Sunday, April 27, 2014

diy sugar scrub

Do you like sugar scrubs? Have you tried sugar scrubs? For me, there's nothing better to use after a day in the garden or doing yard work. They are also great for shaving legs -- much better than creams, in my opinion. A big plus is that they are easy to make at home so you know just what ingredients are being used and you can customize the aromas to your preferences. 

You can find many sugar scrub recipes on the web. I'm more of a 'just wing it' kind of gal in when it comes to my lotions and potions (as my husband jokingly calls my home-made concoctions). I put 4 or 5 tablespoons of sugar in a small jar and just start adding oils and such until the consistency is what I want. Using essential oils and various teas, I make up scents based on my mood and use whatever oils I have on hand. I don't like to keep too much oil on hand because some can go rancid fairly quickly. Today, I used joboba oil and coconut oil and made two sugar scrubs -- Vanilla/Brown Sugar and Chai/Clove/Patchouli. 

If you haven't tried making your own at home, I encourage you to give it a try. When you do, let me know what scent(s) you used and how it went -- would love to hear from you! 


Thursday, April 24, 2014

old jeans are meant for gardening

It will soon be time to start gardening. YAY! I love spending time outside in the garden and doing yard work. This past weekend was nice enough I could get out there and start cleaning things up. That's when I noticed the condition of my gardening attire. When my jeans are no longer nice enough to wear out and about, they become gardening attire. As you can see by the photo above, I don't give up on them easily. Rather, I mend as many times as I can to get the most wear of out them. Do you do this too? 

Tonight as I sat down to mend four pairs, I was thankful that I'd set up a little sewing station in my craft room. While I don't sew things often, when I do, it's so much easy to just pull up a chair and get started without having to lug everything out like I used to do. The jeans were mended (good enough, anyway) in just a short amount of time which left plenty of time for me to enjoy a leisurely supper with my hubby. Ahh... life is good! 

Hope you're enjoying your life too! 


Saturday, April 19, 2014

week 9 of 10 in metalsmithing class

In the last post, I shared how the copper looked after being annealed. In the next class, I soldered the two pieces of copper together. See all those tiny silver pieces in the first photo? Those are the solder I snipped and, using tweezers, placed in the flux on the copper background. It's a tedious process, for sure, and this class has given me a whole new appreciation for the jewelry we see at art and craft shows, and the prices attached to that jewelry. 

Making jewelry by hand can be time intensive. It's also a wonderful way of honoring the human spirit. Personally, I enjoy wearing something I know is truly one of a kind. How about you?


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

week 8 of 10 in metalsmithing class

I mentioned in my last post that hubby and I have been taking a metalsmithing class at our local art center. The instructor is extremely knowledgeable and skilled at both jewelry making and teaching. The first two nights were lecture. The rest of the sessions are all hands-on in the studio, making whatever we desire. 

My goal for the class is to learn to solder metal, which is vastly different from soldering stained glass pendants. The first night of open studio, week three of class, I started a ring, which would require soldering a butt joint. Silly me.... it's much tougher than it looks. The joint has to be PERFECTLY aligned for the solder to join the two edges. I filed and worked on that @#$% butt joint for three class sessions and it still didn't line up as precisely as it needed to. The instructor told me she's had new students use up all eight studio sessions on something like this. Egads! Not wanting to use up any more class time on a ring I didn't want in the first place, I changed gears and started work on a tree pendant. Things started to get fun. 

Last night, I finally got to use the acetylene torch - not to solder, but to anneal. Here's how the underneath side of the copper looked after annealing and before pickling and cleaning: 

It's pretty enough I could have just washed it up, shaped and sealed as-is, don't you think? You can see what it looked like before the annealing process in the bottom photo - it's the rectangular piece near the front. In this photo, I'd just finished pushing it through the rolling press to give it the appearance of bark. It's going to be what you see through the tree cut-out in the pendant. 

In summary, last night's class was FUN and I can't wait to for next week's class to do more! I hope you're doing something fun these days too!