DIY Sugar Scrub

WARNING: I will not be held responsible for shortages on brown/granulated sugar and jelly jars due to the nature of this post.

I am all about homemade gifts, especially when they can help the gift-giver save money. Some of the best gifts from my students have been a pop-up card, a Snoopy doghouse (yes, I did have a student make this for my birthday this year), or a Post-It note holder (I use these for everything in my classroom).

We are so fortunate to have many loved ones in our lives, but that can get expensive! So, thanks to DIY gifts, we can show everyone how much we care for them, and save some bucks in the process.

Here’s what you need for every 8 oz jelly jar:

2/3 cup granulated sugar2/3 cup brown sugar
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
yummy smells (I use almond and vanilla extract)

1. Start with the sugar. Stir them together in a bowl until they are well-mixed.



2. Add in the EVOO. Stir together.


3. Add in your yummy smells until you get a good whiff of it. I tend to go overboard with the almond and vanilla, because I am obsessed with those smells. Stir.

4. If your mixture is looking a little dry, add in a bit more EVOO. I did, and then I checked to be sure I could still smell the almond/vanilla.

5. Fill the jelly jar with your scrub.


6. Try it out! After all, you must be able to prove how soft it really can make your hands. They will hurt a little at first, but when you rinse them off, they will feel oily (that is the EVOO), and then oh-so-soft. Put on some of your favorite lotion (my suggestion: Suave Vitamin E Body Lotion) and keep rubbing your hands together because you will not believe how amazing they feel!


7. Make a tag and give it away! Don’t forget to keep some for yourself!


My mom loves hers so much that she uses it on her feet in her sink. I love her!


So You Think You're Crafty Craft Party

Making Wreaths

12/12/12 Update: You can check out Sarah’s blog post about her wreath-making experience here.

Two weekends ago, I went with my friend Sarah from A T-shirt and Pearls to a benefit for the Hilliard House to make wreaths and other greeneries. You can read about it on her blog here or here.


Well, of course she was talking up my craftiness to her friend K, who also went with us. Uh oh. No pressure right? Well, of course that meant that it was going to be an epic failure.

I made my wreath, and then I had some extra time. So, I made a centerpiece. Some very kind ladies gave us their leftover branches, so I thought I would use them. Unfortunately, they didn’t look very pretty.

Pretty soon, we were running out of time and daylight. I was stressed, I wasn’t happy with my centerpiece. So, what does any “crafty” lady do when she is stressed and unhappy with her creation? Make it as gaudy and obnoxious as possible, of course!

She started with just the gold-painted bunch. Then, I found an abandoned gold-painted gourd. I used it. I named the center bunch Goldie, and it was her egg. Then, I found another gold-painted gourd. Thus, it became “Goldie and Her Egg.”

The best part of this was the look on the professionals/volunteers faces when they would come over to visit.

Them:”Oh! That is beautiful!”

Me: “You really don’t have to say that.”

Them: “No, it’s lovely.”

Me: “No, it is actually very horrible. I wanted to add as much gaudiness as possible.”

Them: “Oh.”

So, do you want to see Goldie and Her Eggs? Just don’t judge me.




You can’t tell from the pictures, but she is HUGE. Massive. Tacky. And she kept me cracking up as I would add one more twig or leaf. Next year before we go back, I will be reading up on my wreath-making!

SuperBoy Cape

This summer, I made my nephew Liam a SuperBoy cape for his birthday. It came from a towel, hand towel, a vintage button, some superhero fabric, and some coordinating thread.

Here’s a collage of the steps that I took to cut out and prep the cape:

SuperBoy CapeI’m sorry I don’t have directions for this post, but I just didn’t take enough pictures to show the steps for the whole project.

We went to visit (and my amazing sister-in-law had a Thirty-One party) about a week ago, and I was able to snap a few pictures of my cutie nephew in his super cape. We came up with a game that he disappeared when the hood was up. Let’s just say that he disappeared a lot.

Are you ready for some cuteness?


I just had to put that last one in, because it was so precious to see Tim and Liam set up the track and play with the train.

Hello Goodbye

I have a confession to make. I am addicted to my Silhouette. I have an entire Pinterest board with inspiration projects and how to’s, and I love being able to chat with other Silhouette owners on my Facebook group (Clueless Cameo Club). By the way, the Cameo Club is public, so come and join us in the conversation.

Well, I love the Hello/Goodbye vinyl from Pinterest. While we were putting up holiday decorations today, I felt that the door just needed something else. After all, I had just taken down our monster from Halloween.

Well, it only took about 30 minutes to find the font that I wanted to use, make some adjustments using the Weld and Point Delete functions on the software, and I had my signs. I love how they turned out!



A New Business Adventure!

In July 2011, I started on the home-based business adventure with my own Thirty-One business. I had no idea how much I would love to sell bags! I have met so many amazing women (and men) through this business. Not only do I love the company Thirty-One and the great values that they stand for, but I love being able to sell such great, adorable, personalize-able totes/bags/purses/organizational items. I decided I wanted a name for my business, and I called it Dory’s Tote-ally Purse-onal Gifts.

Well, last week after going back and forth for weeks, I decided to join another up-and-coming company, Rendi. I had first heard about Rendi through my friend Sarah back in February. This is a company on the newer end of Direct Sales (DS), and they specialize in personalized frames and wall signs. This is such a popular thing to do now, and I love the color and theme options that Rendi offers for their items. Now, when I signed up, I did promise Tim that I wouldn’t actively work to sell Rendi until after the school year ended. However, if you are looking for something, feel free to check out my website:


Rendi’s Large Tag Sign

As much as I wanted to keep calling this business “Tote-ally Purse-onal Gifts,” it was just too reminiscent of only selling bags. Now, I have expanded to Rendi, as well as the vinyl and other personalized items that I make. I have actually been getting orders for my personalized crafts, which is so exciting!

