Tuesday Tutorial

I forgot to post a blog post yesterday. My kiddo has had a cold, and I have had an on-going migraine. Pills help take the edge off so I can function but noting has quite driven it completely away. I decided the treat of a Tuesday Tutorial was in order. 

Today I want to talk to you about make-up. MAC is great. E.L.F. is awesome. Revlon. Cover Girl. Wet’n’wild. It’s all make-up. It’s all…. full of preservatives. Artificial colorants. Talcum powder. Sure, they add Aloe, flower extracts, vitamin E oil and even coconut oil, but is it worth it? I went on a hunt to find some great natural colorants and more basic bases. What would replace minerals in a mineral power foundation? How do you finish without a finishing spray? How do you make a perfect match for your skin tone? I had a lot of questions on my hunt. Here’s what I found:

-Arrowroot powder or corn starch replaces Talcum Powder

-Beet root powder makes a great blush

-Spices like turmeric, all spice, cinnamon and ginger can color a multitude of make-up products

-Mica powders are made from minerals and are readily available to purchase online

-A little color goes a long way

-Liquid or cream foundation is easy to make

-Vitamin E oil is amazing

-Witch hazle is my new best friend

-I will never have enough containers for all the make-up I could make

 

I collected a few of my favorite tutorials from Pinterest then I collected all my materials and sat at my desk. After a few hours, and a change of shirt, I had a foundation, a bronzer, a blush and a finishing spray. The next trip I took to the local Target I picked up a pack of Diamond Daily Mini Cups with lids. The 2 ounce plastic tubs for dressing, snacks or in this case-home made make-up. I also grabbed the travel sized pump spray bottles. A trip to the grocery store and I had arrowroot powder. Then it was back to my desk with all the materials. 

I used:

-corn startch

-Cocoa powder

-cinnamon

-nutmeg

-rosewater

-witch hazel

-vitamin E oil

-a stir stick

-a 2 ounce container

I used about a table spoon of the corn starch, a teaspoon of cocoa powder and a pinch of the nutmeg and cinnamon. Just a few drops of vitamin E oil before string it all up with a stir stick. The oil may create lumps, just smash them. It’s kind of like baking. The butter has to be “cut” into the flour. After a few swatches on the back of my hand I remembered my reserve of mica powder under my desk. I have copper, pink and ruby, which made the color a perfect match. Without the mica powders I could have added some more cinnamon or nutmeg. Mica powder adds just a touch of shimmer so I was very satisfied. The blush was almost the same process. I left out the oil, cinnamon and nutmeg and I added much less cocoa powder. It just wasn’t rosy enough with only mica powder. Of course it was set aside, to be fixed at a later date… instead of being thrown across the room, an arch of powder over the living room to rain down on the carpet and couch, in frustration. Next was the finishing spray. Half witch hazel, half rosewater. Give it a good shake before each use. It smells like a musky rose bath, but on your face. 

I think I need a moment to talk about Witch Hazel. During the Colonial days, back when the United States was just a few forts protecting some small villages and the natives taught them how to survive on the land, Witch Hazel was distilled and mixed with alcohol to preserve it. The natives showed the Colonists how useful it was in healing wounds and reducing infections. Witch Hazel is an anti-inflammatory aid, mild disinfectant and mild fungicide, much like honey. Over the years the Colonies mass produced Witch Hazel and eventually events like The Civil War industrialized the mass production and it was readily available to purchase in most general stores. As we expanded the need for such natural remedies shrank and now less, and less such remedies are used or talked about. Let me tell you, Witch Hazel is the best skin care aid I have ever used. Eczema, adult acne, oily skin, dry skin, hives, rosy spots, pale spots, puffy eyes- Witch Hazel reduces all of it. I use it every day as an astringent and I saw improvement in just two days. Give it a try. Soak a cotton ball in it and rub it all over your face before bed AND when you wake up in the morning. Add a moisturizer in there too. 

