Saturday, October 30, 2010

Gluten Free Fruitcakes

Is there such a thing?? lol

The last couple of years I have been going by my very old recipe for dark fruit cake, but changing the flours to gluten free flour mixes or sometimes spelt. I can use spelt flour on occasion just not for everything.

I have been working on my shopping list for foods, and got to thinking of making a search for gluten free fruitcakes-wow!! quite a selection actually.

from Whole Foods Market I like this one shares several links to recipes

Rum Dried Fruit Cake here

This recipe is real different, uses polenta for the flour

This is a nice one too, also a little different:

Fruit Cake


1 kg mixed fruit
125g (4oz) butter
4 eggs, beaten
1 dessertspoon Parisian essence (brown coloring, optional)
440g (14oz) unsweetened crushed pineapple
125g (4oz) almonds
1 teaspoon pre-gel starch OR xanthan gum OR guar gum
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cup bought gluten-free flour OR � soya, � rice and � potato flour
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon mixed spice
1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur*
1 tablespoon Cointreau*
* liquor optional


Cook the fruit and liqueurs on HIGH for five minutes in the microwave. (Joanna cunningly uses a round glass dish about eight inches wide and four inches deep -- 20x10cm -- and also cooks the cake in it.)

Add the butter and spices. Tip this mixture into a large basin and stir in the rest of the ingredients.

Line the glass dish with baking paper, pour in the ingredients, cook on HIGH for 15 minutes, elevating the dish while cooking, for example by sitting it on a small upturned china dish.

Test with a skewer. (When the skewer comes out clean, the cake is cooked.)

Allow the cake to cool before removing from the container. You can simply remove the baking paper and the put the cake back in the dish it was cooked in, put the lid on and store in the fridge. How's that for simplicity!

from here

Cracking Black Walnuts

Those of you that have "read me" for a couple years, might remember that two years ago we had a bountiful crop of black walnuts and hickory nuts here. We have a nice black walnut tree in the back yard, and in the front lots of hickorys.

I posted a good article on how to harvest them, but don't know how I tagged it, or I would link to it. Anyways, I did a good job of curing the black walnuts while also keeping them away from the wildlife-lol, and then afterwards I froze them in gallon bags so they wouldn't dry out til I got to them.

The hickorys, I picked those up as soon as I saw them falling, cause they get alot of worms in them I had been told. I didn't cure these, I just froze them too in gallon bags.

I just have not had the time to sit down and crack any of these. I tried last year, but both were just difficult.

So, It was such a gorgeous day here again, full sunshine and back in the 70s too, not alot of wind for a change, so I decided to lay out an old blanket underneath the maple tree by the front of the house, and crack some nuts.

I had two kitties to keep me company, Autumn, and our "Grandma" kitty Calico, so that was nice. The hickorys were very moist, almost too moist and too hard to get out of the shell. They are a much smaller nut too, I need to figure out how to dry these out a bit. Any ideas anyone that has worked with fresh hickorys???

So I then worked on the black walnuts-and they were just perfect. They were still moist and fresh, but cured enough to come right out of the shell after hitting them with the hammer a few times. I ended up doing one whole gallon bag in about 2 hours. I measured what I got and it was 2 and 2/3 cups so not bad. I love black walnuts too-but only fresh ones, cause they are not bitter like the store bought ones-and sooo much cheaper too.

I grew up as a kid with a huge black walnut tree in our yard, and my whole family took take turns cracking these nuts for holiday baking. Dad had set up a big wooden stump in the basement for us to crack the nuts on.

Promises to be another nice day tomorrow too, before colder weather returns. wow November is almost here-amazing

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tip When Making Pumpkin Pies

This was totally new for me so wanted to share this.

This afternoon I was reading the new issue of Better Homes and Gardens, and they had a really good article on pies, made by pastry chef Alan Carter of Mission Beach Cafe in California. This magazine was worth reading just for this article and recipes.

He suggests to "heat the custard mixture in a suacepan, and then pour into a cooked pie crust. Heating the custard will ensure even cooking, and will keep the pie from cracking and splitting-as pumpkin pies are apt to do" Did any of you know this before??? I am going to try it.

He fills his fruit pies very very full, especially the apple pies-like I always do. However, he says he doesn't just drape the top pastry piece on top, he molds it with his hands to the fruit. He makes hills and valleys and a landscape that's as pretty as the fruit inside-I like that idea too.

I found this online about his pie crusts

I also found online his seafood pie

calling all my knitting friends

I am in the need of a pair of very warm gloves or mittens, and the few stores near me-are all from China-I don't want that.

