Magic Eye String Art

Hello!  Here is an easy and fun art project for those stormy summer days.  String art is very popular right now and can be used to make anything from your initials, to objects, to this “magic” eye.   As they say: everything old is new again!  We made string art in Algebra II/Trig back when I was in 10th grade!  My math teacher hung them around the wall to show how straight lines can make a curve.

This project requires NO hammering!!!  Many of the string art projects involve wood and nails and a hammer – this seemed like it would take a while to hammer everything plus it makes the artwork heavy.  Using wood requires brackets to hang, etc.  So instead I tested different ways to make a foam board from the dollar store.  You can cut and paint your own foam 5×8′ sheet down to the size you want from the hardware store.  I used foam core boards from Dollar Tree.  I tried to use black poster board, but the poster board is so cheap and flimsy that the glue ruined the flat board.  I think a glue stick could solve the problem… but I had black spray paint and used that instead since the black poster board was a fail.

I love changing decorations often and do not want heavy ones.  Here in my office I made a photo wall out of cheap Michael’s art canvas and a piece of foam core in the middle.


Here is how to make your own version of Magic Eye String Art!

What you will need:

-ruler (I used a 12″ plain ruler and my quilting Omnigrid though the Omnigrid is not required but helpful)
– minimum 2 colors of embroidery thread (any colors you like – my eyes are blue so I used blue and white)
-black spray paint or black foam core or good black poster board
-3  of 20″x30″ or 20″x20″ foam core  ($1 at Dollar Tree)
-600 of 3/4″ pearlized pins
-graph paper or here
-X-acto knife (optional – I explain if you do not have one but it does make a cleaner cut)
-cereal bowl


1.  I started by sketching my design on graph paper.  Each square = 1″ on the graph paper.  Foam core comes in sheets of 20″x30″ and I wanted a square shape, so I sketched my design as a 20″x20″.  Of course you can choose any size you like.

2.  Option A;   with X-acto Knife:  I glued together with plain Elmer’s glue the 3 sheets of foam core.  Do not skimp and use 2!  If you do, the pins will go through the boards and cut up your thighs.  (Ouch.)  Let the boards dry.  At this point, you can try to glue stick the black poster board if it is thick enough.  Thin poster board will warp and wrinkle when it comes into contact with wet glue.  If using black spray paint instead, go to step 3.  Now, cut 10″ off of the foam core with an X-acto knife.  This will give a nice even slice.

Option B:  With no X-acto knife, you will need to cut each foam core board down to 20″ by 20″ with scissors.  I prefer X-acto knives, but I want to make this project as accessible as possible.  Once all the sheets are cut, glue all 3 foam core sheets on top of each other making sure they are lined up.

3.  Now go outside and spray paint black paint onto one side of your foam board.  You can skip this of course if you used good black poster board.

4.  Your board is prepped and the fun begins!  Use sketch to mark out all of the squares you are going to do.  You start in the center and make a 2″x2″ square.  Then, you make another square in the same direction 5″x5″.   Once the 2 squares are drawn, it is easier because you simply use the corners of those squares to create the next square which is tilted. I just followed my graph paper and those measurements.

5.  Once you draw the squares, I drew the points to put the pins for the most middle square first.  In string art, they usually put all the nails in at the same time.  I find it easier to start in the center and work my way out.  So, the for the middle square only, I used one pin every 1/4″.  Do this all the way around.

6.  Next, is the string work.  Keep your thread in a bowl – this will keep it from unraveling all over the place.

I found a youtube video on how one lady did the string and included a photo with numbers as well.  You tie one string on the bottom left pin (leave a 3″ tail of thread!!)  – we’ll call this “1”.  Then keeping the thread on the inside of the design, wrap it around the other “1” pin at the top.  Bring the thread back down and wrap it around “2”.  Then take it up to “2”.  Etc. etc.  Once you are at the end of the line, I take the entire board and turn it once clockwise.  I proceed doing the 1-1, 2-2 again.  I do this four times all the way around.  Then I end my square by wrapping it several times around the pin, cutting it with a 3″ tail and using the two tail threads to tie several knots.  That is why I always leave a tail.  Once you feel it is secure, trim the threads.

