a soap experiment

There are lots of things I choose to do for our family that are homemade and hopefully healthy. I won’t buy Little Debbie cakes (which makes my husband oh so sad) and kool-aid (gasp!). I pretty consistently make bread every week for us (yum!). That said, I’ve never been excited about jumping on the soap making wagon. I longingly look at recipes for homemade dishwasher detergent and laundry soap, but I’ve never been able to justify the time and expense of gathering all the materials when I can just buy some detergent at the store (or actually lately I’ve been buying it off a friend who buys it by the caseload).

But, when this recipe for handsoap crossed Pinterest, I thought “this could be a good starting point.”

I gathered up all the materials: glycerin (from the bandaid aisle at Walmart for $3.50), a bar of Vermont soap (from our local food co-op for $3.50) and water (from my kitchen sink).

soap making experiment (hand soap version)

I kind of combined the two recipes/procedures I had pinned. One from The Farmer’s Nest and another from The Rasmussens.

I honestly don’t know how many ounces the soap bar was. It was a typical handmade soap size. Probably about the same size as a bar of Dove. I ended up using 2 Tbsp of glycerin and 10 cups of water. When I was done, it was pretty watery. I let it sit all day and overnight. This morning it was pretty thick, but not snotty, like I had read so many reviews. I decided to beat it a little with the electric mixer and it thickened up a little more, but still wasn’t very snotty. It’s kind of the consistency of soap when you mix some water in the bottom of the bottle to get the last of it out. Maybe a little thicker. I have read too that it will continue to thicken up as it sits.

Here are my results. I filled up 2 soap dispensers and 3 jars. Not bad, but this first round I wouldn’t say it saved me any money. If I keep going at it, all I’ll have to buy is the bar of soap and that will make it all worth it.

soap making results

Does it work? When I washed my hands with it, it did suds up, smelled great and left my hands feeling oh so soft. We’ll see what the family thinks when they come home and start using it!

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Martha of the Month {February}

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This month’s project (thank goodness for Leap Year!) is from Martha’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric. It is a Girl’s Shirt dress from an upcycled men’s dress shirt.

Martha of the Month: Feb '12

The first thing I had to do was find a shirt. After moving less than 2 years ago and various runs to Goodwill, the husband had  zero dumpy shirts I could use. I probably could have raided my dad’s closet, but opted to hit Habitat. After digging a little I found this purple-ish shirt that met the chick’s approval.

Martha of the Month Feb'12

The next thing I had to do was print, cut out and tape the pattern. Whew. This one was a doozy. I think it was more daunting to cut out the pattern than put it all together.

Martha of the Month Feb '12

This is a pretty simple project and leaves gobs of options for you. I decided to make my own bias trim, versus hitting up my stash (which was low) or heading to the store (it’s kind of stormy-gloomy here) so I scrounged around in my scrap bins and found this flowery trim. The directions were very easy to follow and probably my only complaint was that the directions for making the little tie on the neck were pretty vague. At least enough for me to say “the heck with it” and left that part off.

Martha of the Month Feb '12

I think it turned out pretty well, but I’m thinking it looks (and feels) more like a great summer nightgown than a dress.

Either way, it was a simple and fun 2 hour project.

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fantastic fridays

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Welcome back to Fantastic Fridays! I honestly feel like it was just yesterday that I was compiling last weeks fantastic finds from around the web-o-sphere. If this is your first time joining, welcome! On Fridays I wrap out my week sharing some things that caught my eye around the web.

great Fabric: I’m trying to come up with some fabric collections to start working on some embroidery hoop wall collections. Here are a few that have caught my eye lately: Reunion by Sweetwater, this bella butterfly collection is to die for and Riley Blake’s new collection, Go Fly a Kite is super sweet.

to whet your Appetite: I made this for dinner on Wednesday and we all gobbled it up in seconds! It was awesome and super easy.

be Natural: this is stretching the “natural” a bit, but at least it cuts down on consumerism…a host of valentine ideas instead of the silly ones you can buy at Walmart.

a Tutorial to do: this skirt is super, super cute!

on Aimee’s to do list (that’s me by the way): putting together some embroidery kits for these patterns

something to Sew: longing to sew something for me…I’ve had this pattern out and some awesome dark denim for months

oh, to Travel: where one of my sweet friends is hopefully going next week to pick up her baby girl. Say a prayer with me that all goes well and they travel asap!

