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1  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Game Cartridge geeky soap -- more GEEKSOAP! on: April 21, 2010 02:19:06 PM
Wanted to share some new geeky soap with you from the GEEKSOAP line. These are a big hit!

64-Bit Game Cartridge GEEKSOAP


8-Bit Game Cartridge GEEKSOAP


Handheld Game Cartridge GEEKSOAP


All of them so far...


I've currently got the 16-bit version cooling so it will be added to the mix soon Smiley

They are all 100% solid soap, which means they weigh more than the real thing! lol Smiley The 8-bit weighs 9oz, the 16-bit weighs 8oz, the 64-bit weighs 5oz, and the Handheld one weighs 1.5oz. They are scented an incredibly refreshing lime mint fragrance Cheesy

Thanks for looking Smiley
2  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / More geeky soap - Binary 3D Massage Bars! on: March 20, 2010 07:58:14 PM
I'm back with a new geeky soap invention... 3D Binary Massage Soap! I came up with the idea about 2 weeks ago and designed the custom mold myself. Then I used my custom mold to create fantastic handmade (vegan friendly!) geeky binary soap Smiley Those raised 1s and 0s are so much cooler (read: geekier) than your traditional raised massage bar design!





Thanks for looking Smiley

3  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / MP in silicone molds cloudy on bottom? on: March 11, 2010 01:41:30 PM
Hi again!

Here with a question - I've switched to some new molds -- all silicone from WSP -- and I love their size/shape/weight everything... except the soap that is poured in the bottom of the mold that touches the silicone bottom (so the "good" side when popped out) is cloudy. I spritz the soap after I've finished the mold on the top and the top ("back" side when popped out) is really clear. But that top/good side is totally cloudy and I don't know what to do about it. I've tried spritzing rubbing alcohol in the mold before pouring as well, but it doesn't seem to really help.

Any ideas? Anyone else used silicone molds for their MP soaps and been able to not have it be cloudy on the top once it's popped out? Anything I can do to remedy this... either in the prep or afterwards to make my soap nice and crystal clear again? I 've not changed soap base, but in comparison... the silicone mold looks cloudy on that one side compared to the crystal clear soap I was making in the old plastic molds. Sad

Halp!
4  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Liquid Plastic Resin in Silicone Soap Molds? on: March 07, 2010 12:56:32 PM
Hey!

I was hoping some of you smart people here would have experience with making your own molds using liquid plastic (polyester) resin in a silicone mold. I'm trying to use the resin to create a solid rectangular base with which to later embellish when I design a custom mold. I have a rectangular silicone mold to use to create this base template of the soap with.

I have tested by pouring clear liquid plastic polyester resin into a silicone mold. After it hardened, I was easily able to pop the plastic resin rectangle out of the silicone... the problem is that for some reason, the plastic rectangle isn't smooth. Is there something about using liquid plastic polyester resin in a silicone mold that does this or did I do something wrong? Is there another way to make nice smooth plastic resin casts? It wasn't that there were air bubbles along the sides or anything - while the silicone mold I poured into seems to have smooth sides, the resulting plastic resin that came out seemed textured all over instead of smooth.

Can you achieve a smooth resin piece from a silicone mold or am I dreaming?

Anyone with advice or experience that can guide me would be most appreciated! Smiley
5  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Introducing... GEEKSOAP! on: March 06, 2010 10:33:22 PM

Hello!

I've been experimenting with soapmaking for a bit and have created a geeky line of soap that I've dubbed GEEKSOAP Smiley I am obsessed with soap and can't stop thinking of new geeky soaps I want to create. I learned a lot of techniques by reading the great resource that is Craftster Smiley Here are some of my favorites that I've made so far:











As we speak I've got some new stuff in the works and am just loving everything about creating soap Smiley Thanks for looking!


6  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Red, red red on: February 22, 2010 05:22:21 AM
Hi there!

