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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Rose and Pearls Mixed Media Cuff Bracelet on: August 06, 2013 11:19:09 PM

Hello, everyone Smiley I've been working on collecting the materials for this bracelet for a while and am extremely thrilled with the results! It has an aluminum 3/4" cuff base to which I added faux suede to the underside for added comfort. Then I used antiqued paper (did the crumple and coffee dye technique), silver metal filigree, copper rose pendant, and fresh water pearls to adorn the top. The paper is protected by several layers of matte spray mod podge and I used brown ink to darken the edges a bit. I think it turned out so pretty! Here are a couple more pictures (sorry they're so big >_<):

Thanks for looking!
2  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Soap challenge soaps on: July 03, 2013 02:43:17 PM
So, the last year and a half has been extremely busy! So busy, I haven't been able to do much of anything on craftster... but hopefully things will settle down enough that I can start getting back into this lovely community! I now have a new little one in our family AND we have completed our move halfway across the country! One of the first things I did was unpack my soaping supplies so I could jump in on this set of four soap challenges given out by one of the lovely soapers I follow on youtube (Great Cakes Soapworks on youtube). I had fun learning and trying out these new techniques and thought I'd share my results!

Oil Mica swirl:

Scented with Dragon's Blood Fragrance oil. Technique basics: This is to decorate the top of your soap; Mix a small amount of liquid oil of your choosing with a high amount of mica (must be mica in order for it to work nicely); I used Merlot mica and Gold mica. Dribble oil/mica mixture over the top of the raw soap then use a skewer to swirl the colors! Very simple, but elegant way to finish your soap Smiley
Dragon's Blood discolors to a brown, so I only put the fragrance in the grey area which was colored with activated charcoal Smiley

Leopard Print:

This one is scented with Vetyver fragrance oil and colored with titanium dioxide and Strong Pink Pigment (the marbling effect in the white occurred because the soap overheated in the mold). Technique basics: You want to be working with medium traced soap so that it doesn't get all flattened out but you also want a fragrance and soap recipe that won't get super thick on you during the process. At least two colors are needed for this... I think a full rainbow of spot colors could be super cool, too! Pour a thin layer at the bottom of your mold. Use a piping bag or squirt bottle to create diagonal lines of a contrasting color on top of that layer. Directly over the top of the diagonal lines use a piping bag or squirt bottle to make the inside of the spots, then cover that layer with the first color in the piping bag or squirt bottle. (So by now, you'll have a bottom layer of your main soap color (white) and three diagonal layers of your spot colors (pink, white, pink). Cover this with a thin layer of your main soap color, trying to keep your diagonal lines separated from one another. Then do the diagonal layer again but going in the other direction. Keep doing these layers until you're to the top of the soap! Smiley

Tiger Stripe:

This one is scented with White Tea & Ginger fragrance oil and colored with titanium dioxide, tiny bit of cappuccino mica and even tinier amount of soft green mica. Technique basics: You want to work with a fragrance and recipe that will keep at a light to light medium trace and at least two colors. Simply pour a thin line of your first color down the center of your mold. Pour a thin line of your second color directly on top of your first line and continue alternating your colors in this fashion. Tap your mold to release air bubbles and distribute soap more evenly as needed Smiley Brighter, more contrasty colors work very well for this type of technique, too Cheesy

Elemental Swirl:

This one is scented with essential oils of Rosemary, Lemongrass, Lavender, and Patchouli and colored with natural colorants of pink kaolin clay, cocoa powder, lemon peel powder, and parsley powder (didn't use enough parsley, boo...) with an activated charcoal pencil line. Technique basics: The elemental swirl is simply two different ITP (In-the-Pot) swirls separated by a pencil line. Divide your soap batch into 4 equal parts and color each a different color. Pour one color into the bucket of one other color from high above to help the soap get further down into the bucket. Use a spoon or spatula to run a figure-8 shape in the two tone bucket and pour into your mold (the colors will swirl together, but not blend). Layer a thin but even coating of your pencil line colorant on top of this first layer (I use a small strainer to help with this process. Then do an ITP with the remaining two colors. Carefully pour this last layer of soap into the mold taking care not to break through the pencil line.

Thank you for letting me share! And I hope this inspires someone to try out these awesome techniques, too!
3  CLOTHING / Shoes: Completed Projects / Vikings football glitter shoes and a pair for myself on: March 13, 2012 12:49:13 AM

So, my sister has been attempting for the past year to diy her own pair of Vikings (the football team) shoes and she hasn't liked any of the results enough to wear them out. Being the nice big sister that I am, I decided to try and make some glittered shoes for her! Since she lives two states away and these are a present I have to hope all hopes that these shoes fit her! LOL! I had a lot of fun searching the net for information about the type of glue and glitter to use- ended up using plain modge podge and Martha Stewart ultra fine glitter for these Smiley Hers are extra glittery because after I did a couple of light coats of modge podge/glitter mixture, I dusted glitter over top of the still wet glue and patted it to stick.