Would anyone have time to knit me a pair?? I probably have yarn here from my weaving stash I would be glad to send-or send me a pm on what the price would be--thanks much

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Facebook--I have now permanently deleted my account

I discussed this before, that I don't feel "safe" on facebook. I have deactivated and reactivated my account a few times there. But today I am finished over there, and finally found how to permanently delete my account.

I go thru my security and account information every month and recheck that I have everything really tight-there is absolutely no personal information listed, and all posts are for friends only or for me only. I turned off something that prohibits business connections to go into my account for information, and I have also turned off the feature that locates where I am typing from. So it is really tight over there.-or so I thought.

Hubby got an email which is different from mine, inviting him to hook up with someone, and then listed all these people we may know. It looked like facebook had gone thru his personal email address list-his email is different than mine. It asked to confirm his email address so he could be in touch with the person that sent this email on facebook. Hubby does not do any sort of blogging, so being curious we went ahead and put in his address. Of course it went to my facebook account, cause I am the one with an account, however the person that supposedly sent this invite was no where on my page. But, his email address was now added to my account.

Soooo that was it for me. I went to the help link at the far right of the screen on the very bottom of the page. Clicking on that, I found under questions--How do I permanently delete my account? So, yes this is what I wanted-and told me what to do. Of course it is giving me 14 days to change my mind before everything is permanently deleted.

So, any of my friends that are connected with me on facebook-I am out of there now, and you can find me here or on blogger.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Art Sunday Full Moon

File:Jules Tavernier's painting 'Full Moon over Kilauea', 1887.jpg

This painging is from 1887 from here

this one is hand dyed and hand felted from here

a digital art piece here with full moon and owl

here is a link to a painting I can't bring over by David Delamare

from here

And from our very own Moonie, here is a link to her gorgeous moon shots. I don't know how her viewing is set, but worth a try to view. This link will take you to the October hunters moon (just a reminder all her works are copyrighted)

Good Morning Sunday-my ramblings on

We have been waiting on rain all week, all we got so far is very high winds. The town over from us got lots of rain yesterday-now if it would only move over a little-lol

Just a gorgeous October Hunter's moon this morning-so beautiful. If Moonie lived here she would capture an awesome shot with her camera. There is a sky full of these very cool clouds encirling the moon, and on out to cover the entire sky in this circular appearance-very halloween looking-lol

Not good, it started yesterday, but this morning I have a very very sore throat with a bad cough. I am sure it is from allergies, so I need to gargle with a glass of salt water, and drink some hot tea with lemon and honey today

Feeling a little down too, this poor economy is not helping us at all with our Illinois property and renters.

I don't watch much tv, only shows that I actually look forward to seeing is on Tuesday night; both NCIS shows, but was hoping to run into a movie last night. I checked out the Hallmark channel as sometimes on the weekends they will have some movies. Last night I watched two nice love stories-and they ended by 10 pm. I also actually slept last night-which I haven't been able to do last few nights.

The night before I just could not sleep at all-we had very high winds, and the cattle next door were not happy so they were talking almost the entire night. I ended up just working on one of my secret santa swaps that I am in-and got that box finished and ready to mail. I then took up my rug hooking project-figuring I would work on that til I was tired enough to sleep-that was 3 am in the morning. soooo of course yesterday I was a walking zombie-lol

We don't usually do alot for our birthdays,but I wanted to give a little party for Larry's 65th earlier this month, but he didn't want one; so I just made his favorite foods for dinner. So today since I am not feeing all that great, definately nothing happening here-lol The Sunday night football game is the Packers and the Vikings so I will be able to watch both of my football teams on tv-so I like that. Since moving down to Missouri I rarely get to watch my favorite teams and players live on tv. I've been just following them on the NFL network-which is actually kinda cool-at noon you can follow around 10 games all at once.

Enjoy your Sunday

Monday, October 18, 2010

4 Acre Food Plot Seeded- Had to do by Hand Though to Get'er Done

Wow, Turned out to be a long day.

Larry and Mr. L left early to go to town and the farm store to buy seed for our wildlife foot plot this morning. We were able to get most everything except for one grass that needs to go in the ground in February. However, none of the equipment would work-and we had just checked it all out within the last 2 weeks.

The atv would not start, so Mr. L went home to get his. Then we set up the electric seeder-and that wouldn't work, so Larry put on a new motor, and it wasn't quite the right one but figured we would try it-Mr. L drove over a big rock we missed getting out-and that was the end of the motor set up.

