Wednesday, December 31, 2008

To all...

(well, sorry this has little boxes around all the letters, which makes it look like crap! Or maybe your computer won't display the boxes, who knows, but the heart was in the message... So take it for it's sparkles, and never mind the boxes!!)

Monday, December 29, 2008


Hehehe! Don't you hate it when that happens! I uploaded pictures, and clicked the wrong button (the enter key) and it actually published my blog, with NOTHING on it but pics... so I'm editing it now (again) so stay tuned... and you can have a guess at what the first picture is in the meantime!
(this first picture I refered to above is now the last picture in this post)

Anyway, I was going to chat about soap!!

Below is my Chai Tea soap from a few weeks ago (18 December), I made it in a small wooden box. They are about 6cm wide(~2 1/4 inch). Cute! I think this is my new favourite size to test batches.

I quite like this picture, even if it's out of focus (now, if someone has tips for photographing soap in focus... I have one: use your macro setting when you're close!! but also sometimes no matter what, and mostly with melt and pour soaps, the focus just won't take for some reason, must be the see-through quality of the soap? Anyone with tips better than mine?? I like how this shows the soap being somewhat translucent.

This one is my latest, made last night, using MangoLassi... this picture shows what happens to the soap as it saponifies. It reaches "gel" stage, and looks almost translucent. A bit later, after I took this picture, it was gelled all the way to the sides. It's quite nice to see, and to me, an indicator that something is going right! LOL! I wish I'd thought of poking the thermometer in there, to see what temperatures it reaches inside when it's like that! Maybe next time.

and a sliced view, and my terrible attempt at swirling (I know better now, I've been reading yet more!) ... My next batch will be a special project (tooth soap: don't knock it until you've tried it) and then after that I might give the swirl a whirl!

Ok, Julz... thanks for your comment! I just want ppl to know that you posted your comment before I was done updating this post!

It does look nice, doesn't it? like a nice guacamole before all the rest of the goodness is added... but nope, it does have a hint of avocado... it's the conditioner I made, yes, hair conditioner, with Tania guiding me towards a good recipe, and here it is:
and it is absolutely fantastic (even though I had to fudge the recipe a little as my kitchen scales, for a moment, for no reason, refused to measure small quantities of this and that, and I am sure I went over the required 4 grams despite it staying dead set at 0!!!) Oh well, live and learn. I've got a new way to measure such small quantities now!!! I will measure my container, and remove the 4 gr from there!!! Much better idea I think... this said, this conditioner seems to work quite well on us!!

For more soap candy have a look at my Flickr album, there's some soaps on there that aren't on here (and vice versa!) I am particularly fond of my new checker soaps!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas, and a Happy and Serene 2009

May 2009 be Just Perfectly Fine!!!
Merry Christmas from me and my lovely elves!

Source of the pic: wish I could remember the blog on which I saw my first "elf yourself" image, so I could credit the man in question and link to his blog... he's somewhere out there, eihter a polymer clayer, a soaper... one of those fascinating crafts!! I'll find him again one day!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Olivia's Present

Need a present, not sure what to buy? Make one!
I was very excited about making this present for a party to which the girls were invited, it got me to use two of my new hobbies, 1) soap, bath and beauty products, and 2) felting.
I'd never really felted a piece before, but we (the girls and I) planned the design, got cutting and got felting, and I got soaping (while our two girls just played on their computers, they like seeing the end product of somethings but they do not always like to participate!)
So this is what our friend Olivia received:

A tote bag, a little card matching the bag, a watermelon lip balm, watermelon scented soap (with pink, white and green layers), and a watermelon body glittery perfume. I wanted to add a watermelon bath bomb, but didn't have time to make it, and a watermelon candle, but she's too young to play with matches!!

