Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas. Keep the reason for the season alive.

I wish you all a safe and joyous Christmas!  I hope you are able to be with family and friends during this celebration time.  Remember the reason for the season.  It is not for celebrating the jolly guy and the elves, it is for celebrating the birth of Christ.

I was able to put up the pink tree in a little area of the office.
On the bottom of  the tree I used a prom dress for the tree skirt.
One of the ornaments I used was a salvaged doily.  The doily was falling apart and I made a garland using the flowers in the doily.  The garland was originally used as a curtain valance/decoration, but I think this is a better place for it.  What are your favorite ornaments?

We drove to grandma's house last weekend.  I had 3 sleeping babies on the way.

Joy hid from Grandma for most of the visit.   She was able to take time to pose on the couch.

Yang hung with Dylan and I mean hung.  LOL   

Blessings for you and yours!  Dawn

Friday, December 9, 2011

Breast Cancer Ribbon Christmas Decoration

The other day, I was poked by one of my under-wire bras.  I really need the support of the under-wire, but the way they are made allows for the wire to break through the fabric and poke the hell out of my boob/arm pit area, way before the bra is worn out.  I always have issues with the right side poking through first since I am right handed.  Well, I was examining one of the under-wires I removed and I noticed that it looked very much like a wishbone/cancer ribbon combo.  I decided to crochet around the under-wire and then bend and criss cross the under-wire and support this criss cross with a tie.  I used pink ribbon to crochet with.  I tied a bow on the front with 2 colors of pink tulle.  I think a little rose would be cute at the bow.  What better way to remember a survivor of breast cancer than placing a pink ribbon made from an under-wire bra, on your Christmas tree.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's Thanksgiving Time

You know it is Thanksgiving when you can't find your car because it is buried under the leaves.

You know it is Thanksgiving when your turkey neck stairs back in the mirror and it is worse than any turkey you have ever seen!

You know it is Thanksgiving when all your friends and relatives show up.  This is a good thing, right???
I am just kidding.  I like having friends and family around...  I feel like cooking and making aprons for everyone.   I guess I know what I will be doing the rest of the week.

Tracie C. is modeling the hat for me.

I want to share a new hat I just completed.  It is crocheted with handspun yarn.  I used kid mohair and it is very curly.  I hope the curls show on the picture.  It is spun in a way that a lot of the curls and crimp show.  I made this by crocheting around the posts of the previous row's double crochet, which also makes the hat extra thick.  The hat is reversible and I used a recycled blue jean seam to weave around the bottom double crochet row.  I will be positing the directions if there is interest in them.

The mohair was purchased raw from the Mohair Loft.   I rainbow dyed it, spun it, and crocheted it.

Happy Holidays!  Dawn

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I have been.............

I have been creating a little.  I finished a neck warmer shawl for a Christmas present.  I used homespun lumpy mohair to edge it and to hide where the increases were.  I hope she likes it.  I am not going to tell who gets it.  I have also made peacock feather Christmas ornaments.  I am ready to start crocheting a hat made with rainbow dyed kid mohair.  I spun up 3 bobbins this weekend.  How has your weekend gone?  Next weekend is Santa Days in Norwich, Kansas, and I will be there with my soap and yarn.  I will also be spinning.  Come join me!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I have so much I want to tell you.................

I have so many irons in the fire that I want to share with you.  Today and tomorrow I am taking a spinning workshop with Jacey Boggs.  She is teaching us how to make controlled art yarn.  Today we made cables and tomorrow we get to make coils.  We actually did more than that, but I had to put it in a nut shell so non-spinners would not be asleep by the time they finished this paragraph.  Oh, by the way.  Jacey is famous in the spinning circle.  I even have a DVD  of hers and she has a book coming out very soon.  Now you know what I want for Christmas!!!   We are in a classroom at WSU.

Nancy is the one on the left and she taught me how to spin.

