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Category Archives: DIY Crafts

DIY Hair Mask: For Dry, Damaged Hair

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I prefer using natural, homemade beauty products, and while browsing Facebook I found this DIY hair mask. Coconut oil and honey are used in most of my skin and hair care regimens, so I had all three ingredients on hand. The coconut cream pictured is in its solid state, but melted oil works best for mixing.

I tripled the original recipe to saturate my short, thick, kicky mane completely. I later realized starting with dampened hair would probably require much less. After applying the mask I immediately saw and felt the difference. My scalp felt extremely moisturized, and my natural curls looked amazing. I placed a shower cap over my head for about an hour; passing the time by pampering my legs and feet with a homemade sugar scrub!

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Rinsing your hair with cool water is the best option, however, lukewarm still works for me. I followed by washing and conditioning with sulfate free store products (eventually I want to use homemade shampoo and conditioner as well). I moisturized my hair with pure coconut oil and proceeded to let it air dry over night (for curly or kinky hair, it’s best to sleep under a silk hair scarf or on silk pillow cases). The next morning I was so impressed with how soft and manageable my hair was! I could not stop touching it. For continued results I plan on using this hair mask once a week!

DIY Brown Sugar Vanilla Body Scrub

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I once received a jar of homemade sugar scrub, as a party favor for a baby shower. Besides being absolutely adorable, it kept my feet noticeably softer and smoother. Eventually I ran out, so I decided to make my own; to which I turned to Pinterest and found a ton of recipes. I was impressed and opted for something brown sugar and vanilla scented, that only required a few ingredients that I already had.

I recently started using a coconut oil moisturizer on my skin, but I think it made my scrub too creamy. Next time I will stick to the pure coconut oil, usually found in the baking aisle. I noticed a few other recipes that called for coarse sugar, which is apparently just cane sugar with a different texture. Unfortunately I was unable to find it at any of my local grocery stores, but I am still on the hunt!

I enjoy using this scrub on my feet, hands, and legs; especially after shaving. I also use it as a message aid on my neck and shoulders, while in the shower. It makes an awesome party favor or thank you gift. I would share this recipe with anyone who loves to pamper themselves!

Unexpected Inspiration

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During this past week I’ve had more spare time on my hands than expected. It should have been spent crafting, but I decided not to start something new until my canvas project was complete. Procrastination has also reared its’ ugly head, leaving me in no hurry to splurge on new materials. To compensate I began looking into recycled projects as a way to save money and continue my hobby. My first task is turning an old shoe box into a craft supply box. I’ve included pictures, just keep in mind it’s still a work in progress.

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Btw, Starbucks makes me happy and creative! 🙂

I wouldn’t categorize video gaming as a hobby, but after being introduced to (World of Warcraft) WOW, I quickly became obsessed. As a (massive multiplayer online role-playing game) MMORPG newbie, the story line initially caught my attention. Habitually I can be overcritical towards the fantasy genre, but I learned to just relax and have fun. I loved creating and naming my character, as well as selecting a loyal battle pet and a profession.

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Soralyn, an undead huntress, gradually became the inspiration behind a few recent and future projects. My drawings and Tumblr site (pictured below) are slightly based on her hunter lifestyle. Eventually I want to draw my boyfriend’s avatar and mine in PVP (Player VS. Player) mode, my beloved pet BooBear, and my favorite crossbows used in battle.

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Maintaining a hobby can be challenging at times, however a genuine passion can provide essential and constant motivation. I stepped out of my comfort zone by embracing one of Shea’s pastimes, and honestly, it was worth the effort. Inspiration doesn’t always come so easy. You may have to try new things, visit new places or even meet to people to preserve your creative spark and drive.

Decorative Scrapbooking Paper on 12X12 Canvas (Part One)

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With this Pinterest Project, I wanted to try the popular product Mod Podge. I decided to use this all-in-one, glue, sealer and finish, to embellish a canvas with a single sheet of scrapbooking paper. Adding a painted chipboard letter as a finishing touch, makes for a great gift idea, or a personalized wall accessory for your home or office. My boyfriend, Shea, volunteered to help, and I found some handy tips on an awesome crafting blog.

http://thesassypepper.blogspot.com/2010/03/tutorial-mod-podge-canvas.html

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Following the advise of fellow crafters we painted the edges black to better blend with the paper. Shea used some of the excess paint to cover the top, noting that it would help if the paper was trimmed. I opted to use the same sized paper and canvas.

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Using a paint or foam bush, the glue can be applied to the back of the paper, or the front of the canvas. Trying to avoid any air bubbles, I let Shea handle this step. He covered the canvas first, then quickly, and carefully laid the paper down. Other crafters suggest special smoothing tools, but an ID card worked just fine for us. You may notice excess paper along the sides, it can be trimmed off, or wrapped around the edges using a little more glue.

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It is very important to smooth the paper thoroughly before letting it dry. We placed the canvas face down on a flat, clean surface, stacking several books on top for extra tension. After drying overnight I was pleased with the results.

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 Additional embellishments are optional; with a few sheets of coordinating paper, a simple, yet cute, wall project (pictured below) can be achieved. I’m excited to start phase two in my venture by continuing to decorate this canvas. Be sure to check out the second part of this post to view the finished product.

