Tattoo After Care Lotion and ….

Tattoo After care lotion

TATTOO After Care Lotion Recipe and a small lesson on how to whip Shea butter.

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Most of my recipes come from life and what my family is experiencing. I’ve been working lately on perfecting lotion – for the face and the body. I have found that any time you use heat to melt down ingredients they don’t perform the way you want them to once cooled. I like using the same method of creaming butter in baking. This uses the heat created by mixer to lightly soften the ingredient and also add air to make it fluffy.

Here’s what you need to get your lotions and creams light, fluffy, yummy.

1. Kitchen Tools: I have two kitchen gadgets that I like to use for this process. The first is of course my 15 year old Kitchen Aid mixer. I also prefer the paddle attachment for creaming. The other tool is a Kitchen Aid handheld immersion blender (mine has three different attachment heads).

2. Ice packs. Yep, I said ice packs. With larger batches of body butter, you need to actually keep the temperature of the Shea butter and other oils from melting too much. I have one that I bought with Velcro and straps -pretty sure it was originally purchased for my broken elbow. It wraps around my Kitchen Aid bowl perfectly. Comes off easy too.

3. Patience. Lots of patience. I love to bake. Baking takes patience as well. I remember the first time I tried to cream butter. That dessert did not come out well because I stopped the creaming process too early. So be prepared to whip, cream, and mix your concoction for at least 10 minutes if not more.

4. Order of ingredients matters. A Lot! Cream and beat the base butter (usually Shea) until it looks like frosting. Then slowly add your other base oils, like grape seed or jojoba. If you do this too soon, you will have lumpy lotions.

5. Lotions. These require a different mix of ingredients and proportions of liquids. Think of lotions as salad dressing that we put on our bodies- you don’t want the dressing that has the oils and vinegars separated, believe me. You have to emulsify the ingredients in order for the oils bases to not separate from the water based ingredients. So whipping the ingredients is very important. All the ingredients also need to be the same temperature.

 

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A New Addition to the Family: DIY Tufted Ottoman

before and after Collage

Every now and then I get a wild hair to “Dee-Eye-Why” something… These moments consume my thoughts for weeks and days before I actually gather all the pieces to make my vision come to life.  Pinterest (click here to find my profile and boards) is such an incredible resource for ideas and links to DIY blogs.

My latest DIY bug has been a new ottoman. We have two small rectangular brown leather ottomans. They have been “boyed,” meaning one is ripped and the hinges for the storage tops are broken. My boys are great at “boying” furniture. Forts and parkour are their main means of destroying anything nice in my house. I know, I know… I could punish them for putting their feet on the furniture and jumping on it, but this is usually the time when they play without arguing and fighting. So, I let it slide. I also had some intense therapeutic conversations in my own head and came to the conclusions that: 1.) I am a #momof3boys,  and 2.) I need to let go of any expectations for a neat, pretty house until they leave. So, I was off on a search for the perfect ottoman. 

Here was my list of wants and needs:

1. Size. Large. It needed to be big enough for all five family members to put their feet up. Our sectional is also large and the previous ottomans just seemed too small

2. Caster wheels. The boys like to wrestle and they always push the ottomans out of the way. The former ones never had wheels and were just awkward and a pain to move. 

3. Tufted with buttons. They look feminine without being too girly.

4. Light blue with durable fabric.

Here was my inspiration:

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I did my research and thought it out very carefully. I placed all my ideas and links onto my Cool Ideas Board in Pinterest.  Then, I went on a hunt to find all the materials I would need without spending more than $100 dollars. I used that price point after scoping out the stores in the area. I found several that would have fit my needs and most of my wants for around $295. I also tried to not bug my husband too much with this project. He gets kinda annoyed with my DIY projects, especially if he feels we don’t “need” them. I have tried to explain to him that the word need has different meanings to women. He doesn’t buy it. So, I kept him out of the planning process as much as possible.

Here is my list of materials:

Base for the ottoman, ideally an old coffee table

Foam and batting (lots)

3 yards of material – durable and light blue

Delicate-ish legs and casters

Peg board and 1/2″ plywood

Button making kit

I turned to Craigslist hoping to find the perfect cheap coffee table. I spent two weeks trying to find the “one.” I never found one that would work and for the right price ($20 or less). My sister came to the rescue. They were moving in a few days across the country. She was leaving behind her dining room table. I acquired said table… for free!  I also remembered we had leftover carpet padding in our shed. I love repurposing stuff. I visited Lowe’s for the legs, casters, peg board, screws, and plywood. I found the fabric at Joann’s a light blue burlap. It was made even more perfect being on sale for $2.99/yard plus a 20% off coupon.

