Friday, February 26, 2010

The 2010 Homemade Christmas Objective: Part 3

Woohoo! So, I only ended last month with one gift made, but I did make up for it this month. Now mind you, some of this is only PARTS to an actual "bulk gift" (think gift baskets), but still...I did get a lot done this month. What I did is above.

The thing I'm actually the most proud of is the soap (which was super duper easy by the way). And no, I didn't go and buy lye and all of that other stuff that scared me when I googled about making your own soap *laugh*.

I happened to be in at Michael's a while back and had a 60% off coupon that was going to expire and found these AWESOME soap making supplies. I got a thing of "blank" Goat's Milk soap for 4.50 (about) after the coupon and that made all the bars of soap you see (it would have made 8 of the full sized bars shown, but I wanted to experiment with scents so I used a plastic container I had lying around the house and made a make-shift mold for the smaller ones) . I also picked up a soap mold (3.00 on sale), a thing of soap "fragrance" for .99 and some soap dyes (also .99 on clearance). So, for about 10.00 I was able to make all kinds of different types of soap. What did I make? Check it out (going from upper right and down columns)...

1 circular bar "Tea Tree" soap. I had some tea tree oil (my mother-in-law bought it for me years ago during one of her "organic" phases :) and people keep yelling about "essential oils" in things. I'd seen Tea Tree soap at the store, so I thought "hey what the heck let's try it". It'll be good for an antiseptic-like soap is all I have to say. It sort of smells like bug spray to me.

1 Circular Thing "Pina Colada" soap. This smells SO good. I had bought a thing of coconut extract at "New Segaya" years ago to make some coconut macaroony things and never did get time to make them (I was pregnant when I bought it...had get the idea). So, I put some of that into the soap along with a little powdered milk (for skin-softening power) and it came out lovely :).

1 Bar "Preffered Stock" soap. My husband's aftershave of choice, he actually asked me to make this type of soap (just poured in some aftershave into the soap base), so I figure it'll go in his stocking. Came out smelling like his aftershave, so I'm assuming it'll smell fine when you use it *laugh*.

1 Bar, I affectionately like to call "Vanilla, Almond Latte Soap". The smell of this stuff is AMAZING! I put 1 tsp. coffee grounds (unused of course) from my big thing of "Yuban" coffee, a little drop of actual coffee (from my coffee pot) and about 1/2 tsp. each of almond extract and vanilla extract. I then threw in 1 tsp. of powdered milk, to partially absorb some of the liquid (since it seemed like a lot to me at the time) and to make it...well latte soap ;). I thought this turned out truly awesome!

1 Bar Coffee and Cream soap. Basically traditional coffee soap, I made this for my mother-in-law because she loves the smell of coffee but hates the taste. Coffee soap, by the way, is GREAT for removing funky scents from your hands after handling like raw garlic or onions :). I used 1 tsp. coffee grounds, 1 tsp. coffee (from coffee pot) and 1 tsp. powdered milk. I based this off of a recipe I found online and had printed off, but I don't remember where I found it.

Starting the second column we have...

1 circular bar "Thin Mint" soap. I used some good ol' Hershey's syrup (not much...I wanted the color more than the scent from it), 1 tsp. cocoa powder and about 1/2 tsp. Peppermint Extract. Smells great. Made it for the sister-in-law who always wanted to honeymoon at Hershey, PA (yes she loves chocolate that much), but never did. They have a chocolate spa there that she really always wanted to go to, so I figure I'll try to recreate the experience for her a bit at home this Christmas.

1 cicular bar "Green Tea" soap. I just made some really strong green tea (which I watered down and drank the rest of *laugh*) poured a little bit into the soap and then threw in a fresh tea bag. It'll be great for a "mellow scented" scrubbing soap bar.

1 Bar "Oranges and Cream Soap". I made this with some grated orange peel (just took a microplane grater to a an orange I was about to eat and stole the zest) and about 1/2 teaspoon of "Orange extract" that I had in the cuppoard for making cookies. The orange peel actually helped to color the soap, which was nice since it looks more "natural". I'm making myself a spa gift set from me to me this Christmas *laugh* and I'm going with an Orange theme because I honestly just love citrus smelling things :). It came out great, so so far so good.

1 Bar "Floral Fantasy" soap. This was my first bar I made and I just used the floral scent that I had bought and some soap dye as well. Not very exciting, but it came out smelling pretty. I'm going to use this in one of my gift baskets for female family members :).

1 Bar "Strawberry and Pomegranate Tea" soap. Yes, I actually had "Strawberry and Pomegranate Tea" to use in this. I had gotten a "Republic of Tea" catalog that came with a free tea sample and that was the sample I got. It was very very very strawberry smelling and I'm not a huge fan of the thought of strawberry tea, so I decided to use it here. And it came out great actually. I threw in a few drops of yellow dye to make the coloring of the tea "pop" more and that was about it. It smells like strawberries and the pomegranate offers a subtle "what is that nice background smell" hint to it, which is nice.

I made the dish cloth (in all of it's flawed glory) for my sister-in-law who is a pink fiend or my mother-in-law...I'm still torn about what baskets I'm doing for who yet. I have decided that I hate knitting dish about a lot of work...and probably won't be doing it again anytime soon *laugh*. I already had the yarn and needles though, so I wasn't out anything but my time in this case.

The blanket I knitted for my niece (so soft when done, but such a PAIN to knit). I didn't have quite enough yarn to make a full sized crib blanket, but I figure she can always use it for her dollies if I really messed it up.

The Tic-Tac-Toe game I bought for 1.00 on one of my past Bishop's attic trips. I cleaned it up, repainted it (a lot) and the results are as shown. I redid it to give to either my daughter or one of my young nephews for Christmas and if the sheer amount of "Wow, Mom! Look!"s I got while I was taking pictures, I think it'll be a hit :). I didn't redo the tails on the mice yet, because I'm not QUITE sure what colors of yarn I have readily available, so I figured I'd do that later.

So, there you have it folks. Another month of gift making down and only 10 more to go (and lots and lots and lots of people yet to go!).


Doin' It Myself said...

I dunno how easy it is to knit dishcloths, but someone showed me how to crochet them and it is alarmingly simple! If you're any good at reading patterns, it's on the back of the yarn label for the yarn you use to make them. it's that Cookies and cream (or something like that) yarn you can get at walmart for fairly cheap - specially when it's on sale!

Nice job!

Alaskan Bargain Hunter said...

Yeah, I used this super thin "all natural cotton" was almost like string (my luck it probably was...they just called it yarn ;). I had to use three different types to get a "yarn" thickness to it (last time I try to make something out of that thin of yarn from stuff I picked up at a song and a dance at the Treasure Loft years ago)...thus the multi-colored pattern to it (pink, dark pink and a multi-colored pink one). It would have gone quickly, really, if not for having to dance around three threads of yarn, an overly ambitious cat, and two young children who thought we were playing cowboys and indians the entire time I was knitting *laugh*. Overall though, at least it looks like a dish cloth ;).

Jessica @ Alaska's Best Grocery Deals said...

VERY impressive!!!