Making Cold Process Soap for the First Time

About a month ago, I finally tried something I’ve been wanting to try for ages: making cold process soap! I think I’ve been drawn to soap making not only because of how beautiful artisan soaps can be, but also because they contain simple, real ingredients (and I’ve been known to have several mysterious skin allergies crop up from time-to-time).

Cold process soap making kit

So, I bought myself a beginner soap making kit from Bramble Berry. The kit came with everything you need to make your first batch of soap, including a recipe. The kit did not come with any colorants, however, so I purchased some of those separately to try (go big or go home, right?). The box the kit comes in even doubles as a soap mold, though if and when I do this again, I’ll purchase a proper silicone mold.

Other than the oils, lye, fragrance and other basic ingredients that come in the kit, you’ll have to supply a few things on your own like bowls, a stick blender or other mixing tool, gloves, eye protection, etc. Bowls and gloves I bought at the dollar store on the cheap, and they worked just fine!

Since I’ve been dying to try this and because this was my first time, I made sure to do a bit of research before diving in. I found some soap makers I like on social media and learned what I could from them. Bramble Berry’s blog is a great source for this kind of thing. Their youtube channel, Soap Queen TV, has a lot of great info and tutorials. I am also in love with just about every soap made by Tania of Soapish, and she’s got a great youtube channel and an even better instagram account.

Cold process soap

So, feeling mostly well informed, I got started (and soon learned that soap making is more about trial and error and less about feeling well informed from the get-go)… I mixed all my ingredients and then portioned things out into several bowls and mixed in my fragrance oil and mica colorants (Caribbean Blue and Aqua Pearl) – one bowl had fragrance oil but no colorant.

Cold process soap

I had to work pretty quickly because I got a little overzealous and I think over mixed my soap a bit. So, not much time for process photos here! But I did what I think is called a drop swirl, adding my base soap and then the colored soaps as well. I let the batch cure for about 24 hours and then cut up my bars with a sharp knife before letting them continue to cure for several weeks.

Cold process soap

Obviously there’s some room for improvement here, but I feel really good about the results of my first attempt. And the Cranberry Fig fragrance smells so delicious (though next time I think I’ll find some colors that “match” the fragrance a little better)! The soap lathers really nicely and has a smooth, creamy feel. I definitely see more soap making in my future.

kimberly

This post is not sponsored and there are no affiliate links here – I just wanted to share my thoughts and experience :)

Inspired By // Two Clean and Simple Masculine Cards

Every once in a while I end up in a little card making rut. During these times I just don’t feel especially motivated or inspired to create. When this happens, I sometimes have to force myself to get in my craft room and crank something out (especially if I need to make a card for a special occasion coming up!). Enter Pinterest. I usually stop there first to search my pinboards for various cards I’ve pinned in the past, to see which catch my eye and which ones I think I can take a bit of inspiration from. It usually works really well, and this time is no exception. So, here are two cards inspired by ones made by Therese Calvird and Laura Bassen.

Masculine cards

First up is this birthday card, which uses a repeating “pattern” of sentiments from Altenew’s Label Love set. Since I was making this card for a male recipient, I chose a masculine color theme that is pretty close to the color scheme used in the original inspiration card. The inks I used were Wild Mango, Lake House, High Dive, Fog and Green Apple. Thee sentiment was made with the SSS Painted Happy Birthday die.

Masculine cards

The second card is a get well soon card, made with the same color scheme. I used Mama Elephant Brush Strokes stamps to create the design, based on the original Laura Bassen card I used for inspiration. I love how clean and modern-looking it turned out!

Masculine cards

The die cut sentiment is from the SSS Sending wafer die, and the sub-sentiment on black cardstock is from the Sending Happy Thoughts stamp set.

Masculine cards

Now that I’m feeling more inspired and creative, I’ll be back in my craft room making some more cards as soon as I get the chance!

So, I’m curious, what do you do when you feel like you’re in a creative rut? Do you search for inspiration in Pinterest? Seek inspiration from nature? Browse instagram? I’d love to know!

kimberly

Sweet and Simple Note Cards

Antique rose note cards

Well, summer has finally arrived here in New England! After weeks of some very uncooperative whether (hot, cold, rain, cold, warm, hot…etc., etc.) my flowers are all blooming and my vegetable garden is in full swing! And (!) I’m headed to the beach this weekend to celebrate my birthday, which is this Saturday. :)

Antique rose note cards

These cards represent that nice summer-y feeling to me. I put them together pretty quickly, cutting some panels to about 4″ x 5″ and stamping an antique rose onto the bottom left corner of each card in various colors (Hot Mama, High Dive and Onyx Black). Then I cut each panel a bit smaller with a stitched rectangle die and stamped a greeting in a coordinating color.

Antique rose note cards

The sentiments all come from my Doodle Buds stamp set (if you’ve been here a while, you know it’s one of my favorites!), and I thought the font matched the floral image nicely.

Antique rose note cards

I mounted each stamped panel onto a white 4bar-sized card base. I kept these nice and simple – no sequins and just one layer. I really love how they turned out!

Antique rose note cards

Some of these guys will be available in the shop soon!

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

kimberly

The Freshwater Studio Shop is OPEN!

