More Soap!

Things have been a little quiet around here lately, but with good reason: I’ve been making soap!

Three soaps
I’ve experimented with soap making in the past, first with melt & pour soap, and then even making my first batch of cold process soap a few months ago. And now I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. I’m still making cards, and have lots of ideas there (though not a ton of mojo at the moment), but  I hope you won’t mind if I share my soap-making adventures here, too.

First cold process soaps

I’m still experimenting with recipes – trying to figure out exactly which combinations of ingredients I like best for my bars – but so far I’ve made a few very different soaps. The best part is that they’re all made with a limited amount of natural ingredients, all of which I can pronounce! This has become increasingly important to me when it comes to skin care, especially because I have some skin sensitivities and allergies that like to cause me trouble from time to time. It also helps that the final hand-made product is just so pretty!

First drop swirl soap

The first in this set of three soaps is a bar made with coconut, olive, palm (sustainably sourced!) and sweet almond oils, shea butter, mica colorant, and what I’m currently calling a “proprietary fragrance blend” (because I blended a bunch of fragrances to get something I like and it now smells fresh and fruity but I’m not yet very good at naming or describing fragrances…). Plus some good old H20.  :)  I experimented with a drop swirl technique for these, and sprinkled a mixture of raspberry and poppy seeds on top.

Blue & fruity soap

I also made this beautiful blue soap with some calendula leaves sprinkled on top. I love the contrast of the two colors! Ingredients for these soaps include coconut, olive,  palm (sustainably sourced!), sweet almond and castor oils, shea butter, mica colorant, fragrance and water. These bars have a slightly citrus-y scent that I love.

Castile soap

The third is a traditional Castile soap which means the only oil used in this soap is 100% olive oil. I followed this recipe. It has an oatmeal & honey fragrance that smells really lovely. I can’t wait to try this one out!

First soaps

My plan is to keep experimenting with recipes and designs and see where I end up. So far I’m having lots of fun, even in the troubleshooting phases!

Let me know in the comments if you’d be interested in seeing more posts about soap!

kimberly

Coworker Christmas Gifts 2017

Someone I’ve managed to start a tradition of baking cookies and making paper gifts to give to the people who work in my department every Christmas. In the past, I’ve made cookie boxes, pretty tags and little jar-topper villages (like these). This year I kept it pretty simple, baking up 7 kinds of cookies with my mom (!!) and making a paper ornament to go along with each cookie jar.

3d ornaments close up

I made about 11 of these little ornaments, the shape of which I learned from one of my incredibly smart co-workers is called an icosahedron! He’s been reading a book on recreational math, nbd.

Hanging ornaments

I made these using the 3D circle ornament die from Altenew and lots of colored card stock from the scrap heap I have in my craft room! I die cut, and die cut, and die cut those little circles out for what seemed like forever, and scored, and scored, and scored and then glued, and glued, and glued!

3D Christmas ornaments

I ended up using Glossy Accents glue to glue them all together-this worked the best for me because it’s a super strong adhesive and also dries quickly enough that I could keep my assembly line moving at a good clip (but at the same time gave me a few moments to move the paper around to line everything up before the glue was totally dry). Basically, I prefer a liquid glue for this, instead of double sided tape or tape runner. But user beware: by the time I was finished my fingers were COVERED in glue!

Christmas ornaments on cookie jars

I made all of these ornaments in the smaller size. I might make a few in the larger size, if I’m feeling ambitious.

3D ornaments

I used fishing line on each ornament to give them something to hang by. I just made sure to glue the fishing line string into the top half of the ornament before I sealed everything up. Despite how complex the end result looks, these are pretty easy to put together once you get the hang of it – and Altenew gives easy instructions to follow. Although, I did put in a lot of hours making these! It was relatively slow going.

I added each ornament to my little mason cookie jars and packed them up! They looked so cute and colorful all packaged up and ready to head to work.

3D ornaments

Now to start thinking about what I’m going to make next year….!

3D cChristmas Ornaments
Happy Holidays!

kimberly

Happy Holidays

One week until Christmas Day! How is everyone doing so far? I’m trying my best not to get swept up into the stress of it all – so far so good. Every year I make a little something for friends and coworkers so I’ve been working on that, and I did a wee bit of decorating a few weeks ago, too!

Happy Holidays card

I can say that I have been lacking a bit in the Christmas card-making department, but at least I’ve made a couple!

Happy Holidays card

This one has a bit of everything thrown in – some distress ink blending over a chevron stencil, a die cut sentiment and heat embossed secondary sentiment, some string, clear droplets and some die cut flora for a little extra kick.

Happy Holidays card

I hope you like the card! And I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

Happy Holidays card

kimberly

Good Tidings of Great Joy

I’m finally whipping up some Christmas cards!

