Thursday, September 30, 2010

Handmade Soap from Croatia

Hi everyone! Hope you had a great summer. It's hard to believe that fall is already here. Where did the time go? I've been a little bit behind in posting things I've made, I'm so sorry about that, so I'll be catching up with some posts over the next few days. So check back if you can! :)

Today I will be showing you a handmade soap project where I made some soaps to give to friends and family as souvenirs from Croatia. As a crafter, I think it's kind of a fun idea to hand make souvenirs rather than buy them. This is my first time making soaps and it was a lot of fun! I would definitely recommend trying it out if you haven't yet. It's super simple to do.

To make the soaps, I brought back some bags of dried lavender, which grows on the island in Croatia where my mother-in-law lives, and a bottle of distilled lavender scent. When we returned, I bought some Olive Oil soap, molds, and purple dye from Michaels.

Then I melted the soap base, mixed all the pieces together and this is how the lavender soap turned out!


For the soap wrap, I trimmed some PTI kraft paper and ran it through a Fiskars crimper. If you've never used a crimper, you should give it a try. I just love that tool! The handmade paper is from a soapmaking kit, but I would love to learn to make handmade paper too one day. If only there were enough hours in the day to make everything by hand...I think I would seriously try if I could! There is something really fun about making things yourself.

And here is the full set, including some pretty handstitched lace bags we also brought back from Croatia.


And since we're on the topic of Croatia, I thought I'd share with you a few pics that I took!

Here's the cool unusual-shaped beach at Bol where we went swimming. And yes, the water really is that blue and crystal clear!


Here is the River Canyon where we rode on an old wooden boat through the mountains. It was very magical being that close to such high mountains. Living in Florida my whole life, mountains amaze me like nothing else. I'm so used to everything being flat!



And this is the town where my mother-in-law lives on the island. You can see the mountains of the mainland in the distance (see, I can't stop talking about mountains! ;).


The houses are all made of hard white limestone, which is quarried locally on the island. That same stone was also used to build parts of the White House in the US. The island also has the most beautiful purple flowers. Can anyone name the type of flower in the picture? (ETA: I found out that the flower is a bouganvilla. Thanks Mariana!)

We had a great trip and are looking forward to going back next year!

Also, just wanted you all to be aware too if you haven't noticed yet, that my url has now changed to www.craftinginsunshine.com. I redirected it through blogger so any links from the previous url (www.monicacrafts.blogspot.com) should still work. Just wanted to give you a heads up if you'd like to update with the new info!

Thanks so much for taking a look today! Have a wonderful, sunny day! :)

13 comments:

Laurie said...

Love those soaps! So pretty I wouldn't want to use them! And those pictures are gorgeous! What an amazing place!

Kay said...

What beautiful soaps, and I love the way you wrapped them. They're going to be LOVELY gifts!

Keva said...

Wow...very nice soap and that beach...ack! It's really beautiful.

Mariana said...

WOW the soaps are great, and you country is gorgeous, I love the pictures, the flowers to me look like "buganvilias" that is the name in Spanish I think the one in English is very similar, at least that what they look to me, they grow like that in the town I was born back in Mexico!

Lori said...

WOW! What a great souvenier idea, great gift!!!

Sue Ann said...

Oh Monica the photos are SO BEAUTIFUL!!! And I love the soap....... I really do have to give this a try because it is such a great gift!!! I love that hand stitched bag........ what a wonderful gift!!! Again LOVE the photos ...... I wish I were there!!!

Noora said...

The bags to die for, what a neat gift! I am sure your friends and families will love it! and the pics are beautiful..wow..looks like you had a great time!

Nerina said...

Your soaps look AMAZING! They're the kind of thing you have in the bathroom to put up the value of your real estate :0)! They're gorgeous! the little bags are beautiful too! Your pictures are very inspiring! When you said you'd been to Croatia, I really didn't know what kind of scenery to have in mind ... it looks like you must have had the most incredible, wonderful time!

Rebecca said...

What beautiful pics of Croatia. I am sooo jealous! I would love to travel abroad. The soap is lovely too :)

Diane Jaquay said...

Wow Monica, the soap is SO pretty, as is the packaging for it, what a lovely gift! I want to try making soap and will one of these days ;) Also LOVE your pictures of Croatia, it looks like such a beautiful place! I didn't know it was an island. Actually I'm not even sure where it is (hanging my head in shame, I was never good at geography hee hee).

Ann said...

Monica that is such a lovely project! They must have delighted those who were lucky enough to receive them. My sister used to live in Romania and I bought similar little bags there. Now she's in Provence in France - famous for its lavender. So I really want to try soap making with it instead of the usual lavender bags! Beautiful photos of Croatia - bet you're looking forward to your next trip.

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