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321  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Share great deals on suppliers here! on: April 13, 2009 05:12:00 PM
I just got a cool email from Elements bath and body and thought I would share. If anybody finds great deals on eo's, packaging, base oils, etc or sees sales or clearances please share them here! This thread is to share great finds for supplies, not to sell your own products or your supplies. We have a general suppliers thread here for suppliers we like and recommend, this thread is for specific items/sales, etc.

Elements Bath and Body~ 15% off of bases (mp, lip balm base, liquid soap, shampoo, lotion) Weekly sale so I'm guessing it will last....a week  Grin http://www.elementsbathandbody.com/Weekly-Specials-c-117.html
322  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Featured Projects--Quarter 1, 2009 on: April 05, 2009 12:58:07 PM
Here are the featured projects from the first quarter of 2009. All of these projects were posted in January, February, or March. Many of these were popular projects that have already been rocked or commented on quite a bit, and others might not have gotten quite as much attention the first time around. They were chosen by a combination of votes via the This Rocks button and my desire to highlight awesome, creative projects through a variety of soaps and other bath items as well as make-up and all the other great categories that fit under Bath and Beauty.

(click the pic to go to the thread)

First off, the winner of our first Bath & Beauty Board Challenge. The Challenge was to make a B&B product with an unusual item and Nymeria made soap with baby formula!

Next Step Baby Soap (aka infant formula) by Nymeria


And here are a few Valentines Day themed crafts:

Rose Bud Bath Melts (with recipe) by EmmyFNWL


My Tribute to Valentiness Day by simplyorganic


And an April Fools Day project! (or is it??...)

Dill Pickle Salt Scrub and Lip Gloss by EmmyFNWL


I doubt anyone hasnt seen this, it was a Craftster-wide Featured Project!
Anba: Troublesome Princess Cyber Soul by ambermi


And the rest of the Featured Projects!

Massage Melts by tinkswings



Cake, Anyone? by Nymeria


Rosemary Foot Scrub by Addicted to Soap


Mendi/Henna Designs by Solarwen


Soap Cigar Band Tutorial by Nymeria


8 Loaves of New Soap by mcook72677


My newest soap by shout4joy


Pin-Cushion Inspired Make-up by astr0zombie


My Latest Nails by malibukasey


CupcakesNoIts Candles by dip_n_dot


Massage Butter with Swiss Chocolate by PonyHuetchen




Thanks everyone for making and posting such great projects, and keep clicking This Rocks when you see something you love!

323  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Featured Member--swift on: April 05, 2009 11:52:33 AM
Here is our new Bath & Beauty Featured Member~swift!

Swift has been a Craftster since early 2005 and makes amazing B&B items like mineral make-up and facial cleansers! Besides posting great projects and recipes she also is free with her help on the Discussions and Questions board. Here are a couple of her posts that made me go "Dang!"  Grin
(click pic for link)




A little intro by Swift:

Although Im known as Swift (after the author, not a description of my speed!) or SwiftCraftyMonkey, in real life Im Susan. Im a crafting dilettante I run a few youth craft groups, so I have to come up with new ideas every week but my true passion is bath & body formulating. I love the way it challenges me scientifically and artistically!

As much as I love crafting, I love teaching, and I get such great joy at being part of that a-ha moment when someone learns something new. I work for a non-profit charity and I believe in giving back to the community, which is why I started my blog at http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com. And as someone who really doesnt play well with others in group settings I ask far too many questions and want to know everything! I find the net is the best way for me to learn.

A friend insulted my crafting skills and challenged me to learn how to cross-stitch in 1996. Which led me to learn to crochet, knit, bookbind, sew, and create bath & body products. In the last two years Ive added candle making, jewelry making, and polymer clay to my crafty repertoire.

In May 2009, Im marrying an amazing and supportive man who encourages me in everything I do. Raymond and I have an adorable-fur baby, Blondie, the little cutie pie in my avatar. And yes, we are crafting everything for the wedding.

Q: Why (and when) did you begin making Bath and Body items?

