Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Life in my World

The blackberries were huge for wild berries and
there were so many!!
Life in my house has been a lot crazy lately.  Since I last posted my husband's brother from Peru brought his family for a visit and I have had a ton of produce to put up.

This year the blackberries were absolutely amazing!  To start with they ripened two weeks early, and we had a bumper crop.  I have been picking berries for most of my life and I don't remember ever seeing a crop this good.  There were so many berries on the canes that they could not stand up like they usually do.  Not only were there lots of berries but, for wild berries they were huge.  Normally wild berries are very small, these were more like the cultivated berries that you see in the store size wise.  I LOVE blackberries!!!  And I could not bear to see them dry up so I spent hours picking berries and then processing them.  I now have more than 5 quarts of blackberries in the freezer and more than 24 pints of either blackberry jelly or syrup.

We have also made over 15 pints of sweet relish.  This is one of my hubby's favorites.  So our postage stamp garden was mainly planted for relish; i.e. cucumbers and peppers.  We do have tomatoes as well but, they are only just starting to come in.  Mind you this was three batches of relish and we have had to fight with our dog for the cucumbers.  No kidding, she seemed to think that they were the perfect plaything and would go into the garden pick them and chew them to pieces.  We would come driving into the driveway only to see her carrying a cucumber around the yard in her mouth.

Now the elderberries are getting ripe, a month early.  We have been picking them in spite of being so busy because I was not willing to let the birds have them.  So I will be making jelly as well as making elderberry syrup (medicinal) for my family.  As it stand now I have lots of jelly made one one gallon batch of elderberry syrup to share with the family and still have over 2 gallons of juice to make into jelly or syrup.  And there are still loads of berries in the patch.

On top everything else my husband and I were trying to make a desision about school for our children.  We have now desided to homeschool them.  This is a big desision for us.  It will mean that any work I do will be sporatic and will come after we have finished with school and any housework.  So please bear with us as we change gears in our house.  I will be posting the projects that I have already completed.  Sorry there are not more pictures in this post, but I have barely gotten the camera out the last month or so.

Thank you for your patience and for coming back.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Island Breezes Soap

Island Dreams
I joined Amy Warden from http://greatcakessoapworks.com/ for a soap challenge.  I made several attempts at a secret feather swirl with limited sucess( in my own opinion).  After three attempts at a feather swirl I descided to go with a hanger swirl for my entry.

Top view before cutting
I had this soap in the plans for a summer soap and just had not gotten around to making it yet.  I used a coconut and peach fragrance oil to scent it.  The idea for this soap was a soap that would be reminicent of and island vacation.  This was also the inspiration for the embeds on top of the soap (althought these were not included in the challenge).

While this soap is scented with fragrance oils it is all naturally colored.  The colors in the body of the soap come from comfrey, madder, alkanet, dock, indigo & zinc oxide.  The embeds are colored with zinc oxide, indigo, annatto, and micas.  I love the flow of natural colors in cold process soap.

The ones that didn't measure up
This soap wnet together much more easily than the feather swirls I tried.  For this soap I let the soap get to a little thicker trace than you can use for a feather swirl and I was able to spoon the layers of soap into the mold.  After getting all of the soap in the mold I used my hanger to go up and down about four times and then back and forth about 7 through the heigth of the mold.  I love the swirls, but I think the next time I make this soap I may lighten up the indogo and alkanet with a little zinc oxide just to keep the tone a little lighter.  I must say that the indigo does look a little like the ocean to me though.

Enjoy and I will add the link for you to see all of the other beautiful soaps as soon as I get it.  I hope that this will allow you to see all of the beautiful soaps that were entered.  http://greatcakessoapworks.com/scc/index.php/hanger-swirl-link-up/


