Rose Petal Solid Shampoo Bars


There is something very alluring about rose petals - that was the inspiration behind this DIY. Solid shampoo bars are an interesting alternative to gift-giving handmade soaps. They're unexpected, very useful, and can be customized to fit the tastes of each individual.

What you'll need:
  • Solid shampoo melt and pour base - this one is from Stephenson Personal Care
  • ¼ cup dried organic rose petals
  • A microwave-safe bowl
  • A rubber or silicone spatula
  • Soap molds- I used a mini muffin non-stick tin to get this shape
  • Optional: 2-3 tablespoons of dried rosemary - rosemary variation instructions at end of post


Instructions

Start with 8 ounces of solid shampoo base (half a 1 lb package). Cut into smaller, cubed chunks. You may rip your rose petals into smaller pieces, if you wish.

Microwave your shampoo base in 30 second intervals until it is completely melted, stirring well each time. Once it is melted, add rose petals. Stir to incorporate, and pour into soap molds.


Tip: lightly spray soap with rubbing alcohol after you pour it into the mold to get rid of the air bubbles. Bubbles are a cosmetic issue, so doing this is optional.

You can sprinkle a few rose petals to the exposed melted mixture before it solidifies, just to add extra beauty to your shampoo bars.

Let sit for 2-3 hours, until the shampoo is completely solidified. If you used a muffin tin like I did, you can pop the tray in the freezer for ~10 minutes, which can help the bars come out of the tray.

 Package as soon as possible. Ideas include saran wrap; kraft packaging paper; gift wrap; muslin drawstring bags; etc.


In this post I used tea-dyed cloth bags to package these lovely shampoo bars. If you'd like to learn how, it's on page 42 in Snowed In Magazine below!

Rosemary variation: would you like to add rosemary to your solid shampoo bars? Find out how on page 39 below:



5 Online Courses and Sites for Creative Education


I'm one of those people that actually misses school after graduation. I miss the structure; the assignments; and the direction. I think that's why I'm drawn to online classes. Sure, I could read a lot of this stuff in books, but I like having a teacher, and sometimes even feedback. Below are five different sources of online creative courses that I'm currently interested, some I've tried, and some are completely new to me.



Alisa Burke

Alisa Burke is one of those artists I'm sure I've seen before online, but I'm just now getting reintroduced to her work and her online classes. Alisa offers a very unique set of courses, from general creativity to sketching, painting, print making, photography, and more. Her classes range in price between $30 and $50, and most (if not all) have unlimited access after registration. I have yet to take one of her courses, but I havethere is one that I will be signing up very soon.


Skillshare

Skillshare has been my go-to source for online classes for over a year now. When I feel the need to sharpen a particular skill, or I want to learn something completely new, I go to Skillshare. Most recently, I've used it to learn calligraphy and a little Photoshop.

Skillshare used to be a pay-per-class site, where most classes cost between $10-$30 each and included lifetime access. They now seem to be switching to a membership-only fee structure, which is only $10 a month for unlimited access to every course they have available. This has been nice for me, since I can easily try a class, and move on to something else if it wasn't what I was looking for. I'm really interested in their photography and typography classes right now, like this class by Brandon Rike, which teaches you to create your own custom type. If you're new to Skillshare, you can get your first month for free by signing up with my Skillshare link here. I'll earn a free month, too.


Craftsy

I've known about Craftsy for a while, but I guess I've been hiding under a rock lately because I didn't know about their paid classes. They do offer free mini online classes, but I'm more interested in their full classes, such as portrait sketching, watercolor painting, and this product photography class. Classes on average seem to range from $20-$35, but they do go up to $50 or more.


Lynda

Lynda is a site I've heard about for a long time, but have yet to use. Mostly, it's because it requires at least a $25 per month membership fee, which I am not ready to commit to; however, Lynda seems to be very professional and teaches more technical topics. I almost signed up when I wanted to learn Adobe InDesign, but I've decided to put that on hold for a while. I am interested in this 33 Laws of Typography course. Have you used Lynda.com? What classes did you take? What did you think of them? Is it worth the membership fee?


Pattern Camp

I dabbled a bit in pattern design on skillshare. I designed my pattern, got prepared to digitize it, and got distracted. I never ended up finishing the pattern design class. A few months ago, I heard about Jessica Swift's weekend Pattern Camp course, which is basically a boot camp for pattern design. It sounded like what I needed - everything you need to know to design and digitize patterns in 2 days. The cost was reasonable, Jessica is inspiring, but ultimately I did not sign up because October was an extremely hectic month for me, both professionally and in my personal life.

I am really excited to hear that Jessica will be offering the course again in February. The October session got really good reviews, and Jessica has shared some examples of student work from the class. If you want to register, you can sign up to be notified when it opens here at the Pattern Camp website.

Have you taken an online class you really enjoyed? What was it?

Getting to Know: Sylvia Stremming Designs





Sylvia Stremming is a creative powerhouse that I very much admire. Aside from her talent and sharp eye for design, Sylvia has great ambitions and a true desire to create. I always interested to see what's new with Sylvia Stremming Designs (which you might remember as {via}vacious Designs in last year's issue of Snowed In. Today, we get a chance to catch up with Sylvia and see what's new in store!

