Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ninja Soap Take 1

Hello! So, I've been busy doing other things around my house that I haven't been able to make any soap for a couple weeks now (it's been over a month since my last CP batch, oh no!) My need to feed my soaping addiction got to me yesterday during some 40 minutes of free time before I had to run off and babysit Rachel. I thought I could get it done in that time... it caused me to be a few minutes behind schedule instead, but mainly because my stupid gas burner on the stove didn't light properly, once again. I turn it on, I see the flame, I turned to go work on pouring my oils and cutting my butters, check on the water temperature in my double burner only to find out that the flame had gone out and my stove was instead pumping out gas. So, I had to wait for the gas to dissipate before trying to turn the stove on again. Grr...

Anyway, I have been really excited to try this batch out. It's the first time that I tried some more expensive butters, ie. Shea and Cocoa. It's also my first batch with a little bit of Palm Kernel flakes, Palm oil, and Sunflower oil in addition to my usual suspects (Coconut oil, pomace olive oil, and castor oil). I also decided to try a 50/50 water and coconut milk content for my lye solution! My additives include titanium dioxide (I wanted this to be a pristine white) and bamboo extract with Bamboo Fresh FO from Nature's Garden. I wasn't partial to the scent OOB as I had a hard time being able to smell it, but in the soap it is smelling absolutely fantastic! I hope this one doesn't fade.

The whole theory behind this soap was I wanted it to look rather plain, you know, able to hide within sight sorta thing, but have the power to assassinate dead skin cells and decimate chapped skin when used!

Since, apparently, I have a tough time really being able to incorporate the FO and colorant into already traced soap, I added all my additives to my oils before I added the lye mixture. After the lye went in, the soap went from oil to heavy trace within a minute. I let it rest in the bowl for a little bit wondering if this is what false trace looks like, but it was pretty much time for me to get out the door, so I glopped it into my brand new wood mold, put a random spikey top on it, and covered it with cling wrap and a towel before hastily exiting my house with sleepy son in tow (he had been napping during all of this) and hoping beyond all hopes that nothing would go wrong while I was out.

I got home later that night and was able to check in on the soap. No separation! Whee! A successful batch! Somewhat... I assume it went through the gel phase because I was able to unmold and cut it only 6 hours after it was made! I was unhappy to discover that yet again the colorant didn't get fully incorporated. All my bars of soap have little and big TD spots on them :( Plus, it didn't turn the pristine white I had hoped for.

But, my mold makes me a happy panda- I made it myself, and it worked. I was able to get the soap out really easily which means that I had been able to get it perfectly squared with using my quilter's square, hammer, nails, and wood. Happy happy happy! All of the sides are nailed so it's not one of those fancy shmancy molds that can be taken apart to get your soap out.

So, umm... you want more pictures, right? Here ya go!

The lather :)

My wood mold. There are 3 sections (10", 5", and 6") and it's 3.5" wide and 3.5" tall. I used the 10" portion for my batch size and have discovered that I need to make a slightly bigger batch of soap so that I can get bigger sized bars. The heaviest 1" slice I got from this batch was only 3.9 oz and I was aiming for bars more around 4.0 to 4.5 oz.

With some lessons learned and some questions that still need to be researched (like why it traced so fast! The FO was reported not to really accelerate trace much, so what else could it have been?), I will carry on with my household cleaning and maybe present another batch of soap to you later this week!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Zack's best friend's Birthday

Happy Birthday, Rachel!!!!

Sewing sewing sewing... I'm not all that great, but I do enjoy it when I get the chance to make some stuff... Typically, I'm best at straight lines (isn't everyone?!) so when it comes to making clothes, I can be put a little off by it... such as, how the HECK do you hem a circle skirt?! I try and I try and I fail every time... but here are some things I did this week that I did not fail at!

Zachary and I attended his best friend's birthday party (she turned 3!) today and she had the coolest pirate theme, so of course I had to make them some pirate-y outfits to wear :D

The back of birthday girl's outfit:

My son's outfit (he wouldn't sit still for a decent photo... this is the best shot I got of it all day, grr, argh!):

And both of them together with Rachel's mommy in the middle holding them in place, lol!

And then, I made one more outfit as Rachel's actual birthday present, and if it looks weird, it's because it's on my son who is definitely not girly at all!

Please don't tell my husband that I took a picture of Zack wearing girl's clothing... he just might maim me for this ^_^;;
Let's see... the birthday outfit was made from McCall's pattern M5836 and the costumes were basically altered white t-shirts, a no-sew tutu, and altered pants. I also stole the red vest from a monkey Halloween costume that my MIL made for Zack two years ago ^_^

We had a lot of fun today at the party and meeting all sorts of new people!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

Awesome! So, yesterday I was given an award! The versatile blogger award to be exact. This award is given from bloggers to bloggers and the ever so sweet and talented Emily over at Shieh Design Studio gave this to me! If you haven’t checked her out yet, I highly suggest you do! She’s also running a contest to win 20 different products from her, so get over there before July 31st and put yourself in to win some totally awesome bath and body products!

So, there are some provisions to winning the award:
1 – Make a post and link it back to the person who gave you the award (and include their website address)
2 – Share 7 random things about yourself
3 – Award 7 recently discovered bloggers with this award and contact them to let them know they have won

So, with number 1 out of the way, we move on to #2 where you get to learn 7 random things about me… a more difficult task than it looks!

