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Wow!  It has been a really long time since I have been able to find the time to craft, much less find time to write a blog post.  My family made a big move from NY to PA thanks to my husband concluding his active duty status and shifting to reserves.  We were able to move back to our home state of PA and be close to family once again, but this move put a lot of strain and stress on everything.  First off, the home we had in NY didn’t sell so we had little to spend on a home in PA.  What does that mean?  That means fixer upper!  That also means no money for professionals to come and do it so hubby and I and some nice, generous friends lent a hand to make our new home liveable.

Thankfully, the house has come a long way and we’ve moved in, unpacked most of our stuff and are slowly settling in.  We still have a few rooms to do, but the most important ones are done. 🙂

Anyway, all of this resulted in lack of crafting time since I spent most of my time fixing plaster, sanding, painting, dry walling, refinishing floors, etc.  I am hoping to get some new Christmas soaps done in September to have for the Christmas season, plus have some additional tatted and knitted items made for Christmas.

I was able to make a few adorable baby hats over the last couple weeks that I love!  They’re not fancy, but the yarn I got through KnitPicks.com is fun to work with and made the hat so adorable.

mauvegreenhat3a

This adorable infant hat uses pink, magenta and mint green to create a cute, yet functional fashion accessory.  For boys, I chose a yarn that reminds me of a stormy ocean:

blueoceanhat3a

I like that this hat wasn’t made with typical pale blue.  It’s a little bolder, but still adorable!

This rainbow hate is my absolute favorite.  I knitted this using scraps of worsted weight yarn in a cotton blend so it’s nice and soft:

rainbowhat1a

So cute!  Love stripes on baby hats and a great way to use up scraps of yarn.  For the final hat, I made up my own pattern using a stitch I found in a vintage 1960’s knitting book.  I love this stick since looks like little bow ties.  The one pictured below is in a spring green worsted cotton blend.

greenbowtiehat1a

I had made a similar hat a couple of years ago for my youngest daughter and made a pair of leggings to match.  I also sold a set at my GrammaVedora etsy store. https://www.etsy.com/shop/GrammaVedora?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Here’s a pic of my youngest wearing the pink  hat and leggings:

pinkhatleggins1

Cute right?  Now I need to actually write the pattern down.  If I get around to it, I’ll post it.  It’s not complicated so just about any level of knitter can make it.

That’s all I got for now.  When I get the Christmas soaps made later this month, I’ll post a few pics of those.

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It has been awhile since my last post and I just wanted to touch base with you all during this busy time of year!  I had planned on introducing some of my newer Christmas soaps and adding a new soap video to my youtube feed, but even with best laid plans…..

My laptop died an untimely death and thanks to my forgetting to back up my hard  drive for a couple of months, I lost important pics and video.  Bummer!  It took a few weeks to get a new computer and by the time I figured the new computer out and got back into the swing of things craft fair season and the holidays were well underway!

Hoping to retake some Christmas soap photos and some newer regular soap photos later in the month to show what will be available in the etsy store soon. (for soap store click here)

On top of making soap I have been tatting up a storm!  What is tatting you ask?  It’s not tattooing!  Tatting is  form of lace making that was pretty popular a hundred years ago or so.  It’s a neat little hobby and I love taking my tatting with me to craft fairs so I can tatt during the downtimes.  I was able to list a few tatted snowflakes on my GrammaVedora etsy store (Click here) and have sold some already.  I love how delicate they look.

Here’s a few photos of some tatting!

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lacey tatted snowflakes

lacey tatted snowflakes

I have more photos but have to admit they’re not all downloaded onto the new computer yet. Visit my etsy stores to see soap and tatting photos!

Are you making your Christmas handmade? Even only part of it? Let me know and leave a comment!

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I have spent most of my day making some new fall themed soaps!  My house smells so yummy!

The first batch I made was Pumpkin Spice which really did smell pretty much like a pumpkin pie.

I used real pumpkin in the soap to give it a nice orangey-red color and dusted the top with a bit of cinnamon, yum!

Pumpkin spice soap after curing

Pumpkin spice soap after curing

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The second batch was made with triple strength coffee and scented with Cafe Caramel FO.  Smells so good!  Not sure what I’ll name the soap yet, maybe Coffee Caramel Latte, or Choco Caramel Latte…. hmmmmmm…..

Cured Coffee soap.  Love the "froth" on top!

Cured Coffee soap. Love the “froth” on top!

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For my third soap I made soap with Apple Jack Peel FO.  I wasn’t sure what this FO would smell like when I purchased it since I didn’t know what Apple Jack Peel was.  According to the FO company where I purchased the fragrance Apple Jack Peel was some kind of alcohol beverage made a long time ago.  It was made from apple cider!  Interesting.  Anyway, the scent does remind me of a spiced apple cider– perfect for the fall!

Newly named "Spiced Apple Cider"  Love the smell!

Newly named “Spiced Apple Cider” Love the smell!

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Final soap isn’t specifically fall themed, but I’ve been wanting to make it for awhile.  I made a salt bar with pink Himalayan salt and scented with Grapefruit EO.  I call it Pink Grapefruit! Smells so bright and cheery!

I used coarse Pink Himalayan salt as a decorative element on the top of the soap.

I used coarse Pink Himalayan salt as a decorative element on the top of the soap.

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I really love this new soaps, I hope you do too! Feel free to visit my etsy store to check them out and leave comments below as to your favorite fall scents and soap ideas!

