RSS

Soapmaking in Layers

The various techniques of soap making quickly turn this hobby into an art where many original creations are possible. Choose a mix of various ingredients to add to glycerin to keep your soap unique.

One technique that I found created an interesting aesthetic to some of the batches I made was pouring in layers. It’s easy to make different shades and levels of opacity using only one mixture.

This is how you can make your own:

1. Create your soap mixture: Add different oils, dried herbs/spices/tea leaves, fragrances, powders, or whatever else you think will make some interesting soap into the melted glycerin. (For complete instructions refer to my previous article: Soapmaking at Home).

2. Pour your first layer of soap. Allow to sit 10 to 15 minutes, but not too long or the separate layers may come apart.

3. Pour your second layer. Let sit. Repeat. Each layer you make will have a different ratio of spices/herbs after pouring it, making each layer unique.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Art, Crafts, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

Soapmaking at Home

 

 

 

 

I made my first batches of soap the other day. I was surprised how easy it is to make the soap once you have all the ingredients. All I needed was:

 

  • -glycerin soap, about 1-2lb for a small batch
  • -soap mold
  • -microwave
  • -rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle.
  • -any additives (essential oil, natural powders, herbs/spices, tea leaves)

(I have juniper berry oil, lemongrass oil, cinnamon leaf oil, cucumber peel powder, seaweed powder, paprika and cinnamon powder) The powders work nice for coloring the soap.

My process: First I cut some squares of glycerin from my large block. I approximated how much a needed by filling my mold with water, then pouring it into cups to measure how many cups I need.

Next, I microwave the glycerin for 2 minutes at a time, taking it out to check on it and stir. Use a microwaveable glass measuring cup for easier pouring after.

Once the glycerin is melted, its time to add any oils or powders. For 1 mold yielding 6-10 bars, I would add approximately 1tsp of any oil or additive you use.

Finally, you pour the melted glycerin mix into the mold. You may notice many bubbles on the surface. Use a spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol to spray at the bubbles to get rid of them.

Let sit 24 to 48 hours. After, shimmy and push your soap carefully out of the mold and cut into blocks if necessary. Give it a label if you want and wrap it up in plastic wrap.

Halloween Soap!

Since Halloween is coming up and I’m focusing my craft ideas toward that theme, I made some Halloween soap: Cinnamon Critter Soap bars that have plastic spiders imbedded in the glycerin, and Lemongrass Eyeball Body Potion soap, made to look like a bag of eyeballs.

You can embed objects in your soap by filling ½ the mold, letting the glycerin sit about 15 minutes, placing your objects in, then reheating the remaining soap and filling the rest of the mold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 29, 2011 in Art, Crafts

 

Tags: , , ,

Relief Printmaking

This is one of my favourite art techniques that I’m getting into because the finished result is always a surprise until you make your first print.

Soft linoleum (or lino) blocks are one of the easiest materials to carve into because they give way easily under a sharp tool like a precision knife, or carving tools found in art and craft stores. I used a square of lino to carve the image of a spool of thread. I’m using the print as my label.

Other easy and cost efficient materials to do printmaking at home include wood (with the right carving tools) Styrofoam sheets, and even potatoes cut in half can be used to make smaller prints. What you’re looking for is a flat surface that you’re able to carve into.

Once your carving is finished, you need to coat the surface with a thin layer of ink or paint (If the paint is too thick it will smudge the print), press it onto paper and apply pressure. Carefully remove, and you will have your first print. You may need to play around with paper, paint varieties, and the thickness of the paint to get the best results, but the best thing about printmaking is you can always make a new print.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 28, 2011 in Art, Crafts

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Halloween decor: Potion Ingredient Jar

 

 

This is another simple but great looking Halloween decoration I made. Around this time of year you can find all sorts of small Halloween props that will fit into these glass storage jars.

 

 

  • plastic eyeballs
  • severed fingers
  • bats
  • spiders
  • frogs
  • small snakes
  • bugs
  • etc.