I'm somewhat new to soapmaking (MP) and I wish I had read here before hitting my local Michaels (thanks for compiling such great tutorials!) I read about colorants and things like food coloring is not okay, etc. This is probably an obvious question, but what about the colorant for candles? Of course the soap colorant from the local big box is more pink than real red.

Thanks to the sites compiled in the MP FAQ I will be ordering some red from Bramble Berry or WSP, but I was still curious.

Thanks!
7  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / DIY Batman Soap Tutorial on: June 04, 2009 11:05:46 AM
I posted this earlier over on my blog and thought I'd share it here Cheesy



DIY Batman Soap Tutorial

When I was trying to come up with a great gift idea for my good friend Michelle (whose birthday is coming up on Monday) I immediately thought of knitting her something, since of course thats the craft Ive been doing a lot of lately. I should also mention that Michelle loves Batman. (Thats kinda an important point to this story.) So then I was thinking knitting + Batman. (Awwe, knitting + Batman forever!) I came up with the idea of knitted washcloths with the Batman logo on them. And then I remembered how I made basic soaps back in university and invisioned a way to incorporate the Batman logo into the project so that I could create a Batman cloth and soap set for Michelle. So now you have the backstory, and now I can get on to the DIY part!



Materials:
First of all, lets talk about materials. I mentioned that this is very basic soapmaking. It is. Its very easy. Were talking about melt, pour and voila here, people. I made my first Batman soap last night in about 15-20 minutes, including prep time. Head on over to Michaels (or your local craft store) and find the soapmaking aisle and pick up the following items:

1. Glycerin - bricks of clear or creamy white glycerin is sold usually in 2lb plastic containers like you see in the materials photo. (Click here to see what mine looks like.) Pick up some of the clear, since you want to be able to see the Batman logo when youre done.

2. Soap coloring - this is packaged similarly to food coloring and the little bottles of color look just like it. It says its specially formulated for soap making, though, and since food coloring stains my hands and Im not sure if the color will stain your skin when you use the soap, I go ahead and pick up specially made/packaged soap coloring instead of risking food coloring, just in case. Grab a little bottle of yellow. Youll only be using a few drops per bar, so this stuff will last a long, long time.

3. Soap mold - there are likely several various plastic soap molds there in the soapmaking aisle - I just chose a plain and basic rectangular soap mold shape; approximately 4 inches wide by 2.5

4. Black foam - in the kids craft aisle I found a single sheet of black craft foam. Its around the thickness of a piece of posterboard, maybe a little thicker, for $0.99. This is what well make the logo out of.

Thats all you need from the store. You most likely already have a computer at home to grab the logo template with for printing, scissors for cutting out the logo, and a small container or liquid measuring cup to microwave and stir hot liquid soap in.  It's also recommended to grab a little spray bottle with rubbing alcohol in it. These spritzer bottles can be recycled from an old one you have at home (make sure it's been thoroughly cleaned!) or you can get a cheap one in the travel aisle of your local grocery store or Wal-Mart, for example. Rubbing alcohol can be found in the beauty/pharmacy department of your local store, too. It's commonly found with peroxide. Ok now let's get started!

Directions:
1. Print off the logo template Ive made onto regular paper. I made my logo to be around 3 inches wide x 1 inch tall so that it will fit nicely in the center of my rectangle of soap.
2. Cut out the logo carefully. Lay it on the black craft foam and trace with a pencil. It may seem like you wont be able to see the pencil lines, but trust me - you will.
3. Cut out the logo shape from the black craft foam. This is getting very Batman very quickly.
4. Open your brick of clear glycerin. Its usually scored for you so you can cut off even sized chunks. I found that one complete slice along the short side of the brick was the perfect amount for one bar of soap. See the materials picture to see where I cut mine if I dont make sense. Using a butter knife (this is where kids will need help if kids are involved!) slice off a chunk of glycerin.
5. Microwave your chunk of glycerin in a small microwaveable bowl OR liquid measuring cup. I recommend using something like your Pyrex or plastic liquid measuring cup since it has a lip that will make pouring the hot liquid soap later much easier. For the amount I sliced off, this only took around 30 seconds on high. You will have hot liquid soap in no time! Do a little Batman jig while you wait. Im not sure what a Batman jig would look like, but if you do one, please be sure to YouTube it.
6. Squeeze 5 drops of yellow soap coloring into the liquid soap and stir. I found 5 drops to be adequate to get the color I was looking for, but feel free to use more or less as desired.