It was a happy accident that led to my obsession with creating bath & body products. My best friend and I were sewing purses one afternoon, and it turned out to be one of those days on which I could not get a single thing right! To alleviate the frustration, we decided to make bath salts, bath bombs, and melt & pour soap. Then a batch of bath bombs failed, and, being the kind of person who cant stand not knowing how things work, I had to find out what happened. (We were using the wrong kind of citric acid!) I stumbled upon the Soap Dish and saw people making lotions, hair care products, and more! I had no idea any of this was possible, so I tried a few things and became obsessed. That was almost three years ago.

Q: What is your B&B philosophy?

Creating incredible bath & body products is about knowing your ingredients. Get factual information and studies from reputable websites; dont believe urban legends or spam that shows up in your inbox! Be inquisitive. Why use sweet almond oil instead of sunflower oil? Youre not tied down to any one supplier when you know the INCI name of your supplies, and you can substitute what you want instead of the ones used by the recipe creators. I find this is the best way to customize your creations!

Know how your ingredients feel. Pour some oil on your hand, play with the hydrolyzed proteins, add a little conditioner to your body wash -- knowing what each ingredient brings to the party is essential for formulating. I thought my long, frizzy, coarse hair would love silk, but it became even frizzier! Thats how I found the protein my hair and skin loves.

Keep notes on everything. Get a notebook (or in my case, giant binder) and make notes about every single thing you did during each creation. I like to keep my recipes in a binder with plastic covers. I can write notes with a grease pencil and I transfer those notes to my computer if Ive done something significantly different. I always keep the dates of each batch and what I changed, and I always label every product with the ingredients. How else am I going to know which one I love and which one I will never ever try again?

Show no fear! If you want to make it, make it! Whats the worst case scenario? You waste a few supplies or create something you hate (although it might be something someone else adores). I always say I gain confidence from my successes, but I learn from my mistakes. If I hadnt failed on that third batch of bath bombs, I wouldnt have found this amazing craft!

Q: We love your mineral make-up, what can you share about the process?

Mineral make-up is the harmony of chemistry and art (wow, when you write it down, that really sounds cheesy!) Perfecting a base you love is the hardest part of mineral make-up creation, and its something most of us never think about because its not the cool, shiny part. A base can make the difference between a soft, powdery feel with longevity or a flaky mess that runs in the rain. I cant count how many batches of eye shadow base Ive made, sent out to friends for feedback, then tweaked before I found the one I love (the one posted on Craftster). But now Ive done that, I can create to my hearts content.

The actual process of making an eye shadow is very exciting. I choose a colour Id like to make something I saw, printed, or dreamed and think about how to get to that point. Do I start with something shiny or matte? Do I want to darken it with black? Do I want something highly pigmented or something sheer?

When you get your micas, iron oxides, and the like, put some on your hand and look at in the daylight. Note the main colour, then note the sheen, sparkle, and undertones. Make up a colour sheet with the name and a swatch of each colour on it so you know what each contributes to an eye shadow or foundation.

And try anything. Green and pink didnt go well together youve learned something not to do next time. Or perhaps they do, and youve created an amazing colour others covet. 

Q: What other B&B items do you make?

The short answer: Everything I use.

The long answer: I make every product in my bathroom, except the toothpaste and deodorant (and Im working on that!). Im a surfactant junkie, so I love making bubble baths, body washes, facial cleansers, and shampoos. Ive got a whole lotta hair, so I love working on new hair care products conditioners, leave in conditioners, de-frizzing potions and I love making lotions. Id never really used them before making them, and now I cant live without at least a body butter, hand lotion, and foot scrub!

Ive never tried cold process soap. Its not for fear of trying it, but I figure there are people in my community who have perfected their craft and Im happy to support their work!

Q: How did your first B&B project go for you?

My first attempts at bath bombs went very well, but the third was a dismal failure (see the happy accident story above!) Im very fortunate Ive only had one lotion go wrong, and that was because I made a massive mistake I didnt make sure the water and oil phases were at the same temperature. The water was barely lukewarm and the oils were above 70C. The lotion separated, and I learned a valuable lesson about the role of heat in emulsification! 
 
Q: Do you have any favorite techniques?

The techniques I use are pretty much what I consider good manufacturing practices, so its hard to really comment on the actual making of products. I like to have all the ingredients and utensils at hand, the fragrance or essential oils Ive chosen, and a large jug of distilled water at the ready. I make sure the landing area, where Im going to put the finished product to cool (fridge, freezer, countertop), is ready. When the product is cooling, I consider the packaging Id like to use (I have far too much, so this can take some time) and write down my notes for my labelling.

