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1  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Make your own lip shimmer. on: September 09, 2009 07:05:29 AM
For some reason, the mineral make-up bug bit me hard in August, so I've been working on lip shimmers and lip stick recipes. There's far too much information to share here - please see my blog for numerous posts on this topic - but I thought I'd share my recipe for lip shimmers. If you are interested in knowing more - why I chose these ingredients for the lip shimmer or alternate oils and waxes, please visit the post on my site at http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2009/09/lip-shimmer-sticks.html (it's just too long to put here!)

The ruby is the one at the left end. You can see it looks quite vibrant, but it is going to be a shimmer on your lips.

Melt together in a double boiler...
8% candellia wax
9% beeswax (I was going to use carnauba, but I ran out!)
18% shea butter
12% mango butter
52% liquid oils (28% castor oil, 10% fractionated coconut oil, 7% squalene, and 7% jojoba)
1% Vitamin E

You can use your favourite lip balm recipe, if you have one, as the base for a lip shimmer. This is going to make 100 grams of base or about 10 lipsticks!

These recipes are all for 1 tbsp of base. To get a nice shimmer, you'll want between 5% to 10% colour in your lip balm. This is going to look like too much - it's not. These are lip shimmers, intended to give you a bit of colour on your lips.

Scoops means 1/32 tsp or one of those little 0.15 cc scoops you can get at mineral make-up supply shops.

4 scoops red or red mica (1/8 tsp)
1 scoop white satin mica
(5/32 tsp colour to 1 tbsp base - 5% colour to base )

5 scoops merlot mica
(5/32 tsp colour to 1 tbsp base - 5% colour to base)

A more elaborate colour blend...PINKY PINK
1 cc raspberry pop mica
2 cc coral mica
1 sc burgundy iron oxide
4 sc titanium dioxide
1 cc petal pink mica

If you add the titanium dioxide, it becomes more of a lipstick than a lip shimmer.

I like to use little plastic shot glasses for my lip shimmer colour blending. You'll want to mix your micas in a plastic bag until they are well blended (if you're using more than one; for the merlot, just put it in the shot glass). Add 1 tbsp of melted lip balm base to the shot glass, then pour the mica into it. Mix mix mix until it is well blended. If you aren't sure about the colour, you can put a dab on a white piece of paper and see if it you like it. If you do like it, then pour the lip balm into a lip balm container and rejoice! If you want more colour, make sure the lip balm is well melted and add more mica to it, then pour it into a lip balm tube.

If you want more of a lipstick and less of a lip shimmer, you can add iron oxides to the lip balm base (please see this post on my blog...http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2009/09/lipstick-modifying-lip-balm-adding-iron.html) or you can add titanium dioxide (please see this post on my blog...http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2009/09/lipstick-modifying-lip-balm-adding.html)
2  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / M&P Soap cupcake icing (recipe) on: July 19, 2009 09:48:48 AM
I've been playing with melt & pour soap for an upcoming youth craft group, and I wanted to make some soap cupcakes, but all the recipes for icing I see are either cold process soap, which I don't make, or foaming bath butter, which is prohibitively costly for my group. So I thought I'd make a syndet bar and use that as icing.

(The soapy part of the cupcake isn't the cutest thing in the world as I was using soap left over from other projects, and I should have coloured the icing...but oh, well. I'll make some more tomorrow! The yellow ones are Lemon Curd and it combines wonderfully with Cream Cheese Icing. The pink one is Pink Sugar - again, lovely with Cream Cheese Icing fragrance!) 

BASIC ICING FOR SOAP CUPCAKES (feel free to double or triple - do not quadruple)
28 grams SCI noodles or flakes
26 grams Amphosol CG (coco betaine)
34 grams SLSa
3 grams cetyl alcohol
2 grams fragrance oil (I used Cream Cheese Frosting from Brambleberry. Yum!!!)
Colouring (if desired)

Heat the SCI and coco betaine in a double boiler until the SCI has melted. Add the SLSa and cetyl alcohol and again heat until all ingredients are melted. Mix well with a hand mixer, then put into a piping bag with a cake decorating tip on the end (I used a 1M). Decorate cupcakes. Rejoice.

