November 20, 2014
by Pops de Milk
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DIY Citrus Burst Pre-shave Oil

You might remember this post on pre shave oil that I made for Jay. We’ve both been using it and have found that we’re constantly refilling the bottle. Jay has even said he wants to make his own mix next time! For the current mix I chose the following oils:

Lemon – this fresh-smelling citrus oil is a natural astringent with anti-fungal and detoxifying properties that are great for the skin.

Orange – just like lemon oil, orange oil has anti-fungal properties but is also anti-inflammatory and smells amazing.

Bergamot – another member of the citrus family, this oil is widely used in cosmetics for deodorising and aiding with the healing of scars and other skin marks.

Lavender – lavender is pretty much great for everything but here we’re focusing on shaving and this oil actually helps to heal nicks and cuts you might get while getting rid of facial or leg hair.

Carrier oils (very important as some oils can irritate skin if not diluted):

Olive – though it has a strong smell, it’s easily found in most kitchens and it’s a great moisturiser.

Coconut – when melted to a liquid, coconut oil is great for cosmetics because it is odourless and, like olive oil, is amazing for your skin.DIY Citrus Burst Pre-shave Oil - Pops de Milk

DIY Citrus Burst Pre-shave Oil

Makes 1 oz of pre-shave oil mix

2 tsp good quality olive oil

1 1/2 – 2 tsp melted organic coconut oil

5-7 drops each of lemon, orange, bergamot, and lavender essential oils

Combine and pour into a glass container. When ready to use, pour a small amount and rub between your hands before applying to your face or legs. I like to let the oils absorb a little before I lather with soap to shave.

What I love about using this oil is that it’s all natural and it leaves my skin feeling soft and healthy. And I absolutely love the way it smells – ah, citrus!

Important Notes:

Keep oil away from direct light. Also, because bergamot, lemon, and orange oils are photosensitive (this means they react to light/UV rays) make sure you don’t expose your skin to sunlight after applying. This oil mix should only be used on the skin so please don’t ingest it. If you are pregnant or have medical conditions please check with your health care provider before using.DIY Citrus Burst Pre-shave Oil - Pops de Milk

 

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November 17, 2014
by Pops de Milk
4 Comments

DIY Felt Cat Brooch ~ An Experiment

As a crafter experimenting is something I do often. Sometimes the experiments are a success and sometimes I fail…or I end up somewhere in between where the outcome isn’t exactly what I had imagined but the results are just as rewarding. This cat brooch falls under the “somewhere in between” category – originally I was going to embroider the face details but as I said, experiments don’t always go according to plan. I suppose it would help if I planned every little step ahead of time but that takes the fun out of random crafting, right? Making mistakes and working with those mistakes (or creative attempts, as I prefer to call them) is what helps to develop creativity and imagination. I mean, how else would I come up with this funny-looking cat?

DIY Felt Cat BroochDIY Felt Cat Brooch - Pops de Milk

This felt cat brooch was made from a test batch of felted yarn from when I was experimenting with how to felt yarn by hand for the slippers I posted last week. I was impressed by how sturdy and thick the felted square was and wanted to know if I could cut it – would the yarn fall apart? Would it hold together? I had to find out and the first shape that came to mind was a cat’s head.DIY Felt Cat Brooch - Pops de Milk DIY Felt Cat Brooch - Pops de Milk

Next came eyes and a nose. As I mentioned I had intended on embroidering the face but I was really curious about how Mod Podge would do on felted yarn. The short answer is that it’s a very effective stiffener. Once the Mod Podge had dried I could not insert a needle through. Plan B – hot glue eyes and a nose!DIY Felt Cat Brooch - Pops de Milk

I wasn’t happy with how the eyes looked (just a tad soulless for my taste) so I thought a little paint would give it some character. I also painted a mouth using white acrylic paint.DIY Felt Cat Brooch - Pops de Milk

And the last step was to hot glue a brooch pin to the back.DIY Felt Cat Brooch - Pops de Milk

My favourite part about this pin is the cat’s expression – a mischievous alley cat with a really good sense of humour. And of course I love that this experiment didn’t fail because my head is now swimming with ideas for future pins and brooches!

