Thursday, December 19, 2013

Drum Christmas Ornament in 12 Easy Steps

What does spray foam insulation and a drum have in common?
I don't know either,
but after all the construction settled down,
I felt like banging on my drum...and
 I was left with some spray foam lids. 

 Instead of taking them to the garbage can, I decided to make them into something a little more upbeat, like a drum!  I made similar drums years ago using this fabric that you wet down, and shape into any form.  I can't remember what it is called but it's like broken bone cast material.
I made them this way instead.....
Step 1: Paint all the lids, any color could be used.
Step 2:  Cut 5x5 pieces of  white or cream colored cotton fabric.
Step 3: Find some water based sealer in your stash, or make a mix of  white glue and water, 50/50 ratio.  Soak a 5x5 cotton fabric square in the mix.  Ring it out well.

Step 4:  Place over open end of lid and secure around the lip with a rubber band.  Pull it fairly snug over the top so that it is smooth.

Step 5:  When fabric is dry, trim the fabric to a pleasing shape, and paint it whatever color you would like your drum top to be.  I chose a beige color.

Step 6:  Cut up a skewer into 2" pieces and glue beads on the end.  You will need 2 per drum.

Step 7:  Cut ribbon into strips, the circumference of your lid adding about 1/4 inch for overlap.  I glued a piece of ribbon to some burlap trim as I didn't have any wide enough trim that I liked.

 Step 8:  Cut a ribbon or thick thread as your ornament hanger.  Make a loop and tie at the base.

Step 9:  This is a little tricky.  I cut a ribbon the circumference of the lid and divided it equally into 5 spaces.  I marked it with a felt pen, wrapped it around the base of my lid so that I could mark my lid evenly as shown in second picture.

 Step 10:  A string of beads was cut to individual bobbles.

Step 11:  The bobbles are glued onto the lid at the marks made from the previous step as shown below.  Gold thread is looped around each bobble, tied and secured with glue at the end.

Step 12: Hanging thread is glued on first, under where the trim as attached.   Trim is secured with glue around elastic.  Drum sticks are glued to the top.

 Enjoy the beat of your drum

 And to welcome a new baby to our clan.... his first Christmas


Linking Up With

Tip Junkie Handmade Projects

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hair Shampoo Bars

I have made Castile soap for years and have shared my method and recipe here.
Now I want to share my shampoo bar recipe.  
  My FERAL hair still needs conditioner, but  Mr. FT, on the other hand, does not use conditioner and doesn't seem to have the wild fly-aways!
Here's a picture of both shampoo bars after a few uses.   I have given you the recipe for the white bars. 

I love this wonderful calculator Majestic Mountain Sage has on their website.

I mix my lye solution in a glass canning jar placed in my sink.  That way if an accident occurs, my drain gets cleaned!
If you decide to make this, do some research into soap making,  read all the instructions first and follow very carefully!  Soap making can be dangerous!  

Shampoo Bar

10 ounces Olive oil
10 ounces Coconut oil
3 ounces Castor Oil
3 ounces Grapeseed Oil 
2 ounces Cocoa Butter
2 ounces Shea Butter
1 ounce Beeswax
4.3 ounces lye
5 ounces coconut milk
5 ounces water
.2 ounces Eucalyptus essential oil
.9 ounces lime essential oil
.9 ounces peppermint essential oil
(or whatever oil scent you prefer up to two ounces) 

Heat until melted, the oils, butters and wax in a stainless steel pot. 

All the pics are from another batch I made using a different recipe. 
 I added red palm oil to my soap in hopes that it would make me a Sassy Redhead! 
 Unfortunately, it didn't!

They get added just before you pour your soap into molds.
Cool oils and butters to 110 degrees.

While your oil mix is cooling....

Measure water and coconut milk into a quart canning jar.  Place in sink and add 4.3 ounces of lye into the water - coconut milk mix. 

I stir this mixture with a wooden skewer a few times throughout the cooling.
 Cool lye mixture to 110 degrees.
Pour lye mixture into oil mixture and stir.  Get out your hand blender and mix until soap reaches trace.  It will become thicker with a pudding like consistency. 

You can ADD ESSENTIAL OILS now.  Mix thoroughly and pour into a mold.  

You can use a plastic container lined with saran wrap, or a wooden box lined with plastic wrap.  You can buy soap molds too.  

Let sit for a few days, in a warm area, wrapped in a blanket. 

  It should be very firm now so it can be removed from the mold and cut into bar shape pieces.
Let cure for approximately two weeks.  I did a PH test on this batch and within a week it was at 7 which means go ahead and wash that filthy hair of yours!  If you are unable to do a PH test, let cure for a good few weeks by putting on a rack to let the air flow around the bar. 
After my bars have cured, I put them in shrink wrap, so they are ready for gift giving!

So take it from this sassy haired turtle, it will be a big hit!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Baklava and Beaded Spiders

I believe that every post I write from now on will be titled, and Beaded Spiders!
I am obsessed with them.    I have now made over twenty and I can't stop.  They are what I do before I have my morning coffee.  What's really sad is that I tend to name them after Battlestar Galactica characters which is another obsession of mine......and GLITTER.  I love it.  I kinda just discovered it.  I cover wooden beads in glue and glitter.  Shiny!!
I call her Boomer

This is Athena

In between all that spider making, I was able to pop off a few batches of Baklava, which is really why you are here.  But if you are a Battlestar Galactica fan, you know the spiders will be back, as there are many copies!
Picture quality is a little fuzzy.  I used my phone as I didn't want to get butter all over my camera.

Box of phyllo pastry, 1 cup butter melted

3/4 cup chopped pecans as I didn't have pistachios.    

Unroll your pastry.
Brush butter over the entire sheet..

Sprinkle nuts on top

Go the the hardware store and buy a 2 foot piece of 1/2 inch dowel

Roll your first sheet around the dowel, nuts and all!

Butter up a second piece, and roll it over your first...NO NUTS this time!

Push the two ends in to form an accordion like tube

Push pastry off the dowel into a pan and repeat process until your sheets are gone.
Generously brush the remaining butter over your pastry and slip into a preheated 350 degree oven 

Bake for 45 to 50  minutes
This step can be done while your baklava is baking.  Mix 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup honey, and 1 TBSP lemon juice in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil for a few minutes, making sure sugar is dissolved.   Turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Cut your baklava while still in the pan, into bite size pieces, maybe 1 1/2 to 2 inches long.  Pour syrup over each piece of baklava and let sit for at least an hour.  The pastry will absorb most of this honey mixture.  You can sprinkle nuts over the top of these honey soaked delights.  I forgot to, but I usually do!