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Paper Cuts

24 Aug
Papercut Portrait by Kris Trappeniers

Papercut Portrait by Kris Trappeniers

Milk & Honey Naturals Give Away

10 Aug

Delicious-smelling soap + FREE anything = 2 of my favorite things ever!
Milk and Honey Naturals is one of my favorite peddlers of soaps, solid shampoos, and conditioners on Etsy. I’ve mentioned them twice here in the past and am happy to announce that they’re doing a special giveaway right now.

Click this image to go to the website & learn how to enter to win.

From the Milk And Honey Naturals website:

So, what’s up for grabs you ask?  Any 3 items you would like from my entire shop – except whole soap loaves and gift sets of course.  You get to choose 3 items from dozens of handmade soaps, solid shampoos, solid conditioners, facial and shaving soaps, solid lotions and solid lotion repellents, solid parfum, lip treatments and more!

There are a bunch of easy ways to enter the giveaway listed on the Milk And Honey Blog — so go enter now. You’ve only got until the end of August so you best get busy!

A Pretty Necklace For A Pretty Lady….

5 Aug

(If anyone read this and immediately thought “Fresh fish! We catch em, you buy em!” then all I have to say is this: I love you.)

I am all about the statement necklace: big, often animal-centric or nature-related, mostly beautiful but slightly strange.

And I need a new one.

I have a bajillion and one pretty necklaces saved on my Etsy and Pinterest accounts so I figured now might be a nice time to share that collection with anyone who stumbles across this blog. Hope you enjoy, oh invisible one!

One of my favorite jewelry makers is Meg J Roberts. I pretty much want every necklace she’s put on Etsy… Let me show you what I mean.

Humpback whale necklace from megjroberst

Bison Necklace from MegJRoberts

West African Crane Necklace by MegJRoberts

Then there are always my other favorites:
(As always, click any of the following images to get to the proper Etsy page to buy em.)

Tom Waits Necklace by FableAndFury

Tom Waits Necklace by FableAndFury I bought this one for my sister-in-law Kristin-in-law

Wearable Planter by Colleen Jordan

Wearable Planter by Colleen Jordan

Black Feather Necklace by LoveAtFirstBlush

Black Feather Necklace by LoveAtFirstBlush

Black Swan from MarKhed

Black Swan from MarKhed

Victorian Framed Rose Hips and Leaves silhouette

Victorian Framed Rose Hips and Leaves Silhouette by FableAndFury

Fang Necklace by FableAndFury

Fang Necklace by FableAndFury

Twin Deer necklace from FableAndFury

Twin Deer necklace from FableAndFury

Swinging Pin-Up Necklace by MarKhed

Swinging Pin-Up Necklace by MarKhed

Starfish Necklace

Starfish Necklace

Butterfly Necklace by MamasLittleBabies

Butterfly Necklace by MamasLittleBabies

"Petit Secret" Keyhole Necklace by UntamedMenagerie

"Petit Secret" Keyhole Necklace by UntamedMenagerie

Bicycle Necklace by MamasLittleBabies

Bicycle Necklace by MamasLittleBabies

Gigantor Mothra Butterfly Necklace by MySelvagedLife

Gigantor Mothra Butterfly Necklace by MySelvagedLife

Ice Pops To The Rescue!

26 Jul

Living through a Texas summer is hard, much harder than I thought it would be. It is INSANELY hot here every single day — over 100 degrees without a doubt. Thankfully I’m about to move into an apartment with central air so maybe I’ll stop melting and kvetching soon… But until then I am nurturing an extreme ice pop obsession.

On a recent family visit my mother gave me an ice pop mold that looks a whole lot like this one from Bed Bath & Beyond:

There are tons of variations on the ice pop mold though. Two other nice & cheap ones are these:

Only $1.49 at Ikea!