After two weeks of this powder foundation and finishing spray I ordered Beet Root Powder. It made the blush perfect. After so much struggle with the stir stick I grabbed a paper plate and a fork. The powder mixed so smoothly with the fork. I only wished I had a funnel to pour it into the tiny container from the huge plate. I added a touch of the beet root powder to my foundation for a rosy glow and a dash of arrowroot powder. After mixing on the plate I realized I forgot to measure anything. Basically just add colors slowly, just a pinch at a time until a swatch matches your skin tone. Cocoa powder makes it darker, for a more medium to dark skin tone. For more of an ivory skin tone start with the corn starch or arrowroot powder and slowly add the cocoa powder and beetroot powder. Experiment. Make more than one batch. Make two shades of bronzer. Go nuts! I get my arrowroot powder from the bulk section at my local grocery store ( a small locally owned chain of health food stores) for around $.30 for two ounces. It’s $3.95 a pound in the bulk section. Also, it’s organic. I prefer the arrowroot powder, but the corn starch might be easier to purchase for most people. For those more adventurous Amazon is amazing for ordering some of these powders, so is Etsy.

 

A lot of blog posts exist out there to help direct you to the perfect natural make-up tutorial for you and your skin type and tone. Here is my list of the best ones I have found:

http://www.scratchmommy.com/smooth-finish-diy-organic-foundation-sunscreen/

http://wellnessmama.com/4948/homemade-makeup-recipes/

http://mycrazyblessedlife.com/2013/01/05/diy-face-powder/

http://www.ablossominglife.com/2013/06/diy-natural-powder-foundation.html

http://www.pure-jojoba.com/diy-all-natural-makeup/

http://beautyhigh.com/diy-beauty-products-pinterest/

http://www.yourbeautyblog.com/2013/10/diy-foundation-recipe-powder-and-liquid.html?m=1

 

Good luck crafting your make-up. Come back next week, I’ve always got something cooking.

 

-Bobby

A HUGE launch

Today I published the first Pamper ME-Sap in a jar listing to my ETSY store. This is a huge launch. This has been my dream for many years. I am making a product with my hands and it will help people enjoy life just a little bit more. I love working with my hands. I love the smell of melting beeswax, mica powder and honey. My pantry is for more than just food. I read and research new beauty products for my eczema, acne and oily skin. If it helps me with these things I’m sure it will help others maintain already healthy skin. So many normal kitchen items help keep skin looking young and beautiful for many years. No preservatives, artificial colorants, filler or over processed oils. If you wouldn’t eat it, why put it on your skin? Ionization dissolves substances on your skin causing an absorption of minerals and vitamins. If you put garbage on your skin your body will absorb it and try to use it. If you put vitamins and minerals on your skin, with nothing extra, your skin AND body will look and feel amazingly young and fresh. If I can create this beautiful, appealing product that is easy to use and readily available at a reasonable price then I can change not only my own little world, but I can make a difference in the lives of many other people in this whole wide world. I can live a dream and accomplish so many goals.

In the coming weeks I will be making small batches of the individual items found in my Spa jars and photographing them to list as more items in my Pamper ME Spa line in my ETSY store. My husband is very excited and encouraging of my new business venture and has been helping me with photography, web sit and blog design, editing for my product listing, editing photos and helping style products. I couldn’t ask for a better helper. Even my son is curious about my “work” lately. A lot of typing, photos and crafting is going on around him and he is asking some pretty great questions. It’s not always easy to balance work, family and fun, but I believe this life is worth it. Sometimes the fun in my life IS making these products. Test batches, typing and crocheting has never been boring or daunting for me. I love working with my hands, touching the beeswax pellets (ALWAYS with clean hands!), pouring the oils, measuring the mica powder, winding a ball of yarn, tying slip knots, the motion of the crochet hook, un screwing jars and mixing oils into salt and baking soda. Tactile sensations thrill me. The smooth, rough, soft, hard, warm, cold or bumpy surfaces are what I live for every day.

The photo shoot was fun and turned out some great photos. Some of these might look familiar if you visit my ETSY store, but my blog readers get the extras. News, changes and even behind the scenes photos will be featured here every week.

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Look for new posts Mondays, with the occasional Tuesday Tutorials. Hope to see you back next week, and Happy Crafting.