By now it was probabaly around 1 in the afternoon, and Larry was so bummed-I said we will just spread it by hand. Mr. L had one of those plastic seeders that you turn with a handle, and I found one too. So we started walking the field, and it didn't go too bad. Larry went to a neighbor and borrowed another hand seeder, but after a couple passes it was too much on his bad knees to walk the long rows-so I said go sit in the shade and Mr. L and I will do what we can. Larry was going to disc all the seed in after we got finished any ways.

Mr.L (who is in his 70s) has bad hips, I forgot about that, and he did alot but had to go home before he finished his side. I finished up my side of the field, and had enough seed to make one more pass on his side. Wow, was I ever feeling it-my bad toe was throbbing, as was my arms and back. Of course I kept picking up big rocks too as I ran into them.

I figured I would sit a spell and wait on Larry to finish with the disc. He was almost finished and we got a little sprinkle of rain. Would have loved to have had a bit more gentle rain on this field, but perhaps tomorrow we will get some rain.We were right on the line of where the rain was, and it was more north of us, so we only got about 10 minutes of it.

We didn't finish up til 5:30pm--I went out to take photos and ended up hand seeding-lol--so glad we got it planted finally.

Now for a long soak in the shower.

Homemade Donuts Ready to Eat

These turned out really nice. I followed the link I gave for Allrecipes Fluffy Cake Donuts with my changes:

I used gluten free rice flour baking mix for the flour, for the sugar I used sun crystals-cane sugar and stevia, for the milk I used buttermilk, for the shortening I used light canola-olive oil, no salt, and my own vanilla extract. Since these were gluten free I needed to add about 1/4 cup more liquid to the batter and I only got 7 donuts instead of 12. I ate one to see if they tasted good and I love the flavor-very nice.

I mixed up a simple glaze-powdered sugar and water, and sprinkled cinnamon on two of them and reglazed, sprinkled unsweetened coconut on two of them, left one plain glaze, and added cocoa powder to the last of it for two chocolate ones. Off to sample-

Good Morning Monday

Looks like another beautiful week ahead. Temps will drop quite a bit tomorrow and still the possibility of rain. Rest of the week we will stay out of the 80s but be in the 70s-can't complain about that at all.

Larry is off to buy seed for the wildlife food plot this morning. It is too late to plant the clover but will find out what grasses we can put in, possibly some winter wheat too.

I just may get a little domestic stuff done today-lol. Need to catch up on laundry again, my back is a little too touchy to be bending over into my freezers to defrost today, but this might just free me up to make some donuts Not sure yet. I bought a new gluten free flour mix that is rice based so just may try it out on a batch of donuts-which really sounds good now that I think about this-lol

Enjoy your Monday-and here is to an awesome new week for all of us.

poohhappymonday.jpg pooh happy monday image by itlnqt77

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Gotta have some Gluten Free Donuts Too

Raised Gluten Free

Couple recipes here

mmm found a photo here

Baked Donut Recipes

Mamabear and I are on the hunt for baked donut recipes-so here is what I found online so far

Fluffy Cake Doughnuts Recipe

Fluffly cake donuts

Yeasted baked donuts these sounded really good

King Arthur flour baked any recipe by King Arhtur is usually really good

Lots here at least 10 recipes for baked

Several recipe choices here too for baked

mmmm above photo from here

Art Sunday Grapes

We went out at dawn for more work on the food plot. It is ready to plant now-yeh!! This winter we will go back when the ground is hard and pick up more rocks-they are never ending here-lol

I also finished up with filling the wood rack, and putting wood near the two woodstoves-so we are ready when we need heat.

Art Sunday-please visit our host Nemo to take the Art Sunday Tour

Grapes in paintings

grape vine still life painting

from here

from here

from here

from here

from here

from here

from here

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Saturday Doings

What another gorgeous October day here in the ozarks; once it warmed up it got into the 80s, clear sky, lots of sunshine.

I started early finishing up the last of the wild grapes. I canned 5 more quarts, and with the last 12 cups of wild grapes I made up a batch of wild grape brandy. I used a large bottle of vodka, a bottle of dry white wine, 1/2 a bottle of this really good homemade wine, and 3 cups of sugar. Blended that til sugar was dissolved and added in the mashed grapes. This will sit now for several months before I put it in bottles and then let most of it set for a year-when it will be at it's best.

By 8:30 am it was in the 50s, so took Nikita for our morning walk, then when up to work in the food plot. We are working now on getting the biggest rocks out, as we are running out of time. Larry ran the rake thru again which levels the soil out a bit, and brings up more of the rocks. I ended up filling the skid steer bucket twice, and made another huge pile of rocks as well off to one side. Since we got an earlier start I figured for sure we would be out of there before noon, so get the bbq ribs fixed up and in the oven. Today is Larry's birthday-the 65.

