Thursday, December 10, 2009

laughing is good for you

Reading this site: http://clientsfromhell.tumblr.com/ has given me a giggle (and sigh in desperation too a bit). We've had a few similar clients at DH's business of late, and I've had a pretty long and not so great week, which is possibly not over yet.
But clients from hell really cheered me up!! (in a very strange way)

Oh, I was also quite shocked on TwitPics today, there's random pics on the front page, and the one that popped into my face this morning was one I sure hope kids don't get to see! Another bit of innocence lost (not mine, but that of any child who may have seen this picture...) - i just have to speak out... why is it that men feel they need to show, and share, pictures of their erect (or not) appendages???

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ann has a fun giveaway!


My friend Ann has been really busy raising funds for the Breast Cancer Foundation and is having a giveaway of her fine soaps!
You have to guess the weight of the 5 soaps, and you will win them if you are the closest to the weight. You can go to her Made It shop and find out the range of the weight of each soap and venture a guess.

As for me, I've been making quite a bit of soap but I have no time to blog about it as my Mum is visiting us and I'd rather spend time with her than on the computer, so forgive me and when she's gone and I'm sad and blue I'll come forget my sorrows by telling you about my suds!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Soap of late (while I'm on hold on the phone with the ATO!)

RHUBARB AL FRESCO
Rhubarb al Fresco is a great scent, but I think I'd be better off using it in shampoo/conditioners/melt and pour...

My first time with Rhubarb al Fresco in CP went quite well but turned an awful yellow colour. It also traced very quickly and I had to slop it in the moulds quick! Only later did I realise it was a fast-tracer and super-heater (sometimes I think of looking up that information, sometimes I don't)! The colour was awful, I stuffed it in the cupboard and a month later I had a fairly nice soap, and it smelled wonderful, no ash but a few bubbles as it was thick when poured (check pics in this blog post, the 2nd set of dragons to see the change in colour). Then I've remade it, and it looked fine, I only used the whisk, no stick blender but as you can see from pics below, it's got some brown spots (probably FO or something, not sure, not zappy either - but ugly!!)

I'm rather hoping the brown spots are the FO which has already discoloured, as the colour ressembles the first batch I made, but I really thought I had blended in the FO very well... I can only wait and hope that when the curing period is over, my ugly duckling will be a beautiful soap! (well, it's fun to believe in fairy tales!)

VANILLA SOAP FAILURE AND SUCCESS
Then there's my vanilla soap experiments! Yikes, a tested recipe which worked really well as a log didn't go so well in my dragon mould... I think my problem is that I unmoulded it too early, it ashed like mad! -- my coffee and mango lassi soaps are made with that recipe, and they are beautiful soaps. The coffee soap has even darkened a bit more since the picture on that post was taken.

This time it really ashed, as you can see from this picture:
I even lost chunks of the dragon, though this might have to do with the fact that I tried to unmould too quickly, but I didn't want a repeat scenario from when the soap would NOT come out of the mould even after a month of waiting! But not a single dragon was unharmed, they were all missing chunks!! I'm thinking too that perhaps cocoa butter in moulds is not a good combination, I seem to remember the "stay in the mould" soap was also made with cocoa butter.

The baubles I made at the same time also ashed: but the fish (below), which I made in a Ikea ice mould, and which I didn't unmould until a few days later seem to not have ashed So I'm still not sure what causes ash, why it is some people never get it, but I'm looking for ideas of what to do with this soap, rebatch? chunk? grate?

So as this Vanilla Dragon soap was a special favour for a friend of mine, I had to make some more. Her son doesn't like soaps that smell too strong and he also loves dragons, so I'm making her a slab for her to give him at Chrismas (she's a mum from school who helps me out often, like, oh, let's say, when my car refuses to start!!! LOL!!!) so this is the 2nd attempt at this dragon slab:


This time it's curing very nicely, no ash (different recipe) and also turning a beautiful brown with time. Very very pleased with this batch.