I even took some Testers black paint to the soles of the shoes (originally they were tan) though I didn't paint the portion under the toes so that her shoes loose grip when she walks.

After the success I had with her shoes I decided to try a pair for myself. I'm not a glitter girl so I went with a simple platinum and painted it on as thin as I could (took about 4 coats for even coverage) and then painted the heels with some Liquid Gold. I wore the shoes twice before clicking these pictures, so you can see a bit of the wear and tear, especially on the heels... gonna have to touch them up and figure out a clear coating to go over the top.

I love them because they are a simple pretty with just enough shine to catch attention, but not to be overpowering Cheesy

I'm so making more glitter shoes! Can you say "Addicted"? Hehe!
4  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Ombre Soap on: October 25, 2011 12:03:01 AM

So, this weekend I got off my butt and made another loaf of soap. I was really pushed into doing this (happily, I must admit) by my soaping mentor, Emily of ShiehDesignStudio, as she challenged me to figure out how she did her ombre-style soap (check out her Prairie Mist soap). Another part of the challenge was to video tape myself making said soap. Woah... more time went into editing this thing than making the soap! I had over 40 minutes of "footage" that I had ended up cutting down to 17 and a half minutes. So, here's the link to the video if anyone wants to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc-rMEbS7HM

Emily has also made a video showing her process so we can see how close I came to how she did this soap Smiley I'm excited to see it!

Could you believe I only used two bowls to get the colors in that soap? Well, basically what I did was make my soap in one bowl. Then I divided a little more than 1/4th of the soap into the second bowl and all of my colorant went into that soap. I poured 2/3rds of the colored soap into my mold and then added more of the uncolored soap into the colored soap bowl and mixed it in. This made the colored soap lighter in color and ready for the second pour. Then I did the same thing with the next layer. And voila! Easy layers going from darkest to lightest. The last (top layer) was uncolored soap, and I also tried a pencil line! I like how straight the pencil line turned out, but am wishing I had used a darker color... I also sorta wish I had put more colorant into the soap, but the muted colors are starting to grow on me Smiley

Let's see, I used Lotus Blossom and Orchid Rain fragrance oils and I think I will be calling this Blossom Rain until/if I come up with a better name ^_^ This is another bastile with 75% Olive oil, then in descending order coconut oil, cocoa butter, palm kernel oil flakes, and castor. There's also a bit of honey and a lot of buttermilk in this soap. I can't wait to try it out in a few days and see how it will lather!

Thanks for looking!
5  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Trying out my handmade soap mold on: August 03, 2011 09:44:30 AM
Hi everyone Smiley I've been busy cleaning my house as my MIL is coming into town for a visit today Smiley But I have taken the time to try out a few more soap recipes AND my wood soap mold that I made ^_^

To start off, this is my Oni (Demon soap)

It's a recipe that I will be tweaking. Cheesy (I love soaping!). Anyway, it's scented with Dragon's Blood FO and another spicy FO to give it a little kick (the Dragon's Blood needed it). I love this scent! So deeply masculine and great for a manly man! I did add a bit too much black oxide for colorant 'cause it has turned my lather a really light grey tint... so I will know better for next time Smiley I also need to figure out which of my oils is causing the weird marbling effect over the entire soap... I think it's the Palm Kernel flakes or the palm oil because they're the only oils I haven't used before... I find the marbling to be a bit distracting...

Pomegranate Lover soap

Made using shea and cocoa butters and Walmart GV Shortening along with my usual suspects, though my liquid content was 100% pomegranate juice. The brown color comes from the juice as the only other colorant I added was the light gold mica on top of the soap. This was fragranced with Champagne Pomegranate FO from Nature's Garden and Pomegranate and Black Currant FO from Bramble Berry.

Ninja soap

It blends in on your countertop and is quite unassuming... but watch out for its full of chapped skin fighting ingredients! Scented with Fresh Bamboo (love this scent) and also has Bamboo extract for some light exfoliating powers. My TD (white colorant) didn't get fully incorporated, sadly, and I'm still tweaking this recipe as well to get it where I would like it to be!

Castile in the Nude soap

My first Castile (all olive oil) soap. Nothing was added to this at all... so how did I get a swirl? I made two 1 lb batches- one using the lightest color olive oil I could find and the other using the darkest color olive oil I could find- and then simply swirled them together. I think next time, to get a nicer swirl I'm going to use a different ratio of soap other than a 1:1 dark to light... maybe a 2:1 ratio would get a better swirl? What do you think? Anyway, even though there's no added FO, this soap still smells prettily of olive oil with a slightly nutty after-scent ^_^ I really enjoy it!

