How to DIY Decorative Tree from Old Newspaper

How to DIY Decorative Tree from Old Newspaper

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Here is a super cute idea to recycle old newspaper and make a decorative tree. It looks so unique and beautiful. It’s very easy to make and doesn’t require weaving skill at all. Just some twisting and wrapping will do. You can work with your kids on it and they can learn the concept of recycling. I am sure they will have fun creating this beautiful piece of craft with their own hand. This decorative tree is a nice decoration for your home. Happy crafting!

Follow these eight easy steps to creative your finished newspaper tree!!!



Here are the supplies you may need:

  • Old newspaper;
  • Wire;
  • Glue;
  • Paint and brush;
  • Paper.

13 Evidence-Based Medicinal Properties of Coconut Oil

  • Fat-burning: Ironic, isn’t it? A saturated fat which can accelerate the loss of midsection fat (the most dangerous kind). Well, there are now two solid, human studies showing just two tablespoons a day (30 ml), in both men and women, is capable of reducing belly fat within 1-3 months.
  • Brain-Boosting: A now famous study, published in 2006 in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, showed that the administration of medium chain triglycerides (most plentifully found in coconut oil) in 20 subjects with Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment, resulted in significant increases in ketone bodies (within only 90 minutes after treatment) associated with measurable cognitive improvement in those with less severe cognitive dysfunction.[i]
  • Clearing Head Lice: When combined with anise spray, coconut oil was found to be superior to the insecticide permethrin (.43%).[ii]
  • Healing Wounds: Coconut has been used for wound healing since time immemorial.  Three of the identified mechanisms behind these healing effects are its ability to accelerate re-epithelialization, improve antioxidant enzyme activity, and stimulate higher collagen cross-linking within the tissue being repaired.[iii]  Coconut oil has even been shown to work synergistically with traditional treatments, such as silver sulphadizine, to speed burn wound recovery.[iv]
  • NSAID Alternative: Coconut oil has been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and fever-reducing properties.[v]
  • Anti-Ulcer Activity: Interestingly, coconut milk (which includes coconut oil components), has been shown to be as effective as the conventional drug sucralfate as an NSAID-associated anti-ulcer agent.[vi]
  • Anti-Fungal: In 2004, 52 isolates of Candida species were exposed to coconut oil. The most notorious form, Candida albicans, was found to have the highest susceptibility. Researchers remarked: “Coconut oil should be used in the treatment of fungal infections in view of emerging drug-resistant Candida species.”[vii]
  • Testosterone-Booster: Coconut oil was found to reduce oxidative stress in the testes of rats, resulting in significantly higher levels of testosterone.[viii]
  • Reducing Swollen Prostate: Coconut oil has been found to reduce testosterone-induced benign prostate growth in rats.[ix]
  • Improving Blood Lipids: Coconut oil consistently improves the LDL:HDL ratio in the blood of those who consume it.  Given this effect, coconut oil can nolonger be dismissed for being ‘that saturated fat which clogs the arteries.’
  • Fat-Soluble Nutrient Absorption: Coconut oil was recently found to be superior to safflower oil in enhancing tomato carotenoid absorption.[x]
  • Bone Health: Coconut oil has been shown to reduce oxidative stress within the bone, which may prevent structural damage in osteoporotic bone.[xi] [Note: Osteoporosis is a Myth, as presently defined by the T-Score]
  • Sunscreen: Coconut oil has been shown to block out UV rays by 30%. Keep in mind that this is good, insofar as UVA rays are damaging to the skin, whereas UVB rays are highly beneficial (when exposure is moderate).[i]  Make sure to check this list of other sun-blocking oils.
  • Of course, when speaking about coconut oil, we are only looking at one part of the amazing coconut palm.  Each component, including coconut hull fiber, coconut protein and coconut water has experimentally confirmed therapeutic applications.