7. Now pour (see why using a liquid measuring cup was recommended?) your yellow liquid soap into the soap mold BUT ONLY FILL IT HALFWAY. Reserve the remainder of the yellow liquid soap and set it aside. If you see any air bubbles in your mold, gently use a toothpick or the end of the knife you used to cut the glycerin with to swirl them out. You can also use the spray bottle of rubbing alcohol and lightly mist the surface of the soap to remove air bubbles.
8. Wait 10 minutes. You could put the mold in the fridge while youre waiting if youd like, but its not necessary. Youd be surprised at how fast this stuff hardens! This is also an excellent time to upload that YouTube vid of you doing the Batman jig from earlier.
9. The soap in the mold should be solidified enough for the next step at this point. If the reserve liquid soap has hardened during the 10 minutes (which it will have), pop it back in the microwave to re-liquify it for 15 seconds or so. Now were going to add the logo. A note on that:

Basically what youre doing is layering; creating two layers of soap and placing the foam Batman logo in between the two. You let the first layer harden enough to add the logo, then pour the remainder of the liquid soap on top and let the whole thing harden so that your logo is trapped between the two soap layers and therefore in the middle of the soap.

**FIRST** Using your mini spray bottle of rubbing alcohol, gently spritz the hardened surface of hardened layer one. This will ensure the two layers don't separate later. OK now on with the show...

10. Pour a DROP of hot liquid soap in the center of your mold, on top of the hardened first layer. This drop of liquid soap will act like glue to hold your logo in place. Gently place your logo on top of the first layer, pressing on it gently so the liquid soap spreads out and helps the logo stick to that first layer. Now gently pour the remainder of the hot liquid soap on top of the logo to fill up the mold and create the second layer. Again, if there are any air bubbles on the surface, swirl them out with a toothpick or something so that the soap hardens as smooth as possible. Again, you can also use the spray bottle of rubbing alcohol and lightly mist the surface of the soap to remove air bubbles.



Let your soap sit overnight to completely cool and harden. In the morning you will be delighted to see your finished soap! Turn the mold over and gently pop it out. Voila! You now have awesome Batman soap.

This method would work for lots of things, so use your imagination! I hope you enjoyed the tutorial Smiley And I hope Michelle loves her handcrafted Batman soap! Here is a pic of the finished soap with the washcloth. (Side note: I was unable to find a knitted dishcloth pattern of a Batman logo, but the Batty Dishcloth by BlackRayne is pretty close and looks good in yellow cotton!)



Tutorial edited 6/6/09 to add in information about using a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol to help with air bubbles in the soap and in between the layers, thanks to comments here and over on my blog with that suggestion Smiley Thanks everyone!

Oh, and here's a pic of the completed Batman gift set!

8  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Huug the Hug Monster on: March 10, 2009 07:35:09 PM
So a year ago I had this idea of a hug monster -- he'd of course have oversized arms perfect for hugging. I originally designed him for my husband and created the pattern as I went along -- adjusting stitches until I had a result that matched the vision in my head. The first Huug I created as a knitted pattern, but then a few months ago I revisited Huug and made two more... this time in crochet. And now, introducing... my "baby" .... HUUG!  (pronounced HOO-g)

Original knitted version:


Crochet version, in blue and pink:








What do you think of him? <3 thanks for looking!
9  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Custom Mahjong Set on: February 14, 2009 10:26:28 PM
I hope this is the right area to post this. Mahjong is a toy/game, so I think this is where I'd put it. Please correct me if I'm wrong or move it if needed!




