Birthdays and Dreams

I turned 36 this year, and that isn’t what this post is about, but I love this place in life!

It’s been a few months since my last post because of some really exciting things going on in my world keeping me busy – more on that in another post!

You may have guessed I’m inspired by Paulo Coelho and his book, The Alchemist, and you would be correct. This year, for my birthday, my sweetheart decided to impress me with a signed copy of my favorite book, and a leather journal to write all of my thoughts and dreams in! I cried a little. I love this gift, and the giver very much. 😍


I probably won’t read this leather bound and signed edition, I will likely use this old paperback copy still, but my cup just runs over and over by this kindness, so much so I had to share with you! 😘

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Bracelets

Making bracelets makes my metaphorical heart happy. I’ve been enjoying making fabric cuffs using pieces of denim and fabric and buttons I having lying around. Here are some that I have posted to my etsy site – and some that aren’t posted yet.

 

I have also been working on some beaded bracelets – I deconstructed some I had made previously and started over. So far I like the results!

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Let me know what you think:)

Thanks for reading!

Valerie.

Spring Break: 2016

Just a short story, and then to my latest jewelry creations.

I haven’t had an official “Spring Break” since 1998 – my senior year in HS (no old jokes, please). This year though, since I’ve broken free of the chains of my former job, and recently took up substitute teaching, I HAVE A REAL SPRING BREAK!

Since I’m kind(ish), I am watching a friends dog, at my house, while HE is gone away with his kids for spring break. Did I mention I live in Michigan, and our spring has begun with snow and buckets of rain? Oh, well, I should have. Not that I’m complaining – I have plants that need rain, but standing outside with the “old girl” (I like calling her old girl instead of her name. She’s a year old), in the rain, while she sniffs around looking for the perfect spot for her gift to me…well, it makes me question my decision making skills.

She’s a lovely specimen with beautiful brown eyes and curly reddish brown hair, but standing in the rain for several minutes, waiting for something I don’t even really want is not my idea of fun.

OK, enough complaining. Thanks for the space to rant a moment. 🙂

Here is the old girl:

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The “old girl,” my house guest for Spring Break.

PS- in case you were wondering, she was banned from my creative space, though she doesn’t shed – I can’t have her sniffing around in here!

Frankincense Eye Cream

I mentioned before that I recently started using Essential Oils; I’m still LOVING them, and using them everyday!

Today was the day to try out making my very own lotion for those suddenly apparent wrinkles that recently stopped going away when my smile stopped shining. 🙂

So, as you may know, there are about a thousand or more results that pop up when one Googles “Essential Oil Lotion Recipes,” or any variation of those words. I decided to go with this one, by Nouveau Raw, since it was only TWO ingredients (frankincense and virgin coconut oil), and I already had them in my possession. (I did have to order some special little jars to put the lotion in, but that was expected)

I used a handheld mixer to whip up the coconut oil, and lamented the tiny portion I couldn’t remove from the mixer blades. I followed the recipe, but also added vitamin E. The lotion is oily on the skin if you use too much, so I’ve just dabbed it on, and that seems to allow it to absorb better. Also, this probably sounds crazy, I can already see a difference. I’m about to deliver one of these jars to my dear mother and one to my wonderful friend Emily (the latter claims to be really close to starting her own blog, any day now), so I can have more feedback, and also just to share the love.

Here are some photos of the process (please don’t judge my hideous green counters! haha).

Birthday Cake

I’m a firm believer in birthday celebrations lasting at least a week. Especially if the birthday is for someone you love (like extremely, admire, etc.). Last Monday was my sweetie’s birthday, and since people generally work on Mondays, we weren’t able to properly celebrate the weekend prior. So, I made him a cake on Saturday, his favorite, an almond cake (I’m also a firm believer in eating your favorite cake for your birthday, made by someone that cares for you, each and every year).

I followed this recipe: Almond Cream Cake by Lizzy T. The recipe was fairly straight forward, and the cake was DELICIOUS, even if it was almost too sweet for two pieces. My sweetie also loved it!

Here are a few photos to document the cake, and please don’t judge me for how aesthetically award-winning my version is NOT. 🙂

2016: anew

The first day of 2016 was the official last day of my former job of 8+ years. I left on my own terms in order to “figure out” what I wanted to do next in the world. I spent the first day and weekend in the normal way of weekending since it was a holiday, but then Monday, 1/4/2016 rolled around and I woke up sans alarm clock at whatever time seemed appropriate. I’m sure I showered, but I certainly didn’t leave the house. I remember walking into my art room and thinking I could paint, or draw, or make something, because I had nothing else to do! What a fantastic feeling!

You may be thinking I’ve lost my mind, but I assure you it is still there.

So, about 15 minutes into my coffee, I decided I should think about opening an Etsy Shop. I have always wanted to create things for people to love (and that I love). I texted my dear friend, Emily, and said I needed her SOON. She promptly replied that Tuesday would work since her husband would be out of the house (!)

That next night was the first of many Tuesday nights spent creating, drinking wine, discussing ideas, dreaming and gathering momentum for what was to come, and what is still to come.

I have decided the future of my life can no longer be filled with things that don’t bring me joy. This is a little late in the way of “New Year’s resolutions,” but still worth saying. I find myself waking up excited about the possibilities, instead of dreading the daily grind. I hope you may find yourself with the same sort of positivity and happiness.

Oils! Ooh, la la!

So, I just started using essential oils in my world, and I am pretty amazed at how they work, and how fun they are to use. I will try not to gush too much, but it’s a new love, so, I’m gushing!

 

Aside from diffusing the oils in various rooms in the house (Peace & Calming II with Lavender is quickly my favorite at the moment, as well as Thieves with Lavender, or just Lavender!), I decided I wanted to make my own chapstick! I use Burts Bees and have for many years, so I’m accustomed to the peppermint, and I love it. So, I found a recipe online (Blog Link to Recipe) and I tried it out! I used the following ingredients/amounts:

1/4 cup beeswax

1/2 cup organic, virgin coconut oil (this stuff smells so good I want to eat it)

I melted these two with the double boiler until clear and then removed from heat and added the following:

a dollop of Vitamin E (I didn’t measure it, I just poured some in)

5 drops Lavender Essential Oil

15 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

At some point I’ll get into the whole DIY thing, with steps and explanations, but for now, just know that this recipe yielded 20 tubes, and I personally wish I would have put a little more Peppermint in. The lip balm is super soft and slides on the lips beautifully. I gave a tube to my mom and she loves it! Her words, a day later, “I love that chapstick! Lips are so soft, I reapplied several times today.” She’s a dear.

Here is a photo of the finished product:

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This makes me so happy!

Making this took about 15 minutes. I will make more, and with more essential oils:)

If you have questions about oils, or anything I’ve posted, please do let me know! ❤