Crafty Little Gnome: Early Summer Giveaway

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Gold Paper Crane Necklace with Sea foam Pearl $17

Hey friends! I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend. In the US  Memorial Day is sort of the unofficial start of summer. We had a nice relaxing weekend. Sometimes it’s nice to just stay home and chill out.

The Crafty Little Gnome Pinterest Contest ended last week. Kate was the lucky winner and she chose these earrings from my online boutique Crafty Little Gnome Jewelry.

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Scarab Beetle Earrings $15

It seems like a good time to kick off another giveaway from my shop

Here is how you can enter:

Subscribe to this blog: Enter your email on the top right to receive new blog posts directly to your inbox= 1 entry

Share this contest on your Facebook page = 1 entry

Share this contest on Twitter= 1 entry

Share this contest on Pinterest= 1 entry

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Dusty Rose Lace Earrings $12

Simply visit my shop and decide what you would like to win and leave a comment on this post with the number of entries you are entitled to! The winner will be announced on June 21st. Don’t forget to leave an email you can be reached at!

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EE Cummings I Carry Your Heart Message in a Bottle Necklace $20

Good Luck!

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Mango Tumeric Smoothie

Mango tumeric smoothie

Summer is here and one of my favorite things about summer is all the fresh fruit that is finally in season. More fruit means more yummy breakfast smoothies! Here is a new smoothie I made this week. It has an unusual spice included: turmeric!

Turmeric is a plant. It’s roots are dried and ground up into a spice that is used commonly in Asian and Indian cuisine. It has a slightly bitter taste and is one of the main spices used in curry. Turmeric is also widely used as a medicine. It has been used in India for over 2500 years to treat everything from arthritis and Alzheimer’s, skin and eye infections and stomach ailments.

The main ingredient in turmeric that has many health experts excited is called curcumin. There is hope that it can help prevent cancer and many other diseases because of its anti-inflammatory properties and effect on blood sugar.

As with any supplement or vitamin you should talk to your doctor before taking it.

Okay, now onto the recipe!

1 Mango

1 small banana

1 cup orange juice

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 – 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder (less is more because of this spice’s bitter taste. Start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more to taste)

Blend all the ingredients until smooth.

Serves two.

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DIY Linen Spray

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In my opinion there is nothing that feels better than crawling into a bed with freshly laundered sheets that are still a little bit warm from the dryer. I love to snuggle up with my kindle and a hot cup of tea on a cold rainy afternoon.

I wash our sheets every Sunday and I always look forward to crawling into the freshly made bed on Sunday nights.

There is an easy way to keep your sheets smelling and feeling fresh all week long. You can make your own all natural linen spray with just a few ingredients.

Essential oil

Witch Hazel

Water

Lavender is always a popular choice to help promote sleep but you can use any essential oil you like. I used the Hope blend from Eden’s Garden. It smells like lovely lemon grass and ginger!

Combine equal parts witch hazel and water and add 20-30 drops of essential oil. Give it a good shake and lightly spritz your sheets as needed!

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My Stump Side Table…Three Years in the Making

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A couple of  years ago I saw this awesome DIY Stump Table on The Art of Doing Stuff. I wanted to make one for myself so I trudged out to my father in law’s wood pile and grabbed a big ‘ol stump. I brought it back to my yard and tried to get the bark off of the outside of the stump. It would not budge. I attempted to pick it off with a crow bar and a hammer, then I tried a chisel but it was coming off so slowly that I gave up. The stump sat at the side of the house for about three years and my project was long abandoned. Last week I stumbled upon the stump and noticed that it had been outside for so long that the bark naturally broke off and the stump was now completely naked!! Ha! So if you don’t want to put in the elbow grease, just leave your stump long enough and nature will do the work. I think if you were to keep the stump inside your home the bark would break free sooner because the log would dry out faster indoors.

I brought the stump onto my covered front porch for a few days to dry out a little and clean off the mud and bugs that called it home. I gave it a good sand and wiped it off then brought it indoors. I didn’t bother staining or sealing it. I think it looks nice completely natural but I may stain it in the future. The original DIY for the stump table used Ikea legs drilled onto the bottom of the stump. I didn’t have the patience to search for the perfect stump legs or little wheels to drill into the stump, so I bought a plant stand from Target for $7 and plopped it on. Low and behold it actually worked great. I can wheel it around the living room easily and no power tools were required!

stump2So simple and easy! You can use your stump table as a side table beside your bed or couch or as a plant stand!

I love my little table so much I may have to make another one. I will let you know how that goes in three years!

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Gardening Las Vegas Style

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Hello friends! A couple weeks ago my husband and I headed to Las Vegas for the weekend to celebrate my 30th Birthday! We had a really great time. We stayed off the strip this time and rented a hotel room at the Eastside Cannery. It was awesome. Our hotel room was the nicest I have ever stayed in. It was huge and there was a giant bathroom and tub. If you are heading to Vegas and want to save a bit of money by staying off the strip you should definitely try the Eastside Cannery- I highly recommend them. We were in Vegas during the big fight weekend.  It was pretty busy around town for the fight at MGM and we got to meet Mike Tyson who was doing autograph signings at Cesars Palace. It was very cool.

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We also took in the the Cirque du Soliel show “O” at the Bellagio. It was amazing. We decided to check out the Conservatory at the Bellagio before the show started. I was blown away by the amazing floral displays.  The whole conservatory was decorated in an amazing Japanese Tea Garden theme. Check out some of  the photos:

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A giant turtle with it’s shell decorated entirely with flowers

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A bridge with a flowers and cherry blossoms

IMG_2413IMG_2408Tulips, cherry blossoms and bamboo!

