Practical Magic book sneak peek

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Project I am still working on. It’s a practical magic style spellbook. I may have to break down the tutorial into several post. What you think so far?

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Triple Moon Spellbook

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Triple Moon book of shadows

For this project you will need a hardcover Journal. The paper inside can be lined or blank, the book can be big or small.

A sheet of chipboard. Some thin cardboard would work also.

A pack of gift bag tissue or cheap paper towels.

Modge Podge.

Some craft glue.

Craft paints. Black and up to three other colors of your choice.

First thing you want to do is get the chipboard and draw three shapes on it the circle and the two half half moons draw two sets of each so you can stack them on top of each other to get you a little thickness. cut them out.

I drew and cut out one set and then traced them to get the second set once you cut those out take two of your half moons and glue them on top of each other so you have a thicker piece do to the same to the other half moon and then your full moon.

Set them to the side to dry.

Now the fun part, on the front of your book take a paintbrush dip it in your mod podge and go all over the front of the book.

If you’re using the tissue paper like you put in gift bags just lay one big piece down press down over the glue and do a little crinkling so you get a good amount of wrinkles.

A little side note if you do want a lot of wrinkles on your cover, before you begin anything on this project take your tissue and ball up into balls. That will help you to get a lot more crinkling.

Now your first layer you should have some overhang on all four sides leave that alone for now now,take your mod podge again and go over the tissue.

Let that dry for a few minutes Open up your book take your modge podge and go around the outer three edges on the inside book cover. If that makes sense.

Take that tissue that’s overhang in the front and press it into the inside go over that with a layer of modge podge.

At this point I found something to stick in the book to prop up the front cover so it can dry.

Now using some glue, glue your triple moon symbol on your front cover where you would like it to be.

Go over that with another layer of the modge podge and tissue just be sure to press around the triple Moon symbols so they stick out.

If you do want more texture then take your Modge Podge put another layer of glue down and then another layer of tissue, go over again with Modge Podge let dry. Just don’t forget to press the paper down around your triple moon symbols.

Flip book and repeat the mod podge tissue on the backside, you can also do the spine of the book when you do the back or when you do the front it doesn’t matter.

Let it dry completely now take your black paint and with the paint brush paint over the whole front of the book.

Base coat

Let it dry and then paint the back of the book you can also open up the covers and paint that little section of Modge podging you did on the inside just make sure to let everything dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Now that everything’s dry you want to take a dry paintbrush and using the dry brush technique take a color of your choice go over the front of the book let dry, do the spine and the back. I used a different color for the dry brushing on the back of my book.

Back

If you find you went to heavy with the dry brush color just dip your finger in your black paint and just go over some areas where you think the other color is too heavy.

Now you can leave that as is or you can take another color and lightly go over the triple moon symbol, once all that is completely dry and I would give it a few hours, paint on a layer of Modge Podge if you want a glossy look. If not just skip the Mod Podge.

The inside of you front cover is going to be looking a little bit messy so you can take a sheet of paper. It can have a design on it or it could be blank and cut it to the size of the inner book cover and glue it on. I used a road map of North Carolina.

Inside front cover.

Now your book is done.

Witches book of shadows

DIY Spell Book

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Items:

Hardback sketchbook (Michaels)

2 small journals (Dollar Tree)

Craft Paint: 1 metallic copper (Michaels)

1 grape (Michaels)

1 metallic glorious gold (Michaels)

Plastic spiders (Dollar tree)

Mod podge (Michaels)

Wood burning tool

Scrap tissue paper. I used the kind you put in gift bags.

Scrapbook paper (assorted designs) (Michaels)

Paint brushes

Assorted jewelry charms/pendants (Michaels and Hobby Lobby)

Spray bottle of water.

Eye of Newt (optional)

Dead man’s toe (again optional)

How-to or Make Magic!

Using water bottle spray corners of paper. Fan/flip through paper till dry. Open book to random pages, lightly spritz entire page. Dont soak the paper. Let dry. Do this to several pages. You will not need to do this to the smaller books.