  • [i] Mark A Reger, Samuel T Henderson, Cathy Hale, Brenna Cholerton, Laura D Baker, G S Watson, Karen Hyde, Darla Chapman, Suzanne Craft . Effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults. Neurobiol Aging. 2004 Mar;25(3):311-4. PMID: 15123336
  • [iii] K G Nevin, T Rajamohan . Effect of topical application of virgin coconut oil on skin components and antioxidant status during dermal wound healing in young rats. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2010 ;23(6):290-7. Epub 2010 Jun 3. PMID: 20523108
  • [xi] Mouna Abdelrahman Abujazia, Norliza Muhammad, Ahmad Nazrun Shuid, Ima Nirwana Soelaiman. The Effects of Virgin Coconut Oil on Bone Oxidative Status in Ovariectomised Rat. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012 ;2012:525079. Epub 2012 Aug 15. PMID: 22927879

Why attend a Creative Conference?

        An interview with Vennice James

Welcome to our interview series about attending creative conferences! Since our Craftcation Conference is just around the corner (March 26-29, 2015) we wanted to share some tips and advice for making the most of your experience at Craftcation or other creative conferences. Usually you hear from Delilah and me singing the praises of creative conferences and offering tips to make the most of your time and money at a conference. This year we decided to mix it up and ask our attendees about their experiences and advice for conference attendees. Over the next seven weeks join us here every Tuesday for an interview with Craftcation attendees.

As I read through these interviews I was amazed at all the wonderful insight attendees have gotten about their businesses and creative life. We’ll hear from a variety of attendees sharing tips on how to choose the right conference for you, how to prepare, how their businesses have changed from what they learned, how to meet people and form lasting bonds with fellow attendees, what you should pack and more. Whether you’re a creative entrepreneur or a maker, if you’re ready to take the leap and make 2015 the best year yet for your business and/or creativity and expand your community, Craftcation registration is open now. Join us for four inspiring days of hands-on craft and food workshops, business classes and community events like our ever-famous dance party and opening dinner.

This week we’re super excited to share the interview we did with three-time Craftcation attendee Vennice James. I feel lucky I got to know Vennice at the first Craftcation. She’s such a joy to be around-always smiling, positive, creative and fun. I also love that she juggles several creative businesses like hair styling and being a yoga teacher (which aren’t the typical kinds of businesses most Craftcation attendees have), yet she’s able to use the information and connections she makes at Craftcation to grow her businesses, creativity and community. I look forward to hanging out with Vennice and her crew of awesome friends she always brings at Craftcation 2015. I love what Vennice said about Craftcation below.

“By attending this conference I’ve been able to evaluate and analyze my crafty business venture. I feel I have the tools and information to build my crafty business after attending Craftcation. My artistic and creative pursuits have grown beyond my expectations.”

-Nicole S.

Now onto the interview…

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Vennice James Estrada. I am a hair stylist, yoga teacher and mad crafter. I’m a lover all of things creative! You can find me online: Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Etsy.

What conferences have you been to?

I have attended Craftcation for the past three years. I also attend at least three trade shows and/or additional training to stay current and sharpen my skills for my career in the beauty industry.

How do you choose what conference to go to?

I choose a conference based on the classes and the presenters. If the conference is offering a class I’ve been wanting to take or features presenters I’ve always wanted to meet, work with or learn from, I’m in!

Why is it worth it to go to a conference?

Conferences are valuable for so many reasons. Working solo can make it difficult to meet people, this is the mecca of crafty loners. I love being surrounded by creative people in an artistic environment. It’s a great place to get inspired and reignite your creativity. I’m not technically savvy so business classes are a must attended for growing my business.

How has your business or creative pursuit changed after going to conferences?

By attending this conference I’ve been able to evaluate and analyze my crafty business venture. I feel I have the tools and information to build my crafty business after attending Craftcation. My artistic and creative pursuits have grown beyond my expectations.

What are your tips for conference goers on a budget?

If you’re on a budget try to share a room or carpool. Take advantage of free meals even if you have to get there early or show up for the last sandwich. Use coupons and look for discounts. I always bring an electric tea kettle so I can have tea, coffee, oatmeal & ramen. This saves me time and money.

