My first batch of castile is now drying to a lovely pale minty green shade for now with the delicate fragrance of Baby Clean. Just wish I had better molds for them. They’re pretty big bars, ranging from 6.75 oz to a whopping 7.2 oz. and there are 8 of those. Not all of the soap would fit into the mold I had , so I put the leftovers in the only other mold I trusted to release them without tearing them to pieces, the knotwork mold. They were all over 4 oz. too, but at least they’re pretty. Can’t wait to try one! In about three weeks. That’s the beauty of hot Process soapmaking! (almost) instant gratification.
What a day! Three batches with three new scents! The soap recipe was the same, well, more or less, with slight modifications in a couple of them, but only for the better. I’ve fallen hard in love with that Cottonseed Oil recipe and made a batch of soap with the Beach Breezes fragrance oil using the original form of the recipe which has just three oils – Cottonseed, Palm Kernal, and Coconut. The other two were with a modified version with aditional oils of olive, castor and switching out the palm kernal for palm. I also used some of the new FUN colors for use with a 1 oz dollop of glycerin to distribute. The Torrential Rain had a swirl of Ultramarine Blue, the Patchouli had a swirl of the Oxide Red, and the Beach Breezes had a complete tinting with a small amount of the Teal. I think I’ve found the replacement for Beachcomber in Torrential Rain. It simply sends me into blissful olfactory orbit when I get within noseshot of it. Wow!
Tomorrow will be another day of production both soaping and culinary . If there’s any steam left in me after soaping a batch of a new first – Castille soap with Clean Baby fragrance oil (also new), I’ll run up a batch of peanut butter cookies for the dear hubby.
The way to his heart is through goodies. Lots and lots of goodies! I’ve found one for me too, thank to my sweet daughter. One-Pan chocolate chip cookie! My kind of recipe – just one pan! It’s nothing like the technique dear hubby employs, one I’ve dubbed the EPIC method of cooking. E.P.I.C. to be precise. Every Pot In Cabinet. The kitchen is eligible for Federal distaster relief, but I’m too embarrassed to ask for it because I don’t want anyone to see the chaos. But he is an adventruous cook and a good one, so I can’t complain. He’s fun and I love him, so it’s worth it to let him just run riot every now and then.
For now, it’s dinner time for us, then a night’s good reading before tucking off to bed to go to work in my day-job. Which I love, by the way, but it sometimes interferes with my other job – soaping! Night all!
Today was the hardest day I think I’ve ever had in all my 53 years! I had to say goodbye to a much loved grandmother who gave us safe haven, loving arms to chase away our fears, strength to give us wings, and smiles that lit up our lives beyond description. Her smile was simply amazing. Indescribable. It shone through her eyes brighter than any beacon in the darkest night. It gave us all a sense of safety, joy, but most of all like we were the single most important person in the world to her. There were five of us though, but she still managed to make us all feel like we were all equally her favorites. Even though she had no favorites. We were all loved endlessly, overwhelmingly, equal.
We lost her just as the weather is about to turn toward the warming days of spring – her favorite time of year for the promises it held just waiting the encouraging touch of the sun and a gentle warming breeze. Those first early blooms were met with excitement, then encouraged to go further and show off their bounty through the increasing days of sunlight, warmth, and gentle rainfalls. Easter was a particularly fun time for us as little girls growing up under her ever-watchful gaze. She and our grandfather would go to extraordinary lengths to make an annual Easter Egg hunt a thing of great adventure, fun, but also of learning to follow clues. Were they they ones who first gave me that early taste of solving puzzles, finding clues, solving mysteries? Perhaps, but it has made life fun every single day as a result. Each of us was assigned a number, myself being #5 as I was the fifth granddaughter. We had a clue we had to follow, given as a riddle -each of which rhymed by the way-that led to the next clue with our number at the top. That would continue with an egg at every clue and riddle to be solved and followed, until the end of the path. What was at the end of these clues and eggs? To be truthful, I honestly don’t remember becasue to me it wasn’t about the end, it was about the adventure in getting there.
