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301  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / So how much does it cost to make your own soap? Answered! on: March 13, 2010 02:56:17 PM
Hey guys, someone on the frugal-along asked me how much it costs to make a batch of soap, so I worked out a new spreadsheet with current costs (hadn't done one in probably five years) and thought I would stick it here. It's always interesting to see what people pay for specific products in various areas! (this was written for that thread, so it might be simplified a bit more than needed for the person who is already a soaper, not trying to talk down to anyone!)

*This is my simplest recipe, using 3 oils, lye, and water. For fragrance it's probably at least another $.50-$2  per lb of oils (so this 5 pound batch would be an additional $2.50-$10 for fragrance for the batch, depending on supplier and usage rate, and colorants and other additives would also be extra)

*I keep all my recipes in percentages so I can use any of my various sized molds for them, this batch is a simple one:

45% olive
30% coconut
25% vegetable shortening

*Also, I buy in bulk, and all of these ingredients are local for me, so I do will calls and do not pay shipping, shipping costs would have to be figured in to the final price if you have to order online.

Coconut oil (www.shayandcompany.com) -5 gallons/640 oz (approx) for $52 = $.08/ounce
Olive oil (Cash & Carry) - 1 gallon/128 ounces (approx) for $14 = $.11/ounce
Vegetable Shortening (Costco or Cash & Carry) - 6 pounds/96 ounces for $6.99 = $.07/ounce
Sodium Hydroxide (lye)(www.shayandcompany.com)- 9 lbs/144 oz for $22 = $.15/ounce

So a 5 lb oil batch will yield me 20 bars, each bar is about 4 - 4.5 ounces after cure (I don't count the weight of water in my calculations, so a 5 lb batch is 5 lbs of oil, the water and lye calculated for that batch is in addition to 5 lbs, but in the end most of the water is evaporated out)

5 lb batch

24 ounces coconut x $.08 = $1.92
36 ounces olive x $.11 = $3.96
30 ounces vegetable shortening x $.07 = $1.40
11.40 ounces lye (6% lye discount) x $.15 = $1.71
25 ounces filtered water = $0

Total = $8.99/20 bars = $.45 per bar

Not counting start up costs such as equipment, etc, but you can get things like stick blenders and pots from yard sales for cheap and use things like shoe boxes instead of buying molds.  

If anyone's interested in soap making, here are some getting started links (info, suppliers):


And here's a soaping tutorial:


302  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Quilt Block Swap Gallery on: March 05, 2010 11:10:03 PM
Here's the gallery!
Link to original thread:

Sendouts April 12 26

Everyone has claimed a post, chat away!  Grin

This is not a traditional gallery, we will be posting pics of what we make, not of what we receive

Everyone please make one post that will be your personal gallery post that you will keep adding your pics to as you make blocks for your partners.  After everyone has a gallery, then we can start chatting about what is posted, just so we have all of the galleries at the beginning, kay? I'll let you know when all the galleries are ready. Everyone has claimed a post, chat away!  Grin

Here is the list for me to check off of who has created their gallery post:

Gallery Post Created = Link directly to that post

green r my tear$
craft minded
303  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Quilts for Kids Quilt-along (Charity for Kids) on: March 04, 2010 02:41:14 AM
Several people have been posting in this thread about their Quilts for Kids quilts. I'm so glad that Compwalla posted the link to share about this great organization! Quilts for Kids provides quilts for children who are ill in hospitals (and others in need) so they have something cuddly to wrap up in. There are different ways to help out, but one way is to request a quilt kit, stitch it up, and send it back to them! They will send you the fabric and pattern, you stitch the top, add batting, and quilt and bind and return it.

I thought it would be great if we all posted our quilts here, or links if they are posted elsewhere on Craftster, and shared our goals for this project. I'm almost done with my quilt top and plan on making another one to send in with this one. I hope to send a total of 4 quilts in this year (plus help my sil with 2).


Here is the first one I am working on, it's now sewn into rows and the light pink border is on, I need to add the final border and get this puppy quilted!
Finished and sent back a couple weeks ago!

