Saturday, July 11, 2009

Just like a hot stone massage!!

blister4sAs it comes to the close of every day, I find myself fantasizing about lying on a white fluffy towel and having some expert therapist administer one of those divine hot stone massages. But I live in a rural part of South Africa, and while stones seem to proliferate at an alarming rate on the road that I take to work everyday and back, willing administrators of Hot Stone Massages don’t…..well not unless I sell my car or something big.blister6s

So I began to wonder if I could come up with something that I could use to work out the knots in my neck and this is it how it turned out.

I took a basic lotion bar recipe and tweaked it so that it would be a tad bit firmer , dense enough that it doesnt melt instantly and finally solid enough to hold the pebbles. blister2s

I used a knubbly mould and filled, poured, filled, poured. It takes a longer time than regular M&P setting time to set up. But it is worth it – these babies rock (pun intended). To use, you simply run the bar all over you, after showering/bathing. It’s a 3 for 1 deal, you get the heat, the massage and moisturiser in one go! I’m totally loving it. These instructions are bit weak….but I hope you get the picture!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

MAKING MOO M&P SOAP and editing in Live writer

soaptuts 007 I am well stoked about this blog editing application and I cant stop myself from checking what it can do.  I must add that I only found Live Writer through a very sweet and generous soul called Switcher who has an equally great site called SOSwitcher (click it!).  You can find a link to the download page of the programme in my last post or by going to the Windows live site. 

Moooving along , I have been wanting to post this “tutorial” for a while now anyway, so I guess it’s 2 for 1 deal, I play with live writer and post the TINCAN HANDMADE project of the day:


Moo Soap is a relatively more complicated project than your average M&P effort.  It’s a whole lot easier than Cold Process Soap too (making soap from scratch).  These little moo babies are so cute that I cant stop showering with them.  This tutorial assumes that you have had some basic M&P experience before and doesn’t go into detail about exactly how to melt and pour soap.

Here’s what you will need:

  • 3 separate melting jugs/vessels/pots
  • stirring implement
  • knife
  • scoring/designing tool to etch design (I used a teaspoon)
  • mould to pour you soap in
  • M&P Soap/ 1 part clear + 2 parts opaque
  • Fragrance Oil
  • Witchazel in spray bottle
  • patience

Here’s how you can do it.

  • Fill your moulds to half way up the cavity withporinmoo water and pour out into measuring jug.  This way you will be able to roughly calculate how much melted soap you are going to need for the black soap.
  • Melt enough opaque soap to match that quantity and add in your black colourant (and a wee bit of fragrance) to the shade of black that you want (note it will be grey tinged).  Use whatever you are stirring with and stir well.
  • Pour into your mould to half way up the cavity – leave to set.
  • When set unmould and carve your moo bits pattern into sketchnmoothe face of the soap,  I used a round teaspoon.

Carve up the soap with the knife.  Placing it on cutting board an cutting out the shape is the easiest way to do it.

  • Smooth sharp edges by rubbing over with a damp cloth.  (A wet wipe is gmoobitsood for this purpose)
  • When the the pieces are dry the fun begins
  • Melt a small quantity of clear soap, add your chosen fragrance to the soap and pour a thin layer into your mould.  FO I used a blend of Milk and Vanilla cos I wanted a milkshake type of scent.  I’ve been thinking that a sweet almond or a wheat germ scent will also give it a nice milky, creamy scent.


  • When it firms up to a firm but pliable,rubbery consistency, spritz your moo bits with witchazel and arrange your pattern – be sure to firmly but gently push the pieces into the the rubbery clear layer or you will get unsightly air bubbles between the two layers. Work from the middle of the bit out.(I hold the mould up to see if the moo bits aren't trapping air). Spritz with witchhazel.
  • Melt your white soap – when it is 1 or 2 degrees (Celsius) hotter overpouredthan your normal pouring temperature, add fragrance, and mix well .  Pour over your moo bits, pour slowly and if it gently starts melt unmouldedthe black soap, all the better the pieces will adhere better and the edges on the black moo bits wont be so sharp.  Let it sit undisturbed until it hardens up and slides easily out of the mould.
  • Unmould the soap, and you have moopkggot moo soap – keep it all for yourself  or wrap a few up and give away as presents (warning – giving moo soap away is extremely traumatising, you will find a really strong attachment to it!)


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I downloaded Live writer and I think I’m liking it

mayan galactic centreHola amigos - I just found a super cool tool! This is a blog editing tool that you can get for free from Windows called: Windows Live Writer – now if I can only find a cool new 4 column template layout, I’ll be on my way to Blogging Heaven….which means kinesthat I am going to have to create more random stuff to create. Seriously though how cool is it that you can edit font, picture layout, tilt, crop, rotate them and add borders etc. I havent played around with it proper yet – but you can also insert tables!!!! YEAY YEAY – I love stuff that uinalesallows you to edit to your hearts content! Anyway – if you too would like this super cool editor that I am loving, loving, loving you can download it here.

