Confetti Soap

 

 

 

Confetti soap and wash towel

 

I recently taught a soap making class. It was so much fun! A group of local home school Mom’s and a few of their kids got together for a time of fellowship and learning.

I am not really sure who learned more, me or them. That’s the funny thing about being a speaker, you go in expecting to teach, but come out having been a student.

Even if it’s something you have been doing for years, like making your own soap.

I would do it again in a heart beat.

We spent the entire night discussing soap bases, herbs and essential oils. We debated about different chemicals in the bases, what’s good, what’s not. We even googled a few technical terms for clarification.

It was a blast.

We experimented with new molds, tested new soap bases, mixed beautiful new colors and tried out new experimental techniques.

The results were beautiful.

They smelled even better than they looked.

Confetti soap and wash towel

My favorite soap of the night was this Confetti Soap.

It’s not at all complicated.

The basic soap has a combination of 3 Butters, Mango, Shea and Cocoa butter. It’s the first time I have used this product, and I love the way it moisturizes my dry winter skin.

The beautiful color comes from adding chopped up bits of Glycerin Soap that I made previously.

We simply chopped the soaps into little pieces and added them to the white liquid soap base when it was poured into the mold.

How easy is that?

I had been working on this little Confetti Wash Towel as well, here’s the DIY Knitted Dish Towel Pattern. I thought it would be fun to use the two Confetti items together.

Homemade is beautiful, don’t you think?

DIY Candy Cane Soap

Candy cane soap lead

 

We have been hard at work on making Christmas gifts. One of the joys of homeschooling for us over the years has been to learn basic homemaking skills, along with a few skills that are just fun projects.

Making soap is just plain fun. It’s an easy project for younger children, and the next thing you know they are 16 years old and begging to help you make soap for gifts.

We love Candy Canes at our house and decided to combine the two for our very own DIY Candy Cane Soap.

Candy cane close up

If you didn’t know, sugar has long been known to be an excellent ingredient for smoothing and exfoliating the skin. You can buy sugar scrubs, make your own, or have one professionally done at your local spa.

Since we had a bundle of candy canes around the house, they became our inspiration for this holiday soap.

We made a couple of different batches, experimenting as we went. I had a bunch of left over glycerin bars from another project, I think it was a 1 lb. bag that we melted on the stove top in an old pan.

The first batch was poured into small bars (you can buy molds at the craft store) where we added crushed candy canes to the melted glycerin (center bars). The bars hardened quickly and looked so pretty with the crushed candy in them.

So far, so good.

Then, we got braver and made a bigger batch, using crushed candy canes in the bottom of a large bread pan, then adding the melted glycerin (white) for the bottom layer.

After we allowed it to harden, a another layer of glycerin tinted with red food coloring was poured on top.

The soap was left to harden, inverted on a tray and cut into slices.

I resurrected an old cookie tin to wrap the soap in for giving.

Magical!

Candy cane trees

The Candy Cane Soap was born! We also added some extra peppermint essential oil to the melted glycerin.

Our kitchen still smells minty.

It smells good enough to EAT.

By the way, the soap rather looks like peppermint bark doesn’t it?

If I could figure out how to add a layer of chocolate to it, I would.

Candy cane bee soap

The last batch we made was with the crushed candy canes melted into the glycerin to get this lovely pink color. The bee design is my blog logo and I love using it for special gifts.

The only mistake we made was in cleaning up after we were finished.

I had this great idea of saving myself some time and putting all the dishes that I used to make the soap in the dish washer.

This was not wise.

We had a mountain of minty, soapy bubbles all over the kitchen floor.

Ooops! Who knew soap would be so, SOAPY?

Candy cane display

I had fun putting together this little display in our bathroom. The pink soaps called for some pretty glass jars, striped ribbons and my Mason Jar Snow Globes.

Candy cane bath cabinet

This is the only spot in the bath where I can decorate. It has a little holiday feel now and that makes me happy!

Guess what else made me happy this week? I was one of the bloggers featured in the Huffington Post article on gifts you can make.

Read all about it here.

The wall cabinet was another project, but we will talk about that on a different day!

Seasons of Change

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I have been sick this week. Stuffy nose and sore throat are no fun in the summer time. I haven’t had much energy to create anything new, let’s just say I am in my planning phase.

