Miss You Already

Hello Everyone! Today I would like share a “We Miss You Already” card that I made for a very good friend of mine. We have been friends and work mates for 4 years, but she decided it was time to move on. I wish her nothing but the best and truly do miss her smile and laughter throughout the day.

To create this card, I used a few of the new toys I purchased from the Denver Scrapbook Expo; Arianna Blooms stamp and die set and the Ornate Borders and Pockets die set. All of the products were from my favorite booth – Heartfelt Creations!!

On a little side note, while visiting the booth and drooling over all of the amazing products and samples on display, I had the great pleasure of meeting Emma Lou, the creative director of Heartfelt Creations. She is as sweet in person and she is in her videos online.

To create the card I began by embossing a piece of 5 ¼” x 4” piece of velum with my Swiss Dots embossing folder by Cuttlebug. It is difficult to adhere velum to any surface without the adhesive showing, although there are claims that certain types of adhesive are “invisible”. To ensure there wasn’t a “line” or a series of “dots” of wet glue showing, I ran the entire sheet through my Xyron machine before attaching it to the Kraft colored card base from Recollections.

To create the flowers I first stamped the image onto cream colored cardstock with Rich Cocoa Memento Ink. Before cutting the image out with the matching die set, I used Memento ink in Cantaloupe to color the entire inked image.

After cutting out the flowers a decision had to be made, how much dimension should there be?? Although this card was hand delivered, it was going to be passed around all of the employees at work so everyone could sign it. With that in mind, I decided to keep the flower as flat as possible. On the reverse side of each layer of the flower I embossed only the very edge of each petal using my McGill flower shaping kit with a small stylist point.

Turning the flower over and using a larger stylist point, I applied a little bit of pressure around the center of each flower at the base of the petals.

When I finished this procedure on all three layers I glued them together, staggering the petals, with Tombow Mono Multi Liquid glue. To add a bit of bling without digging out the glitter, I glued a silver gemstone to the center of the flower.

To create the background, I chose one of the three dies that comes in the Ornate Borders and Pocket set and centered it on a piece of cream colored textured cardstock. I first cut out the shape.

 

Then using the corresponding top cut die from the set I centered it above the first to cut away the extra paper.

 

To create the mirror image I repeated the procedure again underneath the first.

Using my scissors I clipped the excess paper away, leaving the little tales that appear to wrap around the velum.

To adhere this layer I ran it through my Xyron machine before putting it in place. The flower was glued down with some of the Tombow Mono Multi glue and card was finished.

My friend really liked the card! I do miss her though, and although I wish her the best, I sure do wish she would come back!!

 

 

Advertisements

Coloring and Shaping Technique Videos

Hey there everyone!!

Today I thought I would try something a little different; making some technique videos! I try to be as descriptive as possible in my blog posts, and take lots of corresponding pictures, but sometimes a video might be a little better. So, with the help of my husband, we created a camera stand and I offer up the following two videos for your enjoyment!

The first video is how I added color and depth to the daisy using my Copic markers and the Flicking technique.

And in the next video, I show how I added shape to the flowers using my McGill Flower shaping tool kit.

 

Being a little bashful, these first two videos only have “background” noise, and I apologize for that! As I get more comfortable with the idea of creating them, my voice will come out!

2017 Scrapbook Expo Card Swap

The last weekend of September, my sister and I attended the Denver Scrapbook Expo. It was two days of fun, laughter, learning and shopping until our wallets cried!! LOL We have attended this even in the past, but this year we took it a step farther by attending some of the classes that were offered and participating in the Friday afternoon card swap.

The idea behind the swap is to create a card within a certain set of parameters. For Friday afternoon, it was using the colors brown or orange, or creating a “friends” or “you’re special” card. You make a total of 16 cards, 15 of them are swapped with other participants, and one is put on display to be chosen as the most desired card. Today I would like to share with you the card that I made for the swap.

The card base is made with dark brown cardstock with a cream mat that was partially embossed with a Cuttlebug “Simple Flowers” embossing folder I borrowed from my sister. To separate the embossed portion from the stamped sentiment, I used some brown Offray satin ribbon from Wal-Mart. The “Hello” sentiment was stamped with Rich Cocoa Memento ink from my new Hampton Art stamp set – Layering Butterfly Hello Beautiful. The original stamp said “Hello Beautiful”, but I wanted to keep it more generic, so my husband sliced off the “Beautiful” part that I can still use later if the need arises.