Ball up the tissue paper to get some wrinkling going. Set aside. Glue a spider on front of each book. Once that sets up put a layer of mod podge down on first book. Unball the paper and apply to book. You should have some tissue over hang. You want wrinkles, lots of them. Cover spider also, push paper down between the legs so you can keep some of the spider shape. Brush a layer of mod podge over the paper. Let dry. Now open front of book, mod podge the inner edges and press down the tissue. Apply another coat of mod podge over that. Take something and prop under the book cover to let the inner part dry. I did second layer of tissue on the bigger book. The smaller books did fine with just one layer.

Now as you do the spine on the bigger book here’s where you will put the chain (I used several inches of an old necklace). Put down a line of glue halfway down spine. Press chain into glue. Now tissue paper/Glue the spine. Let dry. The smaller books I added the chain to the book back. Now paper/glue the back cover of books.

Paint on a solid coat of the metallic copper. Let dry. Next a layer of grape. Go over some parts heavier than others. Let dry. Dry brush lightly with gold. Let dry. Sounds simple, it is but the drying time is what is the most bothersome. I don’t like the wait, but did I use the time to decide on ‘spells’ and print out items to go inside books. Curses and hexes are optional. *if you find you went to heavy on the gold in some areas just put some grape paint on your finger and rub over the gold. It might take more than one layer.*

Heat up your wood burning tool. Burn edges of paper. This will take a long time. Don’t give up it is worth it. If you burn yourself feel free to drop the F bomb. I did, a few times. Glue on a pendant to the book cover.

Now you are ready to fill up your book with spells, recipes, whatever floats your boat. I mean you can have a casserole recipe on one page and the next page a nice demon summoning. That will give you something to do to pass the time while the casserole bakes. If you’re single: make casserole, summon demon. BAM date night with a demon.

I made this book for the daughter. She grew up watching Buffy, Charmed, Supernatural, and Hocus Pocus. So I made up some pages using those shows as inspiration. I left most of book blank so she can add her own spells.

DIY Sugar Lip Scrub

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scrub 1

Sugar Lip Scrub

Here is an easy as pie beauty recipe. It’s a sugar lip scrub. Great for those winter weary dry lips. Scrubs are easy to use, just rub on your lips, gently rub several seconds. Don’t rub to hard you don’t want raw lips. Rinse. Now apply your favorite lip balm.
Sugar Lip Scrub

You will need:
Brown sugar
Granulated sugar
Honey
Almond or olive oil
Flavoring (optional) I used raspberry

You can make a small batch that has enough scrub for two or three treatments or a larger batch that you store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Mix equal parts brown sugar to granulated sugar. Mix in enough oil to moisten the sugars. You don’t want the scrub runny. Add the honey, it will thicken up the scrub if you use a good quality honey. If you are adding flavoring add now, a few drops will do. If the mixture is too runny add more sugar to thicken a dash more oil if too thick.

Now is the hard part: don’t eat it. Seriously. Once you rub this scrub on your lips and get a little taste you will want to devour the rest.

scrub 2

Gotha’s Chocolate Coconut Bombs

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Too damn tasty

Too damn tasty

I have added coconut oil to my diet in hopes of helping my dry cracking itchy skin. I am trying to heal my skin from the inside out because in my 40 something years nothing has helped my skin from the outside. If I had back the money wasted on lotions, I wouldn’t be rich but I’m sure I could pay a few big bills off.
I first became familiar with coconut oil from Pinterest when I was looking for natural hair treatments. That sparked my interest about that amazing oil, so I researched the many uses and benefits of the awesome coconut and the oil it produces.
What you must first understand is the oil is solid like lard. Fortunately it has a low melting point of 76 degrees. Which makes it easy to use on the hair and skin. Now getting it inside the body is easier for some but not everyone. I fall into the not everyone category.

