Mantra Swirl results

Finally! My Mantra Swirl (thanks to Amy Warden, Great Cakes Soapworks  and Majestic Mountain Sage for setting this up)  that I think has some pizzazz! This was trial # 5 in this series, and the one that gave me the most trouble. I did not think it would turn out well!  (update:  I actually made six trials.  picture added; the blue, yellow and white was my first attempt)
Between fragrance  (a luscious jasmine-lavender blend with my own tweak)  accelerating trace, temperature and the planets not quite aligned for this project, it thickened quickly and was difficult to pour, more of a plopping instead of pouring.   (Great,  thought I, what a mess.)

I used my basic recipe which is outstanding; simple but fabulous on skin. I try to improve it, but truly, it’s just about perfect. I used hot pink mica with a little strawberry mica for the reddish part, green, and violet, all from The Conservatorie. (Wonderful stuff they have!)
For my previous trials, I did the two dividers so I had three separate sections of color. This one I decided to do just one divider down the middle and pour the middle color so it would sink in. So much for plans! Because it thickened so quickly, when I poured the pink center section, it just sat on the top.
Well, hay-ull. (As my mechanic would say) Dang and double hay-ull.
A mess, thought I. Tried to push the pink down with the divider, then a spoon, then a spatula. No cigar for this girl.
On to the hanger; maybe since it was so thick, the hanger would push it down. So, I pushed the hanger straight down the middle twice, then figured I would end up making it …murky. So, did the hanger swirl (down the long side and back and forth, going up a bit each time.
After all that, it’s my favorite of all my trials.

mantra 4

Here are all my mantra trials.  I like all of them, but hopefully learned and improved with each.


Here’s the first attempt (forgot it when I took the above picture)


More Swirly Soaps

I’ve added body cream to my creations and it’s delicious on your skin.   I recently made an amazing citrus blend swirl soap with chamomile tea.  Think just peeled oranges.

I wanted to try a different pigment for swirling and tried a blue swirl with a very fresh, outdoor scent.   I love this one, too.

Chamomile Energy Soap

Chamomile Energy Soap

Rain Orchid Soap
Rain Orchid Soap

There are many resources if you’re interested in making your own soap.  The ingredients are simple and you’ll end up with a skin loving bar that is made of your good oils and ingredients.   Everytime I shower, I feel pampered.  And I get to be at my home, one of the most beautiful places I know.


Today, I’m planning to sew and make lip balms.  I’ve been giving the stuff  I make to friends, so time to replenish my stock.  Have a great day everyone.

Soaps, soaps, soaps, Oh My!

More soaps and other luscious luxurious indulgences.  Pumpkin Pie soap…wish you could smell it, just like freshly baked pumpkin pie.



Here’s my second batch of coconut lime soap.  I used green clay and coconut; it feels and smells wonderful.

cocnut lemon lime

And, my daughter and I made all kinds of wonderful things this past weekend.  This lovely citrusy-floral soap with pink clay turned out beautifully.  Can’t wait to start using it.


And lastly, for chocolate lovers.  Here’s a batch of cocoa butter soap on the left and chocolate swirl soap on the right.  Amazing!


Quilts for little girls

Update: a picture of the finished quilts, and just below is a closeup of the quilting.

nicole and alexandra quilts IMG_2854

I have been working on lap quilts for grandaughters.  The young ladies are about 7 and 8 years old.  I rarely see them since we live so far away.  But , I love sewing and I know they will enjoy their quilts and think of us when they snuggle up with one.



And, here’s one I’m making for me.  I’ve laid it out on the floor with some of the border strips.  You can get an idea of how it will look.  It will also have another darker blue border outside the rainbow strips.


I’m going to have this quilt professionally quilted; it’s too large for me to handle.  The lap quilts, though, I will do.  I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

The sewing part…

I love creating beautiful, USEFUL things out of a piece of cloth.  I learned to sew when girls had to take Home Ec in school.  I am so glad; what I learned way back then gives me so much satisfaction .  This quilt was  made earlier this year as a gift for a granddaughter graduating from high school.  I loved playing with the colors and different settings for the stars.  I especially love the scrap border.As you can see, I love vibrant colors.

ImageI have been doing smaller quilting projects the last couple years and learning and being inspired to do more through some online classes.

If you haven’t found Craftsy,com, it’s a  bunch of great, fun classes.  Once you buy a class, it’s yours and can be viewed over and over.  Also, the instructors are available for questions, comments, a really helpful feature.  No affiliation, just a satisfied customer.

This is a bag I recently made for my daughter.  Next picture is a view of the inside of the bag.

And for fun, and because I love red, here is a quilt top currently in progress.

Peas can be vicious and aggressive (but lovely and tasty)…

June17, 2012  We are building pea frames right now.  2 x 4’s for a frame, fully 8 foot tall.  2 x 4  across the top and synthetic twine for the peas to climb.  Love peas, these being Sugarsnap.  (In the pic below, on the right are SugarAnn, slightly shorter vines that bear a bit sooner.  These were also planted about two weeks later.)   Edible and wonderful and sweet at any stage of growing.  (Horses and dogs think so too) But they get very TALL, as you must know if you’ve grown them before.  Easily 10′ – 12′ so they need a monster trellis. 

Last year we built what we thought would be a good sturdy trellis, but no.  As they climbed up, over and started back up, their weight collapsed the trellis.  Not this year!  (I hope)  Sometimes, we feel like Bill Murray against the gopher (the peas!) in Caddyshack.

Transplanted more red raspberries today.  They are Latham and do really well here.  My new raspberry bed is a long mound of compost with added bonemeal to the compost.  The transplants are watered in with an Alaska fishmeal (5-0-0) watering. 

If you aren’t composting, I recommend it.  It really does plants good and holds moisture perfectly.

Big day for us.  Curt seeded the back (future pasture) land.  Now we are praying for rain to get our seed off and growing.  Our second choice is dragging hose out and setting up irrigation.  That’s our afternoon project.

Two days later …