Friday, September 28, 2012

Autumn Candle

Although the temperature has been unseasonably warm (in the afternoons), Autumn is definitely here.  I know because I just spent the last hour mowing up leaves in the yard.  (There's just waaaaaay too much to rake them up, the lawn mower is the only way to go.)

Still, even though the nights are cool and the sun is going down earlier and earlier, the changing leaves make it very beautiful outside.

While I was outside I decided I needed to use some of those pretty leaves and make something with them.  So, I came up with this very simple and very quick project for today.

DIY Candle, Fall crafts, Decorate your own candle

Before I even gathered my supplies, I took my candle outside to see which leaves would be the perfect leaves to use.
Soooo many colours to choose from!
Once you've found the leaves you want, here's what else you need:

-wax paper

1) Turn on your iron and while you're waiting for it to heat up remove any wrapping on the candle.  Then lay a small sheet of wax paper down on a flat surface and place your candle on top.  You can start to decide the placement of your leaves.

2) Wrap the wax paper around the candle, covering the leaves, and then gently use your iron to heat up the wax and melt the leaves into the candle.

**Note: test your wax paper first to see if there's a right and wrong side so that you don't leave wax residue on the bottom of your iron.

You don't have to leave your iron on the paper for very long.  You'll see the wax melting.  Just gently rub the iron around.  Lift the wax paper up and place some more leaves down.  Repeat the process until your candle is filled and you're happy with how it looks.

Tah dah!  That's it.  Another project done in less than 5 minutes~

I really love how this adds a little bit of character to an otherwise plain Jane candle (no offense to any Jane's out there).

Do you say Autumn or Fall?  What's the difference?  I think Autumn sounds a little more swanky and sophisticated.  Truth be told, I usually say Fall.  Guess I'm not very swanky~

This project was featured here:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tell a Tale: Mistress of the Sun

A second installment of Sandra Gulland brilliance~

Summary (from Goodreads):
Set against the magnificent decadence of the seventeenth-century French court, Mistress of the Sun begins when the eccentric young Louise falls in love with a wild white stallion and uses ancient dark magic to tame him. This one desperate action of her youth shadows her throughout her life, changing it in ways she could never imagine.

Unmarriageable, and too poor to join a convent, Louise enters the court of the Sun King as a maid of honor, where the King is captivated by her athleticism and her striking grace. As their love unfolds, Louise bears Louis four children, is made a duchess, and reigns unrivaled as his official mistress until dangerous intrigue threatens her position at court, her place in Louis's heart, and even her life. Louise must decide where she can best find the peace and fulfillment her soul has longed for, and which she has traveled so far to find.

A riveting love story with a captivating mystery at its heart, Mistress of the Sun resurrects a fascinating female figure from the shadows of history and illuminates both the power of true and perfect love and the rash actions we take to capture and tame it.

I think it must be incredibly challenging to write about the life of a real life character.  To make us adore and become sympathetic to a mistress is no easy feat, but Sandra Gulland finds a way to make you love the central figure, Louise de La Valliere.

Louise is strong and smart but unlike many other heroines in historical fiction her personality is not exaggerated into an unbelievable super woman.  Also, unlike many typical mistresses to royalty from history I think Louise truly loved King Louis (the Sun King).  That doesn't make her role in his life any less tempestuous but it was just the reality of the times.  That's what kings did (maybe they still do????).

The court of 17th century France was, like many others, complicated and treacherous.  The fact that a young girl from a simple life was able to reach such heights at that time with minimal deceit  is fascinating in itself.  She is wild and passionate but she is also genuine and sensitive.

Sandra Gulland is an excellent researcher which is evidenced in the details of the novel.  What's wonderful about her writing is that she makes this part of the story.  She doesn't show off her knowledge or try to impress you with miniscule details that have no bearing on the story. 

It would have been very difficult for Gulland to top her acclaimed Josephine B Trilogy but this book definitely lives up what you would expect from her.

File:Louise Françoise de la Baume Le Blanc, duchesse de La Vallière et de Vaujours.jpg
Louise de La Valliere
 Do you have a favourite royal court you like to read about?  French, English, Spanish???  How do you feel about royalty, then and now?  Why do we look up to them?  Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts~

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Spooky Ladies

I went through my pinterest boards last weekend and then went on a big card making spree.  Ahhh, feels so good to actually use my pins.

