Saturday, 20 June 2015

Wedding favours - experimenting with soap!

So as you know I'm getting married in November.  Trawling round the wedding fayres looking for inspiration for my favours, I kept on being drawn towards soap stalls.  So I decided to investigate - how hard could it be to make hand made soap, right?  The way I figure is people spend a fortune on favours and they are always left on the table..... if the bride and groom have gone to the effort of making the favours, they're better received.  It'd be too easy to just buy them!

So I watched some youtube tutorials and googled and I discovered the amazing melt & pour method. So easy!  So a quick amazon shop later and i was set up and ready to go

The soap comes in these blocks, that you cut down, put into small chunks, stick in the microwave and pour!  It really is as simple as that.  I have here a goats milk block

You need quite a sharp knife to get through it and remember you can't use any of the kitchen utensils again as they'll be soap flavoured and nobody will thank you for that...

I found some really cute moulds on eBay....

And you don't have to wait that long to un-mould them (i'm not known for my patience so this is a good thing)

Here you go - et voila!

My first soap out of the mould

So I got to exploring - here below is a few I used from a cake mould from the supermarket and a few bath bombs

The bubbling on the hearts is unsightly but a further google brought me the knowledge of spraying with a little surgical spirits/rubbing alcohol, which stops it.

The bath bombs were super easy too - tho I had a little trouble getting them to stay firm - I shall experiment further tho and make it perfect for November.  They were really lush in the bath tho!

I have decided that for the favours I want just square ones.... so I have been experimenting with different essential oils and dried flowers - below are some lavender and lemon, bluebell flower and ylang ylang,  germanium and lemongrass.

I've also now invested in some colourings and glitters.


And some other moulds.  I love this bird one - this is a lavender soap and I got the colour by mixing blue and red together!

I've also been experimenting with the packaging.

What do you think?  I think the tags are too big and the ones form the prettier moulds don't need much packaging.

I also think I prefer the clear soap as you can see the flowers better and the colours!

But the goats milk/shea butter feels more luxurious

The celophane I think I will save for the bath bombs.

I have to say my skin is soooo soft from using them!  Even the finance has commented.

I hope people like them.

What are your favourite scent combinations??

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Too long....

Woah!  It's been way too long since I've posted anything and soooo much has happened!

This year - I can't believe how quickly it's flying.

So biggest news.  The boyfriend asked me to marry him on Christmas Day.

So after crying a bit and getting over the shock I said yes.  So we've decided to get married quickly so this year has just flown by in a rush of wedding organising.  We're getting married in November, in a barn in the highlands and I can't wait.  I've got my dress, bridesmaids dresses, the suits - the accessories, the decor.  Sandy did the invitations himself which look amazing and the whole thing is just rushing by.  I can't believe we're into June next week.  That coupled with the fact I'm on another mental production means I've had no time to do anything - no sewing, no baking, just work/wedding/sleep.

We did manage to squeeze in a trip to Dublin in March for country to country music festival which was amaaaaazing!  I loved it.  Lady Antebellum on night one, Luke Bryan on night two and loads of other amazing acts in-between Florida Georgia Line, Brandy Clark, Kip Moore!  Total country music heaven.

Plus Dublin is a really cool place.  We had some nice meals out, went to a speakeasy - did the obligatory guinness tour and spent time in the temple bar.  I can't wait to go back next year.

The cocktails were great too - I had a lavender one which is probably the nicest drink I've ever had.  Need to find a recipe for that!

The open top bus tour was a fun way to see the city

This was Dublins oldest restaurant - the Trocadero.  It was really nice.  it's very deco

A few beers at the concert.  The 3 arena is a great venue - you never feel like you're too far away from the action

The beers were definitely flowing

Lady A were sensational!  As was Luke but I didn't get any good pictures of him I was too busy falling in love...

A lot of the americans in the audience were saying they came all the way over just for the concert because they can't get tickets to see those two acts in the states as they're so popular/expensive.  I'm kinda glad country music is not big over here because it means we can enjoy superb gigs like this!  

Friday, 17 October 2014

The flying goose

So after finishing my shirt, I wanted to get back to a nice easy quilt project.  I've been wanting to do a flying goose for ages and I had some fat quarters that would do the trick.

So armed with my trusty Quilt in a Day project book, I've set to work


There's a lot of cutting involved in this pattern.

cutting and cutting and cutting........

You get to know your rotary cutter and rulers really well!