 

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November 13, 2014
by Pops de Milk
2 Comments

Crochet Boot Slippers

When Jay and I went out for dinner last night I was shocked by how cold it suddenly got. I was shivering and I had to keep my jacket on even after we were seated at the Japanese restaurant we went to. Winter is definitely upon us and good thing I finished the crochet boot slippers!

Crochet Boot Slippers

I added the felt soles I made last week so they are wonderfully cushioned and so very warm. 

What I did differently from the pattern is that instead of using bulky yarn I used two strands together of worsted yarn. When I first started making the slippers it was my intention to keep them for myself but when Jay saw the slippers it was obvious he wanted them for himself so aside from using a different yarn, I also made size adjustments. The pattern is easy to follow and making adjustments was simple enough to do. If you find that the felted soles slide a little too much, especially on wood floors, you can check out this blog post on All About Ami where Stephanie shows you how she added non-slip soles to slippers using Plasti Dip.

To make your own pair of slippers head over to SMP Craft and download the free crochet boot slippers pattern.

And to felt your own slipper soles check out my tutorial on how to felt by hand.

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November 10, 2014
by Pops de Milk
2 Comments

Crochet Remembrance Day Poppy

It’s now November. American Thanksgiving is just around the corner and soon it will be Christmas. The stores I walk by have made it clear that we should all be in the holiday spirit – actually, they made this clear the day after Halloween. But before we get too caught up in the joy of Christmas I thought I would focus on something that is just as important. Remembrance Day – a day to recognise and honour those who fought for our freedoms. As I said, I’ve noticed many shops with Christmas displays but only a few handful of people giving out poppies. Grade school history class introduced me to the famous poem In Flanders Fields and the poppy as a symbol of the blood shed in war. But it seems as though each year I see less and less poppies pinned to coats and jackets, which is why I decided to crochet a poppy and share it with everyone so that we can continue to remember.

Crochet Remembrance Day Poppy

To make this Remembrance Day Poppy you will need:

– Red and black worsted weight yarn (I’m using Bernat Berry and Black)

-4.00mm crochet hook

-Brooch pin

-Needle and thread to sew brooch pin

Stitches Used:

ch – chain

sc – single crochet

dc – double crochet

hdc – half double crochet

sl st – slip stitch

Special stitch: double crochet standing stitch – make a slip knot, yarn over, insert hook into any stitch, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through two loops, yarn over, pull through all loops.

Pattern is worked in rounds, do not turn at the end of the round.

Round 1: Starting with black yarn, Ch 2 and make 4 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sl st to first sc. Fasten off and weave ends.

Round 2: With red yarn start with a dc standing stitch (counts as first dc), 3 dc and 1 hdc in same st as standing st, in next 3 sts: 4 dc, 1 hdc. Join with sl st to dc standing st. Fasten off and weave ends.Crochet Remembrance Day Poppy - Pops de Milk Crochet Remembrance Day Poppy - Pops de MilkDouble crochet standing stitch:
Crochet Remembrance Day Poppy - Pops de Milk Crochet Remembrance Day Poppy - Pops de Milk Crochet Remembrance Day Poppy - Pops de Milk Crochet Remembrance Day Poppy - Pops de Milk Crochet Remembrance Day Poppy - Pops de Milk Crochet Remembrance Day Poppy - Pops de Milk Crochet Remembrance Day Poppy - Pops de Milk Crochet Remembrance Day Poppy - Pops de Milk Crochet Remembrance Day Poppy - Pops de Milk

If there is a gap between the first and last st you can sew that together. Use needle and thread to sew brooch pin to back and you’re done!

These poppies are so easy and quick to make you can crochet a bunch and give them out to your friends and family to wear for the month of November.