For formulating, I love to go through the stores or mooch through my friends bathrooms checking ingredient lists for products they like (with their permission, of course). I write down the ingredients and research each of them to see if they are essential to the product or just good marketing, then I try to recreate the essence of that product.

For mineral make-up creation, I get paint swatches or pieces of fabric or brochures from the cosmetics counter and use those as my reference for eye shadow ideas.

Q: What is your favorite B&B project on Craftster that youve posted?

My mineral make-up tutorial!
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=284588.0;all

Although Im very pleased with my first tutorial on bath bombs!
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=109892.0;all

Q: What is your favorite B&B project on Craftster that someone else has posted? 

I love Rayno24s cupcake soap tutorial!
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=53178.0;all

Q: Besides B&B, what Craftster categories are you a frequent poster or lurker on?

All of them! Sewing purses, bookbinding, jewellery making, miscellaneous I read them all for ideas.

Q: What is your favorite non-B&B project on Craftster that you have posted? 

I liked these beeswax sushi candles, although there isnt much of a tutorial. I have changed the design somewhat since I posted this, but I still think theyre fun!  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=86418.msg815123#msg815123

Q: What is your favorite non-B&B project on Craftster that someone else has posted? 

I love this tiny wallet. Ive modified it to include a change section for my camping trips!
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=101026.0;all
preg_replace('/(.{49})/', '$1 ', '__________________________________________________________________________')
 


Thanks so much to swift for being a Featured Member! If you would like to be a featured member or if there is a member that you would like to see featured please shoot me a pm.
324  Calls for Swap Angels / Swap Angel Archive / December Bday Swap--1 Angel FOUND on: March 26, 2009 12:36:34 AM
Swap Name: December 2008 Birthday Swap
Original Thread link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=280742.0
Gallery Thread link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=280740.0
# of Flakers: 1 flaker
Angel: UntouchableFace

I need an awesome angel for epic1313 who was flaked on in the Birthday Swap. She didn't get her birthday present! The swap is for a medium item from her wishlist:

epic1313
Happy Birthday! I live in Northern Virginia and my birthday is New Year's Eve, so everybody parties for my birthday. I am turning 28. My favoritest craft at the moment is knitting. But I can sew and I've etched glass. I bake and I play a lot of Nintendo. My favorite videogame series is The Legend of Zelda, but I also like Mario a lot. I like trying new crafts, but mostly only make things for others. Typical right?

Crafted Items:

My wists has a lot of stuff on it that I would love to have. http://wists.com/epic1313
I recently moved in with my boyfriend, so wall art would be good. We have a space above our video game consoles that I would love a nintendo-related piece of art for. I can measure if interested. )
Any type of market bags. I like knit, crochet cotton ones, but cloth would be cool too. Recycled would be even better. Thank you javastain!
A roll for my knitting needles. I have crochet hooks too, even though I don't know how to use them yet. Something to organize the needles would be great though. I like the one fishie has on hers, http://farm1.static.flickr.com/167/403789592_b727719bfd.jpg.
Jewelry. I like rings, necklaces, bracelets but don't have pierced ears (except a hoop up in my cartilage that could use replacing ) )
I would love a hat/scarf/gloves set. I know that's not a medium, but one of the three would be great too. I have knit everyone in my life a scarf, but have yet to knit myself one.
I love this guy's apron http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID=151607125&albumID=0&imageID=4555723
this shirt is pretty fabulous http://spriteshirts.blogspot.com/2008/05/zelda-ii.html. Or something like it.
I could use some oven mitts
A surprise!   

Craft supplies:

I like making cards, so papers or stamps or anything fun.
Yarn. I've never used handspun before, so that would be awesome.
Knitting needles. Most of mine came from my grandma and and bent plastic. I like metal and bamboo.
A crochet teaching kit. I have all the hooks, just no clue where to start.
A tatting teaching kit. I have a shuttle and the floss, but no clue where to start.
Knitting book or magazines.
Stitch markers. I've never had any, but think they would come in handy


Extras:
I love sugar! Candy corn, chocolate, cookies. I am addicted.