I have tried melting the coconut oil and just slamming it down the hatch like a shot of liquor. Nasty doesn’t even begin to describe that process. Some Pinterest pins suggest just eating it by the spoonful, solid. That ended up with gagging like a cat trying to upchuck a fur ball. I have added it to food and drink with some success.

When done properly coconut oil in coffee is a great tasty way to get it into your diet. But when you have stomach issues like me, coffee every morning is a no-no.

Much by accident I came across several pins about coconut bombs.
What are coconut bombs you ask? Just a tasty way to ingest good ole healthy coconut oil.

There happens to be a few ways to make these bombs. Some recipes just have you mix the solid form of the oil with some tasty ingredients. Some call for you to melt the oil before mixing.

Ingredients added to the oil varied also. Some people used ground cinnamon, some cinnamon with chocolate and others used just chocolate or cocoa powder. None that I found had shredded coconut in the recipe. What?
Now my version is one of many. You may not like it. No problem. Go to Pinterest and search ‘coconut bombs’ you will have so many recipes you are sure to find one you love.

Here is my version:

What you need

What you need

Gotha’s Chocolate Coconut Bombs for Smoother Skin

1 cup of melted coconut oil. (about 60 seconds in microwave handles that)

A small handful of chocolate chips, about 25. Semi-sweet, milk chocolate, basically whichever floats your boat.

One tablespoon cocoa powder.

1 cup of shredded coconut.

Here is the easy peasy way to build your bombs:

Add your chocolate chips and cocoa powder to your melted coconut oil and stir. Stir a lot. It took some convincing for the chocolate chips and oil to decide to become one. After that mix in the shredded coconut. Your mixture will be runny. Just toss it in the freezer for two minutes. While your bombs are cooling lay out some wax paper on your counter.

Remove mixture from freezer, stir well. If it’s still too runny pop back in freezer for another minute. Once cooled and slightly hardened use two spoons or a melon baller to shape bite size bombs. Place on wax paper to set up. I ended up with 25 bombs. You may get more or less depending on how you size them. I have most at a two-bite size.

This is from a smaller test batch. The recipe makes much more.

This is from a smaller test batch. The recipe makes much more.

Adding the coconut. Yum

Adding the coconut. Yum

I store the bombs in the fridge. Remember coconut oil has a low melt point. My house is HOT!
The husband thinks we live in the artic and keeps our heat on what I call the tropical setting. I have had to go outside in 20 degree weather wearing shorts and a t-shirt to cool down. True story. Neighbors must think I’m having menopausal hot flashes. So I feared my coconut bombs would react like Frosty the Snowman on a tropical island and turn into coconut puddles.

Tasty. This is a skin treatment that can spoil a girl.

Tasty. This is a skin treatment that can spoil a girl.

Right now I have two bombs a day. One at my first break at work the other during my second work break. If in a few weeks I feel I need more coconut oil I will add a third bomb. And yes I do yell, “Bombs away” before eating one. (UPDATE: with two per day for two weeks my skin still looks dry, but man it feels soft. So it is helping. I will now add a third bomb to see where that takes me on my dry skin journey).

How do they taste? Like an Almond Joy minus the almond. But without almonds it’s a Mounds you say. Nope. Mounds uses a dark chocolate which changes the taste dramatically. Don’t argue I’m a ‘robust’ girl, I know my candies.

Now some people use coconut bombs for weight loss. Does that work? I don’t know but you might want to omit the chocolate chips from the recipe if you are trying to watch your weight. I have not lost any weight but I have noticed that after eating a bomb I do feel full plus do less mindless snacking. It’s the late evenings that kill me with the over eating. I will soon tackle my food issue. First I am focusing on being more active. Which with my Vivofit is working well. Small changes, not all at once is my plan.

A note on buying coconut oil. My first suggestion is do your research so you can make an informed decision. After trying several, some refined some unrefined. Some virgin some not so virgin. Some without taste others with a coconutty taste. As of right now my favorite is a unrefined virgin coconut oil from Target. It does have a coconut taste. I still try other types/brands as I find them so one day my favorite might change. So, research, try a variety, maybe look at some brands on Amazon and read the reviews.

