Leprechaun Crafts

Maybe you go all out for St Patty’s Day, like the person above did with decorating the whole door or maybe you’d rather be a little more low key. Here are 3 very easy and cute ideas for St Patty’s day crafts. The first one requires a clean jar, some felt scraps, ribbon scraps, a hat (these can be purchased at any place that has St Patty’s decorations), a button and some orange colored candies. Easy Peasy!

Here’s a thrifty idea!  We all save small plastic containers (for leftovers and whatnot). Take a small tub bowl with lid and paint it green. Add construction paper for a hat band and buckle and add a construction paper shamrock.  Fill with rollos or chocolate gold coins!

And what’s St Patty’s Day without some gold! You can paint rocks to look like gold nuggets, or you can be more creative if you choose to be.

How about THIS for an easy decoration? Buy GREEN Mason jars! (Mason jars CAN be used for just about everything! lol)

So your St Patty’s decorations can be festive AND easy…but there’s always that one house…

DIY: Valentine’s Crafts

Today I offer 2 simple, easy to create Valentine crafts: a fleece pillow and a Valentine Gnome. Let’s get started!

No Sew Heart Pillow

Have a look at this easy way to make such a pillow from felt fabric or polar fleece (the cloth must be threadless). You need polar fleece in two different colors, scissors, and stuffing to stuff the pillow with, when it is ready.

Put the fabrics one over the other. Cut a big heart. After that draw a smaller heart inside the bigger one. Be sure to leave at least an inch to an inch and a half between the two borders. This is very important, because when you cut the strips (as shown at the image) they must be long enough so that you can tie them.

Start to tie every two strips, which one over another.

Tie all the strips in this way.

Do not forget to stuff the heart before you close the heart.

At the end, you can reduce the length of the strips to make your heart bushy. This heart pillow comes from the krokotak.com website.


Old yarn socks

Wooden beads

Faux beard


Polyester fiberfill

Jute string

Microfiber cleaning cloth, white

Hot glue gun & glue sticks


Cut the socks at the heel. Use the lower half for the body and the upper half for the hat.

Fill the body with half a cup of rice for the weight, then add fiberfill to complete the body. Tie with string to seal the body.

Tie the end for the hat, then turn it over and tie again to make the pompom at the top.

Cut a strip of white microfiber cloth, then glue it to the bonnet. Fold the microfiber upward to keep the unfinished seams out of sight.

Glue the hat to the top of the body. Glue on a faux beard and a wooden bead for the nose.

Farmer’s Almanac Home Remedies for Dry Hair and Skin

Do you have dry hair, hands, scalp, or skin? If there’s one thing that we love, it’s making our own natural remedies and treatments. Check out these fantastic recipes that will restore and liven up your hair, face, and skin—and not break the bank.

Remedies for Dry Hair

Weekly Conditioner for Fly-Away Hair

Try a weekly deep-conditioning. For a rich conditioning treatment that you’d pay $30 to $100 for at a salon, mix a couple of tablespoons of olive, coconut, or castor oil with 1/2 cup of full-fat mayonnaise (alternatively: a ripe, mashed avocado), and massage into your hair and scalp. Then wrap your hair in a large plastic grocery bag and top it off with a warm, dry towel for about 30 minutes. Wash and rinse as usual (but sometimes twice is needed, to remove the oil).

Moisturizing Leave-in Conditioner

Mix two parts water, one part witch hazel, two parts vegetable glycerin (a natural moisturizer available online or in health/natural food stores), and a tablespoon of olive or other cooking oil per cup of liquid in a spray bottle. If you have aloe vera gel on hand, add one part of that to the mixture. A few drops of essential oil will give you a scented product. Spritz on wet or dry hair before styling.

More Body and Bounce

Mayonnaise, straight from the jar, will make hair soft and shiny. The egg nourishes brittle hair with protein, while the vinegar gives it body and bounce.

Try this mixture to regain supple hair: Mix one teaspoon powdered brewers’ yeast with four ounces of apple cider vinegar to create an after-wash rinse. Pour it over wet hair and let stand at least a minute before rinsing.

Oily Hair and Skin

Add one teaspoon baking soda to two ounces of your shampoo. This works as an alkali to absorb excess oil.

