Thursday, February 25, 2010

Make Soap! Easy soap making with your kids...

How to Make Homemade Soap

We all use soap. In the old days, most people made their own. Today, we are much more likely to buy it from the store. There are lots of brands to choose from, and each brand has various formulations and scents.

But making your own soap has some definite advantages. One of the most significant is the price. We can make soap much cheaper than we can buy it. Making it ourselves also gives us complete control over the ingredients, so we can create a soap that's perfect for our skin type in a scent of our choosing.

Making soap is much easier than you might think. It is, however, important to take certain safety precautions. Here's a basic recipe:

Ingredients

* 12 cups lye crystals
* 5 cups softened water
* 6 pounds lard

Instructions

1. Put water in a glass or plastic bowl. Carefully pour lye into water, stirring constantly with a plastic or wooden spoon. This should be done outdoors or in a well-ventilated area, because it produces caustic fumes.
2. Mixing lye and water produces heat. When the lye is completely dissolved, set the mixture aside to cool.
3. Place lard in a stainless steel or enamel pan. Melt over low heat.
4. Allow both the lye solution and the lard to cool to room temperature.
5. Slowly pour the lye solution into the lard, stirring slowly and constantly with the plastic or wooden spoon.
6. Continue stirring after all of the lye solution has been added. Drizzle a small amount of the mixture into the pot periodically. When the soap keeps its shape for a moment before sinking into the mixture, you can add scent, color and herbs.
7. Pour the soap into a mold greased with Crisco. Wrap in a towel, and let set for about 18 hours or until completely cooled. Uncover and let set for 12 more hours.
8. The soap may now be unmolded and cut into bars. Let the bars cure for 3 to 4 weeks before using.

Customizing Your Soap

There are lots of different ways you can customize your soap. To make the best soap for your skin type, you may want to use different oils. Some that are commonly used include olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter and shea butter. The correct amount varies depending on which oil you use, so look for recipes online or in books until you get the hang of it.

Essential oils have therapeutic properties and add fragrance. Oatmeal, cornmeal and other grains can be added as exfoliants. And skin-safe colorants may be used to produce the desired color. These ingredients should be mixed together and added to a cup of the soap mixture, then stirred into the rest of the soap mixture immediately before pouring into the mold.

Making your own soap is easy, and it can be lots of fun. Coming up with the perfect concoction for your skin is rewarding, and sweetly scented homemade soaps make wonderful gifts for any occasion.


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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fun Toddler Craft Ideas

Getting a toddler to sit still can be a near-impossible feat. They're constantly exploring the world around them. That's a good thing, but sometimes they need some creative downtime. That's where toddler crafts come in.

Crafting is great for toddlers for a number of reasons. It can help them develop longer attention spans. Most crafts help develop hand-eye coordination. And young children can benefit from learning how to follow simple instructions. Here are some craft ideas that your toddler can do (with supervision).

Craft Stick Puppets

Puppets are fascinating to toddlers. Creating their own puppets is easy, and it's lots of fun. All you really need are some craft or popsicle sticks, construction paper, safety scissors, markers and glue.

Help your toddler cut animal shapes out of construction paper. He can draw faces and other details with washable markers. Glue the stick to the back of the shape, let dry, and he's ready to put on a puppet show. If you want to make more elaborate puppets, try cutting shapes out of foam. Glue on a pom pom for the nose, and add some googly eyes.

Paint with Pudding

Kids love to fingerpaint, but it's so messy. And there's also the concern about them eating the paint. Even if the paints are nontoxic, it can make cautious parents uneasy. The solution? Let them paint with pudding!

You don't need different flavors to make different colors. Just use one serving of plain vanilla pudding, divide it up into small portions, and add food coloring to create various shades. Give your child a paper plate to use as a canvas for his masterpiece. When he's done, he can eat it with no worries.

Design a T-Shirt

If your toddler sees you sewing or painting clothes with fabric paint, she may want to try her hand at designing clothes. But needles are small and sharp, and fabric paint is messy. What to do? Break out the markers!

Kids can have a blast decorating a plain white t-shirt with colorful markers. If you use washable ones, they can create a design, wear it, and start over after you wash the shirt. If a permanent design is desired, however, you'll have to let him use non-washable markers. You can avoid a mess by covering the work area with newspaper and putting a smock on your toddler.

Placemats

Making placemats out of contact paper is very easy. Have your toddler cut shapes out of construction paper and glue them onto a whole piece with a glue stick. He can add detail with markers or embellish with stickers. When he's done, place the artwork on a piece of contact paper, sticky side up. Place another sheet of contact paper on top, sticky side down.