The first one my sil and I did together (her first one!):

Here are some of the guidelines and the FAQ, copied straight from the Quilts for Kids website

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you accept Rag quilts?

Unfortunately, we are not allowed to accept them for hospital donations. The lint is not good for a child with breathing issues. However, we can donate them to shelters.

Can we use old t-shirts, sheets, pajamas ?

Due to immunity issues that the children may have, only NEW 100% cotton fabric is allowed. No re-purposed fabrics can be accepted, so please do not use sheets, curtains or clothing.

Can we use flannel?

If it is a high quality new flannel, feel free to create a quilt out of it. Lower quality flannel pills and looks "used" the moment it is washed so please do not use a "discount" store flannel which does not have the higher thread count necessary to stand up to numerous washings.

Do you accept hand-quilted, fleece or tied quilts?

Unfortunately, we are not able to accept tied quilts due to a potential choking hazard that hand ties create and their inability to stand up to the hospital washers and dryers. All quilts have to be machine quilted for that same reason. Fleece is not acceptable because it causes static which can interfere with hospital equipment.

What size should the quilts be?

Approximately 38"- 40" x 45"- 46"

What type of batting should I use?

Please use LOW LOFT 1/8 to 1/4 inch batting. Cotton or poly or a combination of the two is acceptable.

Can I donate the quilts to a hospital/child in my area?

Unfortunately, no. All quilts made from quilt kits must be returned to headquarters for quality control and to make certain we have the proper data. Each quilt is carefully checked for pins and loose threads; if a quilt has not been washed, we do that, too. Careful records are kept regarding the number of kits sent out and the number of quilts returned to us. However, if there is a QFK chapter in your area, you may work with them; our chapters donate quilts to their local hospitals.

How should the quilt be quilted?

Having a lot of machine quilting in your quilt will help it hold up to the rigorous washings it goes through at the hospital. Please machine quilt in the borders as well as in the blocks, about every 2 inches or so.

Can you send me an extra label for my stash quilt?

In order to avoid the postage and handling of sending out separate labels, we have volunteers here at headquarters who sew labels on to the quilts that come in without them. To register your quilt on the Downy site, you may send us the name of your quilt along with your name, address, phone and email when you return the quilt. We will make sure the correct name shows up on your label.

I want to make a four-patch from my stash. What yardage do I need?

You will need 1-1/2 yards for the back, 1-1/4 yards of focus fabric, which includes the focus squares and the outer border, 1/4 yard for the inner border, and 3/8 yard each of two different colors for the four-patch blocks.

My quilt is ready to go. Where do I ship it?

Please send your finished quilt to:

Quilts for Kids, Inc.
11 Effingham Rd.
Yardley, PA 19067

Please include your name, address, phone number and email.

How can I find a chapter in my area?

On the Quilts for Kids homepage, go to "How to Help" at the top of the page and click on "Find a Local Chapter."

I tried to order a kit, but when I clicked on the "submit" buttom, I received an error message.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Perhaps your computer's security settings do not permit your access to this link. Simply email your request along with your name, address, phone, email, and how you heard about us to info@quiltsforkids.org.

"Official" Quilt Pattern Links: (you still need to click on "download pattern" to get the pattern in either PDF or Word format, unless otherwise noted)

Four Patch Quilt Pattern

Nine Patch Quilt Pattern

Pinwheel Quilt Pattern

NICU Quilt Pattern

Wheelchair Bag Pattern

Downy Touch of Comfort Heart Quilt (pdf)

Other Quilt Pattern Links you might like
Remember the recommended size is approximately 38-40" x 46-48" for the regular quilts and approximately 36 inches square for the NICU quilts. Some of these are probable close enough and others you may want to alter a little to get the dimensions a little closer.

