Monday, October 17, 2016

Mango Papaya soap made today

Finally got to make a soap today. It's been over half a year since I made my last soap. A bad car accident, surgery and a long six month recovery before I could walk on my own two feet, made soap making the last thing on my to do list,.

But finally, I've caught up with garden work, at least to a point where I don't feel guilty about the few remaining weeds, veggie harvesting is slowing down a bit, and my paperwork is almost caught up, and life looks like I can soon get into a nice, normal routine with time for making soap and other fun and creative things filling in the gap.

Today I dipped my toes in the water again with a small one pound mold using a Bramble Berry's Mango Papaya Fragrance oil with a spoon swirl. Love that scent out of the bottle and hoping it has legs. ,

My recipe with 48% hard oils worked just fine by mixing only to emulsion and then getting the colors and fragrance in the batter and mixing by hand to a light to medium trace, which gave me plenty of time to mix my four colors and take my time. I would have done a video but could not find the top part of the tripod I'd been using for the videos. I later found it hidden behind some thing on top of my microwave. Another tripod I dug out of a back closet, didn't seem to work either. I just couldn't get the camera to point down enough into the mixing bowl. After the soap was made, I worked with it and got it to move, so I may do a cutting video in a day or two.

It felt so good making soap after all this time, that I left my setup in place after getting all my tools washed. Hopefully, by the end of the week, I can make another soap. I want to make another batch of my Nag Champa which is my favorite, in house soap and loved by my family as well.

I have a lot of other fragrance oils on hand I'd like to try, so now that the colder weather is quickly coming upon us here in Southern Oregon, it looks like we will be getting a killing frost in another couple of weeks, and once the garden is put to bed, there will be plenty of time to fill in that gap with more soap making, which I'm looking forward to.

Hope everyone is busy making their holiday soaps. Mine will probably have to wait till next year, since I don't even have a single suitable fragrance oil for holiday soaps and will focus on using up some of these other fragrances while they're still viable. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Nearing the finish line

My leg is healing nicely and I've been doing my therapeutic exercises daily - sometimes more sometimes less depending on the pain level due to some nerve damage as a result of the accident and the pressure from the brace which is now removed.

Last surgeon's visit eleven days ago was very good. Xrays show things are healing nicely.He allowed me to put 25% of my body weight on the healing leg and this coming Monday I go to 50% body weight on the leg for two week and after that I can put my full body weight on the leg and drive. I hope by then my car will be fixed!

The car and I might wind up being fixed at the same time., I'll know more today about the car. Yesterday they said one of the headlights was dimmer and they think it might be an electrical problem, and they may have to send away for a part Once that problem is fixed, he said they have to put the car back together again!

Initially the car was supposed to be fixed by May 6, so you can imagine the amount of work they needed to do on it. The repair bill was over $20,500, and the insurance company opted for it to be repaired rather than be replaced. The paramedics taking care of me said the car was totaled, so you can be sure that I'm going to go over it with a fine tooth comb once it's returned to me to make sure it's working as well as it was before the accident!

Soap making is probably at least a month away, but I have been keeping touch for the soap making forum and watching a lot of videos and making notes for future soaps and color combinations. I watched some videos this morning on the leopard spot technique which looks pretty simple, yet very pleasing and interesting. I like that design better than the camouflage pattern, which definitely has a place in soap making. In fact, I should make one at some point for my sun who is an avid hunter.

Once I'm able to stand and walk on my own two feet I have to get the house organized and tend to my garden. Friends and one of the gardener's workers planted the things I was getting ready to plant before the accident and I told them to just plant them anywhere, so I'm going to have to dig a lot, if not most of them up and replant. And then of course, there's going to be the weeding and feeding to do! I should be able to plant some of the other summers veggie seeds I couldn't plant before the accident, like beans, squash and cucumbers, and maybe some fresh lettuce since these hundred degrees days this week are probably causing the first lettuce to bolt and turn bitter.

Hopefully, some time in July, I'll be caught up enough with house and garden and strong enough make some soap. Before the accident I was ready to do a drop swirl using a mango/papaya Fragrance Oil, so that will be the first one I made. I hope the scent is a delicious in the finished soap as it is in the bottle!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Time for healing

I'm in week 3 of a 3 month healing for a fractured leg. It's going to be a long 3 months since I can't put any weight on the fractured leg. So I use a walker for short distances and basically hop on my left leg to make my way to the bathroom which blessedly is only about ten feet away.

I was in a bad car accident and got a Tibia plateau fracture of my right leg. The tibia literally broke off where it attaches to the bottom of the knee and got pretty smashed up. So it's now put together with metal plates and screws. The car is in bad shape, but like my leg, they say it's fixable. It will be ready in a couple more of weeks, but I will still have to wait to at least mid July before I can walk again. I'm glad we were both fixable. The paramedics didn't think the car was fixable, but the body shop and insurance company disagree. I'm happy that once I'm healed I won't have to go car shopping since my car is a 2013 model.

