Paper cone wreath

Sunday, July 31, 2016

One of my friends moved recently, and wanted to get rid of a set of encyclopedias. The library didn't want them and Goodwill didn't want them. She didn't want to throw them out, but what to do?

I ended up taking all of them thinking maybe they would be good for some type of craft. There's tons of ideas online for what to do with old encyclopedias, so I did a little research and watched a few YouTube tutorials.

My finished project . . . 

We are having our Second Annual Book Club Sleepover at my house this weekend. Several ladies expressed interest in helping me reduce my stash of encyclopedia paper!!, so I made this practice wreath ahead of time.

I originally thought of all of us making wreaths from paper roses. Isn't this rose pretty?

But I told them they'd have to come to a week-long summer camp here if we were going to make roses! They are time consuming. A perfect craft, though, to do while watching movies.

The cones can be put together much more quickly. I used 92 to make my wreath (each was made with two sheets to make them a little sturdier). If you look closely, you can see I started with Volume 1 -- the word aardvark can be seen on one of the cones!

Thirty-three volumes. My wreath, which ended up much bigger than I expected, at about 30 by 30 inches, only used up one-third of Volume 1. So we could make around 100 of these wreaths.

Um, no.

I will have to think of something else to do with what's left after our sleepover. Any ideas?

I watched two movies making this wreath. So it took about 3 to 3 1/2 hours to make. After rolling the cones and stapling them, I hot-glued them onto foam board in a pattern following two circles made by tracing a dinner plate and then a salad plate onto the foam board.

(I haven't used a hot glue gun for a long time. Mine was hard to use with both the stand and trigger not working. I had to push the glue through manually using an extra glue stick. How nice to go get a new one and discover they have cordless ones now!)

I just laid the cones at noon, three o'clock, six o'clock, and nine o'clock, and then started filling in. The second row, the cones on the inner circle, were hot-glued in between the cones on first layer.

Then I thought a third layer was needed, so I just drew a third little inner circle, and glued more around. I used 92 cones in all.

You can make the cones longer or shorter depending on how you roll them. Just staple the cones at the bottom and then again toward the top to keep them together. Make sure the staples on the top are hidden when you glue the cone onto the foam board.

 I've seen some really pretty wreaths using old sheet music. And I've seen people "age" the paper by dying in tea.

I just used a binder clip on the back on the foam board to hang the wreath on a nail in the wall. 

Now, I just need something for the middle. I've seen pictures on Pinterest of wreaths like this with shells, bows, photos, and Christmas ornaments (particularly pretty with cones made using Christmas carol sheet music) glued into the center.

I decided to put a silk flower in the center of mine. Hmm, which one?

This plate was part of a collection on the wall before I put up the wreath. I will probably put the plates back up and hang the wreath elsewhere.

I decided to go monochromatic.

Maybe this needs some leaves around the rose or some lace. What do you think?

My next project will be with paper roses. That's going to involve some serious movie watching and probably a much smaller wreath!  

Well, there it is . . . I rarely do a DIY post; I feel like a real blogger today!

Thanks for coming by friends. 

Recent makeup favs and fails

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I've been walking on the treadmill faithfully every day this past month. If you know me, you know I hate to exercise, so this is A Big Deal. One of the things I do to keep it from being so boring is to watch YouTube videos on the TV while I'm walking. It helps so much to pass the time.

I sometimes watch makeup videos, and pick up different product tips. Here are a few recent good finds, and a couple of duds, inspired in part by watching several favorite YouTube channels.

This Maybelline Dream Velvet foundation was described by one You-Tuber as being velvet-y soft, and perfect as a primer under foundation, or as foundation alone. At around $8.99 at the drugstore, it seemed worth a try.

This goes on very nicely, and has a soft, velvet-y feel, but ended up looking blotchy. Not a smooth finish at all. I noticed especially around my nose very uneven coverage.

This NYX Tinted Brow Mascara seemed like the perfect product to fill in brows, cover a few stray grays, and keep the errant hairs in place. At around $6.99, another (potentially) good deal.

This was just awful. There was way too much product on the brush, even after wiping a little off on a tissue. It ended up on the skin around my eyebrows, and it was sticky and obvious. It gets good reviews, but I thought it looked very unnatural, besides being messy. I'll stick with my Anastasia of Beverly Hills eyebrow powder.

A little pricier at $23, but it has been in daily use for a year, and still shows no signs of running out.

(One nice thing about CVS is that they will refund the full price of opened makeup. Not sure about the policies at other drugstores. I've even returned opened perfume.)

One drugstore find that I do love is this Rimmel Exaggerate lip liner.

This is a softer pencil, with a slightly wider tip, so that you can line your lips, and then fill them in, as a base for lipstick or to wear as is. I love how easily it goes on. My favorite shade is East End Snob. I forget what I paid for it, but it's on Amazon for $8.

My daughter went in for a hair and makeup trial for her wedding, and of course I went in and did a trial, too. I loved the foundation that the makeup artist used. It has no SPF in it, so it doesn't cause any of that white flashback you can get when your picture is taken.

(The SPF in foundation is so minimal anyway, you still need to apply sunscreen separately. But for a special occasion indoors, you could skip the sunscreen and use a foundation like this for better pictures.)

This is the MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation. I haven't tried it as body foundation, but I guess it could be used to cover spider veins, etc. This is $36. It goes on very nicely. It's not too heavy, but still provides good coverage.

I got a free sample of this Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner from Sephora. I got it in black, but it comes in all kinds of beautiful colors. It glides on so easily; I love it.

