Sunday, September 23, 2012


It's that time of year, where Peter and I make soap (cold process)!  This time we're planning 2 projects, one is the base go-to soap that Peter loves (modification of this recipe), and the other will be something new (I get to pick)!  We did our usual soap first and it went well.  It's sitting on top of our fridge, setting up - just have to wait a few weeks before we can test it out.

What I wanted to share this time around was 1). what we use instead of fancy soap molds, and 2) where do you get lye in Vancouver?

1. I dream of a wooden loaf mold. But, we make soap once a year and we get by without it. And I have a zillion craft supplies, so I'm trying to refrain from buying this one (I do check craigslist for it every now and then though, shhh).  So, we just line boxes with freezer paper and fill those instead. Our favorite box is one of those ones you get from the dollar store. They're very sturdy and pretty too. :)

2. When we first wanted to make soap, we were drowning in oils (I had purchased someone's supply) and had no lye. I searched the internet and could not find where to buy lye in Vancouver. I think possibly you can't buy it in Vancouver proper - but we found two places in the surrounding area: Galloways in Richmond, and Cranberry Lane in Port Coquitlam & Richmond.  So there you go, if you're in Vancouver looking for lye - they have it!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lip Balm, Finally

A while back I purchased (via craigslist) the soap & beauty making supply stash of someone who had had kids and sadly decided it was going to be a while before she had time and space to do things like make soap or anything else. At the time I was just looking for basic soap making supplies, but for a steal I got all that and a pile of essential oils and tons of other supplies. I actually had to research what some of this stuff was for. The huge quantity of beeswax, I soon learned, was for lip balms. So I've been meaning to try making some for ages. The internet says it's easy, which is nice.

Tonight I finally did it! I started with a base recipe and modified it slightly according to the general guide here.  I can't tell you if I like this product yet, but if I don't, I have enough supplies to make approximately 2853 pots of lip balm, so I can probably do another batch. I'll let you know.  And the internet was right - this was stupidly easy. Frankly, finding the lip balm pots was the hardest part! (Daiso)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fashion Mod Help

I just found this dress in a thrift shop ($8) and had to get it because she skirt portion is this lovely printed velvet. However, I'm not so into the gold metallic ruched top (also it's currently strapless, unless I hunt down some straps to hook onto the loops, and I prefer my clothing to have straps).

My short-term plan is to wear it with a short cardi over the top (hide the gold) - but I'd love advice & inspiration photos for permanent alterations to make the dress a bit more classic and a bit less disco (there is a time and place for shiny metallic fabric, I just don't think it's on top of a lovely velvet skirt). I'd love a new black top portion to this, something with straps.

The tricky part is that the dress has a side zipper that goes through the gold fabric.... so actually removing the gold & replacing it will be tricky (my sewing skills, especially re: alterations, are pretty weak)!

All ideas/suggestions are welcome!  Also - yay for thrift store finds!

Monday, September 03, 2012

Things You Might Like

A list of random things you might find cool or useful...

Juniper Moon Farm Blog - this awesome blog chronicles the adventures of running a fibre farm - everything from sheep of the day profiles, to the anticipation of waiting for lambs (cows, puppies, goats) to be born, shearing, yarn dyeing... you name it, and all with a great sense of humour. Juniper Moon takes the food CSA concept and applies it to yarn.  This is one of the blogs I check every day.

I have a thing for reading very old books on etiquette, and instructional books for young women on how to be proper ladies... it's so fascinating, so of a different world. People are digitizing craft patterns & cooking books from previous eras.  How about "Dressmaking Made Easy" from 1919?  Or "Woman As Decoration" from 1920? (check out the chapter "Establish habits of carriage which create good line" !). Or "The Ladies Worktable Book: containing clear and practical instructions in plain and fancy needlework, embroidery, knitting, netting, and crochet." from 1845!

Less craft related but still very interesting: "The Ladies Vase or Polite Manual for Young Ladies" from 1849 with chapters on "Behaviour to Gentlemen" and "Conversation". Or from 1785 (!) - "Essays on Various Subjects, Principally Designed for Young Ladies"  It's endlessly fascinating. 

Make your own sewing desk - with your machine flush mounted. This DIY project caught my eye - this couple took an Ikea desk and with a little DIY ingenuity (and power tools) turned it into a fantastic sewing table with the machine mounted underneath. It's virtually impossible to find a sewing table that is modern & attractive, so this seems like a great idea!

Modern macrame project!  I've never done macrame before, but am tempted to by this project (with tutorial) for these stunning & modern bracelets! Aren't these fabulous? 

Saturday, September 01, 2012


I've been spending a lot of my spare time doing cat photos as part of my Orphan Animal Photos project, so crafting has taken a hiatus.

Except that crafting never fully takes a hiatus! I went on a short trip to Vancouver Island to do some camping & walking through rainforests and in my downtime I crocheted a hat! It wouldn't be a vacation if I didn't have some kind of craft project on hand.

I recently got my hair cut short again and I sometimes fail to blow dry it right away; my thinking is I can pop on this hat and my hair will dry reasonably flat, even when I'm too lazy to blow dry... we'll see how that goes. In any case, it never hurts to have more cute hats around.

The pattern is available here (free) & I used some random, unlabeled yarn from my stash.  I love that the colour of the hat so perfectly matches the rainforests I've been wandering around!