Showing posts from June, 2018

The art of soap making

After seeing a Facebook video last week on bar shampoo, I've been thinking about learning to make soap.

The video argues that bar shampoo is better for the planet than traditional shampoo because users don't have a bottle to throw away.

At first, I thought about buying bar shampoo; organic versions are easy to find on Etsy. But then I thought I could probably save money if I learn to make both bar shampoo and bar soap myself. It won't be as pretty or as creative as the Etsy offerings, but it would be cheaper and I wouldn't have to worry about paying shipping fees.

So, when I have time, I've been looking at YouTube videos that show how to make and/or offer recipes for bar soap and shampoo. A few have made me a little afraid to use lye, describing it as caustic and recommending gloves and goggles, but I'm determined not to let that scare me off. Once I get the first batch made and cured, I'm sure I'll feel a lot more confident.

Is there a bar soap or bar …

My crooked peyote stitch bracelet

For months now, I've been looking at some pretty awesome work members have been posting in a Facebook group I belong to called "I LOVE Peyote Stitch Beading."

I haven't done a project in peyote stitch for a couple of years, but looking at all of that great beadwork made me want to do a project. I was in the mood for something simple, though, so I settled on a diamond-patterned bracelet.
Everything went fine until my thread broke. For some reason, adding in the new string created a "bump" in the bracelet. Just look at this:

See the crookedness?
I've tried pulling and shifting the beads to see if I can work it out, but nothing I've tried so far works. I can't decide if I want to finish it. Part of me wants to keep going to see whether it's noticeable when I wear it. The type-A person who occasionally pops up into my psyche, though, wants to rip it apart and start over.
What do you think?

My mom's beadwork leaves me in awe

I love my mom’s beadwork.

She has never said whether she ever beaded when she was a child, and oddly enough, it never occurred to me to ask until right now as I’m writing this.

All I know for certain is that she began beading in earnest about 20 years ago. Back then, three of my four siblings and I had left home, and the youngest, my baby sister, was in high school. Suddenly, Mom had time for pursuing crafty hobbies.

She began the way many people do, working from patterns in books she bought at Hobby Lobby and other craft shops. She started with earrings, the dangling kind that you often see in Native American patterns, and gradually branched out into making barrettes, dream catchers and headdresses.

And at some point, she began creating her own patterns, and that’s when she really began to wow me. Everything she makes is in the Native American style (we’re Cherokee, my mom is full and I am half) even if she doesn’t use the traditional colors.

Recently as I was looking at some of her …