They have a bunch of new features as well including a newly designed Movie Maker – which I would love to test drive but I am worried that if I download that, it will delete my old Movie Maker. I know things are supposedly better – but I remember really loving Windows Photo Editor and then feeling short changed with MS Office picture organiser.

Monday, July 6, 2009

POETRY for Dummies

Anyone who lives in a rural part of the world may find themselves desperately wanting to recreate variety of activity that extends to more than conversations limited to what is going on the local soaps and rugby (echhhhh), fishing and taking in the not so pleasant aroma of the airborne stinkies generously supplied by the factories surrounding you. I used to love those free-style poetry nights, in dark little venues with beret wearing dreadlockers and angsty-I-wish-I-lived-in-8-mile types.

The TINCAN HANDMADE offering today is going to try and recreate that atmoshere in the comfort of your own dorpie (little town)house.

When I lived in Omura, I had an intensely arty,clever,creative friend called Kristi Woo, who had a set of Fridge Poetry magnets - I admit that I probably drove her insane cos I loved these things and would go over to visit and spend a large part of the time rearranging the words to pretend I was a poet. I got thinking about that again and decided that I wanted some - so off I went to our one mall convincing myself that atleast one of the stores on the two storied, 2 block long mall should have some. Nope, the best I could find were "Go Sharks" or "Go Springbok" (rugby magnets - echhhhhhhh).

Demoralised I returned to my house. I think it may have been the stinky fumes from Mondi's latest experiment in Stinkobility that sort of induced a Peyote type vision. I was given the idea to create a set of Fridge Poetry Magnets. Here is how the project went.

Well the first thing I needed to do was find some magnet paper - I happened to have some (DAISO PLAZA 100Yen Store) that I with great foresight had seen fit to bring with me when I moved from Japan - yes there were people who looked at me strange when upon unpacking produced my magnet paper, but they are all looking at me with envy now (insert MUHAHAHAHHAHA audio track here)! But I did some research online here and there is a company here called Tecnical + General Distributors who will sell you magnet paper in printable A4 sized sheets - and the best part is, you can buy it per sheet!.

Right, so I have the magnet paper and now I need words, lots of them - yes I do suffer from verbal diarrhea, but at this point I had an acute attack of DUH. So I searched for the most used/popular words, verbs and the most beautiful words in the English language and was rewarded by lists of these which I merely copied and pasted into a table in MSWord.

I printed the list and then glued it onto the magnet paper (messy, finicky enterprise as I stupidly used liquid bond instead of regular Pritt.) Then came the laborious process of cutting out each individual word - the magnet paper was too thick to be cut on my lightweight cutter. Well the end result was a success and I now have a very poetic fridge. To recreate the effect of the dark poetry lounge - merely turn your super-bright kitchen light off, light a few candles and recite your poetry to your plates and cups!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Designer DECOR on the Cheap

The times dear friends, are hard....but funky,cool,designer chic home deco need not be the sacrificial lamb. If you live in South Africa, they say that MR PRICE HOME is the average Joelene's Stuttafords or Boardmans - but what happens when you are an over-extended homemaker like myself and even MR PRICE HOME cringes your pocket? Do you give up and make do with Tannie Sanet's crocheted doilies? Lemme let you in on a little secret of mine - I furnish/decorate almost entirely at PEP Home, Crazy Store and those fabulous hole in the wall made-in-China type of places.

Today's TINCAN HANDMADE Project yields delightful designer tealight holders with materials sourced entirely from the stores mentioned above and "a friendly SPAR wherever you are"

I must admit that I am somewhat of a compulsive, impulsive buyer and have been known to purchase whatever grabs my attention. At one of my drop-in at PEP trips I found these beautiful handmade flute glasses. So I bought them. I brought them back to the lair and discovered that my cup cupboard runneth over from similar whim purchases. Besides, they were too pretty and too matched to my Orangey, yellow, green colour scheme to be relegated to some dark crevice of storage. So here is what I did.

I chucked about a capful (+/- 10ml)of Citrus Oil into about a handful of Rock Sea Salt(uniodised) (you can get the salt at the Spar or any supermarket, and the fragrance Oil from the Crazy store or any Health Shop, Clicks, or Pharmacy should carry some essential oil or Fragrance Oil, if you cant find it there - I know of 2 fantastic suppliers of all kinds of Fragrance Oils and you can order online), stir in the Fragrance Oil so that the salt absorbs the scent.

Next - I had some wee little pebbles (another binge buy)that I got from the Crazy store, I have seen them at Mr Price Home as well - and remarkably at Padayachee Bros stationery store. I carefully dropped in a teaspoon of the scented salt and then about 2 teaspoons of the pebbles and layered more salt over that so that it filled the little crevices in between the pebbles. I continued this until I reached the fill capacity that I liked.

I then merely took a tealight candle (available at PEP/CS/MPH or Shoprite/Checkers) and placed it on the top. Looks lovely and very Mr Price Home-ish.

Here are a few random pieces of info for you - salt retains scent really well (think bath salts), when there is heat, the scent is sorta encouraged to disperse.

And there you have it - designer deco on a scrooged budget. Stay tuned!