Needless to say I am not making any soap or doing much of anything physically creative these days. I am spending a lot of time watching soaping videos, catching up with computer work, learning how to use my new Samsung Galaxy x7 Edge cell phone which I really love.

The days go by fast with my 3 sessions of physical therapy exercises, body care, eating (wonderful friends are taking care of me and my furry kids Bonnie and Bodhi during this time), emails, paying bills, and naps which my body seems to need during this healing time.

That's it for now. I feel one of those naps coming on!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Fixed a beach scent I don't like

My daughter and son-in-law have been visiting this week, so there hasn't been time for making soap. I pack up some soap for them to take back to Germany tomorrow and unpacked an order that arrived today from Wholesale Supplies.

One of the items on the order was a new Fragrance Oil, beach, but it's definitely what I expected from a beach scent. I had an almost allergic reaction to it. It smells more floral out of the bottle than beachy. So I quickly did a toothpick fragrance blend test by dipping a toothpick in it and then dipping another toothpick in a Mango Papaya fragrance oil, put both toothpicks in an old, clean, prescription bottle and gave it a good shake, and the mixture of both is lovely. So that is what I will use for a spring, summer beachy scent.

For a beachy scent I was expecting something more tropical - something with coconut, tropical fruit, etc, than what was in that fragrance oil. And of course, after reading good reviews, I bought a 16 oz bottle! Fortunately, I am happy with the scent after being mixed with the Mango Papaya. In fact, I like it a lot.

Hopefully in another couple of days when I get the house back in order, get bills paid and some other paperwork out of the way, I can make more soap with that mixture.

A few day ago I got another, better liner for my 9 bar square mold. The one that came with the mold is rigid and I have a hard time getting the soap out of that mold without paper liner on the base. So, instead of struggling with that I bought the Brambleberry silicone one which is going to work a lot better.

Hope everyone is finding time to make some lovely soaps!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Some good ideas on free molds

Check the video below. He has some good ideas for creating your own molds with available materials, and a good source of inexpensive liner material.

Well, my mold has not arrived and I don't even think it's been mailed yet, so there goes my February spin swirl soap challenge.

Had a bad night last night, either food poisoning or lord knows what; but I'm going to take it super easy today and do absolutely nothing that can wait one more day. It will be a good day to watch soaping videos, and maybe try to edit my last soap making video.

I recently bought a new version of photoshop which has a video editing software, so I'll give that a try and see if I can make sense of it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Delayed arrival of my slab mold

Looks like my new 9 bar slab mold with divider may not be arriving in time for me to have an entry in the swirling slab mold soap challenge this month. I only saw a note from the maker on Etsy Friday and ordered it immediately, but a followup on my part, found out that she was out of town Monday and said it she would be shipping orders sometime this week.

I would have to have my entry in before the 22nd, so it's doubtful that I can make it. Even though it's doesn't look like I will be able to make it in time, I will try that swirl when I get the mold.

My saved boxes that I use to cover some soap molds seemed to have gone walkies. So I will have to check my recycle bin and she if my cleaning lady thought they were trash and put them in there. There may be a slim chance that one of them can be lined and used as a mold.

This is my last day this week to have a warm, dry afternoon for planting, then we'll be back to rain and cooler temperatures for about five more days.  I'll head to the garden right after lunch and till then I will re-do my recipe for the 9 bar mold.

Someone on the soap forum who has the mold helped me out and said she uses 47 oz of oils, but since I want to cut the soap horizontally, I want to make the soap about 2 1/4" high instead of 2". If it looks like it will spill when spinning, then I always have some oval and other small molds ready to take any excess batter if necessary

Since this new mold is wood, I will have to line it, so I'll try to get the paper cut tomorrow and weigh out my oils and have everything ready to go in case the mold arrives in time. Once it's shipped it's only coming from Washington, which is just north of me, so I'll hope for the best.

Well, time to get out my recipe and load soap calc and get the recipe in there and printed out.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Black and white challenge

Last month I participated in a black and white soap challenge and here was my entry. I couldn't execute it precisely as I had planned, because I had difficulty estimating just how much of each color I would need to do it. I thought a 60/40 of white and black would work, but wound up not having enough black to reach the bottom of the black and white top, nor enough to make a more abundant black swirl in the white panel. Next time I'll do 50/50 or even do 55 black and 45 white.

I'm waiting for a 9 bar slab mold to be made. It should be ready sometime next week and  I'm hoping it arrives in time for a swirl challenge I signed up will take another week, I imagine, to arrive here. My entry for the swirl challenge is due in about two weeks, so it's going to be close. Also on order is a Bud, single bar wire soap cutter, which should be here around the same time or sooner.

Planting is taking to priority at the moment. These bare root plants don't like to hang around too long without getting planted. Two days ago, I planted 25 ever bearing strawberries. I have June bearing ones on order that should be arriving soon; and I have several berries, roses and perennials that I've bought the past two days, all bare root, that need to get planted in the next couple of days. Fortunately, we are due for about four or five sunny, days in the 60's, so I should get it all planted this week.