 I'm tempted to buy a full-size one after my sample runs out.

I also discovered a great eyelid primer from Sephora. I have oily eyelids, and eyeliner and shadow always crease and smudge. I've tried other products, but this one really works.

This is the Benefit Cosmetics Stay Don't Stray 360 Degree Stay Put Eyeshadow Primer. It can also be patted under the eyes to keep concealer in place. I don't use concealer, but I pat it all around anyway for a little brightening. Pricey at $26, but I can't wear eyeliner or shadow without it.

So, there you go . . . do you have any new favorites, or duds?  . . .  and do you have any favorite YouTube channels? I'm thinking of watching some TED talks, but don't know where to start. There's gazillions of channels out there.

Hope you're staying cool, and enjoying your week. xo

Press-on nails: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A while ago, I did a post on press-on nails. I have a thumb nail that continually splits down the center, and never seems to heal, and the press-on nails seemed to be the answer. That split actually heals up after wearing them (until the next time I bump it against anything). In fact, there are a number of advantages to wearing press-on nails.

The Good

They're cheap. A pack of 24 nails can be had for $7.98 or less at your local drug store. So that's about 4 bucks a manicure, versus $30 (not including tip) for gel nails at the salon.

Granted, the gel nails will last a couple weeks, but these nails have stayed on for up to 8 days  (I avoid letting them soak in water; I've always worn gloves for doing dishes and housework).

They look beautiful, in my opinion. Not tacky at all. Of course, I'm choosing the "safer," classic colors (only wore that striped nail that came in the packet once); some of the neon and striped ones might drift into that category.

Then again, sometimes tacky can be fun!

You can just press and go. It's so easy and quick.

 No touching up chips, filing nails, worrying about splits or peeling . . .

The Bad

A reader warned me that if you wear them too long, you can get nail fungus. Water can get trapped under the nail because of incomplete adhesion. I've been very careful about applying them properly, but unfortunately, after a couple months of wearing them (not full time; I did take some breaks), I got nail fungus.

The Ugly

The ring finger is affected. The middle finger has a smidge of fungus. Fortunately, all the other nails are okay. I'm treating this with tea tree oil and oregano oil spray. From experience years ago with fungus I got after having acrylic nails applied at a salon, I know this will take a few, or more, weeks to heal.

So, am I against press-on nails now?

Actually, no.

But, I'll only use them occasionally, and only for a few days at most. If I have a weekend of events, for example, I can put them on on Friday before going out, and take them off Sunday evening.

When this heals I might check out those at-home gel manicure kits (without the lamps). Why bother, you ask? Because I love pretty nails. I think unpolished, virgin nails are lovely, too, but mine just split and crack and peel . . . 

Or, I can just go back to doing them myself, a more time-consuming option.

Anyone ever deal with nail fungus before? Thoughts? Suggestions? How about those at-home gel manicure kits?

Linking with No Place Like Home.

Trying to stay cool

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Something cool,
Something cool,
Something cool,
I'd like to order something cool!

from Something Cool, lyrics by Pete Rugolo

Was listening to this song sung by June Christy this morning. So appropriate for this very hot, humid week in Michigan.

Time to make some iced tea.

I found some loose herbal tea at the grocery store the other day on the sale rack. Looked like a good one to try. I don't think I've ever made iced tea with loose tea leaves. These handy little filters would be too small unless I filled up several of them for the pitcher.

So then I thought of cheesecloth.

A little open-meshed, but it worked. Only had a couple of dried herbs in the finished product.

Hmmm . . . this isn't going to work. It could float on top all day.

Okay . . . there's more than one way to skin a cat. (Oooh -- who made up that expression, and why?!) I secured the little cheesecloth bag in some tongs to keep it submerged.

Starting to brew. It would have been faster with hot water, of course, but I just cracked a vintage pitcher pouring hot water in it. Ugh. I knew better.

I served this to my book club Monday night. We were discussing Lisette's List by Susan Vreeland, which I highly recommend. Set during WWII in Provence, with lots of interesting art history. And romance.

I made the cookies for my GF friends. They were pretty good.

Everybody chips in with snacks. I had to really exercise self-control to not have more than one of these chocolate-covered almonds.

There's fruit in abundance in Michigan right now. Love it. I wait all year for it!


I've been busy lately, getting out all the wedding invitations, helping my daughter pack up her china, and picking out new cupboards and countertops, etc., for our fall kitchen remodel. 

The cleaning and decluttering is ongoing . . . Our youngest son offered his drums to a friend, so these went out the door this past weekend. My husband was tempted to throw in the hockey nets and more. We have lots of work to do down here.

Hope you all are having a lovely week. xo

Linking with No Place Like Home.

A bling-y Fourth

Sunday, July 3, 2016

No big family gathering this holiday. But we can still have fun, right?! I even bought sparklers. Woo-hoo!

Have a happy holiday, friends. And don't forget to pray for this beautiful country of ours. 


{I just have to tell you about the fun I had trying to edit the second picture above (the one with my hands) on PicMonkey. They have a free 7-day trial of their upgraded editing tools going on right now, so I signed up for it. There's a whole section where you can airbrush, apply spray tan, add blush, remove wrinkles, etc. Now, I am totally against airbrushing and photo-shopping . . . in theory. haha. I thought I'd try the wrinkle remover on my knuckles. Well, I ended up almost on the floor laughing. Seriously. It looked like some invisible thumb was pressing down on each of my knuckles, just blurring and flattening them out. Major fail.

So those knuckles are totally unadulterated.}

Sharing with No Place Like Home.
Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs