Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Don't Care What They Say About You Martha!


I personally have nothing but the utmost respect for you.

I saw you in action yesterday in NYC. I woke up at the crack of dawn, jumped on a train and headed to the city where I met up with 6 other lovely ladies so we could come watch your show live and in person.

I had no idea what to expect. I can't say I was even a fan of yours before yesterday. That said, the entire experience was splendid. Not only was it interesting but we had loads of fun, we learned a lot, left with free goodies and best of all an invitation to return in March during Craft Week.

See you in March Martha and in the mean time, keep up the good work!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ever had Twice Baked Soap?


So you all know my soaping method of choice is Cold Process Oven Process right? That's where I pour my soap in the mold and instead of putting it away wrapped in a blanket for 24 hours, I put mine in the oven at 170 degrees for 90 mins. I then turn the oven off and let the soap sit in the warmed oven for up to 18 hours. This shaves at least 2 weeks off the cure time which is right up my alley since I'm an impatient individual.

Now, one evening I decided to make a batch of soap. I went through the whole oven ritual as per normal. The next morning I checked my soap log and it was beautiful. Nice and firm and ready to be removed. For whatever reason (possibly laziness), I decided to let it continue sitting in there until later that day when I would have the time to slice it right away.

My mother would have said "Never put off til tomorrow what you can do today" - never a truer word has been said!

Later on that afternoon, to my horror I discovered that husband had decided to make dinner so turned the oven on full hilt to get it warmed up (of course he didn't open it to check 1st). I didn't even remember my soap until I smelled something funny coming from the kitchen. I ran like I've never run before, flung open the oven door to discover it was a little smokey in there. The wax paper lining the mold was a little burnt and worst of all my soap log had reverted back to the gelling stage. It was soft and mushy'ish. I wanted to cry.....I mean really really cry. This was a batch of plain unscented oatmeal soap and you all know how hard it is for me to make "unexciting" soap. I sat my burned up soap to the side and removed myself to the bedroom where I could mourn the death of my log in peace.

Fas forward to the next day......I went to check on the burnt up log and to my surprise, it not only looks normal but is ROCK HARD. I mean it's as hard as it would have been if it had been curing for a month. I did the zap test and it passed. I sliced a piece off and immediately washed my face with it. If anything was wrong with it my face would certainly tell me. NOTHING! The soap was perfectly fine.

So once again another lesson has been learned. Twice baked soap is OK. I guess it's no different to hot processing!

Next time I'll try it with a scented batch just to see if double cooking affects the fragrance at all.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What Would I Learn....


...if I always followed directions? Not as much as I've learned by not following them that's for sure.

I made a batch of Milk Rose soap per a customer's request a little while back but it has taken so long to harden up that I decided to make another batch but this time instead of pouring in the mold and leaving it alone, I put that sucker in right in the oven - milk & all. Shock, horror, clutch my pearls!

Yes, I really did put a milk soap batch in the oven over night and you know what? Nothing happened to it. When I checked on it the next day, I half expected to find a volcanic mess in my oven but to my surprise, my milk rose log behaved quite perfectly under all that heat. I let it sit for a day before slicing even though I could have sliced it immediately it was that firm. Not sure if I will attempt doing this again though as that would be tempting the devil and I'm not THAT brave!

Tomorrow I'll tell you about another rule I broke that turned out perfectly!

Friday, January 2, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR

2008 is now behind us and we're facing a brand spanking new year. It feels good. I look at it as having a clean slate that I can draw whatever I want on. 2009 is going to be just splendid. How do I know? Because I'm going to make it that way. How ?

Last year I learned about the Laws of Attraction.
I learned that hypnotherapy can be used to easily and painlessly kill all my demons.
I learned about this thing called meditation (not that I've managed to try it yet) but I learned that it's a good thing and that it's a way for me to listen to my heart, spirit & soul for guidance and good advice.
I also learned something that I'm still having trouble understanding but plan to work on. I learned that there is no such thing as time, that there is no past and no future. When I fully grasp this rule, I will share it here.

For Christmas I bought 2 copies of the Deepak Chopra book "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success". One for my sister and one for myself. We plan to read and discuss as we go along. The book is seriously deep and enlightening and not something I could read alone. I'm sure we're going to have lots of questions for each other.

So, I am wishing everyone a fantabulous 2009 because I know I'm going to have one :)