DIY Polymer Clay Owl on a Metal Ring

O(w)live

Hi everyone! I already shared a few times about the polymer clay owl I’d been making over the past few weeks. Now that it’s finished, I finally wanted to show you what the final product looks like and how I created it. I apologize in advance for not having photos of each of the steps.

What You’ll Need


  • A metal ring. Mine is about 12cm in diameter.

  • Polymer clay in your desired colors. You will need colors for the ring (this is the owl’s body), the wings (three pairs), eyes, beak and legs. I used the same color for the beak and legs and for one of the pairs of wings and the eyes.

  • Round (two sizes) and heart-shaped cutters to cut the different body parts.

  • Your usual polymer clay tools, such as a pasta machine or acrylic roller to roll out your sheets of clay before cutting. I used my pasta machine.

  • Plastic eyes to stick onto your owl once baked.

  • Glue for sticking the eyes onto the owl.

How I Made My Owl

First, I cut long, rectangular strands of clay out of my sheet of the color I used for the ring. I went with olive green thinking it meant the owl sat on a branch, because I didn’t realize this was supposed to be its body. I wrapped the strands around the ring. First, I tried curling, but that didn’t work. Then I just made sure the rectangle was just wide enough to cover the entire ring and folded it around it. That worked! I obviously had to cut several strands to cover the entire length of the ring, but that’s okay.

Then I added the wings. I started with the bottom wings, for which I chose the color ochre. I cut them out with round cutters and then attached them to the olive green ring.

Then I did the same with the two other sets of wings. I chose caramel and taupe for the middle and upper wings respectively. I said you need three pairs of wings, but really you need four wings of each of the three colors. At least if, like me, you want the owl to look the same on both sides. Similarly, you’ll need two pairs of eyes (including four plastic eyes), two pairs of legs and two beaks.

After attaching the wings, I went on to the eyes. I used slightly smaller round cutters for those and attached them in a similar way that I’d done the wings. I decided to use ochre again for the eyes. This may seem strange, but I didn’t want to use too many colors and make my owl look too overloading.

I used heart-shaped cutters for the legs and, as you will see in the finished product, attached them upside-down. Sorry, I don’t have a photo with just the legs.

For the beak, I used a kind of half heart shape that I had my staff help me with: I cut out the actual heart (same size as the legs) and my staff cut away the excess clay with a knife. I used an actual feather to stick the pointy holes in the beak, but I’m pretty sure any pointy object will do.

Then the owl went in the oven. I baked it for 60 minutes at 110°C. I know, I know, Fimo and other brands recommend 30 minutes, but, like I’ve mentioned before, there is no way you can bake polymer clay for too long. I let it fully cool before attaching the eyes. I used my jewelry glue for this, but I’m pretty sure E6000 or something like it will work too. I then strung a ribbon between the eyes to hang my owl onto. Voila, here’s O(w)live!

O(w)live

I am linking up with Party in Your PJ’s and Wonderful Wednesday.

DIY All-Natural Hand Cream Using Essential Oils

I finally seem to have found a bit of inspiration to create things again lately. Last Tuesday, I decided to buy the essential oil safety files at Lea Jacobson’s website. For $47 one-time, you’ll have access to the safety guidelines for over 240 essential oils and absolutes. This seemed a bit expensive to me at first, but given how hard it otherwise is to find exact topical dilution maxes etc. online, I finally gave in.

Regular readers will know that I love to make melt and pour soap and have occasionally made massage oils and body butters. I also made one hand cream. I however usually use fragrance oils, as essential oils can be more irritating to the skin and cause sun sensitivity. Now, with Lea’s safety files, I felt more confident that I’d properly dilute my essential oils. This means I could finally make an all-natural hand cream.

Ingredients


  • 50 g cocoa butter

  • 50 g coconut oil

  • 50 g sweet almond oil

  • 20 g beeswax pellets

  • Essential oils (see below on dilution)


You can use shea butter or mango butter instead of cocoa butter and any liquid carrier oil instead of sweet almond oil. If you want a vegan option, I think you can even use candellia wax instead of beeswax.

Now for the essential oils. I wanted to create a relaxing blend of essential oils. It is hard to find ready-made skincare blends online, so I used a diffuser blend and adapted it for topical use. This required me to know whether the essential oils I would be using, are skin-safe and, if so, in what dosage. For this, I used Lea’s safety files.

