Thursday, August 14, 2014

Making the Cold Process Soap!

I've wanted to make soap for 20 years, I mean the using lye and making sure you don't go blind sorta soap. I had books about it over the years, but whenever I had strong desire I usually lived in a place it wasn't practical to do it in.  Recently I had some motivation in the form of needing to entertain my sister by making things with her when shes over next weekend, and *boom* plans were made.

freshly poured soap
I wont mention the book I own to reference, it's a first edition of a book that says to put the water in the lye instead of the other way around, which can cause a volcano of fumes and splashing.  I don't think much of an error that can result in chemical burns, so luckily the internet saved me, there are some amazing resources out there.

The smart thing to do was to make a sample batch so I know what I'm doing and can make it look easy when my sister makes soap with me. 

Let's just say it was a good idea, since it didn't run as smoothly as I wanted.  I made it outside due to the lye fumes and three kitties running around, and kept forgetting things inside.    This sample batch is citrus scented with loofah and poppyseed for exfoliation, and tumeric for color.

Supplies: Mostly bought online at Bramble Berry, which is a few hours north in Bellingham, WA.  Their prices were comparable to a number of places I looked at (I'd say the only area lacking is a variety of soap molds).  They also have a soap blog with lots of recipes and techniques called Soap Queen.  I really appreciate the well written articles and information on the site. 

I wont use the soap until it's cured for at least 4 weeks, so I can't give a review on how it turned out yet, but I learned a lot and will apply it for the future, hopefully resulting in better looking bars.  I haven't done a price breakdown so I'm not sure if this is efficient or just a fun hobby.  My recipe after the break.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ahhh..fabricking and soaping

My mysterious fabric for my sisters quilt was found, it was  PURE - STOF of Denmark - Burst Stripe in Purple and Grey.  It was found because Julie of The Intrepid Thread is awesome and when she couldn't ID it she put up a post about it, where it was recognized, and some total stranger named Anita in California happened to have some that she just up and mailed to me because *sniffle* people who sew are awesome.

This is where I tell anybody who ever wanders across this post that my ongoing review of her store is like.. BUY FROM HER.  Anita sent a total stranger some fabric because she thinks Julie is awesome and is also presumably really nice.  Julie is giving Anita some fabric because Anita was nice to me.  I am going to win the lottery so I can buy more fabric, and hopefully come up with something nice to do back for Anita.

This gave me an excuse to buy more fabric from her, and I have been excited about Indelible and I'm always short on green and low volume so there ya go.  As always shipping was fast, customer service was excellent, and FYI, they enclose a couple charm squares with each order, usually fabrics I haven't considered, and I love adding them to my stack of charm squares and pulling them out as needed for patchwork. 

I also started making soap this last weekend because I really do want to learn a new skill or two a year.  This is getting wordy enough that I'll put most of it in a new post.  I just realized this might be hereditary from my mother.   I remember her making macrame, embroidery, sewing clothes and quilts, making candles, canning, making jewelry...