**Make sure to keep the thread taut they entire time or it will unravel.

7.  With square #2, make a mark every 1 centimeter.  This will work well for all of the squares.  Put your ruler so you have a number in the center and work your way out from the center.  Once in a while, I didn’t end exactly on a centimeter and just played with it a bit.  As long as it is the same number of pins on all sides, it won’t matter.  This would be easier to explain in a video… if I make a red/white and blue one, I will try and tape it.

8.  Repeat the threads just like the first square.  It will look weird at first and like it isn’t going to look good.  But once you get to the second to last square it will look awesome.  Sometimes I had to push pins down in order to put threads on top of them.  That’s okay.

This art project took about 4 hours to complete.  I am almost caught up watching The Flash Season 3 as a result  🙂

Happy Making!

Extract Your Own DNA!


What is the white stringy stuff in the photo?  That is strawberry DNA!  You can see DNA as well with just a few household ingredients and materials.  Strawberry season is almost here and sometimes… well not every strawberry is great.  You can mash just 3 of these up over spring break or the summer for a little in home science experiment!


-1 tall glass
-measuring cup
-3 strawberries
-1 small jar like baby food size
-1 Tb. dish soap
-1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
-cheesecloth – about 12″
-funnel (even one for canning will work)
-1/2 tsp. salt

  1.  Put the rubbing alcohol bottle in the freezer to get it cold for later.

  2.  Into a measuring cup, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup water and 1 Tb. of dish soap.  Stir until mixed well!  This is the extraction liquid.
  3. Now, take your funnel and put the cheesecloth on top.  Put the funnel and cheesecloth on top of your tall glass.

  4. Wash and remove the tops off of the strawberries.  Add them to a plastic sandwich bag that can be resealed.  Mash them for about 2 minutes.

    Make sure to squeeze the air out of the bag and if the bag gets a small hole, just put the bag inside of another bag.

  5. Take 3 Tb. of the extraction liquid and add it to the mashed strawberries.  Mix that around another minute or so.

    Extract strawberry DNA

  6. Carefully, pour the strawberry mix through the prepped cheesecloth funnel and into the glass.

  7. Next, pour that strawberry liquid into your small baby food jar until it is only one-quarter the way full.  You can make another experiment with the remaining strawberry liquid in the tall glass, or just throw it away.

  8. Remove the rubbing alcohol from the freezer.  Pour about 1/3 cup of it into a clean measuring cup.  GENTLY tip your baby food jar slightly and gently and slowly pour the alcohol into the baby food jar.  Stop when you have 1 inch of alcohol in the jar.  Try to not mix the alcohol and strawberry mixture.

  9. Observe and admire!

I found this experiment at a Food Festival actually.  There were STEM booths and one had this on it.  But we never saw how they did it and I found the experiment online here at Scientific American.

DIY Photo Canvas Wall & Book Review

Canvas Wall 2 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri


I am super excited to show you this DIY canvas wall!!!  The possibilities are endless and the result is SO much fun.

Photo canvases are cool… and very expensive.  Even a small 12″ photo canvas can run around $40 each.  This canvas wall cost about $50 for EVERYTHING.  They are so much fun to change out and blow up those favorite photos.  I just LOVE photos when they are big!!!

But first the Book Review:




This book is about two things:  hope and love.  Hope and love are illustrated throughout the book using personal stories of motherhood.  Every mom should read this book because:  You are not alone;  You are enough.  Every word feels like it is written from her heart.
The insights and stories include those from the bible such as when Jesus stops the storm while the disciples are in the boat.  Each chapter takes these stories from the bible and relates them directly to your heart.  Another story included is the one of Mary and Martha.  The author reflects, “… sometimes being Martha doesn’t look like choosing something else over Jesus.  It simply looks like forgetting that He is always in the room.  … He knew that since the beginning of time, women have been trying to clean up their own messes, and He has to remind them that only Jesus can do that.”

I like that each chapter is structured well.  There are good reflection questions at the end of each section and space to write down your thoughts.  The entire book is 204 pages – a good length for a busy momma to sit and grab a chapter a day.

Canvas Wall 3 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri


(The opposite wall from this contain two very tall windows… hence the glare on some of the canvases.   You don’t notice it much in person.)

This project is SUPER flexible and you could use any combination of canvas sizes you want.  I purchased the canvases at Michael’s.  They go on sale quite a few times per year.  For example, here is a link to the 16×20″.  It is one of my favorite sizes.  It also looks FABULOUS above a fireplace or couch with a 20×30 in the middle of the 16×20’s.  I guess I just love the 4:5 ratio for some reason.

