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I haven’t shared a reading list in a while, so today I wanted to post about books to spark your desire to live more naturally. These books are really speaking to me right now as we prepare for our summer trip to West Virginia!

5 books to spark your desire to live more naturallyI love the smell of fresh dirt, gardening, and getting my hands down in the soil. I love hearing the wind rustling in the summer foliage and the sound of dry leaves crinkling underfoot in the fall. I enjoy sitting on the porch in the morning to watch for chipmunks and bunnies. I find it adorable that a nest of flying squirrels moved into an outbuilding for the winter. I love taking a break to stare into the creek looking for crawdads. Weirdly, I even enjoy keeping an eye out for poison ivy and copperheads while walking through the woods. (Though, I have to admit, I don’t like the post-walk obligatory tick checks!) I can’t wait to be truly surrounded by nature again – not just enjoying a park or botanical garden. Until then, reading will have to help tide me over!

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Do you have a UFO basket? This adorable tiki felt ornament was in my UFO basket for almost a year before I pulled him back out again! I’m really not sure why – it took me three or four tries to get the pattern just the way I wanted it, but once it was clear everything was working out, I put him with the rest of my felt scraps on the back burner for months. Recently I pulled this felt tiki back out and made a couple more, so I thought it was high time to share my tiki felt ornament pattern! This felt tiki also makes a fantastic bookmark and a totally cool rockabilly-style brooch (plus I think he has some potential as an awesome gift topper, too!). I hope you enjoy this felt pattern. 🙂

Felt TIki Ornament Brooch and Bookmark Tutorial and Pattern

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Lavender is one of my absolute favorite flowers. Besides the fact that I love purple and adore the way lavender smells, it is also very evocative for me. Lavender makes me think of summer, of the buds releasing their scent into the sun’s heat. It makes me think of the soporific droning of bees buzzing. It reminds me of southern France, the summer I spent with family there during high school, and how we’d walk through Medieval streets to the food market to buy fresh goat cheese or vegetables. In short, lavender makes me think of living life more slowly and savoring the experience. With our summer trip on my mind, I decided to put together an ultimate lavender crafts tutorials roundup! Because I always have culinary lavender and lavender essential oil at home, I’m also including tutorials for a lavender sea salt scrub, simple mini lavender bunches, and a lavender pomander!

ultimate lavender roundup

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My mom has always been a knitter. Well, I assume there was a point in her life before she learned how to knit, but it was before I can remember! Like many fiber enthusiasts, she ends up leftover bits of yarn. When she came to visit in February, she brought me a few of these balls of scrap yarn. How exciting! I decided to put some of the yarn to work as a necklace. After playing around with several ideas, I came up with this mini yarn skein necklace tutorial! It’s easy, fun, and a great handmade gift idea for yarn lovers. I hope you enjoy!

mini yarn skein necklace tutorial

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When there’s a little space left in your carryon, what do you bring? More snacks or more crafts? It’s a tricky question! It’s also a question I’ll be facing again soon as we prepare to head to West Virginia. This time I may have to go for more snacks, but I usually try for the “more crafts” option, instead! I’ve tried a wide variety of crafts on airplanes and long car trips. These are, I think, the 5 best crafts for traveling. They’re portable, unlikely to get you in trouble with TSA, and generally do-able while sleep deprived!

5 best crafts for traveling - tried and true travel crafts [click to continue…]

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It’s May again, and that means graduation season is here! Each spring my ribbon lei tutorials are among my most popular posts, so this year I decided to create a free Hawaiian ribbon lei making online class! As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I’m in the process of re-focusing my blog, so creating a new free course that reflects the type of content I post regularly has been on my to-do list. Demonstrating how to make a ribbon lei seemed like the perfect opportunity to create a new, crafting-based class and I’m super exited to launch it today! I’ve previously posted a braided ribbon lei tutorial and DIY double ribbon lei, so this year I want to share how to make a loopy ribbon lei. This lei is more substantial than a braided lei, and it’s great for graduation because it’s easy to use multiple colors of ribbon. The class is completely free and shows you, step by step, how to create a lei like this from just a few dollars worth of materials:

how to make a loopy ribbon lei - Hawaiian ribbon lei online class

If you think you might interested in learning how to make this lovely style of ribbon lei, I encourage you to check out the quick intro video:

