Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Kickin' Those Bath Salts Up a Notch

I sometimes can't decide whether I craft because I like to do it or because I'm cheap.  Here's the result of my latest  "I'm not paying for that" moment, lavender scented and colored Epsom salt.

Yes, I did use the Silhouette again! Couldn't find an old-fashioned bathtub design I liked, but this one is pretty, too.  Used a pretty font on the top to let Brian know not to eat it.  Bought the container from Amazon.  It's plastic.  I really didn't want a glass one in my bathroom.  

Here it is prior to filling.  Notice that the bath salts lettering is not centered with the design.  Now, if  I can just remember this lesson for the next time.

I looked at a dozen recipes online and decided to go with the straight Epsom Salt, essential oil, and coloring.  Some people put in dried lavender buds.  Having purchased a few bath products with lavender and seaweed in the past, I know I  would not like them in my recipe.  Plant matter in bath stuff is a triple pain for me.  First, I don't like stuff floating around me in the tub.  Second, I don't want it clogging up the drain.  Third, I really don't like having to crawl around the tub afterward to get all the little pieces out.  No lavender buds in my bath salts.

  For all those bath product fanatics out there, gather up your tools and such,

and give it a try. There are a ton a recipes available online.  One tip not usually mentioned for getting the oil and coloring well mixed is to keep grinding the mixture back and forth between your hands until all the dark specks of coloring are gone.  If you prefer not to have food coloring on your hands and nails for days on end, latex gloves are a must, too.

There you have it!  I stuck an old mismatched spoon from the kitchen in, just pushed in down in there, for scooping.  Off to try it out!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Silhouette Cameo Project FINALLY

I got the Silhouette for Christmas from my lovely husband and have spent the ensuing months researching.  I have watched about a hundred videos, visited countless websites, and pinned my heart out.  I finally got up the courage to actually use it.

I used one of my favorite pinned quotes that I felt was befitting for a sewer.
It was between this quote and "You know what I find odd, numbers that can't be divided by two."  I love them both, but went for the shorter one for a first venture into the Silhouette AND  iron-on vinyl.

I ordered the vinyl from a few months ago because they seemed to have lots of happy customers.  I can see why people like them.  This is a really soft, stretchy vinyl with much better coloring than my photos show.  I guess I really shouldn't be taking photos in the closet, but who wants to do all this blogging crap right?  This pic shows the color better.

My comment section is not working.  So sorry for that.  I started getting a SSL Connection Error message when I tried to fix it.  Blogger's layout page shows that it is fixed, but when I try to go to the blog to see it via the,"so, click here if you want to see it" link, the SSL message appears.  There appear to be about a hundred ways listed to fix it, but I've not had any luck yet. Email me!  As far as I know, that still works.  Okay, I just went into my blog and saw the now the comment section IS working for this post.  It still won't work for that one post about the bunny towels, though.  Does anyone really understand all this computer stuff?  I'll bet Bill Gates has these problems, too.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Who Has the Cutest Towels?

I do!
It has been pointed out to me that you're supposed to make a hooded towel on which to place these designs.
I know!  I like this way, though.  It's easier to make, looks cute, and is easy to fold.  Just try making one of
those hooded towels look nice on a towel rack.  

Are they not the cutest things?  I should have waited for better lighting, but I wanted to get this post up before it got lost in my busyness.  

 I've been playing with the washcloth ears.  They can stand up really well like the one below if you fool around with folding the washcloth more snugly. 

These were supposed to be appliqued, but the pattern doesn't have the level of directions I would need to do that.  I have no idea how to cut out the fabric to fit!  I like my version without the applique just as well in any case.

I also changed the colors a bit.  The design calls for the upper lip to be black, but I like the pink. The eyelashes are supposed to be gray, but, as you can see, I used black.

 I'd tell you where I got this, but I cannot find anything on my computer with that information!  I thought it was an Etsy shop, but there is no listing for it on my account.  If you really want it, let me know.  I'll go through my PayPal account to see if I can find the info.

UPDATE:  I hear from a few faithful commenters that my comment section is out of order.  Yup, it is, and I am having a fun time trying to fix it.  If you need info on the towels, email me.  Hopefully that is still working.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Wine Tote

Everyone needs a bag for shopping in wine country.  I am so ready for the next trip.  This is made with some of the fabric purchased on our last trip to the Finger Lakes wine country.  Originally I was going to put pockets between the straps but didn't want to cover up any of the beautiful fabric.  Then I realized why I really couldn't put pockets on it. Wine has to breathe.
Needed a glass of wine to celebrate finishing the bag!  Usually things don't end
up hanging from the chandelier when I drink.
There are pockets on the inside, however, just large enough to keep bottles from tipping and clanking.