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November 6, 2014
by Pops de Milk
0 comments

DIY Crochet Hook Storage from Ikea Cutlery Container

Slowly I’m beginning to make little changes to my desk décor, finding that the fresh look provides me with inspiration. I’m thinking about better lighting and a new desk but as I said, I’m making changes little by little so the first thing I spruced up was my Crochet Hook Storage:

DIY Crochet Hook Storage from Ikea Cutlery Container - Pops de Milk The intended use for this particular object is to hold cutlery on a dish rack. And that’s what we used it for until we moved to our current place. Then its purpose was to hold all my pens and pencils and it was doing an amazing job until one of the slats came off! I guess it had reached maximum pen and pencil capacity.  But instead of tossing it out I decided to glue the piece back because I really liked the look of it and wanted to keep using it. And, because I knew all my pens and pencils would only break it again I decided to use it to hold my crochet hooks and (a few) pencils/pens. After fixing it I realised how bland it looked, how plain, how…naked. Something had to be done and before I could change my mind I brought out paints and sponges and brushes.DIY Crochet Hook Storage from Ikea Cutlery Container - Pops de Milk

Here’s how I gave this cutlery container a make over and re-purpose:

First, I used white acrylic gesso to prime the surface.DIY Crochet Hook Storage from Ikea Cutlery Container - Pops de Milk

Once dry, I painted the container with acrylic paint in a soft mauve.DIY Crochet Hook Storage from Ikea Cutlery Container - Pops de Milk

I didn’t completely paint the inside walls so I could glue some pretty printed paper.DIY Crochet Hook Storage from Ikea Cutlery Container - Pops de Milk

Finally, I applied a light coating of Mod Podge over the paper and entire container, but especially near the paper edges so they won’t peel with the constant hook and pencil movement – sometimes I can be a little careless in putting away hooks and pencils. And speaking of hooks and pencils, the bottom of this particular container had holes in it so I placed a square piece of card stock in each compartment. The last thing I need is for my hooks to slip through the gaps.DIY Crochet Hook Storage from Ikea Cutlery Container - Pops de Milk And now I have a “new” crochet hook (and pencil) storage! My favourite part about having storage for both hooks and pencils is that I tend to move back and forth between the living room and office, always having to make several trips because I forget a hook or a pencil. But not anymore!DIY Crochet Hook Storage from Ikea Cutlery Container - Pops de Milk

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and have found some inspiration for that random object you’ve been wanting to makeover!

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November 4, 2014
by Pops de Milk
3 Comments

How to Make Felt Slipper Soles By Hand

Hi friends! Hope you all had a lovely Halloween! I mentioned in the last post that I am working on a pair of slippers and they’re almost done (they work up very quickly!) but I would like to have a bit of extra padding and reinforcement on the bottom. To make the slippers a little sturdier I’ve decided to attached felt soles. Not only will the soles provide more cushion but they’ll also make the slippers much warmer because I’m using wool. This felting technique is actually very easy to do and can be done by hand (if you don’t have access to your own personal washing machine), it will just take a little trial and error and will require some elbow grease.

How to Make Felt Slipper Soles By Hand

First, you’ll need a crochet piece of fabric. In this case I crocheted a rectangle in single crochet stitches, making sure the stitches were somewhat tight. I used 100% Merino wool (Patons Classic Wool – the label even says it’s ideal for felted projects) and size 3.75mm crochet hook. I recently purchased a Tunisian crochet hook and was eager to test it out so one of the slipper soles was made with the Tunisian crochet hook and the other with a regular crochet hook – both had the same results.

To felt the crochet piece you’ll need a basin or large bowl, or you can do this directly in the kitchen/bathroom sink, just make sure you can completely submerge the crochet piece in water. You’ll also need a gentle soap – I used Dr. Bronner’s Unscented Castille Soap – and a pair of rubber gloves. The gloves will protect your hands just a little from the hot water.How to Make Felt Slipper Soles By Hand - Pops de Milk The water needs to be very hot but please do not burn yourself, be very careful! The way I did this was to boil some water and pour it into the wash basin (enough to cover the crochet fabric) with a few drops of soap and I let the water cool for about 5 minutes. I put my gloves on and tested the water – it was very hot but I was able to work with it. Working quickly, so I wouldn’t have my hands in the water too long, I placed the crochet pieces in the water one at a time and I began to scrub and rub the piece together. I did each sole separately because I knew the water would cool and I would have to reheat more water. How to Make Felt Slipper Soles By Hand - Pops de MilkRub the fabric together, kind of like trying to remove a stubborn spot on your favourite jeans. The hot water and friction will cause the wool to fuse together and create a felted piece. How to Make Felt Slipper Soles By Hand - Pops de Milk It took me about 5 to 10 minutes of scrubbing before I had a thick, felted piece. You can try to stretch the fabric and if you can’t see through it and the stitches are no longer identifiable then you’ve got yourself a sturdy piece of felt! How to Make Felt Slipper Soles By Hand - Pops de MilkThe final step is to shape your piece and let it dry. I did this by first rolling the soles in a towel to gently squeeze out as much water as possible. Next, I pinned each piece down to keep the shape and left it to dry. You can see that the crochet fabric will shrink once it’s felted:How to Make Felt Slipper Soles By Hand - Pops de Milk How to Make Felt Slipper Soles By Hand - Pops de Milk How to Make Felt Slipper Soles By Hand - Pops de Milk

