Saturday, January 13, 2007

Dos and Don'ts of Decorative Soap

I spent the day helping my mother-in-law take down her holiday decorations. Among these are two decorative soaps. I unpacked them for her in December and packed them back up today. Apparently, since these are decorative soaps, they are to be used as decorations and never as soaps. I don't get it. I understand the concept of decorative soaps, but in my world after they serve their purpose decoratively they serve their purpose practically - I use them as soap.

When I was young I had a number of relatives who had decorative soaps in their bathrooms. I never understood their purpose. Once I asked my aunt if I could use one to wash my hands and she was horrified. How dare I even suggest it? After that I never asked to use them again.

Out of curiosity I asked my mother-in-law how long she had been unpacking and packing back up these soaps. Can you guess how long? Apparently these soaps (which no longer smell interesting - they just smell old) were given to her as a gift by a good friend. Over 30 years ago.

That's right, 30 years.

I was a bit speechless. I suggested that perhaps she might want to consider letting the soaps go. She's considering it. By that I mean she packed them back up and, when she unpacks them next year, she might decide to let them go. If they weren't 30 years old I would have suggested that she just use them as soap. Now they're just trash.

Soap must be sturdy stuff, to last that long!

This situation makes me wonder about my candles. My mother-in-law gives me a holiday-appropriate candle every year (snowball, Christmas tree, candy cane.) I usually display each candle during the holiday season and burn it soon after. Isn't that what you're supposed to do with candles? Now I'm wondering if these candles were meant as permanent decorations. Little waxy statues. Lots of fun.

Red Scarf Project

Since I just mentioned my lack of craft projects in January, I was pleased to come across this. If you knit or crochet this is a fast and easy way to help out foster children who are going to college. The deadline is at the end of the month, so, quick, knit up a scarf!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Have you delurked?

I must admit, that was the first time I used the word delurked in a sentence! Is it actually a word? I've been reading about delurking week, so I thought I would do a quick post and mention it. If you're an occasional reader and would like to comment, go ahead and do so. Make sure to link to your blog so I can return the favor! If you would like to continue lurking (as I know many of you do), be my guest. I certainly do enough lurking of my own. I try to comment when I have something to say, but more often than not I just read! Anyhow, happy delurking!

Pre-made Sandwiches

And by pre-made I don't mean take a loaf of bread and make sandwiches ahead of time! :) I try to bake bread weekly, although I do freeze loaves for when I get busy. When I'm on top of things we don't always run out of bread before I need to make more. Here's something I do when making the dough for two loaves of bread:

Put half the dough in a bread pan to rise. Take the other half and divide it into small balls (I usually end up with about 16.) Roll each ball out like a tortilla, and don't worry about making them round. Take your sandwich fillings (I usually use cheese and soy ham) and put on the flat "tortillas." Fold the sides of each "tortilla" underneath it so the fillings won't leak when baked. Bake along with your bread, but for about half the time. When they're done they should look like dinner rolls.

These make great sandwiches. You can eat them cold or hot and either freeze or refrigerate them. Other filling suggestions are peanut butter and jelly, pizza toppings, or barbeque (soy barbeque, in my case.)


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Furoshiki Update

I promised an update on the Furoshiki method of wrapping, which I wrote about here. I wrapped most of my gifts this year using the second diagram (Yotsu Musubi) and was pleasantly surprised. The gifts looked lovely. I highly recommend fabric wrapping whenever possible. I used to tie the packages up with ribbons but this way is faster and easier for people to unwrap!

Monday, January 08, 2007


For many people January is a time for resolutions. For me it means new projects! I do a lot of knitting and sewing, and many of my projects throughout the year are for other people. After the busy holiday season I usually have most of my projects wrapped up and I'm ready for new things to work on. This year I still have several sewing projects for things around the house, but I have no knitting projects in the works. I like to have projects to work on while watching movies. I wanted something fast and simple, so I decided to make this. I like everything about it except the name. Snood? Questionable. I'm selfishly knitting it for myself. I rarely make things for myself, but I was needing a new winter hat so I think this fits the bill. I'm using scrap yarn (Bernat Soft Boucle) so there's no extra cost and I should be done with it soon so I'll be able to enjoy it this winter! I'll let you know if it's as cozy as it looks.

Blogs I Enjoy

I've added a few blogs I enjoy so go check them out if you're interested! I'm by no means done, but my time is limited.

Unanticipated Absence

My apologies to those of you who take the time to regularly check in here. Although I realized that I would have to take some time off around the holidays, my internet provider sped up the process for me! We had unreliable internet service for several weeks. We have finally corrected the problem, but are still less than happy with our service. Oh, well. When you live in the woods there are limited choices.

I plan to make up for my absence by adding some new features. My long-awaited links, which I've been meaning to add for awhile, should be going up this week. Want to be added? Comment here and I'll check out your blog. I'm also toying with the idea of book reviews. My posts about moving seem to be the most popular, so I'll try to do more of those.

On that note I'm off to do other things, but check back later for a real, honest-to-goodness post!