The autumn has always been my favorite time of year. Not only does the weather start to cool off, but it's one of the most beautiful time of the year. I always enjoyed it when I lived in Pittsburgh. It's such a gorgeous city, with plenty of green spaces. But now that I'm living in Indigo Gap, North Carolina, I feel as if I've stepped in to a magical Autumnal snow globe, with leaves instead of snow, of course. Every direction I look, I see different colors, sweeping over the mountains. And the way, sometimes, the cloud shadows and sun plays against the mountains, the colors will change before my eyes.
Of course the fall splendor isn't all about the natural beauty all around us. As if it wasn't enough, there's my favorite holidays coming right up.
- Halloween (Dressing up and free candy, what's not to like?)
- Thanksgiving (Gratitude and food. Two of my favorite things!)
- Christmas (Gifts and goodies!)
Of course, I love crafting things for the Holidays. And I'm sort of known for my up-cycled projects. I love the challenge of taking one thing and turning it into something else especially those items that are piled in garages and attics. We don't know quite what to do with them, but as the same time we don't want to let them go. During my first retreat, a group of women took a box of old doilies I purchased at a yard sale, and fashioned a shirt from them. A gorgeous skirt, I might add.
It can be as complicated as making a doily skirt, or as simple as collecting spent soap pieces, or candle pieces, until you have enough to make your own. Here's my recipe for making your own soap this way.
Making soap balls is great way to use up some of those leftover soap bits that we all seem to have lying around. You can have a jar where you collect the bits of soap instead of throwing them away. When you get a jar full, try making soap balls. You can get creative with this, if you want. Consider adding in flower petals or herbs or try layering colors.
· Collect up all of your soap scraps and divide them up into similar or complementary colors. You can mix your colors and make soaps that look like river rocks or speckled eggs.
· Using a cheese grater, shred up your soap bits into containers. If the soap has been around awhile, you may want to add a very small amount of water, essential oil, or carrier oil to moisten the mix slightly.
· Grab a small handful of the soap shreds, squeezing and rolling them into a small ball. Be sure to press until the soap ball is really hard and no longer squishy. Add another layer and continue squeezing and rolling. Keep going until the soap is the size you want it.
· If you want to cut the ball in half, you will need to use a large smooth knife or, better yet, a pastry scraper with its thin blade. Gently push the blade through the ball. You may need to do a little damage control around the edges, smoothing them back down.
· Let the balls sit for a week or two so the added moisture can evaporate and the balls can harden up.
Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of the Agatha-award nominated Cumberland Creek Mysteries and a bestselling Kindle-World romance novella THE BEEKEEPER'S BRIDE, A ST. HELENA VINEYARD KINDLE WORLD NOVELLA. She just released a new series: "Cora Crafts Mysteries." The first book is DEATH AMONG THE DOILIES. She's also penned a historical fiction: MEMORY OF LIGHT: AN AFTERMATH OF GETTYSBURG.
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