Fresh Cuts by Lu

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Soap & Lip Balm January 31, 2011

Filed under: 3D projects,Gift Ideas — aliessa @ 1:26 am

I have been absent for a while – due to LIFE! I’ve been busy getting kids back to school and my 2nd youngest started Kindy last week. I had a hard time deciding whether I was happy or sad that he went off without any tears and no clinging to me. He was SO happy to be going. Really I am so glad he was happy to go and enjoyed himself immensly, but my heart strings tugged a little as he has been my most clingy child who has always needed me. And we spent so much time just the two of us while he was having chemotherapy treatment at the age of 1 that we have an extra special bond. Oh well, he’s growing up, and it is a good thing (keep telling myself this and I’ll believe it eventually).

We spent a week away at Mapleton with my parents, brothers and sisters and their families. We go every year together and usually we have a wonderful time swimming, spending time together and most importantly – NO COOKING or CLEANING! ūüôā This year however we left on the Monday of the week of the Brisbane floods. We spent most of the week glued to the television worrying over the devestation that took place. Fortunately all our family members were not affected. My brother and his housemates were evacuated but when they returned the next morning all was well. In the weeks since so many people have reached out to those affected and there is a truly warming spirit here in Queensland, as we all do our part. I feel so blessed to be safe and my heart aches for those who have lost so much.

On a positive note, the Commonwealth Bank last night pledged a HUGE amount of money to the flood relief appeal. They donated $500 000 right away, followed by some very generous donations according to the cricket game played last night between Australia and England. I believe it was $4000 for every 4 that was hit and $6000 for every 6 that was hit. And Weetbix dontated 12 boxes of weetbix for every run that was scored to the food shelters.

I almost feel wrong in diverting this post back to craft…but I wanted to show you the soap and lip balm I made. I purchased some melt and pour soap base, lavender essential oil, dry lavender buds and purple colouring for the soap along with a lip balm base and flavour. It was fairly simple to melt the base and add the colour and essential oil. I used a tupperware container as my mould and sprinkled the lavender buds on top. It turned out quite nice to look at. I’m not so sure it was quite as nice to use. I gave away a couple of pieces as a gift with the lip balm, without using it myself first. It wasn’t a great consistency, but sufficient. I think I also could have added a bit more essential oil – the instructions on the net said 1 – 2%, I don’t think I used that much.

The lip balm was a bit more difficult as the base didn’t melt down very easily. But eventually I got it runny enough to add the flavour. Again, I don’t think I used enough. As it was my first attempt I’m not going to be too hard on myself – I do however hope it wasn’t too yuck for the recipient! (My kids loved their pieces:) )

I’m looking into Cold Process soap making, as this is apparently the only way to make soap completely naturally. However it seems quite a bit more complicated and easy to ruin. I shall give it a go sometime in the near future.

Right -o! time for a little munchkin to go down for a nap!

Happy Crafting!

Aliessa

 

 

New Year is here! January 4, 2011

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve all had a wondefully enjoyable holiday season. I’ve spent the last month preparing for Christmas with family. What a lovely couple of weeks we’ve had!

So I thought I would share with you a few photos of what we’ve been up to as far as craft goes. I haven’t photographed everything that I’ve made in the last couple of weeks – I just ran out of time. It didn’t help that the rain was pelting down most of the week leading up to Christmas, so not good for photographs – and √ć know I’m terrible with photos usually anyway, so I didn’t want to make it worse!

First up is a gift made for a friend who gave birth to a beautiful little girl about 4 months ago. She and her husband moved from Brisbane to Newcastle a few weeks before she was due, so we didn’t get to meet little miss until last month. With all the blocks I have been busily covering and sanding, I thought a pink ‘BABY’ set would look nice. I’ve also been on a fabric flower making adventure (more further down), so I made a soft headband for her and attached this pretty pink felt flower.

So sweet! I love this flower. I think the gorgeous pink felt helps a lot! If you would like to make one yourself, THIS is where I learnt how.

Next is my answer to all the christmas cards needed for the kids school friends. This year my son decided he wasn’t giving cards, so it was just me and my daughter – we had so much fun! First I cut out 26 white¬†bookmarks using my PTI die. Then I set her up with 2 Christmas stamp sets and she created 2 designs that we then copied on the rest.