The cute daisy is punched from the cream cardstock with three different punches by Recollections and The Paper Studio. I added color with Copic markers in Y17 and YR68. The daisy was first colored completely with Y17. To add detail and depth use the flicking technique with YR68. Blend it in a bit with Y17to complete the coloring. To give the flower and leaf cluster, cut from the Spellbinders Foliage die set cut from Bazzill Basic paper, more dimension I used the McGill flower shaping tools.

Here is an image of all of the cards I made, 16 for the swap, 1 for my sister, and 1 for me to keep.

Here is a picture of the 15 cards that I chose from the amazing cards that were available. Sadly I wasn’t able to get one of each because there were more than 15 participants for the swap, but they were all so beautiful.

Each and every lady that was there is incredibly talented and I want to thank you for your talent and your inspiration!

 

 

The Bottom of the Pile

This weekend is the annual town clean-up, so we are all going through “stuff” to see what we no longer need. After throwing away five Walmart bags worth of trash, small paper, and things I just KNOW I will never use again, I found a few interesting items at the bottom of the pile.

This first image shows two different One Sheet Wonder sets. The pinking/orange pieces are a wonder to me, no clue where the directions came from, or even if I still have a copy of them. The blue ones, I just need to find some embellishments and they would be ready to add to card fronts. I think I have the directions of these, also found at the bottom of the pile.

The next image shows 4 different mini album page ideas.

  1. These are envelopes – sealed, trimmed, distressed, and ready to be added to a cover. I’m guessing they have been sitting on the bottom of this pile since the Christmas I made mini albums for the ladies in my family. A LONG time ago! LOL

 

  1. This is a 12×12 sheet of cardstock that is folded into a 2 sided pocket page. The original idea came from Ginger from My Sisters Scrapper.

 

  1. These are six 6×6 mini album pages with flaps. Again, just ready for pattern paper, photo mats, and a cover.

 

  1. This is a mini album page idea that I found online and wanted to try. I created the base page, flap, large photo mat, as well as the pocket/binding page. I would love to be able to share the page link I found this at, but I have no idea where it came from. If anyone recognizes this, please let me know so I can share.

It’s time to head back to the pile and see what else I can find.

Let’s Make Some Soap!

Hello everyone! A couple of weeks ago I made another batch of soap. It was a remake of the first recipe I ever tried. This time, rather than using two Pringles cans for the molds, I used the loaf mold that I purchased at Michael’s.

There are a ton of web pages with step by step instructions on soap making so I won’t go to deep into that here, but let’s start with some basic safety measures. Since we will be working with lye, which is also called caustic soda, we need to protect ourselves with long sleeves, closed toed shoes, gloves, and eye protection. Also when mixing lye with any liquid, always, Always, ALWAYS, pour the lye slowly into the liquid and NOT the liquid into the lye. Bad things will happen and we don’t want that. When purchasing the lye, make sure it is 100% lye.

There are also some tools that will make your soap making venture a lot more fun if you have them. These include a digital scale that displays ounces or grams, a stick blender, and for hot process soap making use a designated crockpot for soap making.

The recipe I used here is from chickensintheroad.com and consists of the following:

9.6 ounces – Crisco

9.6 ounces – olive oil

6.4 ounces – lard

6.4 ounces – coconut oil (with a 76 degree melting point)

12.16 ounces – distilled water

4.463 ounces – lye

One very good habit to get into right away is to always double check any soap recipe with an online Soap Calculator. I like this one here at soapcalc.net but there are more out there to choose from. Find one you like and please do use it every time.

After weighing out the hard oils, I put them into the crock pot to start melting them. After they have completely melted I add the liquid oils to the pot.

hpsoap_01

While everything is melting, weigh out the lye and distilled water. It is very important to ensure all of the lye is dissolved in the water before progressing, so I took multiple pictures of this part to show you how it looked at different stages. The chemical reaction creates a lot of heat and some fumes, so it’s best to do this step in a well ventilated area, or even outside. You also want to make sure pets and kids are not in the area either.

