Read my column on making a craft or garden smock from pet feed sacks. Page 9!
I’ve decided to hold a small sale of upcycle projects, books, vintage dishes, and odds and ends Feb 3 and 4. You should come! Continue Reading →
Read my column on upcycling an old bird feeder into a beautiful piece of holiday decor! Page 9,
Read my column about upcycling vintage matchbox holders! Page 10.
I’ve been itching to do new things for months! One thing I’ve decided to give a go to is making soap. Yep, soap. Not the lye soap Granny Clampett made out next to the cement pond. I want to make some quality artisnal soaps.
So far I have made three different soaps: Castile, Coconut and Olive Oil, and Goat Milk #1.
I’ve had many of the things I need to make soap for a long time. I’ve been inching my way to it. My fear, like many others, is using the lye. That’s some nasty stuff until the saponification process is complete.
After reading up on several methods, so far I’ve preferred the hot process of making soap. It’s faster and you don’t have to focus on temperature as much. And honestly, I get impatient in the beginning of new projects and if I can’t get some decent result early I won’t move on to something more difficult.
The Castile soap doesn’t lather. That’s just the nature of that particular soap. It is very mild, even good for children. I’m not sure I feel clean after I use it.
Soaps with coconut oil will lather, so I split a recipe 50/50 olive and coconut. It does lather nicely, but it seems to dry my hands out. Maybe it isn’t the soap, since my arms don’t feel dry.
The goat milk soap. Well, it isn’t ready to test yet. It didn’t set up like the other soaps, so I am wondering if it will turn out at all. I adapted another recipe to make it and it is possible I can’t do that. When it’s ready I’ll let you know.
Quality cast iron can last over one-hundred years, or more! Properly cared for it is stick resistant, stove top and oven safe, does not flake, does not contain polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) or perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), chemicals that may concern some people. Continue Reading →
Today is a difficult day. There is no one reason. The weather is great. The sun is shining, the air is warm with a light breeze.
I finally got my compost bin assembled. It was frustrating. There were no actual instructions. There were five pictures on the side of the box that gave an idea of what to do.
It was when I sat on the back porch the weirdness seeped in. The warm sun passed midday and flooded the chair. Little birds busied themselves at the feeder, ignoring me as I watched.
In the distance I could hear the squeals and laughter of elementary kids getting in one last day of outdoor recess. I miss that sound. It brings back memories of life when my sons were small.
Thinking of all the preps needed before Thanksgiving next week melancholy over comes me. This is the fourth year without Bryan, and the first without my mother.
So I sit.
A text message jerks my mind back to the present and I go inside. And as if a gift from my Boxer Jack, I find Attack Cat snuggled up on the dog pillow napping.
Shaking my head the smile on ny face announces my complete weakness where kittens are concerned. “I’ll put him out later,” I think.
I am sitting at my desk trying to sort the mounds of paper that accumulated in the two years I have been helping my mother. The fog of grief prevents me from focusing on much more than just pitching old magazines, newspapers, and junk mail. Continue Reading →