Good tidings of great joy - Christmas card

This is a card I put together pretty quickly based on a card I made last year. I used a Simon Says Stamp and Concord & 9th Stamp set (also from last year) that isn’t available anymore – sorry! :(

I stamped out some pine cones in VersaFine Onyx Black ink, masking off certain ones, and then got to painting. I used my Gansai Tambi watercolors for this, and started with adding some blue and brown tones to the background.

Good tidings of great joy - Christmas card

For the pine cones, I under-painted them with the same blue tones and also some reds, and then added some browns on top, after the first layers dried. There are a lot of watercolor layers on this card!

Good tidings of great joy - Christmas card

I also added some spots of paint here and there by flicking on some blue and white paint. When the panel was dry, I stamped the sentiment in VersaFine Vintage Sepia Ink.

Good tidings of great joy - Christmas card

I made this card late in the evening and gifted it the same day, so I wasn’t able to get great photos of it. Oh well! I hope you like it anyway!

kimberly

Paint Splatter Succulents

Cactus splatter cards

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season so far! Today I’m posting a card set that has absolutely nothing to do with Thanksgiving or Christmas or New Years! Oh, well. I still love these!

Cactus splatter cards

I took inspiration for this card set from a card that Therese Calvrid made using succulent stamps (I used MFT Sweet Succulents for mine) and Altenew’s A Splash of Color Stamp set. I loved the color scheme she chose, too, so I tried to emulate that as well.

Cactus splatter cards

After stamping, and masking, and stamping my images, and then stamping some ink splatters on top in various colors, I got to work on my sentiments, which I heat embossed in white on black paper. I then added them to each card with some foam tape to give a bit of dimension. The sentiments came from the same Sweet Succulents stamp set.

Cactus splatter cards

I love how the boldness of the sentiment contrasts with the rest of the color scheme.

Cactus splatter cards//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Cactus splatter cards

Thanks for stopping by today!

kimberly

Taubotne

Taubotne

Taubotne means Thanks or Thank You (informal version) in the language of the Nipmuc people. It is one of only a few words that I know in the language. It is one of only a few words that many people know in the language, because it is a language was once considered extinct – no one has spoken it fluently for many, many years. The Nipmuc Language reclamation project will change that. Now, the tribe is holding classes and workshops to revive the language of this place I call home. Though I’m not currently involved in this work, I find it to be equal parts fascinating and complex.

Taubotne

I’m not going to give a history lesson here, or dive too deeply into my feelings about the loss of an ancestral language, but I will give a shameless plug: I created an online exhibition a little over a year ago, titled “From English to Algonquian: Early New England Translations.” The exhibition explores several 17th century Algonquian-language texts (the Nipmuc people spoke a dialect of the Algonquian language) and how those texts are being used to revive native languages. In addition to the work happening in Nipmuc Country, this reclamation work is happening now among many other New England tribes, including the Wampanoag and Mohegan. Please check out the exhibition or other pages linked if you’re interested in knowing more.

Taubotne - Alphabet Soup

As for this card, I kept it pretty simple. First I did a simple watercolor wash and then used letter dies for the sentiment, cutting them from the panel and popping them up across the front of the card. I then stamped a simple thank you as a sub-sentiment to provide the English translation of taubotne.

Taubotne

I can’t wait to make more of these, using other words, very soon!

Taubotne

 

kimberly

Autumn Leaves

With the crazy weather we’ve been having here in New England (in the 70s three days ago and today we are barely in the 30s), it feels like the Fall has been pretty fleeting. Not much color on the trees, and some trees didn’t have much of a chance to put on a show before all the rain we’ve been having wiped out all of their leaves too soon! But, some of the Fall themed cards I’ve been making have at least helped me get into the spirit of Autumn, my favorite season.

Wplus9 Autumn Leaves thank you card

This little card is inspired by the first card (by Dawn of Wplus9) in this post, and  these cards made by Kara over at K and R Designs. I loved how both ladies mixed outline stamps with solid images, and I also loved their choice of color scheme, so I played around with that a bit myself. I used similar ink colors and images from both the Wplus9 Autumn Leaves stamp set and the Botanical Bunch stamp set.

Wplus9 Autumn Leaves thank you card

I should also mention that I was inspired to purchase this stamp set because of the amazing things Natalia Valkovskaya creates with it! You can find a post of some beautiful cards she made here, but she also has a great instagram page.

Wplus9 Autumn Leaves thank you card

The sentiment comes from the Brush Stroke Messages stamp set, and I added some detail around the edge of the panel by running the edges through my ink pad (which I believe was Lava Rock). Then, a few sequins to finish it off after mounting it to a smaller-than-4bar card base.

Wplus9 Autumn Leaves thank you card

Have a great day!

kimberly