Yeah, yeah, another month has passed by since my last post. But you know what? I have really been getting focused for the new year trying to accomplish some projects which have been laying around for far too long. I have talked about them before — my genealogy research/book and my cookbook! Connor has been helping me a lot too, and we are making some serious progress! It has felt really great and I feel like so far the New Year has been treating me well. Along with these big projects of mine, I have a whole box full of small crafts I have wanted to get around to as well. One of them was finishing my re-usable handwarmers. I bought the fabric for them quite a long time ago, and I wanted to finish them before winter was over! I found this idea on Pinterest and just thought it was really handy, and not as wasteful as the disposable ones. I already made my own rice bag for muscles aches and cramps, and these handwarmers are basically the same concept, but small enough to fit in your pockets to keep your hands warm on those bitter-cold days. It took me less than an hour to do!
I started by cutting down my fabric into rectangles. I folded them in half (one less side to sew), and I made sure to do this so when I sewed it, it would be inside out. (It looks nicer and leaves a cleaner seam when you pull the fabric out the right way). I then stitched the remaining three sides, leaving a small gap so I could fill them with the rice.
^^ I then had to pull the fabric through the small hole so it would no longer be inside out. It then looked like this (notice the little wing on the top right? it is the hole to put the rice through):
^^ All full of rice and now ready to stitch up the hole!
^^ And finally, complete! I made two sets, a pair for Connor and a pair for me!
To use, just throw in the microwave for a minute or two. I have found with my rice bag that if I do it for a shorter amount of time, it feels hot at first but quickly releases the heat. If I warm it for a bit longer, it holds the heat for much, much longer (although it is way too hot in the beginning!). Test out times to see what works best for you. Enjoy, and stay warm out there!
Posted by Shaleesa Mize on 01/14/2015
Clean up from last month’s wind storms is finally wrapping up around here, including the giant pine that fell behind our house. The men of the household have been busy with the chainsaw, cutting it down into pieces and loading it up in the truck. At the same time I have been inspired by the craft projects I have seen on Pinterest using wood logs. The first one I wanted to make was these wood bookends, so I snatched up one of the logs from behind the house and had Connor cut it into quarters. Then, I used a chisel to remove the bark (much easier than I was expecting, thankfully!). I let the wood sit out in the sun for a few days to dry out, as the bark had left a mushy residue behind. Now that it is all dried out, I just need to put on a clear coat to protect the wood from bugs and crumbling over time.
(The same day, I was re-potting some overgrown plants, so I took some photos of them using the wood, and it inspired me to use them as plant stands as well!)
A few of my favorite wood projects that I am hoping to do in the future!
1. Stump and ink prints…Absolutely stunning!
2. Wooden Christmas tree ornaments…So cute! It reminds me of an old tradition we had where every year my dad would paint a wooden piece like these with a mural from a vacation or big event from the year. It was a great way to reminisce each year while setting them out for display!
3. Log planter…Love the two natural elements being used together.
Posted by Shaleesa Mize on 08/20/2014
(Photo via Martha Stewart)
Last week, I posted about our trip to Greenbluff’s Fleur de Provence Lavender farm, where we picked a bucket full of lavender! A few weeks before, I had received my issue of Martha Stewart Living, which had a special article about a woman who accidentally started her own lavender farm, as well as several recipes using lavender essential oils. It inspired me to try making my own essential oil from our fresh lavender, but every recipe we tried was a dud, and I later learned it takes a real distillation process to make legitimate essential oils. So, that failed. Instead, we kept the lavender in a vase and enjoyed the smells just from having it in the room. But I still wanted to make the recipes from Martha Stewart! With some friends and family, we had a girls’ craft night and worked on the following two recipes: lip balm and candles. We did end up purchasing lavender essential oil, as well as several other scents. Here are several pictures from the process, taken by my friend Nicole! Check out the full recipes and other photos on Martha Stewart’s website.
I have to just say, I am so happy to be back to Washington with my friends and family, and super excited for the first of many to come girls’ craft nights!
Posted by Shaleesa Mize on 07/30/2014
Lately I have been seeing a lot of simple, pretty jewelry that I love but can seem to find, or when I do, it is too expensive or not exactly what I wanted or imagined. I have some tools from when I did a lot of beading in my younger years, so I figured, why not get back to it!?
This piece was really easy to make and all it required was some chain, a colored bead, crimps, and some sturdy wire or string. The holes on the beads were too small and I couldn’t find them in another size, so I strung each one through one of the chain links and then crimped it. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I like the end result of the beads and crimp bead dangling a bit.
Posted by Shaleesa Mize on 05/28/2014