What was your first conference like?

The first year of Craftcation blew my mind! There were over 300 crafty chicks in one space who all wanted to learn and create! People are really friendly and helpful. I love that the Crown Plaza is temporally turned into a colorful buzzing creative space!

What was one of your best conference moments?

I’ve had a lot of amazing experiences at Craftcation with some of the most amazingly unique and creative people I have ever encountered. The first year I signed up for jam making with Delilah. I had no idea she was one of the master minds behind Craftcation. I partnered up with a gal named KC and we are still friends. I took this jam making skill to heart. I taught my Mom and now we do it together.

Have you connected with new people at a conference and what are your tips for attendees (especially introverts) to network at conferences?

Everyone has a name tag and that helps to break the ice with people. Remember most people are nervous and want to meet you too, they just don’t know it yet. Give out your business cards and ask people for their contact information. I’ve received mini zines, tiny cookies and lots of postcards instead of a typical business card. I’ve met many people and have made several connections. Social media makes it easy to find people and keep in touch.

What are the essential things you bring (or wish you had brought) to a conference?

Don’t start packing without checking the weather. Pack comfy walking shoes and clothes. If you’re going to do yoga bring your mat or at least a beach towel. As I mentioned earlier, I always pack an electric tea kettle so I can have unlimited coffee, tea, oatmeal and ramen. This saves me time and money. Drink emergency or vitamin C packs to keep your immune system up. Small crock pots, record players, and quilts have been spotted in crafter’s rooms. If you’re flying and or sharing a room head phones are essential! I also like a giant scarf that can double as a blanket or cover up.

How do you prepare for going to a conference?

I prepare by checking my tickets and class schedule. Then I read over directions and times. I print out the schedule and hang it on the wall. This way I can see the entire line up for the week.

How do you make the most out of your conference experience?

I like to journal so I can remember things I saw and did. I take photos, videos and even voice record some lectures. Enjoy yourself and try something new. Don’t be too rigid with yourself. If the beach is calling your name, go put your feet in the sand.

How do you apply what you’ve learned to your business/creative pursuit?

I try to practice or instill what I’ve learned as soon as I get home. I connect with people right away thru email and social media.

Best Firewood to Use & DIY All Natural Firestarters

It has been beautiful in the daytime here in the Appalachian Mountains, but it gets cool at night, and a good fire is so cozy. Winter days can be more comfortable with a fire in the wood stove and summer nights are just more fun with a bonfire. But not all wood is the same, so let’s talk about choosing the best firewood.

Which wood is best for fireplaces? Which wood has the best heat value? And how can you make your own firestarters? I’ve got the answers right here!

Choosing the Best Firewood for Heat Value

Not all wood is created equally. Some will burn fast with little heat, while some burns slower and puts out more heat. Here’s a list of the best types of wood to use for the best heat value:

  • Elm
  • Hickory
  • Oak
  • Beech
  • Ash
  • Mesquite
  • Hop Hornbeam
  • Locust
  • Cherry
  • Hawthorn
  • Rowan (Mountain Ash)

In general, one cord of wood can equal 200-250 gallons of fuel oil. Wood is not cheap anymore, at least not like it was when I was younger. A cord of wood can run around $200 for aged oak, less for some other types. Be sure your wood is aged from 6 months to a year. Green wood can have a lot of moisture in it, which can cause spitting and crackling. Bubbles or steam indicate a moisture content of 25% or more. While that may be romantic, this is often an indication of sap besides the moisture.

Sap, or resin, can cause buildup of deposits on the inside of your flue, creosote being one. These deposits can catch fire easily and are a cause of many chimney fires each year.  Be sure to have your chimney inspected and cleaned yearly. Stay away from pine and it’s relatives.  They contain the highest sap content.

