Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring is Here & Another Doily Project

Today was the first day of Spring! Thank goodness. It is no secret that winter is not my favorite season and I am so happy to see a few daffodils pop up here and there.
It seems that doilies seem to be everywhere. On clothes, pillows, curtains, everywhere. I happened to see a few crochet ones at Micheal's a few weeks back and was considering sewing them on to a blank canvas bag, but never got around to it. They've just been sitting here and I came across this tutorial yesterday for a yarn bowl and figured I'd apply the same process to a doily and see how it came out. Cute for Easter, no?
You might also might have noticed that I updated my header. I was never that happy with the winter scene and with spring upon us, decided that it really needed an update. I used the instructions found here. I highly recommend Picnik, it's ridiculously easy to use and is free! Now that the sun is shining (and we have more daylight) I really hope to take more pictures and update it more often.
Other things I've been working on:
-Candles. Have that down to a "science", can whip quite a few up in no time. The secret is several large pyrex measuring cups. That way you can start heating up a new batch in the microwave while you're waiting for another batch to cool enough to add your fragrance. I've almost used up the rest of wax and scents.
-W.I.P. (work in progress)-I have been working on other more complicated projects, but they are gifts and are taking a while to complete. Can't post anything until they are, well, finished and gifted! I've given myself a self-imposed deadline of next weekend on one of them, hopefully you'll see it here soon. I hate when things linger on and on, so I'm anxious to wrap things up.
It goes without saying the my heart hurts with all of the tragedy and loss over in Japan. It is terrifying beyond words. The whole thing makes the world seem very large and very small at once. I leave you with this post that I recently read by a favorite columnist, Ruth Reichl and felt that it was very well put and true.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Doily Straw Tote

The tutorial that inspired this project, was found on Under the Sycamore, a DIY project called The Doily Canvas Bag. I've had this tutorial in the back of my mind for a while. Wanted to give it a shot, but I kept forgetting to purchase a plain canvas bag. And to be honest, was afraid that I couldn't make mine as crisp and clean as on the original tutorial. Last summer, I had picked up this very plain straw tote at Joann's. I believe is was something like 70% off. It's been hanging on a doorknob in my living room since August. Over the holidays, I had purchased some doilies at the dollar store that I cut up to make gift tags. The other evening, I was itching to make something, saw the straw tote hanging there, remembered the doilies and put the two of them together. So this is my version of the Doily Bag. The doily print isn't perfectly clear printed on the straw, but I'm happy with the end result. Sort of an impressionist doily. It will be perfect for the beach this summer.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Candle Wrap Up

(pictures of candles, sorry they are such a yawn... not a very compelling subject matter)
It's been just about two weeks since I attempted candle making and wanted to make some final comments. Like all things in life, success in candle making depends on trial and error. The actual function of the candles has been great. No issues there. The "flow" of the candles (that's the official term for a candle's scent), that's another story. The first two batches of candles I made don't have a very strong scent when burned. Not terrible, but I wouldn't say that it fills a room. The first batch was made with a purchased "Pineapple Cilantro" oil and the second batch was made with a combination of Lemon and Orange Essential Oils. The candles made with the essential oils ended up smelling a lot like cleaning supplies. And not in a good way. Guess I'll be saving those for a power outage! Since I bought such a large amount of soy wax last time, I'm going to make another batch this weekend. So, if you happen to know me, chances are you'll be receiving a candle from me soon! What else does one do with all these candles? I do plan on bringing some back home with me for Easter, they will make a nice gift. Since I wasn't that happy with the fragrances I had purchased locally, I went on line an bought additional fragrances here. I ended up getting Coconut Vanilla, Almond Macaroon, Lilac and Oatmeal Milk and Honey. I also sprung for some non food grade containers, bought a couple of traditional ball jars at craft supply store of only about a $1 each, another glazed pot from the dollar spot at Target and a pretty ceramic pot that was on sale at another craft store. This has been an interesting experiment, but candles may be one of those things that are easier purchased than made!