Quilting with my Sister

A while back one of my sisters and I went on a weekend bus trip to several quilt stores in north Texas.  It was a lot of fun, and very inspirational.  We decided to sign up for a paper-piecing class, and finally we got to go yesterday.  To say it was fun would be a great understatement.  We had a blast!  The instructor was good, our fellow students were a lot of fun, and the project was enjoyable.  I only finished one of many blocks, and now that I am home I am looking forward to getting busy on the quilt.  Pictures will be coming soon.

Today, after getting home from my sister’s house, I got inspired with soap making.  I’d been wanting a citrus-sage soap, but the blends I’d been playing with weren’t just right.  But today I think I hit gold.  I made a custom blend of essential oils; lemongrass, sage, orange, cedar and petitgrain.  I think it smells heavenly.  I had infused organic olive oil with annatto seeds which is supposed to color the soap some shade of yellow.  The soap “batter” in the mold was a bright yellow-orange, but I’m sure it will change after it goes through gel.  So I’m looking forward to seeing it tomorrow when I un-mold it.

I also made some coconut soap – not only will it smell like coconut, but it has coconut milk in it and unsweetened coconut flakes.  I’m anxious to see it after it is un-molded as well.

Finally, I made up a big batch of Tattoo Butter.  It’s a whipped body butter made up of organic cocoa butter, organic shea butter, almond oil and with Vitamins A and D added.  It is supposed to help skin heal after a tattoo.  No color or scent was added.

Tomorrow I’m going to go out to my garden and take some photos.  The garden was not a huge success, except for beans, watermelon, hot peppers and herbs.  The deer have returned to nibble on the few plants still flowering.  At least someone is enjoying it!

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Making Soap!

So, feeling the need to do something creative I got out my “scribble” book (a notebook where I keep soap making ideas) and had a look. I decided to try two new ones. The first is coconut, lime, verbena. Now I make a body butter scented with this fragrance and it sells really well, but when you use fragrances (or essential oils) in cold process soap, the chemistry of making soap changes the scent. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not so much. I also decided to color it green with spirulina powder (representing the lime and verbena). And for the coconut I colored some of the batter white with titanium dioxide. Then I did a swirl in the pot and poured the batter into 3″ PVC pipes.

The second one is an aromatherapy based soap. I decided to combine ylang ylang with tangerine. Ylang yang is a balancing essential oil, helping to regulate the breath and heartbeat as well as lowing blood pressure. It also helps balance hormones. On the skin it helps balance sebum production and is toning and stimulating. Tangerine essential oil has a calming effect and on the skin it helps fight acne and oiliness. Because this is an aromatherapy blend I wanted to use a natural colorant so a bit of Australian Red Reef clay was used – and I am hoping that it comes out a reddish/brown/orange. This clay has a high iron content and is loaded with minerals – it helps to replenish and regenerate the skin. Not sure what I’ll call this one – something like “Relief” maybe.

Anyway, both are doing their chemistry thing and I’ve got my fingers crossed!

The fog

Well, it’s been busy at work and then when I’m home its busy getting ready for November sales at the mall. One of my daughters and I will be sharing a kiosk for the weekend of Nov 11 and then the weekend following Thanksgiving (including “Black Friday”). I am super excited. And we got a prime location. The mall is set up so that one of the entrances is through Macy’s. When you exit Macy’s there is a big area which will be devoted to a train set up for kids to ride and Santa will be there. Our kiosk is just past all the fun. To the right of the kiosk is a maternity shop and a candy shop. Sears is also that way. Directly across from Macy’s at the other end of the hall way are the bathrooms and food court. To the left all the other shops. So I am sure we’ll do really well.

Took a tumble today. Apparently I tripped over my own two feet! I was in the process of going to the car (after just having thrown out the trash) to go to the farmer’s market. Next thing I knew I was on the ground. Knees and palms to most of the damage, but the road is rough and my arms hurt too. Took a bit to get the little rocks and debris out of the scrapes. Decided it was an indication that I didn’t really need to go out today!

Yesterday we had some fantastic fog. Living near the ocean we often get fog, but this came in yesterday evening and you could see it! I grabbed my camcorder and have a bit of it to share with you. I put it on fast forward so hope it isn’t too boring!

Love the fog!

Hope you all have a wonderful week. If you are curious as to soap making you can check out my channel on youtube, don’t laugh too hard!!

First of the Winter Holiday Soaps!

After testing scent after scent this summer I’ve finally settled on three of them (with lots of noses helping).

The scent is a bit tart and spicy with notes of cardamon and cinnamon.  Its name is “Hot Toddy” – a nice warm, spicy drink.  The top is a bit lighter than the base – symbolizing a frothy drink, and dusted with cinnamon.  And a few lucky customers will even have a piece of cinnamon stick embedded in their little slice of heaven.

Here’s a look at the slab:

and a look at the three logs it made. Yes, I’ve cut them into bars, but those photos will wait until I have some time with the lightbox!