To add to the story, there was watermelon as food at the party, but... there almost wasn't, Olivia's mum was mad at Olivia's dad because of the "packing of the car" for the event, which resulted in the watermelon falling out of the boot of the car and cracking (and maybe even rolling a few feet as there was talk of "bashed and bruised" melon!!!), said melon was eventually cut and served and was quite delicious, but I told the mum that I hoped she wouldn't hate watermelon forever, and to think of me when her DD opened her present! LOL! She did, and she sent me a sms message saying the daughter loved the bag so much that she wanted to go to the beach right away so she could put her towel in the bag. That made our little felting-trio here, very happy!! It's always hit-and-miss with handmade presents, never sure if people will appreciate the thought and work that went into it, and I always feel a bit bad, as a mum of twins, if I don't spend exactly twice the amount I should, since when these people come to OUR party, they sort of are put in a position of having to get TWO presents!!! I am hoping in the end it evens out... I don't know if it does or not.

I'm not sure about you, but I don't know if I'll arrive at Christmas on time!! Too tired to do anything tonight (wrapping, I hope to start tomorrow night!), too tired to think what we'll eat on the day, but I did do some shopping today (my new favourite grocery store was open on Sunday, as was the liquor store!) which is good because now I have two and a half day to remember what I forgot, and that list is already getting long!!! Nothing special on the menu, my salmon mousse, some nutella dip with fruit, some veggies, chips and dips, and veggies and dips, probably some cheese and cold cuts, more fruit, more veggies (I'm optimistic!) and the dreaded plum pudding at the end of the day (usually in place of our dinner)... it's not that I don't like plum pudding, it's that it's heavy, and I do eat it anyway!! *grin* that's why I dread it I think! I didn't buy mince pies, and I will try not to! LOL! as I'm the only one who likes them in this house, so I end up eating ALL of them! YUM! I just LOVE mince pies (hmm, might have to buy some anyway!!! they would go every so well with the chai tea I'm sipping at the moment!)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pressies for teachers

finally done.
green: lettuce FO, "lucky lettuce" was the name DD2 came up with
pink, white, green: watermelon
peach/light yellow: peach bellini (champagne and peach)

enjoy, that's all I have time for tonight!
I did make another batch of soap this weekend, but the photos were fuzzy, so eye candy of that one will have to wait, but it looks like caramel and smells like pineapple! YUM!!!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

What in the Word???

no, this is not a typo, it's just my way of expressing how shocked I am at the news that some words are taken out of children's dictionary. Apparently the words below are not worth knowing.


Words taken out:
Carol, cracker, holly, ivy, mistletoe
Dwarf, elf, goblin
Abbey, aisle, altar, bishop, chapel, christen, disciple, minister, monastery, monk, nun, nunnery, parish, pew, psalm, pulpit, saint, sin, devil, vicar
Coronation, duchess, duke, emperor, empire, monarch, decade
adder, ass, beaver, boar, budgerigar, bullock, cheetah, colt, corgi, cygnet, doe, drake, ferret, gerbil, goldfish, guinea pig, hamster, heron, herring, kingfisher, lark, leopard, lobster, magpie, minnow, mussel, newt, otter, ox, oyster, panther, pelican, piglet, plaice, poodle, porcupine, porpoise, raven, spaniel, starling, stoat, stork, terrapin, thrush, weasel, wren.
Acorn, allotment, almond, apricot, ash, bacon, beech, beetroot, blackberry, blacksmith, bloom, bluebell, bramble, bran, bray, bridle, brook, buttercup, canary, canter, carnation, catkin, cauliflower, chestnut, clover, conker, county, cowslip, crocus, dandelion, diesel, fern, fungus, gooseberry, gorse, hazel, hazelnut, heather, holly, horse chestnut, ivy, lavender, leek, liquorice, manger, marzipan, melon, minnow, mint, nectar, nectarine, oats, pansy, parsnip, pasture, poppy, porridge, poultry, primrose, prune, radish, rhubarb, sheaf, spinach, sycamore, tulip, turnip, vine, violet, walnut, willow

While some of the words above are archaic, and not all words can be a condensed version of a dictionary, it's very sad. Not only that but they took away more words than they put back in. I quite like the comment left by PDFitzGerald-Morris who states:
"As George Orwell pointed out, the aim of NewSpeak was to continually destroy words so that heretical thought, so far as it was based on language, became impossible."

as every story, there are two sides, this is the other side. I still think there's a hidden (or not so hidden) agenda.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Bulle envole-toi! (or Bubbles Bubbles Everywhere!)

