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1  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Where to find oils, etc?? on: May 18, 2009 05:15:21 PM
I've recently become interested in making my own cleaning products. I checked the GNC in my town and found their  inventory of essential oils rather small. I checked online for good prices on oils (plus castile soap, glycerin, etc.), and found a few places, but I'm not sure that paying for shipping will make my project as cost-effective as I'm hoping. Does anyone have any suggestions for places I can find these supplies? Online places are fine, as long as their prices are competitive. I live in the Nashville, TN area for anyone with local suggestions.

2  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Emergency hiding place for toys (with pics!) on: January 15, 2009 05:19:47 PM
Okay, so we had friends coming over within the half hour and toys strewn ALL OVER the place! I know this just never happens to anyone else, right?

A glue gun, an empty cardboard box, scrap fabric, and ten minutes helped me solve this crisis (okay, so I'm exaggerating). It fits in a perfect little nook in my bookshelf and matches our color scheme (read: no kid's toy box in bright primary colors shouting for attention!). We fill it with toys during the day when Emma is done playing with them, then take the box into her room at the end of each day to put things where they belong.

The best part? It cost me nothing and used up extra fabric!

You would think it wouldn't be very sturdy, but a crazy two-year-old boy climbed in this thing! It held it's shape and survived!

Hope it helps someone else as much as it's helped me!!
3  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Fun Baby's Room! (with pics) on: January 15, 2009 05:04:13 PM
I wanted to decorate my baby girl's room with two things in mind:
       1. It had to be something that could grow with her.
       2. It had to be a room shareable by a future potential baby brother (we're short on space for awhile!).

Hence, the green color of the walls (nice and gender neutral), the woodland critters artwork (playful but not too "baby-ish".), lots of shelves and storage for organization (for me!!). She LOVES it! Literally, I walk into the room with her and she is calm and smiley!

We used a desk for the changing table (the pencil drawer stores diaper cream and other accessories, the top drawer stores diapers, middle drawer wipes, and lower drawer extra linens). Everything is within easy reach at changing time, and the circle mirrors attached to the wall keep her occupied and not wiggly! Bonus: later, when she's older, she can use the desk as a vanity, or just for... a desk.

The bookshelf we got from Target and use the canvas bins to toss toys in (easy clean-up). The closet holds many more drawers and shelves. We aren't using them all right now, but as quickly as they've filled in the last five months, I have no doubt she'll be using that space before long! Sorry the picture is sideways. I'll figure this out someday.

I did the artwork above the crib. Totally inspired from other artwork I found and loved (and saved myself $300). I filled the picture frames above the bookshelf with paper that matched the theme of the room, with the thought I would fill them later with her own artwork. Also there is a cartoon drawn by her late great-grandfather, whom she never got to meet.

Hope you like it!
4  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Make or Bake Husband on: December 04, 2008 09:56:00 PM
My husband and I are broke for the holidays this year, so I smugly announced that we would be doing a make or bake Christmas this year. I, the crafting queen of my little kingdom, quickly realized after explaining the rules that my husband will no doubt come up with something amazing for me and my daughter, despite his apparent lack of craftiness (in the past he has written some incredible music, some hilariously ridiculous children's books, and all kinds of craziness).

Now it's December, and I'm panicking. I have no idea what to 'make or bake' him. He's a new daddy, he's going into law enforcement in January, his big-time dream is in the music industry (he plays drums and guitar), and he's a major techie. Now, these interests typically come with a hefty price tag (guns & ammo, music equipment, and computer paraphernalia). What can I make him?!?
5  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Hand vs. Machine on: December 04, 2008 09:45:08 PM
I'm working on my first quilt (yay!), and it's oh-so-basic. I just finished piecing the top together. Quite honestly, I'm very much a beginner on my sewing machine and so am having some difficulty. I'm wondering if it would be easier to hand sew, or to just keep working on the machine and hope I get better? Share your thoughts, please! I very much want to complete this quilt, but am already frustrated. I want this to be a positive experience!
6  COOKING / Dessert / Chocolate Burnt Caramels?!? on: December 04, 2008 09:24:06 PM
In a holiday issue of a magazine a few years ago, I saw these in a gift guide. They were described as "crunchy burnt caramel covered in chocolate with a smattering of sea salt flakes". Sounds delicious but not worth the price tag given by the magazine. I thought I would try to make something similar to give to friends for Christmas this year, but I'm having problems nailing down the 'crunchy burnt caramel' part. All the recipes I've looked at for caramel leave me with the chewy stuff.  So far the closest I've come is making plain brittle...which pretty much tastes like crunchy sugar topped with chocolate and sea salt. Any suggestions?
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