Friday, July 30, 2010

Favorite Things

As I was preparing my morning hot drink, I was reminded of one of my favorite things.  Most of  my friends will tell you that I collect doilies with pink roses, teapots, teacups, and tea cozies.   All of us have our favorite though.  It may be how it looks that endear us to that favorite, or the way it fits in our hand.  It may not even be practical, but it is still our favorite.  I have a favorite tea cozy.  It is my favorite because of the crocheted netting-like stitch and because of the sparkle.  I can't help it, but it has to have the sparkle!  What do you have that is your favorite(s)?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More soap pictures.  I am not sure if the two new ingredients have made the changes I anticipated them to make.  I will see when these cure.  They do look beautiful!

Black Cherry Almond

In order to have a whiter bar of soap and one that is harder and lasts longer, I needed to add palm stearic acid and titanium dioxide.  They are natural ingredients, but not something I can grow in my back yard.  I just finished making  a 17 pound batch of soap and it is setting up.  Hopefully it will be ready to cut soon!  I get so anxious to see my creations.  The picture shows the soap in molds setting up.  I place a plastic bag and a blanket over the soap while it sets up.  I ordered a new cutter a couple of weeks ago, but I doubt that it will be here in time for me to use for cutting this batch of soap.  I want to make the bars a tiny bit larger and the new cutter will allow me to cut one inch wide bars of soap.  Making soap intoxicates you and all you can think of is the next batch and how you will improve upon it, change the colors, change the fragrance, etc.  My house smells so wonderful!  The fragrance reminds me of my grandfather's favorite kind of ice cream, cherry vanilla.  Yummy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pink Canning and More Bling

Yes, you can actually cook in a pink kitchen.  My friends tease me, but I think they are secretly jealous.  lol   As you see, I am canning tomatoes.

I purchased mohair from a farmer and I washed it, dyed it, and picked it out by hand.   I spun the this mohair thick and thin.   Any pattern would not be visible with this type of spinning, so I just crocheted a plain circular pattern in crochet.  I made a backing for this hot pad from cotton fabric and lined it with cotton batting.  Instead of sewing the backing on, I placed 6 buttons around the outside of the backing and button the hot pad on.  The hot pad can be removed for washing separately or both pieces may be used separately.  The buttons are gold with a pink rhinestone center.  What bling!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Marie Antoinette Booties

I have a friend who recently found out he will be a grandpa, so I made some booties for the new baby, Anna, who is due any minute.  The Marie Antoinette style has become very popular and the booties look like a pair of shoes from that era, with the semi-pointed toe, ankle ribbon, and the ribbon rose in the front.  These are crocheted with chenille yarn.  What do you think?  OK, not exactly like Marie, but they look like the decorative shoes seen in altered art websites.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Canned Corn

I changed the collar buttons and added 2 more rows of stitching around the neck.  I think this shawl collar lays down better,  Obviously it is not the right season for the collar.  lol

I made a prototype of a corn cob hot pad.  I think it looks best in a canning jar.  I need to tack the leaves down so they do not drag into the burner. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I am modeling a newly completed crocheted hat made with blue jeans colored mohair, which was homespun and home dyed by myself.  The dying and spinning of this wool can be viewed in earlier posts.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Completed Shawl Scarf

The shawl scarf is completed and modeled in these pictures by my co-worker.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

New Projects

New soap project.   I have Coconut/Blueberry soap in molds and not set up enough to cut.  You are viewing about 15 pounds of soap.  I hope it keeps the pretty blue colors as it sets up.   I have noticed all of my soaps are turning brown.  They still smell wonderful and lather nicely.  The fragrance oils are probably the cause of the brown colors.  Any goats milk and this type of ingredient may cause the browning also.   If I use essential oils, it will not have this brown effect.  Essential oils are more expensive, but there are some fragrances that are not able to become and essential oil, such as strawberry and blueberry.   I can also add a whitener and it will keep the soap from turning so brown and another item or two to make the soap harder.  I ordered some whitener and it should make the bars a little prettier when I experiment with it.  I tried adding an ingredient for hardening in this batch, but I am not sure if I added enough.  We will see when the soap cures.  The soaps that harden too fast due to the addition of some fragrance oil that speed up trace, are the ones that I like the best, as far as the texture goes.

Coconut Blueberry Soap Ingredients:
coconut oil, lard, sunflower oil, shea butter,  water,  lye,  jojoba oil infused with lemon verbena,  avocado butter,  fragrance oil,  unsweetened natural coconut pureed,  sweet almond oil, powdered coconut milk ,  pigment ,  palm stearic acid,  mica,  powdered silk,  cosmetic grade glitter,  blueberry seeds,  blueberry fiber

I am almost finished with this shawl scarf.  I had the perfect button for the front, but I am not sure where I put it.  Are people that have everything organized and in it's place creative?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Guardian Angel

My co-worker's daughter placed a picture on the wall across from my desk.  It looks like an angel to me since the arms or wings are spread out.  There is not a ground or floor on the picture.  We can say she was in a hurry or that she was not mentally developed to include floors, ground, or hands down to the side.  She is only 4, but I know better.  She can place backgrounds in pictures, so I am considering the picture to be my angel.  Look how the legs go to the side like she is in flight.  What do you think?  Angel or not?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lavender Sachets

available for $1.00 each.
Charlie came to visit and someone gave her a sucker. I had to use this picture for the category of Ruffled Feathers in the website. It is so darn cute! She really just ate the stick. lol

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Amethyst Jewels

New soap this weekend.  It turned out very pretty with a touch of mica and cosmetic grade glitter on top.   TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK.

Soap ingredients: sunflower oil, lard, water, coconut oil, fragrance oil, shea butter, sweet almond oil, pureed coconut flakes, coconut milk powder, sunflower petals, lavender buds, coloring, cosmetic grade glitter mica

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Soap Making

It occurred to me that many of people do not know how to make soap. I seldom make small batches since it can be quite a lot of work. I may gather and weigh the oils one day and make the soap the next day. Once I make the soap, I need to let it sit in the molds and harden for 12 to 24 hours. Then I remove the soap from the molds and cut the soap into bars. Once the soap is cut, it will need to cure so it hardens and the PH lowers.

These first two photos show some of the molds I use.

With my soap cutter I am able to cut 9 uniform bars of soap with this cutter.

Soap curing and will soon will be ready to use.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Freaky Frank Soap

I just finished making a new soap.  I named it after a friend and call it Freaky Frank.  Frank is a friend of mine who farms and sells produce at the Farm Market on Saturdays.  The soap is made with the usual ingredients, but I also added blackberry and lime juice, brandy, and lime zest.  The marbling from mica and and specks from the lime zest looks very nice in the soap. 
Freaky Frank
Soap Ingredients: tallow, water, lye, coconut oil, shea butter, brandy, fragrance oil, blackberry juice, sweet almond oil, lime juice, powdered goat milk, powdered coconut milk, powdered butter, pigment, lime zest, lime essential oil, and mica

Happy 4th!