Category Archives: Crafts

Craft for Kids: TP Pals

Looking for a fun craft you can do with your kids or grandkids? These colorful creatures are made from toilet paper rolls…which we all probably have plenty off! 🙂 Just wrap some construction paper around the tube and secure with glue or tape, then glue on other facial features with craft items like mini pom poms and googly eyes…or just draw the faces on! This simple craft will give your little ones hours of amusement! Make animals, like a dog or chick, or make some funny faces! See the simple instructions below! Continue reading

Bunny Treat Cups

With Easter coming up, you may be looking for fun craft ideas for the kids and grandkids. Even if you’re separated by distance, you can share the fun of doing crafts together via Skype, FaceTime, or other ways of connecting! The Bunny Treat Cups I’m showing you are so fun and easy to make! You just need a few craft supplies to put these together and, of course, some springtime treats to fill the cups with! 🙂 Continue reading

A Merry Little Gift Guide

Having trouble figuring out what to give some of your family and friends? Some of these ideas may help you out! And all of these items can be purchased online if you don’t like fighting the holiday shopping crowds! There’s still a few weeks before Christmas, so you Continue reading

Easy Knitted Scarf

I love knitted scarves in the winter–there’s something comforting about having a bundle of cozy softness around you to help keep you warm! We had a little break in our chilly winter weather for about a week, but now it’s cold again, and my knitted scarves will once again come in handy! They are so easy to make, especially this particular type of knitted scarf, and I’ve made quite a few of them.

The directions for this scarf are quite simple:

  1. Use large size knitting needles for a thick, soft scarf–I used size 15.
  2. Cast on 34 stitches. You can increase or decrease the stitches by 4, depending on how thick your yarn is, and how wide you want your scarf to be. For a medium weight 4-ply yarn, 34 stitches will give you a scarf that’s about 6 1/2″ wide.
  3. Row 1: Knit 2, Purl 2
  4. Row 2: Purl 2, Knit 2
  5. Repeat these rows until your scarf is as long as you want it. This scarf is 6 1/2 ft., which took 2 skeins of yarn to make.
  6. Cast off your stitches (which is how you finish off the scarf)

If you don’t know how to knit, there are lots of books for beginners and lots of tutorials on the web, too. This tutorial over at wikihow.com shows you how to cast on, do a basic knitting stitch, and cast off.

The photo above, of the most recent scarf I knitted, shows one way you can wear your scarf, and here’s another way:I like both ways–either way you wear it, you’ll feel nice and warm!

Do you like to knit? Or crochet? Do you have any projects you’re working on now?

Olive Oil Soap

OliveOilSoap2

Photo courtesy of The Best Homemade Natural Soaps: 40 Recipes for Moisturizing Olive Oil-Based Soaps by Mar Gomez, 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

Have you ever made your own soap before? I really like the idea of using homemade soap with natural ingredients and have been interested in trying to make some myself. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to review the new book, The Best Natural Homemade Soaps: 40 Recipes for Moisturizing Olive Oil-Based Soaps (Robert Rose, softcover). 

UnknownThe book starts off by sharing some interesting history about soap making. In ancient times, soap mainly consisted of a mixture of boiled fat and ashes. The first people to make olive oil soap were the Syrians, several thousand years ago in the city of Aleppo. “The women of Aleppo realized that by adding ground bay leaves to soap, skin infections were reduced considerably; the leaves from the bay plant possess an extraordinary natural antiseptic.” And other soap-making discoveries continued over the centuries.

This book also includes preparation tips and utensil and ingredient guides so you have everything you need to make your own olive oil-based soap. The step-by-step instructions seem easy to follow and include information on therapeutic qualities of the natural soap additives in each particular recipe–additives like essential oils, beeswax, cocoa butter, kaolin clay, seaweed, and goat’s milk. Some of the 40 different soap recipes include Kiwi Soap, Lavender Soap, Marigold Soap, Seaweed Soap, Green Tea Soap, Chocolate Soap, Coconut Soap, Cinnamon Soap, Rosemary Soap…and many more great-sounding versions!

OliveOilSoap1

Image from The Best Natural Homemade Soaps

I was going to try making the basic Olive Oil Soap recipe. The ingredients are simple and basic enough–mineral water, lye (caustic soda), and extra virgin olive oil. However, I wasn’t able to find lye in any stores near me, so I guess I’ll have to order some from a soap-making supplier (there’s a list at the back of the book). In the meantime, I have permission from the publisher to share the recipe with you! Note: You’ll need safety goggles, a large saucepan, and a kitchen thermometer to make this soap.

OLIVE OIL SOAP from The Best Natural Homemade Soaps

  • 7.5 oz. mineral water
  • 3 oz. lye (caustic soda)
  • 1.5 lbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • Scent (optional), store-bought or homemade
  1. Wearing gloves and goggles, pour mineral water into a large saucepan. Add lye slowly, stirring gently until it is dissolved.
  2. Using a thermometer, monitor the temperature of the lye mixture until it is between 120ËšF and 140ËšF.
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, heat olive oil to between 120ËšF and 140ËšF.
  4. Remove olive oil from heat. Add lye mixture to olive oil, stirring slowly and trying not to splash.
  5. Stir occasionally, every 15 minutes or so, until the mixture thickens and congeals (it will have a texture similar to that of light mayonnaise).
  6. Stir in scent (if using). Stir for 1 minute with a spoon (or with a whisk, taking care not to create foam).
  7. Pour into a greased or paper-lined soap mold. Gently tap mold to remove any air bubbles.
  8. Cover with a blanket or towel and let stand for 2 days. Uncover and let stand for an additional day if the mold is very large.
  9. Turn soap out of mold. Wait another day, then cut into bars as desired.
  10. Dry bars for 1 month, turning occasionally to ensure they are drying uniformly.
Soap recipe from The Best Homemade Natural Soaps: 40 Recipes for Moisturizing Olive Oil-Based Soaps by Mar Gomez, 2014 © http://www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.

 

This sounds like a great soap for your skin! Homemade soap is a great DIY gift idea, too! Do you use or have you made any olive oil-based soap, or any other kinds of soap?

Linked to Thursday Favorite Things.