Friday, September 25, 2009

I am so bad at this blogging thang.... has been days since I have posted something new....course I did mention at the beginning of this little adventure that I sucked at keeping a journal :-) 

I have actually been that is my good excuse...
I have been dog sitting for an old friend/customer (from when I worked at Sound View Stables)....and they have 7 Jack Russells?!?!?  Who has 7 Russells???  They are all very cute...just so loud and naughty!!!  (I keep meaning to get a picture of them...maybe I will get one later on today...)

Anyway...with them my days have been starting at 5:15 a.m....and then finishing when I go to bed at about 10 p.m.  And spending most of the day just being exhausted!  But I have managed to do some knitting and reading. 

I just finished (like 5 minutes ago) reading "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audry Niffenegger.  Really good read.  I have wanted to see the movie...yet I always doubt that the movie will be as good as the book. 

I also just finished making some little items for my Reducio Sock Swap partner...the deadline for mailing packages is I mailed mine yesterday (nothing like waiting for the last minute)

My swap partner is a I made a Reducio Sock in her house well as a mini house sweater.  They both came out adorable I must say :-)  And just added some chocolate (cause what gift is complete without chocolate??) and candy corn (cause it seemed appropriate for the season) and some soap samples (a good free advertising ploy)...and wrapped all of this up in red and yellow tissue paper to complete the Gryffindor theme.

And just because I was having so much fun making the little socks...I ended up making one in each of the 4 house colors.  Of course now that I included the Gryffindor one in my swap package I need to make another one so that I can have a complete set :-)  I also ended up using these for my Defense Against the Dark Arts assignment in the HPKCHP (on Ravelry).  The assignment was:

"What I Fought On My Summer Holidays” - It’s September! The month for the traditional back-to-school essay about what you did on your summer holidays. Explain and show an example of which spell you practiced, creepy creature you fought, or scary Death Eater plot you unraveled over the summer holidays. Extra points for house colors, making the prof laugh, or being especially awesome.

So on my holidays I spent time perfecting my Reducio (description: makes an enlarged object smaller. Counter-charm to Engorgio) spellwork, which can be rather fiddly and annoying to work with because it is so small.

And because I was feeling a little guilty for spending so much time on making things that are really not that useful...ya know cause I don't have any midgets or leprachauns in need of socks and sweaters...I thought I would try them on my dragon Harry Potter....

This would be Harry sporting the Hufflepuff and Gryffindor socks and looking rather pleased with himself....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back from vacation...and had to make soap :-)

I was going through soapmaking withdrawals so today I was thinking about making soap all day....

I started the day though working...driving Isobel to school (Iz is not my own child but when someone asks we tell them that I am her 'barn mom' because I usually pick her up from school and take her to riding lessons) and then doing some pet sitting jobs that I had scheduled for today. But I was done with all that by about 10:00 a.m. so I had the rest of the day to do all the stuff that was waiting for me to do while I was away on vacation.

Most of the rest of the day ended up with finishing packaging up soap samples for the sampler program that I was asked to participate in last month.  I was able to finish packing them up and shipped them out today as well. 

These are the finished sampler packages.  My samples will be included in the October they suggested that you could have a "Halloween" theme for your samples if you wanted.  I didn't find out about this program in time to make halloween type soaps...but I was able to find some halloween treat bags that worked well for packaging most of them.  Some are in clear bags just because I think they look nicer...and because I hadn't found the halloween bags until today.  Each sample bag contains a sample sized soap (about 2 -2.5 oz bars), a business card and a promotional postcard for free shipping on orders that are placed from this particular program.