We ended up working til 1 pm. I knew I was getting hungry and tired-lol We visited with Mr. L for a bit, got the ribs in the oven by 2 pm and then relaxed a bit visiting with friends over by Mr. L.

Where I got the energy I don't know, but also carried in lots of wood up near the house in the wood rack, and also filled up the kindling barrel. I am working on getting the wood rack filled before we need it.

The ribs were perfect when we got back after 5, so finished up dinner. Remember that wild plum sauce I made?? I just tried it over a gluten free chocolate cake I made-this is soooo delicious, well worth all the time and trouble getting those small pits out.

We also tried those pickled bing cherries this past week-and they turned out excellent. I would make those again too.

We are hoping tomorrow is the last day of getting rocks out of the wildlife food plot, and then monday we will look into buying some winter wheat and rye for a cover crop. It is too late now to put in the clover and other seed.

Once the food plot is done, hopefully I can get started on house work-our house and especially my kitchen has been neglected with all this canning I have been doing, so it needs a through scrubbing.

Also, early next week, we are hoping to go with Mr. L to the amish farms, he has alot of contacts which he will introduce us to. We are hoping to bring back lots of fall veggies, pumpkins, squash, cabbage etc. he says even tomatoes, so I may be still canning again-thats ok-cause I enjoy doing it, and I love knowing my food is grown.

Tomorrow is to be another gorgeous 80 degree day-what have you all been up too? Hope you have beautiful weather too.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Little of my "Doings" Here

Every morning now for the past few days, I have been helping Larry with the food plot. I am picking up plant materials and sticks and rocks. With Larrys insistence I am only out there 2 hours a day-so far not over doing my back.

Today is just the perfect weather to have been out there all morning, but my back won't take that any more.

Never did get any rain here, we need it, but the longer it doesn't rain, the more time we can spend working in our wildlife food plot; so thats a good thing for us.

I just made up Endlessi's Lemon Sugar Scrub, wow!! is that ever nice. It just takes 3 ingredients, white sugar, olive oil, lemon juice and if you have it some lemon essential oil. I did have the essential oil so used that per her recipe. (I have a link to her recipe in my soap slideshow blog. Of course I had to try it right away, and this is a fabulous gardeners scrub too, and your hands are soooo smoth and soft with the olive oil in there. My kitchen colors are mostly blues and yellows along with the stainless and marble-so the lemony color looks beautiful by the sink too. I had a jar that fit the recipe perfectly except for about 3 tablespoons-so that worked out good too. Thank you Endlessi for sharing your recipe.

I am so delighted I sold a few bars of my soap too-so thank you guys for that. I still have the dragonfly soaps and one butterfly soap left.

Well, I am rested up a bit now from this morning, so have a load of laundry in the wash-all those dusty clothes from working in the food plot, and I am off to see what else needs to be brought in before winter.

Enjoy your wednesday!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Slideshow--Autumn in the Ozarks

These photos are all taken near the house, after picking up rocks again this morning, didn't have the energy for a hike in the woods--lol

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Slideshow Soap Making

What I have learned:

1. don't stress-have fun-my first attempt was almost a dissaster-but it's only soap-enjoy the experience-I did the rest of the day

2. one of the main things I learned from the video-the 70% alcohol is a must, and I would not have known that if not for the videos. You put it in a spray bottle with a fine mist-and spritz the just poured soap-gets rid of all bubbles. spritz between layers to make the layers stick together as well When Celeste suspended the cubes of soap in her base-she needed to spritz those cubes first.

3. I used wholesale supplies plus color bars-the temperature has to be at 140 degrees for those to melt.(I discovered that making my first batch) With the white bases-it takes alot of color-lots more than they indicated. With the clear bases it would take alot less color and these color bars would sparkle more in those. I did get a beautiful sparkle and elegant look with the white I chose. and when I used more color-the dragonflys have a beautiful color with a bit of sparkle.

4. layers-for me the temperatures did not work out on the layers as the video explained how to do this process. my second attempt I made the first layer, then waited til set before making the second layer of soap.

5. suspending oatmeal thru out the bars. Celeste and I both did this according to the video and it didn't work for either of us. I followed the video's temperature guidelines-so was dissappointed. I went to live chat over on the wholesale supplies site (which was very helpful answering my questions thru out my research of this project) and asked for help on why ours did not work. She suggested for positive results to buy the suspended soap base.mmmm than why the video-lol I had thought of doing that when I was ordering but it was one of their not all natural bases.