Most toddlers will only have the patience to make one placemat at a time. But he can make another one tomorrow, continuing until there are enough for the whole table. He'll be so proud to know that everyone sees his artwork at every meal!

Crafting can help your toddler learn important skills while keeping him quietly occupied. Whether it's a rainy day or he's just feeling creative, seize the opportunity to let him channel his imagination into something you can both admire.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

reBlog from Mommy Tyme: Mishaps of Mommy

I found this fascinating quote today:



Your business website is essentially your storefront, business card and most significant marketing piece all rolled into one. How it affects your visitors and customers is then essential to your success. Provide a memorable experience and customers are sure to return time and time again. Let’s take a look at five keys to creating a website that sells.Mommy Tyme, Mishaps of Mommy, Feb 2010



You should read the whole article.

New Share the Love...

This weeks Featured Artisan is Julie from Creations with Heart! Beautiful creations made by a beautiful lady! You can find Creations with Heart at:

http://creationswithheart.artfire.com

http://creationswithheart.etsy.com

http://creationswithheart.com

http://creationswithheart.blogspot.com

Mommy Tyme gifts

Mommy Tyme gifts

Updated with a ton of new features! See the Share the Love Feature, keep up with the newsletter, enter contests, find all the latest products and more!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pursuit of Handmade!

In light of the new format and the new additions to the blog- I thought I mine as well revamp how I have been presenting the Pursuit of Handmade series each month, too! I love to find creative and artistic crafts"people" and present their fantastic works here on my blog... I would love to continue to do this- However, recently I have had people contact me requesting I link them up with a specialized seller of this or that.. Last week I received an email from a lady asking if I could direct her to some great handmade purses? Well, I have been mulling it over and I think that it would be fun to combine the Pursuit of Handmade with a specialized topic each week- You, the handmade sellers- can post your link and a comment telling the readers What is special about your items! I will grab up the links and post as many pictures as I can!

You, the Readers and shoppers- can also post comments "looking for" specialized items or suggesting the following weeks Pursuit topic! Be specific with what you are looking for or want to check out. There is, of course, no obligation- Just because you want to see "purses" posted, does not mean you Have to Buy one! You can simply browse! We all love to show off our work-

Couple of rules, though-

If a reader posts a request to see specific items or comments on items, SELLERS CAN NOT CONTACT THE READER DIRECTLY AND ATTEMPT TO "MARKET" TO THEM. THIS CAN GET BORDERLINE "SPAMMY"- instead, if the reader likes your product, they can contact you.

Please, be respectful and thoughtful to one another in your comments! No negative comments from one seller to another- or trying to "steal" a sale. This is just for fun! It is not a selling venue- it is a linking venue!

I think those are the only rules I have right now... If you think of anything we should add, let me know. Once we have everyone's suggestions, posts, and pictures for the topic of the week- I will set up a seperate page labeled Pursuit where all the sellers/crafts"people" who are presenting can show off their items! However, post your link/url under comments here on the main page so I can locate your shops!!

So for the Remainder of February to March- Lets go with Purses, Bags, clutches and wallets!

Do you create any of these items? Do you create something that can benefit these items? Do you create the supplies used to Make these items? if so, post your comment describing why your items are special along with the URL to your shop! I will show you off for our Purses Page!
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New Format!

Wow! The blog has really grown over the past few months with a lot of new features and additions! With that in mind, I thought that it would be a great idea to organize the blog for reader ease! So, with that in mind, I have broken down some of the routine features into individual pages- I think this will make manuevering on the blog much more functional and fun! You can get to just what you want without muddling through posts that you have either already read or are not interested in! So, the Share the Love Feature has its own page- Features- you can get to it by clicking on the "Features" link under the Pages heading at the left sidebar (second section down).

Also, we have talked about the mini market page for my handmade seller friends! I am still anxious to get this underway! For more visibility and more functionality- the Mini market will also have its own page- Remember, the mini market is totally free and just a way for us to help each other out with promotions! I will post one of your widgets on the page and promote the page as a mini marketplace. Readers can link directly to your store by clicking on the widget. Most marketplaces offer a mini store option- so if you use Winkelf, Etsy, or Artfire just go to your mini store tab, Rapid Cart tab, window tab, etc. and copy the code. Then email the code to me at Mommytyme70@yahoo.com with "mini market" in the subject line! I will let you know when you are up and running!

Also, for my selling friends- I often provide you with links, free traffic services, promotional tools, etc. These can now be found on their own page! Again, just for ease of use. You can link directly to that page simply by clicking on the link under the Pages heading.

For my shoppers and viewers- I have created a What's New page for all of the latest Mommy Tyme creations and a page of all of Mommy Tyme Gifts market outlets! Enjoy and please let me know if there are any shopping difficulties with these links.