TIDAL WAVE SOAP





This is a soap I made using my new colours (from Heirloom Body Care) and some fragrance I was lucky enough to get from Erin when she had a de-stashing moment. I had mica (Aussie Pure Glow) in there, but I have had no luck at all with mica. I'm starting to think too that maybe that mica is not meant to be used that way but just used in make up (oh how I'd love to formulate my own mineral foundation!!!). I was going to use the mica in the swirls but it became very-traced VERY quickly so I poured it with the rest of the soap and mixed a bit with the whisk... I am now, two days later, noticing some white flecks in the soap, which is preplexing as I didn't use any titanium dioxide, I gather they could be the mica (could very well be), but they aren't shiny and they aren't zappy either! Pictures will have to follow in a few days, in case anyone has comments or suggestions about what the white flecks are.

OAT MILK, HONEY and CALENDULA
So it hasn't been a great soaping week for me, though my calendula orange and yellow soap made with oat milk did make me happy


*phew* anyone still reading???


I also had a bit of MELT AND POUR fun the other night

using the double pour method. I'm quite taken by that method. I also tried to make baubles with a strip of a different colour in the middle, it worked well, but not well enough (need to experiment again with that one). So those baubles not making me happy, I cut them up, and put anything with a bit of colour in the colour pot, and the clear bits in the clear pot, tried to re-melt to do another double pour, and I just could not get the soap to stay at the proper temperature so I put everything in a pot, added some more Merlot Mica (ASS) and poured straight baubles, they are quite nice, translucent, and the Pure Glow Mica (ASS) and the soap glitter really add dimension to the glycerine base.

I got the base from Range and I like it quite a bit, I have a feeling it doesn't sweat (testing a bar right now) and I think the problems I had with the 2nd double pour could be because I lost some humidity in the soap reheating it (or it was too cold in the house!). I got some more of that base today, as well as a large quantity of various oils to make more soap.


ATO
for those who wonder about my ATO comment, well, I edited most of this post (and added the title) during my 45 minute wait at the ATO's help line, to get a different BAS form for my hubby's business, only to be told that I wasn't authorised to request that on his behalf and could he please call back later! Well, at least I got a blog post out of it!

If you've read all this, please thank yourself from me!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

1 image = 1000 words, or this is why I love my water filter

Left is the water filter I took out to clean, right is the portion I cleaned.
But you can't see the chlorine smell it takes out of the water as well. I love my water filter!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Coffee and Melt and Pour Soap

Coffee soap that is. I might call it "Café avec un nuage de lait" a combination of an old Asterix joke (though in Asterix the "nuage the lait" was in tea, but I digress!)....


Another version of the JMDault Recipe! Fun, it's only coloured by the Fragrance Oils (Turkish Coffee and Vanilla Select from Brambleberry -- I had to add vanilla because I didn't have enough coffee.



And this morning we made this below for a party we're off to in a few moments:

the star is from an Ikea mould. So much fun and what a special present (even if this is not the first time I've made it!) . I also got my SoapyLove book! What fun!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I've made some soap!

After over two months of not soaping, I've churned 3 soap recipes in as many days, will I make a fourth today? not sure, Sundays are busy with lots of other stuff! Also I'm expecting some soap colours in the next few days so I might slow down a bit, make some lotion for a change (we're out of the one to which I add walnut shells, and we love washing our faces with that one!)....
Anyway, here's what I've been making the last few days:


a remake of this dragon rhubarb soap which makes people very happy (and hopefully it'll turn out as nice as the first batch, this rhubarb fragrance is a bit difficult to soap with!)... all these made with people and Christmas in mind!!
This soap changes colours as it cures, and ends up looking like this one but without the bubbles as I used lower temperatures this time and it didn't go NUTS on me!!! (I'm only posting a link as I've talked about this soap before.

Then I decided to try a recipe discussed in an online forum, and made it a blind swirl with a discolouring FO. I'll wait to post cut pictures as the fragrance is still morphing as the soap is curing.

I added poppy seeds on top, as I had this image below in mind, which Patti Cakes has agreed to me posting on my blog. Click on the image to go to her recipe!

The next one is a gorgeous recipe put on The Dish by JMDault, owner of 3 Cornus (in my beloved home province of Québec).

Then, I felt I was on a roll, on day three I made this repeat of my Chai Tea soap, this is the first slice, on top of the log:


I'd made a mini batch of this a while back and I just love the smell so much, I had to repeat it. This is also a recipe from the online forum, and we're all just making soap with the recipe (it has olive oil, coconut oil, and castor oil, which is interesting for me as I rarely use castor oil in my soap!).