Baking soda works the same way with skin, it will absorb oil and also neutralize excess acid in your skin. Make a paste with baking soda and water.

Try lemon juice as an astringent facial cleanser.

Remedies for Dry Hands and Nails

Let’s start with some good tips and basics on keeping your hands from getting dry and cracked.

Add moisturizer right after you wash your hands. Apply when your skin is a little wet to help it hang on to some of the water.

Avoid any alcohol-based cleansers on your skin. Consider liquid soap that contains moisturizers.

Use the right moisturizer! Look for products which lists ceramides (oils), dimethicone (a type of silicone), and shea butter provide a good seal for your hands. The thicker the cream, the better.

If you polish your nails, find an acetone-free polish remover, as acetone is a serious drying agent.

It goes without saying that you need to wear gloves when using any harsh or chemical ingredient to clean the house.

Also make sure to wear gloves or mittens when you go outside to prevent the dry winter air from drawing moisture from your hands and nails.

If your hands get so dry that they crack, be careful of infection. Clean the area with hydrogen peroxide and apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment.

Some dermatologists suggest coating hands and nails with Vaseline or another strong barrier and wearing cotton gloves overnight to treat dry nails and cuticles.

To prevent brittle nails and ragged cuticles, try this handmade cuticle massage:

Cuticle Massage:
5 red seedless grapes
1 tablespoon sugar

Wash the grapes, then slice them in half widthwise. Dip the cut side into the sugar. Using half a grape for each finger, massage the skin around each fingernail for about 30 seconds each. Wipe off the excess sugar with a soft towel, then rub hand cream onto hands and cuticles.

Remedies for Dry, Itchy Skin

Again, let’s start out with some basic tips on caring for your skin so that it doesn’t become dry and itchy.

Apply moisturize every day or even twice a day if you are over 40. Apply immediately after showering or bathing when your skin is still a little damp. Do not scrub skin dry.

Choose a lotion brand that has petroleum jelly or lanolin high on the ingredients list.

For super-dry skin, use olive oil. Rub it in prior to a bath or shower. You may substitute peanut, sesame or sunflower oil.

Avoid steaming hot water or lengthy immersions, which will strip your skin of its natural oils. Dermatologists suggest taking shorter baths or showers in warm (not hot) water. If you have severe dry skin problems, keep your showers to no longer than 5 minutes and use lukewarm water.

Use a mild, glycerin-based soap. And stay away from hair or skin-care products that contain any forms of alcohol, which are drying agents. 

Wash gently. Vigorous scrubbing can further irritate sensitive skin. Gently clean around the “fold” areas of your skin—underarms, neck, and groin—and feet. Use very little, if any soap, on your trunk and limbs.

Don’t go outside in any season without using SPF of at least 15 on your face and hands.

To soften dry skin, add 1 cup powdered milk to your bath. (It worked for Cleopatra, supposedly.)

Try adding lemon juice or vinegar to your bathwater. Soap, being highly alkaline, may make your skin feel itchy.

Oatmeal Bath for Itchy Skin

If you have itchy skin, try a soothing oatmeal bath. 

Blend one cup of oats in a food processor or blender. Run a lukewarm bath (NOT hot). Pour the oat into the warm water and stir. Soak in bath for 15 to 20 minutes and very gently rub into skin.
Rinse with warm water and pat skin dry. While skin is still moist, apply a hypoallergenic moisturizing cream.

A quart of milk in a hot bath is a luxury as well as a skin toner. It’s a trick nearly as old as time.

Homemade Oatmeal Scrub

For a homemade scrub, mix ground oats and honey. Rub all over your face—especially your nose. The abrasive mixture will remove dry, scaly skin while the honey seeps in as a moisturizer. Rinse completely off and pat dry, and your skin will be glowing and baby soft. Only use this remedy once a week.

Chickpea Facial

¼ cup chickpea flour

¼ cup tumeric.  (Note: use Kasturi tumeric because regular turmeric can temporarily stain the skin)

Yogurt, as needed

In a small bowl, mix the chickpea flour and turmeric. Store the mixture in an airtight bottle. When ready to use, place a teaspoon of the mixture in a small bowl and add enough yogurt to make a paste. Apply the paste evenly to the face and leave on until it dries, about 10 to 15 minutes. Wash off with warm water.

