Friday, June 30, 2017

Soapy Friday - Foxes, Fireworks, and Coffins

Happy 4th of July weekend everyone!

But first, a continuation of last week's groundhog saga...

Earlier this week, about 4 days ago, we spotted a very large, adult fox trotting across our front lawn and into the woods. This is very exciting! I think foxes are so beautiful.

Mr. or Mrs. Fox is welcome!
We have also NOT seen John G. Kennedy groundhog since last week. Coincidence? Maybe. Mr. or Mrs. fox is welcome to stay and keep the critters away, but I worry about our neighbor's cat that is let outside and wanders over here from time-to-time. :-(

Next, since it is a holiday weekend, how about some fireworks from Mother Nature? Say hello to "Ruby Spider" daylily ....isn't she gorgeous?

"Ruby Spider"

I'm ready for my close-up! 
There is a man at one of our local farmer's markets that sells the most amazeballs plants. It's hard for me to not buy from him...I've already purchased 5 daylilies (4 last year), an echinacea, and a coneflower. I'd buy more, but I need to do some garden-bed prepping first.

"Lavender Stardust"
On to soap, shall we?

This week, I received some wonderful goodies in the mail. There is a lady at my UPS store who has been begging for me to make some coffin shaped bath bombs (she likes things "goth/emo") that look like this:

Photo courtesy from The Madbombers
So, I bought this cake mold and will play around with it this week. I also bought the pink "faux bois" wood grain silicone mat to line the bottom of my soap mold for some future sandlewood-type soap.

Coffin bombs coming soon!
Wholesalesupplies.com had a sale on their large 6.5 lb. silicone soap molds, so I bought 2 for future loaves when I am comfortable with my recipe and process. Messing up a small 3 lb. loaf of soap (on left) is MUCH cheaper and less painful than it would be if it were almost 7 lbs.!

3 lb. mold on left (it's dirty in this pic) and 6.5 lb. mold on right
For example, I made a "White Tea and Ginger" soap that at 24-hours was still a little too soft to take out of the mold and it tore in the corners. I had a hunch that I needed to do a water discount, so I made another similar batch with a FO blend the next day, but with a 15% water discount.

Looks like something took a bite out of my soap!
The 2nd soap was the perfect consistency at 24 hours, BUT when I made the soap, one of the FOs that I used caused my batter to "rice" and so, the soap wasn't perfect.

Better consistency, but a naughty Fragrance Oil
I'm aiming for consistency and I'm close, but when dealing with unknown fragrance oils (FOs), always, always, ALWAYS do your research to see how it will perform. This is why I am working my craft every week.

All of these "imperfect" but perfectly usable and wonderful soaps will be shared among friends, coworkers, family, and anyone who takes a bath!

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