Adventures in YouTube?

I recently decided that I should start a YouTube channel. I was watching some craft videos, and it looked like a fun thing to do! I made my first video, a craft supplies haul. If you like it, please subscribe…I’m hoping this can be a new way for me to be creative!

Do you watch craft videos on YouTube? Who are your favorite crafty YouTubers? :) Let me know in the comments!

Check out my video here!: http://youtu.be/6dptl18qthw

Simple Steps to Clear Skin

Over the past 3 or 4 months, I’ve noticed that my skin has been a lot better than it used to be. I’ve been thinking about what changes I’ve made to my skin care routine, and realized that I haven’t really added anything. I think it’s what I haven’t been doing that’s helped.

Before I get into what’s helped me, let me first give you a little background on my skin. I’ve never had a huge, need-to-go-to-the-derm, kind of acne problem. In the past, I would typically get 3-7 zits at a time, I would usually squeeze them, and they would get redder and inflamed, and sometimes infected. Usually when the original zits were just about healed I would start to get new ones. I rarely had a completely clear face, but it wasn’t anything concealer couldn’t mostly cover up.

For the last few months, though, I have noticed a dramatic improvement in my skin. I can go weeks without any issues! And when I do get a zit, it’s usually pretty small and goes away completely within 24 hours. It’s made me realize how much time I wasted in the past trying to “take care of” my zits…examining them, touching them, covering them up, cleaning them.

Here are some things that I think have helped improve my skin. Keep in mind, I don’t have proof, and I’m not a doctor, so take everything with a grain of salt!

Stop Looking So Closely

I think this might be the most important: step away from the magnifying mirror! This was just a happy accident for me…in my old place I had an 8x magnifying mirror mounted to my bathroom wall…my new place doesn’t have one. Without a magnifying mirror to look at every little pore and red spot, I don’t touch my face as much and I don’t squeeze things.

Stop Wearing Foundation or Tinted Moisturizer

I think this is another major thing that has helped my skin. The magic didn’t happen overnight, though…about a week went by before I started seeing that my skin was clearing up. Foundation seems like a vicious cycle…you wear it to cover up imperfections, but it’s what causing a lot of the problems in the first place. If you still really want to wear foundation, try just wearing it where you “need it”…I’ve switched to just using concealer under my eyes and sometimes on my nose.

Don’t Touch!

This goes along with the magnifying mirror. When you touch your skin, you introduce oil and bacteria to your pores. Oil and bacteria are troublemakers when it comes to having clear skin. Touching pre-existing acne can also make it more inflamed and red…I think of touching zits as kind of activating them and egging them on. It’s like scratching a bug bite…it might seem like a good idea in the moment, but it only makes the problem worse.

Wash Your Face Twice A Day

This is probably something most people already do, but I’ve always been kind of lazy when it comes to facial care (I didn’t even start washing my face once a day until I was in college…yikes!). In the past, I would only wash my face at night, just to get my makeup off. If I didn’t wear makeup that day, I wouldn’t wash my face. Now I wash at night no matter what, and I’ve also started using a face wash in the shower every morning (I used to just hope that water and a towel would do the job). My nighttime face wash is specifically for acne, and my shower face wash is just a gentle cream that doesn’t drip into my eyes.

The rest have to do with diet, and since I’m not a dietitian, I’ll let you do your own research on why these changes might help:

Reduce Sugar Consumption

Eat less Cheese, Milk, and Dairy

Drink More Water

I hoped this gave you some ideas and will help you! If you have any other suggestions for simple steps to clear skin, please leave a comment! :)

DIY: Sparkly Star Garland

star garlandAfter my recent craft-binge for 12 days of Craftmas, I realized I still needed a little sparkle for New Year’s! Here’s a tutorial for making a super simple and super sparkly star garland!

Materials:

10 gold pipe cleaners

10 silver pipe cleaners

star template, 3 different sizes

About 18 inches of jute rope, twine, or ribbon (anything you have lying around)

Wire cutters or strong scissors

Step 1

After you’ve printed out your star template, grab a gold or silver pipe cleaner and start bending it around the template.

Step 2

If you run out of pipe cleaner before you’ve completed the star, twist on a new pipe cleaner.

step 2

Step 3

Once you’ve gone all the way around the star, leave about an inch of extra pipe cleaner. You will use this extra inch later. Do not close up your star just yet. Cut any excess pipe cleaner off using your wire cutters (while still leaving that extra inch).

step 3

Step 4

Repeat steps 1 through 3 using the different sizes of stars and different colors of pipe cleaners. To make a garland that was long enough to go across a standard sized mantle, I made 3 large stars, 4 medium stars, and 4 small stars.

step 4

Step 5

Now that you have all your stars made, it’s time to join them together (each star should still have an opening and that extra 1 inch of pipe cleaner). Arrange the stars any way you like. I arranged mine pretty randomly. Join the stars together by looping an open end through another star. Now that they are looped together, you can use that extra inch of pipe cleaner to twist the ends together.