I am linking with the following blogs:
http://back2basichealth.blogspot.com                                http://www.bystephanielynn.com
http://blackfoxhomestead.com/                                          http://www.iamannekehn.blogspot.com
http://www.hopeineveryseason.com                                  http://ivyandelephants.blogspot.com
http://www.campwander.com/                                          http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/
http://coloradolady.blogspot.com                                      www.aboverubies.net
http://abidingwoman.com/                                               http://www.besimplybetter.com/
http://www.deeprootsathome.com/                                   http://proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com/
http://raisinghomemakers.com                                          http://sandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.com/
http://www.52mantels.com/                                             http://www.the36thavenue.com/
http://www.create-with-joy.com                                       http://teachingwhatisgood.com/
http://www.the36thavenue.com/                                       http://seevanessacraft.com/
http://katherinescorner.com/                                           http://cupcake-n-bake.blogspot.com
http://alifeinbalance.net                                                   http://www.hopestudios.blogspot.com
http://thediydreamer.com                                                 http://www.the-chicken-chick.com
http://lavendergardencottage.blogspot.com                       http://www.flusterbuster.com
http://www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com                        http://www.adelightsomelife.com/
http://www.growinghomeblog.com                                 http://nourishingjoy.com
http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/              http://trayerwilderness.com/

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Short Hiatus

I will be taking a couple of weeks off blogging.  I am super, super busy for the next several weeks.  As a means of cutting back on stress this is one of the things that I can cut.  However look out when I come back as I am sure I will have lots of new things to share.

Thank you for your understanding.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Making Embeds for Cold Process Soap

Full line-up of embeds
I have made a batch of glycerin soap and while I will use it for drizzles and things like that I don't like to use it in large quantities in my cold process soap.  Most of your commercially available glycerin soap bases still have more chemicals that I prefer to use in my soap.  Also I find most of them to also be drying in comparison to cold process (hereafter referred to as CP) due to the use of alcohol of some kind being used to dissolve the cooked soap.  (For more info on Glycerin soap making see my post at http://cabinofbows.blogspot.com/2013/09/homemade-melt-pour.html)
The footballs - about 1" long

I decided fairly early on that if I was going to do embeds that I would use CP to make them and then add them to the soap.  Since I have quite a few soaps that I want to add to my line-up either for holidays or permanently that I want to use embeds for I decided to make a batch of soap just for this purpose.

To start with, I worked up a recipe that will work with all of my current recipes.  This was not complicated but it did involve estimating how much soap to make in order to get
Rubber Ducks
 all of the embeds that are currently on my list finished.  For some of my soaps I may have to make multiple runs due to not having as many molds as I would like in particular designs.

I also needed molds for some of the soaps that are either not readily available or are out of my current price range. This particular project will be covered in a separate post.

For my recipe I decided to use only three of my most commonly used oils to minimize confusion for me when filling out my ingredient labels.  In my case that means olive oil, coconut oil, and grapeseed oil.  I do use other oils and butters, but almost all of my recipes include these three.

Flip Flops and "Ice Cubes"
I started by making my full batch.  I measured everything out and mixed it without adding any colorant or fragrance.  Next I separated the batch into smaller containers for individual coloring based on how much I would need fill the molds available.  Except for the batch for the "malted milk balls"  I left all of the embeds unscented.  This made it much easier to deal with getting everything mixed.

Shells and Limes
I made lots of variety in this batch.  Unfortunately not all of the embeds worked as well as I had hoped that they would.  One of the ones that did not turn out was the lemon slices.  Unfortunately I did not blend to a thick enough trace before filling my molds and the lemons did not survive the unmolding process.  The lemons were not stiff enough to come out of the mold in one piece.  The shells that I made from my homemade mold worked very well.  I only lost one shell and it was a long thin one.
Hand rolled "malted milk balls"

The only multi-step embed that I needed to make was the "malted milk balls".  These are for a cupcake soap that I want to make.  I colored these with cocoa powder and scented them with a dark chocolate fragrance.  I gave this soap 2 days in the mold before moving to the next step.  After unmolding the soap, I used a long handled 1/4 tsp measuring spoon to portion out balls of soap that I hand rolled for uniformity.  These did end up being a little different size wise, but not by much.  After letting the finished soap balls sit for 24 hours I rolled them again to smooth them a little bit further.  When I rolled them the first time the soap was still somewhat sticky so the balls looked rough.  After all of the balls are rolled smooth and sit for a day or two I will hit them with some steam to make them nice and shiny.


