How to Make Citrus Peel Potpourri

potpourri

Need an easy and sweet little gift for friends? Want to add some deliciously spicy scents to your environment, closets or dresser drawers? Why not make potpourri? It’s easy, comforting and smells wonderful! This year at our Holiday party I made a big bowl of potpourri in one of Mistereducated’s handmade, sparkly bowls. It was a combination of citrus peels from the fruit salad we made, dried orchids from the flowers he raises, roses from bouquets he’s given me, spices, herbs we grew and tended together, etc. It was filled with lots of love and the spirit of our happy home. I placed the bowl in the center of the table and on the edge I placed silky white sachets filled with the potpourri for guests to take upon leaving.

1. Peel orange, lemon or grapefruit trying to keep large pieces of peel.
2. Cut into peel-shaped slivers or your own shapes with sharp scissors.
3. Lay out on a tray with no peels touching each other and let dry for a few days.
4. When dry, add peels into glass jar with cloves, cinnamon sticks cut into smaller sections, nutmeg, small pinecones and dried flowers such as pink rose petals.
5. Add 3 drops cinnamon essencial oil and 3 drops orange essential oil.
6. Lid and shake jar. Keep closed for several months making sure to shake or stir each month.
7. Voila! Open and place potpourri around house in bowls, baskets or in sachets.

Citrus Stovetop Potpourri

1. Grab a pot.
2. Add fresh orange peels from 2 oranges (no need to dry).
3. Add spices of your choice: cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, etc.
4. Put enough water to soak and submerge ingredients.
5. Simmer on stove over low heat to achieve scents, turn stove off when done.
6. Can last a few days if you want to re-simmer tomorrow.

slice

Want to use SLICES of oranges to make potpourri?

1. Slice the orange into thin, even slices.
2. To dry in your oven, set the temperature to 100 degrees F and put in oven for approximately 4 hours. The dried slices should be brittle when removed.
* Make sure to rotate and shift the drying trays every half hour and turn the food occasionally to ensure even drying.

Quilt an Easy Blythe Doll Duvet

pile of squares

This is an easy charm quilt pattern for a beginner. I am COMPLETELY new to quilting. In fact this is my very first quilt so I’ll be learning along with you! Because I am so new I looked at a few patterns, one for a rag quilt, one for a charm quilt and one for a baby quilt, and altered them a bit for my Blythe-sized doll quilt. Remember this is a rag doll quilt so it’s not going to look pristine unless you are a seasoned quilter which I definitely am not. Also be sure to read to the end of this post for things learned upon making this. 😉

cutting the squares
line them up (blurry!)

First cut out 25 1.5 inch wide squares of your chosen fabric(s) and lay them out as you would prefer them to look by your sewing area. If you want a rectangular quilt you’ll need to cut 5 rows of 8 squares = 40 squares.

sewing charms
sewing messily

Next sew 5 rows of 5 squares each with a 1-2 cm seam allowance. After you’ve sewn all of your rows press them and sew them in numerical order to each other (see how messy I sew??).

Next cut out a thin piece of fabric in your desired pattern the size of your quilt and piece them off sides together if you’re quilt stitching. Quilt stitching is the part I don’t understand so after doing extensive research online I found out that there really is no easy way to do it. You can do it yourself or ask a quilter to help you out. You can find a pattern online and follow the pattern by hand or machine. I chose to skip it.

sewing

To give your quilt a more finished look you’ll want to bind the borders with fabric — or make it easy and use thick-ribbon. I’m also new at binding so I decided to skip it this time and sew my quilt to the other panel as though I was making a pillow. I put them right sides together and sewed around the edges leaving a small (2-3 inch) space. Then I turned the blanket right-side out and, because I am not a quilter, sewed a line from one corner to the other making a big X to keep the pieces together.

sew a doll quilt

Things I learned: Next time I’m going to make it 5 squares by 8 squares for a Blythe-bed sized quilt. I didn’t think about how small it would be getting upon sewing it, duh!

Let’s Make & Receive Surprise Balls!

