Soap Dreams

Lavender Lemon and Oatmeal Sweet Almond

 What is elegance? Soap and water!
~ Cecil Beaton

Especially if you add lavender. Need convincing? Purple is the colour of royalty and speaks of refinement and luxury. We can all be Queens. Lavender flowers represent: purity, silence, devotion and grace.

Consider an affair with soap. COVID19 has heightened our collective awareness. It’s necessary to break the barrier. Lather. Slow the process. Rinse.

You say, “Oh it’s just soap.”

For me, it’s personal. When you choose a particular brand or scent, thought is present. When you make soap, you infuse a touch of love.

Turn up the music. Assemble ingredients. Think ‘clean.’ Choose ‘pure.’ Dream of Provence in July.

The art of handmade soap is a creative medium. There’s room for individual expression. Google ‘heat and pour’ soap kits on You Tube. You’ll find how- to videos and tips for any formulation.

Shy away from lye: sodium hydroxide (NaOH). It’s caustic and chemistry. If you choose the lye route, take a soap making class from an expert. Simple, safe, ‘heat and pour’ soap kits are available in the Craft Aisle or select specialty shops. Keep soap making utensils separate from everyday use. Keep chosen ingredients simple.

‘Simple Serenity’ Shea Butter, Glycerin is the kit I chose.

https://canada.michaels.com/en/artminds-soap-making-shea-butter-soap/10418419.html?cm_mmc=PLASearch--google--MICH_Shopping_CA_N_CatchAll_N_N_N_N-_-Generic&KPID=go_cmp-6523310328_adg-78089271573_ad-383778177991_pla-293946777986_dev-c_ext-_prd-10418419&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIoZ6QzJiF6gIV-xitBh3BpgUhEAYYASABEgLL0_D_BwE

I ordered the premixed kit online from ‘Michaels,’ used curb- side pick up.

You’ll need silicone or plastic molds to pour the heated liquid into. Molds are available on- line or in- store at ‘Michaels’ or ‘Hobby Lobby.’ Others re- purpose worn silicone ice cube trays or loaf pans.

Pure essential oils add fragrance notes. Layer. Select everyday items from the kitchen (lemon zest, sweet almond oil, honey, oatmeal) or garden (lavender, peony or rose petals).

You will need,

• one melt and pour soap kit (‘Simple Serenity’ is the brand I chose.)

• one glass measuring cup or double boiler

• pure essential oil: lemon, lavender, rose, vanilla, clary sage, green tea and cucumber. Choose unscented or ‘notes’ that you sense and feel.

• sweet almond oil, honey

• Grate lemon rind onto a paper towel. Cover the peel with an overlay of paper towel. Gently press out excess moisture.

• Grow lavender (for luck). It’s abundant and easy to dry. Pull the florets from the stocks. Between the lemon zest and lavender, your kitchen will be as fragrant as fields in France.

Follow the directions on the instructional video or the kit. Cut six soap cubes from the shea butter slab and place into a glass measuring cup. Microwave for 30 sec. Stir with a wooden spoon or chopstick. Be careful as heated liquid is hot.

Work quickly. Have additional ingredients prepped and ready. Once you’ve added your chosen ingredients, pour the warm liquid into the mold. Let cool. Place mold in the freezer or fridge for a few hours. This helps the soap fully harden. Apply gentle pressure on the back of the mold to release.

Even the simplest bar is beautiful.

“A girl could lather up in a soap like that.”

~Becca Fitzpatrick

Total cost: approximately 30 dollars

Yield: 8 bars of homemade soap

About A Chair

Found On A Road

If a chair could speak, imagine the stories it would tell.

There is a chair to sit in, a book to read, a page to write. There is a brush and a tin of paint, waiting to transform another chair. I’ve never met a chair I didn’t like, which suggests a form of chair dysfunction. From elegant: turned legs, clawed arms, carved backs to simple: sturdy legs, wide arms. Chairs that have graced servant’s quarters and the grandest of dining rooms suggest the best stories.

Chairs are often discarded curb-side or to wait, lonely, beside a rubbish bin. Usually a chair can be restored with vision, a few coats of paint, and a new seat cover (Hint: Grab the chair with the removable seat.). Gorgeous fabrics abound to offer ‘looks’ from farmhouse to manor. Painted red, a chair becomes the curiosity in a room.