I also finally packaged up and shipped out my swap package for a "Soap and Washcloth" swap that I signed up for on Ravely.  I had finished knitting my washcloth ages ago...and shopped for little other gifts to add to my project before I went on I thought I would just bring it all along with me on vacation and finally get it mailed while I was away.  Course as I was packaging it all up and getting it ready to go to the post office...I realized I forgot to bring the SOAP...kind of one of the major parts of the whole thing!!!  DUH!!!  So it ended up going out today...
After all that was done.....I MADE SOAP :-)
For about 3 hours this afternoon I made 3 batches of soap.  (After packaging up all my samples I had room on my curing shelf for more soap).  I made 2 batches of pumpkin spice soap seeing how it feels like fall lately.  One batch put in small silicone pumpkin/jackolantern/leaf molds...they look festive.  And the other batch I did as a regular log mold that I will be able to slice up probably tomorrow.
The little molds did not gel...and the log mold and the top smaller log mold seem to be gelling...they are also the 2nd batch and I soaped a little warmer. 
Then I ended my soap making day with a big batch of my all time favorite, Oatmeal, Milk & Honey soap.
Overall...was a very productive day :-)
I think now I am going to either make dinner (not feeling motivated to actually do that...might end up being a cereal dinner night)...or work on either my Potions assignment for the HPKCHC (Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup a group on Ravelry that I belong to...and that is lots of fun!!) or work on my O.W.L. project assignment also for the HPKCHC.  I will post pic of those projects another time...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Back from Vacation...

Back today from my little vacation.  Went to Wildwood, NJ for a couple of days...and sadly it rained pretty much everyday :-(  Which kind of sucked but tried to make the best of it.  Did manage to get in some shopping (mostly window shopping) and reading time and did a lot of eating...something that isn't affected by the rain! 

Missed my dog!  Picked him up from the kennel today as soon as we got back...he is exhausted!  I don't think he slept much or ate much while he was in the kennel...he is looking a little pathetic.  But he seems happy to be home...and I am definitely happy to be with him again.

This is the picture the kennel took of Brandon while he was staying there and sent this in an email to me to let me know he was doing well...

Having a blast at Best Friends Norwalk...wish you were here!

I'd love to tell you all about it, but since I can't talk my Best Friends agreed to send this photo along to you instead.
See you soon!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

It has been awhile since I lasted posted...

Let's see...I have been busy doing a lot of pet sitting this past week.  People are trying to get in those last little get aways before school starts and everyone gets back to a more normal routine.  And I have managed to enjoy some of these beautiful fall like days we have had this past week.  I seem to especially notice this while walking some of my client's dogs on the back roads of New Caanan, CT.  There isn't too much traffic going by and you can just listen to the birds singing and the sounds of squirrels and other little animals busily working on storing up for winter.  And of course I enjoy the antics of the dogs I am walking as well.  Particularly a little black Pug named Benny.  He enjoys rolling in lush patches of green grass so if I am not paying attention sometimes I don't notice he has stopped walking to have a good roll til I start dragging him...which always makes me laugh cause he seems to think this is an added extra benefit of rolling.

I have also spent time this week when I am not walking dogs or driving to different client's homes, putting together some sample packages of my soaps that I am doing for a promotional site that asked me to participate in their "Out of the Box Sampler" program.  They help promote small business by sending out boxes with samples from different small business.  I decided it couldn't hurt to give it a shot.  I agreed to send some samples for October's boxes and maybe I will sign up to send some more for November and December.  It would definitely be a good time of year to participate with the holidays coming up.  Plus it gives me an excuse to make more soap!

These are a couple of the ones I made up today.

I also rebatched some soap that seized up on me a couple of weeks ago...was supposed to be a banana scented soap....that turned into a mess!  This is the first attempt...pretty ugly!!  Let see what happens with the rebatch.

Thankfully I had set aside a portion of this batch because originally I was going to layer it sort of like a "banana cream pie" look...which never happened cause of the seize that happened to the first part of the plan (pic above)...but I was able to scent these star mold soaps with some banana fragrance oil and they came out heavenly!  They are currently sitting on the counter in my kitchen curing and so whenever I am cooking or in the kitchen I usually spend some time just smelling them :-)  YUMMY!!  And to be fair...the little flowers (blueberry) and beehive soaps (oats & honey) are equally yummy!

I also spent some time filling an order for buttercream flavored lip balms for someone in my church who ordered a bunch of them....unfortunately, I have already given them to her so I don't have any pictures to share.  But they turned out great as well.

I will posted pictures of the rebatch when I unmold it and slice it...keep your fingers crossed that it turned out well...