And once I finish the slippers I’ll have the felt soles ready to attach.

This felting technique would work for just about any project that requires a sturdy and thick fabric with very little to no stretch – pot holders, fashion accessories, baskets, bowls, etc.

Now that you know how easy it is to felt crochet pieces go crazy and experiment! But please PLEASE be careful – cannot stress enough the need to take care when using hot water, especially if you have little ones running around.

 

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October 31, 2014
by Pops de Milk
1 Comment

Happy Halloween! Movies to watch, Treats to eat, Crochet to do!

Halloween has arrived and it’s time to celebrate this ghoulish holiday…at home!

Normally we get all dressed up and go to a party or event but this year we’ve decided to keep the celebrations low key. We have opted for a cozy night in with movies, treats, and of course crochet (for those really suspenseful scenes). So if you’re thinking of doing something indoors for Halloween have a look at what’s planned at the Pops de Milk house:

Pops de Milk’s Top 5 Halloween Movies to Watch

1. Hocus Pocus – This one is at the top of my Halloween movies to watch because it’s a childhood favourite that my sisters and I grew up with. If you’ve seen it you’re probably already singing, “BOOooOooooOOK!!!” The movie was made for kids of course so it’s not actually scary, though some parts were actually creepy as a kid (I’m thinking the opening scene and the eerie song).

2. The Nightmare Before Christmas – I don’t think I need to explain how incredibly awesome this Tim Burton creation is. Just like Hocus Pocus, it’s a childhood fave and one that I still watch every year. I like to sing along and I find Jack so endearing. Oh and if I don’t watch this at Halloween then I usually end up watching it at Christmas – can’t go wrong with The Nightmare Before Christmas.

3. Psycho – The first time I watched this 1960 Alfred Hitchcock classic I was in high school and I remember liking it a bit (even though at the time I insisted most black and white movies were boring). I watched it again (this time as a more cultured adult) and couldn’t believe how well made this movie was! I was thoroughly creeped out and at times filled with so much anxiety and suspense. Be sure to shower before watching Psycho.

4. The Shining – When I was coming up with this list of movies I didn’t immediately think of The Shining because I like to watch this movie ANY time of the year, not just Halloween. But if you’re looking for suspense, crazy stuff, creepiness, and Jack Nicholson, then I definitely recommend The Shining. There are some things about the movie that I still think about and find myself interpreting in different ways.

5. Ernest Scared Stupid – Another childhood favourite, do you see the trend here? Sorry if you were looking for slasher flicks! But if you’re a fan of the silly Ernest movies you’ll probably enjoy Ernest Scared Stupid.

Halloween Treats

Of course if I was still a child I would go out trick or treating but I’m apparently too old to do that now. So, aside from Jay buying a box of Halloween candy, I made a small batch of Halloween sugar cookies! I used ghost and pumpkin shaped cookie cutters that my Mom gave me years ago. I didn’t decorate the cookies other than add food colouring to half the dough (for the pumpkins). For the recipe I used Alton Brown’s Sugar Cookie recipe. As you can probably see I left the ghosts in the oven a little too long (and what’s up with the bubbles on the pumpkins?). Also, for the pumpkins I added some pumpkin spice using the spice mix at the bottom of this pumpkin cake recipe by Savory Simple, which by the way is amazing!Happy Halloween! Movies to watch, Treats to eat, Crochet to do!And last but not least I am crocheting something that has nothing at all to do with Halloween but with the coming cold winter months. I am making a pair of slipper boots I found on Pinterest. They look so thick and warm and very durable. You can find the pattern here on SMP Craft.

How are you celebrating Halloween? Going out or staying in? In either case Happy Halloween!!

 

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