Sunday, 23 February 2014

Getting to know me, getting to know all about me

Well we won't go that far. I'm not nearly as interesting as the wives and children of the King of Siam. This started with Silvia of Soapjam listing 40 things about herself, and she asked if I would do it as well. I see she's just nominated me for The Versatile Blogger award, so I'll work that in as well, providing you can read through to the end of this post.

Silvia wrote 40 things about herself, and I will try and do the same.
  1. My family moved to Vancouver in the early '70s from Hong Kong. We moved to Vancouver because it was cheaper than Toronto. How ironic that it's now the second most expensive city for housing after Hong Kong. (and that, Ms. Morisette, is how you do ironic)
  2. My sister got me soaping. She had been trying to do it with her sons, but not that many  boys are interested in soaping, so she gave me all her supplies to help me move forward in trying to make a new career for myself.
  3. My sister is my only sibling, but that's not the only reason she's my favourite sibling, just one of the reasons. No, she's my best friend, an amazing baker and incredible writer. (shameless plug coming up) If you get a chance, check out her blog, and while you're there, check out her two anthologies on the right hand side. Proceeds from the books all go to MSF and you get some great stories to read.
  4. This same sister taught me how to knit. We didn't start with something like a potholder, no we started with socks. I guess after that many other projects seem simple by comparison.
  5. Even though I like to think of myself as being balanced, I tend to overshare or under share. I think 40 facts about me is oversharing. 
  6. I'm passive aggressive to the extreme, which is why
  7. I love murder mysteries, they allow me to live vicariously. ;)
  8. Baking is something I love to do, but I'm not big on eating sweets.
  9. My favourite past time would be to sit in a big comfy chair with a good book and a huge bag of chips.
  10. My other favourite pastime is sleeping
  11. I'm an introvert, but not a high functioning one.
  12. I'm a creature of habit, spontaneity and I don't mix.
  13. I fell out of our bed when I was less than a year old. Onto a concrete floor. I'm not sure who I feel more sorry for, my family or the doctor who had to sew me back up without anesthetic.
  14. I spend way too much time on Pinterest.
  15. I'm a hoarder, trying hard to quit though.
  16. I'm also a procrastinator extraordinaire.
  17. In the spirit of the Olympics, this will be a terrible shock to many, but I wasn't that interested in who would win the gold medal in hockey. I know, I'm so non-Canadian.
  18. I enjoy the idea of entertaining people at my house, but in reality, I get overwhelmed and would rather hide in the kitchen away from everyone.
  19. This list makes it rather obvious, but I'm not very focused. 
  20. I tend to be a listener rather than a talker.
  21. I love to laugh though, so I've had a few offices mention how quiet the place is after I've left. ;)
  22. According to my therapist, I smile too much. I think it's a defense mechanism; that's what other primates do.
  23. I tend to lurk on Facebook, blogs and the like. It allows me to find out more about others without having to share.
  24. Lazy: that's the one word that sums me up.
  25. I have a tenor sax that I received as a birthday present. 
  26. One of my bad habits is to read an email but not respond right away. And then I forget about it for a few days before realizing I still have to respond.
  27. Being asian, I don't have a high tolerance for alcohol, although I seem to lack the gene that most asians have of turning very red after a bit of booze.
  28. I used to sleep like the dead. We had a truck crash into our fence and I didn't even notice until my husband woke me up.
  29. I like weird trivia and Twitter is great for that.
  30. The Wii Fit and walking are my main sources of exercise. You'll never catch me doing anything in a gym.
  31. Someday, I'd like to have a garden to call my own where I can attempt to grow some vegetables and herbs.
  32. There are so many crafts and things I want to try, but I can't seem to focus on any one thing so I just go back to reading other people's posts on Facebook.
  33. I'm a recipe collector/hoarder. Is there a Recipes Anonymous group I can join?
  34. I don't usually let people shorten my name to one syllable; I tell them that the people who do that are family or they're now dead.
  35. I'm a kitchen appliance junkie.
  36. I still have Gourmet magazines from the early '80s hanging around. Funny how some of the ingredients back then that you could only find in specialty stores are now commonplace.
  37. My math skills suck, but I'm pretty good at spelling, so it drives me crazy when I see spelling errors, especially on news shows.
  38. My favourite era for fashion is the '50s. I love the beautiful dresses they used to wear.
  39. All in all, I'm just a big kid, hence why I don't need to have kids of my own.
  40. I genuinely love all the people I've met on-line.
And there you have it. If you made it through this entire list, I applaud you. If you just skimmed right to this part though, here comes the good stuff.

