Sunday, August 13, 2017

Antique Store Find and Soap Cracks


I was at an antique shop a short while back.  I picked up this box of cotton thread/yarn.  It said to me that it would be a great carrier yarn, or a great yarn to ply in my spinning.  Today, I decided to use it with some Shetland I was spinning.  The Shetland is white, but when spun some natural colors show.  I happened to also have some of the natural colored brown and beige yarn on a bobbin (like the previous post) so I plied the two wool spools and the blue cotton thread together to make my first yarn.  Once I used all of the natural colored brown and beige yarn, I continued to ply the cotton with the Shetland.




I know it is hard to view because of the brightness in the center.  I hope you can sill tell what it looks like.  Yes, this is my old castle type spinning wheel.  All other wheels I have used pale to this one, except for one I tried and it was plain ugly.
I am not sure what I am going to make with this yarn.  I am still spinning the single white yarn and I may make more plied with the blue thread.  The texture of the yarn, especially the three ply with the natural beige and browns should stand out in whatever I make.  As you probably remember, I don't like to make large projects, so who knows...............

I have also done a little soaping.  I am low on laundry soap, so I made some more of the base soap.  Coconut oil, lye, and water.  Of course half of it I had to play with, even though it is going to be shredded up.  To the second half, I added some mica and made swirls.  I also added Irish Spring type fragrance.  You may notice that it got hot and cracked down the center of my loaves of soap.  The soap loaves may have been less hot if I had not placed them all together to help support the edges so they did not bow out.  Once I saw that they were splitting, I sprayed rubbing alcohol on the tops.  A few minutes later I planned to give them some pressure on the top and another spray of alcohol, so the crack would not be so visible.  It really didn't matter if there was a crack since I was going to shred most of this soap up, but you know that damn soapers pride.  Standing there ready to spray, I noticed the two white ones healed themselves.  There is a visible line, but no crack.  The swirled ones have a little crack, but not much, so I didn't do anything except give it all another spray.
If you look carefully, you can see the cracks, but they are only on the very top.  The worst one is the one that is sideways on the left.  It doesn't look bad does it?


Have a wonderful week!  Dawnie



PS  Don't forget to go to my website at: https://www.slipperywhenwetsoaps.com or my website at: https://www.custercottage.com or my Etsy shop at:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/CusterCottage

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Over-dying wool




As of late, I have enjoyed spinning natural colored wool.  In one yarn, I have used several sheep breeds (Merino, Shetland, Jacob, Zwartable) in an effort to make a tweed-like yarn.  With some of this yarn, I crocheted a baby hat.  It is not the softest yarn, but not very scratchy either. A trick I picked up over the years if the cap is not soft enough for a baby head, line the cap with fleece-type fabricThe same kind of fabric used to make tied blankets.




After spinning this natural colored  yarn, I decided to over-dye the yarn so it did not look so boyish.  I used a Raspberry dye.  Some of the dye is darker in places than in others.  I like that look.  I have only made the hat, so far.  I have no idea what to make with the rest of my spun yarn.  What do you think I should do with it?  Do you like the over-dye better than the natural colored yarn?  The yarn used in the hat had more dark yarn spots and it came out darker.  It almost looks black and red. colored.  The plastic button even turned a tinge of pink. 
 






Thank you for viewing!  Dawnie







PS  Don't forget to go to my website at: https://www.slipperywhenwetsoaps.com or my website at: https://www.custercottage.com or my Etsy shop at:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/CusterCottage

Friday, July 21, 2017

Lavender & Tea Tree Soap





How do you feel about tea tree oil?  I think it really stinks! 
However, some people dearly love the fragrance.  A friend of mine used it in her hand made baby wipe formula since it is good for minor skin irritations and it has antiseptic properties.  Tea tree essential oil comes from the leaves of the tea tree which is grown in Australia.  This has nothing to do with the green or black tea we drink.  Tea tree is placed on the skin (topically) and used as an antiseptic for minor cuts, burns, skin irritations, eczema, and many other things.  I am camouflaging the smell of tea tree with lavender in this batch of soap.  My home smells heavenly!  Aside for a little color, everything in this soap is natural.  Since there is no real definition of natural in soap, it may not mean much to you. lol  When I mixed the lye, I added the sea salt.  About 1/3 does not mix totally.  This does not pose a problem for me.  I use salt totally mixed into the water and the opposite way where the soap is crunchy and needs to be cut right away. As the soap cures, it will have a white film on it due to the salt. 

