Thrift-shop terrarium centerpiece

terrarium

Last week, for the first time, I ventured into a thrift-shop that was literally around the block from my house. I’m not sure why it took my so long to go inside, but I was pleasantly surprised and took home an armful of puzzles, a vintage top, an awesome purse, and a bag of Mega Blocks. I also found out that on Tuesdays, everything is 50% off! This week I went in there and bout a vase, a glass bowl, a crystal tea cup, a wicker platter/basket, and some odds and ends. I knew exactly what I was going to do with the glassware – make a terrarium!

Terrariums have been a trendy DIY project for a while, but I hadn’t participated in it as of yet. Finally, with an abundance of baby succulents growing in my garden and a renewed interested in pinned terrariums, I decided to look into it a bit more and give it a go.

Directions and care instructions after the jump!

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What I learned during my travels with a toddler

Olá! I recently got back from a trip to the Azores with my husband and his family. Three weeks of vacation on a beautiful, lush island. Sounds great, right? It pretty much was, but there was one downside; the getting there with a very active toddler. We live on the West coast and the Portuguese islands are in the middle of the Atlantic. It’s usually an 11 hour direct flight, but add in airport waits and a layover, and by the time you leave the house and get picked up at your destination, it’s already been 20 hours. And you have a toddler.

I had never done much traveling with Gabriel (our little) prior to this vacation, except for a weekend at a beach house 2 hours away, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I knew was that I was taking a child who didn’t much care for the carseat, hated sitting still, and only took 45-90 min naps, on an experimental adventure.

The trek? Two hour drive to the airport (3 hours before he usually wakes up), two and half hours in the airport before we board, a 5.5 hour flight to Boston, a 4.5 hour layover, followed by a 4.5 hour flight to our destination.

So how was it? Actually, not horrible! I was surprised about how smooth it actually went.

So what did I learn?

toddler traveling

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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!

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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10 Days Until Christmas: Festive Centerpieces

TEN DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS. Holy Moly. My list of things to do seems longer now than it did a week ago!

Our Christmas decorations have been up for a couple of weeks now, but I’m still missing a centerpiece for the table (I’m also hosting Christmas Breakfast at my house). Here are some easy centerpieces that still look elegant and festive.

Supplies you may need:

  • Jars
  • Vases of varying sizes
  • Candles
  • Ornaments
  • Cranberries
  • Flowers
  • Pine cones
  • Pine branches/sprigs
  • Ribbon (anyone else LOVE ribbon?)

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Lots and Lots of Felt Flowers!

Felt flowers are everywhere; these cute flora can be used for brooches, hair bands, home decor and more! Not only are there a ton of different things to use felt flowers for, there are a ton of different felt flowers as well.

Here is a compilation of some of my favorite felt flowers and tutorials. Stay tuned for Christmas Gift Ideas using these rad rosettes!

Click "more" to view many more felt flowers and how to make them!

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Tips for making the perfect smoothie

I love smoothies. I often have a smoothie for breakfast because it’s quick and easy and super tasty. My favorite is coconut milk, almond butter, and banana smoothie!

Tropical Green Smoothie Recipe at bottom of blog post

Here are my top 3 tips for successful smoothie making:

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Sunday Afternoon Dress

The other day I found this cute blue and turquoise fabric on clearance and I knew I wanted to make a dress out of it. I have this vintage dress that I love and it seemed simple to replicate – it’s really just a square with some sleeves and a collar.

I’m not a sewing expert, but I know that sometimes a little bit of direction makes sewing a little easier. I tried to include everything, so hopefully this will help! I used a thin, non-stretch cotton material for this dress. You could use an old sheet, cotton fabric, or a non-stretch synthetic material as well. The thinner the better because you need it to drape. Too thick and it will look unflattering.

You can include an elastic casing or just cinch it with a belt like I did! No zippers or button-holes required. I imagine this dress would be easy to make into maternity wear as well.

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Spicy fish and vegetables

I don’t particularly care for fish that tastes fishy. I know all the fish haters out there will understand what I mean. I’m trying to eat more fish. I’m trying to like it. For the most part, seafood is starting to grow on me. I will definitely try any fish that is presented to me and I might even like some of it.

One of the fish we buy the most is Mahi Mahi (or dolphin fish, but apparently people are less likely to eat it if it has the word “dolphin” in the title). The texture of the Mahi Mahi is pleasant; flaky but also thick and moist, and it’s not overly “fishy” but it still tastes like fish.

The other night we made Mahi Mahi and a ton of vegetables from our CSA box since they were starting to pile up! Here’s the recipe for Spicy Mahi Mahi.

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