Are you a coconut oil user? If so please share with me, I am always looking for new ways to try this amazing oil.

UPDATE: I have tried this a few times adding extra ingredients. After research I have discovered Cacao Nibs are a nutritional powerhouse. Brazil nuts may help my Thyroid issue. So I added 1 tbsp of the nibs and three chopped Brazil nuts to the recipe for my bombs. The bombs are still great with the add ins.

 

You Dropped a Balm On Me

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Leader

Most over the counter lip treatments. Like lip balms in tubes, name brands and generic. The moisturizing effects don’t seem to last long, some even tend to dry the lips even more. I have made a cinnamon lip balm in the past, my first time I made the mistake of replacing some of the ingredients I needed with what I had on hand. Lip balm did not set up. My second time I used the right ingredients but used too much cinnamon oil. My lips were on fire after using even a tiny amount.

Those failed attempts did not stop me in fact they made me more determined to master the whole do it yourself lip balm. Have I mastered it? No, I feel DIY natural product making will always be a learning process, the more you learn the more your recipes evolve. I have had several dozen lip balm making sessions that have turned out perfectly. Some batches not so perfect yet I have learned a lot from the failed batches.

Today I will share a few recipes that have worked pretty well for me. I like these balms a lot as the moisturizing benefits can last up to several hours with just one application.

Before we begin lets apply some common sense. If you are allergic to any of the ingredients, DON’T USE THESE BALMS. If you use these balms and experience an allergic reaction, wash balm from lips and discontinue use. If your lips puff up like a actress that has had a bad botox injection you may want to seek out medical attention. ALWAYS research your ingredients before making anything that will go on or into your body. I am sharing the recipes NOT forcing you to make and/or use the products.
I have had only positive experiences with these balms, lotions, and hair treatments. Every person is different so I would advise trying a tad of the product on the skin at the fold of your elbow to test your reaction before committing fully.

The little container with the brown balm is COCOA BALM

The little container with the brown balm is COCOA BALM

Cocoa Lip Balm

Makes three 0.20 oz. jars (tiny)

1 tsp. beeswax pellets
2 tsp. Shea butter
1 tsp. sweet almond oil
1 tsp. cocoa powder
Using a glass container, sit it in a pot with a few inches of water also known as a water bath. Turn heat on medium low. To the glass container add the beeswax. Next add your Shea butter and sweet almond oil. Allow to melt, stirring often. I use a wooden skewer to stir, once I’m done with the balm I just toss the skewer in trash. Once melted remove glass from pot. Stir in your cocoa. Pour your flavored lip balm into whatever container you have chosen. I use these little plastic pipettes to transfer the balm from glass to lip container. Makes things easier but is not a necessary piece of equipment.
Let set. Now you have in your possession a balm for tasty smooth lips.
*with this recipe you can replace the cocoa with flavorings. Some people use Kool-Aid drink mix powder I like to use Crystal Light drink powders.

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balm 2
Peppermint Lip Plumping Balm

Makes three 0.20 oz. jars

1 tsp beeswax pellets
2 tsp. Shea butter
1 tsp coconut oil
5 drops peppermint essential oil

Using a glass container, sit it in a pot with a few inches of water. Turn heat on medium low. To the glass container add the beeswax. Next add your Shea butter and coconut oil. Allow to melt, stirring often. I use a wooden skewer to stir with. Once melted remove glass from pot. Stir in your 5 drops of peppermint essential oil. The peppermint oil will increase blood flow to the lips adding a dash of plump. Pour your peppermint lip balm into whatever container you have chosen. Let set. Now you have a lip balm that will plump those lips. Now that your lips are plump, give your man (or woman) that pouty look to get your way. BUT remember there is a fine line between pouty and duck face. Let’s not cross it.

