Welcome to my blog

If you enjoy finding a lot of different outlets for your creativity, then we may just be kindred spirits.
This blog is an outlet for my interest in miniatures, crochet, plastic canvas, and many other various arts and crafts.

I also love walking, taking digital photos, and most recently, have rediscovered an old love...bike riding! I purchased an amazing new bike, a comfy Townie by Electra this summer, and have been having a grand time exploring the area as though for the first time. It's like being a kid again!

If you enjoy any of these things too, pour a cup of coffee and tea, sit down, and join me.

Take care!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A felted soapy mess

I don't know about you, but I get excited about new craft ideas.  Freaky excited, like a little kid at Christmas, lol.  It's like part of my brain lights up when I see a new craft I might like to try.

I love needle felting, plastic canvas, and crochet, as you might know. Today is my Mom's 69th birthday.  She isn't into needle felted animals, so that gift idea is out.  She has enough of my plastic canvas and crocheted items to start her own store, so that's out too.  She's forbidden me from buying her something, and  in the past 5 years has taken to recycling all of her old cards, so she doesn't even want a card (I buy one anyway).

So I was thrilled when I saw these cute felted soaps online at: http://greenscenesoapcompany.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/wet-dog-soap-or-a-quick-lesson-on-how-to-felt-soap/

The blogger over there at the green scene soap company called it wet dog soap.  The tutorial made it seem easy.  I decided to try it.

I used a bar of imported Greek Olive oil soap.  It was given to me as a gift years ago and i never used it because it was the 'good' soap, lol.  It foams up like crazy.  I'm talking bubble bath foam here.

I used some of my core wool, and some green for contrast.  I wanted to needle felt it first, but none of the tutorials I read suggested that.

All of the tutorials said it was easy to make felted soap.  Easy my butt.  First you have to wrap the soap in a felty blanket.  OK, so that part is easy.  Then you have to put it in a nylon, or sock if  you don't have a nylon (some of the tutorials said socks were OK).  Then you have to use hot water, as hot as you can stand, wet everything. and rub it on a bamboo placemat, bubble wrap, or anything that causes friction.  I'm thinking an old fashioned washboard like this would do the trick:

You know, your typical torture device from hell.

So, I rubbed and squished and squashed and my fingers went prune-y from the hot lather.  I was sweating.
My arms and shoulders were sore.  I figured, "it has to be done".  I opened the sock.  Nope.  It was a wet, soapy mess.

While it didn't smell like wet dog to me (I have two poodles, a standard and a toy, and I sewed them both raincoats in order to avoid that wet poodle smell), they sure do resemble matted dogs.  Wet, soapy dogs.  Wet soapy dogs who don't want to take a bath. The only difference is that wet soapy dogs do mat up easily.  This darn soap didn't.

So, I rubbed and squished and squashed some more, imagining I was Ma from Little House on the Prairie, that kind, gentle woman who always smiled as she did the work of 10 modern women without complaint.  The soap went flying, I swore, and realized I was nothing like Ma.  I looked in the handy mirror above the bathroom sink and saw myself frowning, rather like the  nasty Mrs. Olson.

I dropped the sock encased mess into the sink, rinsed my hands and arms, and poured a coffee.
I have a whole new respect for the people who do wet felting.  It is not fun.
I'll stick with dry felting, any day.
I wonder if my Mom would like a new crocheted scarf ;-).

The next day:

OK, I did manage to finish the felted soap.  It doesn't look great, but it does feel very nice.
felted soap
Needle felted dog, felted soap

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