If it were above my mantel, I would replace the white 20×30 photo in the middle with a family photograph.

Here is a link to Wall Art Placement on Pinterest for inspiration on your space!

Supplies you will need:
-canvases (for this project I used 6 –  16×20 canvases  and 1 – 20×30 canvas OR you can also cheat and use a piece of foam core from the Dollar Store which is exactly 20×30″)
-photo posters (purchased through Costco – the 16×20 posters are $6.99/each and the 20×30 poster is $9.99)
-Mod podge (1-2 ounces per canvas)
-foam brush (3″ wide)
-a lint free cloth (like microfiber or lens cloth, etc.)
-optional:  old tablecloth or piece of plastic to go underneath the project

  1.  Have everything on hand in front of you.  The thin mod podge dries quickly, so you need to have everything sitting in front of you.  This should include the mod podge, foam brush, and…

Canvas Wall 8 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

the poster!  The canvases at Michael’s even come in black now – that might be really cool.  Just ignore the lid of glue in the photo…. that experiment didn’t work!

Canvas Wall 7 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri


2.  Gently pour 1-2 ounces of mod podge all over the canvas.  It should be a thin stream.  Spread this with a foam brush all over the canvas into a thin later.  Take care to get the corners very well.   My lovely assistant is demonstrating below.

Canvas Wall 5 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

3.  Very carefully, place the poster down onto the glued canvas.  Line of the edges and corners.  Don’t worry, you still have a little while before it dries to pull the poster to make sure it is completely straight and flush on the sides with the canvas.

Canvas Wall 4 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

4.  Allow it to dry a few hours and it is ready to hang!  My canvases have a lip on the back, so I just need nails.  No need to add the metal hangers!   Now, you want to be really creative, put mod podge on TOP of the poster and lay a piece of real canvas on top.  Remove the canvas immediately.  The mod podge will form a canvas-like texture on top!

*I know real photo canvases wrap around the canvas.  I thought about this – but this method I did here was so easy and I am happy with it!

Canvas Wall Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

DIY Tutu Dress

FLower Girl copy Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Hello Everyone!  It’s my first shared blog post between Mary Riley Photography blog and this one.  I haven’t had a craft on here in a long time and thought I would share this no sew project that was super easy to do and my little girl LOVES this dress.  She had to show her teachers immediately!

Fairy Girl 2 VigenetteMary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri copy 2

I saw a few dresses like the one below on Etsy and thought it would be so pretty for my little girl.  The prices were not as pretty 🙂  This is a NO SEW project.  I promise.  And not one fairy was harmed during this project.

This dress is great for just playing dress up, for a flower girl at a wedding, for a photo shoot or Halloween.  I cannot tell you how excited I was by how fast this project is to complete.  I made entire dress while rehearsing for “Beauty and the Beast” at the same time, so again pretty simple and fast.    The sky is the limit on color combinations – use the same color for a fairy type dress or use whatever favorite colors you like.

Lantern Girl Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri copy

As for the hair band… that is another project.  I found those on Etsy as well for around $25.   It cost about that amount at Michael’s unless you have 50% coupon.  The floral stems are 50% off sometimes.

Lantern Girl 4 Mary Riley Photography Wentzvill Misouri copy

The dress in the photo is about a size 7/8.  Skirt is 24″ long.  Crochet top is 10″ long.  Crochet top is 29-32″ in circumference.  I purchased the crochet top here.  I purchased the tulle here.  The top is Eggplant. The tulle is purple HOWEVER I had to color correct the skirt because their purple tulle looks blue in photographs.  If you know a place where you can preview the tulle and top let me know!  I would love to be able to see the color I am ordering first.

Lantern Girl 5 Copy Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Here is a place where you can view the tulle and purchase 25 yards for $1.99.  I haven’t used them yet though.

For a smaller size dress, there are 8″ lined crochet tops that are 7-8″ from top to bottom and 7-8″ wide and 22-24″ in circumference.

Lantern Girl 3 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri copy

Supplies you will need:

Helpful DIY Photos found HERE.