I visited with a lady not long ago that had a son with eczema.  She said that his eczema (on his neck) cleared up when they were on vacation and he was in the salt water at the ocean daily.  That healing could be a result of many things other than salt, including stress, food, clothing he wore, soaps and shampoos he used, laundry soap and fabric softeners, etc.  The mother thought it was the salt and salt makes my skin feel awesome.  I am not a doctor and I can't tell you what does or does not work, but I have skin issues and so do many of my friends and family members.  I would like to say that my soap is used because everyone that uses it loves it and wants his or her skin to feel great!  Unfortunately I am realistic.  Many of my friends and family members use it because it is free.  LOL





Soap Ingredients:  Coconut oil, Tallow, Water, Lye, Sea salt, Shea butter (Unrefined and organic), Sunflower Seed Oil,Cocoa butter (unrefined and organic), Grapeseed oil, Colloidal oatmeal, Lanolin,  Purple and lavender oxide

Every once in a while, handmade soap may have a problem setting up.  With this soap, I had lye pockets.  This is something that I rarely ever have.  I noticed a small hole in the soap when I cut it.  I also noticed a little hole/pocket in the bottom of the soap, almost at the bottom of the mold in another loaf of soap.  There was some liquid in these holes.  I usually cut out these areas of the soap and the bad areas become family soap, or scraps used to re-batch.  This is what lye pockets look like:

I have been spinning a little.  I will keep you posted in case I make anything with the yarn.  I am intentionally making it look like tweed.

Have a great weekend!!!  Dawnie




PS  Don't forget to go to my website at: https://www.slipperywhenwetsoaps.com or my website at: https://www.custercottage.com or my Etsy shop at:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/CusterCottage


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Laundry and dirty laundry

I was almost out of laundry soap, so I made some laundry soap bars. This is the soap I use to make my laundry soap/laundry butter.  I decided to try the new "Fluid Acrylic Pour Technique done in soap," to make the soap more decorative.  I began using the top of plain coconut oil soap and two colors of purple since I used lavender fragrance oil in the soap.  This is a new technique we learned about in The Soap Challenge Club.  I only did a small amount on the top of the soap to practice.  Once you put small amounts of colored soap on the top, you blow air out of a straw into the soap making it fray out as a decoration.  This can be done one time or many times.  It is easiest to use in a tray mold since it gives it more space to spread out.  The number of colors can vary from 2 on up.  It works best if you use contrasting colors. 






Since I was talking about soap and dirty laundry, I am going to air some of our dirty laundry.  

Don't you just love the words that come out of the mouths of children? When my oldest grandchild needs to be held and given attention, she says, "Grandma I need you."  Not very often in this life do we get told that we are needed.  My son never could say the word comforter.  He always said he wanted a comfortable for his blanket. When we sing the song Baa Baa Black Sheep, my granddaughter sings Baa Baa Sheepies. There are a few other words that have been repeated and should have not been repeated.  Most of them have not come from my mouth.  Mother Ducker has just become a repeated word combination.  YIKES!  That is the word combination she says, but it is not exactly what the adults said.  Occasionally she likes to be funny and repeat another phrase that I actually said.  It came from her mom first in a similar phrase, so I blame her part way.  LOL  I said I needed to get my ass up and get something done.  Now my granddaughter teases me and tells me to get my ass up.  Then she giggles.  She knows it is not a nice word, but she loves to tease me.



I made a strawberry soap with a lot of cocoa butter, shea butter, lanolin, colloidal oatmeal, along with other ingredients.  The first batch contained raw cow milk.  The smell changed and it was no longer strawberry.  It smelled good, but not a fruit.

How was your week ?  I hope you are well.  Dawnie

Monday, June 26, 2017

TV and Movies Mimic Real Life

TV and Movies Mimic Real Life

I love to see things that interest me in a movie or on TV.  I watched a movie called The Meddler starring Susan Sarandon. In the movie, a man that was interested in her took her to his home to see his chickens.  Susan ate one of the eggs from his chickens and she mentioned that it was much better than the eggs from a restaurant she visited.

https://www.amazon.com/Meddler-Susan-Sarandon/dp/B01FV51FJI/ref=pd_ybh_a_5?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=9D66HMTVS492S8SQ5984

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Trivial things




I love the look of  the contrast between a bright crisp white thread with a dark or bright thread.  The colored thread is Lizbeth 3 Peacock Blues.  The bright white is not practical to use in a kitchen, such as a pot holder.  One use and the white would have spots on it.  I decided to make a trivet instead, using bright white cotton yarn and a yarn with variations of turquoise and dark blue.  It can be for use under a teapot or on a dinner table under a warm side dish.  My sister is a jewelry maker.  She made me several charms last summer.  I am using one to dangle on this trivet.  It is a teapot with a deep blueish colored bead as the body of the teapot.  I love to crochet, but I like to make small things I can finish in a short time frame.  What about you?

Thank you for viewing!  Dawnie

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Watch this to view my grand-daughter and learn about the Wheel of Fortune Ranch


I have probably talked about my grand-baby taking horseback riding lessons.   Now you can view her on the horse in the video below.  The video is the last few minutes of the Wheel of Fortune TV show from the 29th of May.  She is on this video 4 times.  Once when Donna leads the horse with her on it, once with the other kids walking around (she has a pony tail in this picture), once in her pink cowboy hat (her arm was in a purple cast), and once at the far right side of the screen for a quick shot.  Her plaid shirt shows in the shot.

This is a great place for children and adults to visit.  I love the quiet of the country and all of the animals there, especially the chickens.   This video is publicizing the Wheel of Fortune Ranch, which was purchased with the winnings from Donna Penley's time on the show after the tornado went through Haysville, Kansas in 1999 and Donna lost her home.
 


https://www.facebook.com/wheeloffortune/videos/1428402717203367/