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Gigantic cherry blossom sculpture

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Huge crane sculpture made of flowers

I wish I could have taken better photos but all I had with me was my Iphone. I could seriously live in this garden. How can I transport it over to my place in Washington?

Over at the Wynn Hotel there was also some really cool floral displays:

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A rotating carousel made entirely out of flowers

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A hot air balloon made entirely out of flowers

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Walkway at the Wynn with huge trees, twinkle lights and hanging floral balls.

The displays were so amazing. Obviously not practical for “the real world” but absolutely perfect for Vegas. I do think the hanging floral balls would work well for an outdoor wedding or party. I will have to figure out how to make those one day!

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Giveaway! Win a $25 LTD Commodities Voucher

It’s time to bloom! LTD Commodities wants to help you get your garden ready this spring. They contacted me recently about an exciting opportunity for one my readers to win a $25 voucher for their online shop. Of course I jumped at the chance and they graciously offered me a few products of my choice for my own garden.

Here’s what I selected

IMG_2368A set of 3 Harmony Bells that I hung from my Japanese Maple in the front yard. They are very pretty and make a lovely sound when the wind blows.

IMG_2367I also got this yard art wind spinner that I placed in the herb garden in the front yard. It looks really lovely.

I also got a set of 10 solar lights that I hung around our hot tub on the back porch. It was almost impossible to take a photo but they work great and look so good.

Now for the part you really care about. How do you win the $25 voucher? It’s easy, simply leave a comment on this blog post with what you love most about spring (be sure to leave a way for me to contact you if you win). I will choose a winner next week!

Check out the LTD Commodities site for tips, products and project ideas

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Momma’s Garden

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I have been doing a ton of work in my garden lately and I am planning to show you some pictures soon once I get around to taking them. For now, I would like to share some photos of my mom’s lovely garden in White Rock, British Columbia, Canada.

My mom has been doing a ton of gardening this Spring and her hard work is paying off. Although all the plants and flowers won’t be in full bloom until midsummer I still think it looks great now.

momgarden2This is a close up of the cherry blossom tree in the front yard. It’s huge and grows bright pink fluffy flowers with petals that fall all over the front lawn like pink snow.

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Here are some of the flowers in front of the house. Lilies and hostas are starting to pop up along with tulips and flowering shrubs.

momgarden4A collection of potted flowers and herbs sit in a group on the back porch.

momgarden5This is a peach tree. The way is it pruned is called espalier. It is designed to grow flat against a wall or fence. In this case it is against the side of the house. The tree will produce yummy peaches by midsummer.

momgarden3Window boxes full of red geraniums frame each window. The flowers will grow so big that they will block almost the entire window by the end of the season.

momgarden10A cute shed in the corner of the yard holds stores the mower and other gardening supplies.

momgarden9A metal head-board is recycled into a trellis for vines to grow on.

momgarden8Finally, on the other end of the yard there is another flower bed with ferns, hostas, lilies and a nice fountain for the little birdies to splash around in.

I hope my Mom’s garden will give you some inspiration for your own garden this year. She has lots of great ideas.

Hope you all have a great weekend. It’s my Birthday tomorrow. The big 3-0 this year. (How did that happen??!!) I will be off for a little birthday adventure. See ya next week!

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Air Plant Frames

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I purchased a group of air plants last week with the intention of displaying them in my bathroom. I may still move them into the master bath but for now they have a home in these frames in the dining room.

The frames were super simple to make and I already had all the supplies. I took some frames I was not currently using and removed the backs and the glass. Then I found some chicken wire from an old project and stapled it to the back of the frame. Then I used some black electrical tape around the outside edge of the frames. It’s completely removable if I want the frames to be all white again.

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Simply plop the air plants between the wires, they should stay put pretty easily. To care for the air plants just give them a little mist of water every now and then. Check out my post of air plant care for more details. I also did a tutorial on how to make an air plant terrarium some time ago which you can check out here.

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Now I just need to figure out what to do with that super awkward window in the middle of the wall.  Any suggestions?

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DIY Sun-catchers

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I must admit I have an attraction to sparkly things. I can’t stop buying chandeliers. I think we are up to four so far in our house and I still have a few more light fixtures to replace. The chandeliers all came with a few extra pieces of crystal. I decided to make them into sun-catchers for the windows.

suncatcher1I simply added some chain that I had left over from making charm bracelets. and hung them up from the curtain rods in the living room and dining room. I think the toggle clap on the chain is a cute touch.

suncatcher3I must admit the sun-catchers were really challenging to photograph. They are really pretty in person. They reflect the light and look pretty even on a cloudy day. I think I may add some colored crystals and beads to the chains on the next ones I make.

What crafty projects are you working on?

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Laundry Soap Recipe

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I posted a recipe for liquid laundry soap a couple of years ago and while the soap that I made did work well, we eventually ended up buying store-bought soap again. I am using a new homemade laundry soap based on a few recipes I found online.

Ingredients

1 55oz box of washing soda

1 76oz box of borax

1 16oz box of baking soda

1 bar of soap ( I used Dr. Bonner’s bar soap in citrus scent)

Grate the soap using a cheese grater or food processor and then add the contents of the soap, soda boxes and borax into a larger bin. Add them slowly stirring as you go so they mix evenly.

Use one ounce of the powdered laundry soap per load. This should last you over 100 loads of laundry.

While this new powdered soap is natural and contains no harsh chemicals I’m not convinced it’s the most economical. It really depends on where you buy the ingredients. Shop around and try to find the best price.

Regardless of the price I do find it fun to make my own cleaners and detergents like this one. It makes doing the laundry a tad bit more enjoyable.

I definitely prefer this powdered recipe to the liquid one I tried in the past. It’s easier and less messy.

Do you make your own natural laundry soap? Share your recipes in the comments.

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