Friday, June 23, 2017

Soapy Friday - Groundhogs and Lovespell

But first...GROUNDHOG!!!!

I always say nature abhors a vacuum. Yesterday morning, I was silently musing that I hadn't had to put up my electrical wire around my tomatoes yet. Usually, by this time of year, I start to spot pecked-at green tomatoes on the ground, so up-goes-the-wire. I wondered if the evil crows who frequent this area had figured out over the years that it just wasn't worth it.

That was until I went out later that afternoon to snip some basil for the lasagna I was making for dinner. I came out the garage door to the side of the yard and went through the gate. I immediately spotted something brown darting away from the vegetable beds. At first, I thought it was a squirrel, and then a cat, but it didn't take me long to recognize the new evil that had decided to visit my garden. A GROUNDHOG!

I don't think it was there long, as nothing had been chewed on, and I don't think it came under the fence, as it was frantically ramming itself into the chainlink to find a weak spot to scamper under. It worked its way down the fenceline - ram, ram, ram - and eventually found enough giveway to squeeze under it and take off.

I just stood there, about 6-feet away, trying to decide whether to grab my pitchfork and impale the Satan's spawn on the end of it. If I had a gun with me, I would have shot it! I'm hoping that my appearance at such an impressionable moment scared the shit out of him and he wont be back. Nothing had been damaged, and I think he just got there.

Anyway, I've decided to name him John G. Kennedy (G. for groundhog), because if he makes another appearance, he's gonna get shot!

John G.'s last fatal appearance if he shows his fuzzy butt again!!!!

On to soap, shall we??

This week I had a breakthrough. The quality and consistency of my past soaps wasn't as reliable and I didn't know what I was doing wrong. I had a hunch that my process of submerging my small quarts of solid coconut oil and palm oil in hot water to melt the oils wasn't hot enough to completely melt and emulsify all of the ingredients within the oils.

The oils were melting that way, but the palm oil never melted clear. It was always a milky, creamy texture, and I had heard that you needed to melt it hot enough to make it clear for the stearic acids to completely emulsify.

So I melted my solid oils in the microwave, and viola! Clear oils that make beautiful soap!

Just Soap
This is the prettiest soap I've made to date, but the funny thing was that I was not paying attention and I forgot to add the Fragrance Oil! So, it's "Just Soap". No fragrance at all....just smells like soap.

Still, it turned out beautifully saturated and no soda ash! Sorry for the blurry soap in the front, but I wanted to show how gorgeous the rest of the loaf turned out.

Thinking I was on to something, I gave a shot at a "Lovespell" soap I had seen made on Youtube by Soapish. She's a truly gifted soaper and her version is just gorgeous.

I used a melt-and-pour, premade glycerin soap to make the heart embeds and forgot that glycerin soaps weep when it's humid. So, next time I will try again with true, cold process embeds.

Turned out pretty for the first try!

Glycerin weeping on the embed...oh well.
Also, the recipe went a little wonky on me when I realized I didn't have enough of certain oils during mixing, so I had to improvise with other oils and hope for the best. Still, it came out beautifully and I even made some bath bombs to go with it!

I will definitely give this soap another try.

Bath bombs shrink-wrapped for their protection!

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