Wednesday, December 16

Our new adventure...

We're expecting a baby in May 2016!
We learned the news around the beginning of September and we're super excited! I'm about 20 weeks now and I've knitted some socks and a hat. I'm sure they're are many more baby knitting projects on my needles in the upcoming months :-)

Thank you for your sweet comments on my latest post, by the way!

Sunday, December 13

DIY: Christmas Clay Ornaments

About seven years ago I made clay ornaments to decorate my tree. It just happened out of the blue, I felt like making something with clay and that was the result. While I was living with my parents-in-law for four years, they decorated their tree with the ornaments. Recently we moved so I took all my ornaments with me but I made a set of 8 new ornaments to give them as - one of the - thank you presents for letting us stay with them.
Anyway, it took me a week to make them, because I used air-dry clay and -of course, distracted me- bought terra clay in stead of white clay, wherefor it needed two layers of white paint before I could decorate them with golden paint. Include the drying time of the clay and white and gold paint layers and a layer of varnish and you're busy for a week ;-) I used several materials that I had left from years of collecting all little things. I save everything when I get a present. I was once given a very kitchy Christmas wreath and I totally took it apart and saved the bits and pieces I could once use for crafting).

The box pictured above caught my eye in the crafts store in the wooden department. It only costed 3-4 euros. The dark oak varnish I bought in a local DIY store. First I removed the lock and hinges and then I polished the box with sand paper. It got two layers of varnish.
Once everyting was painted and varnished properly, I filled the box with some strawy filling that was in a basket my mom gave me earlier that week. (Whenever I say I'm going to craft, she gets all excited and jumbles her attic to get rid of things she doesn't need, which benefits me of course!)
Before the clay ornaments are all dry, I put in a wire so they have this little ring or hook to thread a golden ribbon.
And last but not least, I found a little bag of wooden green trees. A layer of golden paint and some glue on the back and it makes a perfect decoration for the inside of the box, don't you think?

Saturday, December 12

DIY: Snowy Ball

Since it's almost Christmas and I got tons of crafty ideas from Pinterest I travelled my whole town and neighbouring cities to find the supplies for many crafty projects. First: a snowy ball! It's really simple to make, at first, but there are a few tricks that will keep your project from failing.

You'll need: a mason jar, paint spray (not pictured), some kind of layering to put in the lid (not neccesary but while working on another project and searching in my old craft box I found these two jars full of little stones, once bought in a garden center to make a layer of stones in terraria), water resistant glue, a plastic animal that fits in the jar, sprinkles (I chose gold and silver, but also added some red stars while making it).

I first spray painted the lid with golden spray (because I was making golden animal keychains - blog post next week! - which needed to be spray painted and I thought why not spray this lid as well?)
As soon as the lid was dry, I put some glue in the middle - not in the border, it still has to fit the mason jar- and put in some stones, imitating a snowy landscape. Looking at my photo now, I realize I forgot my golden stones! Anyway, once that's all dried, stick the animal really tight onto the stones or whatever kind of layering you've put in the lid, as pictured above.

Next, fill the mason jar with all kinds of glitters and water (some suggest glycerine). Before gluing the lid to the mason jar, try it out a few times: first I had way too few sprinkles and too little water. Also, the stones that I put in the lid deposited a white chalky substance, my water wans't clear enough. So it's best to rince them first thoroughly with water. When you think all is like you want it, glue the lid into the mason jar and firmly close it. Let dry.

You can also decorate the lid with some rope, or ribbon as you like.

Tuesday, December 8

Home made beeswax candles

A few years ago, I heard that the candles or tea lights, made of paraffin wax, are kind of bad for your health. Paraffin is a petroleum by-product and releases al kinds of nasty chemicals when being burned (like toxic benzene) and it also releases smoke and soot. A much healthier alternative are candles made from beeswax or soy wax. They don't release chemicals and they kind of 'clean' the air.

It took me a while to find a beekeeper in the vicinity that sells pure beeswax (you can also buy unfiltered beeswax, but then of course you have to filter it first). An online search on Google and YouTube usually does the trick for guiding me through the process. (You can find a tutorial here and here.) Because I was going all natural with this I also decided not to use a wick holder (as seen in the video), but to stick the wick down to the bottom with a bit of tape.
They're very easy to make and they smell good! I decided to give away some of them as Christmas presents: some to fancy up the wrapping or just as a little gift.

Linking up with Nicole.