She wrote a message on the back for each child in her class and we stuck on a mini candy cane. She was super excited to deliver them on the last day of school!

And the final part of today’s post – homemade hairclips and a hairclip holder! I made¬†5 of these – one¬†for my daughter for Christmas, one for a friend for her birthday and¬†3¬†for¬†nieces for Christmas. I must tell you, I had SO MUCH FUN making these!

**The hair clip holder is obviously not my original idea. I saw a very similar one on the net and saved the photo to my computer, but I have not been able to find it again to give credit. The directions below, however I did make up myself.**

To make the cup cake hair clip holder, I drew a cup cake the size I wanted, and used it to cut out my felt. You will need a front and back for the top and bottom pieces. You will also need to cut a small amount of pellan (wadding) to go between the felt layers. I cut 2 lengths of the blue spotty ribbon, a length of purple to go across the cupcake and a second length for the hanger. I hand stitched around the edge of the bottom, making sure to secure the purple ribbon at the edges and the blue spotty ribbon across the bottom as I went. Next I decorated the top with buttons, then stitched it together, and on to the base in one go (don’t forget to secure the looped purple ribbon as your¬†hanger in as you go – I did a couple of times ūüôā then had to stitch it on after with a button – which looked quite cute too!). Lastly I cut out 2 pink felt flowers and attached them to the bottom with buttons to weigh down the ribbons.

I started off with this style flower, which my sister-in-law showed me how to make. Really easy. You just need 3 or 4 cirlce-ish pieces of satinny fabric, cut in differing sizes. Then you seal the edges with a flame (I used a candle). Hold the fabric edge close to the flame – but not touching it. As the heat hits the edge of the fabric it will curl (quickly). Rotate the cirlce until you’re back to where you start. Layer the circles on top of each other to look like a flower and then sew a few pearl beads in the centre – through all the layers – to hold it all together. Easy as! You can use as many layers as you like. My sister in law showed me just the other day a GORGEOUS white flower she made with about 16 layers. It looked incredibly real and so soft. Experiment with fabrics too. I used some satin, and then a few different linings. I’m told you can use chiffon and other fabrics like taffeta.

I think this one is soooo cute! To make it I cut a length of pink ribbon, ran a long gathering stitch right along one edge then gathered it up and secured it by sewing that gorgeous little brown button in the middle. Another easy-peasy flower.

For this flower I cut 4 different layers roughly the same size, 2 different blues, and 2 different nettings. I layered them on top of each other and secured them together by hand stitching a small cross in the centre. Then I ran a gathering stitch in a circle around the cross and pulled tight until it looked the way I wanted it to. Then finally I added a button to hold the gathering in place and finish off the flower.

A few flowers in this shot…

Top left: I have looped some spotty, blue ribbon and scrunched the middle to make a cute bow, secured with a button.

Bottom left: How cute is this one?? I started with a cirlce of pink felt. Using a needle and thread I stitched up through the centre then looped around the outside (don’t go through the felt) and straight up through the centre again. Pull tight so that the felt scrunches up. Do this so that the circle is divided into 3 ‘petals’. Secure with a button (I used 2 buttons, just thought it looked cuter). I added a green felt circle to the back to finish it off. **Again, this is not my original idea, I used a photo I found on the internet to figure out how to make it**

Top right: see above to the first flower

Bottom right: Is the same as the pink felt flower from the baby head band.

So, that is all for today! I’ve been enjoying the holidays with all the kiddies home, which is an improvement on last year. I think as the baby and breastfeeding hormones finally leave my body I am becoming more sane, calmer – back to the person I thought I once was ;), and a little more fun for the kids to be around. As joyous as motherhood is, it has it’s trials, and I am so grateful to have a loving family and husband.

I hope you are having a lovely week and the sun is shining!

Aliessa

PS As a side note, if you just love these hairclips (like I do), but don’t have the time to make them yourself and would like to purchase¬†any, please drop me a line either with a comment or send me an email at robandlu@optusnet.com.au

 

 

 
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