Here's the first Halloween card I made:

Halloween Card, Googly Eyes, Vintage Ladies Card

Aren't those ladies spooky??  And funny???

Here's what inspired me:

I'll share more over the next few weeks~

Are you getting ready for Halloween or are you already dressed up and ready to go?

If you want to check out my pinboard for cardmaking and other papercrafts just click HERE~

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Make it Great Monday

Well, it's time for another fun Make it Great Monday linky party...unfortunately (for me) I've decided that this will be the last one for awhile.  I can't tell you how much I enjoy having you all come here to share your creative ideas but I'm finding that I just don't have the time to devote to it that I'd like to.

With Christmas coming up I've got a list of presents to make that I haven't even started, I'm trying to get back to house reno's, and I've started a new job.  When I do something I like to do it right and it bothers me that I can't get to each and every one of your projects to leave a meaningful comment but, I simply can't find the time lately.

I'm not sure what I'll fill my Mondays with but I hope you'll still come by the rest of the week to see what I'm up to and hopefully I'll be sharing some fun ideas that you'll want to try yourself~

Here are some easy but awesome projects that were shared last week:
1. Kathy from Life on Lakeshore Drive has a neat way of making pinecone trees.  Visit her blog to learn how.
2. Fonda from Southern Scraps made a great Anthropologie knockoff necklace.  I love how she used that one red bead.
3. Christine from The DIY Dreamer made the happiest coasters I've seen in awhile.  Check out her great step by step tutorial.
4. Fancy That Notion is getting ready for an avalanche of paint chips and made some pretty bookmarks.  Go find out how came to inherit so many.

Thank you to everyone for linking up!
I love having sooooo many creative ideas all in one place.

If you were featured, please feel free
to grab a featured button from the sidebar.

Now, onto this week's Make it Great party!

Please only link:
1) To your CreativeFamily Friendly Project Post
that you've made yourself
not your main blog page
2) Maximum of 3 projects that you haven't link up before
3) Please, no shops, giveaways, round ups, or commercial sites
4) Feel free to hit one of those Follow buttons on the sidebar ;)

And, not really a rule, but something you won't regret if you do....go visit some of the other links and leave a comment, we all love comments right? And you never know what kind of goodies you'll find!

Let's see what you've been working on! (If you link up you are giving me permission to tell the world how great you are and possibly post a picture or a link to your awesome project either here, on Facebook, or on Pinterest. Make sure you're OK with this before you link up.)

Thanks for linking!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mega Scarf Hanger

If you're like me and you have a shamefully massive number of scarves you'll love today's project!
DIY Scarf Hanger, How to hang scarves, Embroidery Hoop craft

 It doesn't look like much but it takes care of this entire mess of scarves in my closet:

 Right now, they ALL just hang one on top of another on two nails on a wall in my closet and constantly fall down.  But we're going to fix all that!

Here's what you need:

-various sizes of the inner hoop of an embroidery hoop
-acrylic paint and paintbrush
-felt and ribbon
-ruler, pencil, scissors
-glue and craft glue (not shown)
-optional: sparkle mod podge, rhinestones, glitter!

1) Paint both the inside and outside as well as the sides of all of your embroidery hoops.

I use spools of thread to keep the wet paint off the table while they dry.
2) While you're waiting for your paint to dry, start cutting narrow strips of felt the same width as your embroidery hoops.

 3) Once your paint is dry start painting glue on the inside of your hoops and adhering the strips of felt.  I decided at the last second to use Aleene's tacky glue and am glad I did.  It gave me a bit more time to work with it, get the felt in place, and not deal with any hot glue.

 4) Glue all of your hoops together at the tops.

5) Cut a length of ribbon or other trim about 15" long.

6) Also cut a rectangle of felt about 2" X 3".

7)Switch to your hot glue gun for the next step.  You'll need to make sure all those hoops are really secure.  With your felt rectangle under the hoops, layer in the ribbon and glue it all together with hot glue.

 And that, my crafty friends, is that!  Voila! You have yourself a new place to hang ALL of your scarves!

