Sunday, March 30, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
ps-I think I love the science of cold process soap-making more than the actual soap-making process because I never know how a batch is going to turn out. It's usually a 50/50 chance with me. Thank goodness for M&P soap!
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Lesson to self and to others: Always read the labels!
The first product I bought is a vanilla-stabilizing M&P base from Natures Garden. This base is made with 99.5% glycerin and deodorized, double-distilled coconut oil, and Vitamin E. They actually had me at $4.25 for two pounds, but I'll take the double-distilled coconut oil. Anyhoo, I'm a little pissed at myself for buying four 2-lb slabs of this base because one, I've never tried it, and two, it's transparent (my fault for not reading the descriptions carefully.) I put a few chunks in my Pyrex cup and zap it in my microwave for about a minute, and it's now a yellow liquid. I'm slightly panicking at this point because I don't want a translucent cupcake soap, so I'm fully disclosing now that I've added a few small cubes of cocoa butter M&P soap from one of my other fave suppliers Candles and Supplies. Even after that, the soap is still too clear, but I proceed with what I have. The good news is I don't have to color this soap because it's already a light yellow. After I release the soap from my mold, I hook up some "icing" to pour over the soap. It too is also translucent. I'm not happy folks. Let's move on, shall we?
The second product I bought was from Wholesale Supplies Plus. It's a liquid additive actually called Vanilla Stabilizer. I was reading the ingredients list, and guess what it contains? Vitamin E! You simply add a tablespoon for every pound of soap. Since I'm only making one cupcake for now, I added about 2 teaspoons to 8 oz of soap. To that, I added a tablespoon of Cupcake fragrance. Yeah, yeah, it's a lot of fragrance, but I love this scent, what can I say. It literally fills my apartment with the scent of freshly-baked cupcakes. I color the soap with a tiny drop of yellow dye. My icing is used with the same soap base only I added a tiny drop of red and came out with this pinky-peach color.
Now for the test: I present 3 cupcakes: one using the vanilla-stable soap base, one using the vanilla stabilizing additive, and one using nothing. I'll post an update on Saturday to show how these soaps turned out. The soap on the left is the pre-made base. The soap on the right is my beloved cocoa butter M&P with no additives, and the soap in the back is the cocoa butter M&P with the the vanilla stabilizer added. I'm dying with anticipation to see how these turn out!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Sunday, March 9, 2008
I have not yet revealed the outcome of the SoapQuick project because I'm a little nervous, and I am feverishly trying to come up with some new products. Easter is around the corner, and I am in the lab cooking up something that I hope will turn out half-way decent. I hope to make that reveal by the middle of the week.
Speaking of Etsy, I did make my bi-weekly purchase from Noel Delights. I have not yet received my earrings and necklace from Loose Wire Studios. I convoed her, and she's been ill, so I'll give it another week. My gripe is, as a business person, if you know you are having some difficulties fulfilling an order, wouldn't you contact your client personally before they contact you? I do not know the extent of her illness, but I'm just saying......
- 64 oz of SoapQuick
- 19 oz of water
- 9.2 oz of lye
What I did was weigh out the oils in my large, plastic measuring cup. I didn't actually think it would all fit, but it did. After I weighed the oils, I poured them into my huge bowl that I've designated as my soap-making bowl. Next, I poured the lye mixture directly into the oils. Mind you, the oils are completely liquid. That's the glory of using the SoapQuick. There are no hard oils to melt. Even if I were using the traditional soaping method, I could still pour the lye mixture directly onto the solid oils without having to melt them completely. According to Old Crone's book, I could use my stick blender to help melt and mix everything. After blending the oils and lye in a few short bursts, I could see that my "soap" is starting to take shape. I've reached a slight trace at this point, and I've now added my fragrance oil (about 2 oz of Chocolate Truffle.) I'm not adding any color to the soap this time because my finished soap will darken over time due to the vanilla content. I also stopped using my stick blender at this point as once you've added your FO, you should only stir with your wooden spoon. Using the blender could accelerate trace in your soap and thicken it to the point where it's not pourable. You'd actually have to scoop it out. I've had this happen several times, and the soap turned out fine, it was just a damn mess trying to scoop it out of the bowl into the mold.
Speaking of molds, I bought a new one from my friend Julie over at Candles and Woodcrafts. I figured it was time I invested in a quality, wooden soap mold, and Julie's got a vast selection. I bought a pegged, wooden mold that would hold precisely 4 lbs of soap. I particularly like the pegged molds because the sides come completely off, and it is a bitch trying to line a soap mold-at least for me anyway. I lined the mold using freezer paper with the shiny side up. The only problem I had with the mold was getting the pegs in the holes after I lined the mold. I did leave a few out. Bad idea because I had a few leaks after I poured my mixture. With the soap in the mold, I covered the top with plastic wrap, wrapped a towel around it, then placed the wooden top over that. I did not want to set the top directly on the mold because it would have smushed down in my soap, and I wasn't about to have that!
I couldn't resist peaking at my soap after a few hours. One, I'm forever impatient, and two, I wanted to make sure I reached the gel phase which is the chemical process of your lye and oil mixture actually turning into soap. Yeah, I've reached the gel phase, and later, I'll unveil the finished product!
Thursday, March 6, 2008
- VH1 Classic-I just love Pop Up Video. It's interesting to find out the story behind the video.
- Harlequin and Silhouette Romance Novels. This sh*t never happens in real life.
- Infomercials. I love seeing who's the latest cash-strapped celebrity who'll plug just about anything for a buck or some free publo.
- Obituaries. Some are fascinating. Some make you feel like such a loser. Others make you say "What a loser."
- Surfing some of my fave gossip sites like Bossip, Concrete Loop, and Media Takeout. The readers' posts are so funny, that I need to wear a Poise Pad.
Shameless plug alert! Shameless plug alert! Shameless plug alert!
I did post some new stuff over at The Decadent Flame.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Monday, March 3, 2008
Spring is fast around the corner, and I'm whipping up some new goodies. Check my Etsy store every Saturday for new additions. Just added this week: shortcake and orange bowl candles-the perfect, quirky, unexpected gift for any Easter basket or place setting.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
I have, however, received my Lemon Bars from Noel Delights. Let me tell you: Christie does not dissapoint!!!! I swear I'm going to gain 20 pounds by summer if I keep buying her stuff, but I'm hooked! When my package arrived, it was carefully packaged, on ice, nonetheless. Of course I tore into everything, to get to the goods. Imagine my pure delight when I opened the container and found 6 ample sized squares of lemon-y goodness. Each one is drizzled in white chocolate and calling me: "Patrice, eat me." Yes, as the picture will show, there are only 5 bars left. These bars pack a powerful tart/sweet punch. They are so decadent that a few bites will really satisfy you, but if you're a pig like me, then you'll eat the whole bar. No, Christie is not on my payroll (although I wish I could afford to). I just love baked goods, and she is the bomb!!!