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51  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Re: LIP BALM RECIPE on: October 03, 2013 07:32:57 AM
i'm making lip balm for Christmas this year on a very strict budget...so I used a soy/canola mix with Vitamin E (Smart Balance cooking oil!), beeswax ( i got it from Michael's in US), and peppermint extract (from seasonings isle in local grocery).

they worked out great! i had to add more beeswax to get the consistency i wanted, but other than that I have enough stuff left over to make some more! ( i made 16 4 oz containers!)

One thought to using soy/canola oil blend or either of the two straight is they have a short shelf life and will go rancid much quicker than other oils.  So they may smell like rancid oil much quicker than if you were using a different oil. 

I am a lip balm junkie and hate just about all commercial made ones and I spent a long time formulating a recipe.  I made several that I didn't like for this reason or that one.

29% Beeswax
29% Cocoa Butter
10% Coconut Oil
10% Shea Butter
19% Liquid Oil Of Choice Or Divided Among A Couple Different Liquid Oils *
 3% Flavoring

* Use liquid oils that are known to have a longer shelf life for best results.

I master batch my recipe without adding in the flavoring even though it's formulated as part of the recipe.  I pour it into a silicone muffin mold that I just used for my lip balm or food safe items.  Don't use one that has been used with soap/candle fragrance oils.   Then when I want to make a batch of lip balm I whack off the amount that I need, melt it and add the amount of flavoring appropriate for the size batch that I am making and pour it into tubes.


Personally I think 1 part beeswax and 2 parts liquid oil will be a bit on the soft side.  Maybe more appropriate for lip balm that is placed in a pot or a small slide lid tin rather than in a tube. 
52  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Re: Reusable Snack Bags on: October 03, 2013 06:28:13 AM
Those are super cute, I love the food fabrics for food stuff.

.... but I have to ask, isn't PUL not safe to use for food?  I thought ripstop was a better choice because when you use a product for food it needs to be safe to be used for food.  Just make sure it's food safe before buying as there might be more than one type.   Oil cloth is another product that is not food safe.

Another thought might be to cut apart a gallon size (freezer type because they are tougher than the regular bags) to the size you need and sew that into the fabric.   Just don't use pins to hold your layers otherwise you will have little air holes.
53  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Re: oh oh mama pads..TUTORIAL....w/ inserts on: October 02, 2013 07:44:50 AM
Great tutorial!  I've made some out of flannel and they turned out great!  Personally my dish with disposables is the sticky stuff.  It seems they use different sticky stuff for down the middle of the pad than the wings.  The wings seem to have industrial stuff and it makes the bottom of the undies icky the middle shifts IMHO.  I'm not overly fond of the way the disposable ones feel.  I buy name brand usually always or kotex....   But the cloth ones are more comfortable for lack of a better term.

I don't have my snap pliers yet so I just use safety pins on the bottom for now.  But I pin the wings to the bottom of the undies at the moment to keep them from shifting and moving up or down.  I have read where using polar fleece on the bottom layer helps keep things from shifting.  So I'll be picking some of that up on my next trip to town.   I also ordered a KAM pliers and snaps so I'll apply those when they come.  I have read where the KAM is better than the one at walmart in the craft section.  The KAM is most often seen on cloth diapers.  I ordered the size 16 snaps.   

Some I used 2 layers of flannel and others 4 layers of flannel because it's what I had on hand and I didn't want to wait to experiment.  I'm making AIO rather than the kind shown that you use liners to adjust to the amount of absorbancy that you need.   They both turned out pretty good, but I don't think I will be using 4 layers of flannel anymore.   I'm going to also pick up some cotton terry the next time I'm in walmart and experiment with that, but I'm also going to order some bamboo terry or bamboo fleece as I've read where it's more absorbent than the cotton terry.  It may be trimmer than the cotton terry as well, but being more absorbent you can use less layers for an overall trimmer pad. I think the cotton terry would be just fine for a pantyliner or for light days.