Silvia of Soapjam nominated me for the VBA award

The rules are as follows:
  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy. (Thanks Siliva, you're an amazing soaper and a wonderful person!)
  • Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it. (Done above)
  • Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!) (See below. Of course everyone I follow is super awesome, is there any other?)
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself. (So done it's not funny)

Okay, so my nominees are (and trying not to duplicate any that have already been nominated by the awesome bloggers I follow, but if I did, my apologies):
  1. Growing, Writing and Creating and One Good Thing
  2. Within the Hive and Welcome to Minnesota
  3. 9 East Main Street
  4. Northwest Backyard Veggies and Bear Soap
  5. Otion Soap Bar
  6. Stace's Space
  7. The Soap Nut
  8. Savon et Fantasies
  9. A Naturalist Here and Elsewhere
  10. Scilana Unikate
  11. Crafty Affaire
  12. Soup, Soap and Everything in Between
I'm stopping there because I figure I've nominated a couple of people for writing two different blogs, so that counts for something right? I hope others will take on Silvia's challenge of sharing 40 things about yourself, since after 7 as per the VBA, I'm dying to know more about everyone.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

I don't usually do Valentine's, but when I do...

Wait, I never do Valentine's Day. I am so non-romantic, it sometimes seems like the husband I have role reversals: he used to pick out rom coms thinking it's something I'd like and I go for action or mystery movies. I'm currently reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and taking notes on the how to. Just kidding. ;)

However, being Valentine's (or having it close to since this post will be after Valentine's is over) I decided to make heart soaps. I was actually going for a heart within a heart (kinda like when they show the Grinch's heart growing by 3 times) but it didn't work out. The clear soap turned cloudy as it cooled, perhaps I heated it too much or had some white mixed in unbeknownst to me (I was using some old soaps that I chopped up).

The sparkles still show through though.

But it's not until you turn the soaps upside down that you can see the embeds.

The soaps are scented with creamsicle which to me is a very Valentine-y scent. :)

What did you do for Valentine's Day? Did you go all out romantic or do you think it's a marketing ploy?

Sunday, 9 February 2014

What's in a Name?

A number of posts back, Maja of Diva Soap suggested I take the alphabets I make and spell out names with them. I haven't really had anybody to do it for, since my nephews are old enough to roll their eyes at me if I did make them their names in soap. So, when my friend said she was coming for a visit and mentioned it was her son's birthday coming up, I thought it'd be a good time to try it out.

First I had to figure out what colours would work. I didn't want to do all blue since well, that'd be kinda boring. So I again went with Silvia's suggestions of colours, with a slight variation.

This was also a good way to use up some bits of leftover colours that I had laying around.

I hope he liked it, but since he had been napping, it was hard to get a positive response.

Have a great week.

His mom emailed me later to say he did like the soap after all. 8)

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Andorian Dominoes anyone?

I have no idea if Andorians ever played dominoes, but anyone who knows me even slightly, knows that on occasion, I will make up sh*t. I figured it's better than posting selfies with incriminating evidence in the background.

Pinterest has been a great source of inspiration for soap making and I've been needing that. The soaps on my soap board are absolutely incredible and between that, and Silvia's suggestion for colour combinations, I decided to try something new.

My soap for the week is a combination of pseudo embedding and layering. I wanted something that would punch out an interesting shape so that the second layer could come through to create a contrast. My cookie cutters are all rather large and I thought I'd stick with a simple geometric shape for now. I tried using a BBQ lighter (I think it's now toast) and the lid of a pen, but they didn't have the sharp edge to cut out a proper hole. We have a bunch of straws laying around and so I used that instead. It seems to work alright, and I used the PJ Tool for cleaning up the edges.

Next time, I guess I should measure it out so the holes are more evenly spaced, but I do like the colours. The centre is scented with vanilla sandalwood from Brambleberry, and so the whole theme of this soap, I think, is quite masculine. The colour isn't quite indigo like you had mentioned Silvia, but not a bad complement of colour either I think. Kind of like Neopolitan having a manic day.

What's your favourite colour combinations? Do you waste hours on Pinterest like I do?