In the first image you can see how clear the water is when I start adding the lye.

hpsoap_02

After all of the lye is added the mixture is very cloudy and HOT, so make sure you have your gloves and eye protection on.

hpsoap_03

As you continue to slowly and carefully stir you can see the mixture will become clear again, and at this stage you can be sure all of the lye crystals have been dissolved.

hpsoap_04

When making hot process soap, you really don’t need to pay much attention to the temperatures of the oils or the lye since you will be cooking them anyway. However, when you venture into the cold process soap making you will need to keep an eye on the temperatures of each component before adding them together. As you can see in the next image, I am carefully adding my lye water to the melted oils in the crock pot.

hpsoap_05

It’s always a good idea to gently stir the mixture first with a spoon to begin combining the oils and lye water.

hpsoap_06

After a few minutes you will need to break out the stick blender, or you will be stirring for hours and hours. Alternate stirring the mixture with the blender and using it on low speed until it all comes together.

hpsoap_07

hpsoap_08

What you are looking for at this stage is called “trace”. You will know when you have reaches this consistency when it looks like pudding and a drizzle the soap mixture will stay on top of the mixture.

hpsoap_09

Then all you do is put the cover on, make sure the temp is on low and let it cook. There are different thoughts about whether you should just leave the soap alone, or if you should stir it as it cooks. I prefer to stir the mixture every 15 minutes or so. During the cooking process I took two pictures, one to show what it looks like after that time and one to show the consistency after stirring it.

In the first set of pictures you can see that after 15 minutes it is starting to cook around the edges of the crock. The soap has also gotten a lot thicker in consistency too.

hpsoap_10

hpsoap_11

After 30 minutes of total cook time you can see things have really gone a little crazy! This is why you should never walk too far away from your hot process soap making. If I had left this any longer it very easily would have boiled over and gone all over the counter top. So please, stay close! The consistency is also close to mashed potatoes at this point.

hpsoap_12

hpsoap_13

After 45 minutes of total cook time you can really see a difference in the soap. It is now starting to look more like Vaseline which means it is going through the gel stage.

hpsoap_14

hpsoap_15

I let this cook for an additional 30 minutes for a total cook time of 1 hour 15 minutes. At this point you should test it to make sure the lye has completed the saponification phase. There are a couple of different ways to do this. One way is the “zap test” in which you take a bit of the soap, cool it down and then touch it to the tip of your tongue. If you feel a zap like you would with a 9 volt battery, you need to cook your soap longer. Another option is to use a Ph test strip. But what I prefer to do is take a bit of the soap, cool it and then wash my hands with it. If it doesn’t burn or tingle you can be sure that the lye is completely incorporated and your soap is safe to use.

hpsoap_16

While my soap is cooking I prepared my loaf mold with butcher paper, shiny side up. After the cook time is complete you then carefully spoon or glop, which ever term you prefer, your soap into the mold. As you can see the soap is really thick, but it is also really hot so please be careful.

hpsoap_17

During the filling process, you should tap your mold on the counter top to make sure any air bubbles come out. If you remember the round bars of soap I showed in a previous post, they had holes in them from trapped air pockets. Again, it’s not a big deal, but it’s better to get them out if you can.

hpsoap_18

This particular mold says it will hold 3 pounds of soap. As you can see, not all of it fit into the loaf mold, but since it is already cooked and a gloppy consistency, I was able to put the excess onto a scrap piece of butcher paper. My husband thought we could get even more of the soap scraped out, so that is the top little blob of soap. I like to keep these extra pieces by the kitchen sink.

hpsoap_19

Since this soap has already gone through the saponification stage, all you really need to do is let it cool before cutting it into bars and tossing it into the shower. However, letting the bars sit for a few days to a few weeks will harden them even more so they will last longer.

After getting off of work the next afternoon it was time to unmold the soap!

fs_01

It’s very rustic looking and that’s one thing I like about the hot process. Using an old cheese cutter I was able to cut 9 bars that are about an inch thick.

fs_03

And here’s a close-up of the cut bar, ain’t it pretty??

fs_02

Thanks for joining me on this soaping journey.

 

Need Some Help

Hello everyone! I hope you all have had an uneventful Friday the 13th . I’ve been SLOWLY but surely cleaning up my scrap desk and at the bottom of one pile I found this resin charm that I made two years ago. I’ve wanted to make it into a necklace since it was dry enough to touch, but never got around to it.

pinkresin

Tonight is the night though, but I need some help deciding on the finished product and who better to ask but my friends!!