For my personal peppermint balm, I add a small chunk from a Burt’s Bees lip crayon for a hint of color. If you make a batch of tinted balm for friends please use a fresh stick of whatever lip color you choose. To use one you have been using on your lips is just…yuck, wrong.

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Healing Balm

Healing Balm

Healing Lip balm

Makes three 0.20 oz. jars

1 tsp beeswax pellets
2 tsp. Shea butter
1 tsp coconut oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
¼ tsp. of honey (local is best)

Using a glass container, sit it in a pot with a few inches of water. Turn heat on medium low. To the glass container add the beeswax. Next add your Shea butter and coconut oil. Allow to melt, stirring often. I use a wooden skewer to stir with. Once melted remove glass from pot. Stir in lavender essential oil and honey. Pour into lip balm container and allow to set. Here’s my experience with this recipe. I have made it several times. I don’t know why, but sometimes the honey mixes in well and sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t you have honey in bottom of your container and atop that you have your set lip balm. Weird.

This if for when your sweet lips are in need of some TLC. Like severely dry and cracked or worse; your lip has exploded from a fever blister/cold sore. This is why I like to make small batches, it’s cheap so tossing it after your lips are healed is no big deal. Some people argue that the virus that causes cold sores dies quickly so your lip balms aren’t contaminated. Well, I just made a healing lip balm for mere pennies; excuse me why I toss the left over in the trash just to be on the safe side. Better safe than lip explosion!
If you don’t have all this handy and the lips are in emergency need just rub some honey on your lips several times a day.

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balm 5

A little of this a little of that:
The beeswax is what allows the balms to set. If your balms are too hard next batch use less beeswax. Too soft next time more beeswax. Easy fix. You can add a few drops of vitamin E to every recipe. I do not because I tend to experience some itching of the skin when I use Vitamin E.

I buy most of my supplies from Amazon. Mainly because I have Amazon Prime and can get most items with free shipping. If you plan on making balms, lotions and other concoctions in large batches I would suggest shopping around to find the best deals.

I have used many items as lip balm containers. Little jars I purchased just for balms, also Altoid tins, old chap stick tubes, if it has a lid it is fair game in my house.

HAVE BROOM WILL TRAVEL

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Halloween will soon be upon us. Ghouls, zombies and witches will be bringing the fear to my neighborhood. That is if I get everything done in time.

A few of my projects this year are complete. Many others are in the works. Two of the ones complete are simple yet are great props to include in a porch display.

A simple rustic witch broom and a tall spooky witch hat. Witch shoes are in the works but they are not cooperating with me at this time.

Today I will share with you how to make the broom.

The broom was quick and easy. I have an oak tree, I call him The Might Oak. Yes I do talk to my tree, he’s a nice guy. Sadly during every storm he loses a few limbs. Some small and others big enough to use as a weapon in a zombie apocalypse.

I began this project by gathering a sturdy limb big enough to serve has the broom handle. After finding the perfect one I began to gather up smaller limbs. Some sturdy others thin and flimsy.

Before going any further I took some twine. It was a light beige. Not liking the new clean twine look I decided to age some. Which is a simple process. Get some tea bags throw them and the twine in a pot of water, bring to a boil. Take off burner and let sit awhile. Easy as pumpkin pie.

a little potion

a little potion

While the tea is working its magic grab some duct tape. It’s time to make a broom!

the magical items being guarded by my new puppy

the magical items being guarded by my new puppy

Take one of the small limbs, place it toward the bottom of the broom handle. take the duct tape and use it to attach the smaller limb.

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Keep wrapping the tape around the handle adding more limbs as you go. Stop when you are satisfied with the look of your broom.

Ready for the twine

Ready for the twine

Then I took the twine out of the pot of tea water. You can let the twine dry to use wet. I find it works better and you get a tighter wrap with it wet. Knot it at the top of the taped area. Now just start wrapping until you reach the end of the duct taped area. Tie off.

Done. Now wait for a full moon then take your broom for a spin!

finished hat 3