Polar fleece however doesn't hold liquids it repells them so that's another reason why some use it as a backing material.  It doesn't make them waterproof but it does help some.  But I'm also going to use some PUL which I ordered and it came yesterday to make it more waterproof.  Having 3 kids hasn't been so kind on the bladder either for sneezes and I also have allergies to dust mold and pollen and I live in a rural farming community.

Some use a cotton quilters fabric for the top, but I'm going to stick to flannel.  Some how I just don't like the idea of the cotton fabric for the top because flannel does a much better job of wicking liquids away and into the core of the pad.  It seems like it would be a tad cold to the skin when wet as well.  But that's my opinion.  I did see my walmart did have some minky but it's the kind with raised dots, so I'm not sure if I will give that a go or if I will order some of the flat stuff online yet......

But I've done a fair bit of reading on the subject since learning how popular they were becoming.   I got side tracked on pinterest when I first learned more about them because of school girls in Africa not having access to these products and would have to miss school or drop out because they didn't have anything to use.   So sad.... but that got me interested first for making some to donate (some sites have requirements and set standards for what is donated for the style of the pads to make cleaning easier for them)  but also for myself.  To which I never thought I would do!  I used disposable diapers on all my kids for the ewwww factor.       

Any ideas on how to introduce the concept to a 17 year old?   She also has horrible cramps from her period and reading some claim that it not only helps cramps but also so the flow isn't so heavy.  Apparently from the chemicals used in the disposables?   Even if it doesn't help with those issues it would be nice to help give the environment a break on a few less disposables in the landfill.  I'm not overly "green" or a tree-hugger or a hippy or whatever the new term is.... as I do like my disposable products for some things.  But I really dislike disposable feminine pads...... and well you can make these pretty....    I also have a 9 year old and well someday in the next few year she will be needing these as well. 

I was watching a video on youtube and she I think rinses her pads out and then stores them in a bucket.  Two days before washing she soaks them in the bucket with some oxiclean for the two days and hasn't had issues with staining.  She also uses a stain stick sometimes of a particular brand, but I can't remember what brand.  I usually use Shout Advance around here for stain remover just because it has those magical enzymes to remove stains, but I was thinking of making a soap with 100% cooconut oil and using a lower superfat as a stain stick.  (superfact of maybe 2%)

Next thing to tackle will be ordering a diva cup or similar product?  Does anyone recommend a good brand from a particular site that you like?   I also like my tampons because of a really heavy flow..... (TMI) but I'd like to try a reusable cup instead.....

54  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Re: Sparkly Tattoo Tutorial on: October 02, 2013 07:06:57 AM
Oh My Word, I didn't even know they made ink jet tattoo sheets!  My kids would love those and well like most kids they like those temporary tattoos!   This would be super cool so they could have what they wanted!   

Super cool idea for kids birthday parties for the take home loot bags!   Could also be great to include for classmates for holiday parties or with valentines at school.
55  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Re: Spiced Pumpkin Shandy and More Handmade Soap on: October 02, 2013 06:55:31 AM
Those look awesome!  I love the first one, I bet it smells great!   The pom is super pretty with it's pink color.

How did you keep the Guinness one so light colored or did you just use a small amount of beer as your liquid?  When I've made beer soaps I always use 100% of the liquid as beer and the times I have used Guinness it always turns out fairly dark.    My dad has some goose hunters from Wisconsin that come up every year that hunt on his land and this year they brought 'gifts' of some micro-brewery beer and some duck/goose sausage.   We got some of the "loot" and the hubby said I could have "one" of the bottles of beer for soap making.  But since the bottles are a very dark brown I'm not sure how dark or pale the beer is, but the hubby did say it was very good.  I didn't think to ask it's color because he drank it straight from the bottle.   Personally I like the lighter colored soaps so if it's a dark ale I might use some water or some aloe juice to lighten it up some along with a little TD.  I wonder if 50/50 would keep it lighter colored while still containing a generous portion of beer.  LOL also splitting it up would allow me to use my 50/50 lye solution and I wouldn't need to prepare the beer quite so much for adding the lye into it.... or the stench of beer and lye mixed together or the volcano effect it can have.


