Friday, February 29, 2008

Bunny Soap

Isn't she cute? This little lady is pomegranate scented goat's milk soap! I've had this mold for some time and finally tried it out last night. Pardon the background in the picture - I am just so excited that I wanted to share a picture first thing this morning. I'm going to make this little bunny in lots of Spring colors and a brown one too (chocolate scented).

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Soaping Sunday

What a glorious day! The sun is shining here in SW Washington and it's going to be almost 60! Yesterday was the same. It just makes you feel good when the sun shines. I want to plant flowers on my porch but I know that it's a little too early for that.

Instead of planting I decided to stay indoors and get some soap made. My shelves were so low that my daughter was complaining about where all the soap was! I haven't made soap since I moved into my apartment so I also had to get used to a new work area. I don't have the counter space that I had before so it was a little cramped but workable.

There's a batch of Pomegranate in the oven - it smells so good, fruity with a slight tartness to it. And it's supposed to cure to a rosy pink. We'll see. This afternoon I'm going to try hot process on top of the stove and do Cottage Rose. I have a recipe for this type of processing and you "cook" the soap for 2 hours then add the scent and additives. The lye is supposed to be all cooked out so that the scent and colors stay true. I have beautiful pink rose petals that I'm adding to this one and I'm hoping that they will stay pink. When I've done this soap using oven process the petals always turn dark. Since Spring is around the corner I thought I'd do a batch of Muget (Lily of the Valley). This one will be white with a green swirl. Love that scent!

Steph went to be with her dad overnight. I miss her but sure am enjoying the quiet. She has been so sick with mono. I took her to a naturopath last Tuesday and she's now on homeopathic remedies and supplements to cleanse and build up her immune system. I can tell that she's a little better but she just has no energy. I think that I'm going to have to school her at home for the rest of the year because she just does not have the stamina to go to school. I found an online school that is actually through our school district and am waiting to hear back from them. At this point I'm not even sure she will be ready for high school in the Fall. But God can work miracles and we'll just study, even over the summer. I just want her to feel better. I'm praying for that every day.

Life is good! God is good! Have a blessed Sunday!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I've been tagged by JayeDee from Life In The Lost World.

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you.

2. Post the rules on your blog.

3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.

4. Tag five random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.

5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are the random facts about me:

1. I am a neat freak when I cook. I can't stand food on the counters and won't even lay a dirty spoon directly on the counter. Maybe that's why I'm not a great cook.

2. I have to have Coffeemat Hazlenut Creamer for my coffee. If I run out in the morning I will make a trip to the store to get it.

3. I am scared to death of spiders! Even looking at fake ones gives me the creeps.

4. My first name is Melva - named after my dad Melvin. My brother is the only person allowed to call me by my first name!

5. From the time I was 7 years old I knew that I wanted to be a secretary. I used to set up play office in the backyard or in my bedroom. I always had the big desk and I was always in charge.

6. I can't stand peppers of any kind or color. YUCK!

Here's who I'm tagging - you're it! Dalyn at Muck Boots n Aprons, Tracey at Carpenter Creek, Sher at Old Crow Farm, Darlene at Stover Lane, and Zan at Big Town Farmer.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fun Stuff!

Susan at Not Quite June Clever had this silly posted on her blog. Thought I'd try it to find out what my aristocratic name was. Note to my subjects: Please address me by my proper title from now on!!

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Milady the Right Reverend Kay the Woebegone of Fishbourne Sneething
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Friday, February 15, 2008

Making Lotion Bars

I made lavender lotion bars tonight. I thought I'd share the process through pictures. I love to make these bars. I went through many batches before I got the right combination of beeswax, shea butter, and oils so they'd look and feel like I wanted them to.

First things first - gather all the supplies. A scale is a must for weighing everything, pyrex measuring cup, beeswax, shea butter, jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, Vitamin E, and lavender essential oil.

I always start by weighing the beeswax and shea butter.

Then I put the beeswax and shea butter in the microwave and melt at 1 minute intervals. While that is melting I weigh the oils. It usually takes about 3 minutes for the wax and butter to completely melt.

When the beeswax and shea butter are all melted I add the oils. This helps to cool the wax and shea down a little so they are not too hot to add the essential oil and pour in the molds. The temps need to be a little cooler so the properties and scent of the essential oils don't burn off.

After the beeswax, shea butter, and oils are combined it's time to add the lavender essential oil.

When the essential oil is mixed in it's time to pour in the molds. I use a Milky Way soap mold for my large lotion bars. I just got a smaller mold with the cutest bee on it - these bars will be in my Etsy shop soon. They'll be the perfect size for carrying in your purse and will come in smaller tins.

The bars will sit overnight to harden and in the morning I'll pop them out of the mold and put in tins!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope that your day is filled with love and happiness. I know that mine sure is. I have two beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons who are my Valentine sweethearts all year round. I'm blessed to have the love of many dear friends. And, most importantly, God loves me!! That is the best love of all!

Spring Fling Winner

Jenna Z is the winner of the Spring Fling pretties!!! Please email me with your address and I'll get everything sent out. Congratulations!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Spring Fling Goodies

I'm so sorry that I didn't get the goodies posted yesterday. I had good intentions but my gall bladder has other ideas. These pretties include two handmade guest towels - made from vintage damask napkins with eyelet trim and a pretty flower pearl button. Spring also means hanging clothes on the line. So I included 6 clothespins all dressed up in paisley Spring colors of pink, blue, green, and yellow. And you'll also get a bar of handpoured Pomegranate goat's milk soap and an oatmeal, milk and honey lotion bar!!

