Tuesday, June 30, 2009


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Where flowers bloom, so does hope

- Lady Bird Johnson


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The Power of Now

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“This very moment is a seed from which

the flowers of tomorrow's happiness grow.”

~ Margaret Lindsey

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Passion & Purpose

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“Passion is the genesis of genius.” ~ Anthony Robbins

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“When work, commitment, and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible.”

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A strong  passion for any object will ensure success, for the desire of the end will point out the means ~ William Hazlitt

Passion and purpose go hand in hand. When you discover your purpose, you will normally find it’s something you’re tremendously passionate about.  ~ Steve Pavlina

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

5 Steps to Handmilled Soap from Scratch

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DIY handmilled soap begins with soap flakes, preferably from handmade soap. I prefer castile soap.

You will need:

  • 6-8 oz. Soap Flakes
  • Additives (distilled water, herbs, oils, scents,)
  • Mold
  • Large Pot (I use a 8 Qt. Stainless Steel pot)
  • Plastic freezer bags (I use 2 sizes: 1 gal. & 1 pt. )
  • heavy duty work gloves (melted soap is hot)

In 5 quick easy steps you’ll have some fabulous, luxurious, rich, lathering handmilled soap.

  1. Prepare Soap Flakes
  2. Melt Soap Flakes
  3. Scent
  4. Pour
  5. UnMold

Making Handmilled Soap is very easy. First shred some soap to create your soap flakes. Natural soap works best but I’ve heard some people say they’ve used commercial bars like ivory.

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1. Shred base soap. I use a large standard vegetable shredder most of the time. Occasionally I use my “craft dedicated” food processor.

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Choose your molds. Get Creative. Look at everything around you. Look at disposal containers. A great time to recycle or repurpose.

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2. Melt soapflakes by placing them inside the (smaller) plastic bag and then place that bag inside a larger one (1) gallon plastic freezer bag and place them both in a pot of water. Add at least 2-4T. water, aloe, milk or other liquid to the bag of flakes. Bring to a slow boil.

DSC05846-flakes in pot copyThis is where the creativity and experimentation begins. You can add herbs and additional oils at this stage. Experiment. You can also try varying the stage when additives are introduced in the soap like before it’s melted or after melting and just prior to pouring.

Keep a close eye on the soap stirring or mashing the bag occasionally to aide the melting process and to ensure a well mixed batter. The melt time can vary depending on the blend of soapflakes.

DSC05850-melting soapflakes copy DSC05853-melted soap copy You can add additional water to the soapflakes as well. A word of caution. Do not add boiling water to the bag of soapflakes, it may melt a hole in the bag. However, if this should happen. Cleanup as always in soapmaking is pretty easy just a bit messier. You should transfer the soap in a damaged smaller bag to your large outer bag right away. Get a new outer bag and continue the melting process.'

3. Add scent after the soap is completely melted to your desired consistency, it’s time to scent. You can use fragrance or essentials oils. Just keep in mind you are working with a small batch of soap and a little scent can go a long way. Also the scent in soap doesn’t really come through until it has cured a bit. The staying power of the scent can vary with each unique blend or essential. A Good rule of thumb is 1/2 teaspoon per 8oz.

Thirdly, handmilled soap does a fantastic job at retaining scent because it doesn’t have to undergo the harsh saponification process of cold process soapmaking. Ok, so now it’s scented.

4. Pour the soap batter into your pre selected, oiled molds. Snip the corner of one end of the bag of melted soap. This makes it easy to control and pour.

DSC05934-n the mold copyAnother great aspect of handmilled soap, is it allows me to use more intricate molds. Many of my molds come from recycled packaging. The shell mold was the lid of a Wendy’s salad container. So it’s yet another way of ‘Greening my Craft’.

Gently drop the mold on the floor or counter to “burp” any air pockets or bubbles. Just like you would with cake batter. Now place the mold in the freezer to set up. The setup time will vary depending on the thickness of the project and consistency of the batter mix usually 1-2 hours for larger molds and a half hour for smaller molds.

Once the soap has set up. You can test this by touch. It should be firm otherwise you might not get a good clean release.

5. Unmold your soap. I usually place fresh unmold soap on wax paper or small cardboard scraps. They are more permeable and the soap doesn’t usually stick.

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Here are examples using different molds including commercial soap, candle or recycled molds.

-Commercial massage bar soap molds


-almost any container has the potential for a great mold. Containers used for food storage, packaging, and preparation are really great candidates. Don’t stop there—look outside the kitchen—think outside the box.