And last, but not least, my wood mold!

It has 3 sections: 10", 5", and 6" respectively and I put it together using nails, hammer, and my quilting square ^_^;; But I must have done a good job squaring it off because my soaps slip out rather easily even if I can't take any of the sides off to make it easier to slide the soap out... altogether I think this mold cost me a whole $12- I just got three molds for 3x cheaper than I would have gotten one mold online! Woot! All four of the above batches were made using this soap mold and I tried out all three sizes Smiley

Thanks for looking!
6  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Toddler Pirate Costumes for a Pirate Birthday on: July 23, 2011 06:42:27 PM
Today, my son and I attended the birthday party of his best friend (she turned 3) and when we were first invited we were told it was a Pirate themed birthday party! Arr! So, I got my crafty fingers going and put out not only 1 but 2 Pirate costumes (I started with my son's costume and then thought "Oh- what if the birthday girl doesn't have something pirate-y to wear? I should make a little something something for her, too!" I was right. We showed up and she was wearing some of her pretty play clothes but not matching her pirate theme. So I showed what I had made to her mom and dad and let them decide (well, they liked it and let the birthday girl decide) whether she could wear it or not, and she did! Well, I mean, what little girl could seriously resist a tutu, huh? So, on to the pictures:

Birthday girl:

Best picture I could take of my son:

Both together (my son seriously can't sit still for pictures anymore, but you can see the pants better in this, Birthday girl's mommy, and Birthday girl without her tutu):

Both of the shirts were simply altered white T's painted, stenciled, cut, stitched with leather string.
The tutu was a no-sew tutu using black net and a black with white polka-dots ribbon.
The red vest was from a previous costume made by my MIL, but worked out perfectly. The red belt was simply some red satin machine stitched into a belt shape and the black pants were a modified version of McCall's pattern #M5836 H with Fray Check on the cut ends to keep it from unraveling. All of the fabrics and paint and stuff were from my stash (woot, stash busting!) and I'm just really glad that the Birthday girl's parents were ok with me showing up like that! And since the little girl loves to dance, I'm sure she'll be using the tutu to dress up as a ballerina, too!

Thanks for looking!
7  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / A Boy in Girl's Clothing on: July 23, 2011 06:26:31 PM

Well, I'm sure with that tongue sticking out, you can all imagine just what my son was thinking when I put these clothes on him to model for me!
Truth is, his best friend is a girl who is only a week younger than him and these clothes are actually what we gave her for her birthday party today Smiley She's a couple inches taller than him, so I really hope the pants end up looking more like capris on her!
I used McCall's pattern #M5836 B and H for the top and pants and the nice thing was I had bought the fabric to make something for her about a year ago and never got around to making it so I already had that on hand and the pants fabric was from a failed quilt experiment! Sorry I couldn't get any decent photos of the set, my son refused to sit still... grrr....
8  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Tom Baker's Doctor Scarf on: July 10, 2011 09:29:09 AM
Hey all... been working on this project for just under 2 months and finally finished it up last Thursday! Woot! This thing is monstrous! But... um... we'll let the pictures speak for themselves ^_^

The unassuming scarf basking in its own glory... or is it? Could it just be waiting for some poor unsuspecting victim to claim?

Nooooooo! It's taken my son and nearly swallowed him whole!

So, of course I had to take matters in my own hands and save my son from the monstrous-sized scarf!

But my plans went awry and it got me, too!

Soon a friend came to help! But... it didn't seem like he was able to help too much for he soon got tangled in it's tentacles, too!

But he finally tamed the beast and knocked it into submission.

The scarf liked him so much, it followed him home. Phew! No more having to contend with the infamous Dr. Who scarf ^_^

Yarn: 7 skeins of I Love This Yarn brand in 7 colors
Needles: size 8 (5.0mm)
Finished size: 10'10" (including fringe) and 12" wide- I was so happy that this came out to the correct size!
Number of stitches: 57,365; 1043 rows (includes bind-off row) x 55 stitches
Time: Just under 2 months; approximately 3-5 hours/night - This was approximately: The entire series of Scrubs, Lie to Me, Season 2 of Glee, Season 5 of Dr. Who, a couple of random movies, half of 10 Things I Hate About You (tv show), Season 1 of Numb3rs, and some other shows that I know I watched during this endeavor!

