Simple Terrarium

It is a shiny new year here at share a bit of love!  I thought I would share a gift that I made for a gift exchange this year in case your new year’s resolution is to give a little more, make the world a greener place, or to spruce up your home or office.

I made this simple terrarium (two actually) for under $10 with some help from mother nature.Terrarium6

Here is what you will need:

  • Clear glass vessel
  • succulent plants
  • moss
  • potting soil
  • activated charcoal
  • gravel
  • rocks & sticks for added decoration

1. Start layering in this order: Gravel, charcoal, & potting soil.

2. Plant succulent in soil.

3. Pat in moss around to cover- You can skip this step, but it adds nice texture.  I managed to peel some moss from our front yard. (thanks Pacific Northwest!)

4. Add stones/sticks (I used drift wood from a girls weekend at the beach a few months back, and stones collected from a camping trip)

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Hunt & Gather Wreath

As you may have noticed, I love living in the Pacific Northwest.

There is endless nature to be discovered, scenery as far as the eye can see, and gifts only the cool damp weather can bring.

With the holidays in full swing, I thought I would gather a few pieces of my favorite place and put a wreath together. I chose to hop over to my favorite green belt and pick up the left overs from a recent wind storm. It was a win-win.

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Here is what you will need:

Florist Wire

Wreath form (I used a maple branch)

Various Evergreen Boughs

Patience

Start by forming your wreath by bending the branch into a circle. Wire together tightly.

Grab about 4 boughs at a time, laying them on the wreath form, and tightly wrapping with wire to secure them. I used several pieces of wire instead of continuously wrapping. Continue around the entire wreath form adding different sets of boughs for different textures.  Wrap a hanger to the main circle of the wreath.  Tuck in a garnishments-holly, pine cones, or as I did, curly willow branches.

Give to your neighbors- hang on your door- share a bit of love.

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Homemade Gifts- Industrial Candles

It is the season of gift giving. Around here we don’t do a lot of shopping, but instead, do a little supply gathering. Our family LOVES to do homemade gifts for the holidays.  Today I took to some candle making supplies to test make some unique industrial candles. A quick trip to the hardware and craft stores and I was ready to go!

Here is what I used:

  • Galvanized Pipe Caps: 2 inch, 1 1/2 inch, and 1 1/14 inch sizes
  • Beeswax Pellets
  • Essential Oil (Sweet Orange)
  • Long wicks

In a double boiler, or in my case a regular pot of water with a heat safe bowl on top, heat the wax and about 40 drops of essential oil until fully melted. While you wait, glue the wicks to the bottom inside of your galvanized caps.  Pull the wicks to one side, pour hot wax into each cap.  Using skewers, prop your wicks up to keep them out of the wax. Don’t worry if the tops are a little rough, you can clean them up using a hair dryer and a skewer to smooth things out.  When everything is set, cut your wicks down and viola! A custom set of candles ready for gifting. Total estimated Cost: $16.00

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Plum Fresh

Or should it be more appropriate to call it “Fresh Plum” today?share a bit of love DIY Plum Sauce1

I obtained a large basket of perfectly ripened Italian Plums this week from a colleague. To avoid the inevitable fruit flies that have run havoc around my kitchen this summer, I opted to make plum sauce.

Plum jam was really on my mind, but then I realized I was plum (ha!) out of my main canning staples. Enter Plum Sauce.  It just sounds decadent over vanilla ice cream, cheesecake, scones, goat cheese toast, or even as a glaze on a slow roasted turkey breast- doesn’t it?

Here is what is needed:

  • 4 cups of washed & halved Italian Plums
  • 1 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon/lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice

In a large non reactive sauce pan, pour plums, sugar, spices and lemon juice. Simmer on low-medium for about an hour and a half while stopping to stir and to make sure the mixture doesn’t over boil.  220 (f) degrees should probably do the trick.  Your house will smell amazing. Meanwhile, prepare your jars for canning.  While the jars are still hot, spoon the sauce into each jar, and process using a water bath. Lick the delicious leftovers off the spoon and swoon at the late summer taste of beautiful Italian Plums.