-a 10″ lined crochet top for a size 5-8 (I found mine here)  or a 8″ lined crochet top for a size 2-4  (can be found here)  **Check the description for accurate measurements!!**

-100 yards of tulle for a single skirt or 200 yards of tulle for a double skirt (I used just over 75 yards of tulle on the dress in the photo.  The skirt is 24″ long)


-a piece of plastic or cardboard that is the length of your skirt (not totally necessary, but makes life easier), so my skirt is 24″ so I used a 24″ long piece of cardboard

-crochet hook

  1.  Make sure the crochet top fits the girl first.
  2. Once the crochet top is on, measure from the bottom of the crochet top to where ever you want the tutu to stop.  Usually skirts go to the ankle, just below the knee, or between the knee and waist (with a bottom underneath).  I made this one to go to the ankle.  From crochet top to ankle was 24″.
  3. Now that we have our measurements, we can get started!  Find something that is the length of your tutu.  My quilter’s plastic omnigrid ruler just happened to be 24″ in length.  But you can use any scrap piece of cardboard cut down to the measurement you need.
  4. Wrap the tulle around the cardboard lengthwise.  Remember the end you started on (I place my left thumb there each time.)  I went through the entire 25 yard roll.  Then cut just ONCE on the end you started on.  Cut the short end.  This will create tulle strips that are DOUBLE the size you need.  You want to have strips that are 48″ for a 24″ tutu.  You want 38″ strips for a 19″ tutu.  Etc. Etc.  You can move to the next step and crochet this amount so you don’t over cut the amount of tulle you need, or guesstimate.  I used 3 full rolls of 25 yards in the tutu and just a little bit of the 4th roll.
  5. Take one strip and fold in half lengthwise.  Push your crochet hook up the bottom hole in the crochet top.  Hook the tulle you folded and pull through.  Now, tuck the tails through the hole.  Pull the tails and this will create the tutu.  Sometimes they don’t pull very well – I just work on each tail gently and it will eventually lay flat.  Do this all the way around the tutu.
  6. If you are really ambitious and want a fuller tutu, do this all over again in the second hold above the first.  Go all the way around the tutu again.
  7. To make the shoulder straps, I made two more strips.  I used my crochet hook to wrap them around the front and through the back.  Now I had two tails in the back.  (I just eye balled the placement.  I am pretty good at eye balling.  If you are not, I highly recommend to just simply use a ruler to make sure each strap is symmetrical on the dress.)
  8. Due to lack of any imagination, I tied a pretty bow in the back and that was it!  The bow held very well even while prancing and dancing around.
  9. Please wear shorts underneath these tutus – they can be see through.  If taking photos, try to find a pair of shorts that matches the color as best you can.

Fairy Girl Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri copy

For the Headband:

Helpful Youtube Video Here

  1.  Take the fold over elastic and put it around the person’s head (or someone of approximate size).  Cut to size.  I had it start and stop behind her ears.
  2. Remove stems from the flowers.
  3. Glue flowers inside the flowers if you like.  This is not necessary.  I thought it gave the headband some interest.  Then, I laid out the flowers the way I wanted them to look.
  4. Take the ribbon and cut two 10″ strips.  Enough to wrap around the end of the elastic and tie a bow on the back of the head.  Always go longer than you think here – it is much easier to cut it later.
  5. Hot glue the ribbon to the elastic.  Wrap the ribbon a couple of times around the end of the elastic and glue down.  Do again on the other side.
  6. Hot glue the flowers to the elastic starting from the middle of the design you laid out in step 3.  Work your way out to the ends.
  7. Allow to dry an hour or so.

Now dance outside!  You’re done!

Flower Girl 3 copy Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Snowman Candy Bar


Snowman Candybar Craft on Whisk Together-5402

Snowman Candybar Craft on Whisk Together-5399

Craft time!  Need something inexpensive to hand out for neighbor gifts?  Class parties?  Decorate another gift?  This is a craft I received last year and re-created it for you to download and make yourself.  I promised to credit Jean and Tammy for making them 🙂  I re-drew to the snowman and sewed more scarves and hats out of old fleece blankets that we do not use any more.  Felt would work just as well and is sold at craft stores like Michael’s.  Fleece is sold at most any fabric store.

What you will need per Snowman:

plain white copy paper
1 candy bar the same height as the Hershey milk chocolate bar 1.55 oz.
1 small piece of felt of fleece at least 14″ long
optional markers, colored pencils, etc.
transparent adhesive tape (e.g. Scotch tape)
twine or embroidery floss or narrow ribbon

1.  Download the printable.  Snowman Candy Bar Printable
Print on plain copy paper.  Cut along the solid line.  Fold in half and cut on the folded line (cutting it in the middle).  You will have two snowmen.