6. I love the molds I bought for this project-and I was able to pick them up just under retail on ebay. I had found the rectangle and oval molds in my candle and soap supplies-from years and years ago, when I tried making the all glycerin soaps with my own herbs at the time. These were cheapy molds that I am sure I picked up at a wal mart type store or at a garage sale. These are a perfect size, but I had a little harder time getting them out of the mold. and if you look on the slideshow for the oatmeal bars-there is one in the front where you can tell the mold plastic was bent-I saw that and figured the hot soap would put it back in shape-not so. If you think you will make a few of these soaps-better to look for a deal on good quality molds.

7.kaolin clay-I decided to add this in my soaps, this was an extra step in the beginning. I had read in alot of the reviews that customers complained that these melt and pour soaps can be too soft. I should have done a test batch with no clay to see if I could tell the difference, but the clay is good for the skin too, so put it in all of them. I had asked on live chat how to add this in, and she suggested as the soap melts pour that over the clay (in a little cup) stir to mix well and then add back to the soap. This is a good tip, cause I think there could be a problem of having enough time to get all the clay incorporated.

8. be sure to be set up before beginning-if using color have it ready to add, if using fragrance-know before hand how much to put in, know the temperatures you need to work with before hand, and use a thermometer-it is surprising how fast the temperature rises, and of course have your molds ready to pour into.

9. would I buy from this company again? Yes I would, I bought only the all natural bases this time-and the one I am using, shea butter, is very nice. very creamy, lathers nice, and I put the maximum essential oil of lavender I could-so smells wonderful.

These soaps are different than the made from scratch kind. There is no curing involved like in those, and as soon as you unmold the melt and pour soaps and they are cooled and dry-must immediately wrap in your soaps in saran wrap-tightly. Otherwise these will sweat and cause problems. In the shower, I am keeping my wrapped up too when not in use. so I need to find a covered soap dish for these.-that could be one of the few draw backs of these soaps.

and above all-enjoy the experience-you are making soap! How fun is that??

Good Morning Saturday-Any Soapers Today?? and a Song

From South Pacific one of my favorite movies--for Song Saturday

If anyone is making soaps today, scrubs, or any thing for the bath, be sure to blog about it and send me your link here in comments. I will do a final blog and post everyones link there too, so all in one spot for future viewing.

Got woken up in the middle of the night, of course couldn't get back to sleep, so started up on laundry this morning, and I made up a batch of soap with oatmeal. For the scent I used the frankencense and myrrh essential oil-I am really loving that one as much as the lavender.

I have made up 4 pounds of soap so far. I used up the goats milk base and shea butter base. My bars were a nice size, the butterfly mold being the smallest. I ended up with 16 bars of soap from 4 pounds of soap. I have a 2 pound tray left of the natural all white base, so will decide what I want to make next. I am thinking for sure another batch of the dragonfly soap, perhaps with no scent. I need to check my box of essential oils though-they are in much smaller bottles but I may have some mints or something else that would be nice to use.

We will be almost 90 degrees again today and tomorrow-amazing to me since we had three nights of frost already. I am hoping to get out to the food plot this morning before it gets too warm and help Larry. Can't pick up rocks now, but can help pick up sticks and grasses that need to get out of there before planting.

Enjoy your saturday!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

One More Soap Coming out of the Mold-another try at Lavender

I was very dissappointed in my first batch, but then I tell myself it was my first batch ever, and I learned from it and I have 3 fabulous smelling lavender bars to use myself--that's a good thing-lol HOwever, Ijust had to try the lavender soap again-I love the color much better.

I think Celeste and I were the only soapers today, unless someone out there hasn't checked in. I know we had about 6 of us that were interested. I have a friend that is recovering from an illness and is also working, and she is making soap tomorrow, and I have another friend that is hoping to get out of the hospital today and she will be making scrubs tonight or tomorrow. So, after tomorrow's soap making I will do a recap in a slideshow and also put links in that blog of any one that posts.

Celeste made some very fun soaps today-soap in luffa-I love that, and other fun soaps-check out her soaps here Celeste and I had a very fun day making soap.

Dragonfly Out of The Mold-Happy Dancing Here-

the scent is frankencense and myrrh-I wanted this to be "earthy" my favorite so far.

Just a photo so far of soap

I unmolded the first two batches, there are 3 bars per tray.

My first one, the lavender, smells wonderful. Next time I will get the color right, love the mold. These three bars will be for me to use cause of those little dots of color that are not suppose to there.

