Cards, Soap

Boston Voyager Magazine Q&A

Well, my craft room is a complete disaster zone, which means I haven’t been in there in a while. If we’re being perfectly honest, I’ve basically just closed the door so I don’t have look at the mess. Out of sight, out of mind, right?! I know I’m going to have to buckle down and get things cleaned up in there soon though, because I have Mothers Day cards on my to-do list. I also need to get a backlog of unlabeled soaps labeled. Maybe this weekend? Wish me luck, I’ll need it.

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you that I recently did a Q & A with Boston Voyager Magazine for their Inspiring Stories series. If you’d like to read it, click here.

It was fun to do, and it’s even more fun to see my story on their website! I still don’t feel like I’m anywhere near as awesome as a lot of the other people featured on the site, but I’ll take it!

Here’s the link again if you missed it:

Enjoy the rest of your week!



DIY “Marbled” Mug Using Alcohol Inks

I have a new obsession with alcohol ink.

Alcohol ink mug

I’ve been playing around on Yupo paper with various inks. I share photos of those pieces on my personal instagram from time to time, if you want to check them out.

Today, I just wanted to share a quick and easy alcohol ink DIY project. It’s sooo simple! All you need is a glazed ceramic or porcelain mug, paintbrush, alcohol inks, a straw (optional), 99% isopropyl alcohol and an oven. Maybe gloves, too. This can get messy.

  • I bought a white ceramic mug for $2.99 at HomeGoods.
  • I used a paintbrush to paint some isopropyl alcohol onto the surface of the mug first
  • I then started dropping my colors on, randomly. I used colors from this Lakeshore set and this Nature Walk set of alcohol inks.
  • I swirled the mug around here and there to let the colors run *sort of* where I wanted them to. You really just have to give up a bit of control when it comes to alcohol ink!
  • I used a straw every once in a while to push some ink around even more by blowing air through the straw onto the wet ink.
  • When I was happy with the results, and after I was sure all the ink was dry, I put the mug into my oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes to set the ink. I’ve also read that you can cure your mug (or plate, or bowl?!) with a layer of dishwasher safe Modge Podge, but I haven’t tried that.

Voila! I’m pretty much ready to alcohol-ink anything ceramic at this point. So much fun!



Cards, Recipes

Mom’s Big Birthday

Just popping in today to share a few photos from a birthday party I had for my mom over the weekend. She turned the big 6-0, so I figured I should bake a fancy cake to go along with her card and birthday gift!

Mom's Birthday Cake

I made a vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream and a raspberry compote on the inside. Poured a white chocolate ganace over the top before adding some sprinkles, meringues, raspberries and macarons. I made everything from scratch (!!) except for the macarons. Those I ordered from Ma-Ka-Rohn and they were outstanding. Highly recommend.

Mom's Birthday

I also purchased some fancy balloons from Chrissy B Party shop on Etsy. HBD for Happy Birthday. They arrived quickly, and I crammed them into my tiny dining room after going to a local store to have them inflated. They’re still floating around my house as I type this!

Moms birthday card

The color theme for the party was gold and rose-gold, so I tried to stick to that color combo for the card I made. And you know what they say: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! So, I designed this card similarly to the last few I’ve made – stamped and embossed images with an ink blended background and bold sentiment. You can find those previous cards here and here.

Mom's Birthday Cake

The cake tasted SO GOOD! Sometimes I really surprise myself. :)

If you’re interested, here are links to the recipes I followed:

Mom's Birthday Cake

All in all it was a great little party for my mom – we were even able to keep the whole things a surprise, so I was happy about that!

Mom's Birthday

Now, I just have to work on getting more camera-averse people into my photos! :)

Mom's Birthday Cake

Happy *almost* weekend!





I’ve been experimenting with making cards that highlight indigenous words for a while now. You might remember that I’ve made a few Nipmuc language thank you cards in recent months. As I’ve written before, the making of these cards is my way of highlighting Native language reclamation efforts. Many tribes, not only in Massachusetts but also throughout New England and North America in general, are working to revive languages that were lost for years (hundreds of years in some cases) because of colonization and Native assimilation processes that have taken place for centuries. This week I’m sharing a very basic language card that features the word aquene.

Aquene means peace in the language of my ancestors.



And nothing too complicated here. I die cut the letters in black from this die set, and mounted them to a craft card base. I used a stamp from this Wplus9 holiday stamp set to provide the English translation. I’m thinking this would make a good sympathy card, though I’m hoping I won’t need another one anytime soon.




