Experimenting clay

August and September were busy months for me (preparing some students for their school’s exams) – as much as I’ve looked forward to creating soaps, I was not able to even make a single batch. I love experimenting and the more I do, I began to discover and develop a better soap sense. A couple of weeks back, I decided I wanted to experiment with clays after researching the different type of clays and the kind of benefits they give. Clays have often been used for skin care and in many spas all over the world and they are known to help stimulate circulation to the skin while gently exfoliating and cleansing it. Unlike other clays, pink and yellow clay do not draw the skin’s oils, and they are suitable for all skin types even for the sensitive ones.

Here are some French yellow and pink clay I bought last year and I used them for my new formulation last week.
pink+yellow clay

I  wanted to try the ‘funnel pour method’ swirl which I did for the charcoal soap but the mixture had traced too quickly than I expected and nice swirls cannot be done if mixture is thick. It’s was a real ‘clay challenge’ for me – adding different clays and separating mixture really need skills and you may have to work fast to get the results.

Felt rather a little disappointed over some visible spots of clay (probably due to my forgetfulness to dissolve the clay powder in some water before adding into the oils mixture), but nevertheless, I am quite pleased and satisfied with the results.……tho’ they may look like some pinky ‘kuih talam’ (a kind of local layered cake) but I am happy with the natural colorants the clay gives to the soaps.

pinkie soap


They are now set to cure and should be ready by mid November…

pinkclaysoaps

and what’s my next to-do-batch ? Goat’s milk ! ...can’t wait :)

Eumora Facial Bar with Hma (Hydration microalgae factor)

eumoraSoap  Have you heard of the Eumora facial bar?
Many people have claimed that it works wonders and you will see a smoother younger complexion by morning if you use it. I have always loved good soaps for cleansing and shower and so when I heard about this facial bar, I couldn’t wait to lay my hands on. It certainly did my skin good – had restored my dull tired skin. :)
You can get the free trial sample bar (for a limited time) via Nourish Kallos Wellness. Fill up the form at the website link and just pay shipping & handling fee of USD4.95 and the bar will be shipped to you worldwide.
Eumora is suitable for both men and women, children and adults! I always believe and love a good soap bar for travelling, camping or business trips. It is so convenient and you don’t have to worry about spills or leakage in your luggage. No need to pack bottles of liquid wash. Find out more about Eumora and why not give it a try if you have not.
Or sign up a free sample to give a friend or loved one as a gift.  :)
I am certainly loving it. The  Sensational Moor miracle bar !

Awesome Giveaways

I’m back again to blog about some awesome giveaways. While we enjoy giving gifts, it’s also fun to tour around some blogs and take part in some giveaways. A couple of days ago my husband  (the winner) received a Big Bundle Giveaway (for readers outside the US)  from Quiltmaker. We took some blog tour fun , decided to send in our entries and were thrilled that he won!  The big bundle are now quilty pleasures and awesome treats for me. Thank you Quiltmaker.com ! – you are an amazing resource and inspiration for my quilty ideas.

It’s the season of giving and here’s another one giveaway from Modes4u shop which sells awesome stuffs for crafters from cute stationeries, DIY sets and accessories (from Japan), to lovely designer fabrics by Robert Kaufman and Michael Miller. I enjoy browsing at kawaii shop and also had been their customer once for fabrics . I love it when they host giveaways and blogging here about My modes4u Christmas Wishlist’ is one of my entry to their christmas giveaway.

My modes4u.com Christmas Wishlist

What would I like to get as a Christmas present from modes4u.com?

To win the favorite products, I would need to list 5 items from their kawaii shop and it must not not exceed the total value of 70US$ and guess what – they are really  generous to grant 5  winners their wishlist (* keeping my fingers crossed ,will I be one of  the lucky 5? ;) )

I’d wish for these items to sew more pillow covers , bags or quilts, so Modes4u, here’s my wishlist:

1) red butterfly and flower fabric with gold by Kokka

US$8.90

2) Charm Pack fabric bundle Cotton Couture Michael Miller

US$27.94

3) Roll-up fabric bundle roll New Pastel Palette Robert Kaufman

US$32.37

Giveaway!

Hi everyone,

It’s that season again where some of you may be shopping around, having fun and holidaying with loved ones, making gifts or giving gifts or maybe spring cleaning and decluttering your home . As for the ladies at Rainbow Home, they are still having fun making soaps. We thank you for the support you have given towards the soaps they had made. If their hands are not on soaps, they may be baking cookies or making snacks  for sale at church for this coming festive season. As for me personally, I am feeling ‘SEW FAR SEW GOOD’ and I think I have become a little obsessive recently for fabrics ( call me a fabric fanatic, if you wish). I hope this won’t result in a big hoard stacking up in my workroom that I’d find ‘too much fabric, too little time!’ . Talk about leather, yes, I’m crazy about this too – we have some nice leather scraps given to us by a good friend I met in camp some years ago. I have recently turn them into some pouches, purses and clutch and  also made some cowboy jackets for my church Vacation Bible School two years ago.

On a different note, I am also enjoying facilitating a small group in a series of discipleship bible studies at church. Three key words I gleaned recently from the studies, –  To get into the Word is to cultivate a  DELIGHT into His Word, a DEVOTION to His word and a DISCIPLINE  into His word. :)

Ok, here’s the giveaway (one) I have been planning some weeks ago and am excited to give it to one lucky winner residing in Malaysia (sorry, we can’t include international friends for this giveaway as postage will be very high for us to bear if you should win!). It’s a clutch (with tassel) I made using the tutorial from here.
Here’s how you can win this giveaway .

