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1  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / When you gaze into the soap.... on: October 08, 2011 06:02:02 AM
...the soap gazes also into you?

I made this cold process pumpkin spice soap for Halloween and decided to play with color.  I was hoping for something vaguely macabre and evocative-of-Halloween-ish, and instead ended up with these little jack-o-lantern bars.

I used a standard log mold, and each "face" came out a little different.  This was the most fun (and most surprising!) time I've ever had slicing a soap!

I'm not confident I could ever pull it off again (this guy isn't, either), but they're super cute.  I'm so pleased with the way it came out!
2  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / How bad is it *really* to use expired FOs....? on: September 25, 2011 04:00:12 PM
I did a sniff test of everything in my big Box O' Smells (ug, headache day), and it all seemed fine, but I had a batch get DOS immediately and got paranoid.  Checked the labels, and some of my scents were "use by" last December.  Wahh!  Should I chuck 'em?  Tips/advice?
3  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Some winter soaps on: December 22, 2010 08:34:43 AM
Hey everybody!  Sorry I've been a little MIA--Americorps is keeping me pretty busy.  But I'm home on winter break and thought I'd share, belatedly, some winter-themed soaps I made back in October.

This is the winter version of my "Midsummer Night's Dream" soap, inspired by Robert Frost's "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening."  I love the scent of this one--fir needle, peppermint, bergamot, patchouli and tea tree EOs give it a spicy, woodsy fragrance.  Bars like this make me want to convert solely to EOs and never look back!  (Too bad bergamot is so freaking expensive....)

This one's all-natural, scented with orange, litsea, cinnamon and clove EOs and colored with red palm oil.  It's delectable, sweet and Christmassy--very much an "I want to eat this" bar.  Num!

This is my first dedicated shaving bar, and I'm mainly proud of the sheer amount of stuff in it: Magic Hat ale, pumpkin puree, shea butter, castor oil and kaolin clay.  Due to No Shave November I haven't given it a try, but, you know...  Wink  This one's scented with warm butterscotch and vanilla FOs.

And the gingerbread bar.  This baby's made with apple cider and scented with ginger, orange, cinnamon and clove EOs.

Thanks for looking! C&C welcome.
4  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / More crumbly CP deth. on: September 29, 2010 10:58:12 AM
Siggggggggggggh.  All right.  I made a batch of ginger spice soap with apple cider using my regular recipe.  I've made it before and it came out normal.  This batch (though it smells so divine) is incredibly soft and crumbly.  I can't even cut it--it just falls apart.

Has anyone else run into this?  I've been poking around online and found a potential answer (too much heat loss during stirring period).  Righto, a lesson for next time.  But what should I do with this crumbly (if oh-so-fragrant) mess?  I rebatched it and added some oils, but it's still just super crumbly.  Any thoughts?  Liquid soap, maybe? 

Thoughts, woes and advice welcome!

5  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Halloween soaps on: September 29, 2010 05:37:56 AM
I was hoping we'd have a spooky Halloween B&B challenge, but since we're not, and I still want to show off....

Halloween soap!

I'm most proud of the one on the left.  It's my first wine soap.

Made with Two Buck Chuck, of course.  I call the fragrance "wine cellar"--it's a blend of merlot, musk, blackberry and dirt* FOs.  Honestly, the boyfriend and I think it's kind of stinky.  But other people like it, so, who's to judge?
It's "Cask of Amontillado" themed, hence the weird embed... I was hoping it would look like a cell window, but instead it kind of looks like piano keys.  Eh.  Nobody's perfect.

And Frankincensinstein.  Made with chunks of recycled soap... of course.  (I wish I could say I thought of frankincense + Frankenstein myself, but it was suggested by a 12-year-old girl at a show.)

The bath bomb isn't anything special, really.  Just fang-marked for Dracula, scented with Victorian (gothic) rose.

(Though I made a matching one in glitter for Twilight.  Couldn't resist.)

Those are my silly Halloween soaps!  It was such a fun collection to make.  I'm already plotting out next year's....

C&C welcomed!

*YES I BOUGHT THE DIRT FO!!! /soap nerd
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Appa throw pillow on: September 07, 2010 06:37:11 AM
I started this back in June as a birthday present for my boyfriend, who's a huge sucker for animals.  He'd just been loaned the entire series of Avatar: the Last Airbender and had, somewhat predictably, fallen head over heels for Appa (the giant flying bison).  So I decided to make him an Appa pillow!  But then we moved, and things were hectic and so... rather belatedly....

A pic of Boyfriend hugging Appa right after I'd finished him, ostensibly for a for-scale photo.

The best thing about Appa (besides his big soft nose) is that he's 100% recycled!  Several t-shirts, men's dress shirts, and a pair of pants were sacrificed to the crafty gods... I also mauled this poor stuffed bunny to get his fur:

Poor bunny.....

Thanks for looking!
7  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Mashed potatoes...? on: August 23, 2010 11:54:30 AM
So, my mum tried making her first batch of CP.  After 48 hours or so the stuff still hadn't firmed up.  It looked like mashed potatoes.  She scooped it out with an ice cream scoop and I've actually used a bit of it since--it's normal, saponified soap (she used my recipe).  Now she's ready to make batch #2 and wants to know how to prevent getting potatoes again.  Has anyone had this problem or know what causes it?  Like I said, she used a recipe that works like a charm for me, so it's not that.  The only weirdo thing I know she did was put it out in the cold to cool off during the gel phase ("it was getting hot!") ("I know, it does that").

Thanks, all!  She keeps looking to me for answers, and I'm stumped!
8  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Bath bomb fail on: July 26, 2010 04:15:43 PM
I've tried two batches of bath bombs now using (sigh) Mare Mare's no-fail recipe.  Apparently, my bombs want to prove her wrong!  It's very rude of them... stupid bombs.

They start out nice and pretty, but then turn soft and expand a whole lot.  My first ones turned into big airy cookies.  They still fizz, but... how do I make them stay spheres? 

(I suspect the mixture is too moist.  I'm mainly confounded by the fact that I managed to mess up a no-fail recipe.  Sigh!)

9  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Playing with form and color on: July 05, 2010 12:10:57 PM
Hey, loves!  It's been a while since I posted anything new (the life! it explodes!).  But I've been experimenting a bit:

I'm super excited about this one!  It's my "A Midsummer Night's Dream" soap.  Jasmine-scented, very warm and sexy.  (Seriously.  So excited.  This is probably the most technically difficult soap I've done, and I love love love the way it came out.)

Tilted soap!  Shabow!  ("Sense & Sensibility."  It's geranium & chamomile--v. delicate & wildflowery.)

Layered swirls!  Whee!  This un's "Romeo and Juliet"--smells like roses and blood (orange).

Aaaand look who put on her big girl pants and did a batch of HP:

With beer.  Because I'm awesome.  (Patchouli, sandalwood & orange, because that combination is a winner.)

Thanks for looking!
10  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Favorite bath bomb mold? on: June 27, 2010 09:18:01 AM
What's your favorite bath bomb mold?  I was looking at a scoop from WSP, (here http://www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com/ProductDetail.aspx?CategoryID=995&ProductID=770) but wasn't sure if that was the best way to go.

As always, your thoughts are adored!
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