Thursday, November 15, 2012


Wow, life has sure thrown us some crazy curves but I still have much to be thankful for.  I took Brooke for what I thought was a normal dentist visit and many x-rays, tests, and appts later we are waiting to hear what the best plan of action is!!!  She has a tooth that grew toward her nose instead of into her mouth and they think a cyst or tumor caused it to do so. So thankful that they say it is not cancer, tho.
I did finally finish my Grateful Journal that was the Creative Dare from Tracy and I'm quite pleased, if I do say so myself.  lol  I'm not real good with the camera I used so the colors in some of the pages aren't true but at least you'll get the gist of what I'm thankful for.  :-)

I cannot imagine life without God!  I turn to Him when there is no one else to turn to. I'm thankful for the plan of Salvation and His forgiveness and mercy.
I am also blessed with a wonderful church and church family.  Our Pastor and his wife are the best!  I thank God for them.
I'm thankful for "Love" and for the love of my life......Chris.  In May it will be 25 years and I wouldn't trade him.

I am blessed with a multitude of friends. My besties,  Fibro friends, Family friends, Art Journal friends, just lots and lots of friends.  I love my friends!  <3 p="p">

Music!  What a blessing music is.  So many times I've sang and played the piano until I could smile in spite of the pain or fears.

 I sure have awesome family. Too many to go into names but I am blessed extremely with close loving family.

Art and "Mixed Media Monday" seems to go hand in hand.  At a time when life was so scary and I was facing things that I never imagined I would face......I found Tracy and art!  Through Tracy I gained a group of art journal friends that are such a blessing to me.  God knows just what and who we need and when. :-) favorite time of the year!  I LOVE to walk through the leaves and hear the crunch under each foot step. I love the colors, I love the leaves blowing in the wind, the leaves on the ground, decorating my house.....I just love Autumn!  :-)

I could go on and on with my many blessings but alas the journal only had so many pages.  lol  I truly am blessed far more than I deserve!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Life and so much more......

Wow!   What a difference a month can make!  I am so very thankful for the great weeks I have had.  Yes, I still have some pain at times and the rainy weather isn't always my friend but........that is nothing compared to how I used to feel.  I can actually get up in the mornings without feeling like I can hardly make it through the day.  I've only had to take a nap a few days compared to having to most days before!  I never dreamed one small surgery could make such a difference.  The night I had so many problems and had to go to ER was scary but, Thank God, if that's what it took for them to find and fix my problems.....I won't complain!
I meant to make this post about my art journaling and such.....but.....I'm just so thankful that I feel better that I wanted to share.
In the past month I have......Made a trip to and from Louisville, Ky in one day, for my Aunt's 80th birthday party, went on a 2:30am trip to Shoals, Horseback riding, cleaned house like crazy, got up "early" almost every morning, (early for me lol) made and decorated cake/cupcakes, baked like crazy, and I have done so much more and I'm still able to go!  I cook so much that Brooke said they're all gonna be fat!  haha  I am just so incredibly thankful to feel like doing "normal" people stuff!  God is so good!
I am also thankful for Bro.and Sis. Gibson, our current pastor and his wife!  They have been such a blessing to our church!  The teens and kids just love them, too!  We are going to have an awesome Pastor Appreciation Month for them and I am super excited about it!  It's going to last all month and not just one day!
Life.....I feel like I'm actually getting to live life!  I don't want to go one day without remembering how much I have to be thankful for.  So many days it was like I was just existing and I would be so happy for just one day of feeling good and now.......I have more good days than bad!!!!!    This is the perfect month to do Tracy's challenge......A "Grateful" journal!  I truly am Grateful!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Homemade Dishwasher Soap

I tried something new today and I am really happy with how it worked.  I'm trying to do more than just pin ideas and actually try some of them.  ha ha   I made the dishwasher soap and used it today and my dishes look great. I also put vinegar in the rinse agent spot like it said and I plan on continuing to do that, too.  I'll put the recipe below and also the website that I got it from.

Home Made Dishwasher Detergent
  • 2 c borax
  • 2 c Arm & Hammer washing soda
  • 2 c lemi shine*
  • 1 c kosher salt
 The borax, washing soda and lemi shine should be in the laundry and dishsoap section  Kosher salt should be with the baking items.  

