A few weeks ago, some of the girls in my family had a craft day at my house. Despite the fact that I have tons of craft supplies and my garage is filling up with roadside furniture collections I’ve been promising my husband I’ll redo at some point, I was at a bit of a loss trying to find some craft inspiration for that day.
I started making soap this past fall, and since then I’ve enjoyed researching recipes, ingredients and techniques. I love experimenting, and when my first soaping mishap turned out to be fixable, I realized making a mistake wasn’t that big of deal – so why not try some new things? After taking a break over the holidays, I decided that one of my first crafting tasks for 2013 would be a new soap recipe. I wanted to experiment with ingredients I’ve never used before, so I worked on creating a milk-based soap.
In case you haven’t realized it by now, I’m a huge fan of upcycling. If it can be purchased, it can be made — and if it can be made, there’s a chance you already have the tools to do it at home. Of course this isn’t always the case, but in my experience I rarely have to buy more than 1 or 2 things to complete a project. Either DIY-ing really is that resourceful, or I’m a hoarder. Whichever way you look at it, making stuff from what you already have in the house is awesome. As a result of my (possible) hoarder-like tendencies, I have a collection of blank fitted tees that I knew would be perfect candidates for a little design upgrade.
Last Saturday, Tiffany and I hung out with my brother and sister-in-law at their open house for FreshGround Roasting. We had a blast preparing appetizers, decorating and learning about coffee. One of the things that I loved was how my sister-in-law, Krista, set out the food. We had hearty appetizers, local cheeses, amazing cupcakes from The Sugar Path and fresh fruits and veggies. Krista used vintage and household items to make the spread look as good as it tasted.
So one day I was browsing through an interior decorating catalog when in the corner of my eye, I saw what I thought was a centerpiece composed of a row of glass bottles clamped together. When I actually looked at it, it wasn’t at all what I thought it was, but I was so intrigued by the idea that I decided I had to make it myself. Once I get something in my head like that, I turn into some sort of robot programmed to complete a mission.
I recruited hubby to go to Lowe’s with me to find all the pieces we’d need to create the imaginary centerpiece. Because of my deep love for mason jars, we picked up a few of those (instead of bottles), and hunted down all the other pieces in about 15 minutes flat. I have no idea how we found all that stuff so fast. It was like I developed some sort of sixth-sense while I was in mission mode.
We had a soap party last weekend! A few friends came over and we spent hours melting, mixing, pouring, and having a blast. Coming up with soap recipes and creating them with friends are probably the 2 most enjoyable things about soaping, other than using your very own homemade bar for the first time!
One of the new recipes we tried out was for a coffee soap with jojoba oil. This soap is made with a double-strength coffee base instead of water, used coffee grounds as an exfoliant, and jojoba oil for its great nutrients and skin conditioning properties. We cut the bars last night and now we’re impatiently counting the days until they’re finished curing. We’re really excited to gift these when they’re ready – that is if we don’t end up hoarding them all for ourselves…