The second one is the butterfly mold, with hydrangea, this is a wonderful scent too, and the color not too bad, considering I couldn't wait til pour the second layer as it was dropping in temps too much and the first layer was not set. The colors blended nicely. So these three will work as gifts.

I am working the dragonfly mold now, and I decided to melt in two seperate stages, as it does take quite awhile for the first to set up. and I really love the essential oil for this one-frankencense and myrrh-very very nice

The information on these soap colors kept saying not to add too much color, the lather needs to stay white. I expected these to have more color than they do, but I am using white soap bases instead of clear. I don't like alot of bright colors in my soap, but for my lavender definately want to get a better color.

off to make the second layer for dragonfly soap-hoping third try is the charm

Soap Making So Far-and What I have Learned

My first attempt at the melt and pour soaps today. I am anxious to hear how Celeste made out cause I think she is using the same product I am. I haven't heard back from any others that are still joining us today with the melt and pour method.

I knew this would be temperature sensitive, need to have everything you need already laid out and ready to go, but this project is really not a "snap" and as easy as I had thought.

Not that it is really hard, I was prepared with my materials needed, I am using the double boiler, which I am glad I did. I think for me the microwave would have been a dissaster, but my first one I had troubles with.

I went back and re read some stuff about adding the color, the video was showing a liquid color and I am using something that needs to melt. They suggest you add the essential oils or fragrance oils first as soon as you get to the temperature, and then add the color. I had a melting point temp for the shea butter base, and a maximum temp., and I also knew the maximum temp for the fragrances. I read the instructions as being--when your base is all melted whether or not you reach the max. is ok.-With the first one not true for the soap color I was using.

I brought the temperature up about 15 degrees below the maximum, but by the time I took it off the double boiler, and stirred in the color, the base was already too cool to dissolve the color bar. So, I put it back on the double boiler and made sure I didn't reach max cause I was worried about the essential oil in there, and I thought I got it all dissolved. This mold is set, and when I flipped it over there is a couple little color specks that did not get blended in so this soap won't do for gifts.

So my second batch, I made sure I hit the max temp, took off the double boiler, stirred in the fragrance, divided into two batches for two different colors. The color bars blended in perfectly this time. However, to pour the second layer, the first layer must be set.

So when I started this I am thinking, I will need to hold the temp. on the second color til the first sets/ or when the first one is set-then make the second color. The video makes it look like you just wait til it comes down to the right temp, and the first layer will be set. Well-lol---that was not the case for me. I held the temp on the second one in the double boiler hot water until I just had to pour it, the first layer was still not completely set-will be ok cause the colors will look nice together.

So, I am finding these little problems lol I had a little soap left from the second layer so poured it onto one of the lavender molds that had room, to see if those layers stay stuck together, after being set for a bit.

Now, on to the third one-the dragonfly mold, which I wanted to do two colors also, need to decide how I want to proceed--Later

October 8th-It's Here-Our Soap Making Event

Good morning, I am setting this up early to cover the different time zones of whom ever participates.

Share your link of your soap blog here in comments-and I will set up links thru out the day.

Wow!! We will be in the mid 80s today-and warmer tomorrow. No rain for almost 2 weeks now and still not much in the forecast. That is a good thing for getting our food plot closer to completion-but a bad thing for possible forest fires.

I of course over did it yesterday, with cleaning up my little garden space. I emptied 3 of the huge pots and have them put away, pulled all the non growing veggies along with some weeds, and I left the pot with all the little sweet peppers cause they are still producing. As is one pole bean plant.

I am off to make me a cup of hot tea, soak my foot, and put the heat on my lower back-lol for a bit.

Then will set up for my soap making.

A couple tips I wanted to share that I have read on several sites with the melt and pour soaps.

1. be aware of the temps-good to have a thermometer, your soap base product should give you temps not to go over.

2. have a spray bottle handy with 70% rubbing alcohol-after pouring in molds spritz lightly on the top of the bars-this will prevent bubbles. This is also used between layers in the bars so they won't come apart-I think I want to make a couple bars with different layers of colors today.

3. if you are using fragrance oils or essential oils-know the maximum heat of each-if soap mix too hot-they will flash right at you. I looked up mine and they are both set at 200 degrees which I am not going to let the soap get that hot. another good reason to use a thermometer

4. they suggest using the microwave or a double boiler-I have decided to go with a double boiler

5. when your melt and pour soaps are out of the molds and cooled completely-wrap tightly in saran wrap-this is important to do with these melt and pours-otherwise they will sweat. after this process we can then wrap them up in pretty papers etc.

