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21  Kitchen Sign in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by Nymeria on: June 09, 2009 10:39:20 AM
Okay, first off I'm mildly embarrassed posting this obviously amateur project amongst some of the gorgeous things I've seen on this board, but I'm hoping to get some good feedback on what I can do to improve this.

A sign made by me for my kitchen. It was inspired by lovely things I've seen on here and other sites.

Friends call me the cupcake queen because I make them so darn much.

Close-up of the top.

The "menu." 

Overall I'm pleased with it. My desire is to "seal" it somehow or make it shiny and a little more professional looking. Though I have NO idea what would do that. Any suggestions are appreciated!!

Comments, critiques, suggestions welcomed! Smiley
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22  Shampoo bar! (Recipe plus guide of sorts) in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by Nymeria on: May 31, 2009 06:03:34 PM
Okay so here is my shampoo bar I made this week. It is scented strawberry shortcake, but the strawberry scent is so light I think I'm imagining it's there, lol. The fresh baked bread scent is very nice, but not what I had intended. The strawberry DID discolor beige, which makes this look kind of like homemade strawberry preserves or something...

This is an all-time favorite of mine and people go bananas over it. Enjoy! (this is NOT the best picture and I will explain WHY later in post...)

Giving credit where it is (most likely) due: This recipe is dog-earred and tattered in my soap journal so I cannot be certain from where I got it, but I think it may have been Susan Miller Cavitch. It was so many years ago!!

First off, what is a shampoo bar? Quite simply it's a bar of soap specially formulated for your hair. IMHO, you may use a shampoo bar on your body (I don't because I like to make it last longer using it just on my hair), but you should not use a body bar on your hair. The reason is that shampoo bars are not only supposed to clean your hair, but also moisturize and condition your scalp. With a good shampoo bar (*cough* yes, I throw this in that category, *cough*) you should not need a conditioner. Though for people who have really, really, really dry hair, or chemically abused hair, a conditioner will probably still be necessary. But for normal-oily folks, this is all you need!

A note about this recipe: This recipe creates what is initially a VERY soft soap. Looking at the recipe you're probably thinking "Holy cow, that's soft!" and it is true in the initial stages. The secret to making this shampoo bar is patience. Considering that I am inherently impatient, I figure if I can make this bar, ANYONE can make this bar!!


6.9oz. lye*
19oz. distilled water

3oz. avocado oil
4oz. wheat germ oil
9oz. castor oil
2oz. jojoba oil
16oz. coconut oil
14oz. vegetable shortening (or palm oil or beef tallow)
1oz. mango butter
2oz. cocoa butter

For detailed instructions on the cold process method, please see Ohhappyday's lovely tutorial. Follow all of the instructions up until it comes time to unmold.

Leave the soap in the mold for at least 48 hours. If you are using a traditional loaf or slab mold, lift the soap liner (with the soap) out of the mold and allow to sit for another 48 hours before you attempt to cut it. For the above batch I used my new Kelsei mold and was not pleased with the results. Because it is so soft, pulling out the dividers was a bear and because the soap is so darn soft, well... you can see in the above picture the bars are not as pretty as they could be. But I digress... Once you cut the bars, carefully move them to a curing rack. What do I mean by careful? If you put too much pressure you will squish them with your fingers. I had to throw one bar away because it was too smooshed.

Do NOT be alarmed or turned off by how soft this bar is. I've shared this recipe with others in the past had had people call me saying that it failed because it was so soft. Once the water begins to evaporate over the next month, the bar will get hard. As mentioned, it just takes some patience!

*Yes this does put this bar of soap in the 8% excess fat range which is higher than I usually like to soap. But because this bar needs to pull double duty of cleansing and really moisturizing, I find this works best.
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23  Two new -- and pretty darn spiffy -- lotions! in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by Nymeria on: May 27, 2009 10:44:18 AM
The first one is my take on Mcook's lotion recipe she posted not long ago. It is absolutely lovely! I scented it with Hawaiian pikake ... well the bottle says EO, but I'm not sure if that is an EO-able scent, so it may be FO, lol. Anyway, it's floral but not cloying and reminds me of Hawaii. Smiley I'm using it as a gift for my father's wife's birthday.

Next is a lotion recipe that took awhile to tweak but I'm very pleased with the results. It's an intense moisturizer with cocoa butter, tamanu oil, lanolin & mango butter. It was created by request for a friend whose daughter is having horrible eczema problems right now. I scented it LIGHTLY with vanilla mint and it's nice! My only wonder is that because of the lanolin and tamanu oil, it's already a creamy color, I'm wondering what the vanilla FO is going to do to it, lol. We shall see!

(horrible picture, hard to photograph!!)

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24  Marigold milk soap in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by Nymeria on: May 27, 2009 09:54:49 AM
Okay this soap was a bear to take pictures of, but here it is! It is made with organic, Colorado farm-raised goat milk, calendula petals (the spots in the soap, lol) and is scented with Morning Marigold which is this nice potted flower smell. It's earthy yet floral. Not my cup of tea, but this was a custom request so as long as they like it, it's all good!