Thanks for looking!
9  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Just say "No"- Safe Cosmetics Act 2011 on: July 07, 2011 11:16:07 AM
Hey everyone, a new act going through Congress right now has caught my eye and the eye of many cosmetic/soaping businesses within the US- but not in a good way. If this new act gets passed, the prices of cosmetics (most commercial soaps are considered cosmetics as well) and their components/ingredients will skyrocket, many businesses will go out of business, and you can pretty much say goodbye to colorants and fragrances.

Please read up on the new Act here: http://personalcaretruth.com/2011/07/safe-cosmetics-act-2011-cover-table-of-contents-and-sec-611-definitions/
The poster has added her own comments in green to explain all the legalize and the current regulations in yellow.

And if you wish, you can sign a petition to oppose this Act (H.R. 2359) here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/no-2-sca-2011/
10  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / The Great Goats Milk Experiment (img heavy) on: June 21, 2011 11:45:55 AM
I have been curious as to why CP soapers would add Goats Milk into their soaps but I also have been reading that the Goats Milk can be extremely tricky to work with because it tends to overheat (when it overheats, it turns orange in appearance). So, what else could be done but an experiment using Goats Milk in CP soaping!

I did 3 one-pound of oils batches and used varying amounts of Goats Milk as part of the water content for making the lye solution.

My recipe:
Olive Oil: 40%
Walmart GV Shortening: 40%
Coconut Oil: 15%
Castor Oil: 5%

Liquid content was at 38%

All three batches:

The first batch I made was the green soap. I scented it with Green Tea FO. I used 30% water to dissolve the lye and added 8% cold Goats Milk (I froze it and then took it out of the freezer when I started heating the oils and mixing the lye) at trace. It's colored with a little bit of Green powdered oxide. I also tried the method where the FO and colorant were added to the oils and mixed before adding the lye mixture. After pouring it into my Pringles can mold, it went into the refrigerator for 48 hours.
I don't know why, but a couple hours after I had unmolded it, cracks developed on the surface Sad

My second batch was half water and half goats milk content. I dissolved as much lye as I could in the water, then added the goats milk (frozen) and finished adding the rest of the lye. The Goats Milk did burn and turned a bright orange color while I was waiting for the oils to cool down. Into my oils went a little bit of yellow powdered oxide and Energy FO. This, too, went into a Pringles can and into the refrigerator for 48 hours.

My third batch was 100% goats milk for my liquid content. It took absolutely forever for the lye to dissolve in the frozen goats milk, and though the goats milk was frozen and I had the lye mixing container in an ice bath, as soon as the lye touched the goats milk, it turned orange. However, this didn't really do anything to the final outcome of the soap as it merely turned a very light tan/cream color! This batch was made without any colorant and Yuzu FO and once again, I used a Pringles can mold and it went straight into the refrigerator for 48 hours.

So, yesterday I did the zap test on the soap (basically, you lick the soap to see if it "zaps" you and if it does, there is still active lye in the soap) and had no zap... sheesh... I'm a soap licker now! Hehe! Anyway, since I got no zap, I decided to do a quick test on how the soaps felt.

The Green Tea soap:
Dry, it felt kind of rough, like my usual batches do at first...

The Energy soap:
Dry, this one felt a little smoother than the Green Tea, but not by much.

The Yuzu soap:
Dry- ooh creamy! Kind of like the way commercial soaps feel when dry (but in my mind, I know this bar is actually a lot healthier for my skin). If I had the patience to do all Goats Milk in the future, I probably would be doing this all the time! However, I did get discoloration after I cut into this soap (it was a consistent color all the way through then the next day I noticed that there was some discoloration in the middle of some of the pieces). If I try this again, I will place the soap back into the refrigerator after cutting- maybe that will keep the soap from heating up too much and turning orange?

Another observation I made with the dry soap is that the soaps with the higher goats milk content feel a lot harder... I can feel some give in the Green Tea soap when I put a squeezing pressure on the middle, but no give in the Yuzu soap whatsoever.

All the soaps when wet:

When I went to wash with each soap, it was difficult to get a lather and the lather was rather slimy and ick-feeling. (I should have expected this, though, with how low a "bubbly" factor it got on the soap calculator). It also felt like it wouldn't wash off and left my skin feeling kind of sticky. So, I went online to see what was up and found out that soaps with high Olive Oil content get more of a slime lather and guess what! The Goats Milk also adds a bit of its own sliminess, too! So, I guess I should have done a little bit more research on how the oils react when used as soap Sad I was also advised to let the soap cure a little bit longer and then try washing with them again to see if any of the slimy lather goes away. So, I shall update on the Great Goats Milk Experiment in a month and see how the soaps feel when used at that time! Otherwise, I have a feeling that these soaps will be going into my first ever rebatch experiment! LOL! Gotta learn how to rebatch at some point in time!

Thanks for reading!
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