They both were lifetime learners forever encouraging us all to be one also, ever curious to find out more, stretch our educational wings, be more, stronger, better. They both knew so much about the worlds around them. She loved birds, particularly hummingbirds. But all birds were a thing of beauty to her and my grandfather. She could name every bird that ever perched on her feeders, hopped across the patio, or pecked through the foliage beneath the juniper bushes. She knew the plants growing wild in the woods behind their home, could name every type of tree, but didn’t offer this knowledge in a showy way. It was more of a sharing of what she knows in a simple, one-on-one way communicating something in hopes that you too will carry it forward somehow, someday to someone who could benefit from it. Those walks through their woods, the tiimes spent looking through the books on birds and even butterflies were journeys we all five of us enjoyed at one time or another iin our young lives.
Her life was much like those Easter Egg Hunts and walks through the trees of our childhood. It wasn’t about what was at the end, but about the in-between. It was always the journey that gave us what we needed, not the destination. In this, we can now give back to her what she so generously gave to us. We give her the wings to soar in her own journey, not focusing on that destination because we know what is waiting there for her. Our grandfather is smiling alongside her family, with open arms to greet her, welcome her, and give her joy and rest as they’ve waited so long for her to join them. Ninety-eight years was plenty of time for her to complete everything she ever needed to do for us, with us, and nothing was left undone. Her time here was done, and we could no longer be so selfish in keeping her with us, so she’s now with her loved ones, resting, smiling, rejoicing. We will see her again one day and smile right along with her at the end of our own journey.
Today, I tried a practice shot or three with scene props, lighting, and perspective changes for the soaps, lotion and got three fairly decent pictures as a result. With any luck at all, my products will look more presentable and will be pretty enough to find a new home.
I also did a second try at getting the shampoo to take the pink grapefruit fragrance and not turn into water. I used a thickener and kept the amount lighter than yesterday’s effort, which resulted in grapefruit scented tapioca. Urg! I heated up the base first, separated out a portion to be thickened, added the fo to the bottle, added the unscented tepid base to the thickened portion of base and combined thoroughly, then poured it all into the bottle with the fo. This been stirs and shaken up a bit to blend it all together. So far, it hasn’t turned runny again. Fingers crossed…..it’ll be nice and shampooey thick tomorrow.
Poke me with a fork, I’m done for the day.
Shampoo was bottled up this evening making the whole room smell fabulous, so I blissed while I worked. (Did I mention that this work is perpetual aromatherapy and I love it?) The shampoo was fragranced with Grapefruit Ruby Red from Natures Garden and Candles then set aside while I went to fix supper for my dear hubby who’s feeling puny today. Head colds should be illegal or at least build immunities so we’d never get one again after the first one. I digress. So I totter back into the work room, go back to look at the shampoo in its pretty labeled bottle, tilt it a bit on its side and it’s like water! Pearly translucent, grapefruity water! Agh!!!!! I go to the web site for some help and sure enough it states right on the page for the FO used that it can cause thinning in shampoos and body washes. So, here’s my chance to try out something else that was recently purchased. Xanthum Gum. It’s touted as a natural thickener, so after seeing the watery shampoo gurgling around in that bottle, I’m willing to give it a shot. 1/2 tsp in 1/4 c. of liquid doesn’t seem like much but it worked miracles. The thickness is back to pre-FO addition levels. Yay! What a scare!
That should be put directly on bottles of citrusy FOs. This product may cause thinning of hair care and body wash products as well as seizing in cp or hp soaps. Why don’t they put that on the bottles of FOs that do that so we could avoid the heart attack we nearly have when our goodies turn into a watery mess? Yes, it still smells nice, but that’s just part of the attraction! It’s got to perform well too.
I should try this shampoo sometime. Add a bit of peach to it and see how well it works. Peach has become my signature scent since William fell in love with it. Sometimes I get tired of it and wear something else – mainly when he’s out of town – because it can get a bit old after a while, but I always go back to the peach. I like variety in fragrances, but peach is the mainstay. Others around my workplace like it, too apparently because folks are always saying “What’s that wonderful smell? Kinda fruity!” Guess I’ll try that out tonight and if it thins I’ll be prepared with thickener. Here goes nothin’!
