Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Soap, Birdies, and Lip Balm

Yup.  Yup.  Paul knew I'd get hooked and obsessed on a new hobby, SPECIALLY after being invited to Jeni's house for a few hours of soap-making the other night.

Yesterday, I read.  I researched.  I learned.  I shopped.
Ingredients for first batch:
(These are ONLY the ingredients and container sizes I purchased.  These are NOT the amounts for the recipe!)
With a small nudge in the right direction from Jeni, I found 100% lye at the local ACE hardware.  454 grams - $4.49

*Olive Oil*
Weight not given;  only liquid volume (101.4 fl oz / 3L) - $19.99
After the fact, I didn't focus on liquid measurement as I poured;  recipe is based on weight.  In order to get a cost analysis, I GUESS I'll just have to make another batch soon and pay attention to volume :D

*Coconut Oil*
Again, weight not given;  only liquid volume (14 fl oz / 414 mL) - $7.89

*Distilled Water*
Recipes recommend using distilled water, and since we have hard water that goes through a softener, this wasn't even a second thought!  Gallon purchased - $0.83.  Used a cup-ish or so.  MINOR COST!

And YES -- for my first batch, I tried Anne L. Watson's Yogurt Parfait Soap (complete recipe can be found in her Milk Soapmaking book) 
The yogurt I already had on-hand:  Low-Fat Vanilla.  The recipe didn't even require a whole lil' single serving -- so... $0.40 for that.  Another MINOR COST!  And who knew you could make soap with yogurt?!?!

For my first soaping experience, I wanted to play it safe and follow a published recipe.  The yogurt and water were mixed up bright and early at 6AM and placed into ice-cube trays.  They were ready for me by the time I returned from dropping the girls off at summer school.

I behaved first, though!  All the dishes and kitchen counters were cleaned before starting, all the while thinking about some videos and websites visited yesterday.  One in particular:  DIY Natural Coffee Soap.  Ummm...hello!!!!  LOVE coffee, right?!?!

SO, even though the recipe was followed as written...
the final step was altered JUST a wee bit.   There are no pictures, as the hands were a bit too busy, nor was anyone else home at the time.
The 'batter' was divided, setting about 1/3 of the mixture aside.  Roughly, 1/4 cup coffee grounds was added to the 1/3 mixture.  10 g of Vanilla oil fragrance was also added;  it's all I had on-hand.  EXTREMELY light scented soap.  *shrug*.  It's all good;  just for us, after all.

The two mixtures were swirled together, although, I don't think it'll turn out to be a 'true soaper's swirl.'  Again....all good here!  ;)
Nothing fancy used as the molds...

Have you ever had Bridgford Monkey Bread?  YUMMMMM!  Well, this lil' mold right here is the container the bread comes in.  Great lil' repurposing, me thinks!!!

The other??  Just one of those salad/donut plastic containers that deli's give out to customers.  
And yes----Cassie was arriving home just as I was finishing the pour.  She saw this container, and said...."Oooooh!  What's this??"
"Whatever you do, DO NOT EAT IT!!!!!"
She went on to say 'ah, good thing you said something.  It certainly looks like a yummy pudding."
To be sure no one else may fall into the "it looks good enough to eat" trap, she labelled it with the warning before we moved the molds into the freezer.
It's been about 6 hours; the first 4 hours in the freezer, and now the soap has moved into the fridge to continue setting.
First batch of Vanilla Yogurt and Coffee soap -- check!

Three week UPDATE:  
The next day after cutting the soap, and being concerned from an 'off' odor, like spoiled milk, I began researching a method for rebatching soap.  Plus, my soaping mentor dropped off one of her old, small 2lb molds she no longer uses!!!
Read up on the rebatch...
And come to find out... that odor was nothing to be concerned with.  One lil' bar was kept, while the rest went into the rebatch.  The odor is no longer present... and the bar received its test-run this AM.
Lathered and bubbled nicely;  no burning.  After placing it in the soap holder and picking it back up a minute or two later, there was almost a slime-like appearance to it, but after another 10 minutes of drying, it was back to a muted, solid bar of soap.
back to three weeks ago....
As I was placing the molds into the freezer, a lil chirping noise caught my attention, but I ignored it.
Hours later, when I went to move the molds into the fridge, I heard the sound again, in the same location.  It didn't sound like a mouse.  It didn't sound like a cricket, either.
Pinpointing the sound, behind one of Paul's ladders.....

Baby birdy!!!!  Oh, I must have stood there for a few minutes, wondering what to do.  If I tried to grab it, would it fly away?  Is is big enough to fly away?  How on earth did it get in here?  The garage door had been closed.  I reached for it slowly; it didn't even flinch and came rather uneventfully into my hand.
NOW what to do with it?  **shrug** I'm no bird expert.  Is it too small to survive without the mom?  **shrug**
Simple solution:  Place it on the handrail and watch it.  LOL

Well, I'll be!!!!!!  I head over the tomato section of the handrail...... do you see?!?!?!!?  CLEARLY a sibling was in my tomato pot (left birdy --  the right birdy is the only I released).  Within minutes, both of them hopped out and flew off.  Good luck lil' birdy!

Ho hum.  Researching soap recipes for much of the afternoon :D.  Browsing Amazon.com.  Browsing Bumbleberry.com.  Playing with the Soap/Lye calculator at Soapcalc.net.

Then, I was inspired to see what could be made with our beeswax.


MOM!  What's this?  REALLLLY?  You MADE lip-balm???  You can MAKE lip-balm????

LOL.  Yup.  Played around with a little sample size of lip balm.  More playing required.
Simple recipe tried:
1 Tbsp beeswax
1 Tbsp Coconut oil
1/2 tsp honey
2 drops essential oil (I only have Lavender on-hand.)
Eh.  The lavender wasn't bad as lip balm, but a MINT oil would be so much nicer!!! Spearmint!!! Oh yes. 
Off to shop!  And play with some more batch trials.  The honey seems to be 'escaping' the oils/butters.  I may need to decrease it.

want some?
Oh.  Yeah.  The sample-size container used??  An old Altoids tin :D


beccaabug said...

I can remember my mom making lye soap, when someone butchered, she would use the fat, usually from pigs. She would melt it down and use that for the oil. Then she would grate it and we used it for laundry soap. We never used it for face or hands.

Me and My Stitches said...

What a fun day of trying new things! We have bees, and I would like to find a good recipe for lip balm and maybe some other things with wax and/or honey. We are selling bees wax when we vend at quilt shows now - so many people love it for thread conditioner, it's been fun to hear other beekeeper stories!

JB said...

What an exciting new adventure! I love Caitlyn's expression. I also love her shirt! Lol

Judy D in WA said...

I love this! So much, I love this!!! Soap, lip balm, what's next??? ;)

The other day I saw some lip balm at the farm store only because of the name. 100% free range chicken poop ™ lip junk I bought 2.