Thursday, February 25, 2010

Rainbow bath salts

This is a really fun and easy project. I made fizzy bath salts, dyed them different colors, and then the kids had the fun of layering them however they wanted. Kinda like that sand art in glass vases that we used to do at the fair... does anyone else remember that? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Anyway, the fizzy bath salt recipe is super easy and normally I would do that part with the kids too, but these were extra bath salts I had left over from a birthday party I did last weekend. So, actually that was pretty good that we could skip that step because we were doing this project after school, a time when patience is on the wane and ire is on the wax. So we made it through the project without any major meltdowns from me or from the kids, which is a major Whew.
Fizzy Bath Salts
1 c. baking soda
1 c. epsom salts
1/2 c. citric acid
a few drops scent or essential oil
a few drops of food coloring
Mix the baking soda, epsom salts, essential oil, and food coloring together first and then give it some time to dry, 10 minutes or so. If the mixture is too wet when you add the citric acid, it will start fizzing and all that fizz will be wasted. When the mixture seems dry just add the citric acid and you are all set. You don't have to be that careful, really. If it fizzes a little that's alright.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Spa party!

I'm prepping for a spa party I'm doing for a 9 year old gal-and-friends this weekend. I'm excited... I think it's going to be super fun. These are the ingredients for the face masque we are making... I wanted to share the recipe with you. I just tried it out (as I have learned the hard way again and again, always try absolutely EVERYTHING out before attempting to do it with a group... no matter how deceptively simple... you always find something out that you need to be aware of or tweak) and my skin really does feel revivified and glorious. Not that these 9 year olds need any help getting glorious skin... anyway, here's the recipe.
One kiwi, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp. yogurt
1 tbsp almond oil
1 tbsp orange blossom water
1 tbsp honey
4-5 drops orange essential oil
Blend. Apply. Let dry. Wash off with soap and water.
I found this recipe on this site, which has lots of wonderful recipes for stuff like this.
Also at the party we're going to paint fingernails and toenails with this lovely non-toxic fingernail polish, and also make fizzy rainbow bath salts! I need to share that project with y'all, too. It's kind of one of my own devising, and quite exciting.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy (Chinese) New Year!!

I just borrowed this image from Heather Sullivan Bleadsell and her great blog, Build Altars, which is full of mystical magical meaningful rituals for all seasons. She has such great ideas for rituals to achieve greater insight and personal growth, and all so colorful and funny.

Anyway, Chinese New Year... clean your house and open the doors and windows, so the old can flow out and the good can flow in! Year of the Tiger.... yeeowch! RAWR! Tiger, that's me.... I suspect it will be a mighty good year.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine-making frenzy

Last year Valentine's Day passed me by and I was kicking myself for not making one single cotton pickin' valentine. This year I've been positively rabid about it. I make them in my off hours... I went to this fabulous Future Craft Collective/ Texas Medicinals event where we got to make valentines (with lovely little reclaimed materials that the wonderful Bernadette had collected for us) (and also peruse the tinctures and teas of the amazing Ginger Webb, many of them love-related... I myself bought a 'Love Elixir for Two' which I am quite excited to try... well not by myself of course...)... and also made valentines this morning with the Village... I'm on an absolute spree. And I'm loving it.
I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day in the sense that I expect my mate or anyone to get me anything... and I don't really think any of my significant others really want anything from me on Valentine's other than a backrub or some candy or something like that. Sadly none of my kids at the moment are really going to flip if I give them a handmade card. "Whoopty-doo, Mom. What else ya got? A lollipop, something? Gee." But I just enjoy messing around with paper, scissors and glue so much. So so SO much. And I think I need to give myself permission to play around with it all a LOT more. But it's really hard when you're a busy Ma with ten million other more productive things to do at the end of a long exhausting day. But Valentine's Day kind of gives me some sort of a free pass. And at least this year I was aware enough to use my free pass. And hopefully in the year to come I'll give myself a free pass to tinker and play around with materials a lot more. Like a lot more. Because I just find it incredibly fun. And I think I should be allowed to do fun things. Happy Valentine's Day, self. That's my gift to you. Because I know you'll appreciate it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Two good things