Borax, Multi-Purpose Cleaner (4 lbs 12 oz/76 oz/2.2 kg) Arm & Hammer Super Wash Soda, Detergent Booster 55 oz (1559 g) 
Lemishine Super Concentrated Powder Morton coarse kosher salt 3 lb
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until mixed.
  2. The citric acid in the lemi shine will make everything get a bit hard.   The lady suggested letting this mixture sit out in a bowl for a couple of days, stirring often so that's what I'm doing. You will still get a few little "balls" of detergent, but that is just fine!  You just don't want it all in one big piece!  
  3. The lemi shine suggests running an empty dishwasher cycle with just that in order to clean your dishwasher.  
  4. Fill your rinse aid spot with white vinegar.  I did this and the dishes looked great!
  5. Use 1 tbs of detergent per load of dishes.  I do about a 30/70 split with 30% in the pre-wash spot and 70% in the wash spot.  If you don't have a prewash spot, you can put it all in the wash spot. My first time using it I did use 1 - 1/2 TBSP
*You can experiment with the lemi shine amount.  The original recipe that the lady on the website found  called for only 1 cup but said to add more if you have hard water.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

July Dare with Tracy Weinzapfel

 Our dear Tracy over at gave us a dare and it's not only been fun figuring out my word for the rest of the year but also trying something new.  I decided to create on an actual canvas and not just the flat canvas boards.  I started out with spray mists and paint mixed with water in a spray bottle.  Then I loved the page that Tracy did this past Monday 
so much that I thought I'd try something similar with my flowers.  I used chipboard type flowers as a mask because the stamps I had just weren't what I wanted.  I splattered paint and then gessoed my flowers.  I was going to try to post what I used to make this canvas but.........I wound up mixing a little of this, a little of that, a little of the other, and so on that I'd probably confuse you as much as I would myself.  lol
Above is where I had just started painting my gessoed flowers.

After I got them all painted and some details.....I wasn't happy with the colors so did some more mixing.  lol

 Here I was finally done with the flowers and adding some detail.

 Above is my completed canvas. I died the jean strip, the flowers, and the tulle. I actually changed the color of the key and darkened the chipboard, too. I stray so far from what I think I'm gonna do sometimes winds up making me happy.  :-)
 Serenity is my word for the year and putting it on here large just didn't work for me so I just used it in my quote. "Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm.   

This short video shows the colors the truest.
Thank you so much, Tracy, and I feel like a broken record but you are such a blessing and the group of friends you have introduced into my life are blessings, too.  To have never met me but to be so concerned about me with all of the things I've went through lately!  You gals are the bomb-diggedy!  lol <3<3<3

Sunday, July 1, 2012


I can still iron!!!  lol  It just took my bestie buying me this cute little iron to make it fun.  Ok, so if I had to iron shirts and such with it, it wouldn't be so fun but I was just ironing the hem into a banquet dress for Alyssa.  :-)  Love my little iron and it'll be fun to use in my crafting. 

I also had a lot of fun a few days before making an xbox cake for the 8th graders at Salem Park Academy. The best part of both of these projects......I got to spend lots time with Lisa and Alyssa!  Love, love, love those girls! (Can't leave out my boy, Jared, whose dry humor totally makes me smile! :-)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Foam Stamps and Art Journaling

Once again life got in the way of my good intentions of really keeping up with my blog.  :-)  In spite of life and health issues there are some positive things and I want to focus on them.  We had a family reunion today!  A first one for the Lynn/Murphy etc family!  I was so happy to see so many I love!  I'm looking forward to next year already.  :-)
Second, not only has my family and faithful friends been there for me through this time but I even have a knew group of friends (I call them my art journal loopies on fb lol) that show so much care and it means a lot!  I love my art journaling!  I never would have imagined how much. And now my SS kids are loving it with me as we are making scripture/faith journals.
So......I thought I'd share a few pictures of some things I've tried and they were so easy I figured others might like to try it, too.  :-)
First of all I found some word foam stickers on "clearance" for .50.  There were 2 sets and the top ones were all girly (right up my daughter's alley lol) and the bottom set had great words for art journaling. Since I've been making a lot of foam stamps I decided it would be fun to try using these to stamp with.  The fonts were fun and it would make it easier than using my individual letter stamps.

Even though they had glitter on them they glued onto the plastic/acetate just fine.  I just put glue on the letters while they were still on the backing, waited a minute or so, and peeled them off. I used goo gone to get the "sticky" off of the back of the letters.

Here is what they look like stamped with Distress Ink. I even used the little butterflies that were with the set.