Because I was late getting this posted I'm leaving the drawing open until 9 PM on Tuesday! Come back to see if you won!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I Got A New Toy!

I got a new toy to play with - a brand new Dell computer with Windows Vista. It is so cool! Kind of like driving a Cadillac after driving a VW! I set everything up last night and time was spent by Stephany and I personalizing our spaces. Tomorrow night I'm going to attempt to transfer files from the old computer to the new one. I got the special cord to use but found out that I have to set up the old computer completely, which means hauling the monitor, keyboard, and mouse back into the bedroom. I just thought I'd plug the cord into both computers and transfer away -- nope! However, Vista does have transfer software built in which will make it much easier.

I want to take a picture to post but I can't find the cord for my digital camera. I'm sure it's in the pile of cords and software discs in my living room. That will be a project for tomorrow night.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Spring Fling Contest

I saw primroses at the grocery store last weekend so it's got me thinking about Spring! In honor of that, I'm doing a Spring Fling Contest. Just leave me a comment about what you love about Spring under this post. But you must put a link on your blog back to mine and share the contest with others!

I'll draw on Sunday evening at 6 PM. The winner will get something for Spring -- handmade of course. As soon as I decide what I'm going to give away I'll post a picture. It might be a tote bag, it might be a bunny, it might be bath goodies, or maybe all three!! You'll have to come back to find out.


Thinking of Spring

I stayed in for lunch today. I'm trying to be frugal and not buy lunch out every day. So I brought leftover tortellini today. It was ok - I'm not a big fan of leftovers. But instead of spending my lunch hour running around I have time to read email and post on my blog.

It's a cold and windy day here. Well -- not that cold compared to other places in the US but cold to us. It's about 35 but very damp and the wind makes it feel much colder.

I saw primroses at the grocery store over the weekend. That always makes me smile because it means that Spring will soon be here. That is the wonderful thing about living in Western WA -- Spring comes early. By the first of March we'll have daffodils blooming. I already saw some poking through the ground on one side of my porch. That got me to thinking that in the Fall I'm going to put lots of bulbs around my porch. The apartment complex that I live in has the nicest landscaping - lots of bushes and trees. It almost looks like a park.

It's going to be fun to see what blooms and comes up near my porch. I have lots of plans for my container garden. I'm on the north side of the building so I will be able to have shade plants. I love that kinds of gardening. Hostas -- love them. I have two pots of hostas that need to be divided. And I plan on adding more. I'll plant impatiens and other shade loving flowers. I have an old wooden orchard ladder leaning in one corner of my porch. It needs some type of vine climbing on it but I'm not sure what would work well with limited sunlight. Think I'll have to Google that one.

I checked my counter today and I've had over 5500 visitors to my blog. It amazes me how many people visit each day. Thank you for stopping by! I'd love for you to leave comments so that I know who you are! Getting comments on your blog is as exciting as getting an email or a card in the mail.

In fact, I think that I'll do a drawing again. I'm going to do a Spring Fling contest post so leave a comment about what you love about Spring in the contest post and I'll draw on Sunday evening. But you must put a post about the Spring contest on your blog and link back to my blog. The winner will get something with a Spring theme. I'll think about what I want to do and then I'll post a picture - it will be handmade of course.

Have a great day!!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Valentine's Drawing At The Garden Goose

Tina at the Garden Goose is having a Valentine's drawing for some lovely items. She has such a pretty blog -- please stop by for a visit, leave a comment, and enter the drawing.

Just Been Hanging Around

Sorry I've been MIA for so long! I'm just enjoying my new apartment so much and also have been busy every weekend. Sunday was the first day that I've actually stayed home the whole day since I've moved. I puttered around, found places for some straggling items, and then watched the Super Bowl. Well, I watched it until the 4th quarter and then I fell asleep on the couch! I woke up just in time to see the presentation of the trophy. And from the sports reports the 4th quarter was the best! Oh well -- I'm not really a football fan anyway. Just watched for the commercials.

I wasn't even all that impressed with the commercials either. There was so much hype about the whole Super Bowl that it really was kind of a let down to me.

I have one last box to unpack - the hutch - and then I'm done with boxes. That one is in the corner and I just keep forgetting it. There is also a small pile in the corner of my bedroom that I've got to sort out and put things away. The problem is the closets are full! Guess I'll be doing some rearranging to make things fit.

I'm dying to make some soap and hope to get that done this weekend. I worked on an herbal salve recipe yesterday. I infused olive and apricot kernel oil with calendula and lavender. Then added cocoa butter, beeswax, and lavender chamomile essential oil. It turned out really nice and smells so good. I'm still playing guinea pig for a few days before I put the salve in my Etsy shop. But so far I love it. Very soft and moisturizing without feeling greasy. This is going to be a great salve for hands, feet, and all over.

Better scoot off to bed. Tomorrow is another work day. Sweet dreams!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Super Bowl Lotion Bar Sale In My Etsy Shop

I'm sure that by now your skin is as dry as mine from all this cold weather!! You need a lotion bar to help with that. I don't know what I'd do without them. Lots of soothing shea butter, apricot kernel oil, and jojoba oil helps to keep hands, elbows, knees, and feet soft and smooth.

For today only you can buy one at regular price and get the second for half price! Just put "Super Bowl" in the comments section at checkout and I'll send a revised invoice.