While green wood is not good to burn, it can be much easier to split. Split your wood in the summer and stack it with a tarp over it to keep rain off. You can discourage bugs from inhabiting your wood pile by sprinkling diatomaceous earth around the perimeter. Any bugs that crawl through it will carry it with them and work it’s magic. Apply it to cracks and crevices if bugs seem to be a problem. (Find diatomaceous earth here.)


Coppicing is an old method of producing firewood from an existing tree. Typically a tree is cut down and left alone. When the stump has no tree to put it’s energy into, it can produce shoots, often called water sprouts or suckers.  Some trees are better at suckering than others. These include:

  • Birch
  • Oak
  • Alder
  • Hazel
  • Hop Hornbeam
  • Ash
  • Sweet Chestnut

Sweet chestnut is the tree of choice in England. Coppicing has been done with these trees for centuries. Coppicing has not found a place here in the US yet, at least not on a large scale. Some trees can be harvested in a few years, such as birch, which can be cut into brush bundles in 3-4 years. Some varieties, like oak, can take decades. Most trees will produce usable coppice wood in 7-20 years.

Easy Homemade Fire Starters

To get your fire started, you can take paper or cardboard and light it beneath twigs. Then add more wood, gradually getting sticks that are bigger around, until you get to a log. Sound easy? It really can be, but sometimes wood can be harder to start. I make my own fire starters from scrap shavings and old candles.

DIY Fire Starters

Place a few muffin liners in a muffin pan. Fill them about half way with wood shavings. Melt some wax and drizzle it over the shavings. Allow them to harden and store them in a quart jar. To use them, place one under some crumpled newspaper with a few twigs placed over it. Light the edge of the muffin liner and it will burn readily. I take these camping just in case the wood is wet when I get to my campsite. Scrape off the wet wood on some twigs and use the firestarter to get your fire started. The wood will dry out the rest of the way and burn nicely.

Another simple fire starter you can make requires a few things you may already be throwing away or recycling. Save your empty toilet paper rolls and dryer lint. Wrap dryer lint in some newspaper, scrunch it up, and insert into toilet paper tubes. These can be stored in a jar or zip-top plastic bag until needed. (Note: If using these DIY fire starters, you’ll want to make sure you’re using natural laundry methods so you don’t have chemicals from dryer sheets or other commercial laundry products present in the dryer lint that’s burning.)

Using Your Ashes and Char

When your fire is done and all the heat is gone, you can sprinkle the ashes in your garden. Don’t apply more than a light sprinkle a few times a year, or the soil pH may end up too high. Wood ashes can also be sprinkled on wood or concrete in the winter to prevent slips and falls. The larger pieces of charred wood can be placed in your compost for a while to absorb nutrients and micro-organisms. This is known as biochar and has been used for centuries.  You can read more about it here.

Safety Considerations

Whether you use firewood for heating or for fun, it’s best to be safe. Keep water or sand nearby. Get a fire permit or let the local fire department know you’ll be burning. Many municipalities have a limit on recreational fires of 3 feet by 3 feet. Keep kids away from the fire. Use a screen if you can. Many fire pits now come with screens.

Don’t build a fire too high or use gasoline to start it. (You don’t want to know what can happen!) If you’re burning outside, have a safe zone of green grass and rock around it, just in case stray sparks drop to the ground. And lastly, don’t build your wood pile over a few months and then just set fire to it. Animals have a habit of seeking shelter in woodpiles and can be caught by the smoke and flames. Move your woodpile before starting your fire.

Have fun with your fire!

Trash Can Planters

Mobile Container Garden


Select Trash Cans

Select a combination of tall, medium and low metal trash bins. Keep in mind that groupings work best in odd numbers.

Add Drainage Holes

Use a drill and drill bit to add about 5 holes in the bottom of the trash can to allow for drainage.

Predrill Holes for Casters

Attach Casters

Measure proper spacing for casters with tape measure, then add mark with marker. Drill holes, then attach casters with bolts and screws. For reinforcement of extra large trash cans, attach a strip of pre-cut, pressure-treated lumber to bottom before attaching casters.

Attach Casters to Trash Can