Remember my post about surprise balls? How I promised to post a tutorial soon and a feature on the ball I recieved? Well this is that tutorial and feature! I even got the chance to host the surprise ball swap this time around which has made me so inspired and excited! I just love swapping these things! If you’d like to buy one I also have them in my shop! I told you I was surprise ball crazy!

surprise ball

You’ll Need

  • crepe paper streamers (in a couple of colors!)
  • 10-20 candy and small gifts
  • a plastic capsule or small box
  • a sticker or label
surprise ball prizes
surprise ball prizes

Collecting the gifts is almost as much fun as making the ball! If you’re making it for someone be sure to include things they like. Some ideas of what to include: candy, small toys, jewelry, stickers, memo pads, erasers, rubber stamps, ink pads, glitter, craft supplies, tea, keychains, beads, charms, small tubes of glitter glue, etc.

surprise ball

Start with your plastic capsule or small box and fill it with one of the gifts. Then wrap the crepe paper around it until it’s covered.

surprise ball

Next add another surprise and wrap it up. Make sure you keep wrapping a bit after each gift so that they don’t fall out too fast!

surprise ball
surprise ball
surprise ball
surprise balls

Continue adding surprises and wrapping them up until the ball is finished then tape the end down and top with a cute sticker or label.

Now.. as if it wasn’t enough fun to *make* these I actually received one as well (from the original swap). I was so excited about opening this rainbow-covered ball that I giggled the whole time as candy and kawaii gifts fell into my lap. This ball was extremely large and took quite a long time to unwrap! My partner is a surprise ball pro! Thank you so much!

surprise ball received
surprise ball received
surprise ball received
surprise ball received

Let’s Start Decopatching!

That’s right, I said decoPATCH not decoupage! If you’d like to know the difference between the two, this article is a great place to start.

I decided for this article I would need something around the house that needed a makeover so I found a natural wooden frame, a table worn on the top and an empty cocoa tin.

If you want you can use actual decopatch paper, glue and sealant but I did this with things I had around the house.

You Need

  • Mod Podge (glossy)
  • Paper scraps
  • Something to decopatch

decopatch scraps

First I collected torn pieces of paper that sort of followed a theme. My theme was kitschy-sweet as usual. Too excited but nervous to start with the table I decided to start with some junk I had saved, a cigarette box and an ATC-sized (2.5 x 3.5 inches) card. I used the same thin paper for each that I had torn into small and medium-sized pieces. Then I covered my box/card in Mod Podge (glue) (I know there’s decopatch glue and varnish but I’m a Mod Podge addict.) and smoothed down the strips of paper. Last I covered the paper in a layer of Mod Podge (varnish) and let it dry. How easy was that?

Next it was time to try my luck on the tin. I tore out assorted pieces of paper this time and followed the same instructions above. Now I have a kawaii place to keep tea, coffee and small things.

tea tin


Stay tuned for next time when I’ll be decopatching a frame and table with decopatch paper from France.

Art Journaling: Let’s Get Started!

I really adore art journals, ATCs (artist trading cards) and decorated mail. Don’t you? I love the time and effort that goes into creating them and the mixed-media collaging that tends to take place. I’m kind of new to the scene, I have to admit, and I was never much of a scrapbooker so I figured a great creativity challenge for myself would be to start an art journal.

Why don’t you start one with me? (If you already have one start a new one, we’ll be doing more spreads in the future.)

First off, if you don’t have a journal (I needed a new one) you’ll need to get one. Composition notebooks work great and they’re inexpensive. I’m using a small Moleskin because I like to do things small-scale. If you have an old notebook lying around with some old notes that you don’t need anymore feel free to use it. You can always cover the notes with paint, marker, paper and decorations.

You’ll also need to prepare the pages beforehand with gesso, glue sticks or rubber cement and maybe some Mod Podge to paint the page with when you’re finished?

Let’s start the journal off with a self-portrait or representation of you, your name and 5 things you love (this is to inspire your decorations!). For this spread you’ll need to cut out photos of things you love either via magazines or your printer, to find patterns on scrapbook paper and fabric that you like and a colorful selection of paint/markers/pens.

first art journal attempt

My list of 5 things I love was coffee/tea, hearts, stars, unicorns and Japanese candy. I am represented as Rainbow Brite because my brother wanted to name me that when I was born. Also, my name is in Katakana because once upon a time I left my heart in Japan.

How did yours turn out? Please email it to us so I can post it here.

If you’re interested in learning more about Non-Digital Art Journaling there’s a great article to get you started here and an AMAZING ecourse I just found out about (and that I really must participate in) here — looks like a great class to get your inspiration juices flowing and to learn a lot about yourself!

Here are some gorgeous journal pages I found while surfing Flickr to get you inspired.

11-09-11a
Art journal happiness
journal 07 10 11
ICAD #22
Oslo Travel Journal_Day 3
Art Journal Page