camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
I'll start shipping the shampoo out tomorrow. I've been testing it on my own hair for about a week now. It works pretty well and to me, at least, it smells nice. It seems to burn somewhat more than my regular bar shampoo when I get it in my eyes, though. If this proves to be the case for you and is a problem, but you still like the smell, I have also used it to wash my skin and it works well there, so it's not a total loss. I do suggest in advance that you use it first thing in the shower, as soon as your hair and the bar are both wet, and then put it somewhere out of the way of the water so that it doesn't get melty or squishy on you.

I will be making a batch of honey beeswax soap this week. Orange and cedar scent again, most likely. The beeswax I bought at Cambridge Naturals came in a pretty hefty chunk, so as soon as another round of essential oils arrives from Mountain Rose Herbs I'm going to try another scent combination if the sweet orange scent isn't your thing. There's lavender in this batch, and some tangerine oil; I may combine the two of them and see how that goes. (I'd have tried for lime or similar, but they're out of stock on lime.)
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
The shampoo bars have been made! Some of them were done in molds, and the others were just from my loaf mold and cut into regular bars that weigh around three and a half ounces each. They smell quite nice, although the cinnamon and clove oils caused them to turn an odd greenish-brownish shade, fair warning. I've done my best to trim the lumpier surfaces down to look better; I realize that'll go away with use but it's a matter of initial impressions. They'll be going out in the mail when they've had a week or two to age.

Honey beeswax soap will be made sometime this week so if you want some of that along with the shampoo for Christmas, let me know.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
The essential oils arrived yesterday. I'm gonna try and get the shampoo made tonight. Since I'm planning on a trip into Cambridge for early Christmas shopping this weekend, I may also stop off at Cambridge Naturals and get some beeswax (Whole Foods doesn't always have beeswax other than candles) and possibly cocoa butter if I run out on the shampoo; once I've taken the shampoo bars out of their molds to age I can use the same molds for another batch of honey-beeswax soap for people's Christmas gifts.

Scents for the honey beeswax soap will probably be sweet orange oil plus some cedar unless Cambridge Naturals has a different base note that works better or for some reason has a sale on sandalwood or patchouli essential oil or something. Bear in mind that there will only be a tiny bit of the other scent- in a recipe with 44 ounces of saponifying oil, there'd be like 2 ounces of sweet orange essential oil and 1/4 ounce of whatever the other EO is. (The original recipe calls for frankincense EO, but frankincense is hellaciously expensive, whereas patchouli and sandalwood are merely ridiculously expensive.)
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Is there anyone reading this who would like soap or bar shampoo for their winter holiday of choice? I'd like to get them made now so they have time to age properly before I send them out- also I need to get the right essential oils. (I'm thinking an orange-cinnamon-clove blend should cover a lot of ground at this time of year, but I'm open to other ideas/preferences/requests.)
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Looking at various soap molds today, since a design other than 'sliced rectangle' probably holds more visual appeal. I'm kinda tempted to get one with bees on it for future batches of honey-beeswax soap, assuming that works out well for the people who use it. Not sure what I'd do for a shampoo bar, though. Maybe just oval.

Also going over various sites about perfuming and essential oil blends and whatnot, just to see what I can find about the best way to sort these things out. For something like the honey-beeswax soap it's simple- HERE HAVE ORANGE and oh yeah cedar. For something like the shampoo, I need to work the details out a bit more. Most people who've sniffed the cinnamon-clove-ginger shampoo very much liked the smell, but I've had one report of it smelling awful after a trip through the post. Don't know if that's the case all around or if it's a case of personal biochemistry being different, but either way tweaking the balance of cinnamon versus clove should alter that, plus I may want to put actual ginger essential oil in instead of ginger powder or grated ginger. The other shampoo bar has pine, cedar, and eucalyptus and the end result was weirdly anise for me, so I wanna balance that scent out properly...

dear high school AP chemistry teacher who was the worst AP teacher I have ever had for anything ever, screw you. I've decided to be an alchemist instead.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
OK, three more packages on their way. California, California and Maine this time.

I only had two bars of the cinnamon-ginger-clove shampoo left when I sent the soap out yesterday, so most of you guys are getting one bar of honey-beeswax soap and one bar of pine-basil-cedar shampoo. The pine-basil-cedar shampoo bar, in case the smells are no longer detectable for whatever reason, is the one that looks like a piece of cheese (seriously, everybody's said that) and is cut in a triangle shape. The cinnamon-ginger-clove shampoo has visible specks of spices in it.