Just look at all that space.  The felt helps the scarves not to slip while protecting them from the rough wood of the hoops.

Yes, I still have too many scarves,
but now I can see them all!
I resisted adding sparkle but you could seal the outside of your hoops with some Sparkle Mod Podge, add some rhinestones, or really go to town and add glitter!  Paint the hoops a rainbow of colours, use velveteen ribbon inside instead of felt....the sky is the limit on this one.

Do you have a scarf addiction?  How do you store your stash?  Leave a comment and let us all know~

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tell a Tale: The Philosopher's Kiss

“Anything we do to fight misery and ignorance and poverty,
 no matter how imperfect it may be,
 is still better than doing nothing at all.”
Peter Prange, The Philosopher's Kiss 

Summary (from Goodreads):
Paris, 1747. Betrayed by God and humanity, Sophie moves to the seething capital of the kingdom. To survive, she works at Café Procope, the meeting place for freethinkers and revolutionaries.

Against her will she falls deeply in love with one of the regular customers: Denis Diderot, the famed philosopher and a married man. He and his colleagues are planning the most dangerous book in the world since the appearance of the Bible: an encyclopedia. Even more explosive are the covert references in the Encyclopedia that threaten to undermine both the monarchy and the church. But Sophie soon realizes that the stakes are even higher for her personally. At risk are her right to freedom, love, and happiness.

With a backdrop like Paris and Versailles, along with the royal court and the controversy of the Encyclopedia, I had pretty high hopes for this book. I ended up having to push myself to finish the last third of it though. Sophie seemed like an unrealistic character, Diderot seemed like a self-obsessed ego maniac, and I didn't really understand Sartine's hang ups about his marriage. It was OK, but I think the author missed many opportunities to draw from the fascinating lives of real historical figures, both literary and royalty, who were involved in the birth of the first Encyclopedia. Unfortunately this was just so-so for me.

When I told someone that I was reading a book about the first encyclopedia ever written they looked at me like I was crazy...and the dullest person on the planet.  It is interesting though that there was a time when knowledge was dangerous and even forbidden for particular people in society, and that's just basic knowledge about how things work.  Of course, philosophical ideas and questioning of authority such as kings and gods has always been forbidden (even in today's world).

The main storyline of this book is quite fascinating.  It's just the characters that I found trying.  So, if you're willing to look past that you just might get caught up in the idea that there are people who will risk all for their passion to share knowledge.

Almost every family had a set of encyclopedias in their home at one time.  Do you remember using yours?  Do you still have it?  Share your thoughts below~

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pinspired Lip Balm

I came across this fun project on pinterest and thought I'd give it a go:

I probably should've clicked through to read the whole post because it looks like a lot of people had the same problems I did and they came up with some good advice.

It's really just melted vaseline and drink crystals mixed together.  To be fair, I didn't follow the recipe at all, I just eyeballed it.  But you can see how much separation I got.  The drink crystals (ice-tea and cherry) just sunk to the bottom when it solidified.  Like I said above, make sure to check out the original post for some great tips on how to avoid this.

These ones were slightly more successful.  I just cut up some Avon flavoured lip balm and stirred it into the vaseline.  These ones are Bubble Gum and Lemon Lime flavoured.

Even if they weren't 5 star successful my lips are pretty glossy and soft when I use them.  Plus I got to pull out my sparkle Mod Podge to make decorate the containers!  Sparkle Mod Podge makes anything worthwhile~

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hat Head

My plum tree attacked me last night!  It's true!

Have you ever seen plum tree branches?  They look a little something like this:

Mine was totally overgrown so when I got home from work I decided it was finally time to give it a good trim.  It was not happy.

See those gigantic thorns?  Well, it stuck me right in the top of the head with them, not once, but twice!

plum tree branches, plum tree thorns

I had to call my poor mom to come make sure I hadn't seriously injured myself because there was so much blood...and an instant headache!  Once she knew I was OK then she didn't feel so good.  I think it was seeing her baby looking like she just survived a major car crash that did her in.  Poor woman, don't ever do that to your mom!

Lesson learned, from now on, when you're out in the garden...ALWAYS WEAR A HAT!

Preferably a hard hat~


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