Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Birthday-Inspired Fun Fabric Giveaway!


How about a little fabric giveaway?  I'm keeping my blog tasks light this week because it's birthday time for yours truly.  More than getting presents or eating cake (which, don't get me wrong, I love), I want to enjoy this time with my family and spend it doing fun things rather than putting in hours editing photos and typing up a new tutorial.  Got to live, not live to blog!  That being said, it seemed like the perfect time for a fabric giveaway.  I get gifts & you might get a gift too;)

The prize is a grab bag of fabric goodies.  Since this year began, I've been on a mission to stop my fabric hoarding (as evidenced here, here and most recently here).  To keep that plan going, I've compiled a bunch of fun fabrics from my stash for today's giveaway: 


This collection is an assortment of whimsical prints. They are great for kids or kids at heart. There are knits, quilting cottons and flannel.  

Mini jungle & space print knits

Cut sizes range from just under a fat quarter to 3/8yds.  These are perfect for small projects like burp cloths, diapers, booties, hats, bags, appliqués - whatever you want.  One winner will get them all!

Turtles, Jungle Animals & Roosters Oh My!

Yep, there's even a bit of Wall-E in there, as well as this cool retro star print:


I'm keeping the rules extra simple too.  
Just leave a comment below on why you'd like to win.  
That's it!! No widgets or social media hoops to jump through.

Official Rules info: Open to US only, through 11:59pm EST April 27, 2015.  A winner will be chosen at random and announced at the following week's Craftastic Monday Link Party. Void where prohibited.  Good luck everyone!



Sunday, April 19, 2015

Share Your Crafts at the Craftastic Monday Link Party


Welcome to this week's Craftastic Monday Link Party!  I hope you're ready to share some of your latest crafty ideas.  Last week I shared our latest crafty adventure - How To Make Jelly Soap.  It's soap you can actually squish, cut & mold into fun shapes and make in your own kitchen.  This is THE project for anyone who likes unique crafts and a huge hit with the kids:

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Want more people to see your blog/shop & FB page?

After linking your latest project posts below, be sure to head over to the Sew Can Do Facebook page to join in the Craftastic Monday Mixer.  


What is it?  It's FREE advertising for YOUR your site/Facebook page, and you can find some new sites you might love at the same time.  It takes just seconds - why not add yours? Who couldn't use a few more likes & views?!? 


How It Works:
Instead of a specific post, share your blog, crafty shop or Facebook page link on the Sew Can Do FB page.  More exposure for your crafty site every week!  Click HERE to go link up now!
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Now let's see some Craftastic picks..

Purple Hues and Me shared this incredible cherry blossom branch project - can you believe these beautiful blooms are made from craft foam & eye shadow?!?  


Second Chances by Susan made this marvelous appliqué pillow.  I'm a sucker for hedgehogs and love how sweet this looks:


Making Memories With Your Kids showed how to make these cool DIY geodes with eggshells:


Mabey She Made It turned a too big t-shirt into a pretty Anthropologie-style top:


Pink Recipe Box had this fruity raspberry lime margarita recipe:  


Caseperlatesta shared this Mother's Day inspired free printable paper wreath:


If you're one of this week's features, be sure to grab my Featured On button over on my Buttons Page to share the good news.  

I also feature these projects on Sew Can Do's Craftastic Picks Pinterest board 
AND share each of them on Twitter too for even MORE exposure!

Follow me there to see more great projects (and see if yours is one of them)!   
  
Follow Me on Pinterest



Ready to link up your crafty creations?


 
Party rules are simple:
  • As long as it's crafty, and made by you, it's Craftastic (no links to giveaways, shops, link parties or other people's work).  Add the link to your specific post (not the main page of your blog).
  • Grab my party button & put it on your post or blog somewhere.  Party pages are fine.  If you want the chance to be featured, this is key.  The button code can be found HERE.
  • Check out some of the other fabulous links and share some crafty comment love.  We all love getting comments!!



   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Crazy Crafting: Our Jelly Soap Making Adventure


Today I've got that's a bit different.  Jelly soap.  That's right - it's soap...that's like jelly.  And it's AWESOME.


You can squish it.  

 

You can cut it.  


Mold it into shapes.  Scent it & color it however you want.  And it'll still clean like a regular bar of soap, except it has the consistency of Jell-O.  How crazy is that?  



I like making weird and wonderful things and I've been a long time home soap maker (see my other soapy projects here).  Soap was actually the very first crafty thing I ever made. So when I discovered jelly soap, I was all about giving it a go.  Now I'm sharing what we discovered on our jelly soap making adventure.  It's soapy, soapy jelly time!



Materials:
- Jelly soap base (available online)
- Cosmetic grade fragrance oil & color gel
- Pyrex pitcher or bowl
- Heatproof spoon
- Silicone molds
- Soap cutter/knife & plastic cutting board
- Thermometer
- Rubbing alcohol
- Small scale

You've got to start with jelly soap base.  It's available online from a number of places.  This is not a sponsored post (no hidden sales pitch folks), so I'd recommend just searching jelly soap base.  It's not as cheap as standard melt & pour soap base, but buying a 10lb or larger block makes it pretty inexpensive per pound (I think mine ended up around $4/lb including shipping). There are also some similar shower jelly recipes out there that are totally DIY, but they use gelatin to gel things, which 1.) doesn't work for vegetarians like me and 2.) means it's only usable for maybe a week at most since it's food base will go bad and has to be kept in the fridge because it can get moldy. No thanks!  