Jacey is the cute one wearing boots.
Nancy and April were in my spinning class back in 2003 ???
I also want to show you a tool I find helpful in felting  It is called a soap saver sack.  It is like the bath scrubbies as far as the material, but it is a bag to hold all of the bits and pieces of soap.  It is also helpful for older people or people that have a hard time holding soap since it has a cord to put around your wrist if you wish to.  I like to use this for rubbing the knitted or crocheted piece when I am hand felting something.  I know you can toss most any piece into the washer and dryer when felting, but I like to have more control over what I am felting.  I also tend to use a lot of mohair and it would clog my drains.  I have this item on my website---in pink.  I may have a couple in purple it you do not wish to have my favorite color.  LOL

I also found a good use for roasting pans.  I do cook and I am pretty good at it, but there is only so much time in a day, so we eat out a lot.   I love the home to smell like baked goods even if I am not baking.

My roasting pan is full of fragrance melts.
The last thing I will share with you this evening is how I rainbow dye wool.  I have a pan of kid mohair on the burner at this time.  I vary the number of colors and the colors from time to time.  I try not to add too much dye since the object is for all of the dye to be exhausted into the wool.  This means that you want the wool to be tired.  LOL  No, it means that all of the dye goes into the wool and is used, leaving the water clear.  This is what we desire, but do not always obtain.  If I have left over dye in the water when I am done, then I toss more wool into the pot with the leftover color and use it up, or add more color to the pot with the leftover with the left over color and use it up this way.  Don't throw it away.  When dying or creating, as with any media, observe the safety precautions.  Learn the desired or preferred methods.   Then do it any darn way you please!   It is art and you are the creator.  Now, back to my method, sorry but I got sidetracked.  LOL  I usually place wet scoured wool into the dye pot.  I add water with vinegar or salt or both, depending on the dye used.  Then I circle the inside of the pot along the edge with one powdered color.  Then I stripe or put an X or use more circles with the other colors.  Sometimes I place a little half way down the pot first so the bottom has color.  Then I may place a weight on the wool after I have had it on the heat for a little while.  I don't like to boil the wool, just get it nice and hot and let it stay hot for 30 min. or so and then turn the heat off and let the wool cool by itself.  If there is extra water around the edges of the weight along with some dye in it, as seen in the picture, it gives you the opportunity to place more wool around it.  I do not always wet the wool.  I like the wool to vary as I spin it since I get bored too easily.  I seldom spin white wool and dye it.  I like wool, even when using one color the have variations in it.  One thing I should mention is the need to follow basic rules when it comes to colors.  If you place blue and yellow together you get green,  if you place red and blue together you get purple, and if you place green and red together you get brown.  Watch the placement of some of your colors so you do not get a pot of yuck!  I personally like brown, but find that I do not need to dye brown since there are sheep which are naturally brown.

I was able to get all of the variations in this fiber using one dye pot.

This was dyed with the left over dye in the above dye pot.  It is a lovely gray and green.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Earth Shook and Shook!

We have been shaken with earthquakes twice in the last few days.  The first was Saturday around 10:30 and it was 5.6 on the Richter scale.  The Richter scale is for rating the magnitude or the amount of energy an earthquake releases.   Our whole house moved.  The latest one was at 8:47 last evening and it was 4.7 on the Richter scale.  I was laying on the bed watching a movie and the bed jiggled.  These quakes only lasted a few seconds, but we do not get shocks of this sort in Kansas.  An elderly friend and Kansas native reticently told me that she remembers a short earthquake in the late 1960's, but it was the only one she felt, until now.  There was also one in between these during my sleeping hours.  I did not feel it, even though it was also a 4.7 on the Richter scale.  The epicenter, (area directly above the origination of the earthquake), was around Sparks, Oklahoma, which is not far from Oklahoma City.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Making your own lace and floral tape.

I have been looking on line a little too much lately.  When I do, I usually have to spend some money and try new things.  Well, that is the case again.  I purchased an inexpensive sticker maker.  I purchased it so I could make my own tape.  They have colored tape available and it is rather expensive and most of it is not girlie.  I have to have girlie and bling!  Simply I will explain how the machine works.  Your paper, or lace goes between two pieces of paper.  The bottom one has sticky on it.  The top one is a see through Mylar-type paper.  Where your item is, it will remove the sticky and the rest of the sticky is removed with the top Mylar-type paper as you rub across your creations.

