Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Soap Week Finale


Finally....I'm done and I went out with a bang. First I did a twofer which means I mixed up a big batch, split it in half and then poured each separately. That's risky because that second half can get thick quick while it's waiting. Think instant pudding. Same concept. I didn't have a problem though. It went off without a hitch.

Batch #8 is Blue Agave Sugar. It's another coconut milk loaf with a dash of honey. I have no idea what agave smells like but this fragrance smells like coconut to me. 

Batch #9 is Olive. It also contains coconut milk with the addition of olive oil pomace which is made from the paste leftover from the fruit when making virgin olive oil. It's richer than regular olive oil and great for hydrating the skin. The fragrance is pretty strong, dark and musky. I made it with The Mister in mind because you can't have too much scent as far as he's concerned. 

I wanted to use up all my lye and fancy oils and butters before I packed it all in so I did a three-fer using my small 28 oz molds. 

This batch is completely natural. No colors or scents. The only addition besides tons of cocoa and shea butter was the rest of that goat's milk. I wanted a small facial bar but these are a bit smaller than I had wanted. Next time I need to plan for at least 30 ounces in each mold. 28 was a bit skimpy.

They may be small but there's a whole lot of them.

Of course, making all those batches at one time was a mess to clean up but it was worth it to have my sewing room back. I've got lots of Christmas fabric in there calling my name. 

Now all my pretty new babies are tucked away for their long 6 week cure high up on the drying racks out of harm's way. There are 63 bars of regular sized soap and 24 bars of small facial soap in all. So what am I going to do with all this soap? Give it away, of course. In about 6 weeks. Watch this space. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Sorry, More Soap...


I promise that I am almost at the end of this soap making adventure. I need my sewing room back. This is soap #4 the pine one. I like it. I kept it simple and it worked. 

This one is batch #6 which is goat's milk and lemon. 

It smells wonderful but it looks kind of strange. I used a new to me yellow mica and it's disappointing. Sometimes yellow will change as it cures so we'll just have to wait and see on this one. In the meantime I am going to enjoy having this scent fill my sewing room. I love it. 

Batch #7 is an all natural, unscented clay soap. It's also vegan. Only coconut milk in this one. This is one of my favorites because I like the slight grittiness that the clay gives it.

Clay also makes your batter thicken up quickly so all I could do was plop each color directly in the mold and give it a good stir. I did fiddle with the top but it's not too bad this time.

I'm very happy with how the different clay plops came out. Clay doesn't stay in it's own lane like mica does to it can be a muddy mess. Not this time, thank goodness.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Soap Week 2: Oooops.... right. I got my soaps mixed up. This is soap #2 the blackberry/charcoal soap.

THIS is soap #3 the oatmeal and honey soap. I got the photos mixed up. I'm trying to keep the posts in order but things come at you fast in soap making and it can be hard to keep up with what's popping out the mold every morning. It's quite the assembly line in the soap room right now. 

I took a few days off for Thanksgiving but last Wednesday's adventure started with silk. I melted a small amount of it in my lye water to give this fig scented soap a bit more "slip". 

It all started out promising. Batch #5 is one of my favorite scents and color combinations. 

Everything was behaving beautifully so I decided to get fancy on the top after the pour. That's when things went terribly wrong. 

Since this was one of my last soaps for the week I decided to make a tutorial on how I do the tops. After doing the initial plopping of colors everything was going fine.

I wanted to show how I take an old knitting needle and drag it around to make the pretty swirls. Usually it works out but this time it didn't. I thought it looked like octopus tentacles so......

...I broke the first rule of soap making which is never to go back in and try to fix a top once it starts to set. It never ends well. I made a real mess of it and no amount of glitter will fix that.

So...I took a spoon and tried to texture it even more and this is what I ended up with. Ugh. What a sloppy mess.....I was kicking myself all day. 

But... after all that fuss and worry it turned out just fine. The top reminds me of a parrot tulip which works with this scent because in spite of being called Fig it really smells floral to me. It's a girly girl soap for sure. 

And...I even got the pretty butterfly effect without even trying. You just never know what you're going to get. That's why soap making is so addicting and I just can't seem to stop... 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Oh, Snap


Every weaver knows that when you see an old film canister filled with coins hanging on the back of the loom something's gone wrong... I've got TWO.

