Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Homemade Laundry Soap

In my reading I came across information about making your own laundry soap. Most of the soap you buy has a lot of extra chemical in it which can be go into the water system. The ingredients seemed simple so I figured I would give it a try. I found several recipes that were all basically the same. The blog Down to Earth is a place with a lot of inspiration with a lot of green cleaning recipes. The Borax was easy to find the other two ingredients I found at Soaps Gone Buy, which also has recipes. For my first attempt I am making the dry soap but if it works I plan to try making the liquid soap next.

First off is the list of ingredients: Washing Soda, Borax and Laundry Soap (I used Fels-naptha but there are others you can use)

The first step is to grate the soap, a good time to bring out the food processor.

It looks a little like strange cheese.

Next measure out the washing soda and borax. If I had a regular size food processor I could have just added them in but I needed to break it into smaller portions.

Whirling away in the food processor, it looks all white but really had the yellow grated soap in there being broken up further.

The finished product in a reused spaghetti jar. A regular load takes two tablespoons of soap so this should last a little while. One thing about this soap is it will not create suds. Laundry day is coming up so we will see how it goes.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Reversable Apron

For my next project I decided to make the Reversible Apron from Simple Sewing. One side is pink and the second side is a print. Of course the first step is to lay out and cut the fabric.

The ties are sewn together, turned and pressed. This is before the pressing.

After the sides and center are attached the ties are sewn in, they in the wrong spot here, but I got it right after a few tries.

Next the front and back are put together with a small opening to turn it. Once the opening is sewn up its done.

The print side.

The pink side.

A close up of the fabric print.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pleated Bag

My latest completed project is a pleated bag from the Amy Karol book.

I didn't take pictures of the process this time, this was one of the more complicated projects I have tried. Here is a close-up of the straps. The floral print is from fabric I got on Ebay.

I used the floral fabric in the pleats as well as the inside of the straps.

There wasn't enough fabric to line the bag but I got some red plaid for the lining and used the flowers for the inside pocket.

So here it is, the finished product...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wind Tunnel Fun

As part of the pre-deployment fun, the guys Mike works with, some wives and us all went to the Perris Valley Indoor Wind Tunnel. The guys had two hours in the tunnel, just to give you the impact of spending this amount of time in the Tunnel you would usually pay $50 for the short training and then just two minutes in there! Needless to say they all had fun. Mike even worked with the staff to learn how to control his movement on his back, this can eventually lead to being able to free fall in the sitting position.

You can also see some pictures here.

Backback for my Mom

On a recent visit my Mom looked through my new sewing books and found a backpack she liked so I asked her to pick some fabric and I would give it a try. For a few weeks now I have been working on cutting up the scrap fabric I got from my Mom into squares but decided today to take a break and make the backpack. First thing after cutting the three pieces needed was to make the straps.

Next comes the pocket hem followed by attaching the pocket to the main backpack.

After that I just sewed up the sides, made the top casing, put the straps in then sewed the straps into the bottom of the backpack.

Here is a closeup so you can see the fabric pattern a little better.

This was a simple and quick project, the only part I don't like about it is the edges of the casing are not finished so as the strap moves though you can see the raw edge and possibly this could come apart with a lot of use, I am going to need to think for awhile to find a way to fix it.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Universal Studios

Last week Mike and I finally went to Universal Studios (he got me tickets for Christmas), it was also his birthday, the big 3-0.

It was actually a very beautiful day, this is the view out toward Burbank, you can see all of the backlot area.

Look its the Bates Motel!

And the model ship from Peter Jacksons King Kong

Oh no, a flood...

Look at the lovely city streets...

A little effects show based on The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

A vehicle from the movie Serenity, based on the awesome show Firefly

This was one of the most amazing sets, its from the movie War of the Worlds. They actually took a real plane and cut it up to make this set.

We saw all the live action shows including Waterworld which was one of the most impressive.

Unfortunately the Simpsons Ride was not open yet but we did get to go on all the other rides, some multiple times because there park was not crowded. I also took several videos, it was a fun day.

March Books

Here are the books for March!

Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley
Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
The Year My Sister Got Lucky by Amiee Friedman
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Pirates by Celia Rees
Lord John and the Hand of Devils by Diana Gabaldon
The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
Princess Mia by Meg Cabot
Big Boned by Meg Cabot

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Lounge Pants Part II

I really liked the lounge pants so I got some more fabric and made two more pair. The first pair are about mid-knee length.

Here is close-up of the print.

Then I also made a black pair which I could not get to photograph very well.

Here is a close up of the black print

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Mike and I took a trip up to Solvang, Ca earlier this week for a little vacation. On the way we saw some fields of flowers.

And and ostrich farm, of you look closely you can see them in this field along the road.

We spent one day in Lompoc where I had gotten Mike a gift certificate for Sky Dive Santa Barbara, he was able to get four jumps in. Thats him with the red chute...

Solvang has lots of cute shops and bakeries. Our first eating experience there we tried some ableskivers, oh my they were good, a pastry with powdered sugar and raspberry jam. I intended to take a picture...but they were gone before I could get the camera out.

We also discovered Danish Pancakes at Paul's Pancake House, if you go to Solvang go there! The have the most awesome danish pancakes, I got mine with strawberries plus their homemade whipped cream plus they have real fresh squeezed orange juice. We went there for breakfast both mornings we were there.

We did a lot of walking around and saw all of the stuff we could about the towns danish history ad well as the tributes to Hans Christan Andersen.

One of my favorite things was the Little Mermaid Fountain, it was very pretty and had foam on the rocks which connects it to the real story.

Here is where we stayed, the Wine Valley Inn. If you are into wine there are a ton of wineries and tasting rooms in town.

Basically although it was quite cold, it was a very pretty trip.