I am linking with the following blogs:
http://back2basichealth.blogspot.com                                http://www.bystephanielynn.com
http://blackfoxhomestead.com/                                          http://www.iamannekehn.blogspot.com
http://www.hopeineveryseason.com                                  http://ivyandelephants.blogspot.com
http://www.campwander.com/                                          http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/
http://coloradolady.blogspot.com                                      www.aboverubies.net
http://abidingwoman.com/                                               http://www.besimplybetter.com/
http://www.deeprootsathome.com/                                   http://proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com/
http://raisinghomemakers.com                                          http://sandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.com/
http://www.52mantels.com/                                             http://www.the36thavenue.com/
http://www.create-with-joy.com                                       http://teachingwhatisgood.com/
http://www.the36thavenue.com/                                       http://seevanessacraft.com/
http://katherinescorner.com/                                           http://cupcake-n-bake.blogspot.com
http://alifeinbalance.net                                                   http://www.hopestudios.blogspot.com
http://thediydreamer.com                                                 http://www.the-chicken-chick.com
http://lavendergardencottage.blogspot.com                       http://www.flusterbuster.com
http://www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com                        http://www.adelightsomelife.com/
http://www.growinghomeblog.com                                 http://nourishingjoy.com
http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/              http://trayerwilderness.com/

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Puppy Poo Shampoo

Puppy Poo Shampoo
I have had several people ask me about getting a dog soap and when I would have one available.  So I started doing research.  I am one of those people that will research an idea almost to death before I actually start working on making that idea an actual item.  In this case I wanted to be able to make the soap as naturally flea repellent as possible naturally without causing any problems for the dogs that it was used on.  I knew that essential oils would be different for dogs than for humans and I did not want to choose oils that would possibly hurt the dogs.  After about 3 months I was satisfied that I had a reasonable handle on the oils to use.  I also wanted to use an infusion of fleabane for my liquid.

from nativeamericanencyclopedia.com
Fleabane Daisy
Fleabane is a wildflower with a folklore reputation for being flea repellent.  It grows wild in fields and roadsides all over my area of the country.  It is a member of the daisy family and is quite prolific in reseeding itself.  In this case I helped out my mom by pulling out the plants that had come up in her garden and flower beds.  In this way I avoided having to collect plants where there might be issues from road run-off or vehicle exhaust exposure.  I cut off the roots, rinsed the plants thoroughly and cut the plants into 3 inch pieces.  To the plant pieces I added boiling water until all of the plants were covered.  I let this set for 24 hours to get as much as possible out of the plants.

Fleabane lye solution
For the essential oils I choose tea tree, cedarwood, peppermint & sweet orange.  According to my research these are all dog safe - cats are another matter.  Tea tree and peppermint oil were recommended by one site and orange and cedarwood were recommended by another.

After straining out all of the plant matter, I measured out the liquid for the recipe.  Then I measured out my lye and added it to the fleabane infusion.  I measured out my oils next.  Because I made this soap on a warm day the coconut oil was really soft but not liquid so I didn't need to do any melting.  After using the blender to make the oils into a smooth slurry, I added the lye solution to the oils.  Since this soap is simply utilitarian I did not add any colorant and the scent is from the essential oils and fleabane infusion.
Oils for batch

I blended the batch, adding the essential oils at a light trace, until I reached a thick trace before pouring the soap into molds.  I started with the sample bar mold before filling the regular mold.  The soap was already heating up before I even got it into the mold, and as you can see from the picture it gelled almost completely.      

Soap in the mold
When I cut the soap, I found that the inside gelled area was still fairly soft.  It would hold it's shape, but still had a lot of give.  I could have further decreased the liquid in the batch, but I wanted it to be as effective as possible.  I don't know that this soap would be strong enough to replace your current flea repellent, but at least it is natural and should be soothing to your dogs skin and should leave your dogs coat glossy and smooth.





