Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New Soap

Here is my latest soap. It's my first swirl attempt. I found the technique on You Tube and decided to try it.
There of course were some problems with streaking but I like it anyway. The fragrance oil is Yuzu which is a fruity floral. It's light and really nice.

I am having so much fun with the whole process. It stretches my creativity.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cherry Blossom

Isn't this a cheery color?? The scent is Cherry Blossom. This was my first attempt at a 2 color pour. I was very pleased with how it came out. It feels like I am progressing in knowledge as I go. After it has cured for 2 weeks I will try it and see how it lathers. Then it will cure another 2-4 weeks before I can give it out to my test group and see how they evaluate it.

Now it's outside to weed. Can't believe how much I have to do already.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

More soap

Seems like every time I have some "free" time I am trying out a new soap recipe. My friends and family will be the cleanest group around.

This one smells wonderful. It is colored with Neon yellow and fragranced with Pearberry. The color is super fun and the fragrance is light. It was a great pairing.

This next one started out as a Pepto Bismol pink but as the soap cures it is becoming a nicer shade of pink. can't wait to try this one.

I can't wait for my new shipment of fragrances. I'm going to try a honey oatmeal and a coffee soap next.

Happy crafting

Friday, March 16, 2012


It's been awhile but this new obsession is taking over.
Batch # 2 This batch is a plain batch with some Bamboo fragrance. It was a free sample from Brambleberry. My supplier... Soap supplies.

Did you know that Lye is used in the production of bombs and Crystal meth?? Neither did I till I started making soap. Making soap is a chemical reaction too. But what fun I'm having. The possible combinations are endless.

Batch #3 is an all Olive Oil soap. It's called Castile soap. It's supposed to be the best soap for you.

The only problem with it is it has to cure for 3-6 months before you can use it. Can't wait to try it.

Batch #4 is my favorite so far.
I used a red palm oil to get the color and the addition of canned pumpkin and pumpkin spice fragrance oil makes this a bar good enough to eat.
This is it going through "Gel Phase" which is a step in soap making. Love my new loaf molds.

This is it all cut up for curing. Seriously doesn't it look like pumpkin custard except in block form. Wish you could smell it. It smells just like pumpkin pie.

The "curing" area.

My family will be the cleanest is the county.
Happy Weekend.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pinterest Projects

Ok.... Like I need another source of projects. But have you seen Pinterest?? Of course I have several boards and will be starting more I know.
One of the projects in my file there was a cover for my Composition books. You know the kind with the black and white covers.
I have one for Quilting 2012, Soap making 2012 and Wool. But I needed to appeal to my aesthetic side. They, to me, were unsightly with their cardboard covers.

So......... I found several tutorials on Pinterest and combined them for my covers.

Couple things I like about them. One I can leave them on my shelf and they don't stand out as a modern book. Two they have a built in book mark and Three the flaps on the front and back are handy for storing papers that I write notes on until I can transfer them to the pages.
In my next ones I'm going to try and put in an envelope of some sort and a pen holder??? That may be too much for the book but we'll see.

The tutorials are found here on Pinterest


Soap-Another Obsession

Happy Sunday to you all. As I was researching the laundry soap recipe I found lots of articles on making regular bar soap. I was intrigued with the whole process. So began another obsession for me. I began reading everything I could get my hands on about making soap. At present count I believe I've read 9 books. Anything the library had I requested. (The librarian is starting to look at me kinda funny.)It was amazing to me how many You Tube videos I found too. I lost count of how many of those I watched.
The ingredients are pretty accessible-just oils mostly form the grocery store. but one thing kept me from jumping in LYE. Yep the ingredient that kept me stymied was the thing that makes soap soap. It reacts with the oils in a chemical reaction that manufactures soap. Ok I know what you're thinking. Why put that in your soap. It's in all soap. We just aren't seeing the word lye. They use it's chemical name. Sodium Hydroxide. But I digress. So I pulled up my big girl pants and went looking for Lye. Did you know you can make crystal meth and a bomb with Lye?? I didn't... but I do now.
You should have seen the looks on people's faces when I asked if they carried it. You know that MasterCard commercial PRICELESS.
Nough said.
In the end I sent for a beginners kit. Bought all the utensils and waited for the arrival of my ingredients.