Snowman Candybar Craft on Whisk Together-5409

2.  Color the snowman with colored pencils or markers or just leave blank.

Snowman Candy Craft on Whisk Together-5408

3.  Wrap around the chocolate bar.  Secure with a piece of tape.

Snowman Candybar Craft on WHIsk Together-5412

4.  Cut a piece of fleece or felt 14″ by 1/2″.  Cut 1″ section on both ends to make the scarf look frayed.

Snowman Candybar Craft on Whisk Together-5410

5.  Sew a 4″x6″ piece of fleece to create a tube.  Sew it together on the 4″ side.

6.  Cut 1″ slits into the top to make the hat look frayed.  Take a piece of twine or string and tie a bow 1″ from the top.

7.  Wrap scarf around the snowman.

8.  Put the hat on his head.  Add embellishments if you wish!

Pumpkin Garland

Pumpkin Garland Craft on Whisk Together2-5442-2

Next week is Thanksgiving and while some of it is about making food, another part is decorating.  This is a super easy and fun pumpkin garland that we made at MOPS.  It was a huge hit!  The cost is very minimal and wouldn’t cost anything if you already have some scrap paper and a couple yards of ribbon or twine laying around the house.  Target often has 20+yards of twine in their dollar bin, so I pick it up every once in a while.

The paper I used was cardstock and scrapbook paper.  You could use photographs, old Christmas cards, blank paper the kids have colored – or anything you can cut!

Pumpkin Garland Craft on WHisk Together-5445

One mom had a FABulous idea:  take the garland and then put a grandchild’s photo in the middle of each pumpkin.  It will be their gift for Thanksgiving.

Another idea:  have the kids write what they are thankful for on each oval.


Pumpkin Garland Craft
Supplies needed:

9-10 sheets of cardstock or scrapbook paper for the pumpkins
1 sheet of brown cardstock or paper for the stems
7 feet of ribbon or twine
Hole punch
Glue stick or 1/4″ foam adhesive squares

Here is a photo of the foam adhesive squares:

pumpkin garland on Whisk Together

1.  Print out the template onto the paper you want to make the pumpkins.


Pumpkin Garland

Pumpkin Garland

Alternatively, just print the sheet on normal copy paper and use it to trace the ovals.  You may want to make just one set of templates from cardstock so that you can trace them on a variety of sheets of paper.

How many do you need?  My fireplace is about 6 feet wide.  I needed 8 pumpkins with 3 ovals each.  That is 24 ovals each.  If you want the pumpkins different in the middle like I did, you need 8 ovals of different paper and 16 ovals of orange cardstock.

Or, you could make a 4 oval pumpkin too.  The choices are endless!

2.  Cut out the ovals.  Use the stem to cut the stem out of brown cardstock.

pumpkin garland3 on Whisk Together

3.  Assemble the pumpkins as shown overlapping them.  I have seem them made with the top coming together as shown.  I also saw examples of the pumpkin straight across.  It is all in your preference.

Glue with glue stick or or foam adhesive.

pumpkin garland4 on Whisk Together

4.  Attach stems with glue stick.

5.  Punch a hole on either side of the pumpkin with a hole puncher.

6.  Thread the ribbon or twine through the pumpkins.  Hang up on a fireplace, blank wall or above an entryway!

Pumpkin Garland Craft on Whisk Together-5442-2

Ghoul You are Boo-tiful Candy Craft

Ghoul Candy Craft-5427 on Whisk Together

Book Review:  It is my turn for Book Club this month and we are reading one of my favorites of the last 5 years: “The Last Child” by John Hart.  John Hart won the Edgar Award for this novel and his previous one as well.  The only person to win the Edgar Award for consecutive novels, Hart weaves the disappearance (and assumed murder) of his twin sister Alyssa with the exploration of the dark side of his hometown.  One of my favorites – just make sure to not let the prologue throw you.  The prologue is very slow, but once you get into chapter one and two the mystery unfolds and the action moves faster.

Ghoul Candy Craft-5432 on Whisk Together

Craft:  So many Halloween crafts and goodies!  I am placing these at each seat at our MOPS table on Monday as a little treat for Halloween and a reminder that each one of our ladies is beautiful (inside and out!).  You could use them as a fun neighbor gift, tag for a gift, place setting for Halloween, a teacher gift, frame it for your BFF, etc.