The blend I found online that I liked, contained lavender, clary sage and vetiver essential oil. Since I didn’t have lavender essential oil on hand anymore, I decided to use lavandin instead. I found out that, while lavandin essential oil is pretty skin-safe, lavandin absolute is not. For this reason, I made extra sure my staff checked that what I had in my box was the essential oil. It was!

The diffuser blend called for two drops of each oil. I decided to use three drops in my hand cream. This totals nine drops of essential oil, which isn’t even a 1% dilution. Usually, natural skincare makers use a 3% dilution, which would be safe with these oils. However, I felt the scent was strong enough already as it was now.

Making the Hand Cream


  1. Mix together the cocoa butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil and beeswax in a microwave-safe bowl.

  2. Microwave in one-minute increments, stirring afterwards, until melted.

  3. Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes before adding the essential oils. You could use a thermometer to check the temperature. I’ve heard most EOs require a temperature below 45°C. I don’t own a thermometer though, so I just wait until the mixture starts to set a little.

  4. Add in the essential oils.

  5. Stir with a whisk to make the hand cream more fluffy.

  6. Pour the mixture into a jar or pot.

  7. Let fully cool before screwing on the lid.

Since my hand cream will be a gift, I haven’t touched it myself after fully cooling. My previous attempt turned out a bit too thick for my liking, which is why I cut back on the beeswax a little this time.

I will probably be making a melt and pour soap with the same scent soon too. Then, I’ll add them both into a package I’ll send to my assigned home staff, who, as regular readers know, is on sick leave. I really hope she likes it.

PoCoLo
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Crafty Endeavors #WotW

This week was a mixed bag emotionally. I haven’t been as motivated as I was before, but, like I said yesterday, haven’t been depressed either. I have also been quite crafty over the past week. In fact, I have been exploring more creative outlets in a single week than I’ve done in a long while. For this reason, I’m choosing “crafty endeavors” as my word of the week.

Early in the week, I created the polymer clay tricolor “rainbow” pendant I showed you on Wednesday. Like I said, at first it wouldn’t cure in the oven, but eventually it did.

I also created the multicolor, layered heart I posted yesterday. Since my mother-in-law brought me a packet of sanding papers, I have been trying to sand this one a little. I only used grits 120 and 400 to get rid of the worst unevenness, since with it being multilayered, I don’t know how to sand the top two layers.

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I have been busy with soap and skincare product making. I made a lavender and clary sage massage oil. Unfortunately, I used up all my lavender essential oil, so I’ve put that on my wishlist to buy when I feel I am allowed to spend money again.

I also created a lavender and rose hand cream and melt and pour soap. In the soap, I used real dried lavender and rose petals.

Lavender and Rose Melt and Pour Soap

I found the recipe here and, though I felt the use of crushed almonds was a bit strange, I just skipped that step. I really liked the soap.

Then yesterday, I showed it in a melt and pour soap making group on Facebook and was told by all of the commenters that most dried herbs and flowers will mold in melt and pour soap. I seriously had no idea! In fact, just a few days earlier, I’d seen another blogger post a recipe for calendula soap. That one is the one herb that won’t mold, but this blogger also included lemongrass. I’ve also seen tons of recipes for melt and pour soap that do include all kinds of dried herbs and flowers, so my next question obviously is how to sift through all the information out there online. In any case, some of the commenters on Facebook said I’m now officially a soaper for having made the same mistake 99% of melt and pour soapers make.

Then on to polymer clay again. On Friday evening, I made a flower. Then I saw an interesting video on YouTube on making polymer clay earrings and wanted to try it. Unfortunately, one of the colors of Fimo I used was way too brittle for in my extruder, so I decided to mix up the two colors. I’d used blossom rose and porcelain. The shade I got was a very light pink which was lovely. Unfortunately, I only had a tiny bit of it.

This evening, I may try more polymer clay, as I haven’t baked the flower yet and want it baked by tomorrow, but I don’t want to run the oven for just one piece.

Overall, despite this week not feeling as good as the past few weeks, I’ve done really well.

How would you sum up your week?