Everything was going along fine until I noticed that the end threads were not being caught up. This draft did not call for a floating selvage but it seems it needed one. Translated that means that the weaving pattern was not catching the end threads so they were hanging loose. So loose that a pair of them snapped off from the friction of the beater. I had to needle weave the replacement thread  in and then tie them off with a tee pin. Not a catastrophe but it didn't solve my problem of those un-captured ends.

I couldn't figure out the directions for fixing this issue so I just have to hand wrap that last thread each time I throw the shuttle-which is a real pain. The good news is that I don't have much further to go. I was planning on weaving this pattern again in different colors from the stash and this time I WILL be including a floating selvage. When you lose the weaving rhythm it really turns out to be a slog. A very slow slog. 

Saturday, November 26, 2022



 One day it's Thanksgiving and the next it was Christmas. The Mister and I spent yesterday getting a head start on the cards.

I took over his man cave so we could watch the World Cup matches while we worked. He colored and I cut. By the time the USA finished its second tie match we had 12 done. We need 24 so we are halfway there.

We also had to go to the town tree lighting. The parks and the boardwalk were already lit. 

There were trees on the beach. That's new. 

There was a bonfire and marshmallows to roast for the kiddies. 

There was a chorus singing every holiday song you could think of while we counted down was lit exactly at 6 o'clock.

In spite of having all the stuff I need to make a Thanksgiving dinner at home we opted for Subway. The dinner can wait. The weather was too nice and the night too beautiful to rush home. 

Friday, November 25, 2022

Gobble, Gobble


I had a lot of good knitting time on the almost two hour drive up to Daughter's yesterday morning. Musselburgh got some serious inches while we listened to World Cup action on the radio. Other than the 4 am games, I've seen most of the matches this week. 

Daughter had the house decked out in fall splendor inside and out. 

The men in our family love to cook. Son and Daughter made quick work of the vegetables while I worked on the potatoes. Daughter and I both ended up with band-aids on our fingers from cuts thanks to her new and very sharp set of knives. 

Son in law manned the grill and produced an amazing bird or so I'm told. I don't eat it but I do enjoy how good it smells. 

While all the cooking was going on three of the five Grands amused themselves. You wouldn't even have known we had kids in the house. We are so blessed with this bunch. Their parents were never so well behaved when they were this

Right after dessert we had to scoot on down the road before it got too dark. Our nasty rural roads are too much for us oldies especially this time of year when the deer are everywhere. We made it home just before sunset without incident. It was a wonderful day.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Turkey Day!

You would never know it was Thanksgiving in my kitchen because we're driving up to Daughter's this morning for an early brunch since us oldies don't drive in the dark anymore. I may or may not make our own dinner tomorrow. As much as I miss big family dinners, I have to admit it's kind of nice to have the freedom to do pretty much anything you want with the holidays.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Soap Week: Day 4


I hope you're not tired of soap posts because I'm not tired of making soap. Yesterday's adventure was pine. It was the same old, same old recipe with a bit of the pine fragrance oil The Mister favors. I made the dark green with some french green clay. The olive green is mica.

I forgot all about that less is more thing again but I'm feeling more comfortable being adventurous....

.....because my ugly ducklings aren't so bad after all. Here is the blackberry/charcoal soap from Day 2 that I thought would be a disaster. Not so bad, right? 

As for Pup, she's still a bit limpy. We took her out for a walk in her stroller and she was NOT happy. We let her walk up the driveway to get the mail the day before and it was too much. We were back to square one so we're back to being extra careful-much to her dismay. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Soap Week: Day 3


Yesterday's soaping adventure included honey and oatmeal. I'm still working with the goat's milk and I added just a touch of a honey fragrance oil that I love. 

I had too much fun with the cosmetic grade micas with this one. I need to keep telling myself that less is more when it comes to soap. 

I think I went overboard. We'll just have to wait and see.

The good news is that the Plain Ole Goat and Oatmeal soap was a success. I had added some white kaolin clay to part of the batter and got a bit of a pretty swirl out of it. 

I wish that making soap was the only thing I had to do all day. There is still this. That stair molding won't put itself down as much as The Mister and I wish it would.