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Instructions for a DIY Tufted Ottoman

(They are not perfect instructions. Please use them as a starting point.)

ottoman materials collage

1. Gather all your materials. Lowe’s will cut your plywood and peg board to size. 

2. Attach legs with casters to table. I found these metal plates that screw into your frame that allows you to attach the legs more securely to your ottoman. I found them in the same aisle as the casters. I used a drill to make the hole for the caster. Just make sure that you use a drill bit slightly larger than the diameter of the caster’s bolt. I decided to use the “top of the table” as the underside of my ottoman. I wanted to give height to the ottoman without having to build it up with foam.  My husband built the support to place in the middle of the table’s underside. This gave it much needed support for a family of 3 boys.

3. Make your fabric covered buttons. You can purchase the kits at any fabric or craft store. I also highly recommend purchasing an upholstery needle. I needed the 8 inch long needle to successfully attach the buttons.

4. Cut your foam or padding to the proper size. Pile it on the peg board and cover the foam with batting. This gives the ottoman a softer, smoother feel and protects the padding. Place your fabric on top of the batting. Since my ottoman is oversized, I did have to sew two pieces of fabric together. This made a seam down the middle of the ottoman, but

5. Attach your buttons. Using the upholstery needle and upholstery thread (very strong, durable thread), sew your buttons on pulling snugly and tightly. Metal washers can help keep the buttons attached. Use the washers to tie the thread onto and secure the buttons. I marked the holes  for the buttons on the peg board with painter’s tape. 

Ottoman steps collage

6. Then, using wood screws attached the plywood to your ottoman’s platform. The pegboard with the fabric covered foam gets attached next. Make sure your wood screws are long enough to penetrate the plywood and the platform.

The next part takes patience, a strong grip, and no fears about staple guns.

7. Turn your almost finished ottoman upside down… meaning the fabric is on your floor and the legs and bottom of the ottoman are face up. Take a moment to pull the fabric and make it taut. This is very important, so that your fabric is pulled tight when you staple it to the wood frame. Using your staple gun, attach the fabric. Start with the middle of each side and work out towards the corners. Make sure that you check the tautness of the fabric with each staple. I am a firm believer in the more staples the better.

8. Attach the fabric at each corner last. Take the time to pleat and fold the fabric so it lays nicely and looks finished. This is always the most frustrating part. But, the payoff is totally worth the patience.

9. Next cut a piece of the same fabric or a piece of white fabric to cover the bottom of the ottoman. This will cover the staples and give your piece a polished look. This fabric is easily attached with a hot glue gun. Just create a hem by folding under the edge of the fabric. I also took the extra time to place tack nails into this edge. I had leftover tack nails from another project. Another score!

All in all this project took about 5-6 hours to complete. And, yes, I had to plead with the husband to help. He did because he has to keep the peace.

after photo ottoman

 

Here is how much we are enjoying the new ottoman:

Yes, that is a 12 year old and 6 year old laying on the ottoman watching the Olympics.

Yes, that is a 12 year old and 6 year old laying on the ottoman watching the Olympics.

Ottoman2

It has quickly become my coffee table when the boys aren’t sprawled upon it.

Ottoman1

It is the perfect size for 4 sets of feet and a cat.

Being the wife and children of a Chiropractor, this ottoman also serves as our home adjusting table. It really has become the perfect addition to our family.

31 Days of Beach Living: Day 14 Book Page Garland

31days day 14

Once again, I turned to trusty ole Pinterest to get creative. I already had my sewing machine out and felt like making a garland for the mantle out of book pages.

pinterest book garland

Here is my inspiration. I was drawn to the garlands that looked full and gathered. A great project to keep you occupied between texts of your new nieces birth!

If you have any sewing experience – even just a little- this project is a piece of cake. All you need to know how to do is sew a straight line and fold paper.

I checked out my bookshelf for the materials. I wanted an old book and one that had sentimental value to it. Not just any book from a thrift store, but that could certainly be the perfect place to find one. You also have to have nerves of steel to rip pages out of a book, especially if you love books. I found the perfect pages for my garland. I had a diary as a pre-teen. I only used 4 pages. I took those pages out carefully and placed them in my childhood photo album. Then, I went to ripping. Ripping is important for this project. No neat lines needed. It is also supposed to be quick, like less than 45 minutes quick. Rip away!

