Welcome, Dr. Finklestein!

Dr. Finklestein now joins my NBC family. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved

Just a brief post to introduce my latest Nightmare Before Christmas, Halloween prop created: Dr. Finklestein. I’ll try to add the tutorials, when I get the chance. He joins Jack Skellington, Sally, Lock, Shock, and Barrel, Oogie Boogie, and the Duck/Vampire prop. Zero, the ghost dog, was sadly showing his age, so I actually found a new one the same size, and is now happily flying in the yard too.

If anyone wants to scramble to make this fella, he stands about 5 feet or less, and I used extra couplers of 40 degree or 90 degrees to have him sit. So if you follow my usual PVC prop skeletons (See Lock, Shock, Barrel), you’ll be able to figure out the sizing.

The tutorial for Dr. Finklestein will be split into a few different segments, because there are too many steps (especially the head), to put into one single post. If you were determined or had help, all could be complete within a week. But alas, it took me at least four weeks to finish. If you want every post sent directly into your email, click the ‘Follow’ and you won’t miss the entire process. Thanks!

Bugs Ruining Your Picnic? Try These Homemade Hacks

Homemade fly paper. Courtesy of Liesl Clark of Trashbackwards.com




If you are someone who enjoys spending time outdoors, you’ve probably already been accosted by a bug or two already this summer. Now you may want to reach for bug spray, but before you do, why not try some of these less toxic suggestions:

No More Ants

Ants can be bothersome or even harmful with their bites. Here are a few suggestions for keeping them away:

Vinegar and Windex Spray – According to Melromanczak on HomeTalk, this little mixture works instantly. They measured a half a bottle of Windex with a half a cup of vinegar to kill them on contact.

Create a Barrier: Sprinkle one of the following around your patio: Cayenne pepper, Cloves and Cinnamon, Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth, Lemon Juice,  and more are suggested from Mother Nature Network.

Tell Bees, Wasps, and Flies to Buzz Off

Stinging insects flying around can ruin a day of outdoor enjoyment. These tutorial hacks can trap them, deter them, and even kill them.

Keeping Wasps at Bay: Although Science World is still undecided in this technique, many people believe if you hang a puffed up lunch paper bag nearby, certain types of wasps will be deterred. Bob Villa offers a tutorial on building a trap from a soda bottle and Natural Living Ideas suggests using spearmint or peppermint oil on cotton balls and placing them strategically around your area.

Deter Bees Instead of Killing: Since bees are now on the endangered species list, it’s better to deter them, or even have nearby hives removed for free. Bees and other insects are known to dislike mint scents. Many people have suggested spraying the yard with dollar store mint mouthwash before a gathering. PestKill suggests sprinkling generous amounts of garlic powder.

Block Flies From Ruining Your Picnic: EHome Remedies offers over 15 solutions for your fly problems, including burning camphor candles or making a yard and patio spray of 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper to 1 1/2 cups of water.

An Ounce of Prevention

Taking steps to ensure your yard is not a bug magnet is half the battle. Make sure your area is clear of garbage, empty beverage cans, and standing water. Tightly lid garbage cans and remove them from the area of your social gathering. Strategically plant herbs that deter bugs: Eucalyptus, Lemon Grass, Mint, Citronella, Lavender, Basil, are a few to mention.

With a little prevention and planning, you’ll be able to focus on friends and family, rather than shooing insects.


Heat Wave Survival

PVC homemade mister by IamGutter on Instructables.com.

PVC homemade mister by IamGutter on Instructables.com.

Who would have thought that the first week of September would bring a heat wave in the 90’s for many states? With many of the public pools closed after Labor Day, people have to be a bit creative. Especially if they lack air conditioning. Continue reading

Great Father’s Day DIY Ideas for under $10

Hand print tree image courtesy of The CraftyChicks.com.

Hand print tree image courtesy of The CraftyChicks.com.

Priceless Endeavors

Although some may believe their dad would prefer a store bought item, it will be the gifts made from the heart that will be cherished – especially when they’ve moved out and gone to college.

Every project selected can be made for under $10 dollars, but may need a few days to a week to dry and complete. Many of the items needed can be purchased at your area dollar store.

The Tree of Life

You’ll Need:
A picture frame
A sheet of heavy weight paper (ex. card stock, constructions, etc)
Paint – in any color desired but be sure to use non-toxic for young children (I’ve seen all green hands and multicolored leaf hands used in projects)
A free tree template of a tree such as the Crafty Chick’s version, Kid’s Blogspot version, and Coloring Shape’s version, or if crafty, draw and paint your own.
A pencil/pen
Optional: matte board for framing picture inside picture frame

1) Before printing template, reformat it to the correct year or reword it in a MS Word or Open Office software program.
2) Pour a small pool (big enough for a hand print) of paint in a paper plate and call the kids in for the printing.
3) Once tree is stamped and dried, place in the optional matte frame and place in a picture frame.

Love in a Jar

Continue reading

Homemade Love for Mother’s Day

A crochet necklace is a simple idea, but can hold a lot of meaning for a mom. Image courtesy of FlickrCC The Connected One N07@616490624/8536261.

A crochet necklace is a simple idea, but can hold a lot of meaning for a mom. Image courtesy of FlickrCC The Connected One N07@616490624/8536261.

As a mom, I have had the pleasure and honor of receiving many gifts that were store bought. Yet, the most priceless gifts I’ve ever been given were the ones that were made from the heart – homemade. These are the gifts I will tuck away and cherish when my house is empty of their laughter and their presence.

So here’s a few easy, inexpensive ideas that may help add to your mom’s treasure chest of memories:

Easy Crochet Jewelry

Find a small stone from your childhood or one that has significance such as quartz where many believe there are fields of energy associated with it. Follow the directions from Scribd for crocheting around a stone and make a necklace like the one pictured above. Other crochet necklaces and projects can be found at Instructables.

Memories From Your Perspective Continue reading

Make Your Own String or Edible Easter Basket

Make your own chocolate baskets to hold goodies in. Image courtesy of Flickr 51633081 @N04/6905180828

Make your own chocolate baskets to hold goodies in. Image courtesy of Flickr 51633081 @N04/6905180828

Over the years, I’ve learned a plethora of craft and food ideas for almost ever holiday. Yet, sometimes the simplest ideas are still the best.

A Better String Egg

I ran across a way to make your own Easter basket with a bit of string, a balloon and a water/flour paste that gives a good visual on what it looks like to wrap the string on the balloon. But instead of using a flour paste, use Elmer’s or a non-name brand white glue. It hardens well in a shorter period of time and instead of dipping the string, take a foam paint brush and “paint” the glue over the string wrapped around the balloon. Then once everything is completely dry,  pop the balloon and cut a hole where you want to add some goodies.

DIY Chocolate Basket

Another way I’ve made a quick Easter egg basket is by simply melting some chocolate and drizzling layers of it over a balloon(as pictured above). I would sometimes even use multiple colors of chocolate for a different effect. Luckily, Chica and Jo have a great tutorial with images of their chocolate baskets.

You’ll be surprised at how simple it is to whip up a few of these baskets. If you have any photos of your creations, I’d love to see them – and Happy Easter!