Friday, February 24, 2012

Let's Start a Fire

My husband and I hate to waste. When it comes to our crafts (sewing for me and wood for him) we are even more miserly. I will keep every last little scrap of fabric in the hopes that I can use it for something in the future. If you have seen my pony tail holders, you know what I have been doing with my scraps recently. Well, out in the wood-shop, aka my garage, there are plenty of scraps. Justin keeps just about every piece. If its too small to create with, we use it as firewood. We actually had an entire evening's fire the other day using only scrap wood left over from other projects.

Justin has been making a lot with Cedar recently. We had a fallen tree in our back yard last year and it was screaming to be made into something wonderful. The aroma coming out of the garage has been great. It does smell a bit like a hamster cage but I love it. When the lathe is in use, we don't just have left over wood, we have large curls of saw dust. Lots and lots and lots of saw dust.
I wish you could smell it through your screen. Isn't it great? We knew we just had to find something to do with it. Last year we took the finer sawdust and used it as mulch in some of the more remote areas in our backyard. That did not seem like the best way to use this stuff though. Finally, Justin found the perfect use during an Internet search.... Fire Starters!

Here is what we did.... First we went to Hobby Lobby and picked up a huge block of wax. This stuff was not cheap but with a 40% off coupon, it was not so bad.
Next we bought an inexpensive muffin tin. I really didn't want to ruin mine with wax and wood shavings. Yuck. I wanted large fire starters so I bought the jumbo muffin tin. We filled the tins generously with the shavings.
Next came the boring part. We used a hammer to break the wax into small pieces and created a water boil set up with a pan of hot water and a measuring cup. Once the water boiled, I put wax in the measuring cup and waited...and waited, for the wax to melt.
Once it melted, I added more until I had a decent amount of wax in the cup. I poured the wax right on top of the wood shavings and then smooshed them down with a plastic spoon. We really wanted to get a lot of wood chips in there so after the wax hardened a bit, we added more shavings and then more wax. We wanted to leave a nice amount of the shavings on the top for the fire to catch so the wax was about half way up each muffin tin. After the wax hardened for about an hour, we took a knife and got them loose. To our surprise, they popped right out! I think they look wonderful and they smell great too.

Now the best part of the entire process, THEY WORK! Just put one in your fireplace and light it. They catch fire immediately and they burn long enough to get a really good fire going. As a bonus, they smell good too. No more buying those chemical filled fire starters any more. We don't even need to use newspapers. What's also great is that they look adorable sitting in a basket next to my fire place.

Variations: When we initially searched for these, we found them made in dixie cups and in paper muffin wrappers. Both can be placed directly into the fire as the paper burns right along with the rest. We decided to go as naturally as possible and I like the look of ours way better. A little more rustic and natural looking :-)

Have you tried any new projects lately? I would love read about it. Post a comment or link below.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Mega Giveaway Winner!!!

First of all I would like to thank everyone who entered the mega giveaway! I had SO much fun reading all your comments. All in all, we ended up having 56 total entries! Fantastic!

And the winner is.... drum rolls please.... random number generator...

(Nice little screen shot from my phone). Yeah to #24! It's Kristen (by the book paper)! Congrats to you Kristen!! I am so excited to get you all these fabulous goodies! Let' s recap on what they are...

From LeeBeeDees - An adorable headband in any custom color combination!

From Idle Hands Crochet Arts - A fantastic crocheted scarf in this awesome blue color

From Visualized By Christy- These adorable vehicle crayons

And from Stamped With Love- A super cute Happy Camper key chain

So, congrats again to Kristen! And thank you again to all that entered. An extra special thanks to the 4 wonderful, crafty women who donated these killer items for this giveaway.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Mega Giveaway

I am SO excited to be able to do this next giveaway. At 10pm on Friday, February 10th, one lucky winner will chosen at random to receive all 4 prizes described below. That's right! We have FOUR different shops giving away their items this week. The winner gets ALL of the items that you see below. There are many, many, ways to enter. You can do just one or all of the tasks to increase your chances. Before we talk about entering, let's introduce these awesome shops!