Here's my first attempt at soap making. It has a Cranberry Fig fragrance. It's not the prettiest soap I've ever seen but for my first attempt I'm pleased. It went through all the chemical processes it was supposed to. It sat for 24hours and then I could cut it. I didn't like the long skinny bars so I switched to more of a rectangular shape.

Here is a close up of a cut bar.

Now it has to cure for 4-6 weeks before I can use it.
I have so many pretty bars pinned on my Pinterest board that I can't wait to try more. I'm thinking as I make more and get into it more I'll do Soapy Sunday posts.
I have been bitten by the bug.
The possibilities are endless.
I'll have the cleanest family on the block.
There's so many oils and fragrances as well as other natural ingredients that I can't wait to start more types. I'm thinking Honey Oatmeal, Goats milk and Honey, Pumpkin Spice. The ideas are endless.

Enjoy your day.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cinnamon jelly

This is the best jelly ever. It is really easy to make and looks fabulous when it's done. It's a great gift for anyone.

The ingredients

The process begins (the white is the cheesecloth filled with spices)

This is the finished jelly.
Isn't it pretty.

Here's the recipe

Christmas Berry Jelly

2 cups apple juice
1/4 c lemon juice
1/2 c cinnamon imperials (red hots)
3/4 c water
1 tsp red food coloring
1/4 tsp Mace
1 box powered pectin
8 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon
4 cups sugar

Combine apple juice,lemon juice,red hots,water,food coloring,mace and pectin. Tie cloves and cinnamon stick in a spice bag. Add spice bag to juice mixture. Bring to a rolling boil,stirring constantly. Add sugar,stirring to dissolve. Bring to a rolling boil. Boil hard for 2 min. Remove from heat and skim foam, if necessary. Carefully ladle hot jelly into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head space. Wipe jar rims clean. Cap and process jelly for 5 min in a boiling water bath.

It makes up really quickly and doesn't make a ton so it's perfect for a quick gift. I got 5 jelly jars from this recipe.



Monday, February 13, 2012

Project updates

I am moving ahead on my rug hooking. It's a slow go for me. I looked at the pictures of my progress and I'm going back and change a few things.
I got the outline done all around what will be the actual rug.

I finished another star.

But the two blues in the stars aren't working for me. So that will get pulled out and redone. It's amazing what a camrea shot shows. I use it in quilting as well to see what I want something to look like.

I finished my short term baby quilt. Well, finished the top anyways. Will quilt it later.

Finished a table runner made from antique blocks. I love the prints from the late
1800's. I added the reproduction borders. I felt like it deserved hand quilting. I think it looks great,

Happy Monday


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Liquid Gold.

Well I spent my day off trying a new recipe. A recipe for liquid laundry soap that is. My SIL gave it to me last week and I couldn't wait to try it. It only takes 4 ingredients including the water.

Fels Naptha Soap,Mule team Borax, and Arm and Hammer Washing soda. I found all 3 ingredients at Trader Horn. Not sure who else carries them but I'm told they are pretty easy to find.

As you can see you will need a grater,measuring cups,a pot to mix in and a container to store the finished gel in. I used an old kitty litter bucket to store it in because it fits perfectly under the sink in the laundry room and has a lid.

I wanted to show you the pan I got at the Thrift Store because I think it emulates the frugality I am starting to notice more and more.

Do you see it?? Notice the handles on the pot. Yep one is not like the other. One is wooden and brown. The other it the original and black. Now add the lid. Not the correct lid either but it does fit. Wonder who fixed the handle and how long did they use it after that.

I just love this picture of the grated Fels Naptha.
It has so much texture and color. Not really a yellow fan but I'll call it gold and it'll work.
Liquid gold it is. Made a 2 gallon batch for guess...........
Ready $1.88 Can you believe it. Now that's not including water but you could figure that in if you'd like.