I choose minimalistic, affordable furniture. Favourite pieces are hand me downs or shabby finds, tufted and French. I stick to Benjamin Moore: ‘Winter White’, add shots of colour, and invest in bowls and pitchers. The couch is slip covered, white. There is silver from a grandmother and an aunt. There are oils from a mother. I’ve removed blinds for linen curtains, pulled back to reveal light. Simple chandeliers sparkle and shine. Bouquets of roses gather in glass. A chair waits in the kitchen.

I’m not a designer, rather, a woman who searches for beauty in the raw and spent. Every piece of furniture should suggest a story. I prefer simple lines, a reminder of a common lady who kept a sturdy chair beside an oven, sugar biscuits in a tin, and splashy rose covered tea cups on the table.

“Sit down,” she says. “I’ll fix a pot of tea.”

I settle into the empty chair. In this moment, the world slows to a crawl. Pressing thoughts are forgotten. On the window sill is a pot filled with flowers, their petals bright as jewels. She believes in violets, claims they grow where they are needed.

Once more, we return to one another.


“Vacant chairs always leave me wondering who had sat there in the past.” 
― Anthony T.Hincks

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint: ‘Pure White’

Bring Light

“Better to light a candle than to curse the dark.” ~ Chinese Proverb

Light and Sage
Sage Meets Light

Bring Light. It’s a form of meditation, to strike a match and watch a flame. Soy candles are simple creations. Collect suitable containers from Thrift: silver sugar bowls, Mason jars, and vintage glass are beautiful choices. Choose your favourite natural, scented oils. Three cups of wax equals one large candle. 

Hint: Chopsticks hold and centre the wick in place. Set overnight. Trim the wick. 

🖤 

Always use caution around a flame.

Hint: Sometimes, I push in lavender and the last of the rose buds, foraged from the garden.

Hint: Collect vintage or ‘word’ matchboxes to add with your gift of light.

@Michaels or Hobby Lobby


Unstaged Light

Hands on is always good. Pinterest is full of cook- less Play Dough recipes. Elevate everything. I added lemon essential oil and sea salt to this batch. You’ll imagine you’re in a lemon grove (beside an ocean) even if you’re not. Enchant ‘The Littles’.

NoteToSelf: Always cover your counter space with parchment paper to protect the surface.

Play Dough
For The Littles in Life

Peonies. Flowers with character.

Urban Walls

http://www.uwdecals.com

This tiny bathroom needed a face lift. I applied Benjamin Moore: ‘Winter White’ in flat finish. A moody white with a grey undertone, this  soft hue evokes early morning mist rising off the ocean.

With barely room to turn, I painted.  In my mind I saw a low-budget, posh finish. I waited for Urban Wall’s sale of large florals in grey-white. The photo above shows half of a half order. If you sign up to the site, you receive a discount coupon.

‘Urban Walls’ offers customers many choices of product from floral decals to graphic designs,  wall quotes, Art Prints, and full wall coverings.

The vinyl application isn’t too difficult. Plan your pattern, work slowly, and tear the thin covering on an angle. Tip: Tear small sections. This helps to keep the fussy edges  of vinyl from lifting off of the wall.  ‘You Tube’ videos on the site offer “How To’ decor ideas and tips.

The vinyl pulls off the wall with ease. Urban Walls recommends that one use a hair dryer set to ‘warm’ to make removal easy peasy.

This is a simple upgrade to a tiny room, perfect for people who rent. Sweet in a child’s bedroom.

This Queen just stepped into a jewel box.

 

 

Simple Style

Cinderella coveted

~ serve yourself

a tub tray. Therefore, she fashioned one.

You can do it, too.

Measure the width of your bath tub.

Salvage. She found a plank of discarded fencing, aged is better. Cut to desired length. Grab a belt sander (her favourite accessory) and sand off the slivers and lichen.

Apply one or two coats of White chalk paint ( Annie Sloan https://www.anniesloan.com).

Stencil a royal touch (she will find her crown).

Sand again.

Wax. (Annie Sloan Clear Chalkpaint Wax.)

~ fit for a Queen

 

my darling, may you live happily ever after”

Words and Wisdom

Quote

Certain words or phrases collect and layer. Inspirational bits of wisdom for those less than confident moments when I forget to fly and instead, trip and  fall. Which is literally what happened. Rushing up the stairs, I caught my foot on the edge of a safety gate and flew. For a brief second in time. Walls shook. The crash was not gentle.

