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441  Re: I Spy Bag: made for a 4-year-old, but I wanna keep it! NOW with TUTE on page 4 in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by MareMare on: September 16, 2008 11:08:06 PM
Thanks so much! Here is an I Spy bag I made for CrossStitchinMomma's little boy in Ongoing Wish Swap 38. I really thought it would be hard to find enough items, but after going through my collections of buttons, beads, randomness, and soap making stuff I easily pulled together 50 (exactly 50, and I wasn't counting!)

Here are the 4 cards I made with the pictures of what is in there...on the back of each card it is the typed words of the items. I just "laminated" the cards with packing tape since I didn't have any contact paper or anything

And I made a pocket with velcro on the back to keep the cards in.

I am going to make these for my nephews too, I think they would be great for road trips with the boys!
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442  Re: Ongoing Wish Swap Round 38 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by MareMare on: September 13, 2008 01:41:58 AM
I've been jumping up and down since I sent this to CrossStitchinMomma, and since I am super bored and have mad insomnia am gonna post pics lol! She said her little guy loves it! I would love to see some action shots!

I claimed CrossStitchinMomma for something with tractors or cars for her little guy. I knew the material I wanted to use but didn't really have any idea of what to make. Then I kept seeing these I spy bags around here!  I thought it would be hard to find stuff to go into it, but I found like 50 items quite easily within my various craft stashes! I used toys I put into mp soaps (and stolen from my nephews' play chest), buttons, beads, shells, charms, random craft supplies like googily eyes, marbles, jingle bells, a key, a bobbin,coins, etc.

Pocket on back to hold cards (demonstrated with scissors in it)

Cards with pics of items on one side and names of items on the other. I covered them in packing tape to last longer.

Here's the original post where I got the idea~

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443  Re: Soap making tutorial! in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by MareMare on: September 09, 2008 09:43:59 AM
I just went to find a pic of really bad accelerated trace--i..e soap on a stick! Florals can be some of the worst accelerants, and I had this lotus blossom fragrance that I had never soaped before. It was insane, it literally became solid in the pot in seconds and my spoon was stuck! I ended up heating it on the stove to force it into gel so I could smush it into a mold. I ended up rebatching it but it was still crap. I lost a million pics when my computer crashed, but after searching my myspace, photobucket, and winkflash I found the pic!

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444  Re: Soap making tutorial! in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by MareMare on: September 09, 2008 05:13:57 AM
Heehee, I have a funny pic of a goat's milk soap that I got a partial gel on. I did not sell that batch lol! I think it was my second batch of milk soap and I tried to keep it from gelling by putting it outside, but the wood mold holds onto a decent amount of heat on its own. So the outside didn't gel and stayed light colored, but the inside did gel so the inside was much darker.

I found it~Yep, 12 bars of this! I think I swapped some of it, it was still good soap, just ugly.

Oh, and I use a spouted plastic 2 cup measure (like a pyrex shape, but plastic) that I drew a skull and crossbones on so I know it's for lye for measuring the lye crystals. I wipe the outside of it and the lye container with a fabric softener sheet to decrease the static-y lye hopping when you pour.

tracerace~Do you do a water discount with your oven processing? I used to do a pretty deep one (when I was selling a lot, so it would be harder sooner), but then found it just speeded up trace too much I couldn't get decent swirls, and I do love me some swirling! Also I do more of a room temp method, where I don't melt my solid oils at all (except maybe cocoa butter) and using too little of liquid just took forever to melt the hard oils that way.
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445  Re: August 2008 Ongoing Birthday Swap in The Swap Gallery by MareMare on: September 09, 2008 01:14:43 AM
Ooh, I LOVE the clutch lethargic made! Am going to have to wist it! I had fun picking out beads for whyme, I never buy fancy beads! Here's another pic of the makeup bag, since I used wacky coordinating material for the lining! I was a little scared, but you said you liked bright colors!   Grin

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446  Goldfish in a Bag Tutorial (with pics) in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by MareMare on: September 09, 2008 12:12:32 AM
Goldfish in a Bag

Goldfish in a bag seem like they are pretty easy to make, but there are lots of little things that you can do to ease the frustration and get perfect fishies. I want mine to look very "I just won this at a carnival" so I take the extra time to use the wire and position it, and also to make sure the soap hangs while it cools so there are no sharp edges to take away from the illusion of "wow, it's a bag full of water...with a fish!" Also that's why I use a twist tie, or you can use a cute little bit of ribbon!

Ingredients and Equipment:

Melt and Pour Soap, Extra Clear
Vinyl/Plastic Goldfish
Plastic bags, 8 inches x 2.5 inches
Large Embroidery Needle
10 inch lengths of wire, fairly thick but still bendable.
Very small cup or bowl
2 cup Pyrex with Pouring Spout
Rubbing Alcohol in Spray Bottle
Twisty Ties or Ribbon
Chip Clips or Clothespins
Someplace to hang your soaps while cooling (I bend down the handle on the tea pot)

*OptionalTiny amount of Blue liquid soap colorant or food coloring
*Optional--Fragrance, be very careful, many fragrances will discolor or turn cloudy after awhile, and any fragrance that contains even a percentage of vanilla will eventually turn brown.

I choose to leave my soaps uncolored and unfragranced.


1. Prepare your goldfish by sticking the embroidery needle all the way through your fish tail to create a hole for the wire. If your wire is stiff enough you may just be able to poke the wire in, if not use the needle. Then place the wire through the hole with about an inch sticking underneath the bottom of the fish. Curve it slightly up towards the fish body.