If someone could be a really great and speedy angel and has excellent swap feedback, please pm me!   Grin
325  Calls for Swap Angels / Swap Angel Archive / January Bday Swap--2 Angels Found on: March 26, 2009 12:21:45 AM
Swap Name: January 2009 Birthday Swap
Original Thread link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=285564.0
Gallery thread link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=285562.0
# of Flakers: 1 flaker, but flaked on a total of 2 claims

Angel found for timpani~jax = Jeane
Angel found for tcha345 = mcook72677

I need a couple of awesome angels for timpani~jax and tcha345 who were both flaked on in the Birthday Swap. They didn't get their birthday presents! The swap is for a medium item from their wishlists:

timpani_jax
My birthday is the 10th of January, I'll be 24. I live in Devon in the UK. I really admire knitting and crochet work as I'm not too great at either. My fav. colours are blue, green and purple. I love art deco, the twenties esp. flappers, pop and op art.

No allergies

Crafted items:

Slouch bag, large with a shoulder strap
Embroidered flapper, I seem to have a collection forming
Silk-screened t-shirt
Jewellery, I love necklaces, bracelets, brooches but no earrings as I don't have pierced ears.
ATC or other artwork, see my wist for inspiration
Armwarmers
Wristlet
Clutch bag with an art deco feel.
Notecards with a cat or horse theme
Jar of whimsies

Supplies:

Bright coloured buttons
Beads
Ribbon

Extras:

Postcard from your area
Magazines, US - Bust, Nylon
                AUS- Frankie

tcha345

Hello! I'm tcha345, aka "Iffer" to my friends. I'll be 24 on the 23rd of January.  Man I feel old! lol I love all sorts of things including but not limited to renaissance-esque  things, gambling, hockey, plants/nature and art.  My favorite artist is Van Gogh.  I have no allergies and I have a pet ferret named Waldo. I'd love to try my hand at resin or anything else.

I like dinosaurs a whole lot too.

Crafted items I would like:

something with my nickname on it
something "Starry, Starry Night" related
ferret bed similar to one seen here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=265602.0
Collaged shoes like this: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=150098.0
'melted bead art' of any sort
curtains or pillows for my new apartment
handspun or handpainted yarn
stitch markers
wist inspired items
anything else surprise me! 

Craft supplies:

knitting needles
crochet/knitting books or patterns
kits for a different craft
 

I really like surprises! 



Please pm me if you can be a great angel and you have excellent swap feedback!
326  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Eco-Friendly, All Natural on: March 24, 2009 10:32:15 AM
Hola folks, Challenge 2 is on now, theme: Eco-Friendly, All Natural. It lost to the last challenge theme (Unusual Item) by only one vote I think. I know everyone can totally rock this theme!

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=297890.0


Challenge 3 will be Intensely Colorful, after that I'll take more suggestions on themes and do another round of voting.
327  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Speedy Recycled Noodles on: March 18, 2009 03:28:09 PM
I came home really tired from work last night and found some left over pan fried noodles from the Chinese place the other night. Normally I'm so tired by 10 pm I would have just microwaved and scarfed em, but I decided to cook a real meal! I tried to get the veggies in small pieces to cook quickly and found some a piece of cooked chicken in the fridge.



Ingredients

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
Assorted veggies (whatever's in fridge!) I used:
2 carrots, peel removed and then peeled into thin strips
3/4 cup diced broccoli
1 small onion, halved and then sliced into thin wedges
5 large brussels sprouts, cored with sharp paring knife to separate leaves
1 cooked chicken breast, diced
Salt or Soy Sauce to taste
Granulated or fresh garlic to taste (I was out of fresh!)
2 teaspoons sesame oil, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
Leftover cold noodles (I had about half a large take out container, but they were packed down)

Heat vegetable oil in saute pan over, when hot add veggies and stir fry on medium heat until tender crisp. I like my onions softer so I put them in first. Add chicken and warm through. Rinse cold cooked noodles under hot water to get off the oil and to loosen and separate. Don't totally drain, throw them in pan while still dripping a little. Get everything tossed together and hot and season with sesame oil, salt or soy sauce, granualted garlic (if using fresh add when you cook veggies) and red pepper flakes. Taste and readjust seasoning if necesary. Drink some tasty beer while you're chopping and cooking and it seems even quicker!