Did anyone join the Best Body Challenge? I haven't even had time to take pics (there's something about those pics that's not as fun as melting oils and making soap for me at the moment!)... but I'm re-registering for another month of boot camp. I don't think I have ever, in my life, trained so regularly for such a long period of time... So that's a feat it itself!! I still have heaps of improvement to achieve: baby steps!!

I think that's it for today! (Oh, you can see larger versions of these pictures in my Soap Set at Flickr)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fit For Health offers a 12 week challenge for people around Fremantle!

(Update: 4 Sept 09) due to so many things going on at the moment, I've decided to not actively participate in the challenge, as I do not need any added stress, but I will continue boot camp, and continue to try and do all the right things on the path to better health and fitter body :) I just don't have time to fill out the form and take the pics!... and the deadline is today! I do boot camp 3x per week, I walk about 3 km 2-4 times a week getting the girls from school after work, and I've recently started drinking Green Smoothies (not just that but I've added them to menu) so if that doesn't do it, I don't know what will!!!

Hi all
The "health club" where I've been doing Boot Camp (for FOUR months now!!!) is having a 12 week challenge, with prizes even, for people around the Fremantle area.
Ric, the owner of Fit For Health is "on a mission to help as many local folks as possible experience and enjoy real body transformation results."
If you're interested, the challenge starts on 5th September (deadline to register is on the 4th, and all it will cost you is a $20 donation to the Rett Syndrome Research Fund via Fit For Health).
You can register HERE!


I won't be able to attend all the Saturday sessions, but I'm going to take the challenge and use my Boot Camp sessions as my exercise for the 12 weeks.

Think about it, 12 weeks will take you close enough to Christmas!!! :)

I'll be back with regular programming a bit later in the week :) with any luck!!

This below is Ric's email, if you're interested in the challenge...

Hi France,

Congratulations again on accepting the "Your Best Body 12-Week Challenge."

I know you're going to love participating. You'll definitely love the results you achieve.

And that's why I'm writing you today...about results.

See, I'm on a mission to help as many local folks as possible experience and enjoy real body transformation results.

I want everyone to have their Best Body!

Call me pollyanish, but that's my mission.

But I need your help to make that happen.

Will you help me? All that I ask is for you to send a quick little email to all your family, friends and co-workers who live locally and invite them to check out the Best Body Challenge web site at:

Freo Best Body Challenge

In fact, probably the easiest thing to do is just forward them THIS email.

That's all there is to it.

Remember, the Best Body Challenge serves two important purposes:

#1: To help as many local people as possible get their best bodies.

#2: To raise funds for a very worthwhile Charity, the Rett Syndrome Research Fund (because, as you know, everyone who participates in the Challenge is asked to give a small, one-time $20 donation to them at or before the Orientation on Saturday, 22nd August).

So this Challenge is BIG winner all the way around.

That's why I hope you'll help me spread the word by forwarding this email to all your local family, friends and co-workers.

Thank you VERY much, in advance.

Sincerely,
Ric Isaac
Fit For Health

P.S. Don't forget to submit your Best Body registration before the deadline on Friday, 4th September!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thank You Soaps

Thank you Soaps

Saw this great tutorial at The Soap Queen's Blog .
I thought it would be the perfect thing to make for a small thank you present I have to make. I decided too that I need more micas! *VBG* they add sparkle to soaps. The rubber stamp is one I got made a while back, with polymer, and it's perfect for this as it has really nicely rounded edges (you should see the way I usually chop my stamps!! Well, actually pretty well, but not as smooth as polymer can be!)

This below is another one I made too.

Thank you Soaps


Anne-Marie could make anyone love Melt and Pour!! Check her out on You Tube - SoapQueen TV too!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friends have soap for sale!

My friend Ann has some Breast Cancer Awareness (fundraising) soaps for sale, as she states "these soaps have been made especially for the Australian National Breast Cancer Foundation to aid their research, councilling and education services and as such all profits will go to them."
At $2 a pop it's a great buy! Click on the image to get to her shop, or click here. She'll be adding more items to the shop, so please bookmark it and come back!

Click here to go to Ann's soap shop at Madeit.com.au

I found Gabbie (another friend) there too! Her shop is HERE.

Click here to go to Gabbie's soap shop at Madeit.com.au

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Where Did July Go???