And now here is something I've been having so much fun with.  I wrote the word "art" and then made it thicker so I could cut it out and make a stamp out of my handwriting. I like how it turned out. On the page below I had stamped a stamp I made of a flower that I drew, trying it out, and did the same with the word art.  I decided to "fussy cut" them out of the paper and use them on my art journal page. Even though it isn't perfect or professional, I like that fact that it makes my pages even more "mine"! 
 Thanks to Tracy, ) I'm learning to try a lot of new things and I find that I love it!  :-)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Art Journal Therapy? :-)

The last few years I have faced some tough times in my life. Some were downright scary!  In some of those darkest hours I believe God let me find Tracy Weinzapfel Burgos!  Art teacher extraordinaire!  Tracy Weinzapfel Studios  I not only found a great teacher but a friend and a whole new group of crafty friends. I learned to do an art that I love but it also helped and is still helping me work through some really tough times.  Tracy has challenged me to try new things and lo and behold, I found I could do them and even more. Each Monday night (I now look forward to Mondays) we meet here TW Studios Ustream and learn, create, chat, laugh, (sometimes histerically) and have a great time.  Art journaling has been such a help to me and after I saw an article about crafting being therapeutic so I thought I'd look up information about art journaling since it has helped me so much.  Sure enough! At this site --> Exploring Art Journaling I found the information below. So......if you're going through a hard time, or if you're not and just want to learn, have fun, and make awesome friends.....Check Tracy's ustream out on Mondays 9pm EST.
Life’s challenges and the stress they bring are an unavoidable part of living. And sometimes the weight of certain challenges seems almost unbearable. There are many ways to help keep our buckets full and filling even when we are dealing with substantial grief.  Friendship, activities, hobbies, non-perfectionism, acceptance for what and who you are, a place to vent, family connections and friendship connections are all helpful.
And at our fingertips, we have yet another tool to use. People have long used journals to record feelings and thoughts. We use scrapbooking and crafts as a tool to record memories. Putting the two together in art journaling is a therapeutic tool I use in my private practice with clients which is not only enlightening but also a vehicle for releasing stress and working through life’s inevitable struggles. It is one way to fill your bucket.
Using expressive journaling with creative art is a powerful way to allow for connection building and profound learning about you and your inner self. It allows for time to create and for time to process. It is very therapeutic.
So what is the difference between a journal and an art journal? Journals become art journals when you add depth, color, and creativity through illustrations (such as photographs and embellishments of any kind) to your journal. That sounds like scrapbooking, card making and crafting, doesn’t it? Art journaling is not about creative talent – it is about allowing self-communication through more than just words. Combining both expressive writing and creative art expression allows for taking an in-depth look into your own soul. You can see what you already know, and begin to learn and address what you still need to discover. This can be a very rewarding journey of self-discovery.
To derive the greatest benefit from your art journal experience, don’t hold back when expressing yourself. Don’t worry about your creative skills (or lack of them). Ignore the negative voices telling you that you’re not an artist. Give yourself permission to explore, to play, to create, and most of all, to listen. The creative process is a healing process. Words alone can be limiting, and thus using writing and art together provides a place for pent-up traumatic emotions such as anger, hurt and grief to be expressed when they are much too painful or buried too deeply to express verbally.
Allowing for self-discovery triggers emotional catharsis. Gaining a sense of empowerment and a bit more control as you heal is essential. Art journaling is a gentle, safe and private way to let it all out. Through this process you can vent spontaneously, creatively and lead yourself to some therapeutic relief.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Birthday Month

Did you know that there are some people who celebrate their birthday aaaallllll month and not just on that day?  I'm thinking that's a wonderful idea.  I think I'm doing a pretty good job at it so far.  At least this week.  I got gifts and a card Sunday, another gift and card Tuesday, more cards and $ Wednesday and lots of love and wishes (which are the best) Hubby took me out to eat tonight and I got more gifts.  I am loving this!  lol  I feel pretty loved by the way.  One of my favorite birthday wishes is the one I found on my bathroom mirror from my hubby.  (I still haven't cleaned it off and I'm OCD.)  lol
I had so much fun skyping (is that a word) today with Tracy Burgos and Teri Barefoot.  I completed 2 stamps for give-aways.  I plan to have my daughter draw names at the end of this week.   I'm actually getting better at making them.  Never too old to learn. ;-)
I am feeling pretty happy and blessed tonight and just wanted to blog a tad about it.  I love my momma, hubby, kiddos, friends......and just everybody.  lol
Have a great night!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Another Foam Stamp

