02 April 2007

More soap

Batch 7 unmolded & cut into bars. The swirl effect was really not as good as I thought it would be. I really thought I was overdoing it, and that the colors would just blend together. Clearly, I need a bit more wrist action. I also embedded some rosemary into the top of the bars.

The rosemary mint scent is really nice. i wonder if it will be COLD in the shower.

Batch 8: underway. Blue & purple swirl lavender scent with lavender flowers.

Soap frenzy!

Batches 4-5-6!

I'm in a swap right now, so I use this as a chance to do lots of crafty stuff. Saturday night, I made 3 more batches of soap using lime-lilac, cantelope, & honey scents. Sunday night, I made an additional batch, using a dupe of Aveda's rosemary-mint scent. All the bars I made this weekend had more coconut oil than my previous batches, and the addition of palm oil, to make them a little harder than my last 3 soaps. I didn't really sacrifice much in the way of conditioning either, which was good.

The Lime-Lilac used (in rank of highest percentage to lowest) coconut, soybean, palm, rice bran, and castor; Cantelope was olive, coconut, palm, castor (this should be a super-moisturizing bar); Honey was coconut, palm, soybean, apricot kernal, and castor; and the rosemary-mint was palm, coconut, olive, grapeseed, and castor. They all smelled SO GOOD, it's going to be a long 3-4 week wait until they are dry enough to use.

I finally had one person get back to me about the soap (my first batch) after giving away bars to about 6 or 7 people. She said it was very moisturizing and smelled good. I hate soaps that make your skin feel tight & dried out, so I'm very happy that someone commented on the performance, and that it was positive! I eventually want to sell these, so I want to know that they don't suck. ;)

I invested in a lot of new scents and a few new oils, so I will probably pump out several batches until I've used up the 5lb. bags of palm & coconut oils. They are so fast to make, that I can probably finish everything off by the end of the week! Not that I'm necessarily going to make another 5-10 batches of soap this week, BUT I COULD. I am also sorely tempted to make soap out of Crisco, just for my own amusement. I eventually want to
tubey progress
get some hemp and other fancy oils, but they are fairly expensive, so they may have to wait until I make a few dollars from this soapy enterprise.

I also am planning on making some sugar-scrubs for the shower, making lip balms (tinted & flavored!), solid perfumes, and perfumed body lotion-spray. Yes, I am a fiend. But I and all of my recipients will be moisturized and smell very nice!

On the knitting front, I've made it through a lot of my Tubey sweater. I think I have another 6-8" or so, and I should be done! The pattern called for 10 skeins of yarn, but I don't think I've used more than 4 so far. I don't think my gauge is that off--I did swatch a bit before I started; I've also tried on the shrug part which fit perfectly. I did decide to knit a size down (the XS), just because it's so stretchy, and I want a close-fitting top. Progress is a little slow, but I hope to be done before it's too warm to wear a wool-blend sweater.

ETA: Wow, I am the dumb. The yarn used in the pattern was 100yd/skein. Mine is 197yds/skein. Hah. I'm obviously a math genius!

Man, I hope those stripes line up that well when I put it on.
rsvp screen printed cards

I also did a massive amount of screen printing about a two weeks ago. I volunteered to do my friends' wedding invitations (sucker!) ages ago, and the date is quickly approaching. I ended up having to do a combination of screen printing & gocco. Since I couldn't hold any of the text with traditional screen printing, even with the fine mesh count screens (so disappointing), I had to resort to using my precious gocco. I'm so paranoid about the dwindling supply of available gocco products since its discontinuation, that I'm almost afraid to use it. Heh. The end results did turn out pretty nicely though; everyone seemed to really like them.

The background stuff (mostly some Indian designs) was printed with a pale greenish-yellow on the RSVP cards, and a pale yellow, just a few shades lighter than the paper, on the actual invitations. The paper was Stardream "Opal"--a really pretty shimmery white gold color.

The only problem I really had was that I ran out of the water-soluable screen printing ink that I had ordered online a few weeks prior. My local art supply store
screen printing
only had acrylic screen printing ink, which tends to not dry as matte, and feels a little "sticky" in comparison. It wasn't that big a deal, but I really preferred the finish from the water-soluable ink.

Once all the background inks were printed & dried, I used my gocco to print the actual text onto the cards in a green ink, which of course I don't have a picture of right now (because I was so exhausted at the time, I only managed to take 2 or 3 in-progress pictures). I did well over 110 invites and rsvp cards, printed on both sides, plus almost 200 envelopes as well... in about 1.5 days. Holy crap, my back.

Other projects on the horizon: Finally sewing the shirt that has been on my progress list for months (I guess buying fabric for it would be a good start), finish a mermaid-themed necklace that I started about a year (!) ago, sew a mini-tote bag or two with matching zippered bags, and do some t-shirt screen printing (once I can think of a funny-nerdy-cool design!).

AND I just remembered that I have about 3 boxes of conversation hearts from Valentine's Day (leftovers that I stole from work) that I'm planning on casting in resin... if and when I can find a mold, and someplace with enough ventilation to do it. I'd really like to make a giant belt buckle with them. They may end up as charms for a bracelet, though. I'm the tackiest!

I guess I like to keep busy.