Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Melting March Madness

Oh the sheer joy of creating something old into something new and thus saving the planet one miniscule piece at a time! 

It all started one innocent day when I took a trip to my local Michaels (for something completely unrelated to this post of course!) and spotted a "Crayola Crayon Maker" on the shop floor.  So into the basket it went and I eagerly drove home and ripped into the box like a kid on christmas morning raring to try the new contraption.  WELL, to say that I was disappointed was an understatement.....I know that I shouldn't have expected much and the toy is really just that - a toy, so I can't really complain too much.

ANYWAY, it got me to thinking....is there a better way of creating new crayons?  Turns out that there is, and it is much better AND cheaper AND more satisfying.  This is not a new concept to some, but I thought it was so worth sharing.  So here is my ever first tutorial on crayon making....enjoy!

The only equipment you are going to need is some small silcone molds, broken crayons, a baking sheet and an oven.  I found this pretty (and cheap!) molds in the childrens cooking section at Hobby Lobby. 
See - I only paid $1.99 each!
 After removing all the paper from the crayons, I tried to organise the colours into "like minded" collections.  I was also trying to fill the mold completely without overfilling.
A close up of my colour matching.

 Bake in a 250-275F oven for approximately 10 to 12 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before turning out.
 And here is the finished product! I initially thought that the fruit molds would yield the best results but I fell in love with the teddy bear crayons as soon as I saw them. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Inspiration - it can hit you at any moment and sometimes in the weirdest of places but more often than not, it can leave you without any warning.  Otherwise known as a flash of brilliance, a lightning bolt, a light bulb moment, inspiration is worth listening to or in the case of myself, writing it down so that I will not forget it later on! Inspiration is the starting point from where great things can happen.

So in an effort to preserve my more fluid thoughts, I always carry around with me at all times a writing implement and some form of paper.  (Side note - I have always done this although it was cemented into me when I attended University, studying Design).  However, the paper I carry around may or may not be an actual sheet of identifiable paper, nine times out of ten it is a sales receipt, (Starbucks receipts being the common theme!), more than once a paper napkin, but they do act as a wonderful reminder for me once I get home.  Speaking of which, I have a brightly coloured hard backed journal at home to which I can either expand on the idea, glue the receipt into, stick a ripped out magazine article or in general doodle in the margin.....the latter being the most apparent!  And so it is from this very journal that I will be relying on now to bring forth future blog posts, so my fingers are crossed that the ideas are interesting and perhaps more apt, that I can read my own handwriting.

In closing, my point I am trying to make here I guess, is to embrace your Eureka moments, remember them, expand them and more importantly remember little old me when you are rich and famous! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Downton Abbey

For Christmas 2010, my lovely aunt (who resides in Ireland) thought that I might enjoy a new TV show called "Downton Abbey", which was screened on the UK ITV television circuit a while ago.  So she sent over the first series box set at the end of November and because of the snow/bad weather/postal overload/whatever, it didn't arrive until almost the start of February......which meant it took almost 3 months to arrive!!!!  (Not that this point matters much).

I must admit that the thought of watching a TV show that I had never heard of before was a little daunting, which is why it has taken me a while to get around to watching it, but it was a period drama and I LOVE period dramas....only problem was to find a spare slot of 6 hours in order to watch the DVD's.  And I am not sure if you are like me, but if you are and you have a box set of unwatched TV shows AND they are good ones - I tend to hit the play button at the end of each episode in a gluttony feast!

Luckily, I was presented with an opportunity to watch them this week (whilst on a doctor ordered day's bed rest) and I absolutely loved it - so much in fact that I googled it as soon as I was finished!
So if you (like me!) are not aware of this brilliant piece of small screen cinematic wonderment....here is the synopsis:

"Set in 1912, Downton is the home of the Crawleys, who have been the Earls of Grantham since 1772.  In the drawing rooms and library and beautiful bedrooms, with their tall windows looking across the park, lives the family, but below stairs are the other residents, the servants, as fiercely possessive of their ranks as anyone above.  Some of them loyal to the family and are committed to Downton as a way of life, others are moving through, on the look out for new opportunities or love or just adventure.  The difference being that they know so many secrets of the family, while the family know so few of theirs."

I could go on and on and on about the historical accuracy OR the beautiful costumes OR the stunning interiors OR the brilliant plot lines OR the great actors.  But I won't spoilt it too much for you, just watch it and I promise you will be hooked.  So I am just going to leave you with some inspirational interior shots that make me miss my parents dragging me around each and every stately home as a child......and to think I dreaded those "cultural" days.

I have checked on Netflix, (for those who reside in the USA of course), and season one is currently available to rent (and on "instant play" no less).  And whilst googling it - I found out that PBS aired some of the episodes back in January 2011 on it's Masterpiece slot.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Harvest festival

It's that time of year when the weather starts improving to the point that we actually take a long and hard look at the damage winter has done to our back and front yards.  We envision what our spaces should look like so that we can enjoy them to their full potential in the summer, and of course the sweat equity needed to fulfill that potential, (even if we have no intention of doing the work ourselves!).

With that in mind, and after a trip to my local hardware store (for something completely unrelated I must add), the store reminded me that it was "that time of year" to start the seedlings.  Not that I am an experienced gardener by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have a yearly habit of "trying" to grow tomato plants and each year I "try" another seedling.  Which normally fails epically!!!  Although last years trial of Jalapeno plants was a roaring success, (something I would like to recreate this year).  So this year's doomed optimistic seedlings are: Tomatos, jalapenos and broccoli.  (With broccoli being the new kid on the block).  I'll be adding to the list of vegetables/fruits later on when planting season is upon us, but for now - they are the only seedlings.

Some time ago, someone gave me the secret for a no cost option for starting seedlings. So enjoy and I hope that I have inspired some green fingers to start planting.And if anyone would like to know exactly how to make the seed pots, let me know and I'll try to post a tutorial.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Welcome to the inaugural post of my new blog.  As you can see, my blog site has been expertly designed, abet not by me, but by someone far more talented....my dear friend Erin Letz.  Who co-incidentally blogs herself and was the driving force for me to start blogging. So if you have a chance, please mosy on over to her blog Life Abundant.

So please bear with me until I can find my feet in the blogging world as I have a lot of ideas floating around in the vacuum where my brain should be located.  Not all of my ideas will follow a set theme or format nor on some occasions, make sense as to why I am pondering them, but I hope to at least inspire my readers at least once. 

As soon as I learn how to post a picture on this site - I promise that I will upload my second ever blog post.