I can't believe it's been so long (now don't all bloggers say that when they have been slack!?) since I put anything up here. Lack of time. And you'll judge by the way this post will go that time is still scarce.
Hubby got a job starting 1 July, juuuuusssst before the holidays, I scrambled to find a babysitter so I could work a bit, I also took a MYOB course during the holidays. I'm not planning a career change but I'll be able to help Hubby in his new venture. It was nice to spend time with the girls during the holidays.
They kept me busy too, they went to a "Mario World" activity organised by a local church and wanted to be dressed up as Princess Daisy and Princess Peach for the picnic (on the Sunday), but as luck would have it, the email I had received said "12:30 pm" for lunch. Little I knew that they had the picnic right after the service on Sunday. I guess that's what happens when you need to rely on others to pick your kids up from activities because you have to work! After a few tears it all ended well, the organisers were really kind to them and they left with each a "green" bag (actually Orange) with Yoshi on it on one side and Mario World logo on the other (if you have kids, they'll tell you who Yoshi is, and they'll also tell you if I spelled it properly!)...
Here's a pic of my little princesses:


I made the dresses, they helped with the fabric picking, and they made their accessories (earrings, pendant and crown). I used magnetic earring backs as neither of them has their ears pierced yet. It worked really well.
I used the pattern McCalls 5135. I used the top from the green one and the bottom of the black one, making it much, much, much longer, and it took lots and lots of fabric!!
I did buy a pattern to make gloves, but it was just a waste of money, I just don't have the patience, and the fabric we had picked was just too curly-wurly at the edges! so I used the fabric to make petticoats as the dresses sort of needed them!
I made them swear they would wear those for Hallowe'en as a lot of work (and money as with anything handmade, really) went into the dresses :)
We'll have to dress up DH as Bowser or Donkey Kong, but he'll probably want to go as the Grim Reaper again!!

Oh, Little Miss C has been really busy making Mario World paper constructions and even started modifying the templates she found on the web to make other Mario World characters. The other morning I made them pancakes for breakfast, so they set up Mario, Luigi and Toad for breakfast, complete with pancakes, syrup (the punched swirl) butter, and knives and forks:



I didn't make any soap in July, on the list are a lot of things, though I need to make shampoo first of all. So nothing new on that front!

Lately I've discovered (well, so to speak) Martha Stewart's website... and actually made one of these: T-Shirt Bag with an old band T-shirt that DH had been wearing (Red Red Meat!) and which was completely ripped at the armpits... It's a great way to give a bit more life to T-shirts. I have a few more which will be dedicated to the cause as I'd cut off the sleeves and end up not wearing them a whole lot, also, why is it that white T-shirts go yellow over time? I can feel a bit of "tie dye" envy here!!!

This is another Martha Stewart thing I did!! I used an eyelet (my lovely little Crop-a-dile came in handy, and no, it's not little really) on the wallet leather, and for the cards... This is the Martha Stewart version (membership card organiser), and below is mine:


I've also been enthused by my buddy Ann G to try a "one sheet wonder" type card, you take one piece of nice paper, cut it up in pieces, and end up making 10 card fronts with it. I had a nice piece of Christmas paper, so I'm going with this. I've just started, marked the paper, if it works out I'll give you more details.

I am still doing boot camp (I know, un-be-lievable!!!) and (even more un-be-lievable) I'm actually enjoying it and looking forward to it. My shin splints have given me a break, so I thought "hey, I can run and jump now!!" but they are back a bit, not with a vengeance though, but I need to be a bit careful for a bit, that does mean I don't do as much as everyone else, but I still work hard (well, at least I think so!!)... I also got to meet HazelBlackberry who left me a comment last time I went to a crack-of-dawn workout on a Saturday. That was fun!! (Hi Hazel!!!) I still prefer my end-of-day workouts, it doesn't wipe me out for the day.


here's one more thing I've thoroughly enjoyed watching every week, and which my daughters enjoy watching with me, this is probably the girls's favourite - there's heaps more to view too:

Enjoy the videos!

Gotta run, I have some presents to go wrap and a cake to ice as we're celebrating Hubby's brother's birthday - he's visiting us for the weekend.

Ok, that's it for now, see you soon... or next month!!

