Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pumpkin Soap Project

We have a fun Fall project that can be done with the kids - little pumpkin soaps.

These cute little soaps are made using the hand-milled method. This method requires bars of pure, white, unscented soap. You can buy them at your local drug store. Make sure they are unscented. Usually hand-milled soap recipes require the additives such as herbs, cocoa butter, shea butter, etc., But since this is a project for kids, we'll keep it simple and fun. For this project you will need:

2 bars of unscented, white soap

1/2 cup water

A kitchen grater

A bowl

Pumpkin scented soap fragrance

A wooden spoon

A double boiler

Non-toxic acrylic soap paints in orange, green, and black

Artist paint brushes

In a bowl, shred the bars of white soap with your grater until you get 2 cups of shredded soap.

Add the water to the shredded soap. Place the soap/water into a double boiler and place on the stovetop range with medium heat. The soap will slowly begin to absorb the water. You may stir gently with a wooden spoon but remember not to mix too quickly because bubbles may form. The mixture will begin to thicken. As the water becomes absorbed, the mixture will start to become stringy. This is normal.

When it reaches this stringy stage, remove it from the heat and add 15 to 20 drops of pumpkin fragrance oil and stir until it is equally distributed and absorbed. Make sure that the fragrance oil you are using is safe for the skin. The soap mixture will be thick and clumpy and when the mixture cools enough to touch, take parts and form them with your hands into little balls. While the mixture is still soft and pliable, take little pieces and roll and shape them with your thumb and index finger into little tubular shapes and attach them on top of the balls to form stems. After you have used up the whole mixture and shaped all of the pumpkins, place them on a rack and let them dry for a few days. When they are dry, take your acrylic soap paints (you can use regular non-toxic acrylic paint but the problem is that it won't adhere as well to the surface of the soap, so you're better off using soap paint.) and paint the pumpkins orange and the stems green and if you want to you can even paint little faces on them. When they are dry, you will have adorable and fragrant little pumpkin soaps.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit slices and peels are a great way to give your home a country prim look. They are fragrant and can be added to potpourri blends, fixins blends, wreaths, swags. They also make pretty and fragrant gift package decorations. When they are placed around candles, especially bakery candles, they give a nice country prim look.

The pic above is of an orange fixins blend. It combines dried orange slices and orange peels with fragrant spices like cinnamon sticks, allspice, and cloves. The look and smell is very seasonal and makes a great addition to country prim home decor.

The easiest way to dry fruit slices is to use a dehydrator. If you do not have a dehydrator, you can use the standard oven method.

To dry apple slices using the oven method, core your apples and slice them about 1/4 inch thick. In order to prevent them from oxidizing and turning brown during the process, dip the slices into a solution of 2 cups lemon juice and 3 tablespoons salt. Make sure the slices are well soaked for about 15 minutes. After you remove them, pat them dry with paper towels and place them on cookie sheets and dry for about 6 hours at 150 degrees. Keep the oven door slightly ajar to ensure good air circulation. Turn the slices when they start to curl.

For oranges, slice them about 1/4 inch thick and gently squeeze out as much of the moisture as possible without squeezing and misshaping the slices. Then place the slices on a cookie sheet and dry for about 6 hours at 150 degrees. As with the apples, keep the oven door slighty ajar for air circulation.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fall Soap

Ahh Fall is here. We have some adorable fragrant soaps for this time of year. They work wonderfully to create a seasonal bathroom decor. Handpainted glycerin soap and decaupage hand milled soap. They are scented in seasonal fragrances such as pumpkin and cinnamon. See our website for more: TC Fragrance Crafts.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I've Been Tagged

Well I've been tagged and I'm supposed to list 5 wierd things about myself and/or my pets. Hmmm...ok here goes:

- I can't bring myself to eat Jello, it just won't go down. I can't take the jiggly consistency.

- I prefer the cold winter weather to the hot summer weather.

- I'm obsessive about germs.

- My cat loves eating vaseline.

- My cat also loves vinegar.