But I figure it will see up really quick when this step is over 


We've been meaning to do this for AGES but you know how it is - life gets in the way.....but a couple of weekends ago we jumped on the train through to Edinburgh for the day.  It's so easy from Glasgow - less than an hour.

We just basically did a pub crawl round the city to all the dog friendly pubs.  It was great fun!  We ate nachos for lunch and had a burger for tea!  No better day to be had than that, right?

Castle in the background

Pippa (as always) was the star of the show everywhere we went.

You never get a nice photo of you in a place when it's just the two of you - we could be anywhere here!

Pippa enjoyed her day out too! 

Apple pie

Everyone's Granny used to make an apple pie right?  Well mine made the best ever!  Granny was an excellent baker, but she never wrote anything down - she just used to do it all from memory and now she can't remember how she used to make her apple pie!  I've always found it hard to eat anybody elses apple pie - let alone make one.  They just never cut it.  But as we've had such a harvest of apples this year from our tree in the garden, I was running out of patience for crumble, so thought I'd give it a go and put the skills from my pastry course last year to test!

I just boiled some of the apples down with sugar, lemon and a bit of water and cinnamon.  And then placed that over the top of layered, sliced apple.  The pastry was a sweet pastry recipe.

I was pretty happy with the results!

I've never attempted a lattice top on a pie before - it was super easy

Yummy with a dollop of chantilly cream!

Completed Hawthorn

As you know I'd been attending an advanced dress making course and had chosen the Colette Hawthorn as my project of choice.  I didn't fancy a dress because to be honest I don't wear many anymore.  And I really love the style of the top.  Sleeves were a must.  I have to say it was really tricky to get the fit right.  I'm between 3 sizes, so I had to do a fair bit of grading, a bust adjustment and take in the side seams, but I'm pretty happy with the results.

I think if I do this again, I will make the collar bigger.

The plackets on the sleeves were without doubt the hardest thing I've ever sewn, but then I had a 'eureka' moment on the 2nd one and I realised exactly how to make it work.  Funny how things just click eventually - that's why you should try, try again.

I've got a couple of wears out of this, which is a first for me as I've not really worn anything I've made yet.  The fabric gets creased pretty easily.

There will definitely be another one!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Our wee trip to Yorkshire Coast

As we're not getting away this autumn we booked ourselves a wee cottage just a few miles outside of Filey.

It was a beautiful wee village.

Here we are exploring the beach on the first night - holiday selfie!

Of course Pippa had to come too

We treated ourselves to fish and chips.... I have to say these were about the best fish and chips I've ever had.  

I'm not really one for fish and chips - that's the boyfriends preferred take away choice.  But man these were good

We had them on a bench overlooking the beach.  It was just perfect.  So romantic.

On saturday we drove to scarborough for the day

We played the slot games

We didn't win a penny but only spent pennies so who cares!

Pippa's not allowed on scarborough beach during the summer - they have a no dog rule, which quite frankly SUCKS.  In my opinion it's like saying 'no children'.  They make a mess, they pee in the sea, they leave rubbish everywhere, they're a trip hazard running around the place, what harm do little doggies do?  There should be a fine for not picking up after them and an enforced lead rule if anything but to ban all dogs is just ridiculous.  Sort it out scarborough council!

Anyway rant over.  We enjoyed the view from afar but as a consequence none of the businesses along by the beach got our trade!

The pirate boat is dog friendly tho!  Here we are having a quick trip out

Then that evening we drove up to Whitby Abby

Another dog friendly site!

And then we went to find the chip shop that was voted the 2014 best fish and chips in the uK

They were OK - but not as good as Inghams the previous night.

Pippa's looking for dracula here.

Then we had a walk around the town.  Pippa posed on some creels.  So cute

On sunday we went a walk by the cliffs.  These cliffs were really cool - they were completely white like chalk.  

It was like being on a different planet

Everyone wrote their names on stones with the lime stone and put them on the cliffs.

Here's our effort

Here is Pippa in the stones.  Just before this the boyfriend fell over.  It was quite funny

Then we went a walk along the top and by the lighthouse

Those cliffs were high - they gave me vertigo!

On the way home we found a miniature village so stuck our heads in

I have to say it was incredible.

The next day before we came home we went to the village where heartbeat and harry potter was filmed.

This is Hogwarts platform from the first film.  The steam railway still runs through it.

The next trip to yorkshire is going to involve a steam railway journey - they accept dogs! :)

Then we drove to another village where hogwarts was filmed which was really cute - it was the village in the last films.  The ice cream was great!

So much fun to have a quick break.  But too short.  Saving is hard.