These are just the first three of six that were ordered and every single one so far is a little bit of heaven. I definitely have my own favorites already among these, one of them being Torrential Rains with its crisp, clean, green scent. Beach Bum is a bit more floral than beachy, and a bit deeper than Torrential Rains. Patchouli is a classic and this one is all Patchouli, no blend here! I really love each of these new choices, though admittedly one more than the rest, but still they all are great additions to an ever-growing collection of fragrance oils.
The next step now that the fragrance oils have reached a level of supply and diversity that I’m comfortable with, is to add on some new molds and pick out some colours. I have no idea how to choose from the colours that are out there. There’s too many to choose from without feeling like smacking yourself and asking ‘Why didn’t I get ____?” I’ve seen quite a few molds of bars that I know I’ll add in first, with pretty floral and Celtic designs to keep things interesting at least for a little while.
So here’s the first few. With any luck at all, maybe there’ll be time tomorrow to add a few bars with some of the other scents I have tried in any of the bases yet like Baby Clean, The Perfect Man, White Peach & Silk Blossoms, White Tea & Ginger and Deb’s Flower Shoppe. Baby Clean was a bit of a surprise when I finally was able to smell it. Not like the baby lotions, shampoos, bathing liquids you smell in stores. This is a far more sophisticated scent than that, though there is that slight underlying hint of lavender to sooth little ones off to sleep after bath time. This one’s nice enough for even the grownups! The Perfect Man is an amazingly sexy fragrance with hints of pepper and the earthy tones of bergamot to draw you in and you’ll easily get lost in its complexity. Many elements contribute to the layers in this one. It’s certain to be a hit with the women out there who’d all love to catch their guys wearing this one. It’s aptly named! White Tea & Ginger is a sweet gingery fragrance that would be very nice in a body lotion. White Peach & Silk Blossoms has just a touch of peach, not the syrupy juicy type of peach either, plus a bold stroke of floral, namely mimosa. Very nice. What a wonderful shampoo this one would make!
So, there’s the list for today and hopefully there’ll be more to follow on Friday.
Supplies are due to arrive tomorrow for a couple of other requests recently received – thank you Facebook! – so it looks like Thursday will be a soapy fun day. Wish it could be tomorrow after everything arrives, but the timing is bad. UPS is rarely consistant in their arrival time. Sometimes it’s 9:30 am, while other days it’s as late as 7:30 at night! So, tomorrow will be a receiving day, and household tasks. But there are some wonderful fragrance oils in one of these orders. In addition to a straight forward patchouli fo, there also White Tea & Ginger, White Peach and Silk Blossoms, Torrential Rains, and Beach Bum. This last one is an attempt at finding a suitable replacement for my long time favorite, Beachcomber. I don’t have any info on the notes that were in Beachcomber, so I don’t know if it’s a good swap or not. I’m still mouring the loss. Painful! That one smelled fabulous! Made me weak in the knees.
White Tea & Ginger has some wonderful layers to it including one of my favorites – bergamot. Then there’s White Peach & Silk Blossoms which has the sweet subtle notes of peony. Beach Bum is my candidate for replacing Beachcomber with notes of jasmine, and last but not least the Torrential Rains with jasmine. These are not all of the notes they have, just the ones that strike my fancy strongest and leaves their proprietary blends composition safe. If you’re interested in these fragrances, please feel free to visit their site at www.naturesgardencandles.com where you’ll find these plus of host of hundreds of other items to make the most glorious soaps your skin’s ever had the pleasure of experiencing, candles, diffusers, and so much more. A wonderful site! While we’re talking shopping sites, there’s another one that I found before any other site for soap making supplies – Wholesale Supplies Plus. www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com carries everything you need to get started from the ground up including loads of links and helpful guidance to start your own business or protect the one you’ve already started. Their forum is one of the best and friendliest you’ll ever find. I love spending time in there discussing all different methods of soap making from Melt & Pour, Hot Process, Cold Process, CPOP, to other bath & body items like lotions, lip balms, body butter, lotion bars, etc. There’ s something in there for every soaper or bath & body crafter.