Step 6

Add some ribbon or twine to each end of your garland. This will be used to attach your garland to your mantle.

step 6

And you’re done! A cute and sparkly star garland for under $2!

finished garland

Do you plan on decorating for New Year’s Eve? How would you customize your star garland! I think this would also be a great idea for a birthday or 4th of July (with red, white, and blue pipe cleaners)!

12th day of 12 Days of Craftmas!

We’re finally here…the 12th day of 12 Days of Craftmas! This was actually the first craft I made for Christmas, but I saved it for last because it’s the biggest (it’s still pretty small) and most expensive (it’s still pretty cheap).

Craftmas Day 12 - Candy Cane Garland
Craftmas Day 12 – Candy Cane Garland

A candy cane garland! It hangs the entire width of my fireplace and really livens up my mantle. This was the most time-consuming craftmas project I made, and also the most expensive (still cheap, though!).

I made the candy canes using spray adhesive to attach red stripes of felt to a sheet of white felt. After the adhesive dried, I cut out the candy cane shapes by following a hand-drawn template (making sure to have some of them pointing to the right and some to the left).

I used that same template to draw candy cane shapes on white card stock. I cut outside of the line (so that the paper would be bigger than the felt) using scallop-trim scissors. I used spray adhesive again to attach the felt candy canes to the paper candy canes.

The first steps were the hardest and most time-consuming, but after I finished with the candy canes, it was pure fun! I tied little bows from Christmas polka dot ribbon and hot melt glued them to about half the canes. I then took some different-sized red, white, and green pom poms and arranged the canes and pom poms on a piece of jute rope. Once I was sure I liked my placement, I hot glued everything on to the rope.

From start to finish, including glue-drying time, I think this took me about 4 hours. I spent about 33 cents on white felt, 33 cents on red felt, 10 cents for the card stock, $1.50 for the scallop-trim scissors, $1.50 for the pom poms, 35 cents for the polka dot ribbon, and $1.50 for the jute rope. I already had the hot melt glue, but the can of spray adhesive cost me $4 (though I barely used any, so let’s say I used $1 worth). In total, the cost of this adorable candy cane garland was about $6.61. That’s my most expensive Craftmas project, but it’s still a deal! I also have tons of left over felt, I obviously still have the scallop scissors that I can use for future projects, and I think I have enough spray adhesive and pom poms left for a lifetime!

I’m so happy with how my 12 Days of Craftmas projects turned out, and I’m already thinking about what to do for next year! I hope you enjoyed seeing my projects, and have a very Merry Christmas!

Craftmas Day 10 and 11!

Day 10 and 11 were fun! For Day 10, I made a festive hoop art with embroidery and felt. The tree is made of felt with glass beads to look like snow. Day 11 are three little gingerbread men made out of Fimo. I used mini cookie cutters to get the perfect gingerbread man shape and then I decorated them with red and green fimo.

Craftmas Day 10 and 11 - For Day 10 I made a cute hoop art and for Day 11 I made 3 little Fimo gingerbread men.
Craftmas Day 10 and 11 – For Day 10 I made a cute hoop art and for Day 11 I made 3 little Fimo gingerbread men.

The hoop cost me about 80 cents, a giant pack of beads was $1.99, and I already had the rest of the supplies. The fimo was on sale for $1.25, and the only color I didn’t need was the brown. I got a 6-pack of mini Christmas cookie cutters for $1.50.

The gingerbread men could easily be turned into magnets or little brooches, but I just decided to lean mine against the hoop art.

Craftmas Day 9!

We’re almost there, here’s Craftmas Day 9, a wood block Rudolph!!

Craftmas Day 9: A wood block reindeer.
Craftmas Day 9: A wood block reindeer.

This was one of my favorites to make. I took two different sizes of wood blocks and used watered down brown paint to stain them a little. Then I cut a dowel rod to make the legs and neck, glued it together, and added the antlers and nose! The blocks were about $1.25 a piece, the dowel rod was about 70 cents, the brown paint was $1, and I had the rest of the supplies already. This is one of my more expensive Craftmas projects, coming in at about $4.20.

12 Days of Craftmas: Day 8!

This one doesn’t involve felt! I made a cute jar that looks great at night.

Craftmas Day 8: Lantern jar with snow scene.
Craftmas Day 8: Lantern jar with a winter snow scene.

This was fun to make! I used an empty and clean mayo jar, some kraft paper that I cut with an exacto knife,  spray adhesive, and glitter. Instead of a real candle, I used a flickering LED candle. Total cost was about $2, including the candle!

Craftmas Day 7!

Day 7 of 12 Days of Craftmas and I’ve once again made something from the Mollie Makes Christmas issue…I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love Mollie Makes! It’s a bit pricey, but it’s the kind of magazine you keep going back to project after project.

Craftmas Day 7 - Sleeping reindeer ornament.
Craftmas Day 7 – Sleeping reindeer ornament.

This was super easy to make, and I used a little bit of creativity with the nose. Mollie Makes showed there’s with a felt heart nose, but I just happened to have the perfect-sized heart button! Again, just felt, thread, and the button. Less than a dollar!