Busy farmer making hay bales. The view from my garden is completely different now since my last post (we've had continuous hot and sunny weather for over a week - it's been absolute bliss). I watched with fascination and wonder at the speed and ease the farmer worked on this field.
Busy last week of school. A whirlwind of activities took place in my busy corner - swimming certificates awarded, my girls in the school talent show, special school assemblies to go to, school birthday parties. All this on top of the usual routine of family life. Phew! It's been hectic but really enjoyable.
Still busy working on my very own summer project. I mentioned it first on this post. I'll be releasing the pattern soon - hopefully on my next post. Fingers crossed!
Busy making teacher presents. I always prefer to craft my own presents for the teachers. It may take up a bit more of my spare time but it beats trawling the shops any day! I decided to make Lavender bath creamers which I've never done before, so the challenge was on. These are featured in Kirstie Allsopp's Craft book which I've had on loan from the library for over six months now. It's a fab book full of lovely craft projects. They melt in the bath to leave the skin feeling soft and moisturised.
The ingredients were really easy to source, the Sweet Almond Oil and Lavender Essential Oil were purchased from the local high street, and the Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter were purchased here, and the rosebuds here. Luckily for me my sister in law is the co-founder of The Soap Empire, so she was able to offer some good advice and handy hints which I will share with you. Firstly you will need
100g cocoa butter
50g shea butter
50ml sweet almond oil
2-4mls lavender essential oil (I used 5ml which is 1 teaspoon)
Petit four paper cases (mini ones - roughly about 18-20)
Rosebuds (or fresh or dried Lavender)
1. Put the cocoa butter in a microwaveable plastic container (I used a plastic container that I'd kept from an Indian takeaway- they always come in handy - I usually save them as paint pots for the girls).
Microwave on high for short bursts of 30-40 secs until melted. Now the book says 20 seconds, but mine was still hard so I think it took more like 2 minutes. Just keep an eye on it so you don't end up nuking it!
2. Add the shea butter to the container and microwave again until all has melted. Shea butter is a lot softer than cocoa butter so it won't take as long to melt.
3. Stir in the almond and lavender oils, then allow to cool for a few minutes
4. Arrange the paper cases on a tray (you don't need a muffin tray as shown below). Spoon the mixture into the cases (use a teaspoon - I might use a syringe next time to avoid spillages and waste). Take your time!
Leave to become cloudy and cool. It says 10 minutes in the book, but mine took a bit longer, and I think I put the rosebuds in too early so they sunk a little. My advice would be to leave putting them in till they are not only cloudy but when the mixture has turned semi-solid.
Set aside for 24 hours, then they should be ready to use, but I made these when the weather was blisteringly hot so some of them still hadn't set properly so I put them in the fridge for a few hours which did the trick.
So here they are - a relatively quick and easy way of making a lovely hand made present. They didn't come out as smooth in appearance as I would have liked, but I would definitely make these again. I'm sure the teachers will appreciate them when it comes to some luxurious well earned pamper time! I kept one for myself so will be doing the same too :-D X