The reason I say not to quadruple the recipe is that it does set very quickly and you will find it difficult to pipe after about 20 minutes or so. If you want to decorate a ton of cupcakes, you will want to remake the recipe again.

You can use another liquid surfactant, but SCI melts best in an amphoteric surfactant like coco betaine, so this is why I suggest it. I used cetyl because it will harden and will offer some moisturizing - you can substitute stearic acid for a harder and slightly less moisturizing icing. Feel free to add some oils - say up to 3% - to this mixture for more moisturizing!

If you aren't into melt & pour soap, you could use this icing to make some decorations for your bath bomb cupcakes (although it's not going to melt quickly in the tub)!
3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / My crafty wedding on: June 07, 2009 07:20:54 AM
I married the man of my dreams, my partner, Raymond, on May 16th. We crafted as much as we could for the wedding...I thought I'd share a few pictures!

My amazing new husband! Can you tell I'm happy? My mother made my dress, his shirt, and the best man's shirt, while my best friend made her own dress. My best friend (Wanda) made the jewels for my hair, and we made our jewellery (although I am wearing a necklace my late father gave me as my something old.) My dress was very elaborate - my mom hand made all the buttons. It's nice to have a mother who is a professional dress maker!

For my bridal shower, we made candles to burn at the wedding!

Wanda made 150 cookies - 2 small, 1 large - to give as favours. On each large one she wrote either "Ray & Sue" or "Sue & Ray" and we packaged them in cello bags.

Of course we had to make our own cake! It was a vanilla cake with lemon filling and butter cream and marshmallow icing. Our best man found these little Pez dispensers, and in the background we have hidden 2 little gummy bears peeking from the bushes behind the happy couple. (We make strange cakes decorated with various gummy animals, such as the teddy bear's picnic/massacre. This represents our normal cake decorating techniques).

We decorated the tent with flags that represent us and what we like. These three represent SueWanda land (Wanda and I set up the campsite with two tents and all the necessities in 45 minutes, so we declared it our land), Upper Chesterfieldia and East Bedrovia, which represent the glow in the dark slug wars we used to have in our bedroom.

It was an amazing day and I'm so glad we made so much of it! Just wanted to share!
4  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Making facial cleanser (recipe) on: March 11, 2009 07:27:33 AM
I am always looking out for a good facial cleanser as I have very sensitive facial skin (thanks to years of acne products) and I break out easily. So I've come up with a facial cleanser that works well for my oily, sensitive, acne prone skin....

50% water (you can substitute some water for hydrosols)
20% LSB or BSB surfactant (I like LSB for degreasing, use BSB if you have normal or dry skin)
10% Amphosol CG
10% aloe vera or other hydrosol
2% cromoist, hydrolyzed oat protein
2% panthenol
2% sodium lactate or glycerin
0.5% chamomile extract (optional)
0.5% honeysuckle extract (optional)
0.5% Germall Plus preservative or 1.0% Germaben II preservative
up to 2% Crothix

Blend the LSB and Amphosol CG together until well blended. Add the water and aloe vera or hydrosol into the mixture and mix until well blended. Now add the other ingredients, except for the Crothix and powdered extracts. Put a little warm water into a small cup and mix the extracts together before adding. Allow to sit for about an hour and check the viscosity. You will want to add at least 1% Crothix to this mixture as it is a good anti-irritant. If you wish it to be thicker, you can add another 1% for a total of 2% Crothix to this mixture. Allow the bubbles to settle, then package. A pump bottle is great for this cleanser (as per the picture).

