My boyfriend and I rented the movie "Moonrise Kingdom" a few months ago, and since then I've been scouring town for a pair of plastic beetles to recreate a pair seen in the movie (for reference, a boy and girl run away together, and at one point he gives her a pair of earrings made from beetles and fish hooks).
Here's my attempt:
The beetles (which were originally lady bugs- the place I got them from only had one beetle on hand!) came from an educational toy store, after scouring the dollar store and party city. I painted them with a metallic acrylic paint, mixed with other colors to get the right shade, then coated with a layer of clear protective finish. I nailed a hole through their poor little heads (thankfully not too squeamish lol), and then used jump rings to attach to the earring.
Not bad for 30 minutes work all told (and endless beetle-searching lol).
The reason most of them use coconut oil is because it's hard at room temperature. Not sure how easy it would be to substitute it.
Beeswax can be found at craft stores, with the soap/candle stuff usually. You might also have luck finding some if there's someone who sells honey at a local farmer's market (assuming such things exist)- they usually have quite a bit of it, and will sometimes sell it if you ask about it.
I think I should invest in some scientist-eyeprotectors rather than rely on glasses, though
You definitely should. They're not terribly expensive (usually somewhere around 5-10$). Also, get the kind that's designed for use in a chem lab, not the ones for like woodshop and stuff, because some of them have holes along the sides (they had posters in all the chem labs where I went to college, where they put the goggles on a mannequin and splattered them with red paint. Not pretty.) Also, safety goggles are better than safety glasses.
Also, while vinegar is great to neutralize lye spilled on countertops, floors, etc, the best first aid measure is to run a LOT of water on the affected area- while it *is* basic, and acids will neutralize bases, vinegar is a weak acid and fairly dilute (usually about 5% acid), while the lye solutions used in soaping are fairly concentrated. By putting the area under running water, you dilute the base and wash it off the skin. A lower concentration of base (ie, diluted) has a less basic pH, and when a minuscule amount of base is dissolved in a lot of water, the pH of the water will be neutral.
The first aid measures given in the MSDS sheet (Material Safety Data Sheet- basically tells you how to safely handle and store a chemical) for NaOH (lye) state to flush the area with water for 15 minutes. That's probably longer than needed for a small drop or two, but make sure you've fully rinsed off the area, and remember that it's ok to be a bit too cautious. This just gives a frame of reference for how long to run water over it before you can be *sure* it's good.
Theoretically, the chemical process is the same at any altitude. The reason baked goods need special considerations is because of the gases that get trapped in them as they cook- apparently, the lower pressure causes these gases to escape, resulting in flat cakes (http://www.ochef.com/327.htm). Also, water boils at a lower temperature at low pressure, so things might not get hot enough when cooking.
Since neither of these is really an issue with soap (unless you're doing whipped soap, in which case ), it shouldn't be a problem.
Take this with a grain of salt- I'm a chemist but have not yet made soap. (It's on the list, but I'm a bit overzealous with my background research.)
I just got a new old sewing machine (a Kenmore from the early 70's, series 158 model 1410 (or something like that)) from the thrift store, and having made sure it actually *works*, I need to find a manual for it, so I can clean it up and oil it and such, and so I can figure out how to use it (my mom usually knows how to do that stuff, but I'm now living in a different state). Anyone have a favorite place to get manuals from?
I also learned from a book. My grandmother taught me how to crochet, but I forgot shortly after learning. With a book, I could stare at the pictures and copy what they were doing, and I could refer back to it.
I'd suggest checking out your local library, they usually have learn-to-crochet books. Internet tutorials and youtube, etc, are also good suggestions. It really just depends on how you learn best.
My mother is allergic to wool. As a result, I grew up using acrylic yarn because that's what we had in the house (and also, we had a huge stash of some kind of acrylic/rayon/nylon something or other baby yarn that was really soft and tangled something FIERCE). I have only recently branched out into "real" fibers (I haven't tried actual wool, only wool-ease, but I HAVE tried cotton!), and that being what is available at the local "big box" craft store, since there aren't any yarn stores in the area.
There's nothing wrong with acrylic. But save yourself the pain of using Red Heart Super Saver, which I have found to be rather inconsistent in squeaky-ness: some colors are rough and icky, others are perfectly fine, and some seem to have parts that are rough and others that are not. I much prefer Caron Simply Soft.