Shop #1

LeeBeeDees - Shop owner Lea is from Washington. She is a stay at home mom to two little ones. She sells adorable crocheted items including hats, headbands, and toys.
The item being give away this week is a wonderful crocheted headband. Winner gets to pick the colors and have it specially made just for them.

Shop #2

Idle Hands Crochet Arts- This shop also calls Washington home. Shop owner Luci has been creating magic with her hands for over 25 years. She makes wonderful scaves, gloves, hats, and more for adults. Here is a sample from her shop.

This week she is giving away one of her fantastic scarves. This blue chunky scarf is one of my favorites.

Shop #3

Visualized By Christy- Alabama shop owner, Christy, calls herself creative and crazy. She make wonderful shaped crayons that are perfect for kids of all ages and make wonderful party favors.
The winner of this week's giveaway will win a set of 5 of her vehicles crayons. Aren't they adorable?

Shop #4

Stamped With Love- I would like to think that shop owner Erica has become a cyber "friend" of mine. I have purchased a few of her items and they are top notch. She is my go-to store for hand stamped jewelry. She has just launched a new line of stamped copper items made from your child's actual footprint. How cool! This shop calls Indiana home. Let's take a peek into her shop,
For this giveaway, Stamped With Love is giving away one of her great happy camper customized keychains.

So... the big question is, how do you enter? For every task you complete from the list below, you get one entry. You may do one or all of them- it's totally up to you. Simply leave a comment below every time you complete a task. Don't forget to leave a way for me to contact you!

One entry per task completed:
Follow the DeMoss Designs blog
Visit DeMoss Designs on Etsy and leave a link to your favorite item
"Like" DeMoss Designs on Facebook
Visit LeeBeeDees on Etsy and leave a link to your favorite item
"Like" LeeBeeDees on Facebook
Visit IdleHandsCrochetArts on Etsy
"Like" IdleHandsCrochetArts on Facebook
Follow IdleHandsCrochetArts on Twitter
Visit the IdleHandsCrochet website
Visit Visualized By Christy on Etsy and leave a link to your favorite item
Visit Stamped with Love on Etsy and leave a link to your favorite item
"Like" the Stamped with Love facebook page

Remember, this giveaway ends at 10pm EST on Friday, February 10th. One winner will be chosen at random from all the entries and that one person will win all 4 items. I will contact the winner and get them in touch with the shops as some of the items are custom made. Good Luck!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

This has been an interesting week for me. I have one TWO contests in the past three days! Woo Hoo! Don't they say good things come in 3s? Perhaps something else is waiting around the corner. Here's what I have won...

I won a $20 gift certificate to this great shop on Etsy called Jesse Anne Designs. She makes awesome jewelry and I can't wait to spend my winnings. Here are a few things I am considering,

Great stuff right? They are all beautiful so I am not quite sure how I am going to decide.

Next I won a radio concert. Crazy! So it was one of those typical call in, answer a question, win a prize kind of deals. I admit I call in for this contest about once a week. It always plays on my way to work and I really have nothing else to do (except drive) so I call if I think I have a chance. They never tell you the prize up front but typically it is tickets to a movie or bowling or something.

So the question: 43% of Americans will do this the day after the Super Bowl
Answer: Re-watch the commercials on-line

Yippie! I won. But what did I win? Tickets to see Andy Grammer in concert. This Thursday. And tickets to a sound check party prior to the show. Well, I am not really the concert type. I really like music but I only go to a concert about once a year. I can jam to the radio but I rarely know who sings the songs that I know all the words to. And, this is on a school night. This mother of 3 never goes out on a school night :-) I immediately called my husband, first asked him to google the band to see who in the world it is, then told him to get a sitter. We are going out! I think we will skip the sound check party to save a little cash on the baby sitter but this mommy will have a great Thursday night! Here is a video so you can jam along with me,

Well I have a feeling this is the end of my big winnings this week but it's not yours. Tomorrow starts a BIG giveaway on my blog. There will be 4 different Etsy shops giving away a great item and the winner of the giveaway gets them ALL! Check back tomorrow to see the items and to enter! See you tomorrow!