2. Fold down the top 4 inches of so of the bag onto the outside. This is to prevent making a mess of soap on the inside of the upper lengths of the bag when you pour it. Prop it up inside a small cup or bowl to keep it from moving while you pour the soap.

3. Cut your soap into small cubes and place about 3.5 ounces by weight into the Pyrex dish. Microwave** for short bursts (15-20 sec) stirring after each session. Do not fully melt the soap, and definitely do not boil it! When it is mostly melted with just few small chunks left, remove from microwave and stir until fully melted. Do not get it too hot because the bags will melt!

4. Pour your melted soap into the bag and then spray the surface with rubbing alcohol to get rid of the bubbles.  Put your wired fish into the bag and spray for bubbles again if you need to.

5. Pull the sides of the bag up carefully and twist the top a couple of times, then close with twisty tie. Wire will still be sticking out the top. Move the wire around so that the fish is positioned how you like it and make sure wire end is not pressed up against side of bag, it can pop a hole in it and soap will leak out ever so slowly. Try not to mess with it too much, as soon as you have a position you like leave it alone. It's possible to pull the wire out accidentally and it just makes the kids sad when their fish is belly up (then again, that might be a really funny selling point). I just try to get it where the fish is floating somewhere in the middle-ish of the bag and try to make him as straight as possible rather than on his side or something.

6. Take your clothes pin or chip clip and attach bag to some kind of handle or something that will let the fish dangle. This is to keep the bag shaped edges of the soap. If you set it on the counter it will have one flat edge and not look like it is really a bag full of water.

7. After the soap is set up, gently pull the wire out of the soap and the fish. This is best to do before it is completely cool. If you pull it out when the fish is set well but the soap is still a bit soft, the wire won't leave a track. If you wait too long (like I did with one of these) there will be a bit of a mark where the wire was in the soap.

8. Voila! Gift to the little people in your life, or sell for like $6 each at craft fairs, they fly out of there!

Oh yeah, if Im ever swapping with you and you need fish, remind me to throw some in, I have a couple hundred lol.

** You really shouldnt microwave melt and pour soap.  It is a much better idea to use a double boiler. It breaks down the soap if you overheat it. However, I am a very bad girl and this is easier for me. I usually do novelty soaps anyways when I am working with melt and pour, not really going for the wholesome goodness with my mp (that is why I make cold process). Just please keep an eye on it if you choose to microwave, and dont blame me if you melt the bag! If you use the double boiler, you might want to use a spouted ladle or other small spouted pouring container to make it easy to get in the bag and not make a mess on the sides.


Sources to buy your supplies from:


mp soap base:
or see this link to find a soap supplier near you to save on shipping  http://www.suppliersbystate.com/
or when in doubt, check out this supplier thread!  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=202977.0

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447  Apparently I'm not a quilter in Stitch And BOTCH by MareMare on: September 07, 2008 01:25:33 AM
So I have been wanting to quilt and I found a small project in a beginner's book I have. Possibly it was too small of a project, I'm not sure if it sucks because it is such a small scale and it is obvious how nothing is even, or if I am just THAT BAD at making 1/4 inch seams. It's supposed to be a pin cushion, but not sure if I am going to bother putting it together. Also I suck at matching fabrics, I thought, "hey I have a bunch of different cherry fabrics, lets try those".  And it's supposed to be 4 1/2 inches square, but it only came out 4 inches square.

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448  Re: TUTORIAL: Straight Sided Triangular Cosmetic Bag in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by MareMare on: September 07, 2008 01:18:43 AM
I had cut out about 6 of these triangle bags and sat down to make some today, but my nephew wanted to know what I was doing. So I ended up making him one! Except I just did it straight, it isn't a triangle. I added a little strap for him to hold onto it and a loop for him to put it on a belt. Then I remembered he's 3 and doesn't wear belts, so I will probably have to make one. But for now he is carrying his treasures in it on his Elmo tool belt. I'll post the other ones when I get around to making them! P.S. there are no action shots because he is going through a naked phase where he takes his clothes off the second he's in the house. So, yes, he was wearing a belt and pouch and that's it. Kids are so freaking weird.

The "treasures" he add in it. Oh, and before he left, my brother pulled out another treasure from his pocket, the kid was trying to steal one of the rechargable batteries to my Wii! And I have to make another one for the 4 year old, his will be pirate treasure map material.

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449  Re: Yarnies Scavenger Hunt 2 ~ Gallery of Goodness ~ in The Swap Gallery by MareMare on: September 07, 2008 01:14:04 AM
I made a sunglass case from the awesome soft cotton yarn I got from girlosun_9. My old sunglasses were super scratched up from just throwing them in my purse, so I promised myself I couldn't use my new sunglasses until I made a case for them! And I wear kinda big sunglasses, so it's hard to find a store bought case. It has a flap but I haven't added the button yet.

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450  Re: August 2008 Ongoing Birthday Swap in The Swap Gallery by MareMare on: September 06, 2008 08:20:06 PM
I received from dreadlochness today! She made me a crochet square for my craftster afghan and a scissors cozy!

Awesome square~

Scissors cozy with super cute fabric and my scissors peaking out~

Thank you so much! It is fun to get birthday presents after your birthday! It makes the whole month feel special!

I can't wait until gothchics receives my package! If it doesn't get there monday I'm gonna have a fit since I sent priority and it was only going one state! This has been such a fun swap!
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