--------- the last part of this post has been removed - it was a comp that's over! --------

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Swirl Soap

I tried this soap swirling method from the Ellen's Essential website

Slab Swirl Slab Swirl
It looks a bit like mille-feuilles my mum used to make (without the pink, and the black was chocolate! LOL!). It didn't quite turn out like I expected it to, but if I don't think about it too much I can love this soap!! Here are the cut bars:
cut bars close up cut bars
It looks like cheesecake on the inside (though, not too sure what flavour the black stuff would be)

sides


I used the lid of an A4 box of paper which I lined with freezer paper. I undid the lid so the flaps would be on the outside. Which also makes it easier to line.
I think next time I'll try a simple two colour swirl. This one (though you wouldn't know) had three colours added to the cream base.

For the first time I used macadamia oil in a soap! It's considered a luxury oil! I can't wait to see if I see a difference!!

Other than that I'm signing up for a third month of boot camp training with Fit For Health it's been hard but fun. My plantar fasciitis is behaving itself, which is wonderful news after so many years of feet pain and not really knowing what it was. I had my cortizone shots almost two years ago (21 months) and it's still good, but I do have shin splints at the moment, mainly in my right leg, but while I walk while others jog and I shuffle (jog as impactlessly as I can) while others run, I figure doing what I'm doing is better than not doing anyting at all. I had a nice surprise yesterday when the lab coat I wear once in a blue moon at work (mostly during Winter months) buttoned around the hips! It had never buttoned up and the one time it did, it snapped as soon as I sat down! Now, the scales may not show much progress, but buttoning up a lab coat, that's exciting!!! (well to me anyway!)

I'm trying the Flock browser at the moment, and while it's a bit over my head with all the "social networking" aspects of it, I find it's great to add pictures to this blog, or to forums, really handy. I really love Maxthon as a browser as some of the add-ons are just fantastic, but it doesn't co-exist very well with Vista (I love some parts of vista, but there's other that make me cringe!!).

It's been almost a year since I've done any serious rubber stamping, and a bit less since I've done any serious polymer clay. Time just flies. I want to do stuff, but with everything else going on (just regular life stuff) and this soap making, and making my own shampoo, and not wanting to do takeout more than once a week -- it's our Friday treat, the girls get Maccas and Hubby and I get Subway (I get the healthy veggie one!) but the bonus is that one of the Woolworth's I go to (Woolworth in Australia is a food chain, btw, as is Coles, nope, not a bookstore chain here!! though they do sell magazines!!)... anyway, one of the Woolies here has coupons for Subway on the back of their receipts, so when I'm lucky and I buy enough stuff (read: Groceries for the week) I get one, sometimes two coupons for Subway. The coupon is "buy one 12" sub and a drink, get one 12" sub free" so, even though we never drink the whole drink, it's still a 2nd sub for the price of the drink, which is less than $3, so that's a really neat savings, and I don't have to make dinner, which is always very much appreciated on a Friday... they also have coupons for pizza and other things, but the Subway coupons is what we like!!!

Well, here you go, my soap progress, boot camp progress, and how to live frugally tip all in one!!

Oh, btw, Sulea, you won that soap a few months ago and I just remembered you never emailed me back, I'll go pester you on your blog, I have a nice selection to pick from now!!! :)


Images in this post shared with Flock - The Social Web Browser http://flock.com/

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Colour changes

Well, the leaves don't change much here in fall (we're actually in Winter since the 1st of June, but it's really hit last week, cold wet weather, and the leaves rarely turn red! I do miss that about the cold crisp air of the morning, seeing those beautiful colour changes in the leaves...). Well, doesn't matter as my soap is doing a little colour changing of its own. It's not fully cured yet, but I thought I'd show you the colour changes in this soap, in which I used a Pink Ultramarine.
This is the soap when I made it (from yesterday's post) on the left, and on the right, the soap now three weeks old. (Click on photo to see full size versions)


Possible MWMoulds Success
Karma soap after 3 weeks

I tried to neutralise the background to a true grey so you get the real colour of the soap (well, for the first picture I did have a square of white to neutralise the colours, but I cropped it out! Irfanview does that very well, btw, both colour balancing and cropping!)