Ghoul Candy Craft-5430 on Whisk Together

The kids and I put these together in less than 10 minutes.  Crunch bars work the best because they have a tight wrapper and 90 degree corners inside.  Milky Way and Snickers WILL work, but I found them difficult with the loose wrapper and rounded edges.  Any candy in the shape of a square or rectangle should work!  Even DOTS boxes!

*The printable is completely free.  I want to give the blogger credit who created it, so the link goes to her website and the printable is there to download.  You don’t need to sign up for anything at all*

What you need:

the printable printed on cardstock or at photo center
-rounded corner punch (optional)
-Crunch candy bars or Dots or any candy with 90 degree angles
-Glue Dots (Zots)

*Alternative Idea:  Print on your printer or the print center and frame it into a photo frame.  You could even add glue dots to the outside of the photo frame and use candy, candy corn, etc. for decoration.

Step One:
Print the Halloween Printable on cardstock or photo paper or have a photo center print it for you.

Ghoul Candy Craft-5419 on Whisk Together

Step Two:
Use the Rounded Corner Punch to round the corners if you wish.  This was entirely optional.

Step Three:
Place glue dot on the back center of the printable.

Ghoul Candy Craft-5422 on Whisk Together

Step Four:
Adhere the long, narrow side of the candy to the printable.

Step Five:
Stand it up!  Hand it out!

Ghoul Candy Craft-5429 on Whisk Together

Ghoul Candy Craft-5420 on Whisk Together

Homemade Deodorant

Homemade Deodorant on Whisk Together


Book:  I started reading “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman.  Our church did the bible study a few years back and the reviews are quite… interesting.  One of those books that has 5 star reviews or 1 star reviews and not much in the middle.  Either you are a “fan” of “Not a Fan”… or you’re not I guess.  🙂    There is one passage regarding Jesus preaching in today’s world I found interesting…  “Woe to you fans, if you would be as passionate about feeding the poor as you are your church’s style of worship, then world hunger would end this week.  Woe to you fans, if you sacrificed as much to care for the homeless and hungry in the community as you do for your church building or place of worship, the need would be wiped out.  Woe to you fans, if you would be as zealous about caring for the sick as you are about a ‘Christmas Tree’ being called a ‘holiday tree’, health insurance wouldn’t be a problem.”

I finished “Matched” and started on book#2 of Ally Condie’s series “Crossed”.  I really like “Matched”, but I just don’t like “Crossed” and would not recommend it.  It is really boring.  I have no empathy for the main character.  She already loves two guys and didn’t bring down the government like I thought she would.  Pretty much everyone else on Goodreads agrees, too!  I still enjoyed “Matched” though.

Recipe:  Odds are you may already have the ingredients for homemade deodorant at home!   This weather is perfect for starting to try homemade deodorant because of the way coconut oil solidifies best under 70 degrees.  I love this stuff and had to share the great results I had with it!

Why make homemade deodorant?

1.  Most deodorant on the market contains aluminum.  Homemade deodorant does not contain aluminum which MAY cause cancer and Alzheimer’s.  As with many alleged cancer-causing items we eat or apply, there are two debating camps about whether or not aluminum causes cancer which is a main ingredient in many deodorants.  You will see it in the ingredients on the back.  One camp, such as WebMD, states there is nothing to worry about.  Another camp is still not convinced and worried about our health.   Some studies show that it may cause or contribute to breast cancer or Alzheimer’s or bone disease.  So… why risk it?  When you have two items that cost the same, might as well use the one that might not give you cancer.

2.  One less extra thing to buy.  As for a cost basis… I think homemade is going to cost about the same.

3.  It works better!  I workout 5 times a week and love the stuff.  I actually think I am less smelly after a workout.

4.  Homemade stuff smells the way you want it to.  I am someone who doesn’t like perfume, cologne, etc.  Some of the deodorants really bother me and this one doesn’t because it smells like coconut for 30 seconds.  Then the scent is gone.

5.  No white residue:  I don’t wear a ton of black tank tops…. but I haven’t noticed any white residue like my old Speedstick.

6.  No stains:  I have been testing this stuff for 4 weeks and no stains have appeared on any of my clothes.

Here is where you can purchase empty deodorant containers – LINK.