Finally, the joy of Ning and social networking! I have set up a page of all the hot spots that Mommy Tyme participates in. I often get requests to send invitations for Ning networks or the facebook fan page link, etc. Now you can find all these great places in one spot. Just click on any of the icons or badges and you can sign up!

So, let me know if this system and lay out works better, is more confusing- etc!



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Join The Blog Hop!

Join the fun with Mommy Tyme Bath and Gifts in the Tuesday Blog Hop! Find more information on this and other features at the Features Page! Check the contents at the top left of the page- click on the page for features!
MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sell Handmade? Try Zibbet! Limited Premium Accounts left...

Have you tried Zibbet yet?  Do you shop handmade?  Some of the coolest handmade artisans are hanging out at Zibbet!  Do you sell handmade?  Try Zibbet!  The hottest new marketplace with so many extras to help you promote and succeed!  Grab an account today!

There’s Only 465 Premium Accounts left on Zibbet at the discounted rate of $7/month. Don’t miss out!   http://www.zibbet.com/MommyTyme/sell



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Pursuit of Handmade... Caty Ann Creations

Caty Ann Creations is one of those shops you will just fall in love with!  That shop you go back to again and again to check out what she has created next!  There are so many fantastic items on there, I dont really know where to begin!  So, here are just a few of my favorites I picked from her Artfire shop!

You can find Caty Ann on twitter at :
http://twitter.com/CatyAnn43506

On Artfire at:
http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=Shop&op=listing&product_id=1046337

And dont forget to stop by the blog at
www.catyannsblogspot.com
This one is called Secret Garden!  Is that not a gorgeous piece?



How about this?  Pink Daisies!  I love the look of this one!
                                               Here are Golden Moss Earrings! 


What do you think?  Have you checked out her shop?  Feel free to share it here!


Would you like to be presented in the Pursuit for Handmade Series?  If so, just comment with your URL!  Remember, you can always post your widget, mini store, etc here, too!  I would love to make a mini market available for handmade sellers to present their shop!  Just leave your email and I will contact you for your widget code!


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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sunshine Award!

Wow!  I was just informed that my blog has won a Sunshine Award!  How great is that?  Thanks so much to Creations with a Heart who handed the award to me!  I am overwhelmed with delight!  Really!  Such a cool idea and now I get to pass it on to some more great bloggers...

I am handing off the award to the following Bloggers!  Enjoy!


Artangel
Art and Inspiration
Always Artistic
JBirdsGarden
Chatty Cats
Annette Quirk
Beaded Jewels
Blogging Moms Anonymous
 Bedtime for Kids
Cute n Cool Blog stuff
A Cup of Jo
 Be Adorned Jewelry


Once you have been notified of receiving the award, you need to complete the following:

Please pass this award on to your favorite bloggers!  Here are the Rules:
1.  Put the logo on your blog or within your post
2.  Pass the award on to 12 bloggers
3.  Link the nominees within your post
4.  Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog
5.  Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award

Whats New with Mommy Tyme...

Wow!  this has been a really great week for Mommy Tyme Gifts!  Several cool things are going on...

First, Mommy Tyme is featured on Inspiration Avenue this week as an Introduction.  I am so excited about being part of this new group of Etsy sellers!  Amazing ideas, creativity and team work is found there- and I would like to show off the Inspiration Avenue Blog !!! So , check out the link or button below and go directly to the blog!  There are weekly contests, items from the Inspiration Avenue Store, and an array of information any handmade lover will not want to miss!
http://inspiration-avenue-team.blogspot.com


Second... I wanted to show off the latest additions to the Mommy Tyme shop!  I have put together some set options for scent layering, getting the most out of your shipping costs, and gift ideas!  Plus, a few new crochet jewelry items I am really excited about!


handmade gifts from Mommy Tyme Bath and gifts!  Visit www.mommytyme.org and find all the great shopping links, ordering information and more!

 The facebook fan page contest is up and running!  Take a moment to check it out, see these great handmade entrants- and vote for your fav!  These fantastic items are a Must See!  Really!  So, you can vote for your choice of winner at
http://www.mommytyme.org/untitled1.html


I also just opened a new contest you do not want to miss out on...  You can find out more at http://www.mommytyme.org/untitled1.html

Customer Appreciation Days at Mommy Tyme Bath and Gifts!  4 Random customers or email subscribers will be chosen to recieve one of the following:

10% off coupon
20% off coupon
Free Lavender Butter Bath Bar
Free Natural Sweet Pea Sugar Scrub (1.7 ounces)

What do you do?  Just sign up!  No purchase necessary!
http://signup.vpweb.com/ValeriePoling/signup.html.