This soap is the Rhubarb al Fresco, it went really yellow (no other colour added to the soap, just the Fragrance Oil (FO).
Again, soap I showed yesterday on the left, and on the right is the soap today, now two weeks old:

Another batch of dragons
Rhubarb al Fresco two weeks later

Well, whether that is interesting to others or not, I now have this fact documented :)

I'd better go get ready, it's 16°C outside, possibly raining today, and we're off to a picnic, the fitness club with which I have been doing a boot camp style training, FOR SIX WEEKS (*bow* *thank you!* *bow* no, I know, I can hardly believe it myself... problem is I can't run these days as I gave it my all in the first two weeks and gave myself a nice case of shin splints... but still, doing something is better than doing nothing!! and shin splints is better than the plantar fasciitis and heel spurs I've managed to not aggravate... yet! Fingers crossed...)

Anyhow, Fit For Health is having a client appreciation luncheon, on the riverside, it's going to not be too toasty, I reckon!!! But it'll be fun, fun to see what is served at such a picnic (surely not those horrendous red sausages in a slice of white bread!), it'll be nice to see the trainers and other people in a more relaxed athmosphere and it'll be something to do on a Sunday afternoon (as if I didn't have enough to do already!)
(btw, if you are in the Fremantle/Hilton area, and you would like to join, just send me an email... you probably have my email if you are in this area and are reading this?? Or use the link at the bottom left of this blog! There's morning sessions or 5:30pm or 6:30 pm so you really have your pick, though, Boot Camp in July and August doesn't sound too dry or warm, does it??)

Where's my tuque and my mittens???
----------
Wee little update, I tried the Pineapple Coconut soap in the shower this morning with a shower pouf, and WOW! Bubbles galore and my skin feels quite nice too, not dry. Smells sooo nice too (but I already knew that!)
I use a pouf when the soaps are new as the edges are a bit "straight" but I plan on getting a little gizmo to make them look nicer, next time I'm at the hardware store. I'll keep you posted ;) another tip gleaned from The Dish

Saturday, June 20, 2009

When you feel your craft is letting you down

Have a look at this funny blog where people post their craft failures. I probably have a half dozens I could add, if I remembered them. I try to forget about my failures (craft or cooking) but try to remember the lesson learned! :)

I made another batch of soap this week, with my own home made oat milk (milking those little flakes of oats takes patience and dexterity! LOL!) - more on this a bit below.

First off, the coconut soap from the previous post didn't really change much. The colours are a bit more uniform, and not such a big change from the pic below. So I won't bother posting a pic but you can see one here, the brown is a wee bit less brown, but really, not much of a difference.

A few days later I decided to shred all my bits of soap (the ones from the ends of the log, or leftover from when I thought it would be nice to cut small samples for people, etc) and make what is called "confetti" soap... I used a plant based colourant called Alkanet (it's a root, ground up) which is supposed to turn to purple/mauve but yeah, it looks mostly grey... doesn't matter, it'll still wash nicely:
Confetti Soap a month later
well, at least it's a not-so-girly looking soap!!! :) Funny thing though is the round one gelled and the crinkle cut one didn't, and I can't see a colour difference. Alkanet is supposed to react differently gelled or not.... this is the same recipe divided in two moulds. Strange. Maybe time will tell a different story!

Then a week or so after that I played with my Milky Way Moulds... the things which are impossible to unmould unless you use force!!! But there are other tips I've gleaned along the way... Sodium Lactate is your friend, and silicones too!!!
I've used Na Lactate in the soap, and I also sprayed the mould with the detangling spray I make for the girls, which consists of Cyclomethicone and Dimethicone. I was able to unmould my soaps after an hour... Much better than the last batch I'd made in the moulds where some soaps were impossible to unmould after two weeks (When I decided to use brute force!!)

These are my first successfully unmoulded soaps:
Possible MWMoulds Success Possible MWMoulds Success Possible MWMoulds Success
These are slowly turning into an "vieux rose" colour, old-fashioned pink, or think of slightly tea dyed pink... hmmm, I must learn to describe colours better!!! :) These will get a pic update at the end of the month I believe!! Colour IS changing! (oh, these are scented with a Karma Kazi FO which is similar to Lush's Karma! I just LOVE it, while some other noses don't... I think the Patchouli is the deciding factor here!)