Coffee Scrub

Coffee grounds work to help diminish cellulite and varicose veins, in addition to improving circulation and smoothing the skin’s texture.

2 cups used coffee grounds

½ cup sugar or sea salt

⅔ tablespoon unscented massage oil

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Massage gently on the skin, then rinse with warm water.

Remedies for Dry, Tired Eyes

Used teabags make excellent eye cosmetics. After being dunked (and allowed to cool slightly), drain the tea bag and place it over your closed eye (one for each) and hold it there for a few minutes. Redness, soreness, swelling and irritation will disappear like magic.

If you suffer from dry, scratchy, itchy, eyes, try laying a warm, moist washcloth over your closed lids for a few minutes each day.

This simple, effective treatment helps to liquefy the lubricating oil in glands located along the eyelids. It may take a few days, but if you use the compresses faithfully, you should experience relief.

Remedies for Dry, Chapped Lips

To prevent cracked or chapped lips, use a lip balm and apply it often. See our post on how to make your own lip balm. If you make a big batch that’s a bit heavier on the olive oil, you can use your homemade balm for hands, fingernails, facial moisturizer, and (just a dab) hair conditioner, too.

Plain honey is an excellent remedy for chapped lips. Blend fully into lips. 

General Advice for Beating Drys!

Forget the idea that drinking plenty of water is the only thing necessary for keeping your skin (eyes, nasal passages, nails) moist and your hair well behaved. Dermatologists say that while drinking water is important for overall health, as far as moisturizing skin, hair, and nails are concerned, you need to add moisture from the outside and prevent it from escaping into the drier surrounding air.

Use a humidifier. Indoor heating removes moisture from the air and your body. Humidifying dry indoor air helps to provide that indoor moisture. Try to maintain indoor air at 30 to 50 percent humidity. It’s especially important if you suffer bloody noses and lots of respiratory infections. You could run an electric humidifier, but passive solutions may do the trick for you. We maintain a lot of well-watered houseplants that transpire water into the indoor air. We keep steamers going on each of our stoves that pump moisture into the air whenever the stove is running.

Hanging your laundry on bars indoors is another great strategy. It doesn’t take much longer to dry near the wood stove than it would in an electric dryer, and while it dries, your laundry humidifies the air around it.

When Dry Skin is Severe

If your dry skin just gets to a point of inflammation, unbearable itchiness, or scabbing, you may need to see a doctor. They can prescribe thicker, richer emollients.

You also need to ensure that you don’t have psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and other skin conditions may also need prescription medication and treatment.

Source: Farmer’s Almanac

DIY: Snowmen Crafts

It’s going to be a long winter, but we can still have fun creating crafty things!  I found some adorable and easy to make Snowman crafts!

Fabric Snowman

This fabric Snowman is made by making 3 fabric balls—similar to the fabric pumpkins detailed in October.  Make three sizes and stack and glue together.  The hat is made with cardboard and felt.  The eyes and smile can either be buttons or felt.  Add an orange carrot nose, branches for the arms and whatever you like for the scarf and hatband.

Light Bulb Snowman

This guy is super simple.  Paint the light bulb white, with black details and an orange nose.  Paint the top (hat) blue.  The scarf and mittens are blue felt.  Add a string to hang it, some glitter to add pizzazz and a cotton ball pompom for the hat and you’re done! (You will have to purchase the snowflake though.)

Mason Jar Snowman

You can use Mason jar for a lot of craft ideas!  This is another super simple idea.  Simply paint, add a small orange wood chip (felt would also work) nose and a scrap of fabric for the scarf.  Some buttons finish this little guy!

This mason jar version has even less details and is all paint!

Log Snowman

The log snowman takes a little painting, but only AFTER you get someone to cut you the exact sized pieces you need. Glue the pieces together, paint, and add ribbon… super easy!

Grandma’s Helpful Hints

I found this list in my old notebook of funny emails I sister sent me years ago.  Some of these tips work well…but I can’t vouch for them all.  As with anything from the internet, take these with a grain of salt.