Let me know what you think! And thanks so much for helping me test these out!
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
I have three addresses to send soap to, and for some reason I thought I had four. One batch is going to Delaware, one to New Mexico, and one to Oregon. If you gave me an address and I am missing it, let me know. Thanks.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
I didn't get to get to the post office yesterday or today, so those of you who're gonna be testing soap out, I'll be shipping on Tuesday. The beeswax-honey soap needed to age a little more anyway. I can tell you, though, that I tested it this morning in the shower and even with less than a full week of aging time, it works pretty well.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
A thick slice of golden orangeybrown soap seen from the side.


Several slices of golden orangeybrown soap laid out on a piece of white freezer paper.


Eight slices of golden orangey-brown soap arranged to show both thickness and the broad sides.

Close-in shot of two golden orangey-brown soap slices.

It smells quite nice and the residue on my fingers foamed up very well indeed when I washed them off afterwards. In about a week I'll give it an initial test before sending pieces out to people who asked.
camwyn: A white KitchenAid stand mixer with flame decals on it. FOR GREAT AWESOME. (kitchenaid)
First batch of honey-beeswax soap is currently wrapped in towels and cooling off in the microwave. Not because of anything special about the microwave- I just need to keep this stuff away from the cats and they haven't learned to work the latch yet. Had 8.5 ounces of coconut oil on hand instead of the 10 I thought; added a little more palm to compensate. End result may be slightly softer/milder than expected. Used two ounces of sweet orange essential oil and .25 ounce cedar oil as I could not find the clove when I did mise en place and didn't feel like waiting another day to go buy a bottle. The tablespoon of honey in the recipe is buckwheat honey.

I should be able to cut the bars tomorrow evening and set them up for curing in the closet. They should be safe to ship after a week or so. Ideally, soap should be allowed to cure for 4-6 weeks before using, but for the most part the soaps I've made have been A-OK for initial use after a week.

I'm gonna need addresses for people who want to test a bar of this stuff. Or a place to meet up with you if you wanna get dinner in the Boston area or something and have me hand over the soap on the spot.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Bought the orange oil and the beeswax last night at Whole Foods instead of Cambridge Naturals; my head was pounding and I didn't think either the red line or a Hubway ride was a good idea. I got home and realized I just wanted to sit down and relax until my head stopped hurting, because it felt like I was coming down with something. To be on the safe side I fired up my computer and pulled up Bejeweled 3.

Long story short, I did horribly compared to how well I usually play, so I figured that if I was having a bad time of it being quick enough on the draw to handle a simple match 3 video game, I should stay away from anything involving lye or hot oil. I'm still not feeling well, but if I'm feeling better this evening I'll give it a go. Otherwise, I'm gonna try for a Friday batch.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Gonna go to Cambridge Naturals tonight and pick up some beeswax and essential oils, as I already have the coconut, olive, etc. The honey and beeswax soap recipe will use palm oil instead of soy shortening and possibly clove or cinnamon instead of cedar. Can't find a place I can walk into that sells soy shortening, although I haven't tried calling restaurant supply places yet- I can order the stuff online, though. (Spectrum's palm shortening runs around 48 cents an ounce; soy shortening is 11 cents an ounce. Palm provides more conditioning and a harder bar. We'll see how well it works in conjunction with beeswax, which also makes for hard soap. If the result is too hard or seizes up when I mix the oils with the lye and water, I'll switch to the soy next time. As for the essential oil, cedar apparently doesn't mesh quite as well with orange as other things; cinnamon and clove both come with good recommendations and seem to be popular for other purposes anyway.

I have two or three samples of the shampoo bar recipe (sans egg yolk- I forgot to put it in) that I can probably send out as is. I forget how many I kept from the batch. I'm not buying the stuff for that until I see what I have at home. Either way I'm probably going to buy the ingredients for it online, since castor and jojoba oil can be had for a good deal less if I buy them from Jedwards (no, no relation to Jedward) than if I buy the bottles commonly to be had in places like CVS. Granted, that involves buying them a gallon at a time, but there are worse fates.