Word of the Week linky

Jewelry-Making #WotW

Hi everyone. Today I’m once again joining Word of the Week. I already shared some of my experiences from the week with you all on Friday. Today, I want to focus on an important positive aspect of the week: jewelry-making. Like I said last week, I got a lot of supplies from my parents for my birthday. I also bought some new supplies later this week.

The actual jewelry-making process is still sometimes hard for me due to my being blind and having mild cerebral palsy. I am making progress though in figuring out what works for me.

First, on Wednesday, I made a bracelet for my day activities staff. She had her birthday that day so was off, but my assigned support staff from the home came to sub. I did all the threading by myself and tried to tie the knot too.

On Thursday and Friday, I was even busier making jewelry. I made my first necklace in a long time. It didn’t turn out as good as I’d hoped and I don’t have a photo, but it is nice enough.

I also made a football bracelet for a fellow client. I originally wanted to make something in the colors of his favorite club, but I didn’t have red and white beads. Instead, I chose green for the grass and added a football charm. This client has his birthday next month I think, so I already decided to make him something in the club colors then.

Lastly, I enthusiastically decided to make a necklace for my niece. She is 21-months-old and I had no idea what the appropriate age for wearing jewelry is. I also added acrylic charms that I later realized she might pull off and put into her mouth.

I texted my sister and she said two to three years is the recommended age for necklaces. I thought of keeping the necklace for my niece’s birthday, but eventually decided to give it anyway when my sister and her family visited me yesterday. I’m confident my sister will be able to keep it safe until my niece is ready for it.

How would you sum up your week?

Word of the Week linky

Creating Lately: A Bracelet, Body Butter and Lip Scrub

After a difficult week two weeks ago and lots of frustration at not finding meaning in my activities lately, last week I finally found my creative mojo again. I’ve been pretty busy crafting and DIY’ing over the week.

First, I want to show you all this bracelet I created last Friday. It is simple and I didn’t even do all the work by myself. I mean, I struggled a lot putting the purple beads onto the wire, because my left hand kept spasming and I needed my right hand to keep the wire straight. I tried reversing my hands and letting my staff hold the wire, but it wouldn’t work. Still, I managed to thread some of the purple beads and all of the roses anyway.

I also have been doing a lot of body care creating lately. Last Monday, I made a basic body butter. I used coconut oil, sweet almond oil and cocoa butter. I added in a few drops of coconut fragrance oil for the scent.

I am considering getting a talking kitchen scale, so that I can weigh out my ingredients myself. Not that we used a scale this time – we just guessed how much we’d need.

Lastly, on Thursday, I made a lip scrub. I used coconut oil and cocoa butter for the base and added plain white sugar, honey and vanilla extract. This time, I did most of the measuring myself, even though I still mostly had to guess how much we’d need.

I had made a lip scrub once before, but that one didn’t turn out as thick as we’d wanted. This one is still thinner than most lip balms I’m used to making, but then again it’s a lip scrub, not a lip balm.

I am really loving looking at bath and body product recipes. I am not as good with them yet as I’d like to be, but I like to think I’m improving.

With respect to jewelry, I don’t look up tutorials, as they’re usually far too difficult for me to follow. I just create what I think I can.

What have you been crafting lately?

Useful Resources for Aromatherapy #AtoZChallenge

Hi and welcome to my letter U post in the #AtoZChallenge on essential oils. I’ve been debating a lot what to cover for this letter, but eventually decided to do a quick post on resources for doing your own aromatherapy.

I use a number of books for my information on aromatherapy. However, the Internet is also rich with resources. First up is AromaWeb. This is one of the most reliable sources on essential oils and aromatherapy online. There are essential oil profiles and there’s information on safety, but there are also recipes for your own aromatherapy products. This site usually comes up first when I search for general essential oil information.

Next is Loving Essential Oils. This is mostly a site full of recipes for diffuser blends and other DIY products with essential oils. I also think they sell aromatherapy supplies. When I search for diffuser blends, this site usually pops up first.

I also like to get my diffuser recipes from One Essential Community. They also offer many different DIY recipes with essential oils.

Last, I want to recommend EOCalc.com. This site has never popped up in Google searches that I did before, but it was recommended in a Facebook natural soap making community. I have so far never used my essential oils in soap and I am not sure this site is useful for melt and pour soap makers like me. However, this site has a wealth of essential oil blends. I just convert the percentages to drops and then use the recipe for my diffuser.