Homemade Deoderant
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
  • 6 Tb. coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • a few drops essential oils (optional and personal preference)
  1. In a large bowl, mash everything up with a fork. It will come together in a few minutes. Store in an airtight container or an old, empty deodorant container.
I found it easier to apply when it is colder outside and around 68 degrees inside the house. After 74-75 degrees, the coconut oil becomes less solid, but not liquid.


Fall Fabric Wreath

Fall Rag Wreath on Whisk Together-4913

Book:  Our bible study was talking about “serving” this past weekend which is funny because I’ve also been reading Bob Goff’s bestselling book “Love Does.”  It is a fantastic book about loving people and doing something about it.  The chapters are 2 pages each and only little 5 minute stories.  He spoke at our MOPS Convention while carrying a giant silver bucket.  Why?  My son’s school introduced a concept called “Fill someone’s bucket.”  Basically, we all have a bucket.  It is filled or emptied by what others say or do to us.  When we act or say something positive to someone else, we are filling their bucket.  Simultaneously, you are filling your own bucket, too!  Because we feel good making others feel good.  When we make others feel bad, you are emptying their bucket.  We feel bad when our bucket is empty — drained of energy.  In contrast, filling your bucket and other buckets to the brim in good sayings and deeds — gives you energy.

I believe the bottom line is that when you help other people, you are helping yourself.  It reminds me of the story of Bob the Streetcat.  If you haven’t read or seen the youtube video, it is pretty cute.  This London man, James Bowen, was at the bottom of the barrel.  He was trying to break his habit of drug use, living in low or no income housing, no future and living on the streets for money and food.  Then this ginger cat found him and wouldn’t leave his side.  James Bowen stopped thinking about James Bowen’s needs and started thinking outward – about what Bob needed.  He focused away from himself and on another creature.  As a result, James’ happiness increased, then his income, then his fame.   Or fame then income….  Whatever the case.  Happiness, then success.  Not the other way around.

Fall Rag Wreath on Whisk Together-4915

Craft:  I have quite a few more Fall recipes still to post, but I just had to post this super duper cute fabric wreath that we made at our MOPS meeting a couple weeks ago.  It cost very little in money to make and you may even have everything to make it already in your house!  How cool is that?  I think I want to make a different one for every month of the year.  A green one for March, a red/pink one for Febrauary, pastels for April, etc.

Notes about fabric:  This wreath will look best of course with coordinating fabric.  The least expensive I could find quickly was Joann’s Quilter’s Showcase.  It is 40% off almost all of the time, or you can get coupons online.  The colors are current with the season and I found the fabric a nice quality.

In order to keep the cost down, I purchased half the fabric from the quilter’s showcase and half muslin.  I picked the off-white muslin with flecks in it since that seemed more fall-ish.  The white muslin would be pretty with Christmas or Valentine’s I think.

The wire hangers are cheap or free.  Alternatively, you can do a larger and fuller wreath using a wreath form.  The least expensive one is a 18″ wreath form at Dollar Tree.

Wreath on Whisk Together
(photo credit: Lori Gibson)

To Make for a Large Crowd:  We pre-cut all of the fabric and let everyone choose their own.  Instead of counting 150 pieces for each person, I weighed the fabric and you need 75 grams of strips.  So if you need a quick way to count what to take back to your seat, then all you need is a food scale.  I purchased 6 yards of nice pretty fabric and 6 yards of muslin.  The total cost came to about $3 per person.

What you Need
1 yard of fabric
1 wire hanger
duct/duck tape
optional: 3″ ribbon

How Long It Will Take
1 hour to make and 30 minutes to prep

1.  Cut the fabric into 1″ x 6″ strips.
2.  Take the hanger and unwrap the hook.  It was easier than a thought!  Unwind the wire.  This will be your wreath.
3.  Wrap duck tape around the wire that you just unwrapped.  This will hold it in place.
4.  Shape the wire hanger into a circle at this point.  It is much easier to tweak and shape AFTER the duck tape secures the wire.
5.  Take the fabric pieces and tie each one around the “wreath” wire. Bunch them together and it will look fuller.  At the end, you can move them around and fluff up the fabric.  Don’t worry about it while making it.
6.  Once you have tied all the fabric around the wire, you can fluff it up and twist pieces around.
7.  Tie a ribbon into a bow at the top or bottom.  And/or use the ribbon to secure it to the wreath hook.

Feel free to add your own objects!  My clever friend added that$5 piece from Target to her wreath above and it turned out absolutely beautiful!

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