Category Archives: Crafts

Soap making 101


This post is dedicated to my awesome granola friends who taught me how to make soap on a Saturday night!!! And because of a request from one of them, this blog will be mostly pictures with little writing……

Ingredients: safflower oil, extra light olive oil, canola oil, shortening, borax, glycerine, lye, sugar, goats milk and we added grapefruit essential oil for some yummy smell!

Let’s start:

Ingredients: check

All oils and shortening go into a pan to melt…

Goats milk, measuring carefully….

The goat milk heads into a pan that is set in cold water. The lye will be added in next, very slowly, to ensure that the temperature stays below 27degrees Fahrenheit . Notice the finger pointing – this is an important step!!

One must protect themselves from the Nasty lye!

Again, careful measuring….

And mix!

In the meantime, the oils have slowly melted…

And the lye has dissolved into the goats milk.

Time to get the molds ready. They are lined tightly with wax paper.

Now’s the perfect chance to say hi to the kitty, hi kitty!!!

Serious stuff now, we are going to mix the melted oils with the goats milk/lye! This is the same time that we add the borax, glycerine, sugar and essential oils.

Adding and stirring.

Borax in!

Once Everything is mixed, you must blend it together in a mixer. This was working really well for us and was very creamy and thick once it was done, like the consistency of hand soap!

Now pouring it into the molds….

And smoothing it out…

Looks perfect!!!

Now, fast forward 24 hours….

Of course I have to include one picture of the kid!!! He’s with a snowman that lived for three hours. Gotta love temps of 11 degrees!!!

Ready to start cutting. How? Using a cleverly designed apparatus that you feed the soap through and you are able to cut even slices. Here are some pictures!

A gorgeous slice…

Perfect!! (by the way, we added some dried marigold leaves for texture…..looks professional, wouldn’t you agree?)

Finished product: over 30 bars of homemade goats milk soap. It will be ready in 6 weeks!


What Would Ma Ingalls Do?


I have two sick kids at home. One has pneumonia and the other, double ear infections. They were pretty sick but now with the medication kicking in, they are on their way to recovery. This is, of course exactly what I want but with the symptoms lessening, it means their demands, arguments and grumpiness are increasing. On days like these, stuck in the house with two tired grumpy children, I wonder what Ma Ingalls would do.

I don’t know much about Caroline Ingalls but I’m sure that she wouldn’t have let her kids stay all day in their pyjamas. She probably wouldn’t have had cotton swabs or construction paper. She wouldn’t  have had citrus juice to make a treat.

God bless you Mrs. Ingalls. I don’t know how you did it!

Here’s what we did today:

Read some more of The Long Winter

(How long can humans survive on potatoes and brown bread, just asking!)

Then made some easy to eat, practically guilt-free treats

(Citrus Jellies thanks to Every Day Food from Martha Stewart)

Here’s the recipe:

2 cups of orange or grapefruit juice ( I used a mix)

1/2 cup sugar

2 envelopes of gelatin

pour 1/2 cup of juice into a bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over and allow to dissolve.

Pour remaining juice into a pan with the sugar. Bring to a boil just to dissolve sugar. Take off heat and stir in the softened gelatin. Stir to dissolve.

Pour into an 8 x 8 baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Cut and serve. Then enjoy.

And did some crafting

(This project comes thanks to Busybee Kids Crafts)

crafting supplies

my example to show the boys

Zeke's snowflakes


Hat knitting


So our wonderful mother (Hi Mom!)  gave me a great birthday present when I turned 29 last year: two skeins of “Pure Sheep Wool” from Topsy Farms on Amherst Island in Ontario.

I had big plans for them, which promptly got forgotten when I started knitting Christmas presents for my family.

But a couple of weeks ago I decided I needed a new hat to get me through the next half of the winter.

Using this pattern from Knitty, I made this hat:

Sassy, no?

Last Minute Valentine’s? Uh – uh.


Every major holiday finds me scrambling at the last minute to finish up different crafts and gifts. Whether it’s cookie baking at Christmas or cardmaking at Easter time, I’m always completing projects at the last minute.

Not this year.

It is one week to Valentine’s Day and our projects are in full swing.

This year, we are making these cards from Disney Family Fun for classmates. We are making this project  again from Disney Family Fun for teachers/daycare providers and these cookies  from Martha Stewart for everyone. After last night’s before bed craft session, here’s what we have accomplished.




















































Tonight, it was a cookie-making spree. All cookies for my son’s school friends are done. I need to make a batch for my other son’s daycare friends.

See it can be done.

Projects can be accomplished by deadline. (Bear with me, I’m trying to convince myself!)

Keep reading to see how successful we really are.

Ahh Martha.


So a couple of months ago I decided to paint our ensuite bathroom. Desperately needed because I hated the khaki green colour (next, our bedroom – also khaki green). Instead? a neutral beige called  whisper bluff. I like to whisper that when I say it and really focus on the ‘f’ in bluff. It drives my husband crazy. Do it….whisper…bluffffff….

But you know when you paint a room, you need new wall hangings. I am el cheapo and am always trying to find an inexpensive way to decorate. Isn’t everyone?

So I turned to this lovely lady, Martha Stewart to see what she could inspire me with.

Turns out, she has LOTS of ideas!!! Sister 2 bought me this book for my birthday and it is FILLED with easy, do it yourself crafts and sewing. So I did it. I did it myself. And here’s the proof.

I tackled this project:


In this picture, Martha (because I truly believe that Martha does everything), embroidered some placemats – very cool looking. So I thought, I’ll do some embroidery and hang it! Easy, right?

Materials used:
– dollar store embroidery thread
– curtain material (neutral in colour and left over from a previous craft project)
– some embroidery stretchy wooden things (I’m sure there’s a name for these)
– tracing paper and pen (lent to me, this is the cheapest way to go)
– frames for Ikea (4 frames for $10)

So, Martha gives you  a cd that you can print off all the templates in the book. So I printed those off, used the tracing paper and pen, and started stitching:

(I love crafting while eating chips and watching grey’s anatomy, don’t you?)

Here are the pieces when I was done stitching:


Then I simply threw them into some frames:


Hung them on the wall:


(like the colour? remember…whisper blufff……)


Here’s a close up:


Presto!!! All done. I quite like it. Total time for craft, maybe 3 hours. Total cost (keeping on mind I already had some material and borrowed others) $20 tops.

Now, what else should I try Martha? Hmmmm……

A weekend single-parenting….


This weekend found my husband on a ski-doo trip with the boys and me alone with our 2 year old. Hmmm…. What to do?
Hit up a museum with family!!

We headed to the Museum of Nature in Ottawa. I worried a bit about bringing a toddler to the museum, but here is some proof that is was enjoyed by all:


-woah! Dinosaurs!


– checking out some interactive stuff with his cousin


– pumping water is hard work!!


– Future Captain Feathersword (click here if you have no clue who that is)

Verdict? Would totally do that again. I love it when outings work out, don’t you??

And to finish off the day, a stop into Chapters saw this:


I really had no clue that Darth was in town!!

At 8:30, when baby was asleep and I was on the couch with some chips (best snack ever!!), I managed to finish this knitting project for a baby shower gift.


Like it? Super cute hat. The patter for it is from this book, More last minute knitted gifts, which is full of super cute patterns. Perfect for those nights by yourself…..