Now, I need to have a new name. I have been working all week on playing with names with Tim and my dear neighbor Eva (and her friends and family). Here are some of the front runners. Now I need your help! Which are your top choices? Do you have other ideas? Once you have voted, leave a comment on this page. One voter will win their choice of a $15 gift certificate to Thirty-One, Rendi, or a personalized vinyl item. I will end the voting on November 30 at 11:59 PM.


“Hostess Exclusive Classic Medium Picture This!”

Clipart with Silhouette Software

Clipart Silhouette Studio Button

When I was on one of my Thirty-One Facebook groups earlier, we were talking about the differences between the Silhouette machines and the Cricuts. I absolutely love the software that comes free with the Silhouette, and I thought that it would be a great topic to show how to take a Clipart picture and turn it to a cut-able image.

I want to preface this post by saying that I am not an expert in this software, and there may be other ways to accomplish this goal. I have found a way to make it work for what I want to do. If you know of other ways, please let me know in the comments.

1. Do a search to find your image. I love Google Images, by the way. Cute snowman, right?2. Once I have found my picture, I will just do a screenshot to get that image. On my Mac, I use Shift+Command+4, and it lets me select the rectangle that I want to take a picture of.

3. Open up the Silhouette software.

4. Drag in the screenshot image.

5. With this image, there is a Low Resolution Warning. I just chose to ignore it. Based on what you want to make, you may not want to ignore it.

6. In the upper left corner, click the symbol for Tracing.7. The Trace tools will open up.

8. Click “Select Trace Area” and highlight the image that you want to trace. The grey box will open up and the image will appear yellow. The yellow lines are the trace lines.

9. This is when you have to decide what you want to accomplish. If you just want the outline of items to create a silhouette image, you will click “Trace Outer Edge.” This is what it will look like:

10. You will need to drag away the black lines, leaving the red cut lines. This is the result:


11. Don’t want a silhouette? That’s ok. Instead of clicking “Trace Outer Edge” when your image is outlined, you will click “Trace.”

12. You can also play around with the settings before you click “Trace.” Change the thresholds and filters to have different effects. I truly don’t have these mastered yet, but I just play around until I get the desired effect.

Again, if you know some other trick to use with this software, please leave a comment! I am always wanting to learn more about this machine (and I am trying to avoid reading the instructions as long as possible).

Mailbox Vinyl

Updated 11/17:

Yes, I have had more fun with my Silhouette and the premium vinyl: mailbox fun! Now, our mailbox has some great style!


Nail Art Love

I have a Pinterest board called “Nail Love.” For years, I was a nail-biter, cuticle-picker, and all around hand-hider (I was so ashamed).

Last summer, however, I beat the habit! I decided to go and pay for an “expensive” manicure on my ugly nails. Well, I am cheap at heart, and I knew that once I paid for that, I would want to protect and take care of those nails. So for that week, I didn’t bite.

The next week, I went back and got another manicure. I didn’t bite during that week either. I kept paying $15 each week, and I kept keeping my nails looking pretty.

So, 20+ years later, and I finally beat that awful habit. When I am super-stressed, I might bite 1 nail, but I instantly regret it and won’t bite the rest.

Now, I’m obsessed with my fingernails. I have over 20 bottles of nail polish in bright, dull, and exotic colors. I have top coats, bottom coats, detail brushes, cuticle oil, rapid dry items, etc. This fall, I decided to see how many different Hokie patterns I could do for the VT games. While it didn’t bring us luck, here are some of my favorites:

NOTE: Please look past the polish on my fingers, right around the nails. These picture were taken right after painting, which is why they still were a bit messy.

Get it? They are footballs in the Hokie colors!

I absolutely loved these stripes. Preppy but sporty.

Maroon nails with orange glitter on top.

And then I have some pictures of non-Hokie nails:

Charlie Brown nails for the “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” 10th reunion.

I love this dramatic graphite grey color.

Updates to DIY Page and Free to a Good Home

Hello, readers!

I wanted to let you know that I have spent some time on this rainy, cold week to update the DIY page. Take a look at all of the items that I’ve made (although I keep feeling like I have left so many out)!

Want me to make something for you? These are just the start. Let me know what you are looking for, and I will do it! No cost to you, except for supplies and a post on this blog.

At some point, I may start an Etsy page, but for right now, I’m just having fun making cute crafts to occupy my time and relax my brain.

Also, I have some items that I made with my Silhouette that just don’t have a place in my craft room. I will be donating them to the trash can unless someone wants them:

Monograms with Vinyl


Monograms with Vinyl




I have been having so much fun with my Silhouette and vinyl. I decided to make some monograms and see how it went.

Once I used the software to design the monogram, there were some more steps than just peel and stick, especially with such small parts.


First, I peeled off the extra part of the vinyl that I wouldn’t need.


Next, I placed the monogram face-down on the sticky side of contact paper. The contact paper will act as a way to transfer the monogram to the item.




Then I used a card as a scraper to get out any air bubbles.



When you are ready to transfer the monogram onto the item, peel off the back of the vinyl.



Stick the contact paper/vinyl onto the item (for me, I was monogramming my Cameo).


Use the card/scraper to make it stick.


Carefully pull off the contact/transfer paper.


Put pressure on the monogram to make sure it stays down.