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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Belle


"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself." -Josh Billings

Belle
August 17, 2000 - January 21, 2014
"Best Dog Ever"

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Back At It!

So I changed my plan for today and restocked Lucky. Mainly because I'm all out and ended up giving it all away last time before I could put up the Etsy listing, and also because I'm out of lye until the UPS man comes. And olive oil. And I just bought more olive oil yesterday? Quel dommage!!

I still have a bit of Vanilla Oak left and I have no idea what to do, scheme-wise, for Sweet Meyer Lemon. Maybe purple, green, and yellow? With my new swirly tools? We'll see once the lye come and the olive oil fairy makes an appearance.

Today I also made fizzy bubble bath cupcakes. I have some Cinnamon Cranberry Fizzy Bubble Bath Cupcakes listed in the shop right now, however I just received a sample of lemon cake fragrance in the Great Fragrance Oil Haul of 2014, so I figured why not make more cupcakes?

Yes, they are on top of frozen chicken and in and amongst frozen veg. I find if I put them in the freezer they tend to hold together better and the "frosting" is less likely to roll off the side and flop down flat. Flopped-down flat cupcake frosting is *not* attractive, it is just sad. They'll come out of the freezer soon. Then they will take part in a photo shoot and be tucked away in boxes, waiting for the day they can bubble and fizz their way to providing you with a delicious, refreshing, bubbly bathing experience =)

And, because I love pictures of pretty soap, is a picture of the Lucky batch.

It gave me a bit of trouble (thickened up like it was it's job before I even added the fragrance oil), but I think it was because I went crazy with the stick blender. It was a big batch, what can I say. I wanted to make sure it was mixed completely. This is made with my favorite mica, Cellini Blue. It's supposed to turn purple, but it's looking kind of mauve-y right now. Either way, I think it's pretty!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Worst Blogger Ever? Probably . . . .

I am a terrible blogger. For reals. It has been about 15 years, give or take, since my last post and there is absolutely no excuse!! None at all, I say.

One could argue that I have been busy, however I have weekends off, and if I have time to explore aliens and werewolves in The Sims 2, I could probably set aside some time for soap. I’ve been making soap. I’ve been making it like a mad woman. My kitchen is full of it. My soaping room is full of it. Yes! I have about a half of a room dedicated to soap making!! Woohoo!! I’ve launched the Etsy store, I have a Facebook page that I keep updated, and I talk about soap to anyone who will listen, however the sitting down and typing out a blog post just hasn’t been happening.

One could argue I type all day at work (one does not get reimbursed by MaineCare if one does not write progress notes). I drive a long way to work and back. One could argue many things, however they are all excuses. And the fact remains that soap is far more than a hobby for me, and if it means so much to me, I need to make the effort to share this soapy adoration with the world.

So without further ado: the remake of Verbena and Lemon with my handy-dandy hand-made swirly contraptions!!
Said swirler thingymadendums





And the premiere of my men’s line:  A Well Respected Man.  



                                                       

I think Sweet Myer Lemon is on deck for tomorrow, and maybe Vanilla Oak, too. And printer ink. I’ve redesigned my packaging (*again*) and need ink if I’m ever going to print the blasted labels out and package like the mad woman that I am =)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Liquid Soap Love!!


I've been wanting to try my hand at liquid soap for quite some time. I decided to ease myself into it, and I bought a ready-made liquid soap paste from BrambleBerry.com. Anyone who got a goody bag of toiletries from Mr. Fabulous and I for Christmas will know that liquid soap experiment, while producing a working soap, was not a complete success, as the soap was suuuuuuuper thin. What did I do wrong? I followed the thickening directions to a T, using a 20% salt solution. I think I ran astray by not putting in enough of the salt solution.

I had some of the paste left, so I tried again about a month later, wanting to create a soap and lotion set for a friend, and hoping for enough left over so I could have some too :o) This time it worked! THICK SOAP!! I was happy, but yet I craved more . . . .

Liquid Soap Paste, mid-cook
I decided that I would not be happy, I would not be satisfied until I made my own liquid soap from start to finish! And I did just that. With my $4 thrift store crock pot, I set out on Saturday night at 10 o'clock, vowing not to rest until I made liquid soap! And I did!!

Liquid soap is made out of water, potassium hydroxide, and oils. It gets cooked into a paste, and then that paste is diluted into liquid soap. If you would like to learn how to make liquid soap, BrambleBerry.com has a liquid soap making video that only costs a few dollars. That's what I've watched basically every day this past week. Also, there is the TeachSoap.com forum with literally tons of posts on the topic for perusal. Lastly, people actually still publish books made out of paper. Catherine Failor's Making Natural Liquid Soaps is a great one to start out with.