Bubble Bubble to wash your body, and face, and hands, and feet, and behind your ears! I love bubbles and I'm on the soap bandwagon! A friend, Tania B, tried to get me interested in soapmaking a couple of years ago, and I was interested, but the thought of lye scared me to death, and I just didn't have much time, but I did manage to rebatch some soap (thanks to Tania), and made these items for Krafty Lady with my soap, I also made a recipe with soap flakes (the white ones)... and made some shaving soap for DH...

Recently my friend Ann G told me that she was going to make some Melt and Pour projects, and other things, and I thought, heck, that sounds like fun, and got some MP stuff...

Well, you can see the results on my Krafty Lady DT page for "Miscellaneous Items", or on my Flickr.

Here's one of my Krafty Lady soaps, to give you an idea: And here is my Tiramisu (Olive) soap. I call it so as I find it sort of smells like that!

BUT, that's not all, I've also started making Cold Process soap, that's when you do it the "old fashioned" way, but I'm not using any animal fats (though if I lived on a farm it might be different, I'm not at that point yet in my soap experience)...
My first one was a very simple supermarket recipe from Lisa's site, I think this will yield a soft-ish soap, which will lather beautifully:

Then I had to try Tania's Salt Bars these are quite hard, and apparently yield a soap that's gentle enough to use on the face. When I first heard "salt bar" I thought "heel exfoliation" or something of the type, but apparently not. These will also be cured in 4 weeks, but are apparently much better a couple months later.

Now that went pretty well, though I won't know how well until at least 4 weeks from now, because soap has to do it's thing until you can use it... that is turn fats and caustic soda into soap... 4 weeks... it's a long wait!!

But then, like any soaper will tell you, you're looking for the NEXT recipe, well, for me, it had to be this one, Turkish Mocha from AussieSoapSupplies with a bit of added chocolateness. It is curing at the moment and smells just wonderful!!! Below you can see a few slices and the chocolate on top (and there's some cocoa in the soap too, and some ground coffee for a gentle exfoliation -- and as the AussieSoapSupplies site mentions, coffee in soap is great to remove smells, like onion or garlic, from hands.

and a single slice: Yum, it's really tempting, like a rich fudge!!

I'm currently planning my next recipe... it's hard work! LOL! What's hard is trying to find WHICH one to make....

Julie VO also makes soap (she's also one of the temptresses of my new found passion).

oh, I've also made a calming stick for a friend who loves Lavender, a headache stick for myself, some lip balm, and a new shaving soap for hubby!!

Hope you enjoyed your trip here today!

Oh Heck, I'm going to do a giveaway... why not, seems to be the thing to do these days, only problem is you'll have to wait a month to get your prize, but on the UP side, this will give more people time to enter, and me time to get organised. This is open to any country where I can send soap! :) I'm going to give away a 100 gram (that's roughly 3 1/4 oz) Turkish Mocha Soap Bar... To be fair I will find a fair way of deciding the winner... It's either going to be a Random Generated number picker that's online, or I'm going to put all the names in a hat and get a third party to pick one, blindfolded, with their left hand, or maybe their right, haven't decided yet :) If you really hate coffee (some people do, believe it or not) we can negotiate a different bar. I also reserve the right to change my mind on which soap I find (but I'll let you know before I mail it, in case this mocha bar goes all wrong in the next 4 weeks!) - Cool, my first giveaway! :) I'll draw the winner in the first week of January. Ciao!

this giveaway is closed - winner announced 30 January 2009