Scrap Strip Squares Quilt

Nine Patch Lattice Quilt

Charm Squares Baby Quilt

This is cute but it's a little big, might want to alter a little:
Sweet Baby Quilt

This one is super simple but also a little big. I would leave off one column so it is rectangle and make the border a little smaller or leave it off all together:
Baby Girl Quilt

This would be great with a colored inner border instead of the prairie points, I can't see that those would be good in the hospital! This is the first quilt I made too:
Pinwheel Baby Quilt

This is only 28" x 36" but would be very simple to make 36" square for a NICU size:
Betty's Bowtie Quilt

Stacked Coins Baby Quilt

Streak of Sunshine Quilt

Fat Quarter Baby Quilt from Two Little Banshees With a 4 1/2 inch border added all the way around I think this would be the perfect size!

Half Square Triangle Baby Quilt Finishes at 40x45.
304  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / FAQ and Help for this board on: February 27, 2010 04:13:41 PM
First and foremost: PLEASE DO A SEARCH BEFORE YOU POST A TOPIC ASKING A QUESTION. A lot of members have asked the same questions and most likely there is already a tutorial somewhere. Please make sure you do a thorough search first.

Q: Which board should I post on?
A: Good question! The Purses, Bags, & Wallets section is seperated into three categories-
General (completed): This area is for all kinds of bags- but not reconstructed items. They have their own area. Please remember that this section is not meant to serve as a place for questions.
Reconstructed (completed): If you created your beautiful bag out of a cereal or detergent box, kool aid packages, t-shirts or any other thing which had a previous life serving as a something else, please put your topic under this category. Please remember that this section is not meant to serve as a place for questions.
Discussion & Questions: Here is where you post all questions and discussions pertaining to purses, bags, and wallets!
Challenge Entries: Here you'll find all of the current information on the Bag Challenge! You'll find entries, prize info, how to donate prizes, etc.
Handbag Challenge Archive: Want to peek at previous entries and winners? Check out this board!

Q: Where can I get tutorials for bags?
A: Right here! Updated as much as possible, with over 70 tutorials from Craftster members themselves!

Q: I made a nice bag and want to sell it but I'm not sure how much to charge, where do I ask that?
A: Please put this kind of questions under Crafty Business Advice > Get Product and Website Opinions and not here. Anything like this will have to be moved to it's appropriate folder.

Q: How do I post an image?
A: First you must make sure the image is uploaded somewhere. Try using one of these image hosts: Photobucket,Village Photo, Image Shack // If you own your own domain, you may also use that webspace to upload.

In your post, press the "insert image" button and copy/paste the URL of the image between the tags. It should look like this:
[img ]http://www.yourimagehost.com/username/imagename.jpg[/img]


After you upload your pics to your member gallery, click on thumbnail of the pic you want to add to your post and copy the UBB code into your post. You can find UBB code underneath each picture you upload along with the key words and title.
If you're having trouble using our photo hosting, we have a whole forum for questions!
Craftster Picture Hosting Support

Q: Where are good places to buy fabric?
A: NEW! Check out our compliation of fabric websites here!

I personally look for fabric everywhere! Flea markets, craft sales, church fundraisers! I love to periodically check Ebay and see if I can find any good deals on a Fabric Lot. You can also get Fat Quarters at craft stores, like Michaels and A.C. Moore and try making a quilted look for your bag. For cheaper prices, try Wal-Mart chains. Super Wal-Mart tends to have a better selection than a regular Wal-Mart. Hancock Fabric has a ton of fabric, of every kind but pricewise you will tend to pay more. If you can't get to these stores easily, I strongly suggest using the internet. Use Google and do a search for wholesale fabrics, you may find some good prices and save some money with the shipping!

Please PM myself or kittykill to add any more questions to the list!

Thanks to jMi for compiling this list!
305  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Congrats to the Jewelry Challenge winners! acidtric, aecharjay, Feast Your Eyes on: February 18, 2010 10:03:27 PM
Thanks so much to everyone who entered this challenge! We had an amazing 23 entries!

Congrats to the winners of this challenge!

