Thursday, July 28, 2011

Soap for sale and weekend trip

This soapmaking thing is really quite addictive! I've recently come across a hot process method of soapmaking that I just love!  You don't have to wait the 4-6 weeks for it to cure before you can use it. It's actually ready as soon as it's made but most people let them sit out for a few days to let them harden up- they last longer this way.

The hot process method has a more rustic look than cold processed soap because you cook the soap completely before scooping it in the mold t o cool. At first I didn't like the look too much... but it's grown on me.  I like that it looks homemade!

We use them here in my house and love them. I've had some requests to sell them and my husband thought it would be a good idea.  They are all listed in my shop and ready to be shipped in the U.S. only (sorry international buddies!) I think he gave me the okay because he is getting tired of seeing dozens and dozens of soap bars curing on his kitchen counter. Oops!


These are all made with some yummy saponified oils: coconut oil, palm oil (sustainable), olive oil, soybean oil, castor oil and mango butter. Also includes are the fragrance oil and colorant.

Now, I'm off to pack! We are headed to my hometown of Miami, FL for my 10 year high school reunion this weekend.  Crazy how time flies.  I'm almost 34 weeks pregnant and I just hope my back and feet can take all the partying that's going to happen! They even planned a family picnic event on Sunday at a local park for all the families to bring their kids.  Complete with a bounce house, cotton candy machine and tons of food.  My son is going to have a blast!  I will take tons of pictures so I can show you when I get back. 

Have a great weekend... I know I will!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Spark & Hustle

Last week I had the opportunity to speak at Tory Johnson's Spark & Hustle finale conference in Atlanta, GA. It was an amazing experience and I just wish I could have stayed for the entire weekend event.  Unfortunately, my husband had to work the next morning and I'm 33 weeks pregnant so we left my son at home with my mom so we could make the five hour drive to Atlanta without a toddler in the car.  My husband is a trooper! He drove five hours and then waited for me to speak and then we drove 5 hours straight back home in one day.  It was pretty intense but we did it...and it was worth it.

I spoke to a room full of female entrepreneurs on how to use YouTube for business success.  It was fun and I enjoyed sharing my story and tips with so many amazing women.   I received very positive feedback from the ladies and was so happy that I was able to inspire them to create their own YouTube videos to help promote their businesses.

There were tons of great speakers covering topics on social media and how to use Facebook, Twitter, and other sites for your business. 

One of the other speakers that day was an online quilting buddy of mine, Maria Peagler, author of a very popular quilting book- Color Mastery. She taught us all about using Twitter.  She is an expert in everything related to social media and also offers online social media classes for the different sites I've mentioned.  You can find the info on these classes here:

Hope you're having a productive week! I'm off to elevate these swollen ankles....

Monday, July 25, 2011

How to Make Quilted Fabric Postcards

It's Monday! We all know what that means.... a new video tutorial!

In this video I teach you how to make some quick and easy fabric postcards that can actually be mailed!

This has been a popular project in the crafting world for a while now but no matter how easy and common I think it is I always have new followers that have never heard of it so I was asked to make a tutorial for it. 

This is the perfect project to use up those fabric and batting scraps because that's pretty much all you need!

I like to sew paper to the back side of the postcard instead of fabric because its easier to write on and the mail stamps stick perfectly to them.  You can use whichever you prefer. 

This was also my first time using a new fabric glue stick that I was recently introduced to called the "Lapel Stick."  A big thanks to the makers of the lapel stick for sending me this complimentary tube for me to try.  It's for all kinds of fabric and I was really impressed at how it held together the fabric to the batting and also the paper to the batting on the backside.  It wasn't thick and gloppy like some regular craft glue sticks are. It slid right on and it goes on invisible.  If you want to see how it performed on camera check it out in the video tutorial below.

Hope you enjoy the tutorial!

p.s.- The Crafty Gemini mobile app is almost ready for both Android and iPhones! I'll let you know as soon as its up and available for you!  It's gonna be free, too!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Blog makeover and Hooded Towel Tutorial

Hello everyone!

I had a very productive weekend and am back to start this week off right with a blog makeover and a new weekly video tutorial!

If you are reading this blog post in your email I recommend you click on the post title so you can view it in my blog website so you can see the new changes!  I thought it was time for a new, cute and fresh facelift.  I hope you like it.  It's still a work in progress so I welcome your feedback.  I created a new banner up top that is wider than before now I can post my videos on here in bigger windows so you can view them better.  I hope it helps!