Beautiful soaps, your picts are gorgeous and I hope they fly off the shelves and people take names to find you online to place orders in the future! 
56  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Re: Your Pros & Cons for Using Velcro? on: September 27, 2013 05:21:25 PM
While I like and do use velcro in some applications... I haven't used it on a purse.  I did think briefly to use it on a cosmetic type bag but decided to go with a zipper for the reason suggested.  After awhile you get junk caught up in the velcro and it doesn't close right or perhaps stick would be the better word.


The idea of magnets is interesting.  While I have seen those purse magnetic closures and I have thought of buying some.  I have a few different listings listed on the bay saved to my watch list.  Maybe I will give them a go....  But overall for a purse closure I like a zipper.  If the bag tips over I don't want all my stuff rolling out.  At least with a zipper if that happens everything stays inside.

But going back to the magnets gave me an idea from something I did a couple of months ago.    One of the things I hate is plastic shower curtains and I prefer the fabric ones for the inside curtain.  Leaving the pretty one on the outside that is for decoration.  But the inside curtain needs to stay inside to be effective and it seems like I was always wiping up water from the floor after the kids would shower.   So I bought some fishing weights (super cheap) a couple of packages and put one inside the bottom of the shower curtain seam and I sewed it in place ever 5 inches or so.   That weigh (LOL) the shower curtain stayed put in the bottom of the tub.   I'll have to make a post about that IMHO that was a really good idea and the shower curtain doesn't creep up and is always straight down.   

So going back to using what I did with the shower curtain and other magnets that I have bought off the bay that were strong earth neodymium magnets.   You would need to make a pocket for the magnets to slide into and then carefully mark where your seams would go to so they didn't slide around and stayed in their spot.  Then put one on each side and they would come together when in use, but easily separated when you want to get into it.  But you can get them pretty flat and I have bought these that are 1/2" in diameter by 1/8" thick.  A nice size for lots of applications including refrigerator or locker magnets.

Mods if this is a violation link please remove it.
I have bought from this seller, I have nothing to gain by posting this.  I have bought from this seller like 5 times in the last few years and was very happy buying from them and when I need more I will be ordering from them again. They also have other sizes.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/400076765754?ssPageName=STRK:MESINDXX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1436.l2649

So that's an idea on the magnets if you wanted to hide magnets between the layers without buying special purse magnet closures.   I may have to try that in making a purse for an interior pocket.  But you do have the issue of magnets with electronics so use with care when you carry a cell phone.  Perhaps make a cell phone pocket on the outside of the purse on the opposite side of the magnets.  But it might be a nice idea for a school bag for a school aged girl.
57  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Re: Bacon Soap Recipe Anyone? on: September 27, 2013 04:22:57 PM
It's not so much as the recipe as the technique used to get the two colors of the bacon look.

There are a lot of bad recipes posted on the net so I would suggest learning how to use soapcalc to get your own benchmarks.  A lot of recipes online are not balanced and "formulated" by people who don't know what a good recipes should look like.  It's more than just throwing oils together. Oils are not interchangeable as they all have their own properties they bring to the finished product.  Never trust a recipe that gives you weights for liquids and lye on an online recipe.  Instead punch the numbers into a lye calc and figure them out yourself.   That way you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your soap will not be lye heavy.  Also some are more experienced and are comfortable with working with less liquid.


Personally I'm not a fan of lard as the main base oil.  But I don't mind it as a supportive oil in a recipe.

You can buy bacon fragrance oil to up the anti and make your soap more realistic.

But this is a recipe I just punched into soapcalc that is nice and balanced.  I do tend to use more castor than most other soapmakers but the reason is because it's both moisturizing while adding to the lather of the soap.  Unlike coconut oil that is drying to the skin (when too much is used) while adding to the lather.  So it's a balancing act IMHO. 

26% Lard
26% Palm Oil
15% Coconut Oil
15% Castor Oil
8% Shea Butter
10% Olive Oil

Benchmarks 41
Cleansing 11
Conditioning 55
Bubbly Lather 24
Creamy Lather 44

Have Fun.....


58  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Boxy Bags on: September 27, 2013 02:03:56 PM
I just thought I would share.  I had seen these bags for a long time and I've been wanting to make one forever it seems like.  But just didn't.