Oh- I also have a good many samples of my first shampoo bar available. That one has no spices in it and was scented with cedarwood, pine, and basil; the end result is oddly anise-smelling but still not bad. I can send that to people who want to give it a try instead. That one's got egg yolk in, for the lecithin and so on.
camwyn: A white KitchenAid stand mixer with flame decals on it. FOR GREAT AWESOME. (kitchenaid)
Poked through my soap recipes to see what looked like it might be a good idea to test with you guys. Options so far:

- Beeswax-and-honey soap, which would involve coconut oil, olive oil, soybean shortening, beeswax, water, lye, honey, orange essential oil, and cedar essential oil
- Cocoa butter soap, which involves castor oil, cocoa butter*, coconut oil, olive oil, palm** or soybean shortening***, water, lye, lemongrass essential oil, lavender essential oil, and cedar essential oil
- Cinnamon-clove-ginger shampoo bar, which uses castor oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, jojoba, olive oil, lye, cinnamon leaf essential oil, clove bud essential oil, some ground ginger, some ground clove, one egg yolk, and water
- Extremely mild ('baby') soap, which uses olive oil, palm or soybean shortening, coconut oil, water, lye, and lavender or no essential oil
- Hemp soap, which Bing can tell you about; this is coconut oil, palm or soybean shortening, hemp oil, olive oil, castor oil, and peppermint and/or spearmint essential oils
- Coffee kitchen deodorizing soap, which is olive oil, palm or soybean shortening, coconut oil, water, lye, and coffee grounds
- Extremely basic soap: olive oil, castor or coconut oil, lye, water, and some form of essential oil

I can change the essential oils, obviously, and my shampoo bar original recipe didn't include the powdered spices, but they made up for the fact that I was pretty low on essential oils otherwise. And I can offer fragrance free versions if people would prefer to test something like that instead. The coffee soap is something of a novelty but is apparently supposed to be quite good at removing the stink of garlic and onions from hands. The basic soap has both olive and either coconut or castor because 100% olive oil soaps can have a weird, almost slimy feel to them.

I've made the shampoo bar in the past and tested it on my own hair and skin repeatedly. I've also made and used the hemp soap, and a version of the basic soap that's been pretty nice. (Plus it worked rather well when I grated it up super fine and mixed it with washing soda and borax for laundry powder. EDIT: I forgot I made up a batch of the hardest, least superfatted soap I could just to make into laundry soap. I have ground up the basic stuff to use for bubble bath, which is a different matter.) I'll be happy to test any of these on myself, but one person's not much of a sample size, so folks who'd be interested in one of the others or who have a specific combo they're interested in, let me know.


*I intend to use fair trade cocoa butter since I know how the chocolate industry can be towards its growers/producers
**Palm oil is ethically/environmentally questionable at best, but so far whenever I've used it I've used sustainably produced palm oil and plan to keep doing so
***Theoretically the things marked 'soy or palm shortening' could be made with Crisco but honestly, I'm not entirely sure what the hell Crisco's saponification number is, especially if they tweak the amount of soy oil vs. palm oil or any of the other additives, so why take a chance
camwyn: A six-drawer wooden dresser with bronze-black metal knobs. (furniture)
And the bed is done!

I still have to do the nightstand up, but I'm going to give it a day or two before I work on that- or maybe wait until after Easter, just to let the room air out. If you wanna see the whole process to date, it's under my furniture finishing project on Tumblr.

I'm not entirely sure about the bed being completely complete, mind. There was a whole set of unused screws that I haven't figured out what to do with, and I got under the bed to look for holes and/or points to put them. I'm gonna sleep in the bed tonight and see how it holds up and if there's a problem I'll know- and tomorrow or later in the week I can go to Bostonwood and look at the showroom bed to see if it's screwed together, and if so, see where it has screws that I hadn't placed on mine.

Meanwhile I also made soap last night. It's in the closet curing now- has to sit for several weeks before it's really finished. I cut a sliver off the bars to test, though, and it sudses up nicely. Hopefully this is a good sign.
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
Aaaand the first batch of soap I've made in a few years is now sitting in my oven. Not because it needs to be cooked but because it's the easiest way to keep it safe from the cats. It'll eventually be moved into the insulated closet under the slanting part of the roof instead, because I need that oven, but for now we're good.

I need to get a picture of myself in my safety gear for mixing soap. It's not Breaking Bad-caliber, but the chemical goggles, breathing mask (admittedly it's a particulate respirator rather than a vapor filter but it still helps), and rubber gloves up to my elbows... eh, I just want a picture.

Profile

camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
camwyn

September 2017

S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
1011 1213141516
171819 20212223
24252627282930

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 22nd, 2017 02:37 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios