Work-in-Progress Wednesday would have been a cooler title, but we blog when we have time, right? I finally feel like I can sit down for a bit each week and let creativity flow, now that summer is over and the mad rush to garden and put up food is slowing. Such a relief. When I allow too much time to pass without my mind and my hands to working together in the spirit of creativity I start to feel stagnant, pent up - like thunderclouds circling overhead that refuse to release their raindrops. Creativity has, since The Little came along, taken a strange and wonderful turn. Whereas I limited myself before watercolor, I know find myself exploring new mediums. Trying craft projects that are child friendly. Opening myself up to new possibilities and beautiful creations.
This week we've continued to preserve autumn leaves in beeswax and make acorn cap candles.
While I had the beeswax was out I decided to make more lotion as ours was running low.
I mix equal part jojoba oil, coconut oil, shea butter (white jar), apricot kernal oil and beeswax over a double boiler on the stove. Then I add a few drops of pure essential oil - in this case lavender and vanilla. I allow the mixture to cool in small, wide mouth glass canning jars.
This homemade concoction not only makes a wonderful all over lotion, it's all but cured my Rosacea and doubles as diaper rash medicine, lip balm, and furniture polish. And yes, before anyone voices concern, we use different jars for different purposes.
Our creativity was not just limited to crafts involving beeswax this week.
The Little spent time creating masterful works of art which will eventually turn into beautiful mama made paper lantern stars.
And finally, I spent more time making colorful wool acorns. As promised, here is my step-by-step wool acorn tutorial.
Wool Acorn Tutorial:
1. Gather your supplies. You'll need wool roving, a barbed felting needle, a foam mat, a bowl of hot water and some liquid dish soap. I order my felting supplies from Peace Fleece. peacefleece
This is my basket of wool:
2. Take a small piece of fleece and gently pull the fibers apart:
3. Using your hands, slowly start roll the fiber into a small ball:
4. Once you have a small ball, take out your felting needle and begin to carefully poke your ball all over. The needle is SHARP so be careful. (Please note that I didn't include photos with my foam mat - which is suggested to keep your needle from hitting a hard surface and breaking.)
5. As you continue to needle felt your fiber it will start to take on a ball shape more and more. Until you're left with this:
I usually do several needle felted balls at a time and then put them aside in a container so that The Little can help me later with the wet felting process.
6. Now comes the easy part. Fill a large bowl with hot, soapy water. I used Dawn dish soap, which was what we happened to have at the kitchen sink. Submerge your small ball of wool, letting the water soak all the way through the fibers. You'll use your hands at this point to roll the ball around and around, much like you rolled play dough as a child when you wanted to make a ball:
You'll feel the wool start to tighten up, and your ball will start to shrink as the fibers grab together. When you're satisfied with the size and firmness of your ball, gently rinse it in cold water to help shock the fibers into place. Allow your wool ball to dry completely. I usually let mine dry over night.
7. If you have a stash of acorn caps like I do, I find it best to dump them on the table and sort through them at this point to find a cap that best fits your wool ball:
8. Using a glue gun, place small dab of glue in the middle of your acorn cap. Be careful not to put too much inside. You don't want glue spilling out and ruining your wool ball.
Voila! You now have a beautiful wool acorn all your own.
Yours in the spirit of creativity,