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With these 5 easy steps, you’ll be making handmilled soap in no time with ease. It’s the melt and pour for natural handmade cold process soap. If you’d like to try making handmilled soap, I can help you get started with natural handmilled castile based soapflakes. Please visit my shop to see some of my other handmilled concoctions. They’re quite yummy.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

10 Steps to Organized Craft Rooms and Studio Workspaces

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I found some articles with tips and ideas to help you get organized. Creative people can often be messy. I am most productive in organized chaos. I like to see my supplies and raw materials. Many of my projects stem from the visualization of them.

Found this great link at Craft Resources using “Google” search. The people over at Get Creative Show .com had a business seminar and here is what some of their contributors like, Karen Booy , Ewe & Me Pattern Co.,
Crafting the American Dream
, and CRAFTLINK Newsletter shared.

  1. Separate Work Areas
  2. Think about Storage
  3. Easy Tool Access
  4. Lighting
  5. Workspace
  6. Ambience (i.e. Music)

Karen further advises in order to keep things organized…

  1. Find Creative Storage Solutions
  2. Be realistic
  3. Put it Back
  4. Tidy up

I recognize the need for balance and creativity in my life. Perhaps it’s because my 50th birthday is fast approaching. It’s cause to stop and pause to figure out the best way to get the most out of every aspect of my life. Creativity comprises a huge part of my life so I’ve decided to undertake this challenge.

If you’d like to join me on this undertaking stay tuned…I’ll be bringing you more tips and resources as well as documenting my progress. Wish me Luck!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Flowers of June

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"In June, 


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as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day. 

DSC05528-rosebud copy No man can heed all of these anniversaries;

no man can ignore all of them." 

-   Aldo Leopold

Adding horizontal CCS menu to blog

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You may have noticed the “new” horizontal CSS menu below my header. You probably also noticed that all links lead to Home. That’s because I just added them and I’m currently constructing the pages for those links. I’m working hard to create an easy-to-navigate, content-rich blog. Like fine wine…this blog will get better with time. hehehe

Once they’re totally functional I will be post a status update along with links to the tutorials I used to achieve my results. Stay tuned……

Tech Trauma

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Is anyone else out there suffering from information overload? I don’t know about you but I’m having some major Tech Trauma right now. It’s if I went to sleep one night and woke and the whole world got wired and socially networked overnight. While I know that’s not actually true. The changes on the web have evolved at such a phenomenal pace while I was busy living off the web.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not exactly a novice nor do I have technology phobia. I actually love technology almost as much as creating and crafting physically with my hands. Which is why I am so dumbfounded by my lack of social networking savvy. I’m the go-to-tech person in my circle of influence.

At work, I’m the person called on to answer or solve many computer issues, hardware, network or software and I work in a pretty tech wired medical practice. We have networks and programs for viewing radiology reports on the web. We create and maintain EMR’s (electronic medical records) and I’m very comfortable with it all. On a more personal note, I’m the person that family and friends call on come to fix computer issues as well. Again, it can be anything from hardware to software.

Heck, ten years ago I was answering questions, creating websites and graphics for other craft artesian who wanted a web presence but had little to no computer skills. Since then the Web went 2.0 and CSS took over as the prominent web formatting language. CSS, now that’s another whole sad saga. While I can still create a lot of things using html and Photoshop, I have to find pre-designed CSS scripts and templates for most of my web design needs. There is plenty out there but I guess the “control freak” in me want to be able to create my own.

So again, I ask, what happened? Why can’t I grasp all this new social media networking stuff and CSS. I study and strain to gain every ity bity skill and piece of knowledge I currently possess. Why is it so hard for me? I’m not scared. I’m not even put off by having to learn, quite the contrary. I just don’t seem to be learning at that rapid of a speed.

And there’s also this burgeoning feeling of information overload. How do you balance it all. I want to be up on it all and involved in those networks that are topping the the tech charts these days. I want to participate and maneuver these new waters with grace and speed. But right now I’m stumbling around here and there being drawn in like a moth to a flame.

I’m determine to get this stuff. I will be socially networked and super savvy at it—if it kills me. I think organization is the key. What do you think? Are you a savvy social media networker? I’d love to hear from you especially with any useful tips or sites to help me achieve this goal.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


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DSC05251  a refreshing peak at the day

DSC05256 anticipating the Joy it Holds.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Create a Thought

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Everyday you are creating thoughts. Thoughts that are interesting and beautiful, profound and deep, silly and funny. Whatever your thought style is, they should be recorded,” says the owner of CREATEaTHOUGHT .