Liquid Soap with New Labels. Graphics courtesy of The Crafty Clip, www.thecraftyclip.com
With my paste made, I set out to dilute it Sunday morning. It turned into a day-long event, and it produced little success. Well, I did revamp my labels, and that's progress, but not liquid soap success.

I could not get the bloody stuff to get thick! It was thick like glycerin, but not thick like gel-like liquid soap. I was disappointed, though I did bottle some to keep, just in case.

Today was better. To bolster my spirits after yesterday's fails, I made a batch of cold-process, solid soap to instill some confidence and to inspire me to make awesome, THICK, beautiful liquid soap.  
Lemon Verbena with a Peacock Swirl

So, now re-confident in my mad skills, and with Pandora's Hip-Hop BBQ to cheer me on, I portioned out some of my soap paste and water dilution. I added 3ml of my salt solution. Nothing. I did this about 7 times over the course of an hour, each addition making my soap ever so slightly thicker. Finally, thinking “what have I got to loose? I've got more diluted paste in the crock pot, more paste that I can dilute, and more oils and KOH if none of this stuff turns out. GO FOR IT!” I dumped the last half or so of my salt solution into my dilution. Cue singing angels!! THICK SOAP!! Suuuuuuuuper thick soap! Yay!! I did get to experiment with fragrance oils yesterday, so I knew what to expect when I added them in today. I made up SIX bottles of thick, wonderful liquid soap today, and I couldn't be prouder of my accomplishment.
Today's Successes And Yesterday's Learning Opportunities

You can find me and like me on Facebook as Doobs Soap & Toiletries :o)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Seasonal Flu Season & My Mad Skills!!

  I’ve been recovering from what I suspect to be the flu. It hit me harder than a cold and knocked me right over, and it takes a lot to knock me down. It hit me Thursday morning, and of course I had to work Thursday night through Sunday night. As I stood at work in a foggy daze of congestion and throat irritation, I thought to myself, “Self, there has to be something in that small stash of essential oils that can help ease this congestion and hacking cough.”

  When I got home I did a bit of research, and sometime around the point Thursday changed to Friday I threw together some things I call “tub fizzies.” I know I did not mastermind this idea, but I was pretty impressed that I came up with it given the fact that I barely made it through a night of work at a job I’ve done since I was 19 and could do blindfolded and on one foot. I couldn’t do it with my hands tied behind my back, because then I couldn’t cut pizza. But anyway . . . .

  The basic things that make any bath fizzy fizz are baking soda and citric acid. I intended to put this fizzy in the shower and have it release the essential oils while I stood under the warm water and tried to fight off the chills this flu gave me, so I didn’t add anything extra that I would have had this been intended for use in a bath.

  I have no pictures of these fizzies as I went through them pretty quick. I used two NOW brand essential oil blends that I had on hand, Lavender and Tea Tree and Lemon and Eucalyptus. In order to maximize the effects of the essential oils, I used them two at a time, one fizzy with each blend.
 
  I found these fizzies to be incredible, and I was happy that I could use my mad skills to find some relief, because these fizzies were far more enjoyable than the feeling I got from the cough syrup I bought Saturday morning. Yech!

  Coming up I’ve got super fun times and several projects to talk about. I can’t wait to share them =D

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Student No More. Officially, Anyway . . . .

Alright, here I am again. Unfortunately, soaping took a back seat while I finished up internship and my very last class. I am proud to say that I got the official email today:  I am, for all intents and purposes, graduated. YayYayYayYayYay!!!!! Just one more national exam, licensure application, and I can work in the field I've studied about since 2008. Wicked!

Now that I'm just working at my pizza slaving job, I've had tons more time for all things soapy. I made Christmas presents for my friends and family, and I am really looking forward to jumping back into my favorite hobby. Stay tuned for more projects!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Back Again. Again . . . .


Alright, so I lied. I’m so sorry!! I’ve been super busy with wedding planning, working on getting up and running at my internship site, and working so that I can eat more than pizza and breadsticks (though that is one of the perks of slinging pizza).

I’ve also kept busy making soap, lotion, a face moisturizer (two tries!), hair detangler (which needs *tons* of tweaking), and a lemony sugar scrub.






Also, with a bit of help from my amazing dad, made my very own wooden soap log mold (yayyayyayyay!!) with about $10 worth of materials and about a half an hour of my time. And some of my grandfather’s nice anchoring wood screws. (Note to self, buy the good screws next time.) Also, I’ve become very absorbed with season 4 of Supernatural, which is good, because Glee is over until fall. But since I don’t have cable and I watch very few TV shows online only, it’s okay, right?



I’ll be back in a few days with a proper project, but until then, here’s more soap pictures :o)