I am demonstrating the new tape while recycling old junk faxes from work.  I use these bags for my free soap samples.   I will use the new tape for scrap booking, labels, stationary, packaging, etc.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tag Fun!

I recently purchased some download tags.  I decided to embellish them and I wanted to show you the results.  I don't think too many people would do them quite like mine, just because I have different resources for some of the embellishments.  Maybe I am totally wrong, let me know what you think. 

This is my favorite!  I glued hand dyed kid mohair locks onto the top with glitter glue.  The mohair is dyed using a rainbow method and the locks vary in color.  In this case, they are darker at one end than the other one.  Are these locks not adorable?  Obviously I used glitter on the flowers and the leaves, lightly.

I used an Exacto knife and cut around some of the flowers and tucked in some of mohair.  It really does look great with the flowers.  I think it would also look great with some of the flowers partially cut around and  popped out.  I also added glitter to the edge of the lace frame and to some of the flowers.

This stocking also has glitter here and there, but it also has a tulle toe accent and a tulle weaving on the top where the tie is added.  I hope the next two pictures show that a little better.

I liked the curls added at the hole where the tag is attached.

I stuck Cloud in here.  He is eating a cracker.  He will try most anything once, even the curtains.  LOL  He plucks his feathers and looks a little goofy, but it is not too uncommon umong this type of bird.

Blessings to you and yours!!!  Dawn

Pumpkin Soap for 2011


Last year I made pumpkin soap and everyone loved it.  It was my favorite scent.  This year I wanted to make it again.  I wanted to do something different, but it wouldn’t have taken much since last year I had a disaster with using bee’s wax and the soap setting up real fast.  I had to re-melt the soap to get it into the molds.  Even though it was a disaster in the making, it turned out wonderful!  Who would have thunk?   This year, I decided to tell you my thought process and give you my recipe.  Now you can understand how I make the what I consider art soap.  It is artistic and very usable.  I like to add extra things for visual effects, but also for skin conditioning.  When making soap, I tend to make quite a mess and it takes a lot of clean up.  I always drop some of the soap as I am scooping it out of the pail and sometimes I drop other things too.  Not always is it feasible to stop and clean up your mess since there is a limited window of opportunity as the soap sets up .  If you take the time to clean up as you go, you lost the opportunity to do some of the decorative elements in the art soap.


Read all directions and make sure you have what is required to make the recipe. 

Prepare your surface and try to protect it as best as you can from the dyes and the lye.  Newspapers and plastic cutting boards work great.

Measure out all of the ingredients, except for the lye.  Once you measure the lye and start the actual soap making, make sure you put on safety glasses, gloves, respirator, and an apron.  Some people put on lab jackets.  I understand since I look like the mad scientist making soap.  LOL

Mix 3 ounces coconut milk powder and10 ounces water. Set this aside and make sure to strain it or you will get little white specks in the soap.  This can be a decorative element though.

For the center of the soap I will add left over soap balls which have been rolled in mica and oxide.  The balls I have are left from the gingerbread with lemon sauce soap.  Roll the balls in l teaspoon plum oxide from Herbal Accents and 1.5 tablespoon raspberry pop mica from TKB Trading Company. These two ingredients were placed in a large plastic bag, along with soap balls.  They were tossed around and thoroughly coated on the outside.  This should give it a tiny darker ring in the soap on the outside.  This gives the soap visual interest, but also keeps the gingerbread from looking like poop balls.  LOL  Set these aside until you are ready for them.

