Wednesday, August 19, 2015

All the Soaps!

Guess what? I made soap! It's been two years since I'd made any, and I'll confess, I'd thought about giving up that particular hobby a few times in the last two years. I'm glad I didn't though, in the last month and a half I've made about 16 batches and now I remember why I love soapmaking so much! I've had some ups and downs in the 12 years since I started making soap (lots of craft fairs, having my products in a gift shop, losing creative control), but I'm pretty happy where I am now, making the kinds of soap I want and finding people who want to buy (or swap!) my soap.

Calendula Lemongrass Eucalyptus
The first couple batches I made I posted to social media and a lot of people wanted to buy them, so I started taking reservations. (I don't want to take any money before the soap is ready to ship because there's always something that can go wrong! The soap could seize while I'm making it, it could mutate colors while it's curing, or a nephew could come along and poke his cute little fingers in 8 bars like a certain someone did when he was 5 (although, after making him work off the amount of money I could have sold those bars for, I don't think he'll be doing that again.)) After the first couple of batches were all reserved, I had to make some more of the same fragrances because more people wanted them!
Oats n Honey

I want to thank my amazing Craftster moderator friends who support me in so many ways and are my loyal customers as well!

Since I'm not much of a photographer (understatement!) my sweet friend Kim is taking pictures for me again to use on Etsy. I'll post a a few more here but probably replace them when I get the ones from her. I bevel all my soaps before labeling but these are all pre-bevel.

All of my soaps are made with vegetable oils only and most are vegan as well. All ingredients are always listed on the bar. The batches below that are not vegan are Oats n Honey, Egyptian Rose Geranium with Silk, and Fresh Tweed Goat's Milk.

All soaps are currently $6 or 3 for $15. My prices will go up a bit when I post to Etsy due to fees. If you see something you would like to order please drop me a line and I can send you a Paypal invoice.

Everything Balm is $4 for 1 oz or $9 for 3 oz. This is the product that finally healed my contact dermatitis after years of being on steroidal creams which were expensive, stained my clothing, and according to the warning label, "causes thinning of the skin." Unrefined shea butter, lavender essential oil, tea tree oil, and Vitamin E oil.

Essential Oil Soaps:
  • Calendula Lemongrass Eucalyptus--with avocado oil and dried calendula petals
  • Shea Lavender--a high percentage of shea butter, soothing lavender essential oil and a purple swirl
  • Egyptian Rose Geranium--colored with pink clay and containing silk
  • Gardener's Scrub--poppy seeds, orange peel powder, dried calendula and chamomile with a blend of citrus and mint essential oils
  • Lime Ginger Peppercorn*--lime and black pepper essential oils with a bright green and dark black swirl (*this soap has a small amount of ginger fragrance oil as well as the essential oils) (sold out)
  • Rosemary Mint--fragranced with peppermint and rosemary essential oils and swirled with blue and teal (currently sold out but will be making more soon)
Fragrance Oil Soaps:
  • Black Raspberry Vanilla--a sweet and fruity fragrance with a pink swirl and strawberry seeds for light exfoliation
  • Dragon's Blood--earthy and musky, this blend smells of amber, sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla, and chocolate.
  • Orange Dreamsicle--sweet and citrusy just like Orange Creamsicle ice cream bars, with an orange swirl
  • Spring Rain Sea Salt--a fresh and floral fragrance with a blue swirl and lots of sea salt, which makes for a hard bar that can be slightly crumbly, but makes lovely soft lather and leaves your skin feeling extra soft and smooth (sold out)
  • Fresh Tweed Goat's Milk soap--like a lightly spicy, fresh man's cologne with goat's milk for extra soft and moisturizing lather
  •  Pineapple Sage--sweet and fruity with a hint of sage, this bar is swirled with teal and bright purple  (sold uut)
  • Red Sedona--this is another sweet and fruity bar that is hard to describe, it's swirled with yellow, orange, and pink neon pigments
  • Vanilla Coffee Bean Scrub--this bar is fragranced with almond vanilla cappuccino fragrance oil and is full of ground coffee beans for a gently exfoliating bar
Unfragranced Soaps:
  •  Oats n Honey--no added fragrance, but there is a sweet warm smell from the natural honey and a nutty smell from the ground oats in this bar
  • Facial Bar, Normal to Dry Skin--this round bar contains no fragrance or colorants and is full of skin loving oils--olive, rice bran, avocado, and shea butter. 
 Upcoming batches of soap
  • Facial Bar, Oily or Acne prone--with bentonite clay and tea tree oil
  • Orange Clove--essential oil bar
  • Fresh Grass--just like fresh cut grass!
  • Jamaican Bay Rum--my favorite fragrance on a guy
  • Not soap, but I'll be making some of my lotion bars. What's a lotion bar? It's a solid bar of lotion that contains beeswax to stay in a solid state. It's great for keeping in your purse/backpack or in the car or anywhere else that regular lotion might spill. It's extra moisturizing so it's great to use on extra dry skin like heels and elbows. These won't contain any fragrance oil or essential oil but I'm using unrefined cocoa butter as part of my recipe, so there is a bit of a chocolate smell.

Lavender Shea

Lime Ginger Peppercorn
Happy accident with this swirl. What do you see?

