weekend crafting

Another weekend crafting project complete! Crafting helps me relax and refresh my brain for writing, so I’ve been incorporating more of it into my weekend routine. This Saturday, I made a run to Michael’s for some poster supplies, but ended up finding a nice wood wall plaque instead. This is a quick project, but the results are lovely. All you need is a wooden plaque of your choice (cost: $1.99)–they come in various shapes and sizes–and some craft paint. If you want to get fancy (ooh la la!) you can varnish to make it shine and protect the finish. I used Martha Stewart high gloss and glitter craft paints, Painters’ markers (for the gold and silver outlines), a regular black Sharpie, and a coat of Dermacoat satin varnish.

I painted on two coats of the base color, wrote out my quote, outlined it in silver and gold (smearing it while wet to create the gilded effect), then traced it in black. I had the stencils lying around from an old project, so I used those for the design on the side (tracing and filling it in with the paint markers and sharpie). The border was painted in a light lavender before applying a coat of glitter paint and outlining it all with a gold paint marker. Varnish and done!

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A quick and easy weekend project. For inspiration, look to the Romantics. They’re full of inspiring words.

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on my latest crunchy adventure

I’m a live simply sort of girl, so making the switch from dirty to clean beauty wasn’t terribly difficult. The hardest part has been finding a decent sunscreen option (still working on it, though I’ve tried some products that I do like.) and making the switch from commercial to natural deodorant. I’ve been doing a lot of research and live by the EWG’s skin deep database, but there’s nothing like actually trying something for myself. I started the switch to natural deo by weaning myself off Secret. Now, I can be a smelly girl… there are times when my cycle sets my hormones flaring and I need some serious protection, so finding something that works for my pH and won’t turn me into the office stinker is essential. I tried a few different natural brands that didn’t do much for me–the moment I started sweating, they quit. Then, I found Primal Pit Paste–which works a wonder! It seriously works (I used the lemongrass & thyme one with the regular strength) and a little goes a long way, but I wasn’t thrilled with the scent options. I wanted something less herbal. I decided to do a little experimenting and googled deodorant recipes based on the ingredients listed on the bottle… I also bought a similar, homemade deo I found on Etsy to test the strength of a home-brewed blend. The Etsy find worked.*  I was ready to give my own blend a try.

I decided to try the recipe from Wellness Mama first. It had the same ingredients as the Pit Paste and was easy enough to make. A little oily mess in the kitchen and there it is!

coco-deo! Yes, it is in my fridge...
coco-deo! Yes, it is in my fridge…

I tried it for a week and it worked just as well as the Pit Paste. Then my hormonal shift happened and I could smell myself! Ack! Not good. Involved a lot of avoiding people while I tried to freshen up, but I was determined to make it work. I left my deo out on the counter overnight** and added two extra tablespoons of arrowroot and one extra tablespoon of baking soda . The coco-shea blend was soft, so I folded in the powders. I use Bob’s Red Mill brand arrowroot and baking soda, which are both extra fine, making them very blendable. Back in the fridge and ta-da! It works just as well as the Pit Paste 🙂 just needed to be adjusted to my needs.

Now, a caveat for anyone embarking on the natural deo journey… you WILL have an adjustment period when you first make the switch. I was a bit smellier for about 3-4 weeks when I first started, so trying something like the Primal Pit Paste or similar may be a good option until your body gets used to the natural product. Because natural deo has no chemicals, it is NOT an antiperspirant–you will notice the sweat, but unless you have overactive sweat glands, it’s not that bad. Again, your body will self-regulate after a few weeks and you’ll notice the difference.

So that’s the latest in my beauty clean-up. It’s not perfect… there are some things I haven’t given up yet–the occasional terrible terrible perfume spritz, some less than stellar lipsticks–but finding cleaner, natural alternatives for most products has been simpler than I thought when I decided to make the switch. It’s not for everyone, I know, but it works for me and most of the products are cheaper and last longer than their department store counterparts.

*For any who want to give it a go, I used the Coconut Vanilla deo from Ollie + Max Soap Co., which smells divine! I still have some left and like to use it when I want some fragrance.

**It’s hot enough in my apartment that the coconut oil will melt unless I store it in the fridge, but it’s no biggie… that’s where I keep my toner and some of my oils, just a matter of starting a new habit.

Pin it, do it challenge complete

Finally completed the pin it, do it challenge for October 🙂 . My last project was a crate seat cover. I had to make plenty of adjustments to this one, mostly because the instructions were to make 8 matching crates, whereas I only needed to cover 1 crate. I also had some mishaps with wood and staples… Had to beg my dad for a scrap piece of wood because I learned that lumber is darn expensive unless you have a major project that you want to complete. Also, my dad’s staple gun didn’t work, so I had to make do with a glue gun. It works. Nothing fancy, but now my tbr pile is nicely covered.

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Go here for my original pin it, do it challenge post. Or go here to learn more about the Pinterest Challenge.

pin it, do it challenge

will do this. A Pinterest challenge for October from Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity. I will do at least 1-3 things that I have pinned on Pinterest.

My goals are these three pins (I’m starting at the timid pinner level):