My treat stands

The other day I posted 9 different treat stands and I finally finished some of my own! These were REALLY easy to make. Honest!
Treat stands

Supplies:

  • Light sconces from a ceiling fan or a glass or vase for the base
  • Plates or chargers (got mine at the dollar store)
  • E6000 glue or another all-purpose industrial strength glue

Directions:

  • Glue base to plate
  • DONE!

11 Days until Christmas!

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DIY Citrus Gifts

While citrus may not be viewed as something “Christmas-y” (though, some people do put oranges in stockings),  it’s in season and there is so much you can do with this pretty fruit. From cleaning supplies to seasonings, there are lot of DIY gift potential.

diy body and home citrus gifts

DIY Edible Citrus Gifts

Tutorial links after the jump!

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100’s of free printable gift tags and labels

Who loves free printables?! I have searched for and scanned through, hundreds of free holiday gift tags and label printables. Although this list is HUGE, I didn’t even include all of them!

No matter what you use as gift wrapping, there is a gift tag here that will go great. I love the little woodland creatures and vintage-inspired tags. Which ones are your favorite? Oh, and did I mention they are all FREE? Plus, they are super easy to download and print!

Have you found any great Christmas gift tags this year?

Free Printable Labels

Now the hardest part is deciding which gift tags to use!

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Thanksgiving Sides with a Twist

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and I haven’t figured out what I will be making. I also figured I should probably do a Thanksgiving post before I continue on about Christmas (which I am very excited about). Here are some recipes I found online that put a little bit of a twist on the classics.
Sweet Potatoes/yams:

Cranberry Sauce:

Vegetable Side Dishes (with seasonal produce)

 

What are you making?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A family recipe: Mom’s spinach dip

My mom makes the best spinach dip. I have yet to find a spinach dip that compares. I remember my mom making it for all sorts of holidays and occasions. She’s been making this recipe for so long (over 26 years) that she has no clue where it first originated. She made her famous spinach dip yesterday for no special reason and I had to share.  It’s pretty simple to make, too!

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My new favorite: Chicken in tomato and basil cream sauce

We have been in kind of a food slump lately; nothing seems to sound very good and we needed a bit more variety. I needed to eat something new and different! I also didn’t want to be prepping and cooking food all evening when I want and need to spend more time with my baby and husband. I looked around on Pinterest (which makes me mostly just want to bake) and was inspired by a photo on The Big Oven. I wasn’t a fan of all the ingredients so I came up with my own version and used tomatoes instead of pimentos and left out a few ingredients. The result? DELICIOUSNESS. I’m making this chicken again, soon!

Ingredients:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (we used 5)
  • Fat of your choice for cooking chicken
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning, or to taste
  • 2 tsp garlic powder, or to taste
  • 2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I used the kind with oregano and other herbs) or 1-2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1/3-1/2 cup fresh basil, diced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or asiago cheese

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How to create pendants and charms using resin

It can be easy to make quality photo pendants and charms using resin. Some resin can be tricky to work with, but I’ve found that Castin’Craft’s Easy Cast Epoxy is actually very easy to use. You just need a few supplies and before you know it, you will have fun charms or keepsake photo pendants for you or for gifts!

Supplies:

  • Castin’ Craft Easy Cast Epoxy
  • Cup (disposable or only to be used for resin0
  • Stir stick/plastic knife/Popsicle stick/tongue compressor
  • Toothpick
  • Scrabble tiles, picture frame charms, cabochon settings, or other setting (I used  charms like THESE)
  • Glue (if using a bail or glueing a frame or scrabble tile onto another setting, use e600 or something similar)
  • Scrapbook paper, digital negatives, small pictures, or other paper-type item
  • Blow dryer (optional, but recommended)
  • Optional – chain, key ring or ball chain, bails, or cufflinks

Epoxy, digital negatives, and frame charms

For this project, I used Costco’s 5×7 digital negatives and frame charms. In the photo on the top of this post, there are cufflinks made out of scrabble tiles, using pictures from a vintage bug dictionary. You can also do photos or scrapbook paper on scrabble tiles and glue a bail onto the back, or use a cabochon setting.