#1 has a clear faceted tear drop:

clear

And #2 has  a pearl teardrop:

pearl

They are both really pretty, but I just can’t decide. Please help!!

 

Do you vote for necklace #1    or    necklace #2

 

Let me know!!

Soap and Tell

Hello everyone! I hope your January is progressing nicely and the weather where you are isn’t so bad.

Today I want to share and show another item I added to the ladies gifts this year, something I had been thinking about trying for years, but never went beyond the thinking stage; handmade soap.

There are different ways to make soap for yourself or your loved ones. You can go to your local craft store and purchase some melt and pour soap base, or you can make it from scratch with oils, butters, lye, and liquids. I didn’t want to do the melt and pour method because it seemed to expensive for what it was. However, when thinking about starting from scratch, the biggest hold up for me was working with the lye. I did a lot of research and just decided that with the proper precautions and a whole lot of common sense I had nothing to worry about.

When you talk about making soap from scratch, there are a couple of different ways to accomplish this, Cold Process and Hot Process. The traditional way that grandparents and great grandparents used is referred to as Cold Process. With this method all of the ingredients are mix together, pour it into a mold, left to sit for a day or so, remove it from the mold and cut into bars and then they sit for 4 – 6 weeks to cure, mellow, and harden. During this wait the soap goes through its chemical process of saponification and becomes soap.

The new and some would say “faster” method is called Hot Process. Here you will mix all of the ingredients as before but everything is added to a crock pot and it is cooked through the saponification stage. The mix is then scooped into the molds and left to cool before removing and cutting into bars. While you can use this soap as soon as you cut it, a general rule of thumb is to still let it sit for 2 to 4 weeks to harden. I found one site online that suggested you weigh one of your bars of soap and keep a record of the weight change or water loss of that one bar. When it stops “losing weight”, it’s ready to use.

I have used each method to make soap, but my personal preference (so far) is the hot process method. I haven’t completely ruled out trying another batch or two of cold process, but I think for general soap making it’s the crock pot for me. 😉

That was the “tell” part of the post and now for the “show”!!!

Here is my very first batch of hot process soap! Isn’t it pretty??? LOL This recipe uses Crisco, olive oil, lard, coconut oil, and a water lye solution. I used two Pringles cans as my mold for this soap, (something that can only be done with hot process) and as you can see I didn’t get it packed down completely so there are some holes in my bars. Not a big deal since this was a first time try and for our personal use.

first_soap_ever

My next attempt was a goat’s milk honey soap. I didn’t understand how much this recipe would make, so I made an error in splitting it into two molds, hence the short stack! Lol The recipe for this soap includes olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, shea butter, sweet almond oil, a goat’s milk water and lye solution, and a tablespoon of honey is added after the cook time.

 

gm_h_firsttry

For the actual gifts I remade this same recipe and put it all in one mold to make a full bar. I also added a piece of bubble wrap to give the illusion of the honey comb. Pretty cool, but I didn’t take a picture of the finished bars! But you get the idea of what that looked like and it was a pretty cool idea so thank you to whoever first mentioned that on your soap blog!!!

goatsmilkhoney_hp_moldwithb

The third (and fourth) batch of soap was a coffee scrub kitchen soap. This only has three different oils in it, coconut, olive and soybean oil (otherwise known as vegetable oil). The lye is mixed with a strong coffee and a teaspoon of coffee grounds are added for exfoliation.  I decided to try this recipe using both cold and hot process and you can see the difference in the picture below. The hot process is the darker bar and the lighter one is cold process. The hot process bar also has a more rustic look and texture to the top of the bar, versus the smother look of the cold process. The reason for this difference is when the cold process soap is poured into the mold it is the consistency of pudding and the top will smooth out. With hot process, after cooking the soap it is the consistency of mashed potatoes, so you just sort of glop the mixture into the molds. I’ll do another post soon and show you what I mean by that.

coffeescrubsoap

This has been a fun process to learn and there is still so much left to learn! With the help of more experienced soapers out there, I hope to one day know enough to try and come up with my own recipe, but until then, I have tons of different recipes to choose from online!

 

Thanks so much for stopping by!