I am linking with the following blogs:
http://back2basichealth.blogspot.com                                http://www.bystephanielynn.com
http://blackfoxhomestead.com/                                          http://www.iamannekehn.blogspot.com
http://www.hopeineveryseason.com                                  http://ivyandelephants.blogspot.com
http://www.campwander.com/                                          http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/
http://coloradolady.blogspot.com                                      www.aboverubies.net
http://abidingwoman.com/                                               http://www.besimplybetter.com/
http://www.deeprootsathome.com/                                   http://proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com/
http://raisinghomemakers.com                                          http://sandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.com/
http://www.52mantels.com/                                             http://www.the36thavenue.com/
http://www.create-with-joy.com                                       http://teachingwhatisgood.com/
http://www.the36thavenue.com/                                       http://seevanessacraft.com/
http://katherinescorner.com/                                           http://cupcake-n-bake.blogspot.com
http://alifeinbalance.net                                                   http://www.hopestudios.blogspot.com
http://thediydreamer.com                                                 http://www.the-chicken-chick.com
http://lavendergardencottage.blogspot.com                       http://www.flusterbuster.com
http://www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com                        http://www.adelightsomelife.com/
http://www.growinghomeblog.com                                 http://nourishingjoy.com
http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/              http://trayerwilderness.com/

Friday, May 9, 2014

Laundry Soap Revisited

Finished soap
I made a discovery that I was not thrilled with last week.  I discovered that my laundry detergent has been separating and I didn't know it.  I had already planned to make some whipped laundry detergent, but since I was behind on laundry, due to running out of detergent, I had to make some more of my current detergent until I could get the other detergent finished.

Cut soap after sitting with
water overnight
Of course, I have issues with fragrances.  For this reason, I decided to make some lard based cold process laundry soap.  I started with measuring out the water and lye for a 5 lb batch of soap at 30% water.  Next I measured out and blended the lard and coconut oil for the batch.  I mixed the lye water with the oils after the lye water stopped fuming.  I did not color or scent this batch in any way.  I poured the soap into my large mold and filled my new flower mold.  The soap was ready to cut in several hours partially due to the low water content and due to the fact that it gelled quickly.  The resultant soap is very light and very hard.  Even right after cutting the bars had very little give to them.  I cut the soap into 3.5 to 4.3 oz bars.

I started making the whipped laundry detergent by adding about 3.5 oz of the laundry soap cut into small blocks into a quart jar.  To this I added about 6 ounces of hot water and left the soap overnight.  Although I will be honest, I ended up leaving it for about 2 days before I was able to get around to actually adding the other ingredients.  After adding the other ingredients, I allowed it to sit for about 3 hours.  
With Borax, Laundry Soda & Water

Allowing the mixture to sit was supposed to keep the resulting soap from being grainy.  After allowing the mixture to sit, I poured the entire contents of the jar into the bowl of my stand mixer.  I don't have a blender so I didn't have the option of blending in the jar like the tutorials I read recommended.

Because I whipped the soap in an less confined space, more air was added into the soap giving it a more airy texture.  This does not reduce the effectiveness of the soap it only means that you have to use a little bit greater volume to achieve the same results, due to the increased air in the soap.

So far it seems to work very well.  I have done about six loads of laundry so far with this laundry soap.  I use about the same amount of soap that is in the first picture, a heaping spoonful.  For this recipe I used about 3 1/2 - 4 ounces of soap, 3/4 cup of washing soda & 3/4 cup of borax.  I added enough water to bring the water level up to the bottom edge of the ring.

Update:  I found that I had issues with this recipe separating.  With having it in canning jars you could see about an inch of liquid at the bottom of the jar.  I am now using 5 ounces of soap per jar and it is working better.  My laundry comes clean and I am not using a fabric softener and really don't need it with the dryer.  Cautionary note: if you are using unscented soap and like for your laundry to smell nice don't forget to add your essential oils to your soap when blending.  ;)