This set is $10 from Bed Bath Beyond but it's worth the extra $$ because a) the cups are separated individually meaning they'll fit better into an already stuffed fridge and b) you can create a flavor-in-the-center type of pop with this ice pop mold style

Here are the recipes I’ve tried so far:

[Note: I’m leaving out amounts because most popsicle molds hold a different amount of liquid. I also left out any type of ratio because I know I like everything to be WAAAY sweeter than any normal person should. Just play around & taste what you’ve got until you arrive at a balance you like before you freeze it. Keep in mind that the freezing process makes things less sweet so you might want to add a little more than you’d otherwise consider doing. Alright, now on to the recipes.]

  • Good Earth tea + sugar
  • Mint simple syrup + jasmine / green tea
  • Blood orange soda + caster’s sugar
  • Rose chai tea + milk + sugar
  • Pineapple juice + caster’s sugar
  • Kahlua + milk + caster’s sugar
  • Apple juice
  • Pomegranate juice + lemon juice + sugar
  • Pineapple juice + lime + mint simple syrup

My friend Marija gave me a billion and one recipe ideas for vegan ice pops too. I haven’t tried any of these but she has excellent taste so I’m sure they’re all delicious.

[Note: You can replace sugar + milk with coconut butter + agave to make almost any popsicle recipe vegan. In addition, using coconut oil will produce a creamy, smoothe texture and freeze in a different way than coconut butter.]

  • Raw coconut butter + agave nectar + pureed fruit
  • Coconut milk + dry cocoa powder + agave = VEGAN FUDGSICLE
  • Raw cashew butter + agave nectar + vanilla + a pinch of sea salt + optional cinnamon whiskey (like Fire Whiskey)
  • Line popsicle mold with coconut oil + agave+ seasalt + cocoa powder then freeze. Once hard chocolate shell is created, then fill with cashew butter + vanilla + agave + sea salt. Add another thin layer of the chocolate popsicle lining to form the future bottom of the popsicle. Freeze the whole thing and you’ll end up with a vegan chocolate coated caramel pop!

I Heart Freebies, Don’t You?

19 Jul

Something you can make with the free printables from Just Something I Made

Remember how I wrote about using printable ephemera in my projects a while back? Well, the subject’s on my mind again because I just stumbled across this massive treasure trove of printable vintage freebies from Just Something I Made. Seriously, the number of goodies she’s collected and scanned for public use is staggering.

Continue reading

DIY Magazine Holder

18 Jul

Click the image for Food Wine & Mod Podge's tutorial.

I’ve never been one to actually subscribe to magazines, but this past year I’ve been receiving both Bitch Magazine and The Economist at my doorstep. So far I’ve just been letting old issues pile up in random places around my apartment but as I prepare for The Big Move in two weeks I’m thinking I need a better system in place.

Enter this tutorial for a DIY magazine holder from Food Wine & Mod Podge.

Looks pretty awesome, right? And all I need is stuff I’ve already got around my place — mod podge, beer box, pretty paper, scissors, and tape.

Click this image or the one above to go to Food Wine & Mod Podge for the tutorial:

Oooh Shiny…

11 Jul

[This post wanders a little, but if you’re interested in learning about creating hard, glassy surfaces on top of paper crafts please do read on.]

So: DIY Coasters. One of my favorite crafty gifts to make for my friends and family members. Part of me feels like the Internet doesn’t need yet another tutorial on how to make coastersbut then again I couldn’t find a tutorial out there quite like what I’m planning to write. I’m going to save that for another day, however, and skip straight to what I think is the most important step in coaster-making: FINISHING.

The first time I tried my hand at DIY coasters, I made the mistake of using a few coats of regular Modge Podge on top of my completed coasters to finish them off. At first they looked alright… until I put a cup of tea down on one of them. The heat from the cup hit the coaster and did something funky to make the two stick together. When I pried my cup off the coaster it actually ripped off part of the image I’d originally Modged on top — yikes! Such a mess. Did I mention that this wasn’t even my set of coasters? That I’d made them for a family member?

