Thursday, February 26, 2009

Marvelous Marble Magnets

Couldn't help the alliteration, just popped into my head and demanded to be heard. Tonight I got it into my brain that I must have some new fridge magnets. My boys have lost all but a few of my polymer clay ones and it has been driving me crazy to find a magnet so I can put something on my fridge.

Now, do I go out and buy some? No, of course not! Magnets are one of my little obsessions. Sure, there can be pretty ones at the store, but usually the magnets are not very strong. And I like a nice strong magnet, because who knows what I will be trying to stick to my fridge.

This is not my original idea you understand. I believe I saw a version of this on the Carol Duvall Show. Well, I had the supplies and suddenly had this urge to do it right that minute. BTW, I did these while watching the movie Vantage Point. Not recommended, you kinda need to pay attention to the movie or you miss things. Did I stop? No. LOL! And, um, the marbles were actually what I use to help my boys learn math (addition, subtraction, multiplication . . .) so I guess I am going to have to replace those.

I thought I would post the "instructions" so that you can try it if you are so inclined to do so. It is very EASY and if you take some time, they look pretty good too. So lets begin.


Paper, small stamps, ink pad, glue that dries clear, flat bottomed marbles that can be seen thru, scissors, magnets

1. Stamp images onto your paper. Make sure to stamp the next image at least 1 1/2" away from the previous one in all directions. Let dry.

2. Apply a small dab of glue to the image (a little goes a long way). Press and slightly twist a marble onto the image. Notice that the small image becomes magnified? You are probably going to want to use a glue for glass, but I had my favorite glue handy so I used it instead. Remember this is glass and you are supposed to be able to see thru it so make sure the glue is squished all the way to the edges of the marble. Let dry.

3. Cut around the marble. You are basically cutting away the excess paper. Try to be neat, cutting with long even strokes. The neater it looks, the better. This is also why you only use a tiny dab of glue, you really don't want your scissors all gummed up from excess glue.

4. Glue onto a marble. Let dry and you are done.

A few notes, My husband had these beautiful cobalt blue marbles lying around that he let me use, but they were too opaque. I just glued these onto plain white paper to get more reflection. You don't have to have tiny stamps to do this project, it is just what I used this time around. You can use decorative paper as well. I know that sometimes I come across some tiny cute images, but don't know where to use them. This is a good project for small and tiny images because the marbles magnify them.

I hope that you like them. I told you they were easy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How I like to Rebatch Soap

I wanted to write about how I like to rebatch my soap. I rebatch because I just cannot bear to throw away all that $$$ I put into my soap. I have saved 100% of my messed up soap so far. This batch the pics are from is a batch of my friend's. It was too superfatted and the color left much to be desired. So she let me play with it. Neat!

1. Okay, the first thing I do, is get out my soap making crock pot. Cydnie had already cut the soap into small pieces, so all I had to do was put the soap into the crock. I added some aloe vera juice as the liquid portion since this soap was several weeks old by this time. Because this soap was also too soft and slightly oily, I am going to add about a tablespoon of lye when it is almost melted.

2. This is where you wait until it begins to melt.

3. At this stage I added the lye water and mixed it in really well. Then I let the soap mass cook a little more.

4. After I think that most of the soap has melted and before I really scorch the soap, I turn off the crock and let it sit a little to cool off. You have to be careful, too cool and you will have trouble putting into the mold because it won't "stick" to each other. Too hot and the fragrance might burn off and the other additives might lose their goodness. Add your fragrance and additives and stir really well.

5. Putting the hot soap into the mold. It is not a very peaceful process. Basically I end up scooping and pounding. You don't want a lot of bubbles in the soap. I think it helps make it a dense soap. Sometimes, I've added some sodium lactate to keep the soap semi-liquid. It really depends on the oils you use as well. I try to make sure the soap is even in the mold and the top isn't so wavy. Sometimes I put a piece of plastic wrap to try and have a smoother top, but I wanted some texture this time round.

I thought I might have added a little too much liquid, but the next day I was able to unmold. If I had added too much water I would have had to let it sit in the mold a long while. Of course that would have been bad for me, since that is my favorite mold and I wouldn't be able to use it until the water evporated a bit. Since I thought this would stay brownish, I decided to add Vanilla to the fragrances I chose for this rebatch. Vanilla turns soap brown and I hope that it will turn this one into a nice pretty brown. The original soap was scented with Pomegrante, but since most of it burned out in the cook you will want to add more fragrance. Hopefully one that doesn't clash with the original because some parts will come through despite the cook and you don't really want funky soap.

Another time I will post the cut bars and maybe even post a pic of the lather. Another soap saved.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Soap Review

Well yesterday was my Seaside Soap 4 week cure point so today I decided to try it. It smelled good and all, the lather felt very nice, almost like lotion. But unfortunately it didn't lather up very well in my opinion. I was shocked since this was my all coconut oil soap. But I am going to try it in the bath and see how it does with my bath poof. But I must say that it was very nice on my hands. I am going to let it cure for a bit longer before seeing if my hubby can handle it as I have heard that coconut soap does especially well after a super long cure.

I rebatched a soap today that my friend out on the Homestead made awhile back. She had used the last of her avocado oil and did a swirl. It didn't turn out quite like she intended and was a little too much superfatted. So I asked to help out. I don't like to throw anything away and thus decided to save the soap. But I will be writing more on that later on.

I am also trying out a new recipe for shampoo bars. I made the soap last night and am anxious to see how it will turn out. Today it is still a bit soft to unmold as yet, so I don't know how it will cut yet. It did trace awful fast but that may be because I soaped at room temp with a lot of solid oils. My next project is to try the Whipped Soaps. I want to make a cupcake soap and I think that the whipped soap may be ideal to use for the "icing". Of course, I've also thought about making a cupcake bath bombe with the Whipped Soap as the icing.