I went for a little walk this evening with Bruno, down to the baseball fields by the river, where he had a fine time galloping up and down the bleachers. On the way back in a little empty lot (I can still see the dilapidated house that used to stand there, with it's hand-lettered sign, "Be Aware Of Dog") there was an unusual sight: a sweet little red swing hanging from the gnarled old pecan tree. We stopped and had ourselves a little swing, it was really fun. Turns out it's part of the redswing project... just another surprising and beautiful thing in this world.... I love it.
Also, I just discovered there's a whole Etsy 'channel' on Youtube. It's about 48 5 minute or so little how-to videos or 'portraits' of neat awesome etsy artists and their groovy home environments. I can't really tell you how delectable this is, you just have to see for yourself. It just feeds into my whole 'I idolize artists' deal, but that's OK... it's just eye candy, really fabulous eye candy, so now I have somewhere else to go when I've gobbled up the latest Readymade magazine and am hungry for more.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's Day bath bombs

I'm so psyched that I stumbled on this recipe for fizzy bath bombs. I did this project with my gift-making class this year and it was just a tad too fussy to do with kids. You had to carefully spritz the wet mixture into the dry mixture and then stop at the exact right moment... if the dry mixture got too wet, the citric acid (which is what makes the bomb fizz) starts to react and then the whole thing is a bust. A dud. It's totally tricky. But this was sooooo easy. I guess citric acid doesn't react with oil, so, you can just mix it all up together no prob. We are making these for teachers for Valentine's Day. I hope they travel well. And we tested them out of course... they were very bubbly and fizzy and exciting for the little people. We scented them with lemon and lavendar essential oil... inspiring and calming... that's good for teachers, right? Though rose would probably match more with the pink. We also packed them in tight to a 1/4 measuring cup so they're kind of like big pink tablets. But you could just shape them yourself into balls or whatever you want. You Austin folks can buy citric acid at Central Market. Otherwise you can easily buy it on the internets... and it's found some places as Sour Salt in the kosher foods section. Also, we did have a few tbsp. of coconut oil so we made it with that the first time. Then we wanted to make more so I tried using grapeseed oil. It seems to work great.... Here's hoping they 'set' appropriately and are ready for school in the morning (Bruno's last school day of the week). Anyway, without further ado, the recipe:
Bodacious Bath Bombs (found at

2 tbsp
citric acid

2 tbsp

1/4 cup
baking soda

1/4 tsp
fragrance or essential oil

3-6 drops
liquid color

3 tbsp
coconut oil(any emollient oil will work, coconut works best.)
Put all of your dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them together. Put your emollient oil in a microwave safe plastic mixing bowl and heat if it is not in a liquid state, then add your fragrance or essential oils and liquid color. Slowly incorporate your liquid ingredients with your dry ingredients and mix well. Take some of the mixture and form ping pong size balls. Balls should be placed on a sheet of waxed paper for about 24 hours. Place your bath bombs into a small candy cup. Store in a closed container until you are ready to use them. To use drop 1-2 balls under warm running bath water.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tato folding

...or you could also called this a 'pleated coin purse', whatever floats your (origami) boat. You could use it to hold coins or stamps or something small like that, or I think it would make a mighty dandy valentine... with a special message hidden inside. So here's how you do it... I hope it makes sense. Take your square of paper and begin by folding it in half edge to edge each way. Now fold it in half diagonally both ways.
Now fold it into eighths each way. Do this by folding the paper in half between all existing creases.

Voila! Folded into eighths.

Now fold in the corners as shown...

...then snip them off.

Now fold each edge up so that it meets the center, then unfold. So go 'round and do this eight times with each edge.

Should look something like this:

Now this is the slightly confusing part... but you can do it, I promise you. Email me if you get stuck and I'll upload a video if you want. Begin to close the purse by refolding each edge to the center. As you do this, also move the corner inward and flatten.

If you want, you can turn it over, fold in all eight corners as shown, then flip it over and re-close the tato.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Yet more pop ups

Please forgive the shoddy picture-work... it was the best I could do with my children about. I hope it's clear that you fold on the blue lines, then open it up and reverse the folds you have made. It's simple but kinda trippy, don't you think? Kind of faintly M.C. Escher-esque.