1. Every member of my immediate family (well, excluding my 3-year old son) has been or is currently in the military! I was in the Army for four years and loved my job, but it kept me away from my husband (who’s in the Air Force) and child, so I ended up leaving in order to take care of my family. Do I miss it? Oh yes! But I don’t miss the 6:00 am physical training times! Hehe :)

2. I have a B.A. in Studio Art and I can’t draw! Well, I can’t draw to the standard I would like myself to be able to draw at. I focused mainly on glass crafts- you know, mosaic, stained glass, ceramics… but there aren’t any adequate places around here to do any of these art forms. So I adapted and found other arts I could output my creative juices into!

3. My husband is 2 years younger than me! We met while we were in training out in California when neither of us were looking for a relationship. It’s funny how things like that happen :)

4. I love Japanese animation. My first anime was Vampire Hunter D- I saw it during a party when I was in 5th grade and had absolutely no idea what it was or even what the title of the show I was watching was! I didn’t truly find out what Japanese animation was until years later in HighSchool when SailorMoon first came out on Cartoon Network (I’m aging myself with that statement for any of you other SailorMoon fans out there!). My favorites right now: Fruits Basket, Haibane Renmei, Lain, and Hikaru no Go

5. Something really odd about my body: My right foot looks like it has two pinky toes! How to describe it… it’s not like I have six toes on that foot, I only have the normal 5 digits ^_~ but, the toe that’s right next to the pinky toe is the same size as my pinky toe instead of being slightly longer like normal feet. It’s weird, but doesn’t affect my walking!

6. Hubby and I own a lot of guns. We love being able to go out to the range and do some target shooting. Personally, I like a gun or rifle that has a kick to it. I will never own a .22 cal, it goes ping! Give me a .45 any day! My favorite brand is actually a lesser known brand called Hi-Point. They’re not the best looking guns-quite blocky really, but they shoot straight and true and we’ve had the least amount of issues with them!

7. I am a packrat to the nth degree… if I got any more stuff, people might start calling me a hoarder. To date, I probably have about $3,000 in crafting supplies and tools hiding all over my house. I’ve already spent a week trying to organize everything! In fact, I’m having a garage sale soon and whatever crafting supplies I don’t sell off there will probably be put into lots for online purchase in a month or so… I’ve got everything from fabric and needlework supplies, jewelry, stamps, paper, and I’m sure there’s more, but I haven’t gotten that far in my sorting yet ^_^;;

So, now you know more about me than you probably cared to know! Hehe!
Which brings me to the last requirement, which is to nominate and share with you 7 other blogs that I think deserve this award! In no particular order, I nominate:

Shell’s Craft Haven
Beautiful card maker! She uses mixed media to create her OOAK hand-colored cards!
I Sew Cute
Wonderful crafter in various mediums. I love her Ikea hack- it's so girly sparkly!
The Trouble with Crafting
Her hoops are just absolutely lovely and she's constantly challenging herself to create more difficult pieces!
She makes the most beautiful art quilts and always throws out wonderful tips!
BrinyBar Soap
Her soaps and the stories behind them are always a wonderful read!
Fullamoon Handcrafted Artisan Soap Blog
I love the look of her soaps and she's always trying out new and fun techniques!
Into the Green World
Outdoorsman fun :) I love reading about his excursions into the wild and seeing his creations. The kyobo is coming along nicely!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hair DIY-saster, maybe

So, yesterday, I got the want to start working on my hair... I figured, since I'm not working, I can go ahead and attempt to put some funky colored streaks in my hair (I was thinking blue). But my hair is a really dark brown/black, so I knew I needed to lighten it first. I found Feria brand hair lightener on the store shelves and decided to try it out. So, umm... I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:



My hair went varying shades of blonde, orange, red, brown, and black... I'm... um... astounded... Well, I wanted funky hair... I just don't know if it's good or absolutely horrible... I kind of like it, but am afraid to try a redye as I ended up losing chunks of hair last night while washing the dye solution out of my hair :( All I know is I'm stuck with this look for a little while at least 'cause I don't want to actually kill my hair by dyeing it again any time soon.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Tom Baker Scarf is Complete!

So, about two months ago I had started work on the infamous Tom Baker Dr. Who scarf. I finally finished it last Thursday! Woot!
So, here are a couple of pictures for you :)

This thing was monstrous at 10 feet 10 inches (including the fringe) and 12 inches wide! Nearly swallowed my son whole!

But my friend love love loved it- as if you couldn't tell by the cheesy happy grin on his face! He even did his happy dance for me- which, with the fringe flying everywhere was vaguely reminiscent of a burlesque feather dance, hehe. That boy can really wiggle!

So, let's get some specs out there:
Yarn: 7 skeins of I Love This Yarn brand in 7 colors
Needles: size 8 (5.0mm)
Finished size: 10'10" (including fringe) and 12" wide- I was so happy that this came out to the correct size!
Number of stitches: 57,365; 1043 rows (includes bind-off row) x 55 stitches
Time: Just under 2 months; approximately 3-5 hours/night - This was approximately: The entire series of Scrubs, Lie to Me, Season 2 of Glee, Season 5 of Dr. Who, a couple of random movies, half of 10 Things I Hate About You (tv show), Season 1 of Numb3rs, and some other shows that I know I watched during this endeavor!