-Bobby

Sorry

I haven’t felt much need to post in the last (almost) year. I apologize. I didn’t mean to ignore my blog,  honest! I did craft. I helped others craft, AND I volunteered. I do a lot at my son’s school. I help organize events, work said events, teach art lessons, run the homework store with fake money and help the Science teacher. I like helping and I have free time. I have been thinking about my blog, even when I’m helping kids paint flowers. Posting is a whole different story. I abandoned my laptop. Clunky and slow. Now my husband had handed down his old work computer. The sewing machine was lovingly tired away to make room for an iMac. It wasn’t getting much use anyway. This computer is faster, easier to use and I have a better space for typing. Pictures got an upgrade too, my husband uses a DSLR camera for work and has offered to let me take photos for my ETSY store and for here. Speaking of ETSY… I have a new product launch coming. A new spa jar product, full of handmade items to pamper. The products are called “Pamper ME” and we did a photo shoot yesterday. Photos will be ready in the next few days as I have time and the listing should be up before Monday. 

 

With the launch of a new product line, and the possibility to expand and sell similar products and the impending Summer Vacation for my son, I thought now would be the perfect time to start blogging again. I’m back. I have awesome pictures, and awesome stories. Behind the scenes, bloopers, new products, volunteering, the silly things kids say, sewing, knitting, crochet, gardening, lip balm. It’s all going to be here, and much much more. 

Here’s a preview of what’s in store. The best of the product pictures from yesterday’s photo shoot. Look for the Etsy.com listing Monday afternoon.

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Come back Monday to see what happens next. Thanks for reading!

 

-Bobby

Research

Usually before starting a project I do tons of research. I read patterns, sort through my yarn stash and find all my hooks or needles. The research is so that I know what hook or needle size I need, what weight of yarn I need and what exactly it is I will be doing. Some things, like say, a pair of baby booties, I have made so many times I don’t need to research. Starting a  granny square is something I may NEVER forget. Not every project needs the same kind of research. A lot of the time I just have to look at a pattern then it all rushes back to me, I did this a few years ago! Or it was something I just kinda forgot how to do. The most research I do is when it’s something new. A new stitch, a new pattern, an item I have never made before. New stitches are getting complicated for me. I have learned all the easy ones, most of the slightly advanced and very few of the really advanced ones. For crochet. I still don’t understand a lot about knitting. I barely understand color switching in knitting. Knit projects take a lot more research than the crochet ones.

This project that I am working on now needed a little refresher research. Baby hats. I have a 7 year old. He didn’t like hats when he was a baby. I made all of two head coverings for him, they were bonnets not hats. He didn’t wear them. I did make a few hats over the years for other babies, but not many. I had to look through a few patterns. I use a lot of free online patterns. I have a few pattern books on my book shelf, but they are expensive. $10-$30 a book. Cheapest one I ever found was $1 at a “Factory Direct” Beverly’s next town over. Carebears knitted Sweaters for Kids. I used it to make my son a non-carebears sweater. He loves that sweater. I think he even slept with it in his arms one night. The joys of handmade!

I spent a few hours finding patterns and reading them. YES! I read a whole pattern before I grab the yarn and hook. What if I don’t understand one part and have to look something up? It’s hard to balance a laptop, yarn, crochet hook and type. Not impossible, just hard to do. It is really important to completely understand what a pattern is telling you to do before getting started. I have watched someone struggle with patterns and get frustrated. That can lead to quitting. Throwing the hook across the room, dumping the yarn in the floor and drinking half a bottle of wine quitting. To help avoid that I would like to include my baby hat pattern research here. If I can help out just one person, I would post something every few hours. No one has the time for that, but I like putting effort into helping people understand what comes natural to me.

Links to baby hat patterns:

http://allicrafts.blogspot.com/2011/11/free-pattern-baby-earflap-hat-6-months.html

http://mannerscrochetandcraft.blogspot.com/2010/01/basic-baby-hat.html

http://dishclothdiaries.blogspot.com/2009/10/basic-infant-hat-4-sizes.html

http://www.favecrafts.com/Crochet-for-Baby/Baby-Crochet-Monkey-Hat

http://allicrafts.blogspot.com/2011/04/free-pattern-fuzzy-bear-hat-with-ears-3.html

http://allicrafts.blogspot.com/2011/02/free-pattern-petals-newborn-hat.html

 

Lastly, sorry I haven’t been posting on the same day every week. Stuff comes up. Throwing up, teeth breaking apart, kid’s school projects, grocery shopping-You know, LIFE. At least I posted this week. Enjoy the free patterns. Make somethign to keep a baby head warm!