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Both toilet paper and paper towel rolls are very popular for crafts. They’re virtually free, and who doesn’t want free crafting supplies? However, I’ve noticed a lot of concern about the safety of using paper rolls for crafts, especially toil paper rolls. I’ve seen people suggest spraying tubes down with Lysol or setting them in the window to catch some rays, but there’s a better way that hardly receives any attention. That’s why today I’m sharing how to sanitize paper rolls for crafts without chemicals. You don’t need any sprays and there’s no sunlight involved, plus it’s sure to kill off any lingering nasties!

how to sanitize paper rolls for crafts

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We recently received an actual, physical card in the mail and it was so nice! With email and social media connecting so many, it seems like we sometimes forget the joy of snail mail. We want all our news now, now, now!! and neglect the joys of slow living in our mad dash to share instantly. Getting a card in the mail reminded me of a lovely artist I encountered earlier this year, Naomi Bulger. Burger creates beautiful “snail mail art” and sends out templates for decorated envelopes in her monthly newsletter. She also sends her decorated envelope snail mail around the world! For a look at what she shares, check out her Sneak Peak Inside the April Snail Mail Toolkit post.

Image from, and property of, Naomi Bulger of Naomi Loves.

If you’re like me, you probably look at most decorated envelopes, mail art, and elaborately addressed missives with a sigh. Some of us just can’t draw like that! The beauty of the snail mail club newsletter is that Bulger sends out printables of her designs. You get to cut, paste, and color your way to postal beauty, even if you ‘can’t draw!’ These are a few of my favorite printable decorated envelopes from this year (the cacti are from this month and the monstera is from last month):

decorated envlopes from Naomi Loves

I can never decide which is my favorite! The templates also come with suggestions on where to place the address and what to do if you need extra space. The newsletter usually gives tips and writing prompts (this month has ideas for things you can write your mom for Mothers Day, for example). To see more of her lovely work, and a link for enrolling in the newsletter, please stop by the Naomi Loves IG page! [click to continue…]

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Top 10 Hot Glue Gun Tips & Tricks

I’ve had several comments from folks recently who said they weren’t aware that there are different types of hot glue guns, so I decided to do a post with my top 10 hot glue gun tips and tricks! Hot glue guns are frequently seen as a crafter’s best friend, but sometimes they can feel like a worst enemy! If you’ve ever been left nursing a blister or burn from a glue gun, you know what I mean. In this post I’ll be sharing tips for using a hot glue gun safely and effectively, advice on choosing the best glue for the job, and a bit about why I love using this non-toxic glue option.

hot glue gun tips

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It’s May, so that means we’re leaving for West Virginia next month!! Getting ready to visit WV always makes me think about lighting. Last summer we relied heavily on battery powered lanterns, flashlights, and a couple USB light bulbs. Unfortunately, our lanterns and spare batteries were stolen in November’s break in. This year we’re planning to start work on re-wiring the house and may have some electricity before the month is through, so I’m not keen on buying a whole new batch of lanterns. Instead, I’m thinking about getting new wicks for some kerosene lamps and lanterns that are already on site. Lighting by fire has a certain romantic appeal, doesn’t it? Thinking about lanterns made me wonder about how to make my own lanterns. This, in turn, lead to today’s project – a DIY lantern from a recycled can! This project is a bit different from other DIY lantern tutorials you’ve seen. It has a fun, beachy vibe and would look lovely on a long summer night. Fill your recycled can lantern with citronella oil to help keep bugs away outdoors, or use a cooking oil you already have at home indoors. Either way, this DIY lantern is a great way to recycle a can into something cute!

DIY lantern from a can

Although I automatically gravitate towards beachy projects, you can absolutely alter the way you decorate your lantern to match your decor. Don’t feel constrained by my choice of colors and embellishments! This project is amazingly flexible from the size of the can you choose to recycle, the oil it can burn, and even your wick material. You probably already have everything you need at home for this DIY lantern, so let’s jump right in! [click to continue…]

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