Sunday, December 9, 2012

Extreme DERP!

So ... um ...
Sometimes you try something new and hey, it works really well.

Other times ...


Yeah, dying some silk today.  Decided to add some yarn to the bucket.  No problem.  Rinsed/washed the silk in the washing machine.  Again, no problem.  Did the yarn.  Without.  Thinking.  It.  Through.

Aaaannnndddd it wrapped around the agitator.  Like, completely.  Around.  The.  Agitator.

So somedays things go right.
And sometimes, not so much ...

* What's the DERP?! you ask?  Check out answer #5 and #7 for the closest approximation of what I mean here.

** And the silk by the way is GORGEOUS!  Can't post much more about it until after the holidays.  Can't be previewing gifts this early! ;)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Soapmaking Gets EPIC

What am I saying?! 
Soapmaking is ALWAYS epic!

It's that time of the year when a girl's thoughts turn to ... good clean fun!  (Yeah, I made "that" joke.  You should know better by now ... silly readers!)

So, I gathered some gals (and guys!) for another annual soapmaking event at the Community Crafts Studio.  Well, almost annual.  Last year it was just Suzanne and I in my kitchen at home.  But still fun!  This year we had a group of ten or so. 

Check out our workspace, all prepped and ready for class ...

I like to focus on pantry soaps, using herbs, honey, oats, essential oils -- many of which are found in your pantry!

AND I like to encourage the use of "repurposed" soap molds.  Any flexible plastic containers that end up in your recycling bin are great!  They can usually be used a few times before cracking and then can still end up in the recycling bin!  But sometimes I have to supplement with containers found at the Dollar Store.  Hey, they're still recyclable and can be used even longer than the others.

Using a glycerin, melt-and-pour soap base is super easy!  Especially with microwaves and glass measuring cups!

Please ignore my unhealthy (but oh so tasty) iced soft drink there in the background.  What can I say?  Vice!  Thy name is Dr. Pepper!

The above pic is kind of odd looking, I know.  But its what a partial 25 lb. block of soap looks like.  (Oh, I order in 25 lb. blocks, baby!  I like a LOT of good clean fun!)

I'm not going to run through all specifics and "how to"s here*.  You can find that all over the web and in crafty books.  But I can say this, I recommend high-quality soap bases and natural ingredients.  No synthetic fragrances here!  Essential oils and dried herbs, baby!  Better for you!

So here are some extra-nummy-goodness pictures of some of our finished soaps!  Lavender ... Lemon-Sage ... Honey & Oats ... Brown Sugar & Honey ... Cedarwood & Honey ... Green Tea ... mmm!

Lavender, still in a mold.

(What I believe to be) Lemon-Sage still in molds.

Lavendar (foreground), Peppermint (left, dark bar), various others in background.

A couple of us do have a few commercial molds (foreground.)
Don't they all look so pretty?!  Such variety of shapes, colors, smells!

Love, love, love!!! the fun shapes that come from single-serve fruit cups or applesauce!  Yogurt, too!

Mmm .... so pretty!

I love to do this.
I love to share the knowledge.
I love when it's over because it's 4 hours on my feet!

... and many Christmas gifts, DONE!

* I do have a handout available, but it isn't "everything" you need to know.  I mostly teach by doing.  Hands on learning is the best way.  BUT if you want a copy of the handout of handy tips and resources, leave a comment on this post or private message me at and I can email you a copy of the PDF.  Use at your own risk because I'm sure I left out some details!