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Sweet Tooth

Our house has always embraced the old fashioned, outdated qualities that slow living provides.  I love technology in so many ways, but really admire the classics and the quality and pride of making something for yourself.

I recently had an ice cream making experience with my favorite ginger that was so successful we were trying to figure out ways to bring the “left overs” home more than a few hours away. Afterwards,  I scoured the web for my own little piece of ice cream history.  I found my very own antique maker thanks to In the Top Drawer via etsy.  After gathering my favorite (and locally sourced) ingredients, we were on to our frozen kitchen adventure.

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The Must Have:

    • Plenty of Ice & Salt for the bucket
    • 1 1/2 Cup half & half
    • 4 egg yolks
    • 1 Cup sugar
    • 1 1/2 Cup heavy whipping cream
    • FLAVOR: Fresh Strawberries (you can really add anything here

 The How To:

1. Heat the half & half in a sauce pan over low heat.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks and sugar.

3. Slowly add the egg and sugar mixture into the saucepan.

4.Continue to cook on low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon.

5. Add heavy whipping cream to the  mixture.

6. Pour everything into the metal canister and secure the lid.

7. Insert canister into bucket, surround with crushed ice, add salt, and crank it for almost 30 minutes or until there is resistance in the cream.

8. Pour into a freezer safe container and freeze over night.

9. Scoop and enjoy- even for breakfast.

 

Craft it up

I am back after a short blogging break- Some news, share a bit of love hit over 1,500 followers this week! If you are one of them, thanks for reading!

I started this as a photography blog a few years ago, and it has become a creative outlet that I want to continue to grow.  I promise to bring: photography of families, pets, nature, tutorials for DIY projects, continued photos of my adventures and recipes to share!

Today brings a tutorial for Craft Paper printing.

I have a YUDU machine, and have found it difficult to find the emulsion and patience needed to continue to use it.  I love the craft, but it shouldn’t have that many steps.  Freezer paper has changed all of that.  I no longer need my screen printer unless I plan to make mass quantities of my project.

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Someone dear to me is having a baby in the coming weeks, and I thought I would treat her to a few homemade items for the little girl who is about to win the hearts of many. I always start with onesies.  They are the uniform of children everywhere. They are easy to clean, easy to pack, easy to make adorable.

You will Need:

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  • Your printer
  • Freezer Paper (cut to 8×11)
  • An Iron
  • An X-Acto knife
  • Fabric paint in your choice of color(s)
  • A foam or fabric brush
  • A Onsie

1. Print your desired design from your computer. Remember what you cut out is what will be screened to the onesie.

2. Cut out the design with your X-Acto knife. If you have a cutting mat, use it. If not, use thick cardboard to prevent damage to surfaces. Remember if you have letting with hollow middles (like A, D, R) to save the middles to add to the design as part of the stencil. shareabitoflove2

3. Iron the stencil directly to the onesie to be sure that all edges are secure.shareabitoflove3

4. Paint with medium coverage over the stencil. You can use two different colors if you don’t plan to mix.

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5. Let dry. When fully dried, peel off the stencil.  If your fabric paint requires ironing to set the paint, follow the regular directions. And Tada, have a glass of wine and think of adorable ways to wrap this homemade gift.

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Easy DIY Apron

I cook a lot. You probably already know that from the many food themed blogs of the last few years.  Cooking a lot = lots of messes. Sometimes those messes end up on your favorite shirt and you find the need for an apron.

I’ve had this round table cloth- hanging out around the house for some time now. It was time it was put to good use.  I don’t have a round table and its clearly too small to make curtains.  Thanks to Martha, I found the right basic pattern to make even more simple. No pockets necessary for this gal, so I forgot all about the need to fold, add a couple extra seams, and just cut the entire pattern up about 6 inches. This made a plain front apron that hit me about the knees.

Cut out your pattern, alter as needed. Pin to ironed fabric. Cut to pattern. With a little ironing turning a hem that is about 1/2 inch wide. Turn again another 1/2 inch on all sides and iron. Sew each seam. Make you waist and neck straps in the same fashion. Attach and VIOLA! Apron City. No more splashes on my clothes any more.

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