Well, once I got interested in art journaling I just started checking all kinds of websites, video clips, etc to find what I could.  Cassy, my son's girlfriend, draws this really neat flower and I told her I wanted her to teach me how to draw it.  Then I decided to look on youtube.  So you guessed it.....I started drawing simple flowers and then just kept adding little things as I see ideas.  Ok, I'm starting to ramble here so long story short.....after I did the foam stamp video my mind got to running all over the place.  Why could I draw a flower, put it on the thin foam, indent the places on it to make detail, and make my own custom stamp?  As I have been doing quite often A.T.(After Tracy lol) I tried it!  I'm actually happy with it. Here are a couple pictures below.  The first one is the flower I drew using a graphite pencil. I then burnished it onto the craft foam, used a sharp pencil to press the details into the foam and cut it out.
 The yellow one is the stamp and the other flower is the stamped image.  I know I could improve on it but I'm actually pleased.  :-)
I love this "art journal" thing and I don't think Tracy has any idea of how much she is teaching but also helping others heal by journaling through art.
Tracy will be doing her own art show this weekend and I couldn't be happier for her.  Check out some of her work here.....

Angels in my Life

Wow, where does the time go? I'm thinking back to a very scared girl in my 20's that had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia after fearing cancer and arthritis.  There wasn't very much information out there and I really didn't understand this thing that was taking my energy and causing so much pain. Looking things up on the internet I found a message board for fibro.  And there is where the real story begins.  I didn't find just a message board that I could get information from but friends. No, family!  Exchanging gifts at Christmas and even the occasional white elephant exchange.  :-) A cyber shower when they found out I was expecting a surprise, but longed for little one. Presents from all over and even gifts for my little boy.  They didn't want him to feel left out. What love my little Brooke was given from people who I had never seen in person but loved me as if they'd known me all my life.  Some of us have met in person but not all, some have left this earth much too soon we feel in our hearts, but we have a love and understanding that I don't think you'd find very often. When daddy passed away there were so many cards and flowers and more. So many crisis in life but we are there for each other. Maybe not in person but in every other way.  And the prayers......we've seen miracles occur!!!!  One thing I love about my fibro family.......In the middle of the night when sleep is hard to come by......we can pour our hearts out to each other and know that it won't be long before someone is reading it, saying a prayer for you, and giving words of comfort or wisdom, whatever is needed.  Do we all believe the same? Are we the same race? Come from the same walks of life?  Share the same political beliefs?  Not at all and that's what makes it even more awesome!  We agree to disagree agreeably and still love each other unconditionally! So I would have to say......these are angels in my life.  I don't know if I let them know just how much I really love and appreciate them.  I hurt when they hurt! I want to be by their side to help ease their burdens but since I can't.....I pray for them and try in some way to let them know I care.  I must say I am truly blessed because not just everyone has angels like mine!!!!  I thank God for my angels!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Making Craft Foam Stamps

Once again I'm trying something new and though I made lots of mistakes.....I did it! :-)  I hope it explains well enough to those of you that wanted to know how I made the dragonfly stamp.  If you think this video is a hoot, you should see the one I didn't post!  haha  After many tries my daughter and I decided that this one would have to do for now.  I wanted to get it up tonight because we have a busy weekend coming up.  If you leave a comment and your favorite stamp I'll have my daughter pick 2 names at random and I'll send you the stamp you chose.

I just want to say "Thank You" to Tracy and all my "Art Journal Loopies"!  You all are great and I feel so blessed to have you in my life. You've inspired me and made me see beauty all around me instead of dwelling on the scary things in my life. I do have to say.....God has worked some miracles in the last week that have relieved so many of my worries.  I shouldn't have worried, huh?  It's not like it helped, I know!  :-)  I must say....Life is Good!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why oh Why do I seem to procrastinate???

Well, once again I'm cramming to get something finished. A card swap that I had almost a year to get done. In my defense, I did start months ago but as we were doing something different and using sketches I got bogged down. When I finally figured out how to do the sketches.....It's going much better. But, of course, I just have til May 7, to finish the remaining 31 cards. :-) I do have them all cut and folded and part of the mats and such cut. Hopefully, at the crop I'm going to Friday I'll get them all completed and have some breathing space. I have a Close to my Heart party with my niece Thurs. night, the crop Fri. night, a Miche party at my friends on Sat. and church on Sun. I can see lots of resting on Mon. I do know better than to plan too many things in a row but......Hopefully, I'll feel ok and have a great time.
I am excited that I've used some of the things I'm learning from Tracy on some of my cards. I haven't uploaded pics of any except one so I'll share it. Here is her blog to check out! She's great!!!!!! And such an inspiration to me.
I mod podged the tissue from an actual pattern on the background. The stamp set is from Close to my Heart and I LOVE their stamps. I think they are my new favorite! :-) As for inks (or should I say Inx) I really, really want all of Donna Salazar's Mixed Media Inx colors. They are awesome! Beautiful colors and so juicy that you can emboss with them. No dragging out the embossing pad and trying not to muddy it with your stamps. :-) Here is her blog if you want to check it out. She's pretty great, too!
Sooooo, because of my said procrastination I haven't been able to do much journaling but I do have some that I haven't shared yet
This is not one of my best pages but it is one of my favorites. It is totally me and how I feel. I had been playing the piano at momma's house and then sat down at the table and created it. So many times when I've sat at the piano I've sang a song as a prayer from my heart. I play when I'm happy, I play when I'm sad. I love my piano!
The above is one of my earlier pages and I was in a like/dislike relationship with India Ink but now I love it! :-) Something that might seem so silly to someone else is the India Ink around the edges with the little bows. The more uneven and wavy they are.....the more I like it! ;-) Even tho I can see so many mistakes on my earlier pages I still love them as I learned from them. Now I can't say I feel the same way about ALL of my mistakes in life but I can say, I think I've learned from them and hopefully they've made me a better person. :-)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Way To Go, Tracy!

I just want to say congratulations to Tracy Weinzapful Burgos
She's going to have her work in an Art Show! Wish I could be there and say, "That's my teacher" :-) We're proud of you, Tracy!!!!!

More on Art Journaling.....and life

Life......just when you think you know where it's taking takes a U-turn. At least that's how it seems to me at times. I honestly don't know how people who don't have God to turn to make it through life. I think of the words of this song so often- "I do not know how others make it through, who never go to Calvary as I do, for there's a healing, cleansing stream that flows with peace that only His redeemed can know." And "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" I just wish I'd remember to "take it to the Lord in prayer" first instead of stressing so much. :-)
I am truly blessed in spite of all the curves life has thrown for my family and dear friends. Old and new. :-)
Now for some more "Art Journaling"! I actually haven't done a page since Monday because I'm madly working to get my cards done for a card swap I'm in. Nothing like waiting til the last 3 weeks, huh? I always love getting the cards and going through each one, saving out the ones I don't dare use until I can make one myself for the pattern, and using some to send right away to brighten someone's day. My cousin is so gracious to spend her time sorting and swapping the cards for us. She is "awesome" when it comes to cards, let me tell you. She should be a designer. She'd put other designers to shame. Anyway, I am going to upload some of the aj (aj = art journal) pages I've already done and tell about some of the things I've learned.
Tracy had us to use book text to create flowers and we were to free hand cut them. Mine were so huge I had to put them on a diet. lol This was a fun page and we painted the background with wet wipes.

Here is the completed page. I cut strips of the dictionary page for the stems, crumpled them, and spritzed them. I just drew the leaves. The cool thing is that the buttons are from stuff I got at my grandma and aunts estate sale. :-)

This was another fun page to make and I love how Tracy gets you to try new things that you probably wouldn't have even thought to try before. I'm a little hooked on glimmer mist. Bought and homemade. lol I spritzed the chipboard, the background the flowers.......:-) The butterfly is from a die I got from Stampin Up.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Art Journaling

Wow! Something I thought was so weird and "I would never do" has me eating my words. At least Tracy has me eating my words. lol I had seen so many things that people called art journals and to me they just looked like a hot mess. A bunch of stuff that people found here and there, some trash thrown in, now tons of paint slopped on, etc and they called it art. Well, what Tracy my eyes, that "real" art. I love what I am learning and I so enjoy the classes, the chats, and our times on Monday nights. I have made a new group of some pretty great friends. :-) We don't just learn from Tracy, we learn from each other, share about our lives and.......well, I like it! I want to try to share just a little bit of what I'm learning because you can not only art journal, you can take it to canvas, you can use it on scrapbook pages, and you can use it on cards. Hey, I'm thinking about art journaling on my room divider for my craft room. The sky's the limit. lol Hubby better hide! ;-)
I so enjoyed making this page. Tracy used something I didn't have for the background so I used some molding paste that I had. The fancy tool I used to make texture is my daughters tupperware toy. lol
Here is a close up of the flowers. Some are prima, paper, and the top set is die cut from watercolor paper and glimmer misted.
The stems are drawn with charcoal pencil, which I now can appreciate, and I am trying to let it go that I'm not so happy with my handwriting on these pages.