Freshwater Studio Soap // Salt Bars

Happy Friday!

Cactus Flower Salt Bars

I thought I’d do something new here, and take the time (once a month, or so?) to highlight a specific soap I’ve made. So today I thought I’d talk about salt bars. They are quickly becoming a new favorite.

Wild Rose Salt Bars

Salt bars are a bit different from a regular cold process soap bar, because they contain a high amount of natural sea salt. The salt added to the bar – whether its grey salt, Himalayan pink salt or another kind of fine sea salt (except dead sea salt – don’t use that!) – is added at a ratio of between 50-100% of the total oils used in the soap. So, for example,  if I made a salt bar using 100g of coconut oil as my only oil, I would then add between 50-100g of salt to the bar as well. Typically, a salt bar will have a high amount of coconut oil added to the recipe to combat the fact that a high salt content in a bar can really zap the amount of lather you’ll get. Coconut oil helps to combat that. But, you can also play around with the recipe and add other oils to the mix. My salt bars contain lots of coconut oil in addition to olive oil pomace, rice bran oil, shea butter and kaolin clay. You can read more about my cactus flower salt bars here. More about the Wild Rose bars here. These bars are 75% salt to oil.

At some point, I’ll post more about the specific ingredients I choose to use in my soaps, and why they’re good for your skin.

Cactus Flower Salt Bars

The thing about salt bars is that the high salt content makes them a bit crumbly coming right out of the mold. But, I kind of love the rough look of them! Otherwise, once they’ve hardened completely, I don’t find them to be very crumbly at all. In fact, salt bars are incredibly long lasting because they are so solid once they set.

The other thing about salt bars is that they’re pretty luxurious. They’re sometimes called spa bars for this reason. Not only are the bars long lasting, but the lather they produce is gentle and creamy, and not drying at all (even though the term “salt bar” might lead you to suspect otherwise)! The minerals contained in natural sea salt means that you’re also giving all that natural vitamin and mineral goodness to your skin. The bars help to lightly exfoliate, detox and purify your skin, and the salt can also aid in allowing the other moisturizing oils in the soap to absorb more readily into your skin. Win-win.

Wild Rose Salt Bars

So, now you know why salt bars are a new favorite of mine! I’ll certainly be making more of these in the future. And the Cactus Flower and Wild Rose bars I’ve made have just landed in the Freshwater Studio Shop as part of the spring soap release.

Wishing everyone a fabulous weekend!



Birthday Succulents

Happy Monday! We are gearing up for another nor’easter here in my corner of the world, and I have to say I’m pretty sick of shoveling snow at this point. I’m very, very ready for spring! So, when a coworker asked me to make a card with a succulent-theme, I was happy to oblige. Succulents help remind me that spring IS coming.

Happy birthday succulent card

The method for making this card was very much the same as for this one. I stamped succulents with VersaMark ink all over my panel, and embossed them with liquid platinum embossing powder. I then blended a mix of Twisted Citron, Cracked Pistachio and Peacock Feathers distress ink over top. I added a few water droplets, too!

Birthday succulent card

(I paired the card with a hot-pink envelope and I love how it jazzed the everything up even more!)

The sentiment is a combination of a Cutaway die from Winnie & Walter (cut from very dark gray card stock) and the word “birthday” cut from another stamp set that I can’t remember for the life of me right now – sorry!

Birthday succulent card

I added a few clear sequins to finish it off after mounting it to an A2-sized card base.

Make it a great week!



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Recent Soap Projects

Hi All! We’re half way through the work week!

Today I thought I’d just share a few photographs of some recent soap projects.

Aqua Splash Bath Bomb

Emerald Indigo Soap

I’ve made several batches of bath bombs and quite a few soaps over the last few weeks! I’ve enjoyed playing around with designs, essential oil blends (my house smells so good!), botanicals like rose, calendula and cornflower petals, and different recipes and soap-making techniques. I also enjoy photographing the end results, too!

Calm Ocean Bath Bomb

Several of the soaps and bath bombs pictured here are currently still available in the Freshwater Studio Shop on Etsy.  There are new soaps headed to the shop in just a few weeks, on March 15!

You can also follow along and see lots more photos like these by following freshwaterstudio on instagram!

Marigold Soap

Wild Rose Bath Bomb

Thanks for stopping by!