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25  Re: Budget Meals Swap Gallery of Deliciousness! in The Swap Gallery by Nymeria on: May 27, 2009 09:52:28 AM
Okay, yesterday I received a box from DesignVigilante that is nothing short of amazing!! She was an *awesome* partner and I love, love, love, LOVE my box!!

Action shot of *most* of my items (yes I look VERY tired, and YES I have a mountain of laundry to fold in the background!):

In this picture you can see a lovely apron she sewed for me, an awesome crocheted market bag which my daughter promptly fell in love with, some fingerless shopping gloves which will be VERY nice this winter, and a mug/cup cozy which is around my daughter's insulated sippy cup because I use those for coffee (she doesn't drink out of those particular cups). In case all of that wasn't enough:

These are pot scrubbies, washcloths & coasters. THE AWESOMENESS!

She also included a disc with all of her recipes, that all look amazing. I will post some of the titles in a bit, but my daughter is acting up currently. I just had to share the wonderfulness that was DesignVigilante's box. Smiley
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26  Challenge 2: At least they're not in the landfill... in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by Nymeria on: May 01, 2009 08:54:28 PM
(This entry is eco-friendly because I'm recycling, but it's not nearly as awesome as mcook's or Pony's entries. But I had to enter for cutesy value!)

So I had two problems on my hands:

1) I recently started making liquid soap and people wanted me to mail it to them in a way that would NOT leak. Mmmmkay...

2) My daughter is an apple juiceaholic, and we bought a flat of Martinelli's juice at Costco. Great price, great juice, TONS of plastic bottles that I did NOT want to chuck in the garbage...

They are a wonderful 8-10oz. size, and have a screw-on lid. Voila! Since my first batch of liquid soap was a baby soap that was nothing but olive oil*, I figured how fitting (read: cheesy) to package it in my baby's juice bottles for shipping and storing! Better yet, I told my friends that if they send the bottle back to me, I will refill it! Smiley

The empty bottles plus one with soap:

Yes, I know it looks uncannily like juice. DH pointed this out to me, too.

So here is an action shot:

As mentioned, it is 100% olive oil, so it gets next to NO lather, but I like it! Smiley

*I am planning on doing a liquid soap tutorial in the future, but for this post's purposes let me just say that 100% olive oil liquid soap is NOT a good first attempt. It took over an hour to get the paste to the right stage. Over. An. Hour.  Lips sealed

ETA: For all the nerds with keen eyes, YES that is a Gen 1 iPod, and YES it still works (technically).
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27  Re: Bath & Beauty Swap Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by Nymeria on: April 27, 2009 07:18:13 PM
I, too, received from dip_n_dot today!! The soap bag is soooo nice, and the candle smells dreamy. It's nice because mrs.dutt's candle is a fresh, baked goods smell which is nice for the house, and this one is a warm, relaxing bath candle. (Seriously, I'm a spice-aholic! Which may be why I love "Dune" so much... Grin)

The blue is poifect, too! It's the shade I love! Smiley
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28  Re: Bath & Beauty Swap Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by Nymeria on: April 22, 2009 08:58:02 AM
Appreciation shot of Nesse's lovely slippers! (my girly likes them a LOT for some reason, lol)

Thank you!!!
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29  My dream hand cream! in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by Nymeria on: April 19, 2009 07:33:24 PM
Okay so I hate lotion on my hands. Hate, hate, hate it. Combine that with my obsessive hand washing, and, my hands are constantly cracked and bleeding. So I wanted a cream I could put on at night before bed (and sometimes during the day) and wouldn't be bothered by the tacky, greasy, oily feeling most lotions give. Through some trial and error (thank you, MareMare for your method and help!) I came up with this:

It's NOT a great picture (excuse the bill it's sitting on, lol, and the light reflecting off the surface, it's NOT oil droplets as it appears), but it's a nice, whipped, smooth consistency that is fairly "heavy" without being greasy. After a few minutes it absorbs in your skin and leaves you with a nice silky feeling.


16g avocado butter
6g avocado oil
15g apricot kernel oil
6g liquid glycerin
12g emulsifying wax
9g steric acid

175g water

1g vitamin E
2g FO (I used a combination of lavender 40/42 EO and chamomile FO)
2g Liquid Germall

Much as Selnith said, I "attacked this with the whisk" after it emulsified and cooled a bit. It has a lovely consistency. For people, like me, who hate working in grams, this makes about 10oz. of finished lotion, or 112g.
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30  R2-D2 Cake in Dessert by Nymeria on: April 03, 2009 09:42:39 PM
So DH is a major Star Wars nut and I happened to find this pan in our basement. It's a Wilton pan and it's from somewhere between 1979-1981. All I can say is God bless Wilton for uploading ALL the instructions to ALL their pans on their website!! It was a lot of dorky fun. It looks a little funky in the picture, but it turns out cakes are hard to photograph! Smiley

Any comments, criticisms or tips for getting blue icing paste out of denim (don't ask) are appreciated!  Grin

ETA: The "naked" holes/circles on his head are waiting for maraschino cherries which I need to buy at the store tomorrow morning. Oops!  Embarrassed
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