Red Sedona in the mold

Orange Dreamsicle

Gardener's Scrub

Vanilla Coffee Bean Scrub

Spring Rain Sea Salt

Spring Rain Sea Salt in the mold

My main curing rack, there are about 4 drawers/shelves not showing
From top: Dragon's Blood, Rosemary Mint (sold out), Black Raspberry Vanilla, Lavender Shea (left),
Calendula Lemongrass Eucalyptus (right), Pineapple Sage, Red Sedona

These were my curing racks before I purchased the handy dandy ones above. They got pressed back into service when
those racks filled up! Left, from top: Fresh Tweed Goat's Milk, Spring Rain Sea Salt, Orange Dreamsicle.
Right, from top: Vanilla Coffee Bean Scrub, Gardener's Scrub, and a secret something on the very bottom.
Also made some of my Everything Balm, in two sizes.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pillows with my Boys

Every Christmas I help my nephews make something for their mamas. This year I decided we'd do pillows. My younger nephews' mom and grandma both drive dump trucks, so when I got this awesome Busy City paper piecing pattern I knew that would be great! The boys picked out the colors and fabrics and I think they did a great job! The 6.5 year old picked out the pinks for his mom (she does love pink!) and the 9 year old picked some cute ones for his grandma.

For my oldest nephew's mom I decided on a simple heart pattern that I just quickly sketched out. Again, he picked out all the fabrics. After I pieced and quilted each pillow, the boys got to use the sewing machine! I did a simple flap style backing with some cute winter themed fabric, used my new-to-me embroidery machine to create a label right on the back, and let the boys stitch them up! I had fun playing with some of the decorative stitches on the new machine as well, very fun for quilting!

Before stitching into pillow top

Proud boy and happy mama!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

PMQG Medallion Quilt Finish

I've posted a couple of times about our PMQG project last year. Part 1 and Part 2. Instead of a Block of the Month, we did a Medallion Along. Each month, the five of us officers designed and released a new border for the medallion. It was so fun seeing what fabrics everyone used, and with different options for each round plus everyone choosing different medallion centers, they all came out so unique and beautiful! Here is a link to our Flickr if you would like to see some more!

Here is the finished quilt, hanging at Modern Domestic! I worked my tail off to finish the quilting and binding in time to enter it for our show at Modern Domestic! I free motion quilted a in each round and then bound it in Violet Craft's Domino Dice. I'm so happy with how it turned out and can't wait to get it back! The quilts will be hanging at Modern Domestic through the end of February I believe.

And here it is when I finished the top at our January guild Sew Day...

I really love the back I made for it, but don't have a good picture of it yet. I used Anna Maria Horner's Hand Drawn Garden in Sketchbook and pieced in a bit of Momo Avant Garden along with strips of turquoise and purple solids.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

A Boxcar Tote for ME!

A couple weeks ago I won a sewing class to local shop Modern Domestic. And the class was taught by a friend of mine, so that was extra fun! The class was for the Boxcar Tote by Alexia Abegg. I haven't made a ton of bags in the last couple years so I was super stoked! After spending way too long picking out fabric from my stash, I narrowed it down to about 8 fabrics. I only needed 6, so I did some creative swapping with the pattern pieces.

I'm really happy with how it turned out and will definitely make it again! I added a long strap, I like a shoulder strap and the pattern only calls for the small handles. The only thing I don't like is that I used the right kind of interfacing for most of the bag, but a slightly lighter interfacing on the large lining pieces, so the whole thing is just a touch saggier than I like. Lesson learned!

I added a magnetic snap to one of the outer pockets, and divided the other outer pocket into two. (all of the things I changed here were suggested by the teacher! I likes these changes and would do them next time as well)

Inside the bag I divided the inner pocket off-center so the smaller section would easily hold my phone. (again suggested by my friend/teacher)

For the fabrics I used Cotton + Steel, Kate and Birdie, RK Essex Linen in Steel, the alphabet print is Baby Jane, the scissors print is Half Moon Modern, and the main print is from the Handmade line by Macrina Busato. The blue binding is Squared Elements and I have no idea what the tiny aqua dot binding is. Maybe from Joann.

I used another print from the Handmade line a while back on a project for my friend Pam! It's such a cute line, I wish it had received more attention. (I also wish it had a more unique name than "Handmade," it's quite hard to search for and get relevant search returns!)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Catching Up + TNG

You know when you have so many things to catch up on you don't know where to start? Chronologically sounds like a reasonable place to start, but instead I'm just going with what I have pictures for.

Also maybe a brief recap of the last few months~guild quilt retreat, beach mini quilt retreat with friends, Holiday beach trip with the boyfriend's family, lots of baby-sitting the nephs, retiring from being President of the guild, taking on guild Workshop and Retreat Coordinator duties with a friend and successfully organizing our first workshop, and so many projects!

Project recap!~(aka, outline for blog posts to catch up on?) Made Christmas present pillows with the nephews, a Boxcar Tote Bag, charity quilt, Ocean quilt, in progress Fair Isle quilt, PMQG 2014 Medallion Quilt, and successful hand stitched binding!

Waaaay back in the summer I started a Star Trek TNG cross stitch for the boyfriend's August 1st birthday. Now, while I technically finished the cross stitch in time for his birthday, I didn't frame it or gift it until Christmas. I know. Total slacker. But he loved it, I enjoyed making it, and when I posted it to Craftster it was chosen as a Featured Project. Triple score!

And my favorite in progress shot:

And a couple more:

And what do I have planned for the upcoming year? Vacation-wise I've got another guild retreat next month and another in October, a family trip to Tucson, and a family trip to Maui for Thanksgiving! 

Project commitment-wise I have to finish the Ocean quilt for my aunt, a crochet hat for my cousin, I'm still part of the Faith Circle of do.Good stitches (2 blocks a month),  and I joined the Challenge Accepted Bee on IG for advanced paper piecing blocks (1 block a month), and I promised to run another round of the Mini Art Quilt Swap on Craftster. 

And organization-wise besides the 2 retreats we also have 3 more workshops in the works for this year, plus I need to get back to my sadly neglected moderator and blogging duties on Craftster.

Whew! Besides all of that I should probably also, you know, get a job.