Making Soap & Shower Disks

Why

Beginning to prepare for next month’s trip to Japan. Hope to be introduced to at least one or two traditional Japanese crafts on this trip. Want to come up with a couple of popular American crafts to share with the Japanese crafters. This is a practice run. In truth, I pinned a recipe, purchased the supplies, and when it was time to make the product, the recipe had been taken down and was nowhere to be found online. Lesson to the wise–might be a good idea to actually print out a recipe, especially if it is a one-of-a-kind recipe before it is too late.

What

Decided on Adzuki Bean Melt and Pour Soap as well as Shower Disks. This incorporates essential oils which are ever so popular here in the US. A consumable craft seems to be ideal for people in Japan as their houses are so small and space is at a premium. Wanted to use the Adzuki Beans because that is a popular bean in Japan. It is supposed to be a good exfoliating soap for the skin. The shower disks were just an added part of the “spa-like” gift.

Inspiration

Here’s the link that inspired this project. Unfortunately, the recipe link no longer works. In the end, this Coffee Bean Soap recipe looked quite similar and who doesn’t like coffee anyways? So, I used the ingredients for the Adzuki Bean Soap, but followed the Coffee Bean Soap recipe. Want to try this Coffee Bean Soap recipe with the correct essential oils and take that to Japan. The Adzuki Bean Soap turned out fine,

Shower Disks

Here’s the link to the shower disks. I was less than pleased with these. Ended up putting them in the freezer to harden up. Wrapped them in plenty of bubble wrap to keep them from crumbling. Not a good idea to pack in a suitcase.

Verdict

Need another week to make the melt-and-pour coffee bean soap. The shower disks are a bad idea to take in a suitcase–or to send in the mail–because they are too fragile. All in all, not a successful crafting week. However, we did end up with a few bars of Adzuki Bean Soap in our bathroom. Stay tuned for a sequel post on what to make to take to Japan for a gift from the US.

 

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52 Reasons to Create

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This year my New Year’s Resolution is to create and share a simple, quick creative project each week. Why? I love Pinterest! In fact, I’ve been gaining inspiration from Pinterest for years now. Only problem: that’s it–getting inspired. This is the year to take that inspiration to the next level and do something with it. Like most people, life is busy and there isn’t a lot of time to do what I love to do: make things for others. Each week offers 168 hours. Within those 168 hours, there’s usually a couple hours to create something to share with someone else. This would be far more profitable than simply inspiring myself. Not only would my creativity improve, but even more important, attention to the needs and life-experiences of family and friends would become a greater focus.

I’m giving myself 3 criteria for this creative endeavor:

  1. Choose a high quality, low-cost project to be made from easily accessible materials (found at the craft, home improvement or grocery store).
  2. Block out a few hours each week to create something.
  3. Share the creation with someone each week (i.e., husband–enhance the home environment, children–send through the mail, friends and family–special occasions such as a birthdays, holidays, illness, pregnancy, encouragement, seasonal, or any other event.)

Recently, I’ve spent several hours looking at creative magazines at bookstores and find myself quite uninspired because it seems that modern mixed media is trending. Most of this I do not understand. My goal is to come up with useful, practical, conservative and simple projects that are easy for people to understand, appreciate, and often use (or eat). This journey begins with a simple tassel bookmark to commemorate what I believe to be the big lesson God has been teaching me last year.

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Heritage Bookmark

Why

Because our boys are grown and I have become quite rebellious toward the American culture of supporting retailers during the Christmas season, I wanted to come up with a way to succinctly share the major lesson learned this last year.

A tassel was chosen because Hubby travels to Germany often. There he has formed a close work/friendship with an extreme adventurer who makes tassels for the Queen of England and other royalty. I wanted to commemorate this friendship that has blossomed in 2018 as well. Later this year I intend to meet with this person.

What

A simple tassel bookmark reminder for close family members highlighting the key lesson learned in 2018. The colors are significant:

  • Red–the color for man
  • Blue–the color for heaven
  • Gold–the color of the temple

Inspiration

For an easy-to-follow outline on how to make a tassel, here’s a great place to begin. Problem is, most tassels end up with 2 loose strings on top. After some research, I found how to make a “bookmark tassel” and was able to solve the problem, making a loop at the top.

Supplies

  • credit card or card stock to wrap embroidery thread around
  • yarn needle
  • embroidery thread
  • hole punch
  • scissors
  • cardstock for bookmark
  • strapping tape to laminate

Procedure

  1. Watch both of the video tutorials.Though the first tutorial says it takes only 5 minutes, in fact, it took me about 10 minutes, probably because the top was a loop instead of the loose threads. Then it took another 5-10 minutes to print, cut and laminate the bookmark. Here’s the Bookmark template  for this project.
  2. Gather supplies.
  3. Make the tassel as shown in the videos. I found the first method of wrapping and cutting the embroidery thread to be most successful, i.e., wrap about 25 times then cut at the top, not the middle, of the loops. Tie off the knot, then fold over the opposite way of the wrapping to hide the knot inside the tassel. Follow the second tutorial from here.
  4. To laminate the bookmark, cut a piece of 2″ strapping tape a little longer than the bookmark. Lay trimmed bookmark on flat surface. Gently place tape over the bookmark. To avoid wrinkles, do not stretch the tape when placing over bookmark. It is a good idea to try on a scrap piece of paper before placing on the final product. Repeat on back of bookmark. Trim as needed and punch hole with paper punch. Finally, thread tassel through bookmark.

Presentation

The plan is to present this bookmark to family members on New Years Day. Along with the bookmark, I plan to take a few minutes to explain why the bookmark, the colors, and specifically how this verse summarizes the major lesson learned in 2018.

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