If you want to increase the amount of aloe vera or hydrosol, remove an equal amount of water from this recipe. You can add other powdered extracts in place of the chamomile and honeysuckle - cucumber, green tea, etc. - but please read the information on those extracts before deciding to combine them (see my post on making facial toner at http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2009/03/fun-with-formulating-make-toner.html). Please do not leave out the preservative as there are many botanical ingredients in this recipe that need preserving. Finally, as there are many essential oils that are great for your facial skin, consider researching this topic and finding one you feel would be great for you. Keep the amount below 1% of the total weight of the recipe. You will want to add up to 1% (an equal amount) of polysorbate 20 emulsifier to the oil before adding, to keep the mixture emulsified.

If you want to know more about why I use the ingredients I did use or how to tweak the recipe, please visit the complete post (it's way too long to post here...) on my blog at: http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/2009/03/facial-cleansers.html. To celebrate March as National Craft Month, I'm posting a bath & body tutorial every day, with an emphasis on knowing your ingredients. 
5  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Mineral make-up: Make your own basic eye shadow on: December 29, 2008 07:10:14 AM
I've caught the mineral make-up bug, and thought I'd share some of my experiments here.


4 tsp serecite mica
1 tsp titanium dioxide (I use oil soluble)
1 tsp dry-flo

Put the ingredients into a coffee grinder or Magic Bullet and grind for quite some time -- at least 2 or 3 minutes (less with a Magic Bullet). Now put into a container to be used as your base. (Feel free to increase the amounts by the same ratios -- I generally make up 8 tbsp serecite mica, 2 tbsp titanium dioxide, and 2 tbsp dry-flo so I have a ton around!) An eye shadow container takes about 7/8 tsp.

There are tons of variations on eye shadow bases, but you want the base to stick around, to be opaque, and to glide nicely across your eye lid. That's why I've chosen these ingredients.


Cream - a matte base (and a great example of the power of iron oxide)
3/8 tsp base
1 scoop yellow iron oxide
Squish in bag. Squish it well as iron oxides are hard to incorporate at times.
If you like it and want to make more for a container, double this recipe.
That's it! You have a cream eye shadow!

(Notes: This is not a shiny colour. To get shine, we need to add micas. This is intended as a nice basic cream colour to use as a base for other warm colours.)

Tan - a matte base.
3/8 tsp base
1 scoop brown-umber iron oxide
Scoop, squish, test. Rejoice.

So you can see the power of iron oxides to colour your eye shadow. Try these bases with other colours using the same ratio of 3/8 tsp base, 1 scoop of your colour (ultramarine pink, chromium green, magnesium violet, or other iron oxides).

White - a shiny base
2 scoops white mica (satin or matte, depending upon your desired shine level)
2 scoops sunpearl silver mica
3 scoops base
Scoop, squish, test. Put into container.

If you use something like an arctic silver with a blue tinge, you are going to get a white base with a hint of blue. (If you like blue, why not a variation on this white with the arctic blue?)

I've posted a whack of various recipes and ideas, including the breakdown of why to use the ingredients listed and the like, as well as links to other sites with MMU recipes on my blog: http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/search/label/MMU. It's way too long to post here. (This is the blog for my youth crafting programs, and I've been trying to post a tutorial at least every other day for various things -- the main page can be found at: http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com/.)

I am now officially addicted to wearing eyeshadow. You can wet the eye shadow and use it as a liner or to foil (which, I found out, does not look good on me!)
6  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / My little DS bags with zippers & pockets on: May 24, 2007 07:15:18 AM
My fiance and I decided everyone we know had to have Nintendo DSs so we could have some super happy fun wireless competitions...but you have to have a cute bag for them, don't you? (Hey, every single thing in life is a cheap excuse to craft!) So here are a few bags I made for my DS (the monkey bag), and my friend's friend's children. I made a few vinyl ones for my other friends, but I didn't take a picture of them.