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I participated in another soap swap hosted by Bramble Berry.  I love making soap and participating in a soap swap is just another excuse to make more soap!  For this swap, since it’s hosted by Bramble Berry, we have to use a Bramble Berry fragrance oil.  I chose Kentish Rain and I love the smell!  Has a great “rainy” scent.

I made an ombre layer soap and had fun doing it though the fragrance oil seemed to speed up trace a little.  I used my large wooden mold for the soap log since I needed to have 12 bars to ship to Bramble Berry.

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My Kentish Rain soap log after unmolding.

My Kentish Rain soap log after unmolding.

Looked pretty good.  There were a few tiny bubbles from the soap batter thickening up on me, but overall it cam out well.  And it smells so awesome!

Cut slices of the Kentish Rain soap.

Cut slices of the Kentish Rain soap.

I think it came out pretty good and since I used my large wooden mold I have a few extra bars that I can either keep or sell after shipping the 12 swap bars.

I plan on posting a photo of all the soaps I get in the swap.  I’m still working through the box of soaps I got in the first swap, with the kids help of course!

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I’m a little late posting for the Great Cakes Soapworks challenge this week, but we a break this week anyway so I made my soap last night and cut it this morning.  It was still a bit soft, but I think it came out looking great.  This week’s challenge was the mica swirl.

Here’s my lovely soap!

My mica swirl top scented with BB's Grapefruit Lily-yum!

My mica swirl top scented with BB’s Grapefruit Lily-yum!

I just received an order of fragrances from Brambleberry and had a hard time deciding which to use, but settled on the Grapefruit Lily because I think it’s my fave out of the ones I ordered.

I wanted to put some kind of swirl in the middle and did a modified hanger swirl using ultramarine violet and electric bubblegum pink pigment.  For the top of my soap I chose Violaceous Violet and Copper Sparkle Mica with a hint of Merlot Red which blended in with the purple and didn’t show up too much.  For the main part of the base of the soap, I added some titanium dioxide but it’s still a bit creamier than I would like.  It may brighten as it cures so I’ll have to wait and see I guess!

Here are some more pics of my soap:

Buttercream Snickerdoodle hot process soap I made at the same time as the mica swirl.  Smells so good!

Buttercream Snickerdoodle hot process soap I made at the same time as the mica swirl. Smells so good!

The loaf uncut

The loaf uncut

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Now for some more about the giveaway! The giveaway for April requires for anyone interested to share my business facebook page on their  personal facebook page.  Then please  let me know on my page wall or through messaging so that you can be added to the participant list! It’s that simple!  The giveaway will run until April 26th at 6pm.  At 6pm I will draw a name from a hat of one of the participants and if I don’t already have your address, I will request it to ship you your soapy giveaway!  I will be posting photos of parts of the giveaway throughout the week, so stay tuned!  If you don’t want the gift for yourself, it would make a great Mother’s Day gift!

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Trying new things

It’s been awhile since I posted again, but so many things have been going on over the last few months!  I gave birth to baby #4, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and moved from GA to NY (yay army moves).  Now that my family and I are fianlly getting settled here in NY I have been trying to get back into crafting.  I still knit and crochet occasionally and I was able to sew up some cloth diapers for th

e newest addition.  Since moving to the North though I have been discovering how dry the air can make my skin.  Store bought soaps only add to the problem so I decided to do something I had always wanted to… make my own soap!

I have been looking into cold process soap for awhile, but had hesitated because the thought of working with lye, a caustic chemical, was intimidating.  Anyway, I decided to “suck it up” and made my first batch of cold process soap last night.  Today I was able to unmold the soap and cut it up so I could set it someplace safe to cure.  I only had one major hiccup so far– I didn’t line the plastic container I was using as a mold because I thought it was flexible enough to allow the soap to unmold… well, that didn’t happen.  Spent  good hour this afternoon slicing up

the container so I could remove the soap.  Oh, well.  Lesson learned!

Here is my finished product (prior to curing):

My first attempt at cold process soapmaking. Not perfect, but not too bad!

Here are some helpful websites:

www.soapqueen.com

www.brambleberry.com

There are also many videos that can be found just by searching the internet!  Good luck if you try this interesting craft!

I can’t wait to add colors and scents!  Also, I may even try hot process soaping…

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I know, I know.  It has been a while since I posted anything on this site, but so much has been going on and honestly, time management is not my thing!  Personally, I am pregnant with baby #4 and getting ready for its debut, starting my children with their homeschooling and keeping up with my crafting time.   It has been quite juggle, but i was finally able to do my first craft show this summer!  I had fun, didn’t make a ton of money, but learned a lot.  I stressed over how much change to bring and how it should be divided (cash vs. change), how much product to have made and how to display it, making sure I had order forms and a receipt book, have bags to carry my shop items, and a ton of other stuff!  At least now I have done it once and won’t be as crazy stressed the next time (I hope).  Have any of you ever done a craft show?  How did your first time go?

Unfortunately, it will be awhile until I can do another since the baby is due in a couple of months, but hopefully by next summer I can sign up for another.  We’ll see!  Maybe by then I’ll have a stronger fan base, or whatever and I’ll be able to sell more than 4 items.  I have been excited to have several orders come into my shop the last few months in preparation for future Christmas gifts.  I do love to sew and it’s nice to know people like what I make!

I would like some ideas for more “boy” oriented gift ideas for my shop if anyone has any.  Most of what I think of to make seem to be geared mainly toward girls.  Any ideas out there?  Check out my shop and let me know what you think:

www.GrammaVedora.etsy.com

or

www.facebook.com/GrammaVedora

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