*I also had mushrooms and water chestnuts, wished I would have added those! Other veggies that would be awesome: canned bamboo shoots, asparagus, cauliflower, zuchini/yellow squash, or cabbage. And of course use whatever cold cooked meat you have or leave it out completely. Also raw shrimp cooks so quickly that would work great too.

For Italian style noodles, use the same leftover chinese noodles or leftover spaghetti/angel hair/fettucine noodles and omit the sesame oil and soy sauce but add some dried or fresh Basil and/or Oregano and/or Italian Seasoning. Tasty veggies for Italian style might be onions, drained canned tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus and spinach. For meat try sliced sausage links, chicken, or shrimp.
328  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / B&B Challenge 2~Eco Friendly/All Natural~Congrats to mcook72667! on: March 05, 2009 02:14:12 AM
In preparation for Challenge 2 (down the road just a bit), what would you guys like to see as prizes? I am going to post on the board asking for challenge prize donations, but is there something specific I should ask for? I know it doesn't have to be B&B stuff every time, do people want craft books, jewelry, sewn items??? Maybe try to get a few small things and throw them together? Let me know your ideas!

Also, what is a good time frame? I probably won't want to start another challenge for several weeks at least.

The theme for the next challenge will be....oh yeah, like I'm gonna make it that easy on ya!   Grin  Actually the theme will be the runner-up from the theme voting previously. Keep posting your ideas for themes and for Challenge #3 we'll either do another vote or keep going and pick the 3rd theme from the last round of voting.
329  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Roasted Brussels Sprouts---No, really! on: March 03, 2009 07:10:59 PM
I never ate Brussells sprouts because my mom didn't like them, although I eat basically all other veggies. A couple years ago we did a co-op type produce thing where we got bushels of produce fresh off the farm every week. We got a ton of brussels sprouts so I found a recipe on allrecipes.com and cooked em up. Seriously, best things ever. I will eat them over french fries every time! This is a great way to cook any veggies, a fave combo of mine is cauliflower and red onions along with the brussels sprouts! They get that yummy roasted flavor that brings out the natural sugars, mmm mmmm.



Ingredients:
3-4 cups (or more, whatever) of brussels sprouts, trim off the end if it looks icky and peel of any outer leaves that are holey or black or brown. Cut in half if they are very large
1-2 Tablespoons of oil
1/2 teaspoon or so of kosher or sea salt
Cracked black pepper
Dash of red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 or 450. In a large roasting pan lay the sprouts out in one layer. Sprinkle the oil over the top and toss gently to coat. Add salt and pepper and stir again. Cook in hot oven, stirring every 5 or 7 minutes. Cook a total of 15 minutes or more, the darker they get the more the natural sweetness comes out. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necesary. If you didn't use very much oil a touch of butter might be good, but usually not needed. Voila, love!
330  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Mock Wendy's Pitas on: March 03, 2009 07:01:33 PM
Does anybody remember Wendy's pitas? I worked there in high school and my (very) early 20's and they were the best! I was craving some the other day so I made an easy version, and am listing all the other ones too in case anybody else wants to re-create them! Super super easy to grab when you're in a hurry if you do a tiny bit of preparation ahead of time, like making the cucumber relish and the broccoli slaw up and keeping chopped cooked chicken in the fridge.



Greek Veggie "Pita" (pictured)

Ingredients:

Cucumber relish
1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 small red onion diced
Combine veggies in bowl to make relish. Will keep in fridge for a couple days, great to top salads and chicken and other things too.



Warm pita bread (I used whole wheat tortillas)
Lettuce blend (romaine, green leaf lettuce, iceberg, whatever)
Cucumber relish
Feta Cheese
Caesar Vinagrette or Italian dressing

Layer ingredients in pita or tortilla, voila!


For other mock Wendy's pitas~ (I might have some of the names wrong, it was a long time ago!)

Chicken Caesar Pita
Warm pita or tortilla
Lettuce Blend
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Cooked, chunked white chicken breast
Caesar Vinagrette or Italian dressing

Chicken Ranch Pita
Warm pita or tortilla
Lettuce Blend (packaged mix works well)
Broccoli Slaw
Cooked, chunked white chicken breast
Light Ranch dressing

Veggie Ranch Pita
Warm pita or tortilla
Lettuce Blend
Cucumber Relish (see above)
Broccoli Slaw (packaged mix works well)
Light Ranch dressing
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