What a difference a month can make

A month ago when I started this blog my first DIY project for the blog was vanilla.   Remember this:

Since then I have tried coconut, almond, and mint extract.  The almond has been the hardest to get to cure/infuse and I’m not sure I am totally sold on the coconut either.  The mint is currently at my sister’s house, so I’ll feature that later.

Anywayz…all the recipes I saw for vanilla said it needed to sit for 6 weeks to 6 months…here’s my vanilla after just 30 days:

We’ve used it several times and it’s phenomenal already.  It will of course get better the longer it sits, but it’s really good right now.   Good enough that I will never buy store-bought vanilla again.


Get the dish on dirt

I was raised on Dawn dishwashing detergent.  When it was my turn to establish myself, I used Dawn because my mom did.  It worked and I’ve used it for years.  It’s not the cheapest dish soap though and my kids don’t know the concept of less is more so we go through our fair share around here.  The same size bottle in this post lasts my sister for 2 or three months…we’re lucky to get just one month out of the bottle.  At a few bucks a bottle, I got to thinking surely there must be a cheaper solution.  Guess what…there was and here’s my result:

There are countless recipes on the internet for making your own dish soap.  I used a method found on this website, well sort of.  I used the recipe that calls for two cups of soap shavings and 3 cups of hot water.  I did not leave it sit overnight because I used 3 cups of boiling water and the soap shred dissolved almost immediately.  I didn’t have lemon juice so we tried it with lime juice instead.   Initially, the soap was very liquidy, but it firmed up overnight and I had to add more hot water the this morning.  It’s still pretty thick, but it’s also very effective.  It cut through Crisco with no problems.  My total cost….about .50 cents for 18 oz of dish soap.  Two cups of  shredded fels naptha is about half a bar and a bar costs me .96 cents.  We eat lots of honey lime chicken enchiladas so we pretty much always have lime juice on hand.  The instructions say this helps cut the grease, but I’m sure it’s optional with the fels naptha as it is pretty effective at removing grease on its own.

Coming up on this space, another toothpaste recipe, diy mint extract, diy butter, diy stain remover and more.  Stay tuned.

Inspiring Notes

First let me apologize for the quality of the images in this post.  I’m still figuring out the ideal manual settings with my DSLR and lightbox.  This is another project I’ve made for Ranga’s auction on the 20th.  The insides are blank and the stamps used are from Our Daily Bread Designs.  The green and shape and interior white circle is from Spellbinders, the background paper is from the Tattered Time stack from DCWV and the card base is from Core’dinations.  My idea was to create something that could be sent to men or women.  This is a set of 6 that will be put in plastic envelopes/pouches and come with envelopes.

My first Mojo Monday attempt

If you know anything about me, you know that Verve Stamps are my all time favorite brand of stamps.  I love the way they smell, the way they stamp, the incredibly beautiful word art, their customer service and well pretty much everything.  They have a special weekly challenge on Monday’s called Mojo Monday where everyone is invited to play along. The first week of the month there are even prizes too!  This week’s sketch is:

I decided to use this sketch in a very non-traditional way (usually sketch participants make a card) and create another thing for my daughter’s auction.  Here’s my result:

The sentiment is from the Happiness Found set.  I think it’s the perfect phrase for this project, don’t you?  This is an 8 x 10 canvas I painted blue, then added the black ribbon, the background paper is from K & Company and I adhered that to my canvas with mod podge after the paint dried.  I sealed it with a watered down layer of mod podge and let it dry overnight.  The scalloped circles come from Spellbinders and are one of their Grands sets, the smaller blinged out circle is Spellbinders Picot Circles.  The butterfly is from Spellbinders too but I forget which set.  The bling I used are hot fix gems, and the solid paper is from my stash.  If you see shimmer in the paper, it is DCWV and I have no idea who makes the other.

Stay tuned to this space as I have a lot more projects on deck…a baby boy mini, a set of cards, and LOTS more!  We have to raise over $100 so the more the merrier I suppose right?

“Going, Going, Gone…

SOLD!” shouts the auctioneer, right?  I don’t know because the only auctions I’ve been to are the silent type.  Our church does an annual silent auction to help our girls raise money for  Girls Camp.  Translate “Mom gets enlisted to make all kinds of crafty stuff”.  Yep, tis that time.  April 20th is auction night and man do I have my work cut out for me.  My darling Ranga has requested several different toilet paper roll albums, some homemade cards, and pretty much a little of all the crafty things I do to give to the auction.  She even said she’d help make it…her help to date has been one coat of paint on one set of album cores.  YIKES!

So, with the newest school session I’m in the most amazing thing has happened…I learned that waiting until the last-minute isn’t always the best way to go after all.  I’ve been able to work ahead and complete my course assignments in advance which makes for a lot less stress and lots of free time on weekends.  YAY!  This past weekend I worked on this:

One of the requested albums was a baby girl brag book.  Here are the interior pages (be sure to click on them to view them larger):

I have a lot of design elements that can’t be photographed and so I might do a video later on to show off this album.  The stamps used are Verve and one from Fiskars.  Embellishments all came from my stash, paper is K & Company and DCWV plus other random paper from my stash.  Ink is Versafine of course (the best for stamping) and then tulle (lots of tulle) was used to decorate the binder rings used to close it.  Adhesive was score tape and glue gun.

I apologize for how “quiet” I’ve been lately, but you might be glad for that when you see everything I post between now and the 20th!  Till next time!