Oh, yes.... I almost forgot!  Lately I have been finding some fantastic blogs in the handmade arena that I can only tweet and share so much... I would love to Reblog entries so my readers can see them, too!  This will give you a little more exposure and maybe a few new readers!  If you are interested in sharing some of your blog entries with my readers and participate in Zemanta or Reblog- just leave your blog url here!  It will only post a short paragraph from your blog, but enough to give the reader an idea of your post and the link!  So, if you are interested, just leave your blog url here- and I will share some of your fantastic ideas and links with Mommys Reviews Readers!


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Friday, February 5, 2010

Artisan Spotlight has found the winner!

Congratulations to Small footprints for winning the Artisan Spotlight design for January!  Gorgeous earrings!  See more about Small Footprints at

http://artisanjewelrydesigners.ning.com/profile/SmallFootprints

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Facebbok Fan Page First Ever Contest- Sweetest Sweet for Your Sweety!

Check out the great contestants for the Sweets for Your Sweety Contest on the Mommy Tyme Facebook Fan Page!  wow!  Beautiful gift ideas... Need the shopping 411?  All entries left their URL's and shop information with their postings!  check them out on the fan page!


To vote- Visit http://www.mommytyme.org/untitled.html





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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Handmade fun

Handmade fun

Stop by and cast your vote for the Artisan Spotlight winner! Hurry, poll shuts down soon...

HeartsforHandmade

HeartsforHandmade

Hey friends... Dont forget to stop by! I would love a vote for Mommy Tyme! I have a red scarflette posted this week!

New! New! New!

Ok, well I have a few different things I want to talk about this week...


First:  If you have not entered the Facebook Fan Page Challenge, there is a very short time left!  It is so easy, and it only benefits you... Just go to the fan page, become a fan!  Then in the share box, add your photo and shop URL!  If you want to add details about your entry, go right ahead... The fan page is for everyone to share and add their items to!  It is open for crafters, artists, handmade of all mediums!  Your hands had to help create the end result is the only catch!  I would love to see you there!

Second, Squidoo... What is Squidoo you ask?  Wow!  I found this a year back, but never messed with it!  However, I really see the potential now!  It is a fantastic tool to use for all your shops, URL's, blogs, etc!  It is a seperate web location where you can add all of your many venues and it will refer your readers!  See the idea?  You can publish parts of your blog, post your shop, post your items, etc.... Similar to a Ning but without all the groups (but there are lens organizations you can join!)  I am not sure which came first, the Squid or the Ning... but they are both fantastic means by which to promote and share your craft with others.  Squidoo is more individualized, but it really has the forethought to expand and open opportunities for you!  Your etsy can feed directly to your squidoo, your blog feed can be added, you can even add the Squid this to your toolbar and as you float around on the web finding great spots, you can click the tab and share with your readers!  So, if you do not have a squidoo- I suggest you get one!  Then add the URL here!  I will add it to my link list and tweet it for you!  Get you some readers!  We will talk more about all the cool things you can do there in the upcoming weeks (I am still learning!)

Ok, so when you are ready to  sign up for Squidoo (and it is totally free!) go here: 
http://www.squidoo.com/lensmaster/referral/MommyTyme

Then comment with your link so I can get busy!


Next... Some people had commented a while back when I first threw out the idea of the Mini Market here on the blog... Ok, the idea is simply that you can put your etsy, winkelf, or artfire mini here on my blog!  I will keep it up for about a month, and do a feature on you to share all the fantastic items in your shop!  That is all there is to it!  Is it free?  Well, heck yes!  It is all about helping one another out!  I would hope that in return, you could post the link to the blog on your blog, site, etc to help promote me!  That is it!  You do have to send me your code to you mini, though. 

Features.... Oh, I think they are a fantastic idea!  I love to pursue the handmade!  Most of you know I believe strongly in supporting the arts and helping one another!  So, my pursuit series has been lacking some the past few weeks... I am ready to get busy!  Coming this weekend is a fantastic artisan!  I cant give it away, but hope you stay tuned and come back to check her out!  If you would like me to pursue your shop or URL, just comment and leave me the info!  I will let you know when you are about to be posted!

Finally... I wanted to share a few new items I have been working on.. Open for ideas for improvement, what you think, comments...

I have been working on a new jewelry line I call Junk to jewels!  Here is one of the new pieces for this collection- it is a 37" black thread lariat with beads, and rings.  One of the rings is actually a stitch marker (You know how you only need one, but you have to buy a pack of 6?)  the silver ring is the end off of a piece of chain that I used for something else, and the beads are stragglers...

So....


I have this one for sale at my Etsy http://www.MommyTyme.etsy.com

Oh... I almost forgot!  dont forget to check out the latest Share the Love!  It is Tuesday, so I have a new Artist to expose!

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