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Tuesday Night Craft Experiment

Class: Cold Process Soap Making November 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — momentpunch @ 10:30 am
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I’m falling in love with the classes at Brookline Arts Center. As you might recall, I made a ring there in October during my Jewelry/Metalsmithing class. The idea of taking the Memories to Art intensive gets me a little too excited. I mean, putting pictures on tiles and fabric – AWESOME!

This past Saturday, I took a wonderful cold process soap making class with Back Porch Soap Co. founder Marla Bosworth. I was curious about cold process soaps because I’d always done melt and pour and thought I could get a little more fancy with cold process since it’s essentially creating a soap completely from scratch.

I have a soap making book and I’d read about the process on various blogs, but I could never wrap my head around it. I am definitely a learn by doing type of person. Plus, the idea of working with Lye was downright frightening.

Lye is a corrosive substance that is often used in oven cleaner and draino. My grandfather used pure Lye soap to combat his terrible acne. And it worked. Because it burns a layer of skin off of your face. It is currently only sold at Ace Hardware due to the fact it is an active ingredient in some chemical bombs.

Lye is nothing to mess around with, which is why Marla outfitted us all with Judge Doom like rubber gloves, goggles, and a mask. Pretty bad ass for soap making, right?

Based off of Marla’s recipe, we combined the correct amounts of Lye and distilled water together which, on their own, heated to about 160 degrees. While we waited for the Lye concoction to cool, we melted the essential oils (which I believe were coconut butter, olive oil, and shea butter). Once both liquids had cooled to 115 degrees they were combined. (Note: Always, always, always add the lye to whatever you’re combining it with).

After they were stirred together and started to harden (there is a technical term for this) the fragrance oils of peppermint and rosemary were added. And they smelled incredible. This particular batch gave us about 40 bars of soap.

Marla provided us with smallish tupperware containers as molds. We adorned what will be the bottoms of our soaps with rose petals, chamomille buds, cranberry seeds, poppy seeds, etc. Sheets of freezer paper protected the bottom and tops of our soaps.

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Our soaps were then to sit for 24 hours in their molds. I cut mine after about 36 hours after ripping the tupperware apart. I knew my soap would be stubborn. It is now curing on my shelf for 4-6 weeks. Right now, due to the lye, it is the most dangerous soap in the world.

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Soap Making Class (Taken from Marla's facebook page)

I would also like to note that Lindsay posted a really awesome post on her blog about various scarf projects – which I really want to do – and mentioned my post about the t-shirt scarf! Happy Happy!

 

I’m Soap Inspired November 4, 2009

Filed under: Completed Projects,Misc — momentpunch @ 10:23 am
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My apologies for no new project last week. I got sidelined with a nasty cold that is still having issues checking out of my system. The rest of the week was just too busy to actually do a project.

Last night I ran around picking up little things that I needed for projects that I have. I had ambitions of completing three projects last night, but the arrival of Season Six, Disk One of The L Word kept me from my work. Oh, and I forgot to buy an exacto knife. Yeah, that was the big part of it.

I did make more soap. Soap that I am very excited about. I picked up some white shea butter soap, poppy seeds, and lemon(grass) essential oil and voila! I made this soap recipe that I went looking for when Rebecca mentioned that any Lemon Poppy Seed product would be awesome due to the exfoliating the poppy seeds would do.

We’ll see how well it really works. I tried to add a layer of poppy seeds to the bottom of the soap for extra exfoliating power, but that didn’t work too well. I’m hoping that the cold process soap making class I am taking Saturday gives me some tips!

I also added some yellow coloring to my batch. I think it’s pretty.

(And since I forgot that exacto knife, there will be a bonus post later this week)

 

See me on the street? Ask for some soap October 16, 2009

Filed under: Misc — momentpunch @ 8:30 am
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A few years ago, at the height of my crafting, I started to sign myself up for craft swaps through Craftster. “What’s craftster, you may ask?” Well, brace yourself, IT IS THE GREATEST CRAFTING WEBSITE EVER. Not only are their pages upon pages upon pages of ideas spanning various crafting disciplines, but a section of their website is dedicated solely to craft swaps. Over a two year span I participated in such themed craft swaps as Owls, Flight of the Conchords, Nickelodeon tv shows (my Roundhouse apron is fantastic), and Roller Derby. I was looking for quick and cheap items that I could make as extras in these swaps and that is when I stumbled upon melt and pour soap making.

And it really is that simple. You buy a huge block of glycerine, melt it in your microwave, add some colors/scents/powders, and pour it in to a mold. It is honestly that simple. It is also very addictive. I found myself, in about two hours, with 20 bars of soap that I had no idea what to do with. I tried to sell them at my yard sale at 2/$1, but no one bit. I can’t really blame them. I wouldn’t want to buy lose hand soap from some stranger sitting on their front steps either. But I would take it if someone were giving it away for free.

And hey! Thats exactly what I am doing!

Over the next few weeks (possibly months – who knows how long it takes to unload this stuff?) if you see me, ask me for some soap. I’ll be carrying a few bars in my bag at a time. And it’s totally free. What better way to fight off the flu!*

*I cannot actually guarantee that you will not get the flu, but you should seriously get a flu shot.