Today Is Tuesday, February 23

Today is an okay’ish day. I don’t know what to write about, so I’ll just ramble.

I am struggling majorly with knee pain. I have been struggling with it for a few weeks already, but it wasn’t as noticeable before, as I wasn’t walking anyway due to the weather or mental fatigue. Now the weather is great and I’m definitely motivated to walk, but my knee won’t cooperate. My staff E-mailed the facility’s physical therapist to see if she can have a look later this week. I’m hoping there’s something that can be done about it.

I am also struggling majorly with anxiety. In particular, the fear that I’m deteriorating is on my mind. It isn’t entirely unfounded, as I do experience increasing irritability and sensory overload and decreasing energy. This makes me worry that, in five years or so, I’ll have suffered severe cognitive and physical decline. I know, it makes no sense to contemplate where this will go. All I can do, is do what my body and mind allow me to do each day. And I did go for two walks today, one in the morning and one in the evening.

In the afternoon, I made a massage oil. One of the staff had brought some travel-sized bottles that I could use for the oil. I used one of the 100ml bottles to put sweet almond oil into and then added essential oil. I used:


  • 6 drops clary sage

  • 3 drops lavender

  • 2 drops sweet orange


This makes for a dilution rate of roughly 1% for the total amount of EO. I am, after all, trying to be cautious. I made sure to use essential oils that I know to be relatively skin-safe. I tried the massage oil on my shoulders and neck this evening and it’s great.

I also ordered new essential oils. I had to order lavender EO, as I’d used the last bit of it in my massage oil. I also ordered grapefruit, cardamom and vetiver EOs.

Then I had a look at an online gemstone store. Boy, are crystals and gemstones expensive! I don’t know how I managed to collect so many as a preteen. Unfortunately, part of my collection disappeared in one of my moves. I’d really like to get some new ones sometime soon.

#WeekendCoffeeShare (February 21, 2021)

Happy Sunday everyone! I’m rather late joining in with this week’s #WeekendCoffeeShare, but better late than never I’d say. In addition to coffee, today we have two types of soft drinks in the fridge, both partly lemon-flavored and neither of which I like. If you’d prefer cold water, I totally get you. Unfortunately, the water hasn’t been in the fridge that long yet, so it’s not super cold. I hope you enjoy whichever drink you choose anyway. Let’s have a drink and let’s catch up.

If we were having coffee, firstly I’d ask about your weather. Is yours as crazy as ours? Last week, remember, we had snow and temperatures below freezing. Now, the weather is really spring-like, with the temperature having risen to 17°C here in Raalte and to 19°C in some places in the south of the country. Tomorrow we might get even warmer weather.

If we were having coffee, I’d share I went to Lobith for the week-end. My husband and I got Domino’s pizza yesterday. The one I got, curry kebab, was good, but not as great as I’d expected.

On the way back to Raalte, my husband had a radio station on playing summer hits to celebrate the warm weather. I now have the Venga Boys’ Boom, Boom, Boom stuck in my head and I actually don’t mind. I don’t think anyone who isn’t a child of the nineties can truly appreciate the beauty of this music. 🤣

If we were having coffee, I’d share that I still don’t feel back to my normal self. My magnesium, which I started last week for constipation, has been upped. I’m struggling to decide whether this was a good thing or not. Guess I’ll give it a few more days to see how I do.

I’m also still pretty fatigued and easily overloaded. On Thursday, I landed in a minor crisis due to it. Unfortunately, my community psychiatric nurse didn’t work that day and the substitute couldn’t help me much at all. He offered to ask my CPN to call back on Friday, but I think she may not have received the memo. By then though, I was feeling somewhat more functional.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that a fellow client and staff cooked spaghetti for us today. It was good.

If we were having coffee, lastly I’d share that I made a lip scrub with my one-on-one staff this evening. I used coconut oil, sugar and vanilla extract. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out to be the consistency I liked. However, it did make my lips feel soft.

What’s been going on in your life?

Gratitude List (January 29, 2021) #TToT

Hi everyone on this rainy Friday. I didn’t write anything yesterday or on Wednesday, because on Wednesday I was feeling uninspired and yesterday I was in bed all day feeling like crap. Today, I want to write again and I’m joining Ten Things of Thankful (#TToT) for a gratitude list.

