-free mind and arthritis-free body.  So on what REALLY mattered, you were right.


 This last picture is one of my favorites: My "saucy" young mama with, as the caption on this photo read:  "Ruth and Sailor"!  We found several photos of mom and her sisters with "sailors" hahaha!

I opened this post with 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 but left verse 18 for the end which says:

"Therefore encourage one another with these words."

I'm so thankful that I'll see mom again one day and it is indeed a TEMPORARY separation.

I love you mama.