 
Anyway, this was my Valentine's day present to my husband this year... a handpainted 145 tile set for the game of Mahjong.

A little backstory: a few months back, some friends of ours, Caley and Kali, (the Ckalieys) had us over for dinner and game night. They had recently been taught how to play Mahjong, and they were eager to share it with us. It was somewhat of a learning process for all of us because they were a bit rusty and hadn't had much practice. They had bought a Mahjong set and taught us to play that night. We enjoyed Mahjong a lot and look forward to playing more with them. Lucas has even been playing online lately. That's when the idea for this present hit me.



It took a lot of searching ... I was unable to find blank actual Mahjong-type tiles or anything quite the same. However, I did find that there were people out there selling blank domino tiles with holes drilled into them lengthwise to be used as "beads" for designing jewellery and such, thanks to the helpful people of Craftster. So I bought a large lot set of 350 of these blank wooden domino beads from a seller on eBay.





Once they arrived, I sorted through and picked out 145 tiles. The version of Mahjong we play is a 144 tile set with 1 extra tile to be used as the Prevailing Wind Marker. Then I set to work handpainting all 145 tiles myself, with Wikipedia's page on Mahjong with little images of the tiles as my guide. I know my characters aren't perfect, but I am really proud of the turnout. Once the faces of the dominoes were dry, I turned each tile over and then painted the backside of each orange... Lucas's favourite colour. If this was to be Lucas' custom handmade Mahjong set, I wanted it to be tailored to his likes.







Anyway, once I was done with the painting part, then I had to spend a few days using spray sealant/clear coat to give each tile a bit of extra durability and shine. The fronts and the backs, of course. Then we found this great paper-mache box at Michaels craft store (Lucas didn't know what it was for) and I painted it black on the outside and brown on the inside to be used as the storage container for all 145 completed tiles.







I still need to print off the custom instructions I put together based on Wikipedia's info, but the gift was very well liked, and I can't wait to use it the next time we play Mahjong.

There are a TON of photos -- I took lots along the way as I worked on this. To see them all, check out the photobucket album (here) ... there you'll be able to see close up photos of the different suit sets and all of the tiles, as well as "in-progress" photos.



Thanks for looking Smiley
10  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Blank Mah'Jong Tiles? on: January 23, 2009 05:14:24 PM
Hi!

I wasn't sure where to post this -- I thought maybe toys and dolls but... who knows. It seems to be mostly doll related stuff over there.  Anyway...

I want to make my own Mah'jong set. Sets contain a bunch of little tiles with certain things printed on them.  I was hoping I could find blank Mah'jong tiles -- either wooden or plastic -- out there and then I could handpaint my own custom set to give to my husband for Valentine's Day this year.  But... in searching for "blank Mahjong tiles" on google I'm not coming up with anything.  I have been racking my brain, but can't think of anything out there that is roughly the right size, etc. that are blank.  I tried searching for blank dominoes I could purchase but nothing.  Does anyone have any ideas? 

I was also thinking that perhaps is there a way you can think of that I could make the tiles myself?  I thought about making tiles out of polymer clay... but I need like 144+ tiles to be the exact same size/thickness and am starting to wonder if I'd be able to do that freehand with polymer clay.  That lead to me thinking of a mold of some kind -- maybe plaster of paris?  Pour into a mold I make and just make a bunch of tiles that way, so I'd know they'd all be the same.  Then I could paint on them and seal them with a clear coat of something.

Ahhh!  Does anyone have any suggestions?  I'd be happy with purchasing blank tiles from a game supply company (so far not having any luck finding blank ones) or even making the tiles themselves all by myself -- if I can come up with a good way to do it.  Any help or suggestions you may have that would help me create a custom Mah'jong set would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!
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