I am linking with the following blogs:
http://back2basichealth.blogspot.com                                http://www.bystephanielynn.com
http://blackfoxhomestead.com/                                          http://www.iamannekehn.blogspot.com
http://www.hopeineveryseason.com                                  http://ivyandelephants.blogspot.com
http://www.campwander.com/                                          http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/
http://coloradolady.blogspot.com                                      www.aboverubies.net
http://abidingwoman.com/                                               http://www.besimplybetter.com/
http://www.deeprootsathome.com/                                   http://proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com/
http://raisinghomemakers.com                                          http://sandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.com/
http://www.52mantels.com/                                             http://www.the36thavenue.com/
http://www.create-with-joy.com                                       http://teachingwhatisgood.com/
http://www.the36thavenue.com/                                       http://seevanessacraft.com/
http://katherinescorner.com/                                           http://cupcake-n-bake.blogspot.com
http://alifeinbalance.net                                                   http://www.hopestudios.blogspot.com
http://thediydreamer.com                                                 http://www.the-chicken-chick.com
http://lavendergardencottage.blogspot.com                       http://www.flusterbuster.com
http://www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com                        http://www.adelightsomelife.com/
http://www.growinghomeblog.com                                 http://nourishingjoy.com
http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/              http://trayerwilderness.com/

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Strawberry Shortcake Soap

Finished Bars
I am fascinated by how many fresh ingredients that you can use in soap.  It is truly amazing.  In this case I wanted to make a soap with strawberries.  I wanted to make a strawberry shortcake soap.

Mixing the cream colored soap
I started by mashing up five ounces of strawberries and setting them aside.  Next I measured and mixed the lye water reserving 5 ounces of water for the strawberry puree.  This keeps the water content in the soap from being too high.  I also added a pinch of silk to the lye water.  My next step was to weight out the oils for this recipe.

Piped Bars
After everything was measured out, I blended the oils together to make sure that all of the clumps of cold oils were broken up.  I added the lye water to the oils and blended to a very light trace, it may have even been just a good emulsification.  I was going to blend them more so this was a reasonable stage.  I poured off half of the batch into a separate bowl.  To one bowl I added the strawberry puree and a bit of rosehip oil.  To the other bowl I added some zinc oxide mixed with a little oil.  I was not looking for white just a nice cream.

I started blending the bowl with the cream first to a light trace.  I left the seeds in the puree so I had to blend that bowl second.  I poured the strawberry puree mixture into the cream mixture for a in the pot swirl.  I poured this into my sample bar mold 1 1/2 inches deep.  Next I poured the rest of the soap into a 9 X 9 square silicone pan.  After the soap was solid enough to come out of the pan, I puled it out and cut it into squares.  After cutting the squares I then cut them in half height wise.

Sample Bars uncut
After a couple of days, I mixed up a small batch of soap coloring all of the soap a soft cream.  I measured out everything and mixed the lye with the water and silk.  I mixed the zinc oxide and the fragrance oil with the oils before adding the lye water to the oils.  I scented the whole batch with strawberries and cream fragrance oil.  I blended the entire batch to a thick trace.  After lettting the soap sit for about 15 minutes, it was thick enough to pipe.

I started by piping in the bottom half of each piece and setting the top piece on the piped soap.  After giving the piped soap some time to set up, I piped soap on top of the top piece of soap.  So now I have a piped soap "sandwich."  Although I think that I should have cut the pieces a little differently, I think that the soap looks really nice.


I am linking with the following blogs:
http://back2basichealth.blogspot.com                                http://www.bystephanielynn.com
http://blackfoxhomestead.com/                                          http://www.iamannekehn.blogspot.com
http://www.hopeineveryseason.com                                  http://ivyandelephants.blogspot.com
http://www.campwander.com/                                          http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/
http://coloradolady.blogspot.com                                      www.aboverubies.net
http://abidingwoman.com/                                               http://www.besimplybetter.com/
http://www.deeprootsathome.com/                                   http://proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com/
http://raisinghomemakers.com                                          http://sandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.com/
http://www.52mantels.com/                                             http://www.the36thavenue.com/
http://www.create-with-joy.com                                       http://teachingwhatisgood.com/
http://www.the36thavenue.com/                                       http://seevanessacraft.com/
http://katherinescorner.com/                                           http://cupcake-n-bake.blogspot.com
http://alifeinbalance.net                                                   http://www.hopestudios.blogspot.com
http://thediydreamer.com                                                 http://www.the-chicken-chick.com
http://lavendergardencottage.blogspot.com                       http://www.flusterbuster.com
http://www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com                        http://www.adelightsomelife.com/
http://www.growinghomeblog.com                                 http://nourishingjoy.com
http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/              http://trayerwilderness.com/

