The soap saga

So I have discovered LOTS of issues with soaping. First, Hot Process may be faster, but it is super thick. Which is resulting in weird holes in the round bars I make.

Maybe they would look better if I had a classier mold than a Pringles can, but I doubt it. Lol.

I did succeed in making a pretty MeltAndPour for my niece.   There’s a plus!

Then the Cold Process….I like that the artistic part can be added. Swirls and stuff. Sadly, I had issues there too. The fragrance oil made 2 batches seize up, resulting in these weird looking bars.

It may be the fragance I bought at Michaels. I have no idea. I can say that I am not hapy with the scent. Not. At. All. The third batch seemed to work better and in was super happy.

Until the top turned white with soda ash.  Sigh.  I hope I can remove it.

There is also a storage issue. I have to soap CP long before I need it, so that I can give it time to cure. HP can technicaly be used right away. However, a short cure time does yield a more superior bar. Harder, longer lasting, and the lather feels better.

I also have discovered that additives may need to be tweaked.  I made a heavenly HP Mocha soap with coffee grounds as an additive for exfoliation.   Let me tell you…..plain ole Community Coffee is way too large of a grind for exfoliation!  Be sure to rinse really well, because a tiny piece getting stuck in delicate areas HURTS!

For the last craft fair I also made bath bombs.  When they were fresh, they were amazing

But SWLA weather and a saran-wrapped bomb do not play well. All the leftover bombs have crumbled into nothing. The waste of money, time, and ingredients is very upsetting.

This was the spread from November’s Craft Fair.  Now, to get some more goodies for the March one!

Jr Beta State Convention 2017

The Apprentice has moved up to Senior Beta, and was entirely too busy to enter the Fiber Arts Competition this year.   Now she is regretting it, but hey——-Decisions!!  LOL  (She did, however, enter a Hot Air Balloon in the STUCO competition!!)

So WildChild entered!   As a 6th grader, it is her turn in Jr Beta.  And I think she made a decent representation.   The theme this year is Above And Beyond, and Nationals is held in Orlando.  Think Disney World.   Now SOME interpreted this into Firemen/Policemen/Military, and how they go Above And Beyond the Call of Duty.    I totally get this!!   However, our crazy brains all 3 turned to Disney…….Toy Story…….Buzz Lightyear….and somehow, to Space.    Apprentice was going to try and make a Nebula before deciding that she just couldn’t swing it.   Kind of like this quilt…….(found this online and can’t figure out who to credit…PLEASE let me know who/how to tag the owner!)

But WildChild took it to StarWars!!   We found this amazing Patchwork Death Star by Quirky Granola Girl. I contacted her and asked if we could enlarge and use her pattern, and she said YES!!!   THANK YOU!!!

This was the idea in our peabrains…….

And WildChild got pretty darn close!!    This is it before the binding.Ultimately, she opted against the stars in the original plan.   She thought it would be too busy.  And she made some of the small  Tie Fighters purple, to show how far away they are.   She also added in the Millennium Falcon, although we both wish it had been made bigger.

Now——Step By Step—–How was this accomplished???   Well, first we took the pattern and imported into Publisher.   Enlarged it to a 36″ piece.   Printed it, taped it, and traced it onto WunderUnder, choose the layout of fabrics, laid it out, and ironed it.  It sounds simple, but this took several days.  The good machine is out of commission, so no proper applique blanket stitch.   The backup machine has only a 1/4″ piecing foot, so she had to settle for a plain straight stitch.  NOT the best choice, but all we could do.

Then it was loaded onto the Empress MidArm.   She quilted the background in a short day.   The thread painting was what took forever.


Again, a pattern was printed in Publisher, printed, and taped together. It was laid on the quilt, traced, and then threadpainted.

The same was done for the 3 different sized Tie Fighters.

I find out sometime today how well she did.  There are 13,000+ kids there this year.   The largest convention ever.   AND the Quilting Competition became joined with CrossStitching, as well as any other kind of knitting/crocheting/etc and is now all called Fiber Arts.   So she has some serious competition.

Regardless, I am proud of her.   She worked hard, and honestly did the work herself.  Which is more than I can say for some others (ehem—my quiltshop did all quilting on an entry last year)

Way to Geaux, WildChild!!    We love you!



So much to say!!!!

Wow.  A lot has happened. Usually does when one falls of the grid, though!!  

1) More soap has been made. And I mean a BUNCH!  Long story short, I have decided to stick to the more rustic Hot Process version for now. The craft room just isn’t large enough to properly cure the Cold Process, despite the pretty artisitic stuff than can be done with it. 

2) The goats are AMAZING and even won a few ribbons, as did the MiniRex Rabbit.


3) WildChild made her quilt entry for Jr Beta and it ROCKS!  

And I am pretty sure much more has happened, but I need to write SOMETHING for now!  Possum promises to help me write more soon……

Pumpkin Spice Melt-N-Pour

As summer ends (not soon enough in SWLA!) many people’s thoughts turn to all things pumpkin. I wanted to try a soap!  I found a cold process recipe with real pumpkin that I want to try, but the Melt-N-Pour is so much quicker. So off to Michael’s I went!


Sadly, there was no Goat Milk base. I grabbed the Double butter instead.  I figured it would be nice and luxurious.


The base with the spice in it already looked really neat, but I wanted to try some soap colors.

image My Apprentice and I attempted a decent swirl, with 3 colors.

imageI think we were in too much of a hurry, and that the soap needs to be a bit cooler next time.

imageThe specks in the bottom sure look pretty though!!!  In general, I am happy.

imageGetting my formulas down is more important than Soap Art right now!  Lol

Oatmeal Honey HotProcess Soap

Well, this last batch started out OK. Again, no horrible smell. I kept it nice and cool so as to not burn the goatmilk.


It is a more gentle soap, with mostly Olive Oil, so it took a while to reach trace.  Almost there…


I will need a new stick blender soon. This one was already well used!   This is what the soap looked like at about 15 minutes of cooking in the crockpot. I ended up cooking it for an hour.


It still looked decent until I added the honey and oatmeal. I think I may have scorched it. The color got instantly dark. The blog I got the recipe from says it “smells yummy enough to eat”. Well, mine DOES NOT!  Lol.


I also learned that when lining the mold, make SURE the print of a plastic bag is not on the interior surface…. lol


In general, the soap has a great feel, and a wonderful lather. Just the smell is off.


Sigh. Back to the drawing board!!

Cold Process Soap Attempt #1


I DID IT!!  Well, at least I think I did!  LOL. I won’t really know until the end of September, I guess. maybe a little earlier, but not much.

imageIt was really easy!  Easier than I expected.  And didn’t smell nearly as bad as I had read.


This is my frozen goat milk, reconstituted from powder, and the lye.  Everything I read warned me about the heat from the chemical reaction causing the milk to scorch, but the frozen block of milk barely got warm.

imageThen I added the lye to my melted and cooled oils, and started blending.  This is just starting.  I admit, the color shocked me.  I used Red Palm Oil, because it was all I could find.  Normal Palm Oil won’t be so um…..BRIGHT!  lol

imageA few minutes in and it started to get little thicker.


Then we hit Trace!  It happened pretty fast.

imageI added in the purple lavender buds and the lavender oil, and that was when I realized what I was making……and it matched my SHIRT!

imageYup!  I made Tiger Tonic Soap!  Take a shower with it before the game, and it MIGHT keep your BP down!  LOL

imageThe batch made a whole loaf, and 16 of the little trial minis.  It will be VERY hard to wait the 6 or so weeks to test it out!!  LOL.