Colgate (or Crest) toothpaste makes an excellent salve for burns.

Instead of reaching for an expensive drugstore inhaler to clear your stuffed nose, try chewing a  couple of Altoid peppermints.

Achy muscles from a bout of the flu? Mix 1 tablespoon of horseradish in 1 cup of olive oil.  Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes, then apply it as a massage oil.

Sore throat? Mix ¼ cup of vinegar with ¼ cup of honey and take 1 tablespoon 6 times a day.

Cure urinary tract infections with Alka Seltzer.  Dissolve 2 tablets in a glass of water and drink it at the onset of symptoms.  It begins eliminating urinary tract infections almost instantly—even though the product has never been advertised for this use.

Honey can cure blemishes.  Cover the blemish with honey and place a band-aid over it.  Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin sterile and speeds healing.

Got toenail fungus?  Soak your toenails in Listerine mouthwash.  The powerful antiseptic leaves your nails looking healthy again.  Listerine will also clean dirty grout.

Formula 409 can double as a bug killer.  If menacing bees, wasps, hornets or yellow jackets get in the house, spray Formula 409—one shot and they drop.

Got a splinter? Pour a dab of Elmer’s Glue over the splinter and let dry. The peel off the glue and the splinter will adhere to the glue.

Got a bruise?  Soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and apply it to the bruise for an hour.  The vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds up the healing process.

Arthritis pain in your hands?  Mix 2 cups oatmeal and 1 cup water in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute.  Cool slightly and apply to your hands for soothing relief.

Dawn dish washing liquid can kill your dog’s fleas instantly.  Add a few drops to your dog’s bath and shampoo the animal thoroughly.  Rinse well to avoid skin irritation.

A few drops of corn oil in your cat’s ear will eliminate ear mites.  Massage it in, then clean with a cotton ball. Repeat daily for 3 days.  The oil soothes the cat’s skin, smothers the mites and accelerates the healing.

Beer or Cool Whip conditions the hair.  Mayonnaise will too and it also kills lice.

Pam cooking spray will dry finger nail polish and remove paint and grease from your hands.

Burn your tongue? Try a little sugar to soothe it.

WD-40 also helps arthritis (just rub it in) but it also kills insect stings.

Speaking of stings…meat tenderizer will lessen a sting.  Preparation H will help with chigger bites (and puffy eyes). 

Got a paper cut? Use a little crazy glue or chap stick.

Soaking your feet in jello helps remove odor.

Cornstarch will help cure athlete’s foot.

Peanut butter will remove sticky label residue on glass and plastics.  (I can personally vouch for this one.  I use a soft cloth and rub.)

Remove wine stains by pouring on the Morton’s salt.

To remove a wax stain, take a paper towel and iron it over the wax stain.  It will absorb into the paper towel.

Got baked on food?  Try filling the container with water and a Bounce fabric softener sheet—let stand overnight. Or you can use 2 Efferdent tablets—soak overnight.

Karo syrup removes grass stains.

Coca Cola removes grease stains.  (It even works on grease stains IN THE DRIVEWAY.)

To keep flowers fresher longer, use 7-up instead of water or add 2 aspirin to the water.

The Best House on the Block

At our house we only made a gingerbread house once.  I bought a kit and with minimal assistance from me, the kids assembled and decorated it.  We left it in the center of the dining room table while they went up to their rooms to finish homework and I did some cleaning.  The dog—a large yellow lab—jumped onto the table and bit a piece off.  It obviously didn’t agree with him because he threw it up all over the rest of the house. End of gingerbread making at our house…lol

But I love to look at them!  I offer for your consideration these gingerbread creations in several different competitive divisions.  Which is YOUR favorite?

Impressive Division

Charming Division

Unique Division

Creative Use of Ingredients

Earthquake Division

Homemade Christmas Gifts

Whenever anyone asks me what I want for Christmas, I always reply…make me something!  I love handmade gifts.  My son has made me several that I treasure!  When he was in college and wanted a knitted blanket, he taught himself to knit.  That Christmas I got a hand knitted shawl. (It is cream colored, dainty and perfect, but not me at all, lol).  For Mother’s Day, he got a glass cookie jar and used a cricut to put “Make Mother’s Day Great Again” on it.