To make tiny pictures: In a photo editing software or PowerPoint create a 4×6 inch shape, insert the pictures you want to use and minimize them to your setting’s shape. Do a couple different sizes to play around with, fill up your 4×6 shape and have printed at a 1 hour photo place.

Directions:

  • Follow the Easy Cast directions and mix your epoxy. The amount you need will determine how many items you are using. A little bit goes a long way, so do several pendants at a time.
  • Cut your paper/photo to fit your setting, tile, or frame; glue into place.

  • Using your plastic knife, small spoon, or stick, carefully drop a small bit of resin on top of your photo. Use a toothpick to spread it into corners and sides. Add more if needed. Resin is thick enough to “dome” on to of a surface, like water on a penny.
  • Using a blow dryer on low, directly above your pendant, carefully blow out any air bubbles.
  • Keep in a warm, dry, place for 24+ hours until no longer sticky
  •  Glue a bail on the back of your tile, attach chain or key ring to your pendant, and enjoy!

Ideas:

  • Charms for jewelry
  • Lockets
  • Key chains
  • Cufflinks
  • Necklace pendant
  • Glue tiles onto bobby pins with settings, or other berets
  • Wine glass charms
  • Napkin ring charms
  • Pins
  • Glue settings onto rings
  • Glue onto picture frames
  • Make 3D stickers by coating store-bought or handmade stickers with resin
  • Use in goodie-bags and stocking stuffers

Quick and easy photo charm keepsake

Don’t forget to “like” The Life of Lulu Belle on Facebook for extra goodies!

 

 

 

 

 

How to make Christmas cards, scrapbook pages and other goodies without special photo editing software

I know it’s not even November yet, but before you know it, it will be time to send out Christmas cards. If I don’t start on things now, they will probably go out late! Besides, you don’t have to make just Christmas cards with this tutorial, you can make any card or invite or layered graphic.

My computer has Photoshop on it, but it’s on the fritz, so I have been using my husband’s computer – he doesn’t have Photoshop on his computer and I have been procrastinating on installing it. I’ve been doing all my icons and graphic layering using POWERPOINT! Microsoft does make a flyer making software, but I don’t have that on my computer, either.

Some things are actually easier to use PowerPoint than Publisher or Photoshop or any other fancy photo editing software. I’ve including the following step-by-step tutorial on how to do your own Christmas cards (or birthday, or Easter, or scrap booking or electronic invitations) using PowerPoint. I made my wedding monograms some years back with this technique.

Printing pictures as Holiday cards can be more economical and can offer you more creativity and variety. You don’t have to follow a template! You can even make your own postcards this way by gluing cardstock to the back of one of your pictures.

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Fun (and cheap) Halloween decorations

Over here in the corner of California where I live, it is finally getting cool! We have been enjoying mild days and cooler mornings and nights. With this weather the trees are finally starting to turn colors and I can soon bring out my sweater collection. And of course, then follows the holidays; Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!

I have been stock piling holiday ideas on Pinterest and I have some decoration ideas I can’t wait to try for Halloween. These ideas seem relatively easy and affordable and can have a big impact:

1.Boarded up windows from Darious Obell 2. Bagged body from Instructables 3. Spider sack from Martha Stewart 4. Creepy window silhouettes from Smoking Lily

You can also try Eyes in the bushes from Frugal Family Fun:

Yesterday I was at my local 99 Cent Store and Dollar Tree and found nearly all the supplies:

  • Trash bags for the body
  • Foam board and adhesive (going to try foam squares) for the boarded up windows
  • Black poster board for the silhouettes
  • Spiders and spider web (instead of batting) for the spider sacs
  • Glow sticks for toilet roll eyes in the bushes

What Halloween decorations are you crafting?