Anyway, I'm going to try to share some of my pages and things I'm learning more often. Life has thrown me some scary curves and I am so thankful for the enjoyment and diversion that this gives me! It makes me happy! God is good!

Friday, March 9, 2012


You never know when or where you next blessing will show up. My latest blessing showed up in a very creative person who shares her time and talents with so many people. To some it might seem strange considering I've never met her in person but she has inspired me in so many ways. I literally laughed out loud tonight watching her class. In case you'd like to know who it is.......Tracy Weinzapful Burgos, President of Helmar Glue Company. I've started two art journal's and I can't begin to tell you the joy that I've gotten out of trying the new techniques, creating new things, and just taking the time to learn from Tracy and all the others in chat. I'm thinking I'll share some of the pages and perhaps some of the techniques that I'm learning. Oh, one more thing that has me super hyped......Chris told me to go ahead and order a kit that goes with a class Tracy will be teaching. My birthday isn't til May but I'd miss the class if I waited til then. I ORDERED IT TONIGHT!!!! WooHoo!
Here is the first page I made for my journal. Tracy told us to draw our own stems and leaves. I used her technique of using a mask for the background and used a charcoal pencil to draw the stems and leaves. I was dissatisfied with some of my words being crooked but........Tracy says to embrace and learn from what you don't like and don't do it again! As hard as it was to do it, once Glue Dad's vote came in as NO I shouldn't change it.......I did as Tracy said. :-) All in all.....I'm happy with it and I really did learn from it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Proud of my college girl :-)

My momma amazes me. She has so much spunk and more get-up-and-go than most young people and she's 75 years old! I am so proud of her. She was so worried about her finals this past semester. I spent the night one night and got up early to quiz her because she was concerned about how she would do. She is on her second year and the kids at the college love her. Anyway, the pictures below are the results of some of those finals. :-) Of course I had to sneak and take these pics. She just doesn't understand why I'd want to post things about her tests and such on facebook. To her it isn't that big of a deal that she's going to college, why, people would think she's silly. :-)

She has inspired me and once my daughter gets a few years older I want to go back to school. I just hope I can do half as good as she is doing. I am so blessed to have a momma like her. Below is this years school picture! Isn't she lovely? :-)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Homemade Cleaning Supplies

There are so many different recipes for homemade detergent and using the Fels Naptha bar soap is my favorite. The above pic is what the soap looks like grated. You can double or triple the recipe. This batch I used the whole bar of soap.

Homemade Laundry Soap

1 whole bar Fels Naptha (can use other types but I prefer this one) Found in the detergent isle

1½ cup washing soda

1½ cup borax powder

~You will also need a bucket, about 6 gallon size~

Grate the soap and put it in a pan. Add 1 gallon and 2 cups water and heat until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 13 quarts hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 4 gallons plus 2 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. You use ½ cup per load. I stirred it several times while it was cooling. My daughter also liked playing in it. lol (Link where I got the recipe)

The pic below is how it looks while it's cooking and it basically looks the same when it's done.
I just poured this into laundry detergent containers that I had kept. Oh, I put some essential oil in this last batch. I think it was orange. :-)

Now for the scouring powder. My sister makes this and I think it's all she uses now except for straight baking soda. :-)
Ingredients One of the links that has more info than I do. :-)
2 parts baking soda
1 part salt
1 part borax powder
Pour ingredients into jar or bowl. (or a styrofoam plate or whatever you have handy lol) Mix or stir until well mixed. I made a shaker out of an empty icing container. I poked holes in the top with an antique ice pick. :-)
Lightly wet surface with water or undiluted white vinegar. Sprinkle powder on and let sit 5 minutes . Scrub with a brush or just a rag like I do, until clean Rinse with water and I read that you can rinse with vinegar for really bad messes.

A pic of the container I used and what it looks like sprinkled on my daughter's school work. ;-)

And you can't forget the puppy who is hoping that you're fixing something to eat. lol