First Place, and the winner of the fabulous bag by alwaysinmyroom

Octopuss Garden by acidtrix


Second Place, winner of bath/soap goodies

Sunset on the surf by aecharjay

Third Place, winner of bath/soap goodies.

Revenge at Sunset by Feast Your Eyes

Thanks again to everyone who entered!

Here's a link to everyone's great projects
306  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Quilt Block Swap (Sendouts EXTENDED to April 26) on: February 12, 2010 08:16:37 PM
Swap name: Quilt Block Swap

Craftster member who is organizing this swap: MareMare

Sign-up date range: Feb 12 - March 3

Date to send item by: April 26


Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): No, but will need to end at a certain number of groups of multiple of fives, may close early or stay open longer to meet this.

Restricted to people who all live in the same country? No,  but if you join you are agreeing to ship internationally

EDIT 3/2
Organizer Note:

Ok, no groups yet. Basically it's impossible to match people up because of the amount of people that said they didn't want to ship international. Here's the info: we have one Canadian swapper who is doing 2 or 3 groups and one Canadian swapper who is doing 1 group.

I'm making a rule change that for this swap you have to be willing to send internationally. I'm sorry! These will be very light packages, but if you simply can't afford it, just pm me and I will drop you from the swap, no prejudice, it will just be removed from your feedback. I'm sorry, but I spent half an hour trying to make it work, and it's just not possible with the amount of people we have in this swap.

Additional Age requirement? 18

Additional requirement: First time swappers are not allowed in this multi-sendout swap.

Swap Organizer himself/herself meets these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: YES
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: YES
- Is at least 18 years old: YES

Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES/NO
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES/NO
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES/NO
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES/NO
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES/NO
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 16 years old: YES/NO
- If yes, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES/NO
- If no, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES/NO

Details of swap:

This is a swap for 12.5 inch quilt blocks*. People will be organized into groups of 5 and will send 3 blocks to each of the 4 other people in their group, for a total of 12 blocks per group. Swappers with excellent swap feedback may do more than 1 group (up to 3). Within each group it should cost about $12 total to send out to 4 people, with delivery confirmation (assuming within the US). Please keep shipping costs in mind when choosing your number of groups.

*If you fall in love with a pattern that yields a different sized block you can use it, up to 14 inches, but be sure to specify the size that it makes so that your partners aren't confused.

Everyone chooses their block or blocks that they would like made for them. It could be a specific block with an online link to the pattern or a general type (ie, stars). Keep in mind that people of different skill levels are involved, so please don't pick a super advanced block unless you also pick an easier block to go with it.

You will also choose your color palette. That could be a color family, a couple of particular colors, or something as vague as "brights" if you want to leave it up to the other swappers' interpretations. You maybe also/instead specify certain fabric patterns if they are vague enough, like plaid, stripe, polka dots, etc. Try to only be as specific as you need to be so that people can work from their stash as much as possible.

Measure your blocks before you send them out! They need to be 12.5 inches square. Send all squares in a ziplock style bag for protection.

Newbies are not allowed in this swap because there are multiple sendouts.

Please make sure to post in this thread to keep up with swap announcements. You will not be approved until you have posted here.

Please do not sign up until you have decided on your pattern and colors.

Communication is very important to me! You must pm your partner(s) and myself when you send out and receive. If you do not do this and I have to track that info down, it will be reflected in your feedback.

Since this swap is for multiple sendouts, I reserve the right to refuse anyone with bad feedback regarding communication and/or late sending.

Link to discussion thread:

Links to patterns people have discussed using in discussion thread (just some ideas, you may pick what you like!):

Scrap X Block
Nine Patch Straight Furrows
Pinwheel #7
Roman Square
Framed Four Patch
Bright Hopes
String Quilt
Raw Edge Circle Quilt
Depression Block
Interlocked Square
Roman Square
Split Nine Patch
Off the Grid Sliced Nine Patch
Triple Irish Square
Four Patch (Star)
Pinwheel #8
Paintbox Squares
Wonky Log Cabin
Scrappy Starling Hedgerow

If you want to participate, information to send to organizer:


Name of swap: Quilt Block Swap

Craftster username:

Email address:

Your real name:

Mailing address including the country, formatted for shipping:

Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country? You must be willing to ship internationally to join this swap.

