Gourd Candles

Oh, I’m so excited!!! Making gourd candles is one of my favorite crafts of all time.  And now that it is Fall, I get to make them again! These gourd candles are super fun to create.  They make adorable decorations for your dinner table or anywhere in your house.  Thanksgiving is coming up soon and these would look so cute on your table!

 

Gourd Candles

 

You Will Need
Miniature gourds
A knife, hacksaw and/or cleaver
A spoon (a grapefruit spoon is helpful)
granulated wax/wax beads (found at the craft store)
pre-waxed wicks (also at the craft store)
tea lights
matches/lighter

What To Do
Buy a variety of mini gourds from the farmer’s market or the store.  Or ask around – last year I got some for free when a lady in the neighborhood didn’t want hers anymore! Here’s what I got this year from a nearby farm:

Mini Gourds
Carefully cut the top off each gourd with a knife/hacksaw/cleaver and scoop out all the seeds/pulp with a spoon.  If your gourd has trouble standing up, you might want to trim the bottom off to make it level so it won’t fall over.  Or, if you have one with a long neck, just make the hole on its side and leave it sitting sideways.

Step 1 Collage
Place a wick into the center of the hole, trim if necessary and fill with granulated wax/beaded wax.  Use a tea light if the hole is shallow and small.

Step 2 Collage
Arrange your candles on a tray or large plate and add decorations to create a beautiful fall centerpiece.  You could add fall leaves, flowers, pinecones…whatever your heart desires.  Maybe even some herbs like rosemary or thyme or sage or just leave it plain – the candles alone are so festive and fun!  Light them and enjoy!

Gourd Candles

 

Remember – Safety First!!! Be careful when cutting the gourds – some are harder to cut than others.  And of course, don’t play with matches and don’t forget to blow the candles out when you’re not enjoying them. 🙂

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Wrapping Up Loose Ends

Say what?? I don’t mean to throw you for a loop with the title of this post but just yesterday I hauled out some Christmas wrapping paper (hey, there’s still plenty of time…) and wrapped a couple gifts.  This morning I wrapped a few more.  You know what the most annoying thing about wrapping paper is? Well, for me, it’s all those scraps you cut off that are big enough to be used for something else but they’re not attached to the big roll anymore.  How do you save those and not have a giant frustrating mess when you store them and go to retrieve them for another gift?

I know you can probably buy a plastic tub or something but I’m cheap frugal and don’t want to spend money on solving this problem.

Enter…toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls!

 

Wrapping Up Loose Ends

 

See, look how nice and neat that is? It’s a dream come true and since I’m pretty sure my dream of a white Christmas is going to remain a dream this year, this will have to do.  For some of these, I will have to be careful to keep them horizontal so the paper doesn’t fall out but it’s a huge improvement from the chaos that was loose scraps of paper.  I suppose I could move the roll to the end and paperclip the paper to the roll…we’ll see…well, no, I like having the roll in the middle – gives more support to the paper, especially the longer ones.

Anyway, I also just happened to have an empty wrapping paper roll so cut that into several shorter pieces.  Hooray for reusing things! And for the paper that’s still on the roll, a rubber band on each end helps keep it from unrolling on you when you don’t want it to.

 

So, that’s a wrap.  Haha.  Sorry – couldn’t resist.  I hope this tip helps you out.  Do you have a creative solution to storing wrapping paper scraps? If so, please share!

I’m going to be pretty busy the next several days so if I don’t post again before Wednesday, have yourself a very Merry Christmas!

Gnat Catcher

If you’ve got summer produce, chances are you also have gnats.  They can quickly get out of control and multiply quicker than rabbits.  A few summers ago I found this remedy somewhere online.  There’s no need to have gnats swarming in your house, driving you crazy.

 

What You Need

gnat catcher

a small square piece of foil, a shallow container, a toothpick (oops, forgot that in the picture), apple cider vinegar

 

 

What To Do

IMG_7314 (640x427)

1.  Place foil tightly over the shallow container and poke holes in it with a toothpick.

 

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2.  Remove foil and pour apple cider vinegar into shallow container – fill it full.  I place mine in another dish in case I spill.

 

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3.  Cover container with foil and place near your produce.

 

If you build it, they will come.  The gnats are attracted to the vinegar and when they go near the hole, they get sucked in and can’t get out.  No photo of floating dead gnats – sorry, just too morbid 🙂

How to Root Rosemary from Cuttings

Do you or someone you know have rosemary growing out of control in the garden? Do you or someone you know want rosemary growing out of control in the garden?

Well, I have good news for you, my friend.  Whether you’re on the giving or receiving end, there is a solution!

 

Step 1: Cut some rosemary sprigs.

 

Step 1

 

Step 2: Snip off the leaves from one end of the sprigs, a few inches worth.

 

Step 2

 

Step 3: Place sprigs in water by a sunny window.  Refresh water as needed.

 

Step 3

 

Step 4: Wait a few weeks and voila – new roots will grow!

 

Step 4

 

Step 5: Plant in a pot or in the ground and water it in.  Watch it grow! (I put some protection up over mine to protect from those pesky squirrels).

 

Step 5

 

 

Rosemary is a great herb to use in cooking or just for smelling.  Some freshly rooted rosemary in a cute little pot with a ribbon would make a great gift too!

Enjoy your weekend! Summer is here!!!!

Sweet & Spicy Brown Sugar Body Scrub

Mother’s Day is coming up May 12th and if you’re looking for a great homemade gift, look no further! This body scrub smells wonderful and it leaves your skin feeling really soft and smooth.  It uses ingredients from your pantry.  Just put it in a cute little jar with some ribbon and you’re good to go.  What mom couldn’t use a little pampering? And she’ll love that you made it just for her.

 

Brown Sugar Body Scrub

 

Sweet & Spicy Brown Sugar Body Scrub
from Our Best Bites

Ingredients
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar (normal, granulated sugar)
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t ground cloves
Oil: you can use olive oil, almond oil, grape seed oil, apricot oil, jojoba, etc.
Optional: a few drops of essential oils, such as cinammon

What To Do
Combine everything except the oil in a bowl with a whisk.  Add a little bit of oil and whisk to combine.  Put in as much oil as you want, stirring as you go, to get to your desired consistency.  Store in a container with a lid (I like using cute little glass jars).  This can be stored in the fridge and it will last a long time.  In my experience, when I had some leftover and wasn’t going to use it for a while, I put it in the fridge and it solidified some so you’ll need to let it come to room temperature before using it again.

How To Use
Soap off in the shower so you have clean skin.  Stir the sugar scrub and then massage into skin in circular motions for several minutes.  After rinsing, if your skin feels too oily, you can use a little bit of soap to wash it off.  However, leaving a little will help trap in the moisture, making your skin soft and smooth.  After you get out of the shower, put on some lotion.  It is not recommended to use this on your face.

My Comments
I use plain old olive oil.  The store I usually go to has one that says “unscented” so I use that.

I’ve never put in any essential oils.

If you do use this in the shower, or you think your mom will, (as opposed to just using it for your hands at the sink) be careful because the floor will get a little slippery.  I’ve never fallen or anything when I’ve used it in the shower, but just be aware and be safe.

When I give this as a gift, I like to add a popsicle stick tied into the ribbon on the jar so the recipient has something to stir it with.  I also make a lable to go with it.

 

This is a great gift on its own and would also be great in a gift basket with some other pampering items.  Be creative and you can make your momma one happy lady!