As for the weekly tutorial-- this week we are back to a sewing tutorial and I show you how quick and easy it is to make one of those cute little hooded (I call them hoodie) towels for kids.  If you've seen these at the store before you know they are pretty pricey.  Now, you can re-purpose towels you may already have or even buy new ones and get the same effect for a fraction of the cost. 

My son likes to wear his hoodie towel around the house and play with it. Kooky little guy! 

If you create one of these hooded towels feel free to upload pictures to our Facebook page so we can all see your creations!  This serves as inspiration for others to see what colors and fabrics you used.

p.s.- remember my video tutorials are now fully captioned for the hearing impaired.  You can turn the captions on and off as you need. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Making soap from scratch!

This is seriously my new obsession!

It's like my husband says, "I knew you were addicted when I came out of the room at 11:30pm and you were making soap. "

Well, I'm hoping some of you get bit by the soapmaking bug too and try your hand at this recipe I came up with.  It only requires four ingredients- canola oil, oilve oil, distilled water and sodium hydroxide (lye).  I kept it nice and basic and didn't add any fragrances or colorants. I just wanted to show you other beginners how the process works and show you what the finished product looks like.

...and here is my latest soap batch. I call it Baby Puff.  It is scented with a baby powder fragrance oil and has poppy seeds for exfoliation.  I created a mold out of a recycled milk carton.  I can hardly wait to see if it turned out okay once I cut into it! They are just perfect! I love these random soap experiments.

Let me know if you make your own soap or gave my recipe a try! I'd love to know how it turned out!

If you are interested in purchasing some handmade soaps check out my friend's shop.  She makes some amazing works of art!  She just started a blog too and you can find that here. Just contact her here to place an order.


Friday, July 8, 2011

New hobby & new sponsor!

This has been one busy (and hot) summer!  

My son and I often find ourselves cooling off in the pool and boy has that helped!  It allows him to burn off all that toddler boy energy and it works wonders on my aching back and swollen ankles. 
See my growing belly bump?  
I'm now 30 weeks pregnant! AH! Crazy how time flies the second time around because the first born keeps you soooooo busy! 

I've also gone a little crazy and picked up a new hobby! I know.. I know.. how do I have time for a new hobby?!  I don't know either but I've convinced myself that it's not really a "hobby" but more of a service to my family to start making my own handmade all natural soaps. It's addictive and I love it. 

(Coconut oil, castor oil, extra virgin olive oil, sweet almond oil and lavender essential oil)

(Canola oil, castor oil, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, shea butter and sweet almond oil with activated charcoal for black swirls)
 (Oatmeal Cinnamon- freshly ground oats and cinnamon, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, palm oil, sweet almond oil, castor oil)
 My most basic soap batch yet!  Just canola oil and light olive oil.
(Hint: If you are curious as to how this cold process soap is made and think you may want to try your hand at this simple recipe you definitely want to check out Monday's tutorial.)

Aside from my new hobby... we also have a new blog sponsor to introduce today!

Hermanas Bowtique is run by two sisters (isn't their logo cute?) who share a passion for all kinds of sewing and crafts. They have used several of my tutorials and e-patterns and given them their own twist to come up with some fabulous works of art. 

Look at my Must-Have Tote Bag pattern in this bold print... love it!
Some of their other works of art include these 3D hairbows that are just mind blowing! A Tinkerbell hair bow?! How cute is that?  You can see other bows they offer including Disney princesses HERE. 

Their prices are very affordable. For example... $2.00 US for these adorable snap hair clips! 

If you need some gifts or accessories for your little girl be sure to check them out at Hermanas Bowtique. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

FaveCrafts Radio

Today is another big day for me... I am being featured on FaveCrafts Radio today at 3:00pm EST!

If you're around feel free to catch it because four other fabulous designers and crafters will be interviewed on air as well. 

If you miss the live recording... no worries.  It will be podcasted HERE.

If you missed my first online radio interview on American Patchwork & Quilting Radio earlier this week you can still listen to the whole show HERE.
Some of you have also been asking me about this week's video tutorial.  Since it was a cooking tutorial I posted it over at my Crafty Cocina cooking blog.  You can watch it HERE.

Hope you are all having a great week!

Friday, July 1, 2011

American Patchwork & Quilting Radio

Guess who's gonna be a guest on APQ's Radio Show hosted by the fabulous Pat Sloan?!


The live show airs this Monday, July 4th at 4:00pm EST. 

If you can't catch it LIVE because it's a holiday in the U.S., no worries!
You can still go to the APQ radio page and catch the recorded show after it airs and check out past shows, too.  

It's gonna be fun! I hope you will join us!

Happy Independence Day Weekend!

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