While having some down time with a bad fibro flair up I spent some time in bed with my kindle fire HD.... on youtube and pinterest looking at tutorials found on blogs.  I decided that when I felt better I was going to give it a try and I did.  Now I have made SEVERAL of them.

My goal was to make some for specific teachers and admin at the school my kids attend.  My daughter in HS has a favorite teacher that is her choir/band teacher so a music print for her.  My son is special needs and has a para for some of the day.  She has been with my son for 8 years now and she is big into sports, so a basketball print for her.  They tried switching to someone else years ago and that didn't work out as my son doesn't deal with change well.   The principle because I know she had extra work in dealing with my son when he was in elementary school....  There for awhile she had to take time out when he needed it to calm him down so he could go back to class and function the rest of the day so I have been very appreciative of everything she has done for my son.  My youngest daughter has a new to the school teacher so she is unaware of my crafting talents.....  I often give homemade gifts to teachers that I make myself.   Inside the bags I am going to include a small travel size 2.5 oz bottle of lotion that I make myself (from scratch if you do this yourself PLEASE make sure you use the proper preservative for safety reasons) some lip balm and some hand sanitizer.    But that's another story.....  I make it for personal use but I don't mind giving it as gifts and it's labeled properly of course.  With with a pack of gum and a container of mints.  Then tied to the top with a matching ribbon a larger bottle of lotion they can put on their desk.  The principle has told me how much she loves my triple coconut lotion. (made with coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil and coconut milk)

But I add decorative stitching to the top rather than plain stitching.  I also just ordered 10 yards of zipper off the bay with 20 pulls to save myself in buying single zippers at walmart.......  Now to begin playing with that as I want to make some bigger bags than these.  

I do sew them with seams at the bottom so if it's a pattern that has direction you don't have one side that is the right way and the other side upside down!   I also use stiff fusible interfacing on the lining side and on the outer fabric side I use fusible fleece to give it some softness.  I don't want them to be soft saggy bags that don't keep their shape.

I cut the fabric 5.5" wide by 11" long.  The corner seams are 1.5" on the angle.  I do use a quilters ruler and mark my sewing lines for the corners for it's the same on all four corners.  Then I zig-zag over the cut seams on those corners after trimming them for a professional looking finish.  (I should dig out my serger someday)   I do have my zipper longer than needed so that way I don't have to deal with sewing over the pull for a smoother look on the edge.  That makes a big difference!!!

Oh this one is made for the gal that grooms our dogs and boards them when we got out of town.  By daughter also babysits her kids when she needs a sitter and they adore my daughter!  






This is one of my favorites.  I love the black and white with the red inside.  Of course my favorite color is red.....






If you haven't tried making one of these types of bags do give it a go.  They are a lot of fun to make and quite functional.  They have 1001 uses.   There are a lot of tutorials on blogs (easily found on pinterest or google) and video's on youtube to help you figure out how to make them.  I had to re-read blogs and re-watch video's till I got it right.  My first bag wasn't half bad but I learned what I could do better the more that I made. So my first few bags were made from cheap fabric because I was learning.  So I suggest you do the same.  Don't expect perfect on the first try but use cheap fabric but with some practice you can have some pretty cool bags for yourself or give as gifts..... or if your a seller to add to your line up of bags to offer your customers.
59  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: Leaky waders Useful Again (more photos!) on: September 27, 2013 01:24:57 PM
OMG this is a total DUH moment.  What a BRILLIANT IDEA!

I love this idea especially since I have been working on several of the boxy type bags and they are super simple to make.   These would be fun to make and perfect for the gentleman.
60  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: Crown Royal Handbag on: September 27, 2013 01:21:25 PM
This is really cool, what an awesome way to re-purpose a crown royal bag.

Overseas as kid my mom and I use to pick up my dad crown often at the duty free store when we would travel to Singapore for my monthly appointment to get my braces adjusted.  I know there was a stack of them as my mom only used one to put makeup in.   Next time I am out at the farm I will look around to see if I can find them.  These would be fun to make.  I don't drink myself but I have friends that do and these would make great gifts for them that I think they would appreciate! ... and use....
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