Cmas Giveaway 2013

a dark chocolate leather clutch with tassel ( *detachable brooch not included in giveaway- for display only).

Tell us your favorite handmade whether you had made it or bought it (it can be anything from clothes, bags to shoes or food, etc. Anything!)  Leave your comments here at this blog post by midnight 8th December (Sunday) 2013 . ( Make sure you have a valid email at your profile name so that we can contact you if you win. If it is a spam, this would be detected and deleted permanently and not counted as an entry) .

You can also hop over to our Facebook page to comment and don’t forget to “Like” Projek Dorcas page for another entry. If you are already a facebook fan, just leave us a comment below the image post as your second entry.

We’ll choose a winner randomly and announce it here. Thanks for being with us today!

So have fun and keep safe if you are travelling.
Happy holidays and a Blessed Christmas.! :)

_________________________________________

9 Dec, 2013 update:  [ 'Giveaway' Closed ]

It looks like this time around, our ‘Giveaway’ did not draw a good response from readers – there were only 2 or 3 participants…..so sad  :-(
Was it because it was difficult to enter? or was our ‘Giveaway’ not attractive at all? well, we would appreciate some honest feedback from our readers. Tell us where was not right or how we can improve. Anyway, we still have to pick a winner and the winner is  :) ……Mary V.

Congratulations, Mary V. ! You have won our handmade leather clutch. Thank you for your participation and dropping  by.

Two little blackbirds chirping ….

Okay, finally I’ve got a chevron baby quilt done! So glad to have obtained a clear-view foot for sewing appliques and an open-toe foot for free-motion quilting. This quilt took about a week to complete – it has two black bird appliques which I had machine-sewn around the edges with very close zig-zag stitches .

open-toe foot for freemotion quilt

This is a open toe quilting foot – it’s perfect when you need to free-motion quilt, the open toe allows you to see lines as you move your fabric and sew.

clear-view foot

A clear-view foot for sewing appliques. – gives easy visibility under the needle and very convenient when you sew decorative stitches over any fabric patterns or top of seams.

chevron pcs

piecing together

I sewed up many half-square triangles from pre-cut fabrics and arranged them to from a chevron or zig-zag kind of pattern. If you are wondering how these triangles are cut up, My Quilt Infatuation has an easy peasy way to show you how (read her tutorials). As you keep arranging and see the pattern come together, you’ll find it’s surprisingly easy and fun.

freemotionquilt

I had to check out many tutorials and learn from the experts before embarking on my free-motion quilt. I finally managed  with the right thread tension but without following any pattern specifically as I sewed (I just moved along randomly). Free-motion quilting takes practice. You can spot some imperfections on my piece as I still have not got the hang of it yet .

babyquilt3

babyquilt2

Notice the birds? They look like ‘ two little blackbirds chirping on my quilt’ and   remember this nursery rhyme ? ( Love this  favorite ryhme for playing skipping rope with friends when I was a child )  :)

‘Two little black birds sitting on a hill (wall),

One named Jack (Peter) and one named Jill (Paul),

Fly away Jack (Peter), fly away Jill  (Paul),

Come back Jack (Peter) and come back Jill (Paul).’

:)   :)

First patchwork quilt

I was very excited to bring my patchwork quilt into completion. However it’s a quilt without batting, I did stippling over two layers of fabric and finish off with a binding around it using my leftovers of 2.5 inches width strips. The quilt panel took less than an hour to complete. I think it looks nice and I am quite happy with the result – my first ‘Jelly Roll Race’ quilt !  (you can learn this from Missouri Quilt  Co. tutorial ). Doing the binding can be quite easy as I discovered it in this video tutorial by HeirloomCreations. I am still learning to master the techniques of free-motion quilting by my sewing machine and was thankful to be able to purchase an open-toe stippling foot for the task.

foots

These are foots which you will need if you want to do free-motion quilting. I bought them from Brother International as these accessories do not come with my Brother GS2700 sewing machine.

cover spread

quiltbinding

spread1

sofaspread

Using the quilt as a cover spread for our sofa.  :-)

Batik patchwork

I never knew patchwork quilt can be Sew Fun until I stumbled upon some amazing tutorials on quilt .The Missouri Star Quilt and Craft Mummy have wonderful lovely tutorials which you can check out and learn from them – they are all experts and very experienced quilters. I am just a beginner. Remember in my previous post, I mentioned about some fabrics which I bought – I am actually planning to use them later  for a baby quilt which I am excited about. I decided to try out first with some of my favorite batik scraps and cut my own ‘jelly roll’ strips to a width of 2.5 inches. Jelly roll fabrics are expensive and not that common here. I am not good at writing tutorials but here’s just some pictures to show you how I did my patchwork.

pw1

I chose 3 strips to match and sew them together with seams of 1/4 inch and later cut them into squares, Lay squares out and make your match. Sew up  the 4 squares together.

pw2

pw3

pw4

Since my pillow size is larger than the 4 squares sewn together, I sewed two extra strips to make borders round the bigger square. Prepare a layer of backing fabric for the patchwork panel and sew the sides together (I did not add any batting but perhaps I’ll try quilting for the next cushion cover). Cut another piece longer than  the front panel for the back. I finished up the back cover with a zipper hidden under a 1-inch flap. You can learn from SewMamaSew on how to attach a hidden zip to the pillow cover.

pw7

the back of the pillow with a hidden zip .

pw9

pw8

pw10

My Three happy pillows ( of different designs)  :)