One Christmas he gave me a picture he painted—I have it hanging in the living room.  It’s a winter scene in the forest—I think it’s beautiful!

Then he discovered his love of woodworking!  He made me this wooden tray out of so many tiny pieces for Christmas one year, intending for me to use it for cookies, but I won’t risk anything happening to it!

Last year he made me a new cutting board that I can use for rolling out cookies.  He made the board—it has a delicate scroll on the side– and then he added a lip so the board won’t budge while I’m rolling out dough!

Now I know I’m lucky to have such a talented son, but homemade gifts do not need to be so complicated!  Take a look at some of the funny suggestions for stocking stuffers that are sure to tickle someone’s fancy! And quite easy to make yourself!

What Shall We Make Today?

Today’s offering is a do-it-yourself, aromatic project…cinnamon ornaments!

Cinnamon Ornaments

3/4 cup applesauce

2 bottles (2.37 oz. each) McCormick® Ground Cinnamon

Cookie cutters

Drinking straw

Colorful ribbon


Preheat oven to 200°F. Mix applesauce and cinnamon in small bowl until a smooth ball of dough is formed. (You may need use your hands to incorporate all of the cinnamon.) Using about 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll dough to 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap. Peel off top sheet of plastic wrap. Cut dough into desired shapes with 2- to 3-inch cookie cutters. Make a hole at top of ornament with drinking straw or skewer. Place ornaments on baking sheet.

Bake 2 1/2 hours. Cool ornaments on wire rack. (Or, to dry ornaments at room temperature, carefully place them on wire rack. Let stand 1 to 2 days or until thoroughly dry, turning occasionally.)

Insert ribbon through holes and tie to hang. Decorate with opaque paint markers, found in arts and crafts stores, if desired.


Thanksgiving Do-it-Yourself

We all know the turkey is the STAR of Thanksgiving, and even though that “puppet” above is do-it-yourself, lol, I was thinking of something a little more grownup. The first offering is painted mason jars. (Seems you can use mason jars for every holiday there is!)

They make a wonderful grouping, require little skill (being able to paint and glue) and they look awesome! If you’d like step by step instructions, please visit TheSoccerMomBlog.com

The second offering is also pumpkins, but these require certain skills.

This is from: woodyouliketocraft.blogspot.com. A slice is cut from a log (the skilled part). Then apply paint to nearly the edges. The “stem” is a 2 1/2 inch piece of thin wood glued to the back of the wood slice. Spray stiffener (starch) or mod podge can be applied to burlap, and then when dry, leaves can be cut from that. Spray the stiffener on thick jute to create the curlicue. (Wrap the jute around a thick dowel, apply the stiffener and allow to dry before sliding it off the dowel.) Glue in place.

The last offering is a “reclaimed” project that I adore!

When I saw the pilgrim pair, I remembered I had 2 wooden candle holders in a box in my basement. But they could be found at flea markets and yard sales. The heads are 2 inch wooden doll heads (Hobby Lobby $1.99 each). The hat is a reclaimed wooden napkin ring and a wooden disk (Hobby Lobby $.29 each). The collars and the lady’s hat brim are white foam remnants.

There are 2 ways to approach this project: glue the wooden pieces together before painting OR paint the pieces first and glue second.

The directions say to first remove the metal insert in the candle holders or bend them inward. Mine did not have them at all. He then glued his pieces together.

He painted the pilgrims next, allowed them to dry, and cut out the foam pieces. Then he glued the foam pieces on and viola, they’re done! Easy peasy!

DIY: Mummy Mason Jars

How adorable are these? And they are super easy to make yourself! Start by spray painting the jars metallic gold (I would have chosen white). Any type of jar will work. Allow to dry overnight; maybe give a second coat. Allow to completely dry.  Wrap rubber bands around the jar. Make sure to leave a larger opening for the eyes.

Spray paint with black paint…let dry.

Remove rubber bands and touch up if desired.

Add white dots for eyes. Let dry…add pupils. Viola!

From: it all started with paint website.