Weekly Wrap Up (Week of June 18th-June 24th)

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This past week I’ve been busy brainstorming like made for new bath and body recipes and I’m so excited to get started on my new to do list! Some of the projects I plan to share will also be a part of what I’ve coined my Craft & Cocktail Nights that I’ll be having about every other week with my friends. The first one is tonight and we’ll be making DIY nail polishes using a suspension nail polish base, micas and glitters.

Painting wooden birdhouses!

In actuality, since I moved back to Roanoke and am once again in close proximity of some of my favorite and true blue friends, I kind of have a craft & cocktail night anyway about once a week with someone near and dear.

Craft & Cocktail Night! Painting wooden birdhouses.

Those projects, however, are typically one on one on a night there are no kids and my husband has his weekly band practice. I often use those nights for experimenting like mad. Sometimes those creations make it to the blog. Other times they don’t.

Craft & Cocktail Night! Painting wooden birdhouses.

This past Thursday my husband’s band, Virginia Electric, actually had a gig so we skipped the weekly craft shindig for music. I headed out to hear my husband’s band play and my friend Bambi hit a local venue to hear her friend’s band. The Thursday before however, we tried two new fab red wines and painted birdhouses.

Craft & Cocktail Night! Painting wooden birdhouses.

Craft & Cocktail Night! Painting wooden birdhouses.

It was ridiculously enjoyable. We did get a little crazy though when I thought it’d be a marvelous idea to paint the kitchen tabletop. (If you follow me on instagram it’s likely you’ve already seen that disaster.)

Craft & Cocktail Night.

We sort of got WAY into it and the whole incident became a “blow off steam/sensory play” experience. It was quite fun and I recommend everyone do it at least once in their lives – but definitely do it outside.

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The tabletop ended up looking like a smear of mud so in the end, I cleaned off the tabletop – leaving only a few streaks of glitter behind that didn’t come off – and slaved a bit over the kitchen clean up. We had started by splattering paint and squirting it onto the table so by the end of the night there was paint on the floor and the walls and randomly in the strangest of places.

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My husband was rightfully a bit miffed. It was quite the disaster to walk in on. And he walked in as I was attempting to mop the kitchen floor – a feat that only made the floor look worse. Think a film of a mud like colored substance everywhere the mop had been. So I got down and dirty with towels and kitchen cleaner and pretty much scrubbed the kitchen floor on my hands and knees along with the table, chairs, walls and even the sides of the cabinets. Thus, should you ever repeat this exercise in complete lack of self control, I highly recommend you take it outside.

The next day there were muddy paint footprints I scrubbed off the wood floor – along with Bambi who had her own footprints she took home with her.

Still, there were and are no regrets because it was the most amazing time! And luckily, having spent quite a few years raising two daughters, my husband was a lot more understanding than I would have been had I walked in on the same disastrous aftermath.

If you want to paint your own birdhouses, this is actually a great project for the family if you skip the cocktail part of it. You can find the birdhouses online at Target.com here. (I hadn’t seen these at my local Target, but they also tend to sell out of crafty supplies and materials there rather quickly.)

Some other wonderful things I’ve enjoyed this week include this beautiful handmade soap from Lavish Clean Intentions. It’s scented with spearmint and eucalyptus and is one of my favorite handmade soaps shared using the hashtag #soapdelishowoff on instagram this week.

I’ve also found a new favorite white wine –  Three Thieves 2015 Pinot Grigio. It’s a steal at $10 a bottle and of course, there’s an additional dollar off per bottle when I buy six at Kroger!

As there’s always a question about using preservatives in homemade skin care products, a great article I recently rediscovered and pinned to my DIY Bath and Body Pinterest board is this one from Soap Queen blog. It will help you answer the question as to whether or not your homemade product needs a preservative. And if so, what is the best preservative to use for your product type.

These DIY Pork Dumplings from HelloFresh are AMAZING!

I’m also in love with the Pork Dumplings Recipe from HelloFresh. This is the second time I’ve ordered this meal with my box as it’s so amazing! I’m cooking this for dinner tonight pre-party. If you’re not a HelloFresh subscriber you can sign up here and get $40 off your first order.

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the weekend and that you all have a super creative inspiring week next week! See you then!

Also, if you don’t already follow me, be sure to check me out on G+TumblrFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram for more great DIY ideas. Or sign up to receive new posts from Soap Deli News blog to your email via FeedBurner so you never miss a post.