Here are links to a few helpful videos and frequently asked questions

list of frequently asked questions

video for general melt and pour soap making

video for one color bar soap

video on making layerd soap

video on embedding items

video on suspending items-like oatmeal, poppy seeds

more videos here along with recipes too

Have Fun!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Good Morning from the Ozarks-and to my Soap Makers

Another gorgeous day promised, not sure what I will get into today, cause after wearing a shoe for a bit yesterday, my bad toe is super touchy again. I am back to soaking it again; alternating with epsom salts and the comfrey my friend sent me.

Larry is out fishing today, and perhaps the next couple days-as I guess we are getting into the "serious" season for catching fish for the freezer. Yeh!!

I may catch up on some house stuff this morning, and then work on emptying my big pots that had the veggies in them and put those away. I was hoping not to empty these-but my newest ones were hard to get a hold of, and Larry is worried they will crack on me this winter. I have a couple others (plastic) that have gone thru a couple winters now and have not cracked-but will go ahead and put these away.

Soap makers

Are you all ready to make soap tomorrow?? I have been going thru my notes about the melt and pours, rechecking method, tempertures of pour etc, when to add fragrance, when to add the colors and how much, and also methods for suspending oatmeal, and I just checked this morning about how to add the kaolin clay to the melt and pour bases. Their little video explained the different clays but didn't say how to add them.

In the reviews I had read several people unhappy about how soft the bars were, so I talked with the live chat and they suggested the kaolin clay to thicken and harden the melt and pours. This clay is also good for your skin as well. and re reading the overviews on the melt and pours I purchased; the company even suggested to use the kaolin clay in the write ups

. I asked the live chat how and when to add it to the base this morning-and she recommended stirring it into a small amount of melted soap base til well mixed in-then stir that into the rest of the melt and pour base-then add fragrance and then add color.

I bought three different bases shea butter, goat milk, and white-all natural bases with no chemicals added. I also purchased a couple essential oils: relaxation aromatherapy-which is to be a real earthy lavender to use with my lavender mold, frankincense and myrrh blend which just sounded nice to use with my dragonfly mold. and I bought one fragrance oil that is not natural hydrangea fragrance oil-I am thinking that would be nice with my butterfly mold.

The only other thing I need to figure out is a math problem-lol When I added up the ounces in my soap molds-they make 3 bars per sheet-they do not total up to 16 ounces-which everything added in is based on. So I need to figure out that today.

and I guess I definately have enough soap color bars to last for lots and lots of soap-they come 6 cubes to a package-and each cube will color up to 10 pounds of soap. and I bought 5 different colors, mostly cause it was a price break, and I chose colors I could layer in the molds I bought. The colors I chose will not migrate into the layers, are not light sensitive, and won't fade-so they sounded nice. They also will sparkle in clear bases, and in my white bases will be muted and softer-which is what I want. When I first read these would color up to 10 pounds of soap I thought it was for the whole package-lol so each package will color up to 60 pounds of soap-

All of us that are making soap--I know alot of us are brand new to soap making-will be using the melt and pour soap bases, and a couple more experienced soapers will be making soap from scratch--please link up to my blog tomorrow and share your day and experiences, and if you can-lots of photos will be awesome for us all to view.

I want this to be a fun day for all of us, get us motivated, and to learn from each other, and we will all be enjoying making soap together-from all over the states and Canada too.

See ya all tomorrow soap makers.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

go cutter giveaway

Go here for a chance to win a Go Cutter Alderwood quilts

Doings Here in my Ozarks

It is still so gorgeous here, and is getting a few degrees warmer every day now. By the weekend the lows will be out of the 30s and into the 50s, and highs close to 80s.

I am still struggling with my broken toe, and lower back-but getting a little better I think-just have so much to do this time of year though. We are still working on getting our food plot cleared for planting, and my back is not allowing me to help much.

More canning-lol---we went to a very small birthday party for a friend, who is dying of cancer yesterday. I made some little cupcakes for us, and since I didn't have any candles, Larry thought of putting in one of our wooden matches for a candle-worked out perfectly-lol While there, Mr. L went into our friend's woods and brought out a big sheepshead mushroom. I love these canned and used on homemade pizzas. We have not been able to find one here in our woods, and they always grow under oaks. We are thinking our woods has had too many very hot fires go thru it within the last 10 years.

So that is what I am doing this morning, while waiting for the sears man-he ordered that new panel for me that was rusting away on my washer-so will he will replace that this morning.

