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free crochet pattern: black-and-white crochet teething ring

Ever since our little Bubba was born in September, I have been on the lookout for toys for him. Sadly, almost everything commercially available and marketed to ages 0 months+ is not necessarily age-appropriate for clumsy newborns and their tiny hands. Toys I found were either too thick to grasp; too heavy for the accidental, yet inevitable drops on the little one’s face; or overly stimulating with way too many colours, textures, and sounds in a single item.

I knew if I wanted him to play with something different, I’d have to create it myself.

{What I didn’t know was how hard it’d be to find a minute here and there to finish the project. What would have normally taken me less than a single afternoon took me almost three weeks with a brand-new newborn at home!}

As I suspected, this simple high-contrast black and white squeeze-and-suck ring has quickly become one of B’s favourite toys.

Crochet Teether Toy by JaKiGu

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crochet pattern: simple picture frame

I wanted to make these for a long, long time.

Crochet picture frames can be customized to fit any decor, they store well when not in use, they are washable and pretty much unbreakable – and they make wonderful, budget-friendly hostess gifts, or gifts for baby showers and house-warming parties. What’s more, they are ultra-easy and super-fast to make. A perfect afternoon project!

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free recipe: homemade lip balm

Some things are so easy to make it’s a shame not everyone knows about them. Homemade chapstick is one of them. To make your own single tube of nourishing and moisturizing lip balm, you need only a handful of readily available ingredients –  many of them probably lurking around in your kitchen already.

You don’t even need any fancy containers. Reuse your old chapstick tube. Scrape out as much of the old balm as you can, and then immerse it in a bowl of hot water. Wipe the softened leftovers away, and the tube is ready to be used again. Alternatively, you can use any little tin, pill box – even that extra contact lens case from the back of your bathroom drawer!

Ready to get started? Assemble your ingredients:

  • grated beeswax (0.7 grams, or about 1/4 tsp, packed)
  • extra virgin olive oil (1.0 gram, or about 1/8 tsp)
  • coconut oil (0.7 grams, or about 1/8 tsp)
  • shea butter (0.7 grams, or about 1/8 tsp)
  • apricot kernel oil (optional, 3 drops)
  • tea tree essential oil (optional, 3 drops)
  • sweet orange essential oil (optional, 6 drops)

That’s it.

This lip balm will coat your lips with soothing goodness – and it will stay on. Its  gentle, sweet scent of honey and orange in combination with the healing powers of tea tree oil and the skin-softening properties of apricot kernel and olive oils create a truly luxurious lip treatment experience.

Of course, you are more than welcome to use any of your favourite essential oil combinations – or leave them out altogether to keep it pure and simple.

The only thing simpler than these 7 wholesome, natural ingredients might be the process itself. It’s like re-heating an already cooked meal in a microwave. Seriously.

  1. In a microwave-safe dish, combine beeswax, olive oil, and coconut oil.
  2. Heat until melted, about 50-60 seconds.
  3. Add shea butter. Stir to melt.
  4. Add apricot kernel oil and essential oils,  if using. Stir well.
  5. Immediately pour into a container of choice.
  6. Let set for about an hour.
  7. Enjoy!

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starry night pendant

Inspired by these earrings, the Starry Night Pendant is now the newest addition to JaKiGu jewelry collection.

The neat thing about it is that it is reversible. It can be worn speckle-side up for an extra dose of sparkle, or as a plain, solid-coloured pendant that adds just a little pop of colour to an outfit.

It’s totally customizable – and available in 12 custom colours.

My favourites are smokey quartz gray and emerald green. What are yours?

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everlasting lace ring in turquoise, blue, and chocolate

In the beginning, there were three seemingly random materials: sterling silver wire, resin, and thread.

The lace-maker in me patiently twisted and braided the thread into a piece of bobbin lace just like my great-grandmother used to.

The eager metal-smith in me carefully shaped and finished the wire to form a durable and comfortable ring base, which the free-spirited chemist in me happily filled with custom-dyed resin.

Where past meets present; where tradition meets modernity; where science meets art — that’s where everlasting lace lives. I love knowing that there’s much more to this minimalist ring than what meets the eye.