I was so excited a few days later I tried another one, the soap is quite yellow, it's supposed to mellow (mellow yellow?) over time. I'll post another pic when it's cured if there is a difference (FO here is Rhubarb al Fresco!):
Another batch of dragons

This week I was highly inspired by a post on The Dish to try and make my own oat milk by soaking 'old fashioned' oats (imo the only oats worth buying!) in water, cook them a little to soften them, and collect the liquid... called "oat milk", and made soap with it. An interesting process, the oat milk when mixed with lye was quite thick, but it soaped really nicely. I also tried to swirl in some mica, went about it the wront way, so my soap looks as though it has bruises! The smell is Buttermilk and Honey from Big Tree Supplies (Karen there is really nice, great service! and she has all the Lush type fragrances you can think of!!! YUM! she also has candle supplies, and reed diffuser supplies too!)

Oh, yeah, so here's the soap:
Oat Milk Soap
and here's a close up of the grains, they are not lye (as far as I can tell, no "zap"), I believe they are the grains of oats that I squished through the sieve being a bit too enthusiastic in my quest for oat milk.
Oat Milk Soap

For my next batch I might try a really neat swirl method I've read about on Ellen's Essentials.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Nicnas and soap

Here's a petition dear to my heart:
http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/reform-nicnas-registration.html
I would love to make a few dollars from selling some of my soap, but I feel I can't cos I woudln't want to be caught and fined!
If the fees were less, I'd pay them (even though I don't think Nicnas would do ANYTHING for me! But I'd love to be proven wrong) so I can sell, in person, or on Etsy.
My soaps ARE nice! LOL! I want to sell them, but NICNAS is in the way, so please, sign the petition to help out small scale soapers like me.

In the meantime I'm enjoying seeing how this soap will change, one of the fragrances I used makes the soap darker, I'll post another picture in a few weeks.

It smells of coconut and pineapple!!! I just love it! I pick it up and smell it frequently!!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

ah! Lucky that wasn't ME!

My friend Heather T send me this:
http://www.katu.com/news/weird/44851907.html
I am glad our episode at work (caused by me, see a previous post) is over, the fridge seems to not smell anymore.
I found out ground coffee is great, you can put vanilla essence drops on the coffee (even the cheap stuff), baking powder aka bicarb soda, but also white bread (I wouldn't waste nice bread on that), put a few slices in the fridge and change every few days, DO NOT EAT! Crumpled newspapers also helped! I would also have tried citrusy essential oils but didn't get to that (and tried the cheaper approaches first!)

After a month of not making soap, I have a batch in the freezer, yup, cos I added goatmilk to it I put it straight in the freezer to prevent overheating, let's hope I don't get that partial gel! :)

I have been playing with "bath and beauty" stuff lately, but not much I have time to expand on at this very second. I am however getting a lot of inspiration from Susan's Blog!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

One fishy, two fishies (I'd rather find the Easter Bunny!)

OK, the slide show didn't work, so I'm going to try to figure something out. (the slide show won't work at all for me, sorry about that! but since I Was updating you on the fish situation, I'll leave this post here, any advice on the fish smell or the code would be appreciated!)

Well, I thought I'd try this code I found here and update you on the fishy situation. Turns out this new technology fridge is made of styrofoam inside, so you can't really scrape to clean, but I did my best to clean some "stuff" in the foam in the freezer when I was finally able to remove the little vent at the bottom of the freezer part, but it turns out the fridge has "foam" at the bottom, and whatever leaked from the top is now IN THE FOAM! so it's going to smell for a while, eeek! We're trying baking soda/bicarb soda for a while, Whirlpool didn't have any other advice to offer, which was rather sad. I thought we could flush the foam by putting the fridge over the drain and pouring water in the little vent in the freezer, while unplugged... if that's what route the fish juice takes, then I don't see why not water... but apparently "it is not advisable" told me a lady with a very thick American accent (out of which I was trying to decipher some Delhi accent!!!). Another option (which I found on The Dish! They are so knowledgeable there!) is to fill the fridge with newspaper balls. We may have to try this, I'm just very worried about the foam bit under the fridge, there's NO WAY to remove it and rinse it... that I could see, maybe I'll look again and see if there's screws there if the smell doesn't vanish over the long weekend (I have a feeling it won't! *sigh*).
This said, I have a 4 day weekend ahead of me! As most people do, though Saturday we must do the grocery shopping!!!

