Thursday, February 21, 2008

eclipse and a winner

Last night was a lunar eclipse. Joe was very excited about it, a little more excited than I was. The first time he went outside to look it was cloudy. The second time it was clear and he got me out of bed to go and look at it!!!!!

Anyways, he wanted to play with my new lens so he took some photos. The first zillion didn't turn out and then he opened the new remote for it (it was still in the box) and got some pretty good shots. Good for us. We're both amateurs, me more than him.

And upon request by Felicia here's a photo of the new lens. Don't you just love my messy fabric piles in the background??? Sheesh.

And now for what you're really here for...the winner of my soap give-away. I printed out all the comments, put them in a basket and had one of the students at school draw the name of the winner.

Congratulations Leslie. If you could send me an e-mail with your mailing address I'll pop the soap in the mail real soon!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

button note cards

As many of you know, I have a slight problem with collecting buttons. When I saw this tutorial/pdf for button note cards I knew I had to make some.

I made three cards using 12 buttons. I only have 7,358,339 buttons left to use up!!!!! Yippee!!!

And that photo was taken with my fancy shmancy new lens that I have no idea how to use that Joe gave me yesterday as an early birthday present. I'm a lucky gal with a lot of learning to do!!

Thanks for all the soap love, I'm extremely flattered! I'll be drawing a name tomorrow some time.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Wowza. This is my 300th post! I can hardly believe it!

To celebrate this milestone, of course I have to have a give-away.

If you leave a comment on this post, later in the week (either Thursday or Friday) I will pick a winner to receive three bars of my first batches of soap.

Please keep in mind that these bars are FAR FROM perfect. They are my first attempts at soap-making, and although they are very usable, they have their flaws.

You will win on bar each of the following:

Lemon Poppyseed - This would make a great hand soap. I added far too many poppyseeds making it a little abrasive on sensitive skin.

Oatmeal - Again, would make a great hand soap. (I added too much oatmeal!)

Chocolate mint - By far my favourite of the three. It has a wonderful minty scent. I've been using this soap daily and my skin is loving it!

On the weekend I made two more batches of soap.

Chocolate raspberry (it may not look too pretty, but boy does it smell delicious!!!)

And pina colada, trust me, this smells insanely good!!!

The pina colada and chocolate raspberry soaps need to cure for three weeks. I'm sure there will be another give-away when they are ready!

Monday, February 18, 2008


Yesterday was the annual curling bonspiel for Joe's work. Every year Joe's dad (a retired chef) comes down and cooks dinner for 60 crazy curlers.

Yesterday went off without a hitch.

The icemaker re-surfaced the ice.

Our friend Larry played a great game.

Everyone seemed to have a great time.

I even discovered that Joe DOES know how to wash dishes!!!

And our chef enjoyed a beer once everyone had been fed.

And for the record, I don't curl. I have curled in the past but it's slippery and scary and ever since I had my elbow replaced I'm afraid to do it. It was a super-fun day though and I look forward to next year.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

I just had a delivery of the most beautiful flowers at work! Thanks Joe!

There's even some chocolates tucked into the arrangement. They will be gone before lunch.

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day.

Note: Photos taken with my crappy work camera.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I know that the most rewarding part of blogging for me has been the relationships that have formed with fellow bloggers. I am CONSTANTLY amazed at the generosity of these people that I've never met and I am SO THANKFUL for the friends that I've made through my blog.

If it weren't for the support of these friends, my blog would have dissolved long ago I'm sure of it. I can't think of any other project that I've started that has lasted this long and that I'm still excited about a year and a half later.

This morning as I was shovelling the front porch I noticed a box in-between the doors. At first I thought that Joe must have ordered something online, but when I had a closer look I realized it was a birthday gift for ME from Felicia. Today isn't my birthday, but I'm going to be 40 in a matter of days...yuck. I quickly made the decision that Joe could finish the shovelling, grabbed the box, threw it (gently) in my car and sped off to work.

