born to diy

Making my own beauty products has long been on my list of "I wanna do that!" but for some reason I always stopped short of actually pursuing it.  So when I saw this DIY Vegan Deodorant Kit on Uncommon Goods, I jumped at the chance of finally trying out a home beauty project and giving natural deodorant a whirl (or should I say, a swipe). The kit comes with all of the necessary ingredients and conventional deodorant containers to fill up with your homemade concoction. Each "blend" is well marked as A, B, C, and D and lists the ingredients in smaller print. The instructions are as straight-forward as you can get--"A + B" and so on. Having the clear instructions and all the materials at my disposal took away the intimidation of trying something new. Once I got the wax/butter blend to melt over my make-shift double boiler, the process went very quickly and before I knew it, I was pouring the mixture into the empty containers to be cooled. Everything went as planned, and I was so proud!  I happily decorated each container with a cute sticker.  

But the real question remained: Does it actually work? I tried it out this week and am happy to report that not only does it feel good to apply natural ingredients to my body versus mysterious chemicals found in antiperspirants, it smells good too! The real test came when I went to my dance class on Thursday. Even after working up a sweat, I still felt good and smelled faintly of lavender.  I will definitely be making more deodorant in my future.
This Hedgehog Needle Felting Kit was my first adventure in needle felting!  I chose this beginner kit in hopes that it would become a new favorite craft.  I love working with fibers, so it was nice to try a new way to use wool, but I have to say that I need a lot more practice before I can start making the tiny felted pumpkins of my dreams.

The kit comes with (sometimes vague) directions with corresponding pictures, as well as needles and wool to get you started.  The only items I had to come up with were a sewing needle for the bead eyes and a small piece of foam to use as a working surface.  A sponge also would have worked.  Although my first hedgehog didn't turn out perfectly, the kit comes with enough wool to make 1-2 more lil' hedgehog friends.  I also appreciated the extra felting needle, because I'm always prone to breaking fragile things, even if the instructions specifically says to be gentle.  Whoops.
As a long-time embroiderer, it is embarrassing to admit that I only know a handful of stitches.  That's where this book comes in.  When I spotted the Stitch Encyclopedia of Embroidery, I realized it was time to expand my crafty horizons.  Of course the adorable cover was what initially caught my eye.

The book promises 10 basic stitches and 74 other stitches that I never knew existed but am pleased to learn they do.  The illustrations are the best part.  As a visual learner, I appreciate the step by step pictures!  I haven't even gotten through the basic stitches, but I am anxiously awaiting the day I can master the "Honeycomb Stitch" and the "Varied Fly Stitch." How fun are those names?  I'm already thinking about whether I should invest in the knitting and crochet volumes Check them out here along with some other lovely gifts for ladies!

Any other DIY kits or items I should know about?  I'm always looking for a new crafty adventure!

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