Confirm that are at least 16 years old or, if not, that you have moderator approval(YES/NO)

How many groups would you like to sign up for? (1, 2, or 3)

Would you consider yourself a beginner, intermediate, or advanced quilter?

What is your quilt pattern? Provide link to it here if specific. If advanced, please provide an alternate easier block for beginners. If you haven't decided yet, please wait to send in your form.

What are your quilt colors?

Have you already posted in the sign-up thread to make sure that you receive all updates? You will not be approved until you do.

Do you have any allergies that would prevent you from being paired with someone (specific pet, smoke)? Please list specific allergies:

Do you have potential allergens like pets or cigarette smoke in your house?


Square by klum78 for ritapizza in Lap Quilt Swap 4
307  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Jewelry Challege 1--We have winners! on: February 11, 2010 02:38:47 PM
Thanks so much to everyone who entered this challenge! We had an amazing 23 entries!

Congrats to the winners of this challenge!

First Place, and the winner of the fabulous bag by alwaysinmyroom

Octopuss Garden by acidtrix


Second Place, winner of bath/soap goodies

Sunset on the surf by aecharjay

Third Place, winner of bath/soap goodies.

Revenge at Sunset by Feast Your Eyes

Thanks again to everyone who entered!
308  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Worst Supplier EVER! on: February 05, 2010 11:20:15 AM
I am shaking I am so mad and upset! I tried Oregon Trail Soaps because I had been hearing good things about them for years. The order took almost two weeks to get to me from purchasing even though we're in the same state, they didn't ship out until almost a week after I ordered.  I soaped with one of their fragrances and it was awful, totally mutated and ended up smelling like icky plastic.  I sent a polite email saying I was upset with the quality, what happened, and suggested she not sell any more of that batch of that particular fragrance to avoid more upset customers because I think it went bad. This is the email the bitch of an owner sent me back:

We take great deal of pride in our quality.  I have no idea how
you soap and if you're unhappy with a fragrance, I'm truly sorry.
That is why we encourage the 6 pack try it.

I will certainly take your comments under advisements, perhaps
we should just close the entire site and perhaps move on to something
we may be good at.  You think?

Do try these people, I think you may be happy with their sterling quality


or any number of other vendors.  I'm hopeful you can find one that meets
your high standards.  Sorry it is not us.


Gee, what a great way to do business!

Please boycott this company!
309  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / ~Links to Popular Threads~ on: February 04, 2010 02:39:50 PM
In an effort to de-clutter and organize, I am providing links here to find some of the more popular threads. Now you don't have to go searching for that thread you saw one time!

Some of these threads are pretty long, so if you are looking for something specific, remember you can search within a thread. Enter your word or phrase into the search box, and then in the dropdown bar below it select "current topic" before you hit "Go."

Button/Badge/Pin Makers


Precious Metal Clay


Shrinky Dinks


310  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Scavenger Hunt Crochet Motif Swap 2 Gallery on: February 03, 2010 04:36:04 AM
Here's the gallery!

sending late with communication
pm organizer
feedback left

amazing_784 --> love2teach
craftADDchick --> Ffrogg526
EOcrafter --> love2teach
EOcrafter --> indsayrose

fantasticmio --> Ffrogg526
fantasticmio --> lindsayrose

Ffrogg526 --> fantasticmio
Ffrogg526 --> craftADDchick

lindsayrose --> EOcrafter
lindsayrose --> fantasticmio

love2teach --> EOcrafter
love2teach --> amazing_784
love2teach --> Slingmomma

MareMare --> playswithneedles
MareMare --> Slingmomma
playswithneedles --> MareMare
playswithneedles --> Slingmomma

Slingmomma --> MareMare
Slingmomma --> love2teach
Slingmomma --> playswithneedles
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