Just divide your ‘potion ingredients’ into the jars, and find a nice place to display them. For another interesting look, use jars with screw-on lids, fill the “potion ingredients” with water and a bit of food coloring for a “pickled look”

.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 17, 2011 in Crafts

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Turkey Avocado Quesadilla

If you have one of those small counter top grills, they’re perfect for grilling and melting the cheese in a quesadilla. It keeps the pita crisp, easy to cut, dip and handle.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 pitas (the thick fluffy kind)
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 1 cup ground turkey
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1/2 large avocado, diced
  • 6-8 button mushrooms sliced vertically
  • 1/2 red pepper pepper, diced
  • 1 pkg fajita or taco sauce
  • (optional) sour cream or salsa

Instructions:

  • Heat a frying pan on medium heat. Add oil. Cook the ground turkey until browned
  • Add onion, mushrooms and pepper. Cook 5-10 minutes. Mix fajita/taco sauce in.
  • Heat grill. Distribute turkey-veggie mix among all the pitas. Distribute cheese and avocado to each pita. (For best results, put a bit of cheese before adding the meat, and top off with cheese so that it melts together and keeps the insides stuck together better).
  • Fold in half, then place in grill. Takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Check every couple minutes and remove once the sides are browned a bit.
  • For spicier quesadillas, mix some hot sauce and red pepper flakes into the cooking turkey
  • Cut pitas in half and serve with sour cream/salsa

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 17, 2011 in Recipes

 

Tags: , ,

Halloween Decor- Pumpkin Plant Pots

Halloween is my favorite day of the year, even more exciting and important than my birthday. That’s why each year I do what I can to continue showing my Halloween spirit, from decorating my apartment and balcony, to dressing up in full costumes with props. This year I haven’t quite settled on a halloween costume yet, but I’ve already started to work on my spooky house decorating that will culminate until I’ve made my home a modern witches lair.

This decorating idea is so simple, cost effective, and produces stunning results. The only materials you need are:

  1. clay pots (the orange generic kind work best)
  2. paintbrushes
  3. orange, black, purple, green and white acrylic paint.
  • First, I paint the entire pot. For the middle one, I painted the entire pot orange, and after it dried I brushed some yellow streaks in for extra color. It sort of gives it a tarnished look. I did this using a dry brush technique, where you take a brush (dry obviously) with a small touch of paint on the tip, and you brush it lightly over the surface of the dry paint to create some colored streaks.
  • I made darker pots to resemble those dark acorn squashes. For the darker pots, I mixed the green and purple to create a couple dark shades. I ended up with a greenish-greyish-blue pot (on the right) and a dark purplish pot (on the left).
  • For the pot on the right, I brushed some purple streaks over the paint, and for the pot on the left, I brushed some green over. The pictures below show the result of this technique:

  • Next, I made jack-o-lantern designs. For the orange pot I used straight black paint, but for the dark pots I used bright yellow. Bright orange will work well too, but you will probably need to paint the design out in white paint or gesso first so that the bright color will stand out without the color underneath showing through.
  • For a final touch, I paint the inside of the pot straight black

I keep these things out year-round. They’re great for holding pencils, markers, plants, storing tea, and on Halloween I fill them with candy! They’re so versatile and it’s easy to come up with other great painting ideas for Halloween or any holiday.

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 17, 2011 in Crafts

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Mushroom Garlic Potato Roast

 

 

This makes a great dinner side dish that I love cooking when the weather starts to get cooler, and can make a great addition to any holiday dinner such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 potatoes (Russet or baking)
  • 3-4 Garlic sprouts, sliced
  • 5-8 Button mushrooms, sliced vertically
  • 5 tbsp butter OR olive oil OR both
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic & herb seasoning
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary (or basil, thyme, parsley)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Slice potatoes into thin circles.
  3. Brush oil onto the bottom of a bread baking dish
  4. Arrange potatoes vertically stacked beside each other into 2 rows
  5. Sprinkle with sliced garlic sprouts and mushrooms, wedging some of them in between the potatoes
  6. Brush the potatoes with the remaining oil
  7. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, seasoning and fresh herbs
  8. Bake 45 minutes or until potatoes are fully cooked.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 17, 2011 in Recipes

 

Tags: , , , , ,