Monday, May 20, 2013

Front Door Wreath

I've been wanting to create my own wreath for my front door. I've seen a lot of beautiful wreaths on the net created by talented artists. I really love burlap and so I wanted burlap roses on my wreath. I started by buying a roll of 4 inch burlap in a craft store. Then, I searched Youtube for a how to on making ribbon roses. I started by folding over my burlap lengthwise so that it was about 2 inches wide. Then I had my glue gun close by and started creating as described on the video.
Rose how to video

I found some raffia that I had bought twenty years ago and cut off a length, tied a knot in the middle and glued it to my grape vine wreath. Next, I glued a cluster of three burlap roses on top of the raffia knot. I wanted to incorporate a Canadian flag and the smallest I could find was 9 inches by 18 inches. (I had seen a wreath somewhere on the net that had a wreath decorated with several small flags). There was no doweling in my craft box so I improvised and used a knitting needle as the flag pole.  I glued everything down with my hot glue gun.

I'm really pleased how this turned out. It will be interesting to see how it holds up in the prairie wind....

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Making blender soap

My mom use to make her own laundry soap all the time when I was growing up. Then, when I had kids of my own, I bought a book on making my own soap by Ann Bramson. The laundry soap would be made in 5 gallon pails with a long wooden spoon to stir. Tracing of the soap could be quick or it could take an hour or more. The same went for the hand soaps and hair soap I made from the recipes in Ann's book. It all depended on the type of oil and the temperature of the lye mixture. 

When I came across soap recipes with a blender (not a stick blender, ever, by the way), I printed everything I could find on the internet including recipes. The recipes were a lot smaller. The how tos had photos which helped a lot. 

So today, I decided to try the hair soap recipe. I followed the directions I got off of this website: Blender soap (recipes)
 Directions (to make the soap)  I had all my protective gear on and proceeded to follow the directions step by step. Tracing of the first batch took 10 seconds flat, if that long. I had to hurry to put the soap mixture into the molds before it set. I have never ever had the reaction happen that quickly. The website was correct on that point. Then I tried the Gentle Baby Soap recipe. It took a bit longer to trace, 30 seconds, because it's all oils. This one poured nicely into the molds. I had so much fun that I made another batch of each. 

You can tell that the soap is starting to trace because the blender starts to work harder. That was my sign that it was time to pour. Now I have to wait for 24 hours before cutting and then I set the cut bars out to cure for three weeks before using. I can't wait!

I worked in my garage with the door open because the lye fumes are very strong. To make soap I prefer to be outside or in the garage with the large door open. I am always clothed from head to toe with rubber gloves and safety glasses. Lye burns badly, one must take all the safety precautions and make sure not to breathe in the fumes. I also always have a pail of fresh water right beside my working area just in case there's a spill or splash.

If one takes all the precautions, soap making is really fun and enjoyable!
 The above photo is of the Gentle Baby Soap Recipe.
The soap in the molds, is the hair soap recipe. 

All my soap batches are currently covered with a sheet of wax paper and then covered by several layers of a blanket. This helps the soap continue to progress. Keeping it warm by slowing down the heat loss prevents the soap from separating. 

I am also going to head to the Good Will tomorrow to buy some used glass square casseroles to use as molds the next time I make soap. I don't like using metal or aluminum, I prefer glass. 

Anyways, this is how I spent my Mother's Day! I loved every minute of it! Have a great one!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Rock Princess card

I'm trying to use cartridges that I've never made a cut from. I have no girls in my household so using this cart was a treat. This is for a very special young lady for her birthday. She's a preteen so I'm sure she will love this card with this cut from the Cricut cartridge Rock Princess. Printed background paper is from K & Co. The glitter paper is a left over and had no marks on the piece I had left...and it cut beautifully in my Cricut. I like simple cards. Several levels of the card are pop dotted to raise parts of the image to give it depth. I did ink the top of the heart to again give it some depth.

Stepping Out of my comfort zone

I am attempting to make better cards. Making cards stresses me out. I'm not sure why, they just do. So I am making myself make more of them to get me use to it. I have also been buying more stamps and markers.
The stamp is a new one from Our Daily Bread Designs. I have always loved the chalkboard look and they have a wonderful new line of chalkboard stamps. I just needed to reink my Momento stamp pad and my ink miraculously I stamped really doesn't look this faded on the card...I think it was the flash on my camera.

Anyways, print paper is from K & Co as is the bling flower. I did emboss with my Cuttlebug on the black mat I made with my Lacy Labels on my Cricut. Ribbon, is from Michaels in the bargain bin.

Yeah! I have a new card for my stash!