Friday, March 29, 2013

Woodland Animal Fabric Basket

I made this basket for the Crafty Detective Swap on Craftster, and I have to say that I had a hard time letting it go! I love the owl and deer fabric! I might be making another one for myself.

With some Laura Gunn (my fave designer!) Painter's Canvas on the inside, it's a fun stash builder since it's a bit more interesting than a solid and comes in great colors.

I like the quilting I did on this one, I stitched on each side of the patchwork lines at the top (one walking foot-width away from the line) and then through the middle section. I like the additional quilting lines through the solid color at the bottom, I think it adds some nice visual interest and texture.

The wonderful tutorial is found here:

She says to use "fleece batting" but I just use my normal low-loft quilt batting. I do recommend actually also using a layer of medium to heavy weight interfacing with the lining, I normally do and I did not in this instance and it was a tad flimsier than I would like. I also top stitch around the top of the basket after pressing the lining to the inside to get a nice line (make sure the handles are up!) as a very last step. (I guess she does have you do this, but it's kind of easy to miss in the tutorial).

When I previously made this I made larger sizes also, and recorded the measurements in this post if you want to do the same:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Woven Block Baby Quilt

A good friend of mine from way back when and his wife just had their first baby. And it's a girl! Squee! Everyone seems to be having boys lately, and I was excited to get my pink on! I used part of a jelly roll on it that I had previously used (in conjunction with a matching charm square pack) on this quilt.

I used this free pattern from Moda Bake Shop for the blocks, only made 9 of them, and then put a small border around it to bring it out to about 40 inches square.

For the back I pieced a few lengths of fabric together, then split them, rotated, and inserted a column of blocks I made with the various leftover fabrics--I was excited when I found a few of the charm blocks left over from the last project! Some pink polka dot binding and I was good to go!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Neutrogena Bzz Campaign

I got a new Bzz Campaign to try out! One of my favorite make-up brands--Neutrogena!

Some info about Neutrogena:

Recommended by dermatologists (and your mirror)

Neutrogena® is known for making radiant skin a reality with their skin care products, so we should have known they’d do the same with their makeup. Forget diamonds — Neutrogena® Cosmetics are the only best friend a girl needs, enhancing your natural beauty while helping to improve your skin’s healthy look.

These were the products I got to try:
My reviews?

The Moisture Smooth Color Stick was my favorite of the group. It has the best fragrance (something sweet and fruity that I can't quite place) and is very moisturizing. The color I received is Sweet Watermelon. It's a bit too light/shimmery for my tastes, but it looks great over my darker lip stain. I will definitely buy this product in the future, in different colors.

The Healthy Lengths Mascara was my second favorite product. It is really great at being clump-free and goes on easily. It's not quite as thickening as I would like. I might buy this product.

The Crease Proof Eye Shadows was my least favorite product of this group. The colors I received were fairly neutral--Lasting Taupe and Constant Copper. I had trouble getting the shadow to show up on my lids, it seemed like no matter how much I applied I still couldn't see it. They didn't seem particularly long lasting to me since I couldn't really tell I was wearing it. I will not buy this product in the future.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Quick and Dirty Body Butter

Ok, the body butter isn't actually dirty, everything is crystal clean to start with, I promise! But my pictures are less than inspiring and my recipe is ridiculously easy but I still thought I'd share. I actually never know what to call this.

In the soap and lotion making world there might not be strict, consistent definitions for certain applications, but in general I consider a lotion to contain oil and water in an emulsion, and body butters to be, well, butters (shea, cocoa, mango, kokum, etc.) So this little recipe that is a mixture of Oil, Butter, and Palm Stearic? Eh, I guess I'll still call it a body butter.

This is a pretty greasy recipe, I have some friends who live in drier areas who like it, or use it in winter. I wouldn't consider it an everyday moisturizer for most people, but a heavy-duty, occasional one.

I keep all my recipes in percentages so I can make any size batch any time I want with minimal math. This particular batch (well, 3 batches really) happened to be an order for a good friend.

This is my recipe, but please don't get overwhelmed at the complexity!

MareMare's Body Butter

70% Liquid Oil
15% Solid Butter
15% Palm Stearic (Stearic Acid)
Vitamin E oil (a few drops)
Fragrance oil (use to smell, keeping under manufacturer's percentage recommendations)

For two batches I used olive oil, the third was half olive, half jojoba oil, along with shea butter and 3 different fragrance oils.

Weigh first three ingredients into large pyrex bowl. Microwave in thirty second/one minute bursts, stirring in between. When melted fully, or very close, remove to counter and begin stick blending, trying not to incorporate too much air into it. Stick blend occasionally as it cools. When it begins to thicken slightly, but is still a pourable consistency, add in fragrance oil and vitamin E oil. I like to add a little fragrance, stir, and then add more if needed. For 22 ounce batches I probably used around 10 mL of fragrance.

Since this does not contain water, there is no need for preservative. Pour into bottles or jars and allow to set up overnight. Label immediately if you are using different fragrances so you don't get them confused.

Since this was for a friend who needed it sooner rather than later, I just slapped some labels on with the fragrance. The body butter is on the left. As you can see it is very thick and definitely not the prettiest. On the right is my rash creme, also 3 ingredients: unrefined shea butter, tea tree oil, and lavender essential oil. It's wonderful on my contact dermatitis and it's also great on bug bites!

My friend likes earthy, musky scents so I made her 2-3 bottles or jars each of Dragon's Blood, Moroccan Rain, and Oakmoss.