Inspirational: this quote I came across today when I was blog hopping (aka…ignoring the things I should have been doing!)

Cute: snow white paper dolls!!!

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Martha of the Month: intro & January edition

I have a love-hate relationship with Martha Stewart. I completely respect her crafting, sewing and general creating abilities. She has an incredible eye and has created an amazing team with which to build her brand and company. Her books have always been beautiful to look at and walking through the aisles of Michael’s Arts & Crafts I want to have that whole wall of crafting stuff mainly because of how pretty it is.

I was introduced to these Encyclopedias of… books a year or so ago. I ended up buying the craft one first (oh Borders and your 40% off coupons…how I miss you!) and quickly realized that the one I had really wanted was the sewing/fabric version. My sweet hubbie got it for me this past Christmas. It’s awesome (you can tell by all the tagged pages!). But, once I started working on a project I realized that this is a Martha Stewart project and it requires some sort of special crafting/creating fairy godmother to appear. Ha!

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But, this is the year I’m going to tackle my fear, anxiety and frustration with the Queen of Craft. I’m committing myself to choose one project each month to create or learn from one of these Encyclopedias and post the results here. We will call them my “Martha of the Month” entries. I can’t promise these will come on any specific day of the month, but if you haven’t become a subscriber to daisyeyes, maybe this will be your incentive!

marthaofthemonth:doll

January’s project comes from the Sewing and Fabric Encyclopedia. It is a cloth doll and honestly was a booger to make. I can’t blame this solely on Martha though. Every time I go to create some sort of stuffed doll or softie, I become more and more amazed at the talent of so many on the www. Hillary Lang probably being my favorite. That said, this was for a precious friend who is bringing home a sweet baby girl from Africa and was requested by her. How could I resist?

I pretty much only changed a few things from the pattern instructions. I actually used my machine to make a stitch around the arms, legs and neck to pull tightly (she says to hand stitch). I ended up cutting the squares for her feet and hands about 3×3″ instead of her recommended 1×1″. Overall, she came together pretty well. There is really only one snafu on her, but I’m not going to tell you where! It is a ton of hand stitching (which for as much as I love to embroider; hand sewing and sewing on buttons are my least favorite!) but sometimes that is more forgiving than a machine.

MoM: doll

The best thing about this doll though is her hair. I found this tutorial and it was AWESOME! Super easy, made perfect sense and came together just like the tutorial said! The only thing different that I did was I actually stitched down the middle of the hair-line/part to add some extra oomf.

Here is the complete gift. Sweet little doll baby and a onesie made just for her.

MoM: doll & onesie

Here are links to all of my projects:

February: a dress for a little girl from a man’s dress shirt
March: ribbon trimmed bulletin board
April: the beginnings of a school memory book (making the pages)
May: sweet embroidered napkins with vintage buttons
June:
July:
August:
September:
October:
November:
December:

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There are days when my sewing table is pretty sparse and there isn’t much on my needle beyond what I want to sew.
There are days when I wonder if I’m crazy to even think I could start a business.
Then there are days when an order comes in and it’s all I can do to get it done.
And yet I still become frustrated with the way things are moving.
Then I remind myself that the Lord doesn’t give us more than we can handle. Wise words to remember.
Especially for days when my table and needle are overflowing and it’s all I can do to stitch speedily enough.

This week was a week filled with an order still undone, “fun” sewing for a sweet friend and her daughter soon to be and even for my chickadee, a fun bag to add to the school’s silent auction baskets, designing for Valentine’s Day (please don’t tell me it’s next month) and now another huge order that makes me realize that He is good and He’s got me under His wings.
Wise words.

a few glimpses into my week…

MoM: doll & onesie

AG leopard print dress

OYW: car trash bagOYW: car trash bag

 

 

 

 

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