I brought the box in with me to school and quickly opened it.

The first thing I noticed was this BEAUTIFUL tote bag. Oh my, how I love that colour!

Inside the the tote was the most incredible Noni pattern for a knitted bag.

And..................beautiful yarn to knit the bag!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and handles!)

And a little kit to make a knitted daffodil. I LOVE it!

Thank you so much Felicia. You've made my week!

Monday, February 11, 2008

sewing (almost) and candy

On Saturday morning I decided it was time to get back to my sewing machine. I have an army-surplus type bag that I use when we go geocaching that I thought could use a little spicing up. I added a pocket to the front and some fabric to the flap just to make it look a little bit prettier.

Once that was done, it was time to play with melted chocolate. I made some chocolate covered peanut-butter balls. When Joe saw them, he said they looked like "dog turds" when he tried one he was hooked. Apparently both Joe and I liked them because there's only three left. They'll be gone tonight, for sure!!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

fancy packaging

Ok, my soap is ALMOST ready to use (the first batch anyways). I'm already thinking about packaging and presentation.

I have NO intentions of selling soap, but I'd really like it to look pretty when giving it away.

Here's what I've come up with so far. I simply wrapped the bar in a piece of pretty scrapbooking paper and glued an information label to it. I think I'm pretty happy with this presentation, for now.

Monday, February 04, 2008

it's funny now

I'd like to dedicate this post to my dear blogging friend Lera.

On Saturday I was home alone watching Lost. I suppose I should explain. Friday was a "snow day", I didn't have to go to work because of some wacky weather and I really wasn't feeling well. I decided to watch a few episodes of Lost that I had on DVD but have never watched. I spent the entire day Friday watching episodes 1-8 of the first season on DVD. I was hooked. On Saturday, I was at the video store 10 minutes before it even opened to rent the rest of Season 1 (which I finished watching by about 11:00 am on Sunday).

Yes, that's 24 episodes of a TV show in approximately 48 hours.

The only reason I'm not well into Season 2 is that I'm borrowing it from a friend who lives about an hour away. I can assure you once I get my hands on it, it will also be devoured.

So, early Saturday morning I get an e-mail from Lera suggesting that I try my hand at hot process soap making. For some strange reason she believes that I'm impatient and that perhaps hot process soaps would be better for me to make because you can use them immediately and not wait weeks for it to cure.

Well, if Lera suggested it, it MUST be a good idea, right??????

So, I tore myself away from Lost and started a batch of lemon poppyseed soap using the hot process method.

I should explain that with hot process soap, instead of pouring it in the mold and letting the saponification take place in the mold, you put the pot of soap in the oven and let the heat from the oven accelerate the process. According to the tutorial I used you're supposed to check on the soap every 15 minutes and give it a stir. At about the 45 minute mark the soap should be done, at which point you add your essential oils and any other additives (like poppy seeds).

So, I put the soap in the oven, set the timer and ran back to the living room to watch more of Lost. The timer went after 15 minutes and according to the tutorial the soap should be thickening up and resemble a nice custard.

Well, I opened the oven and it looked like a volcano had erupted. SOAP WAS EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!!!! The lid of the pot had popped off, the soap was overflowing. Thank goodness I had a tray under the pot to catch any spills. For a fraction of a second I considered finding my camera, but time was of the essence and I had to save the soap.

It was just like a scene from "I Love Lucy". For about 15 minutes I was frantic. I scraped as much soap as I could from the OUTSIDE of the pot, the lid and the pan that was underneath it. I added the essential oil (still not enough I don't think) and the poppyseeds. I squished it all in the mold and crossed my fingers.

Here's the finished soap in all it's glory:

So, uh, thanks Lera for the wonderful suggestion to try my hand at hot process soap making. I think I'll stick to cold process soap that doesn't turn into a volcano and scare me to death. ;)