The jelly soap base comes in a big tub and it's already a firm gel.  The knife just stuck right in it:


    
You start by cutting out a bit and weighing it to measure out enough for your molds.  It's got a good heft to it.  It'll also seem kind of yellowy in the container, but once it's out it's pretty clear:



It's important to cut it up into small chunks.  This helps it melt quicker and more evenly:


Plop it into a Pyrex container - a measuring cup is ideal:


Now it's time to melt it.  Using a microwave makes it easier to heat in small increments and keep checking little by little. It can be done on the stove as well, but I find it takes longer, the temperature then changes a bit too fast and it requires stirring to prevent scorching.  You don't want to have to stir it more than you have to as more stirring=more tiny air bubbles.

The instructions I had said to only heat it to 150° Fahrenheit (65° Celsius), but honestly that's just not hot enough.  The base will still be too gel-like to mix in the scent & color and pour out.  My first batch didn't turn out very well doing that.  

Then I just did 30 seconds at a time and as I saw it melting I'd keeping sticking my thermometer in at each interval to check the temp. When it was around 175-180° Fahrenheit (79-82° Celsius) it was properly liquified.  Note: covering the top of the container with cling film helps it melt evenly, just keep an eye on it so the film doesn't start to melt when the steam gets really hot.


Then it's time to hustle on mixing in the fragrance oil & color (same quantities as used for regular melt & pour soap).  And I mean work fast - it starts cooling down right away and will start turning back to gel mid-pour if you don't move quick enough.   If you want to make a lot, definitely do a few smaller batches rather than one big one.  Remelting causes separation once it's solidified so the finished soap will ooze a bit of liquid over time, which is messy & looks bad (ask me how I know this).


Silicone molds are ideally suited to jelly soap.  Very easy to unmold and not mess up the shape or detailing.  You can either go with a fun shaped mold like I did with our pony soaps or a standard bar mold like this:


Or pour into a larger square or rectangular mold, then cut out shapes.  For this batch I did a two-tone where I poured a layer of hot pink first, let it cool for about 10 minutes, then sprayed with some rubbing alcohol (it helps soap layers stick to one another):


Then I poured a yellow layer on top:


Once it had fully cooled (several hours) I turned it out onto a plastic cutting board and used some large shaped cutters to do a few:


And cut out a bunch of squares too:


It's funny because the soap seems like it's been stretched out or flattened during the cutting, but then springs right back up and stays firm in it's shape once cut:



Plus all the little remnants can be scooped up and used up too, so nothing gets wasted:


My kids loved squishing and poking their jelly soaps and others I made as gifts were a big hit too.  Handmade soap is always nice, but jelly soap is pretty unexpected and gets a lot of oohs & aahs.  Just use common sense on labeling what it is or the age of the intended recipient (not for under 3yrs folks).  You do not want to scent it like food, have someone assume it's gummy candy and take a bite or spread it on toast.  It's not actual jelly!  

From our experience I'd recommend using them right away or storing in airtight containers so they don't shrink or dry out and stay nice & springy.  Jars look the prettiest, but plastic tubs or bags work too.  




Then share the Jelly Soap love!




Sunday, April 12, 2015

Share Your Crafts at the Craftastic Monday Link Party


Ready to share your Craftastic flair?  Link up whatever you've been creating - sewing, DIY, decor, crochet, gardening, recipes - anything creative that you've made is welcome.  I've been increasing the number of projects I feature, just remember to link back to the party if you want a chance to be featured here, on Twitter AND on Pinterest.  I love to promote features!

Last week I shared my Flutter Ruffle Trim Nightgown Tutorial and how to draft a pattern for it in any size:


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Want more people to see your blog/shop & FB page?

Don't forget - after linking your latest project posts below, head over to the Sew Can Do Facebook page to join in the Craftastic Monday Mixer.  


Why join the Mixer?  It's FREE advertising for YOUR your site/Facebook page, and you can find some new sites you might love at the same time.  It takes just seconds, so why not add yours? Who couldn't use a few more likes & views?!? 


How It Works:
Instead of a specific post, share your blog, crafty shop or Facebook page link on the Sew Can Do FB page.  More exposure for your crafty site every week!  Click HERE to go link up now!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now let's see some Craftastic picks..

Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom share this free pattern & tutorial for a cute asymmetrical t-shirt.  I'm putting this on my Spring to-make list!


My Nearest and Dearest turned some plastic animal figures into fun DIY tacks:


Annamarie's Haakblog showed how to crochet up some daisies:

Not Afraid of Color made these fantastic paper-pieced flamingo quilt blocks:


Faith Filled Food for Moms had this delicious recipe for apple cinnamon puff pastry:  


Houseful of Handmade shared this great tutorial for making foam picture books:


If you're one of this week's features, be sure to grab my Featured On button over on my Buttons Page to share the good news.  

I also feature these projects on Sew Can Do's Craftastic Picks Pinterest board 
AND share each of them on Twitter too for even MORE exposure!

Follow me there to see more great projects (and see if yours is one of them)!   
  
Follow Me on Pinterest



Ready to link up your crafty creations?


 
Party rules are simple:
  • As long as it's crafty, and made by you, it's Craftastic (no links to giveaways, shops, link parties or other people's work).  Add the link to your specific post (not the main page of your blog).
  • Grab my party button & put it on your post or blog somewhere.  Party pages are fine.  If you want the chance to be featured, this is key.  The button code can be found HERE.
  • Check out some of the other fabulous links and share some crafty comment love.  We all love getting comments!!



   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   

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