 

-Bobby

Throwing up and Campus Beautification Day

Last Tuesday when I was trying to start my day I ended up throwing up when I brushed my teeth, getting dizzy and eventually almost crying-all because I couldn’t get my son to school. I’m not normally that emotional. I was running a fever, throwing up and sleeping for almost 2 days. If not for my husband I would have cried and called my son’s school to tell them he wouldn’t be there for the 2 days I was down. Takes a lot in a flu to take me down. High fever and throwing up everything I eat, that’s what it takes. Since last week I have sat down twice to write a blog, but with how busy I have been at my son’s school I got easily distracted and forgot what I sat down and grabbed my laptop to do. Facebook, right? Or was it Yahoo News? I think it was Pinterest. So, I get distracted. Very distracted when recovering from my stomach rejecting food for 2 days and a fever covered in cold shivering sweat. As soon as I felt better some of the PTA moms asked me to help with Campus Beautification day and Teacher Apprecation Week. I have helped make 4 door posters to surprise some teachers. Three days of cutting construction paper, gluing, and making flowers. I wanted to post a blog before now, but you can imagine how hard it was for me to sit here, with my laptop in my lap, and actually do it. Soon I should have more Monkey hats done, and I might even post the pattern, if I have the time before Tuesday.

Disco pants!

My son is an odd size. Tall and thin. His waist is 22 inches around, but he is as tall as my shoulder. The pants that he has are like 4 inches too short. I can see the top of his socks when we walk to school. He never seems bothered by his pants being too short, but when I buy him pants that ARE long enough he has to pull them up every few seconds, or they fall off. We have tried belts, suspenders, and hand stitching the waist band at the sides. After two years of trying to find a soultion to his pants problem I gave up. NO! I don’t let my kid wear his underware to school! He isn’t interested in skirts and I don’t allow him to wear shorts to school. Too many times he has tripped and fell on the playground. Once it was pretty bad and he scraped up his face and bruised his knees. Pants prevent the knees getting all tore up. First grade is like that, boys play rough. Boys need rough pants. I had made a pair of pajama pants for him around Christmas time. When I was growing up my mom always bought us pajamas for Christmas and we got to open them on Christmas eve. My son’s favorite pajama pants are the ones I made. He loves the color, the fit and he never has to pull them up.

I use Pinterest every day. I find new patterns, recipes and articles to read every day. Recently I separated my “Crafting” board into four different sections, “Sewing,” “Knitting,” and “Crochet.” I left the “Crafting” section for Pins that I couldn’t put in the other three boards. One of the first things I repinned was a site with many sewing tutorials for kid’s pants. There it was, the solution to my kid’s pants problem! I have two 20 gallon purple tubs full of fabric. It was exciting, having this solution and being able to make custom pants, like the pajama pants, but for every day. The first fabric I chose was a little thin but it was mostly just for a test run. To see how it would turn out. My son loved them. They were long enough, and he didn’t need a belt. Red pockets on his gray pants. The waist is a little big, I added too much allowence for sewing the elastic. He only had to pull them up when he’s wearing a back-pack, but not on the playground. The pants were such a hit that he asked for another pair. This last weekend I found a slightly stretchy black denim fabric in my collection of fabrics in my purple tubs. Perfect for kid pants.

To start with I had my kid grab a clean pair of pants. You need a starting point. The pants he already has fit in the waist, we just want to add length. Lay the fabric out and lay neatly folded in half pants on top. Add 2 inches to the top and I added about 5-6 inches to the legs. The 2 inches at the top is for elastic tunnels. You know, it’s like a hem but you leave the beginning/end open about a inch to feed the elastic through. I know some time ago I knew the term, but today I don’t. That happens. Saturday I finished these black denim pants. Quite a bit thicker than the last pair of pants I made. I use a straight cut on the legs. Skinny jeans are for grown-ups. Ones with skinny legs. My 7-year-old is just fine with pants a little wide in the ankles. He’s just going to grow out of them soon anyway.