Friday, May 2, 2014

Violet Jelly

Violets
I wanted to make violet jelly last year, but I totally missed the window for flowers.  This year I did much better.  I managed to catch the beginning of the flowering period this year.  I went out to my mom's the end of last week to pick violets.  I picked almost half of a gallon Ziploc bag of flowers.
Violet Tea


I was not able to make the jelly the same day so I put the flowers in their gallon Ziploc into the fridge.  When I was ready to get started I rinsed the flowers and poured them into a quart jar.  To this jar I added boiling water to fill the jar.  After letting this mixture cool, I put it back in the fridge overnight.  After letting the flowers steep overnight I pulled it out to finish the jelly.
Sugar and Pectin Added
I always start a jelly session by making sure that the necessary jars, lids and rims are clean and sterilized.  This prevents jelly spoilage.  I also make sure that my canning funnel and ladle are also sterilized.
You can see the difference in color that adding
the lemon juice makes
For the jelly itself, I started by straining the flower tea through a cheesecloth placed over a strainer.  Next I measured out the tea and added water to make 6 cups of liquid.  I added 1 Tbsp of lemon juice, 1/3 cup of pectin and 5 cups of sugar to the tea.  I always make my jelly by taste.  After tasting the jelly I added a 6th cup of sugar to the pot.
The color changes again after you start heating it
I boiled the jelly testing frequently for jell.  I don't do this the same way that most people do.  I keep a small plate and a metal spoon on the stove top.  Every few minutes I dip a spoonful of the jelly out and let it cool on the plate.  I do this until the jelly sets up in the bowl of the spoon.
All finished


I am linking with the following blogs:
http://back2basichealth.blogspot.com                                http://www.bystephanielynn.com
http://blackfoxhomestead.com/                                          http://www.iamannekehn.blogspot.com
http://www.hopeineveryseason.com                                  http://ivyandelephants.blogspot.com
http://www.campwander.com/                                          http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/
http://coloradolady.blogspot.com                                      www.aboverubies.net
http://abidingwoman.com/                                               http://www.besimplybetter.com/
http://www.deeprootsathome.com/                                   http://proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com/
http://raisinghomemakers.com                                          http://sandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.com/
http://www.52mantels.com/                                             http://www.the36thavenue.com/
http://www.create-with-joy.com                                       http://teachingwhatisgood.com/
http://www.the36thavenue.com/                                       http://seevanessacraft.com/
http://katherinescorner.com/                                           http://cupcake-n-bake.blogspot.com
http://alifeinbalance.net                                                   http://www.hopestudios.blogspot.com
http://thediydreamer.com                                                 http://www.the-chicken-chick.com
http://lavendergardencottage.blogspot.com                       http://www.flusterbuster.com
http://www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com                        http://www.adelightsomelife.com/
http://www.growinghomeblog.com                                 http://nourishingjoy.com
http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/              http://trayerwilderness.com/

Monday, April 28, 2014

Chicken Chuckles

The puppy loved to watch the chicks 
Ok, we have only had chickens for a little over a year, but in that time we have had more than a few chuckles over their antics.  Considering how dark the world is I thought that everyone else could enjoy a chuckle too.

Captain, a normally rather dignified rooster
Captain is one of our two roosters.  He is not the alpha rooster though. When we were working on the upgrades to the coop, we took out the wire under roosts.  Well, he was ready for bed and was going to hop on the roosts.  He missed.  He fell down through the hole in the floor.  He made this hilarious squaaaaawk.  No kidding it was hilarious.  Imagine a dignified rooster that is all of a sudden in a surprised condition.  So I went into the house for dinner, and I was telling my folks what had happened.  Of course, I had to replicate the squawk.  My mom just about fell out of her chair she laughed so hard.  Even my sister said that I had done a perfect imitation of the squawk.  I don't know whether I should be offended or appreciative of that comment.
Goldy and Mama





After our first chick hatched , I was working on the coop upgrades.  I was in the coop measuring for several of the modifications.  And of course, I had to watch the chick just a little bit. ;)  Well, while the I was in there the chicken was awake and walking around in the nest boxes a little bit.  All of the sudden, She reaches up and starts pecking at her mother's bright red wattles.  I even managed to catch a picture.



