What We're Loving, #8

     Hi guys! It's Monday again (mehhhh), but it's the Monday before Christmas! This makes me so happy. I'm just ready for this weekend to start already! Christmas eve and morning are going to be a blast, especially since I will be going home to Arkansas on Christmas day for the first time in two years. It is much needed, and I can't wait to spend time with family. I put the finishing touches on presents over the weekend, as well as doing a ton of photo shoots for January. I had to get as much done as possible to have a nice clear schedule for this holiday weekend! We also did a lot of celebrating. There was a college graduation and a 21st birthday back to back, and it was perfect. My best friend graduated from Mizzou, and her boyfriend (Brett's best friend) turned 21 the next day! I hope everyone's weekend was as fun as ours was. Check out what we're loving at the moment below!

Wearing: These super cute midi rings (I'm trying to improve my jewelry game)/ the cutest little turtleneck onesie to match her mama's.

Reading: Armadillo by William Boyd (a new-to-me author)/ 1, 2 at the Zoo and basically anything with animals in the pictures.

Eating: The most delicious jam ever, especially on a BLT/ classic Greek yogurt.

Making: A super useful lip scrub for a January post/ all the messes with my leftover wrapping paper scraps.

Loving: Lavender oil and it's many uses/ her first bed ever from Nana and Grandpa! :)

To Make Ring Cones

     It is definitely the most wonderful time of year around here! I've thoroughly thrown myself into the holiday season, and I couldn't be happier. In years past, I always appreciated beautiful decorations, gift wrapping, and all of the holiday goodness from afar. Other than helping my Dad pick out a Christmas tree from an actual tree farm (my favorite Christmas tradition), I never really got involved with much else. I think the main reason I'm embracing it now is because having a child truly makes you excited for the smallest things. Everything is new to Bailey, even now that she's nearly two. The fact that I get to introduce her to everything makes me want to try my hardest to make it the most fun for her. 

     Having a baby also gave me the urge to start showing more gratitude. While others might do this best using just words, for me, it's always been easier to make something. A handmade gift gets my gratitude across so much better than if I just say thank you, because I can't just say thank you. I babble all day every day, and I feel like the thankfulness just gets lost in there, as do most points I try to make. :) This is why I'm always so happy that I'm actually O.K. working with my hands. While I don't sew, mostly because I haven't really tried, I have tried my hand at multiple arts. Pottery, woodworking, 3-D art, and more, all in the pursuit of higher education. I've loved them all, but the simplest form for me was pottery and working with clay in general. If I work with wood, I have to be careful of dimensions and math things that I don't look for in any kind of pastime. 3-D art was great, but cardboard and similar materials are not nearly as easy to manipulate as clay. It's why most D.I.Y. projects on this blog involve clay, or another forgivable material. This one, is yet another zero skills clay project. It mostly involves rolling and painting. I've always liked a rougher texture on the clay. Smooth, but a few bumps and lines won't bother me. If they do bother you, just keep rolling the clay and smoothing with your fingers until you get your desired texture.

     I won't say who these are for, because they are Christmas presents, but I know plenty of people who need them. We all wear rings, and desire a nice pretty place to put them when we aren't wearing them. So family and friends, if you are reading this (which I sincerely hope you are!) guess all you want, but I'm not telling until the 25th and that's final! Maybe. Like I said, I babble, so it could accidentally slip out if I get to talking. Oh well, happy gifting!

Materials:

- air dry clay (I use Crayola)

- gold spray paint

- painters tape

- gloss glaze and a paint brush (optional)

Step one: Get a good chunk of clay and roll out into a cone shape. Make sure it's slim enough at the top for the rings to fit on!

Step two: Let dry for at least 24 hours, the thicker the cone, the longer it may take.

Step three: Apply a ring of painters tape where you would like the cone to be color blocked. Make sure to tape newspaper around the part you want to stay white!

Step four: Once paint has dried, add a layer of gloss if you'd like, and let that dry. You're ring cones are now complete!

To Make Napkin Rings

    Hello all! It is getting dangerously close to that gift giving holiday we all know as Christmas. I'm not sure how many of you have seen the T.V. show (masterpiece) Parks and Recreation, but the main character, Leslie Knope, has stated that she embraces gift giving as a sport, and one that she always wins. Her attitude towards presents has inspired me to do my best this year to give each of my loved ones something they need/want/have been dreaming of. Yes, even a fictional government employee can inspire kindness. 
    For the following month, I will be posting easy and wonderful DIY projects that could potentially be that unexpected something to give to the one person it is impossible to find a gift for; or it could be the obvious something that your best friend has been needing for their new home. This is the case for this DIY! Most people my age are in temporary places, i.e. rentals, and cannot do much to give their space personality. I believe it is little touches, like these napkin rings, that can really elevate something from ordinary to unexpected. I adapted my project from this DIY and it is one of the easiest clay projects and simplest looking gift you could give!


Materials:
 - air dry clay (I use the kids Crayola)
 - watercolor paints and brush
 - rolling pin
 - clay glaze (Sculpey's works great!)



First: 
Roll out four balls of clay, I made mine a little bigger than a golf ball.

Second:
Smooth out clay flat with rolling pin so that you have four long rectangles.

Third:
Wrap the clay into a ring shape, wide enough inside to fit two fingers and let dry overnight.

Fourth:
Once dry, paint with desired color. To get a sheerer look, add plenty of water!

Fifth:
After paint dries, cover with gloss and let dry. Voila!