I got this little pouch from a Butterick pattern -- 4473 - http://www.butterick.com/item/B4473.htm?search=4473&page=1, which is apparently out of print now! There's a tutorial located here -- http://www.amitymama.com/vb/sew-along/246199-zippered-pocket-sew-long-lotsa-pics.html for the basic concept. But this won't work with fabric with a unidirectional pattern, like the dinosaur one. 

This one has a shrinky dink zipper pull with the child's name on it.

This one has a front velcro'd pocket for games and a zipper pull.

This one is mine...it has brown banana fabric on the inside and a sock monkey zipper pull! I like the sock monkeys!

7  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Brother Riviera 1781 sewing machine help on: May 20, 2007 08:25:55 AM
I received a sewing machine from a lovely woman on Freecycle for my free youth craft group. It is a Brother Riviera 1781, but it lacks the shuttle (what my mom calls it) or bobbin holding thing under the machine (what I call it). I can't find anything on Brother's website about this machine -- it is very old -- and I wondered if anyone knew anything about it. I need to know how much the shuttle thing-y is going to cost to see if it is worth keeping, but I can't even find a reference to this machine through Google. Any help is appreciated! Thanks!
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / I bought plastic earring findings...now what? on: May 11, 2007 08:01:06 AM
Thanks so much for the information on plastic earring findings (I can't wear metal at all, but I love earrings!) So I bought them and realized...now what? I bought the stud type earring findings and they are all plastic, the poky part and the closing part. (Yeah, I'm new to all this!) I was reading how to attach polymer clay to the earrings by pushing the stud part through the clay and baking it, but that isn't going to work for this project as they will melt. So I'm wondering if anyone can share how to glue and what glue to use for the following:

1. polymer clay -- just thin slices of a sushi polymer clay (unbaked at the moment);
2. wooden game pieces -- I am Queen of the Meeples and must show this off (from Carcassonne!);
3. shrinky dinks -- my obsession with sushi, Vikings, and Meeples continues; and/or
4. beads -- small ones, glass or plastic.

In short, how to I get the things I want to use as the decorative part of the earring onto the earring??? I have some silicone, but I am willing to buy other things like E-6000 and 2 part epoxy. Has anyone had some experiences with using these items they'd like to share. If I can figure this out, I'm going to share it with my youth craft group!

Thanks in advance!
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Plastic findings for earrings? on: April 18, 2007 07:51:46 AM
I apologize if the question has been asked before in the past, but I did review the board as best I could before posting and didn't find anything.

Does anyone have a source -- preferably Canadian -- for plastic findings for earrings? I can't wear metal in my ears, and I have bought a few pairs of plastic ones that finally allow me to be fashionable and non-itchy and in pain! Yay for me! But I'd like to make my own. I am new to all of this jewellery making stuff (and bow down before the goddesses on this board!) and wonder if someone could direct me to somewhere I can find plastic earring findings. I am in Canada, so I would prefer that, but I'll take any suggestions!

Thanks in advance! My non-bleeding, not sore ears will appreciate it greatly!
10  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Any pictures of cute li'l Vikings out there? on: April 04, 2007 06:36:37 PM
I have been making shrinky dinks at an alarming rate lately, turning them into zipper pulls and cute little hanging things and other weird jewellery pieces. So I've been collecting cute little pictures of various characters: I have an adorable pirate, a cute ninja, some lovely cowgirls, some not-so-scary zombies and vampires -- mainly from dingbat fonts -- but I cannot find a Viking. It's upsetting because everyone else has their character (my best friend is a belly dancer, my fiance a ninja, his best friend a pirate), but I can't find mine. Can anyone direct me to a cute little Viking picture I can trace to put on a shrinky dink? The emphasis being on the cute part...I need to represent myself in a zipper pull! (My drawing skills are less than an average 4 year old, so something easy or silhouetted would be greatly preferred.)

Plus I want to show this to my youth craft group in May for our "cute little things" series of classes, and I'm sure someone would love a Viking! Thanks in advance for any help!
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