They will just walk all over you  ;) 


My mom loved to play with the chicks.  She would pick them up and play with them.  The purpose was to make sure that they were comfortable with human contact and were able to deal with being picked up.  They would literally walk all over her.

I hope that you all have a wonderful week!









I am linking with the following blogs:
http://back2basichealth.blogspot.com                                http://www.bystephanielynn.com
http://blackfoxhomestead.com/                                          http://www.iamannekehn.blogspot.com
http://www.hopeineveryseason.com                                  http://ivyandelephants.blogspot.com
http://www.campwander.com/                                          http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/
http://coloradolady.blogspot.com                                      www.aboverubies.net
http://abidingwoman.com/                                               http://www.besimplybetter.com/
http://www.deeprootsathome.com/                                   http://proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com/
http://raisinghomemakers.com                                          http://sandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.com/
http://www.52mantels.com/                                             http://www.the36thavenue.com/
http://www.create-with-joy.com                                       http://teachingwhatisgood.com/
http://www.the36thavenue.com/                                       http://seevanessacraft.com/
http://katherinescorner.com/                                           http://cupcake-n-bake.blogspot.com
http://alifeinbalance.net                                                   http://www.hopestudios.blogspot.com
http://thediydreamer.com                                                 http://www.the-chicken-chick.com
http://lavendergardencottage.blogspot.com                       http://www.flusterbuster.com
http://www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com                        http://www.adelightsomelife.com/
http://www.growinghomeblog.com                                 http://nourishingjoy.com
http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/              http://trayerwilderness.com/

Monday, April 21, 2014

Camera Strap #2

New Camera Strap
I have needed another camera strap for when my first strap is is the laundry.  Living in the south, laundering the camera strap is definitely important.  I also am letting my brother borrow my camera and he thought that my other strap was a little too girly. 
The raw strip of gauze

I wanted to do a very simple strap that would be gender neutral so that I have a strap for my husband to be comfortable using.  I had some cotton cheesecloth and I thought that it would work nicely.  It is a wonderful light-weight material that is fairly strong.  This is not your standard cheesecloth from the grocery store.  It is about twice the weight of the grocery store variety.

To begin with, I ripped an eight inch strip from the selvage side of my material.  Ripping may sound like it would be problematic, but it actually ensures that the line will be straight.  It is pretty easy to do if you start with a small cut at one end.    
Pinned & ready to sew
After I got the material prepared, I pinned a double folded seam into the length of the material.  I fold once and then fold again and then pin.  This particular technique means that I won't have to worry about the edges raveling.  Since I sewed the material into a tube shape I didn't want to have to worry about the seam coming out after a couple of washes.

After sewing the seam, I made sure that all of the edges were caught in the seam.  After pulling all of the pins out of the seam, I rearranged the fabric to lie flat with the seam in the middle.
Rings sewed into the ends

In order to attach the strap to the camera  and the strap, I use large key rings.  I sewed a loop around the key ring folding the rough edge under to get a smooth finish.  This keeps the ends from raveling.  After this all that you need is to put clips on each of the key rings to attach to the camera body.

I hope that you had fun reading through this.  If you are interested in making your own camera strap, I hope that this will help.  If you have any questions please feel free to message me or leave a comment.  I check my comments frequently and I will do my best to answer any question that you might have.



I am linking with the following blogs:
http://back2basichealth.blogspot.com                                http://www.bystephanielynn.com
http://blackfoxhomestead.com/                                          http://www.iamannekehn.blogspot.com
http://www.hopeineveryseason.com                                  http://ivyandelephants.blogspot.com
http://www.campwander.com/                                          http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/
http://coloradolady.blogspot.com                                      www.aboverubies.net
http://abidingwoman.com/                                               http://www.besimplybetter.com/
http://www.deeprootsathome.com/                                   http://proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com/
http://raisinghomemakers.com                                          http://sandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.com/
http://www.52mantels.com/                                             http://www.the36thavenue.com/
http://www.create-with-joy.com                                       http://teachingwhatisgood.com/
http://www.the36thavenue.com/                                       http://seevanessacraft.com/
http://katherinescorner.com/                                           http://cupcake-n-bake.blogspot.com
http://alifeinbalance.net                                                   http://www.hopestudios.blogspot.com
http://thediydreamer.com                                                 http://www.the-chicken-chick.com
http://lavendergardencottage.blogspot.com                       http://www.flusterbuster.com
http://www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com                        http://www.adelightsomelife.com/
http://www.growinghomeblog.com                                 http://nourishingjoy.com
http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/              http://trayerwilderness.com/