Summer is winding down, I am planning for fall. I see lots of things around me, ready for the change of seasons.

My plants are looking tired and wilted. They are ready to be replaced with some beautiful cool weather varieties with the coming of fall.

I am ready for seasons of change too. I am craving cool nights in front of the fire, and I just found my knitting basket today.

I can’t wait to sit and knit in front of the fire. It’s one of my favorite past times. It gives me time to think and plan just about anything.

I began organizing our homeschool books today, I am eager to get started on the school year. My older boys are going back to college soon, and those still at home have begun some early homework assignments. I have noticed all my kids seem more mature than they did at this time last year, they are taking on more responsibilities and have become more independent. I have more time to work on projects (which is not necessarily bad), but I miss the days when we would curl up together on the couch and read a good book together.

Fall isn’t far away.  Our rowing time on the lake has been cut short lately, it is getting darker each night, the air feels cooler. The crew team will continue until late October to row on the lake but I am not sure how dedicated I will be to the sport when the colder temperatures come.

DSCN5086

Our chickens have been under attack from a family of raccoons. We have fortified the coop with extra hardware on the doors and lock them in the peak of it each night. My husband came home to see the entire family of coons jumping up and down on top of the coop late one night.

Their time with us is limited I fear, the hunters will not give up until they have gotten what they want.

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We have decided not to winter the hens this year, since we don’t have the space in the garage anymore, but it makes me sad to think they will have to be sold in the near future.

We lost one hen to a hawk last week, Dumpling disappeared one day leaving only a small pile of feathers behind. I miss her.

We have also had a battle with chipmunks, mice and a big, fat wood chuck in the yard. There seems to be more wildlife here in the city than when we lived in the country. We are filling holes, insulating and hoping to get ahead of the critters before they try and nest for the winter.

Are you ready for the coming change of seasons?

What sort of changes are you making at your house?

Photo Challenge Day 30: Self Portrait

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Self Portrait: Garden Selfie

This is the final post in my 30 Day Photography Challenge. It’s been a very good learning experience. I read somewhere that if you take a hundred pictures of something, you will learn 99 ways not to take a picture.

I believe this is an accurate assessment. I learn something new with each photo I take. I don’t think I will ever stop learning about photography.

We are finally moved. I am exhausted from it all. Days of moving, cleaning, packing and unpacking have taken their toll. We have also had several severe storms with tornados and high winds in our area which left us without power for an entire day.

It’s amazing how helpless we are without power.

The internet is finally installed, and things are beginning to get back to normal.

Our new normal, that is.

Being in a new home takes a lot of getting used to. I still can’t find all my clothes. Or my shoes.

I need a vacation.

I lost my cell phone charger for several days and have a million calls to return tomorrow.

I am dying to paint and decorate, but first the boxes have to disappear.

It’s a process.

On top of the move, I have been rowing on the lake two times a week with our local rowing club.

It’s been a welcome relief to be out on the water away from the chaos at home.

On the water, the only thing that matters is the perfection of your stroke.

It doesn’t matter if you can’t find your clothes.

It doesn’t matter if you can’t find your shoes.

Just the stroke.

“At the catch, row, drive, recover.

The sore muscles are minimal, the moving was worse. Makes rowing seem like a piece of cake.

Tomorrow I’ll have the new house tour for you, be sure and stop back!

 

Photo Challenge Day 29: Black & White

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Black & White

It’s easy to take a black and white photo today. Just a click of the editing button makes a color photo into a black and white one.

I happen to love black and white photos.

Perhaps its because we grew up with them.

Perhaps it’s because they are so simple, I love simplicity.

Perhaps, its just because I love black and white.

Or all the above.

These birch trees are black and white to begin with, but I loved them even more without the color.

The pathway in this photo calls to me.

It seems like the path would be a great place for a stroll on a quiet summer night with the moon shining in the sky.

Summer night strolls are one of my all time favorite things.

When the house is still warm from the day’s heat, you can go outside and bathe in the cool air.

After a refreshing walk, your too tired to care if the house is hot and you sleep better.

Most of the time.

If you are reading this post right now, we are in the process of moving.

I will be back on line in a few days with lots of new projects to share.

Have a lovely evening walk today.

 

 

 

 

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