To distract my brain from an aching body, advil and creative pursuits were necessary. That’s how it works for me- find comfort in a project.

For this project I used only what I had “at hand.” The wooden board is from Michael’s.

http://www.michaels.com/artminds-beveled-wood-parenthesis-plaque/10265841.html#q=wooden+plaques&pmpt=qualifying&sz=24&start=31

I painted the board with trusted Annie Sloan Pure White chalk paint.

“Print” a quote and slip it (right side up) over a sheet of graphite paper. Pencil the letters of the quote through the graphite. Once transferred to the painted board, you’re ready to outline the quote’s letters with paint. Use a fine tipped brush and a graphite or black shade of craft paint. When dry, lightly sand.

And yes, I fall. This sign is a gentle reminder to get back up and try again.

Quote Sign IMG_0165

Re do

Everyone has a cannon box, correct? Thought so. This DIY was created by a lovely kinfolk who occasionally putters in a garage. When she does~ wow. The salvaged ammo box cost twenty dollars and the metal legs, more. Perhaps “pin” legs would be less expensive?

I’m really loving this idea and am on the hunt for treasure.

Cannon Box Re do

Posh Paper Pennants

Posh Paper Pennants

 

Posh pennants
Posh pennants

Ever wondered what to do with leftover card stock pieces from an unfinished scrapbook project? If you whirl like me, you have the best intentions, gather the supplies, only to start and leave the project for another date. And another. And another.

A talented lady invited me for coffee one morning and showed off some of her recent pennant styles. You may recall this same talented woman is the mind behind the vintage cloth pennants I posted on an earlier post. It is the found and repurposed fabrics, the details, and her design flair that make these pennants so bespoke.

Pennants and templates are trending on Pinterest. Here is a link to several boards,

https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=pennant%20template&rs=rs&term_meta%5B%5D=pennant%7Crecentsearch%7C1&term_meta%5B%5D=template%7Crecentsearch%7C1

Paper Pennants are a clever way to reuse and repurpose some of your leftover paper supplies. I purchased the cardstock for both pennants from a local Dollar Store and selected trending shades and colours that I am fond of: pinks, turquoise, and shades of grey. Of course you could make these pennants from fabric scraps, worn jeans, beautiful cards, black and white photocopied photographs… Let your imagination loose.

-chalkboard cardstock pennants
-chalkboard cardstock pennants

If you choose to create pennants from fabric, consider placing Wonder Under between the diamond pennants to stiffen and seal the fabric. Here is a link to Walmart,

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Pellon-Wonder-Under-Paper-Backed-Fusible-Web-20-Yard-Bolt/21976555

The purchased fabric was from, Hobby Lobby and Fabricana.

http://shop.hobbylobby.com/fabric-and-sewing/apparel-fabrics-and-prints/?theme=Flowers

http://www.fabricana.com/quilts.php

At home I put the generations to work tracing diamond pennant templates onto cardstock. We chose seven small pennants per string. Sharp scissors keep the diamonds “perfect.” Fold your diamonds in half and make a sharp crease. Using a small hole punch from Michaels’ Crafts, I punched two openings into the top ends of the folded diamond.

Gather your twine. Lay your pennants onto a table. Pattern, number, and space as you wish. Cut a length of twine, five times the length of your pennant. I do this purposely; I would rather have a string too long than too short. Tie off one of the ends of twine. I make a knotted loop to attach to a small nail or push pin.

Thread your pennants onto the twine and space them as desired. A voice niggled in my mind, “Posh it up.” A bag of fabric provided the style oomph. I tore some bits of coordinating fabric and knotted the scrapped ties in between the spaced pennants, adding two fabric ties to complete each end of the pattern. Decide on the desired length. Tie off the opposite end of twine and hang your pennant.

These card stock pennants are the perfect addition to a baby gift, celebration, or event. Pure whimsy and shabby vintage enhance and warm any space. Pennants created by loving hands add homemade glamour, a sense of nostalgia to any space, and silently whisper their stories forth.

~ adding pennants to upscale the "look"
~ adding pennants to upscale the “look”

A Pretty Little Thing.