1. I am grateful for a beautiful sunset on Monday. I’m also grateful for still having the residual sight to actually enjoy it. By the time I got my camera to take a picture, the sun had already set a little more than it had when I first saw it. Therefore, the actual thing was even more beautiful than the picture.

Sunset

2. I am grateful my husband is feeling better. This week-end, I get to go to our house.

3. I am grateful for still no COVID among my family or close relatives. My mother-in-law had to get tested last week, but thankfully, she was negative.

4. I am grateful I’m feeling slightly better today than I was yesterday. I have been horribly constipated for about a week now and yesterday evening, was nauseated from it. That has thankfully gone.

I am hoping to get a new medication for the constipation later today. I currently take Macrogol, which gives me horrible gas and cramping. The staff called my GP this morning and she’s going to send in some different kind of medication. I forgot to ask what she’s prescribed exactly, but I’ll find out.

5. I am grateful for rest. I was able to sleep pretty well last night despite having been in bed all afternoon yesterday and having gone back to sleep at 8PM. Thankfully, I feel rested now.

6. I am grateful for my sensory cat soft toy. It can be heated in the microwave and then gives off heat and a lavender scent. I had it in bed with me last night.

7. I am grateful for my new AFO or foot brace or whatever it’s called. The original one came on Monday, but it was painful to wear in a way that the physical therapist thought wouldn’t go away with practice. Thankfully, I now have another one. It’s still painful to walk on uneven ground wearing it, but that’s supposed to go away when I get used to the thing.

8. I am grateful for delicious Turkish pizza. A staff brought me some today and I ate it with salad and mayonaise. It was awesome!

9. I am grateful for some DIY inspiration. Today, the staff (same one who brought the pizza) helped me create some air-dry clay figures which I will later hang onto something for decorating my room.

10. I am grateful for books and Netflix shows. I was able to read again on Wednesday and really enjoyed it. I also got a Netflix subscription again last week. Though I’m not sure for how long I’ll keep it, I did enjoy watching some shows.

What are you grateful for?

Green Tea and Lemon Soap

This week, one of Mama Kat’s writer’s workshop prompts is to write about the last thing you made. Another of her prompts is about something good that happened this week.

Well, the good thing that happened to me is the fact that I’m motivated for soaping again. I’m seriously loving it!

Last week, I googled all over the Internet for soaping recipes, but didn’t really find the motivation or time to actually make any soaps. This week, I made two.

Now I must say that researching soaping is almost as enjoyable as is actually making soap. For example, today, I decided to look into making all-natural soaps and researching essential oil brands that are relatively safe. I mean, I know that natural health-minded people say that essential oils are by definition safer than fragrance oils, but I disagree. This is the reason I used a fragrance oil in the soaps I made this week.

So what did I make? Those who saw my Lovin’ Lately post last week might be guessing it correctly. Yes, I made green tea and lemon soap! I used this recipe for inspiration.

I used my default brand white glycerin-based melt and pour soap base. Then I added the cheapest matcha green tea powder I could find. After all, I didn’t really need it for actual tea. I used one teaspoon for about 100g of soap. I added a fragrance oil called Juicy Yellow Lemon from a great fragrance oil store. In my first soap, pictured below, I added three drops of fragrance oil, but I felt it was a little strong. I wouldn’t recommend using 3/4 teaspoons essential oil in one pound of soap, as the linked recipe recommends, because particularly lemon EO is very phototoxic.

The green tea got a little clumpy as I mixed it in with the soap base. Maybe I should’ve mixed it with some glycerin first, but I didn’t have any on hand. Actually, I think the spotty effect is a bit charming in its own right.

I made this one yesterday. Today, I made another soap using the same method, but it is heart-shaped. That one is for my husband, as it’s our ninth wedding anniversary on Saturday.

So how did I like it? I rarely use the soaps I make myself, but decided to give this one a try before making the one for my husband. Contrary to my expectations, the soap feels really smooth when using it. I also don’t feel like my skin gets rubbed too much. I loved the combination of green tea with the lemon scent!

What have you made recently?

Mama’s Losin’ It