Monday morning my little monster was excited to get to wear new pants to school. I have no idea where this idea came from but on the walk home from school he told me his pants were Disco pants. For Disco dancing. And that he loved them! He was in love with the Disco pants I made for him! Of course I was pleased with hearing that. The next part is pretty awesome too. He went on to say that he needed me to make him a white pair of Disco pants, with sparkles. So he could dance. If only I had a Bedazzler! I do have the white fabric, now I just need the sparkles! At least my son isn’t embarrassed about the pants I make for him. I get requests for hand made clothes every few days. I’m excited and waiting for the next kid to come along (hopefully a girl!) so I can make even more fun stuff for them to wear.

 

The tutorial I was raving about:

http://www.danamadeit.com/2008/07/tutorial-and-pattern-kid-pants-the-basic-pants.html

Other helpful tutorials for boy’s pants:

http://www.danamadeit.com/2008/07/tutorial-kid-pants-with-pockets.html

http://prudentbaby.com/2010/06/baby-kid/how-to-sew-pants-2/

What kind of slippers do you want?

 

I posed this question to my son. I asked him what kind of slippers he wanted me to make. I was hoping for bunny slippers. I was hoping for white. He told me he wanted gray bunny slippers, like our pet bunny, Godzilla. Yes, we have a dwarf mini rex rabbit. He is named Godzilla and he likes cilantro. My son loves our bunny. Godzilla is a cage bunny. Because of our living situation (apartment) the bunny has to stay in his cage. Where we lived before we could let the bunny out sometimes, but after moving just down the street we can no longer let our friend Godzilla run about. Happy gray bunny slippers do, however, get to enjoy the floor. No hopping or jumping though, the downstairs neighbors would not be happy about that.

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Finished slippers on the couch. I finish a lot of items while my son is at school, so this is before he had a chance to try them on.

 

After a year of knitting I accepted the challenge of crocheting a special request- A monkey hat and diaper cover. I’m not going to lie, I understand crochet a lot better than knitting. There are some knitting concepts I struggle with still. As a way to ease back into crocheting I was thinking kid slippers would be fast and simple. Well, moving happened. Got all my stuff put away then I was finally able to get yarn in my hands. Of course I skipped past the quick easy way to slide back into crochet. I finished the monkey hat and diaper cover in just 4 days. Even managed a tail. (Saving pictures for another post!) A week or two later I sat down to do the bunny slippers. About 4 hours later I had slippers on my couch. Not bunnies yet, but slippers worth of trying on.

 

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Slipper in the raw. (before ears, tails and eyes)

 

About an hour before I had to go pick my son up from school I was ready to make some ears and eyes. Even with the year or so of not crocheting I remembered how to start the ears and everything! I don’t think I will ever forget how to crochet. I could have dementia, Alzheimer and be in a hospital bed/wheel chair in some assisted living place and still be able to pick up a hook and some yarn and make a hat. For now my kiddo gets the coolest stuff made for him. His every imagined request (as long as it’s politely requested) will have yarny life breathed into it. This super easy 4 hours or less project can be altered to be any animal your favorite kid asks you to make.

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Materials:

-crochet hook (I start with a J then go from there)

-Worsted weight yarn

-yarn needle

 

Size:

This was made for a 7 year old with a foot that fits in a Junior 13 shoe.

Pattern for simple slipper:

1. Crochet a chain of 4 then join with a slip stitch.

2. Chain one then crochet 6 in center of ring. Slip stitch to join to first stitch.

3. Chain one then 2 stitches in all stitches around. Slip stitch to join round.

4. Chain one, 2 stitches in next stitch, one stitch in next stitch, repeat all around. Join with slip stitch.

5. Repeat round 4

6. Chain one, one stitch in each stitch, join round with slip stitch.

7, 8, 9 same as 6.

10. Chain one, one stitch in each stitch until the last 10, turn.

11-19. Chain one then one in each stitch across, turn.

To finish sew heel (the last row worked should be folded in half)

 

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Thanks for reading. Bye.

-Bobby