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Like Jesus Does

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Determined to improve my last Pinterest inspired project, I decided to think of an original statement to paint hoping for a more passionate effort this time around. Influenced by the Bible verse John 13:34, I wanted to remind myself, and others, the importance of striving to love one another the way Jesus does. I faced a few trials and tribulations during the time it took to complete this craft, usually sending me into a depressive or angered state, but every time I was reminded to forgive others, disregard the way they treated me, and continue to love them like Jesus would.

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This time around I penciled my design on the canvas first. Creating a guide made letter spacing and placement so much easier! By shopping at my local craft store, using a coupon and choosing sale items, I was able to spend $20 on supplies needed for my next two projects. I added a “morning blue” to the color scheme and a border that would be embellished. Looking back on things I preferred the design before adding the glitter, suggesting that sometimes maybe less is more. I used Elmer’s glue again, but came to the conclusion that a glue pen is best when embellishing.

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I thought a lot about what I would write in this post. Although the main focus is crafting, I felt a strong urge to share the personal growth gained by genuinely investing time, passion and love into my hobbies. I have surely been blessed with a healthy, positive way to work past the mental, behavioral, and emotional issues I have battled for years This project will always hold a special place in my heart and with it now on public display I pray it serves as a reminder for all Christians to practice what we preach.

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34 (KJV)

“Why So Serious?!”

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IMAG0017After an “epic fail” on my first Pinterest Project, I became discouraged by my new crafting hobby. I often set high standards for myself, promptly becoming a pessimist when things don’t turn out exactly how I planned. As I prepared to revise my canvas design, I was dispirited to be lacking basic and necessary supplies, yet again. I quickly fell into a negative mind set, until the infamous quote “Why so serious?!” started echoing in my head. I was able to calm my anxious mind with the simple truth: “I am a beginner and everything will not be perfect.”

IMAG0001_crop_cropI decided to practice some lettering, then take a much needed mental break. During the following week I was notified that my Pinterest Project received over 100 repins! This definitely served as the motivation I needed to stay focused. Finding inspiration in several free beginner’s pamphlets for aspiring artists, I now strive to become a well equipped, knowledgeable crafter. I also wanted to encourage others to keep a positive attitude when things like procrastination, anxiety and insecurity set in.

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” – Scott Hamilton

My First Pinterest Project

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“Get a hobby, create a skill, perfect your art, and secure your future.” – Shea Sollars

Often encouraged by my boyfriend to find a new hobby, I decided to dedicate one day a week to crafting a project I saw on Pinterest, and blogging about the experience. I first created my Pinterest account while employed with Michael’s Arts & Crafts for the creative inspiration required by my position. Falling back into crafting was easy once I started working for a local craft store as I quickly noticed my most valuable customers were fellow Pinterest enthusiasts. I began going through my boards searching for simple yet inexpensive tasks I could complete in a short amount of time. I wanted to find a way to incorporate an old hobby I once enjoyed, so I decided to start a blog as a way to display my projects and communicate with other crafters. While on my first three day vacation from work, I was finally able to put all my plans into action. Screenshot_2015-08-01-14-48-52_1I had settled on a painted monogrammed 8 x 10 canvas idea while vowing to take as many pictures possible. I learned a lot of beneficial lessons with this craft, saw how productive adapting a hobby can be, but most importantly it provided some stress free and relaxing “me time”.

I did all my shopping at a locally, and managed to spend around $10 on everything (including the canvas). I liked the original color scheme, so I chose to use acrylic paint along with an extra fine gold glitter. A few basic crafting supplies to keep handy include: a wash paint brush (to coat the canvas), liner paint brushes (for the lettering design), a ruler (or a stencil) and a well sharpen pencil with an eraser. I used a spare paint brush to line some letters in an all purpose craft glue, but later thought if a crafting glue pen or possibly a hot glue gun would have worked much better. I double coated the canvas with a Vivid Pink by Anita’s Acrylic, and once it dried started on the wording. I realize now that I should have printed the letters on the canvas first ensuring they were dark enough to see once all the coats were added. Also, if you paint the canvas first you can’t erase any mistakes, and your pencils marks may be hard to see. A ruler is necessary whether you freehand or use a stencil for the monogramming. Drawing straight lines would help with letter arrangement and spacing before committing to placement.

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I was most excited to use the glitter even though by that time it was evident I wasn’t fully prepared for the task. The Elmer’s school glue worked great once everything had dried, but while applying it to the letters in was difficult to make thinner lines. Looking back on it a glue pen or marker, commonly used in paper-crafting, would have made following the shape and size of the design much easier. I was quite pleased to finally complete my first “Pinterest Project”, and glad it could be an awesome learning experience as well as motivation to publish my first public blog in over four years. Again, I plan to promote my blog through personal social media accounts such as, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram in hopes of connecting with or establishing a zealous community of fellow crafters. I pray my blog will encourage others to not only “pin” the things they like in life, but also put forth the effort to actually achieve them. The best advise I was ever given to help cope with the constant struggles of life originated as a statement my boyfriend posted on Facebook. “Get a hobby, create a skill, perfect your art and secure your future.” This concept has generated such positive changes in my life I want others to discover the wisdom, comfort and joy it brings.

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