Thursday, 22 March 2012

Upcycled jeans iPad Sleeves

These are my latest creations, five iPad sleeves made from the denim from one pair of maternity jeans and some African kitenge fabrics. The jeans weren't worn for long, so the denim is still nice and dark but still softer than new. I loved making these, using the jeans meant I had to be a little creative to be able to cut ten pieces the same size from different parts of the jeans. It was fun to pair the pieces them up, matching front to back and then to add a piece of colourful kitenge cloth (Afircan fabrics) in a different place on each one. I left the pockets fully functional and added a snap closure. I then lined them with some lovely soft minky left over from making baby blankets, which has made them a little bit padded and lovely and soft to protect the screen. Oh and I have been told this size pouch is also perfect as a nappy wallet!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

How I made my vegan palm oil free soap

This is my first batch of soap I have ever made. I decided make my own when I was having trouble finding soap not containing beef fat (tallow) or palm oil. If you're unaware of the devastating effects palm oil harvesting is having on the orangutan population, I urge you to do some reading. I was very surprised to find out the other names of palm oil, and instantly recognised them as I have read them on so many products.

Anyway, back to the soap. It was fairly easy to make, and I found all the ingedients I needed at my local supermarket. Lye, used in all soap recipes, is actually caustic soda, found in the laundry section for around $3-4. I used olive oil, organic coconut oil, and a little castor oil. As organic coconut oil can be a little on the expensive side, alternatively you could use Copha, in the supermarket fridge section. Copha is solidified coconut oil.

The technique is a little messy and time consuming, this batch took me a few hours as it took much longer than I expected to reach 'trace' (where the liquid thickens a little after stirring/blending). The soap has been curing in a cupboard for about six weeks but I think it needs to cure a bit longer, as it's still a little bit soft. It does lather nicely though, and leaves my skin feeling very soft.

Here are the links I used, for the recipe and technique:

I'm looking forward to making more soap, I would love to experiment and use cocoa butter and shea butter in the next batch.