Please tell us a bit about Sylvia Stremming Designs.
Sylvia Stremming Designs (formerly {via}vacious Designs) is a stationery shop that wholeheartedly celebrates all of life's beautiful occasions with pretty paper designs and unique handmade gifts. I strive to find something to celebrate everyday and want to help others do the same. If you don't find what you're looking for, I love custom orders!

What types of products will Sylvia Stremming Designs be offering in 2015?
Sylvia Stremming Designs will be offering printed invitations for all of life's beautiful occasions. Digital files will also be available in the shop if you prefer to print yourself. I am adding a line of unique handmade gift and entertainment items this year so you don't have to wait for a special occasion to come visit the online shop. Items will include personalized wine glasses, travel cups, notepads, and more!


Which product are you most excited about?
Oh goodness, it's hard to choose just one. It might just be the new personalized wine tumblers. You can find one in my office right now!

What inspires you most, as a designer?
My everyday surroundings - even the littlest detail or color combination as I'm walking through a store or found in a piece of architecture can spark an idea!



What trends in paper goods, or the handmade community in general, are you predicting for 2015?
Personalization is a classic trend that is here to stay - a monogram is a girl's best friend! Also, gold foil is here for a while. You can expect to see more rose gold and bronze foil, too.

Where else can we find Sylvia Stremming Designs online?
My website (www.sylviastremmingdesigns.com) is in the works! Make sure to sign up on the newsletter list to get notified when the new site is live. In the mean time, you can find my shop at sstremmingdesigns.etsy.com.

I'm also on social media in these capacities:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/sstremmingdesigns
Twitter: twitter.com/SylviaStremming
Instagram:http://instagram.com/sstremmingdesigns
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sylvia_seib/

Getting to Know: Barnwood4U




For the second year in a row, Barnwood4U is sponsoring Snowed In magazine. It's no wonder why their Etsy shop is doing so well: their wooden decor is beautifully handcrafted and sustainably sourced. Take a minute to get to know a bit about Barnwood4U.

What inspires you most in your designs?
The natural wood and character is what inspires me the most. Someone recently described my style as very rustic, that is probably very apt. Probably due to my wife's influence as she is also very rustic.

What's new with Barnwood4U in 2014?
My favorite new item is the 3" thick wood shelves. Just beautiful wood.


Which product has been the best seller this year?
Frames continue to the best seller. Lots of wonderful fine art photo artists on Etsy that people need frames for.


Which item would make a great holiday gift, and for whom?
I am going to say the best holiday gift would be one of my frames with a photo of the kids for the grandparents.

What trends in woodworking are you predicting for 2015?
I see natural wood as trending in 2015. Away from paints and varnishes, letting the natural beauty of the wood come through.

Where else can we find you online?
Most active on Pinterest:
Pinterest
Google plus
Wanelo
Facebook

Getting to Know: Everybody Loves Pineapples


Everybody Loves Pineapples is one of the most beautiful new blogs I have seen in a long time - it is really an honor to be able to promote such work in Snowed In Magazine. "Miss Pineapple" has such a lovely eye for design and curation. I've had a lot of fun browsing her blog, and continue to be inspired. And aren't you curious - why does everyone love pineapples?

Where did the name Everybody Loves Pineapples come from?

Over the years, I have come to realize that artists selling products are very serious about trends. Following trends has never been the way that I create or design. I create what I love and hope that people enjoy it. If it happens to be on trend, that's a bonus.

2014 was the summer of the pineapple. Blogs were featuring pineapples, the front page of Etsy was filled with them and just about every shop that I visited had a new pineapple product. I found myself fascinated by the thought of it, and quite frankly, a little cracked up. So, my blog name is a bit of a parody on trends. I just couldn't resist.

What do you enjoy the most about blogging?

I have blogged before, but I love blogging with the intent of simply sharing what I enjoy. In the past, I have only blogged about my work - which is fun, but I am more than just what I create. I actually find what inspires me to keep creating more interesting. It is my goal to share creative people, happy spaces and unique styles with my readers. I want to encourage them to surround themselves with people and things that make them happy and keep them positive.

If you could pick 3 words to describe Everybody Loves Pineapples, what would they be?

Happy, Creative, Life

What is your favorite post from 2014?

So far my favorite post has been the personal post that about my trip to the Hogback Bridge in Winterset. I have a hard time remembering to pull out my camera on trips, so I rarely get to post where I have been. That time I both remembered my camera and the photo's turned out great. I was thrilled to be able to share just a tiny bit of Iowa history with my readers.



What will we see more of on Everybody Loves Pineapples in 2015?

My plans for 2015 are to continue to focus on encouraging my readers to work creativity into their lives. When people find out that I make my living as an artist, they always follow with "I am not creative at all" and I always come back with "everyone is creative." Creativity may shine through in someone's cooking, how the decorate their home or they may make a costume for their kids. It is important to me that people find ways to free their spirit. Whatever makes them happy.

Where else can we find you online?

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/everybodylovespineapples

TWITTER: twitter.com/elpineapples

PINTEREST: www.pinterest.com/elpineapples/


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