CREATEaTHOUGHT's mission is to help you do just that.  She  was our “featured” Etsy Blogger for May and provides items that fit your personal writing style. She strives to create a personalized item just for you! Each journal is created to be unique and one of a kind  to provide an alternative to  mass produced items. No worries that someone will say "I have that same journal!"

She also sells many other fun and unique items because she is an avid crafter who like making things, and love to experiment making new things at least once such as cards, purses, magnet, frames, prints, and many more! She welcomes personalized requests!

Her profile quote….

There are thousands of thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up the pen and writes. ~William Makepeace Thackeray

Her journals are filled with humor, creativity and

thought provoking quotes like…


A bird does not SING because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.




others like her “Fortune’s Galore” contain much more practical words of wisdom…

It is not your problem.
A beard does not a philosopher make.
A closed mouth gathers no feet.
The more you cry, the sadder you will appear.
If you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.
A cynic is only a frustrated optimist.
Someone is watching you.

You should also visit her companion blog…

Create a Thought Blog.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Stop and Smell the Roses

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Remember to stop and smell the roses…

Life has a way of taking on it’s own momentum. How many times have you said, "I’ll do this or that after this or when this happens..” Only the “this or that” never happens or something totally unexpected comes along seemingly out of nowhere and throws you for a loop. The next thing you know you’re in a tailspin trying to regain your balance and footing. And when the dust settles, you’re scratching your head trying to figure out what to do next. An important reason to make plans because they can keep you focused when the unexpected comes along and it always does because…that’s life.

Plans or goals don’t always have to be followed to the “T”. They should serve as a guide. A plan helps to steer the course, keep the focus on the important things. In this new “digital” age things can sometimes move pretty fast, coming at you 24/7 so sometimes it’s important to slow down. I often need to step away to gain the focus, clarity, and energy needed to forge ahead.

Well I’m currently caught up in one of those unexpected tailspins and these pictures help remind me…


..and smell the Roses.

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Windows Live Writer – Inserting Video Clip II

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Well If you read my previous post you might be thinking I’m a little nuts.  I probably am but let me explain the previous post on this subject.  When I published the that post the preview of my blog did not show the original  “YouTube” Video that I had inserted at the beginning of the post. 

But as you can see, Now it’s there.  So I suppose I was a bit too hasty and a impatient.  It apparently took Blogger a reallllly loooong time to upload it.  I’m still not sure how long but I will be testing this feature more and plan to keep a closer eye on the entire process so that I’m can “accurately” report the results.   I apologize for any confusion.  That said I’m still marveling at the ease and convenience of Windows Live Writer. 

Now to find a few more tools like this and my online life will be much more manageable.  Any suggestions out there are totally welcomed.  I’m on a mission to organize and simplify….

Friday, May 22, 2009

Windows Live Writer – Inserting Video Clips

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I've been experimenting with Windows Live Writer, a program mentioned in a previous post and wanted to share some new discoveries as I incorporate it into my online tasks. Today I tried the “Insert – Video” feature. I had to upload the video clip to an online hosting service. I choose YouTube, since I am already registered. It does provide an opportunity to “register” if you are not already a member. It also offers another hosting site for you to “join.” This step was easy, seamless and quick. It worked like a charm in the program “preview.”

I uploaded the post containing this video to my two supported blogs…Blogger & LiveJournal, again easy, seamless and quick. I closed my browser and reopened it to check each blog post. To my amazement and surprise the post in LiveJournal looked great and the embedded video was there and functioning exactly as I’d created it.

However, when I opened my Blog, “Savon Shoppe” hosted by Blogger, the video was missing. Drats! But, all was not lost, I did a quick edit and used Blogger’s “Insert Video” feature while in the “edit post” mode and although the upload is much slower it did finally get uploaded. This edited version has the video clip at the bottom of the post, which I think I like better, but the original version was designed with the video shown above the post. Oh well, six of one, half dozen of another.

What do you think? You can see the original version as first composed at my LiveJournal Blog. I’d love to hear comments from anyone who is using Live Writer or feels it would be a tool for them to try. I’d love to share.

Anyways, all in all this was a minor inconvenience quickly resolved. Plus still being a bit of a novice user, who’s to say that there was something I did or didn’t do that caused this little glitch. So I’m still sold on this fantastic program.

btw...you may have notice the fonts are different in the most recent post, thanks to Live Writer I can experiment more with this, so I am.