Well, I hope this slide show works. Let's hit PUBLISH and see!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Overzealous?

Well, doesn't pay of to try and be overzealous!
On Friday I thought I was being a good employee, turning off the lights and the various power outlets in the kitchen at work. "Leave the coffee machine on" said someone, as another someone likes the machine to be ready anytime, fine, turn the kettle off, etc....
Little did I know... when I came in this Monday morning, I put my lunch in the fridge, and the light was off... I had inadvertently turned off the power outlet for the FRIDGE!!! My boss had some fish (he fishes) in the freezer.... it was MELTED, and didn't smell very nice!
Not a good way to start the week, and definitely not a way to earn brownie points with the boss! *sigh* and that fish is SO nice (I do know!).
Luckily it was only two pieces, but it was two BIG pieces...
You try to do the right thing and you mess up! I hate days like that! :)

Oh, here's one of my pet peeves:
Pet Peeve

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Ann's Bushfire Appeal Items

Ok, these weren't made by me, they were made by my friend Ann G, and all profits will go to the Bushfire Appeal.



She also made two items for the same cause, offered on OzeBaby:

Black and White Cot Quilt
and an Adorable Wool Sleeping Sack

Have a look, won't you?

As for me, well, not much lately, too busy with other stuff. I have to say though that Ryan finally got his money out of his soap, after extra long baths!
I've made two batches of soap since my last post, one I had to rebatch, had to learn the hard way to beware of floral FO! But the resulting soap is just fine and dandy :) and I made another soap, with almost full water this time as it was another Floral FO (you can use different percentages of water, within certain limits, and the more water you use, the longer your soaps take to dry) and they are a wee bit hard to unmould, so I've decided to ignore them for a few days, eventually, they'll shrink :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ryan's Birthday

Last weekend was another birthday weekend, and we went to a party, and we had to bring a present, and this time it was a BOY having a party... can't make him lip balm and a cute bag.... and I didn't have time to think of a "boy bag"... the invitation said "anything pokemon or $5 for his bank account", hmmm, I had NO time to go shopping (heck, I don't even have time to blog or make soap lately!)... so I thought, and I thought, and we borrowed some image from the web (now I do hope this won't get me in trouble, and if it does, I'll change the picture), made a card, and I was thinking of making a little money soap like on The Soap Queen's Blog, but instead I sort of improvised on the theme... I took 6 x $2 coins (present comes from two children so I figured $12 was good, and went better with my idea than paper money). I washed the coins with soap and then sprayed them with rubbing alcohol to kill buggies.
and I made this:


I should have taken a picture without the glad wrap (would you know it, my little cello bags were nowhere to be found on Sunday morning!!!), but you get the idea. Well, Ryan loved his present, told his mum it was one of the best presents ever! He apparently had a super long shower that night, and also wanted to wash his little sister and made sure Mum and Dad also used his soap. My two and I were in stitches listening to the mum telling us the story, and Ryan was there too and agreeing with everything Mum was saying!!! So much fun!!

Today when I saw Ryan at school he came up to me and said "I got two coins out!!!"... apparently another very long bath last night... Quick and fun present, and useful too, I had no idea it would be received with so much enthusiasm, it just made us so happy!!! And so much better than money in an envelope!!!

I remember when I was younger (all those years ago) there were cards with little slots for coins, so that they would be either the wheels of the car, or some apples in a tree, and there were slots, and sometimes just openings to squeeze the coins in, in different shapes... haven't seen any in a while (hmmm, could be because I haven't shopped for cards in a while)....

Speaking of cards I got a fantabulous one from my mum today (early birthday card, sent from Paris no less, mum finally got to set foot in Europe to visit my cousin and research and climb up our family tree!), anyway, said card was actually bought in Montréal (isn't cute, mum sent her daughter France a card, from France!) and was made by a cousin of mine, Marianne Chevalier... and I'll show you a picture, but if you want to see some of her really interesting weaving style you can visit her site although the cards aren't on there. I'll post a picture of my card eventually, and also post a picture of a lovely painting I received a couple of years ago for my bday and I have never posted to this blog... à suivre as they say in Paris!!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

And (finally) the winner is...



Congratulations!
The winner was drawn randomly (I wish you all could have won!)

Thanks for stopping by. Sulea, when you've seen this, I'll send you an email so you can pick your soap :)