Measure the lye and add the water.  Add the coconut milk, the oils/fats, the ROE, and the palm stearic acid. Mix well. ((60 ounces water (10 ounces is already in the coconut milk) 26.30 ounces lye, 90 ounces coconut oil, 55 ounces tallow, 19.6 sunflower oil,11.5 ounces shea butter,2.2 ounces ROE, 3.5 ounces palm stearic powder))

Add the coloring, the sunflower petals, the fragrance, and the pumpkin powder.  Mix well. ((10.6 ounces pumpkin spice fragrance from Bramble Berry,1 ounce pumpkin powder,.20 sunflower petals, coloring))  For the coloring, I used a liquid bright orange from Bramble Berry.  It was especially made for cold process soap.  I used quite a lot of the tiny bottle of coloring.  I think it darkens over time, so it may be more feasible to use less. 

Much of the ingredients sold for soap making is not made for cold process soap making, so prior to your purchases make sure you purchase the right kind of ingredients.  You may also wish to label your purchases if you make melt and pour soap too.  I recently used a lilac oxide and it turned grey in cold process soap since it was made for melt and pour soap.  I did not realize that it was not made for cold process soap when I used it.  The soap still looks great, but it was not what I expected. 

Now it is time to get the party started.  Place some of the soap mixture in the bottom of the molds.  Add some of the balls at random intervals.  Some soap will have 3 balls and some will have one.  Of course, when you cut the soap, the complete ball will seldom be in one bar of soap.  Pour more soap onto the top of the balls.  Add more here and there if you are able to do so.  I placed some on the soap in another container and I did not color it.  This way I was able to use two colors in the soap for the first three loaves.  Now this is where things changed.  I had plans, but………… For the fourth loaf mold, I did not quite have enough soap.  I used a larger mold than intended and if I had not mounded up the first three molds, I would have had enough.  Isn’t that the way it goes.  LOL   I like the tops of the mold to look similar to pumpkin bread, so I mounded up the soap.  So on the the fifth loaf, I added some green oxide to the last 2 cups of soap mixture.  I somewhat swirled the soap, but mostly spooned it in the molds. 

The first soap mixture gelled very fast.  It looked like 3 loaves of sweet potatoes. 

Since the the 4th loaf mold ingredients were a little low from the top, I decided to add a topper.  I followed the above example and measured the ingredients, added the water to the lye, the oil to that mixture once it was dissolved, added the titanium dioxide to keep the topping white, and then the pumpkin pie spice.  I whipped this a little stiff so it would top the soap and look like whipped cream.  ((30 ounces coconut oil, 22 ounces tallow, 7.9 ounces lye,19.76 ounces water,1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice,1 ounce titanium dioxide)) 

Place the topping on the soap.  Add the little pumpkins if possible.  Sprinkle with cosmetic grade glitter.  I used 3 colors of orange.  Cosmetic grade glitter is very fine and does not scratch your skin.  The tiny pumpkins were made from left over pumpkin soap from last year.

Now I can’t wait to see how everything turns out.  It takes most of one day to plan, measure, mix, and clean up a large batch of soap.  It also costs a considerable amount to make the soap since we do not have access to purchase much of our items locally and shipping can be expense, even when you buy bulk.  I like to add things such as pumpkin powder and pumpkin pie spice, coconut milk, and glitter.  My soap is a little unique and I like it to be different than the rest.  It also tends to be a little flashy and that is what I am going for. 

If you are able to salvage a little left over soap mixture, make tiny pumpkins for next time, or add a little green oxide to it and make vines for the pumpkins on the top.

I hope you are able to understand what I have written.  It has been a long day and I think I am going to sleep and dream of pumpkins, maybe count them on my way to sleep.......  Thank you for viewing my blog.  You should have an award for making it this far.  Blessings to you and yours!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Paper Flowers

I have been reading other blocks and looking on Pinterest.  I noticed that several people were making flowers using coffee filters.  One of the methods uses the funnel type coffee filters and petals are cut from these filters.  They use thread to wrap around the base of the petals as the flower is built.  Then the flower is dipped into coffee and spice such as cinnamon.  I tried this method and I found that my dipping concoction was too thick.  I used an apple pie spice and cold coffee.  I rinsed off some of the concoction and what I had left on the flower was strong enough to be a delightful color and still have a heavenly fall fragrance.  To dry the roses, it is nice to have a cup to help keep the flower in proper form as it dries.  It would also be ideal to perch a flower on the top of a small paper cup as it dries. I learned how to make the roses of this method from