We also got gifted with another 1/2 bushel of missouri pears. These are nicer and bigger than the ones I was working with before. The ones that are ripe I put in the frigerator for eating, and the rest I put in brown bags to ripen-so have to decide what I want to do with these. I may just can up a few quarts of them-not sure yet.

Also, we spyed a huge crop of wild grapes, asked Mr. L about them-and oh yes these are fabulous. So I want them to can juice up with-I learned years ago from my Mom's amish neighbors what they do. Fill a quart jar at least 1/2 full of grapes-pour boiling hot water over them, put the lids on, and can in water bath canner. They will make their own juice this way-without all of the work of boiling and straining thru jelly bags-so I want these-lol

I also just learned about a natural dye site looks full of information-and they are discussing dye on mushrooms-I forgot about that-and we have mushrooms everywhere here. So I just may have to explore that for sure.

So I am off to finish steaming the mushrooms, and then will can up in the pressure canner.

Later How is your Fall day going??

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hand Dyes After the Final Rinse and Line Dried

The colors will always not be as bright as you see in the dye pot, but I am pleased with this project. They came out very earthy and primitive looking, and will make a nice quilt project.

A couple of the pieces came out a bit uneven in color, but I like that in my hand dyes-I know it is because the fabric was over crowded in the pot-but I think this gives the fabric more interest.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hand Dye Project Recap

First of all my inspiration and knowledge for techniques of natural dye-especially on cottons: Helen Jenny
I have quite a big collection of books on the subject starting back in the 70s, my newest and ones that really explain the "nitty gritty" are:
Wild Color by Jenny Dean-which is just now back in print
The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing, Traditional Recipes for Modern Use by J.N. Liles
and a favorite from the 90s A Dyer's Garden by Rita Buchanan
The process for mordanting cottons is in The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing book, and I also learned from Helen about EarthHues-where I bought what I needed for mordanting cottons and I went by the owner's instructions. On her site is a technical page with good information, she gives you a detailed recipe when you buy supplies from her.
The fabric I used for this project was 100% cottons used in quilting-muslins, printed backings with little prints, kona, whites, a couple tans

I redid my slideshow-and don't know how to post them here, I use cross over from Mulitply here is a link to the slideshow of this project

More Yellows in the Dye Pot

When I started this project I knew I would get 3 different shades of yellows, and the onion skins giving me more orange to brown. What I messed up on, and I need to go back to the books, or ask one of my natural dye contacts, is I thought after the dye bath of yellow I could put the fabric into a copper mordant and get green-and that didn't work. Instead I got a very dulled yellow-maybe when rinsed and dried it will give a yellow green.

The marigolds are giving me a deep orangish yellow-different than the onion skins, and I was expecting a beautiful soft yellow from the goldenrod and that's what I am getting. Remember that wool yarn I did a couple years ago in goldenrod-so pretty.

Hubby says-so what are you going to do with all these yellows??? These 4 batches definately all work together, very earthy, so I need to find a simple quilt pattern for these-any ideas?? you quilters out there?

I will still put together a slideshow, sources of information, and what I did in a future blog this week.

first photo is the set up

second and third is the marigolds

fourth was dyed in the marigolds then went into mordant bath-didn't like it so added some goldenrod to soften

fifth and sixth is the goldenrod

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I'm Just Thrilled Over These Yellows

I can't believe what beautiful yellows I got. This is from the mimosa leaves I picked, while the flowers were in bloom, and then dried last year. I ran out of good weather last fall to experiment-more gorgeous than I ever expected.

First Look at my Doings with Mushrooms and Natural Dye on Cotton

First up;  early this morning I worked up the new batch of centrelles, I ended up with 8 pints and 3  1/2 pints.
After taking Nikita for our walk,(limping all the way-lol-cause this broken toe does not want to mend)  and resting my back a bit on the heating pad, I decided to do two batches of natural dye in the house; the onion skins and the mimosa leaves.
When I am finished with the next two batches, which I will do outside this week, I will make up a slideshow and a "how to" of what I did.
I am really pleased with the onion skins. My books said I would get oranges to browns and I did. Love these earthy colors.
Next up is the dried mimosa leaves, which I soaked for a day, then brought it up to just a simmer and added the mordanted cotton quilting fabric. I am to get pretty yellows-and I think I will. I turned the fire off, and will let this sit til this evening or when it cools down-before I rinse and wash it out.
We ended up with a very pretty sunny day, and is to get a bit warmer during the day time, this week. My marigolds and goldenrod batches I will do outside, so maybe tomorrow or the next day when it warms up in the afternoon.


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