I had the worst time getting photos today--could NOT get the lighting to work.  You can see that the wine glass is starting to empty out.

After the fifth try to get the light right, I just gave up.  Rather than refill the empty glass (it was barely noon after all), I decided to fix the pics with Photoshop later.  

I didn't sew the handles all the way to the top so that I could fold it over if the mood struck.

I think I may have to try this out at the local store first.  I'll be the obnoxious one in line saying, "No, thank you, I don't need your crappy leftover box.  I have my own wine tote."  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The First Attempt to Make Bath Bombs (aka Bath Fizzies)

I love the bath bombs from Lush.  However, they are expensive, and I'm cheap.  The general consensus on the 'net  is that bath bombs aren't hard to make, but there is a learning curve for getting the moisture and ingredient levels right.  Even better, most people say fails are still usable for the most part, just not pretty.

After sending away for the only ingredient I could not find on hand, the citric acid powder, and a round mold, the experimenting began.  My first attempts are NOT pretty.

Three different recipes
These were all supposed to be balls, but I could only get one out of the mold without splitting.  The extra half was just leftovers.  You know why they cracked?  According to internet sources, they are either too wet or not wet enough.  Oh, that helps.  What matters, however, is whether they work, right?

Yes!  This one did anyway.  It fizzed, gave off a beautiful orange citrus fragrance, and floated.  I really don't care about the floating, but some people apparently do care.  The only downside was that I had way too much oil in it.  I have a big tub, see: 

I made a BIG bath bomb.  I think the recipe was meant for making lots of smaller ones.  I felt like I was floating in a lovely smelling, ecologically acceptable version of the Valdez spill.  On the bright side, my skin looks freaking wonderful.  Cleaning the residual oil left in the tub: not wonderful.  I'll try using 1/4 of a ball next time.

Will I do it again?  For sure. I'm a sucker for bath products, take a lot of baths, and have trouble parting with money as mentioned earlier. Getting the oil situation in control will make mine just as enjoyable as the expensive Lush versions.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Bag That Happened Despite Me

Or maybe I should say "to spite me."  Bags can't think, right?  Nah.  

Okay.  It's a nice bag.  It's just not the bag I was trying to make. This was supposed to be such a simple project, just doubling the size of the tiny tote I did a couple of weeks ago.  First my reading skills failed miserably.  I needed TWO not one of some of the large pattern pieces I had cut and there was no more fabric.  Improv time! Sadly, my math skills were not up to my improvisation.  The bag changed and changed and changed some more.

Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with a rather long, squat bag with lots of pockets. If only I knitted or crocheted.  It would be perfect for skeins of yarn.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

So, what did you think of Vegas?

It's exhausting!  If you like to walk or need to, this is the place.  Yes, I am going to bore you with my vacation photos because Vegas can be beautiful,

albeit a bit ostentatious.

Of course, it also does gaudy really well, too.  

Even the buildings are giant screens for advertising.  Can't really complain about it because they are freaking mesmerizing.
The Aria sign is actually a giant screen continuously showing crystal clear, colorful videos. Who cares if it's advertising.  I was awestruck.  I want it.  Yeah, that is crazy.  Vegas does that to you.

Las Vegas can also be weird.  I have no idea why this wall of body parts exists.  I just could not bring myself to say, "Hey, what's this wall of boobs and butts about?"

Where else will you see local workers out to lunch in these outfits? I'm assuming the third member of the group went to the ladies' room.  Balancing that hat in the bathroom stall would be a bit of a hassle I imagine.

There is more to the area than the strip, though.  I LOVED the Red Rock Canyon area.  It's a photographer's dream.  I half expected to see cowboys come riding around the bend at any moment. 

The pic below does not do the massive wall of rock justice.  To get an idea of how big it is, the photo following it shows the two guys that were climbing it when I took the shot.  I didn't even know they were there. I heard them before I saw them and zoomed in for another photo. So look at the pic below where the red and white rocks meet, kind of near the center.  Then look at the one following it to see the close-up of the two climbers.

While the natural flowers may not be abundant or large, they are exquisite.  I have no idea what these are called.  Should I get energetic later, I'll look it up and update this.  According to someone on Google Images, this is a Scarlet Globemallow plant in bud!

Hoover Dam is also close by and interesting.

I find it to be beautiful in an industrial, desolate kinda way.  This is what you see in one direction,

and this is on the other side.

 I know lots of people don't care for the desert landscape, but I find it to be magnificent.

Lake Mead, the result of damming up the Colorado River is beautiful, too.  This is just a small piece of it called Boulder Basin. 

One last thing--a photo of a towel I found in Nordstrom's.  I am definitely going to steal this quote to embroider on something.
Ain't THAT the truth!