I finally opened an Etsy store! It’s called Freshwater Studio Shop and it’s the place where you can find some cards from this site up for sale – as singles or in boxed sets. I’m still figuring out some things but I’m getting the store stocked up little by little. I even have some ideas about other types of things I’d like to sell in the shop (think, party supplies). Today, I added this thank you card set:

Thank you cards - merci beaucoup

You can visit Freshwater Studio Shop by heading to etsy.com/shop/freshwaterstudioshop or by visiting the Shop page from this blog’s home page. Below is a snapshot of some current listings.

storefront

I’ve also started an instagram account for the Shop. Since my personal instagram account has a lot of other stuff on it (like cats, plants and the occasional selfie), the @freshwaterstudio instagram account with feature only card projects and products available in the shop. So, I hope you’ll join me there if you’d like to see more. I’ll still post lots of cardmaking stuff on my personal account, so I’ll do my best not to cross-post, I swear! (And tell me who you are on instagram so I can follow you, too!)

Thank you cards - merci beaucoup

If you do check out the shop, let me know your thoughts. I’m just getting started, so I’d really love to hear your feedback about the shop overall.

And lastly – thank you to all of my kind readers and followers. So many of you have encouraged me to start this little shop and I’m really excited to be open for business. I have lots of ideas percolating, so here goes nothin’!

kimberly

Father’s Day Card

Father's Day card

It’s almost Father’s Day, which means the weekend is approaching! This Father’s day card includes some watercolor and my favorite Journaling Alpha dies, which are great for creating sentiments when you have zero fathers day-specific stamps or dies…

Father's Day card

I did several watercolor washes on a Canson watercolor paper panel in various shades of blue and green. I also added some blue spatters with the watercolor and white spatters with some white acrylic paint. While that dried, I cut out the letters to spell father from some white cardstock and fun foam, and layered the cardstock on top of the foam with some multi matte adhesive, and set those aside. When the panel was dry, I figured out where I wanted the words happy and day to go. This part of the sentiment comes from the Bold Blooms stamp set, I just cut the stamp apart to separate the words. Yep. Cut it apart. Photo polymer stamps are easy to cut apart and they will fit back together nicely once mounted onto an acrylic block if you want to stamp the whole thing again, so it’s really no big deal if you want to do some stamp surgery!

Father's Day card

Anyway, I stamped happy and day on my panel in black ink, and then mounted my die cut letters. I felt the panel still needed something, so I distressed the edges a bit with a distresser tool and then mounted it ontoΒ  piece of vellum that I tore the edges from to make the whole thing look even more distressed. Unfortunately, the photos don’t pick up that detail. I mounted everything onto an A2-sized card base and called it finished!

Do any of you have special plans for Father’s Day?

kimberly

 

 

This post contains some affiliate links.

Happy 21st Birthday!

21st birthday card

I’m really excited to share this card with you today, because I’m so happy with how it turned out! First, I should give credit where credit is due, and tell you that this card is almost a carbon copy of this one, which I stumbled upon after doing some google searching for a good 21st birthday card idea.

21st birthday cardThis card uses one of my favorite techniques, die cut masking (see here, here, and here!), and was made for my cousin’s 21st birthday (for which I got to tag along for the evening’s events!).

21st birthday card

You can read the “how to” on the post for the inspiration card, but I’ll tell you what I did here, too. Firstly, I cut a bunch of numbers using the Number It die from Mama Elephant and some inkadinkadoo masking paper. I arranged them onto my card panel in a way that I liked, and stuck them down accordingly. I then used distress inks and an ink blending tool to blend ink onto the panel and around the masks. The distress ink colors I used were: Worn Lipstick, Festive Berries, Abandoned Coral and Seedless Preserves. Then, I removed the masks and lightly blended some more ink over the masked areas to soften up the design. Lastly, I added a few droplets of water onto the panel to activate the distress ink and then lifted the water away with a paper towel. You can’t really tell in the photos, but it gave the panel a bit more interest and texture –Β  I didn’t want to go crazy with it, though!

21st birthday card

For the sentiment, I stamped happy birthday (with enough room to fit my numbers in between) onto the panel using VersaFine Onyx Black Ink. Then, I cut more numbers using the Number It dies, stacked them on top of each other and glued them to the panel between Happy and Birthday.

21st birthday card

I added a few clear droplets as a finishing touch and she was finished!

I think I might make one of these in every color!

Kim and Kam
Happy 21st Birthday…Kam! :)

(Did I mention we could be twins?)

kimberly

*p.s. this post contains some affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if you purchase something from one of my links, but otherwise there is no additional cost to you.

Thinking of You // Blue Flowers and Black Dots

Thinking of you

Last week I took a few days off of work and stayed at my parents house to hang out with my grandmother while my parents went on a cruise to Bermuda (I’m still jealous!). During that time, I tried to do a lot of relaxing and figured I’d just take a week off from card making and blogging and I’d be right back at it the following week. The universe had other plans though, and last Friday I came down with some kind of fantastic cold that is still kicking my butt a week later! I muscled through a few days of work this week, but threw in the towel today and stayed home to drink up the last of my DayQuil and binge watch The Americans.

A sick day means I can write a short post about this card – silver linings.

This is a pretty simple one, using the Thinking of You sentiment from the SSS Sending Happy Thoughts set, stamped in VersaMark Onyx Black ink. On separate cardstock, I stamped some Painted Flowers, using Moon Rocks for the outline and Sea Glass and Ocean Waves inks for the interior layers of the flowers. I stamped an inner layer of each leave with some fog ink. I then cut the images out and arranged them on my A2-sized panel. For a finishing touch, I added a whole bunch of black dots using a black Pico Embellisher.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

kimberly