The second method of making flowers from coffee filters uses the standard type of filter.  You use about 3 filters and fold them in two pieces and then again fold or three more times.  Trim the pleated edge into curved petals or pointed petals.  I also used thread to wrap around the stem and dipped the flower into the same concoction that I used from the first flower.  Again, I used the cup to help maintain the flower shape.  The original method used a stem from wood and fabric.  My thought would be to place a flower on a twine handle of a brown gift sack.  Wouldn't this be a perfect sack to use for fall gifts, especially those like apple butter, or maybe even some of my home made fall soaps such as pumpkin spice, apple, or gingerbread with lemon sauce.  Once the flowers are dry, it is the best time to arrange the petals into your desired shape.  A cord or string can be tied onto the flower stems for easier attachment.

After I posted the above information about making paper flowers, I used a spray made for scrap-booking.  The spray gives your items a little shine.  After observing how it worked and how it looked, I realized that the spray was basically mica and water.  I chatted via email with Kaila Westerman at TKB Trading LLC.  She was familiar with the spray and agreed with me on what the contents primarily were etc.  I researched and worked on products for a week or so and I have a pretty good recipe to color the paper coffee filter flowers with. 

Make a paper rose as described above and shown in the pictures.  You may attach a wire stem or pipe cleaner as you wrap the end securely.   It takes 2 funnel type filters to make one paper rose.  For the other type of flower using regular coffee filters, it takes three filters.  Spray each flower after it is securely perching on a cup, or being held by you.  Spray the flower using the following mixture:
1/2 cup warm water, 1 tablespoon fragrance oil, 2 tablespoons mica.  Shake the mixture well before use.  Make sure your mica is a shiny, pearly looking powder.  If you are holding the flowers as you spray, hang up the flower after you finish spraying.  Several light sprays are better than one heavy spray.  Manipulate the leaves allowing the spray to mingle with the inside of the leaves.

See how much the mica allows the flowers to shine.  If you do not like the rustic look, go for the bling with mica spray.

This is what you will need to make the coffee filter flowers.  Add spice and coffee for color and scent, or mica and fragrance oil in a fine spray mist bottle.

The flower on the right is not dry and made with the regular type of coffee filter.  The flower on the left is made with the cone coffee filter and it is dry.

Flowers drying up-side-down.

This spray can be used for various other projects.  I hope you have found this blog entry has been helpful for your future projects. 

Refer to the other blogs or websites for more help in making the flowers or for ordering mica.

Some of my findings are below:

Coffee filters can be re-used.  Once I use the filter, I pour off the grounds and rinse the filter.  I lay the filter on a plate and it dries within a couple of hours.  Once dry, it is already tinted and ready to be used in flower making.

The flowers dried and stayed in shape by either hanging by the stem, or while being perched on the end of a paper cup with the flower tip pushed through a hole in the cup.

Coffee filter fiber tends to have a little give and it works very well with this type of flower.  I tried using recycled fax paper, and it did not want to be manipulated and moved into shape since it had a tendency to tear. 

I experimented with cosmetic grade glitter and I did not find that it would stick to the flower, unless a glue was used.  

I sprinkled mica on top of the original purchased spray, and it would not stay on well, unless it was sprayed after being sprinkled.  Too much mica in your recipe can allow the coloring to become too powdery and come off.  

Mica tends to clog the spray nozzle.  That is why I stress to make up only what you need for one day.

A second reason for not making too much of the product is the need for preservative since we are adding water.

A spraying container that drips or does not leave a fine mist, leaves an unintentional interesting pattern on the paper.

I used a fan on low close to the flowers and it helped immensely in the drying.

A dab of glitter glue in the center of the flower adds a little spark and interest to the flower.  I used a dark purple with a lavender flower.

Thank you for tuning in!    Dawn

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lovely Train Case Give Away at A Gathering Place

Isn't this Beautiful!  To enter, try the following line.

Blessings!  Dawn