My diary!

My diary!

Here are the ripped out pages and how I folded the pages.

Here are the ripped out pages and how I folded the pages.

The longest part of this project was folding all the pages. I decided to fan fold it in thirds length-wise. I did this knowing that I would then fold it in half when I got to the sewing. I choose brown thread and a quilting needle on my machine. I set the tension at about 4 and used a medium length stitch.

I had no real plan for the garland… I didn’t even count how many pages I had. Just began sewing and putting it together as I fed it through the machine. Let the fun begin!

Left to Right: Sewing finished just crinkling and opening the fanned pages. Garland mid-way through. Garland in progress.

Left to Right: Sewing finished just crinkling and opening the fanned pages. Garland mid-way through. Garland in progress.

This project did not take long and the results were fabulous and just what I needed to spur the Halloween decorating.

I even went back to Trader Joe’s for more pumpkins!

Mantle complete. I had everything on hand except for the pumpkins.

Mantle complete. I had everything on hand except for the pumpkins.

31 Days of Beach Living: Day 13 DIY Chevron Floor

31days day 13

Who knew that Chevron would be the decorating trend in 2013? I could totally be wrong about the year of this trend, but that’s when it pinged my radar. Clever to change zigzag to Chevron, though. Whoever did that was genius. Makes it more appealing like Target to “Tar-zhay”. Totally changes the feel from old school zigzags to upscale, trendy zigzags. I couldn’t imagine convincing my husband to let me paint a floor in zigzags. Instead, I confused him with the fancy Chevron word and it was green-lighted with a slightly perplexed look. He gives me those often. I think he does it to make me double think my actions. It doesn’t really work. To me paint and DIY decorating can easily be changed.

Just to prove my point about how trendy Chevron is Google provided me with this cool graph displaying its rise and fall in popularity.

The late 1800's and early 1900's were a bleak time for Chevron. Maybe zigzag was the trend?

The late 1800’s and early 1900’s were a bleak time for Chevron. Maybe zigzag was the trend?

I decided to use this pattern for our poor neglected front porch. Yep, I jumped right on the Chevron Stripe train. And, front porch is a generous term for what we actually have; it is more a catchall for anything sports related and #momof3boys related. Lots of things with wheels and all types of balls. I, of course, would like it to be a relaxing Southern wrap around kinda porch. It’s not very relaxing and too small for my dream, but it did need to make a better first impression.

I asked Google, again, for the best chevron template and found a free printable from The Creativity Exchange. It was easy to download, super quick to print, and simple to assemble. I did modify mine, so it would keep the sharp edges and points of the pattern. Once I had it cut out and taped together, I took packing tape and covered the entire template. Basically, I turned the template into a cheap DIY laminated version. Worked great for me!

chevron template

Next, I began trying to figure out what color to paint the zigzag stripes. The month before I had finally repainted the front door from barn red to a light sea green, re-frosted the glass, and added some more beachy decor to the porch. We also invested in some awesome wire storage bins for the boy gear. This is where I searched Pinterest. I looked up painted chevron floors and got a load of results. I choose a turquoise marine color—see former post about Turquoise here. By the way, what did we do before Pinterest? Before the color could even be added to the floor, I had to scrub the old concrete floor and repaint it bright white. I used all exterior gloss paint for the project. I did not feel the need to use a concrete floor paint since our porch is fully covered and does not get wet or icy by the elements. If your porch is not covered or offers little protection, I would highly recommend paint that would provide a non-slip surface and weather well.

You can see a glimpse of the old porch floor. Ugh.

You can see a glimpse of the old porch floor. Ugh.

So, two coats of bright white paint later I began to pencil on the chevron pattern. After much deliberation, I chose to have my pattern run horizontally. It made the porch seem bigger and looked more like an area rug. I tried taping off the pattern, but the tape pulled up some of the white paint. I made the decision to just trust my steady hand and tediously hand painted each stripe. I did a pretty good job and am pleased with the look of the porch now.

Stripes in progress.

Stripes in progress.

I was super pleased with the color. Bright and beachy! The entire project took about 1 1/2 weeks. It was late July and early August, so I let each coat of paint dry for one whole day. Humidity can wreck your painted projects. I also put a clear coat of polyurethane to protect the newly painted Chevron. My family was not too happy that I continued to make them use the back door for several days to be certain that all the paint was dry. Oh well, it was good exercise for them.

View of the floor and front door.

View of the floor and front door.

 

Maximus and the new floor.

Maximus and the new floor.