After trying my hand at a few different solutions, I’ve found that the best finish for coasters comes from Envirotex Lite.

Envirotex Lite

The Good Stuff

When mixed, this little duo creates a thick, glassy surface on top of each coaster, allowing each one to become heat- and water-resistant. The finished product is beautiful and professional looking, not at all like my first homemade coaster disaster.

Unfortunately, using Envirotex Lite does have it’s downsides. This product is somewhat toxic so it’s essential to use it in a well-ventilated area. In my tiny windowless apartment that’s posed a bit of a challenge for me. The biggest problem, however, has to do with the potential for creating hard, clear drips hanging off the sides of your project. Let me explain: Once you pour it on, the Envirotex-lite levels itself — pretty cool, right? Well, mostly. This happens really quickly at first; as soon as I pour on the clear goo it creates an even coat on the surface of my coasters and then the excess slides off the sides. The problem is that if you’ve poured a little too much on (as I inevitably do), over the course of a few hours the goo will move slowly from the center of the piece to the edges and then drip down. This process continues ever so slowly for hours, long after I think I’m in the clear. All too often I return to my project to see if it’s finished drying only to find huge clear bumps under the sides of my coasters that then prevent them from ever sitting flat on a table. Thankfully I’ve been able to cut some of those bumps off using a regular paring knife from the kitchen.

This is really only a problem if you’re impatient like me or like to do your craft projects in the middle of the night (again, like me). If you don’t mind checking on your coasters every hour or so to scrape off the drips then you’ll be fine. But don’t say I didn’t warn you about those pesky things.

Another drawback is that applying Envirotex Lite isn’t a quick and easy process and sometimes it just doesn’t seem worth if if my project is relatively small. For example, I recently made old timey medicine magnets (see my previous post here) and wanted to give them that same glossy finish. After a little poking around the internet, I found a few posts related to this subject on one of my favorite crafting blogs, How About Orange. I also found a thread on the Etsy forums that proved illuminating. Allow me to sum up my findings.

According to Jess, Aleene’s Paper Glaze can be used to top off paper crafts like my magnets with a “clear, raised glass-like surface.” Sounds exactly like what I’m looking for! Jess goes on to explain that she hasn’t “used it on photos, but it works the same way on fabric—makes a clear, plasticky coating on it and doesn’t seem to affect the color. Or maybe the color gets a little brighter, if anything.”

Another option is DecoArt Triple Thick Gloss Glaze. In the comments, user Micheroo says that she has used ArtDeco Triple Thick glaze with the following results: “It was good; glossy like in the [How About Orange] tutorial pics – but NOT GOOD for pinks and reds!! It washes them out to an orange colour!” Apparently it’s also water resistant but not waterproof , making it a good product for finishing my magnets and other paper crafts but perhaps less than ideal for coasters. In the Etsy forum, user WindAndRain mentiones that in her experience “It hardens beautifully, has a wonderful gloss, doesn’t yellow or crack with time, and doesn’t bubble.” A different user does point out that it can be a little gummy once dried and doesn’t leave surfaces scratch-resistant like Envirotex Lite.


Modge Podge Dimensional Magic
is another product that aims to provide that thick glassy look on top of paper crafts. According to a different tutorial by Jess, the results were as follows:

“No unicorns, leprechauns, or rabbits in hats materialized, but I can report that after the stuff was dry, the surfaces of the disks were super glossy. Probably not captured to full effect in this photo, I’d say the stuff gets shinier than Aleene’s Paper Glaze, though it doesn’t create quite as thick a coating since the liquid is thinner. It dries in about 3 hours as opposed to 24 like Aleene’s, and because the directions say to shake it gently before using, it tends to get tiny, almost unnoticeable air bubbles in in. Which didn’t bother me at all, but maybe next time I’ll shake less.”

So there you have it, folks. Have you discovered a product that leaves a nice shiny surface on your paper crafts that isn’t mentioned here? If so, please let me know!