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Whipped Body Butter DIY

Whipped  Body Butter
Body butter is very expensive in most stores for the weight.  And while there are some tricks to making your own it is not impossible or even terribly difficult.  I use a variety of oils in my body butter, some of which are a little harder to find.  I also use one infused oil.

Melted oils and butters
The infused oil that I use in comfrey oil.  To make an infused oil start by drying the herbs that you wish to infuse into your oil.  If you do not dry the plant matter, you could easily end up with mold in your oil from the water content.  This is most definitely not the desired result.  Next you need you submerse your dried plant matter in oil.  My usual choice for this is olive oil.  Olive oil is readily available and fairly inexpensive.  I usually employ a gentle heat at this point to expedite the process, but it is not necessary.  You can let your oil sit and steep for several weeks shaking the oil periodically.  After the oil has reached the desired strength / color, it is very simple to strain out the plant matter.  A coffee filter in a sieve will work nicely.  You now have an infused oil to use.  This process works for flavor, color & plant properties.

Thickened oils
The first step of making your body butter is to measure all of your oils and melt them gently and slowly.  This is especially important in the case of shea butter which can become grainy if melted too quickly or to too high a temperature.  You can do this in a jar in a pan of boiling water or in short bursts in your microwave.  I stir well to mix the oils thoroughly before placing in the refrigerator.  The purpose of the refrigeration is to bring the temperature down to room temperature a little more quickly.  The recipe I use is one that I developed and includes the following oils and butters: Coconut oil, Mango Butter, Shea Butter, Hemp oil, Grapeseed oil, Comfrey infused Olive oil, Vitamin E.

First whipping of the oil
The next step is to use your whisk on your mixer to beat some air into you cooled oil mixture.  I like to beat the first time when the oils have collected a fairly good sized rim of cooled oil in the bowl.  I usually go three rounds of cooling and beating.  I also make sure that I scrape the bowls sides very well before I start beating each time to make sure that all of the mixture stays combined.

Each time I beat the oils until the color is uniform.  This is especially important on the first round of beating.  I also beat the oils until the texture starts to thin just a bit.  When this hint of thinning occurs I stop beating and return to the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.  The third time of beating is usually sufficient to reach firm peaks when the beater is lifted out of the mixture.  At this point the body butter can either be piped or spooned into your desired container.




I am linking with the following blogs:
http://back2basichealth.blogspot.com                                http://www.bystephanielynn.com
http://blackfoxhomestead.com/                                          http://www.iamannekehn.blogspot.com
http://www.hopeineveryseason.com                                  http://ivyandelephants.blogspot.com
http://www.campwander.com/                                          http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/
http://coloradolady.blogspot.com                                      www.aboverubies.net
http://abidingwoman.com/                                               http://www.besimplybetter.com/
http://www.deeprootsathome.com/                                   http://proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com/
http://raisinghomemakers.com                                          http://sandimyyellowdoor.blogspot.com/
http://www.52mantels.com/                                             http://www.the36thavenue.com/
http://www.create-with-joy.com                                       http://teachingwhatisgood.com/
http://www.the36thavenue.com/                                       http://seevanessacraft.com/
http://katherinescorner.com/                                           http://cupcake-n-bake.blogspot.com
http://alifeinbalance.net                                                   http://www.hopestudios.blogspot.com
http://thediydreamer.com                                                 http://www.the-chicken-chick.com
http://lavendergardencottage.blogspot.com                       http://www.flusterbuster.com
http://www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com                        http://www.adelightsomelife.com/
http://www.growinghomeblog.com                                 http://nourishingjoy.com
http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/              http://trayerwilderness.com/
http://timeforseason.blogspot.com                                     http://mylampisfull.blogspot.com/