I write all the figures all over the box so I can keep track of the cost.
Can you tell how excited I was to discover this economical way for making laundry soap??
My SIL said she's used it for awhile and it cleans well. I did some research on the Internet and anyone who I found that uses it loves it. For a fraction of the cost I'll try it. I should get 64 loads(at a half cup per load) out of the 2 gallons so that makes it ummmmmmm
about 3 cents a load.
If you want more information Google Laundry Soap Recipe and you'll be amazed at what comes up. (there is a powder version also).

My next adventure..and I use the word lightly.. is bar soap. Can't wait to try it but that must be done on a kid free distraction free day.


Happy washing.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Updating projects

Still working on the millennium quilt.
I found an owner when it is finished.
I have one niece born in 2000. So it's hers.
I did work on it last evening for awhile.
I am adding the sashing between the rows.
It's a tedious process. You have to mark where the previous columns lie on the strip so the next strip matches up.
Somewhat of a boring process but a necessity.
I'll be glad when this part is done then I can do a creative step before adding borders.
I'll share more as I go.
This is 4 of the 8 rows so at half way I gave myself a little break.
I worked on finishing some block for a baby quilt my youngest started and never finished.
It was some quick piecing.
It helps to clean up a spot in the UFO pile.
Of course it's not done yet but at least it's a start.
I'm trying to finish at least one project before I start another.
We'll see how that works out.
It needs some sashing as well..... GROAN.
I love to take pictures of my quilts while laying them out. I can see how I might want to change them.
This one will need some help before its all said and done.

Back to work.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Snowman Swap

Wow I have the pleasure of sharing my swap goodies with you.
I did a Snowman Swap with Julie from Country Girl at Heart.
And what a heart she has.
The saying on the wall hanging is
"Happiness is making friends"
is that not approiate since this is our first (hopefully not last) swap.

She sent me a gratitude journal as well. I have heard about these and wanted to start one so this is the perfect chance now that my special blogger friend did all the work for me.

She did a spectacular job.

The picture doesn't do it justice.

In the package was a little snowman pillow that was too cute for words.

I put him on my window sill and every time I see him he makes me smile.
And I can always use notecards.

There's nothing like receiving a hand written note in the mail.

Thank you Julie for all your beautiful work.

Yours is on its way.

Thanks for being understanding.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Millennium Blocks

On the shelf in my sewing studio the lived a stack of Millineium fabric. It had grown accustomed to living there for the last 11 years. Fortunately I found a star pattern I thought would be perfect for the fabric. Seems there was enough for a whole quilt. Even the backing.

I am lovin it coming together.

The star points are made using half square triangles. I trimmed down the squares to use creatively somewhere else in the quilt.
The scraps will be used to fill small pillows or something. This is the about 1/3 of them. Some were used already.

Time for a break.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A new Header and More

I just love the colors in this post card. Don't you just love the ducks.
That's what it feels like around here in SW PA. The rain seems like it's never ending.
I know I'm the minority but I want some snow. I really love the snow.
Or is it I romance the idea of fires and cuddling under a handmade quilt and working on one of many hand projects.

Speaking of hand projects I want to post the progress of a rug I'm hooking from a kit I purchased from Hungry Hook Primitives.
My hope is that if I post my progress here I might get it finished.

I think it's coming along nicely considering I started working on it a few days ago.

I saw a 10 min hooker button on a blog and thought I might try that. At least it's worth a shot.

I also finished an embroidery project I began before Christmas. So technically I'm early for Christmas 2012.

This pattern is from Jenny Hoffman at Country Rustic Primitives I have several of her patterns and love them all.

I also participated in a snow man swap with Julie from Country Girl at Heart blog. I have followed her blog for awhile.She's a sweet gal. here's a sneak peak at the project. The finished one goes out today. After she receives her package I'll post the finished piece.

Sneak peak.

And last but certainly not least but MIL passed away today. She unfortunately left us some years ago but physically left to be with The Lord today. Keep my hubby and his family in your prayers.

Blessings for all,