Free Cover Photo for Your Facebook Profile

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Let everyone know that creativity takes more than just glue sticks and scissors with my free cover photo for your facebook page!
To use it on your own facebook page, simply right click on the image above and hit “save image as” to save to your own computer. Then simply upload it to your facebook page. Below is what it will look like on your facebook profile (or business) page once uploaded.
I hope everyone has a very happy New Year moving forward and that you and those around you will be brave enough to live a very creative life! And, for free wallpaper downloads for your computer and mobile, be sure to check out one of my favorite blogs, Pearl + Earl’s Good-Time Vintage Blog. And if you’re a blogger yourself, visit Misse Design for everything from wallpapers to social media icons!

Instagram – My latest creative discovery

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I’ve seen a lot of instagram photos around lately and I’ll admit I was curious. But my LG phone just wasn’t equipped to take decent photos nor did it have a flash. It also wasn’t the most intuitive phone in the world. So when my phone suddenly stopped working after only 5 months of use – my boyfriend has also gone through two LG phones with little success – I decided it was worth paying a little more to buy an HTC Android. After all, I not only use my phone for emergencies, but my business and at work as well. I stuck with the regular last year’s 3G model and saved a hundred bucks, but still got what so far is turning out to be a great product. It’s like when buying a used VCR would cost you $800 (back when VCRs were the latest and greatest) but that sucker lasted for 20 years before breaking while the modern $50 versions killed over in about two. Or how Atari’s in all their retro wonder glory continue to work while my son’s original XBox crapped out due to overheating. Or all those PC’s that died in 3 years, while my macbook just keeps on truckin’. You get the picture.

So now that I have a decent phone, my own picture has gotten even bigger. And I’m having fun exploring the world through my camera phone. My goal is to try to find at least one creative shot a day and post it to instagram, my personal facebook page, twitter and my tumblr.
I started with the dead beetle at work, then had my boyfriend take a shot of me. Then I took a photo on my daily walk through the neighborhood followed by a game of Clue at my parents’ house. Here are the photos I’ve taken so far (with captions.)
Our mascot at work. Everyone needs a dead beetle to vent to. http://instagr.am/p/M9UzElwlet/
A very happy me. Scott registered for college classes today. http://instagr.am/p/M9aKG8QlSF/
Our neighborhood yards are often full of interesting surprises. http://instagr.am/p/M_09NTQlUT/
Clue. Sometimes you wish people would just get one. http://instagr.am/p/NEV5HvQlRL/
I’m excited by the prospect of building a portfolio of my very own through instagram. Do you use instagram? Love it? Hate it? And how are you using it to stay creative?

DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts You Can Craft and Give

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Whether you’re on a budget or simply want to give the gift of handmade this Valentine’s Day, here is a lovely collection of DIY Valentine’s Day gift ideas to get your started on giving the perfect gift for that someone special.

1. Charming Bookmark via Country Living – Pretty and romantic, these easy to craft ribbon bookmarks would make a wonderful gift for your Valentine tucked inside a romantic book. May I suggest Other People’s Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to Seeby Bill Shapiro?

2. DIY Painted Block Puzzle via Momtastic – This painted, wooden block puzzle is a perfect gift for young children. Give blank wooden blocksa Valentine’s Day them with painted hearts or other romantic symbols for a gift that will last a lifetime.

3. Stenciled Animal Mugs via Country Living –  This idea is easy and simple. Stencil a new or thrift store mug with PermEnamel Paintfor a customized Valentine’s Day gift. It doesn’t have to be an animal. Hearts or X’s and O’s, even initials will give it romantic flair.

4. Personalized Embroidery Hoop via The Joy Cottage –  Customize a special message for your Valentine that can be hung on the wall as an everyday reminder of your love. Tuck your favorite fabric into an embroidery hoopthen cut out your message in coordinating fabrics and sew on. Then seal the back with some pretty scrapbook paper cardstock and hot glue.

DIY Beauty Gift Idea from Be Beautiful Blog – Handcraft a teacup sized spa treatment for Valentine’s Day with homemade, heart shaped sage and fennel bath melts made from dried sage, crushed fennel seeds and shea butter. Combine with an oatmeal, ginger and almond bath bag and an easy to make massage oil and you the perfect bath and beauty gift for your sweetheart! (You can shop for organic ingredients for this project at Mountain Rose Herbs.)
For more beautiful handmade, DIY gift ideas for Valentine’s Day, be sure to visit my DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts Board on Pinterest. And for handmade Valentine’s Day gifts you can buy, check out my Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas Board on Pinterest.