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1  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Chigarden Handmade Soap (Step by Step; image heavy) on: December 03, 2005 05:04:06 AM
all the ingredients gathered up; minus the water. which i have sitting in the sink as it's ice water.
it's important to note that measurements are down to the tenth of an ounce,
otherwise you'll have excess lye or oils! hence the lovely digital kitchen scale. Smiley

mixed together the lye and water and put it in an ice bath.

the lye + water solution heats up a considerable amount. for this soap, it hit 150 degrees farenheit.

the solid oils into the stainless steel pot first.

solid oils melting! melting!

when melted, add liquid oils and remove from heat.

lye solution has cooled to 100 degrees, as has the oils.

time to mix the two together. stirring until reaching a light trace.

stilllll stirring. love!for the stick blender. makes it go by so much faster than hand stirring.

a light trace, added the ground green tea and mixed in. then added some essential oils, how about eucalyptus and tea tree. Smiley

poured into the mold. yes, that is a kitty litter pan lined with freezer paper. Tongue

turn a carboard box upside down over mold, insulate with old towels. Smiley a detergent case from work fits perfectly over the kitty litter pan. Tongue

cut soap. (19 hours of time to saponify and begin curing.) finished cuts: 67! Smiley

a note on lye: lye -can- be very dangerous. many recommend wearing safety equipment when using lye in homemade soap-making, as the chemical reaction does create an IMMENSE amount of heat. others also suggest mixing the lye and water outside because the reaction also lets off fumes. i mix under my stove's ventilation fan and i do -not- wear safety gear because it makes me feel more likely to be a klutz. i do keep a bottle of vinegar on hand in case of lye burns for immediate care, if it came down to it.

terminology & information:
saponification: the chemical reaction that occurs when fats/oils interact with a strong alkali. the alkali in this case would be sodium hydroxide, or in other words, lye. and the fats and oils range from recipe to recipe. the fats/oils used in this recipe are grapeseed oil, canola oil, coconut oil, and vegetable shortening. through saponification, the lye and oils become soap and glycerin. water is mixed with the lye as a carrier, as lye is a powdered substance. there is no remaining lye in homemade soap! modern soap that is found in the grocery store is mass-produced in factories and does have a small amount of excess alkali to it. also, modern commercial soap also has most of it's naturally-occurring glycerin removed so it can be sold as a separate commodity (less bang for the buck.) The great thing about homemade soap using the traditional methods of cold-process soap making is that the glycerin remains in the soap, keeping the natural moisturizing properties.

gel phase: a phase during early saponification where the soap melts and gels from the center outward. it turns semi-translucent, sort of like Vaseline, and starts to produce heat. the heat is a byproduct of saponification, and it also helps speed it along, so generally, gel stage is good (unless you're making a milk soap or something where you're worried about the color). usually it gels from the inside out, and unless you have a lot of soap, it won't gel all the way to the edges (because the edges are cooler than the inside, so they won't heat up enough to gel even while they're saponifying). you can help your soap gel by insulating it, which for most people takes the form of wrapping a blanket or towel around the mold to help retain heat. soap batches that go through the gel phase are only different from those that don't by their end process texture. gel phase soap tends to be creamier and more even.

curing: the phase after saponification where soap is left in a dry, ventilated area to dry out. leftover water from the lye and water mixture is left behind in the soap. curing airs out this water and causes it to evaporate, creating a harder longer lasting bar of soap. without curing, a bar of soap is softer. i'd compare fresh cut/no cure soap to the softness of cheese. easy to cut, but no good for washing with unless you want the whole bar to wash away in one use!

trace: the phase during early saponification where a trace can be seen in the lye/fats mixture. the best way to define a trace is if you can move a spoon or stick blender through the surface of the soap and see a trace behind your movement in the soap, ta-da: trace. the thicker the soap, the heavier the trace. when soap traces, it's normally time to add your extras and get it poured out before it thickens too much!
2  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / My first attempt at handmaking journals... {New, too! &oh, image heavy!} on: November 16, 2005 05:16:39 AM
Both are recycled fabrics, mixed papers. The orange/yellow one has orange/yellow printed & blank pages, while the flowery one has pink, blue, green, & yellow mixed papers. I alternated pages that it goes printed, blank, printed, blank, etc. Smiley This was kind of a what the hay, give it a go project; I've never read a thing on bookbinding so I think they turned out pretty good in retrospect. XP




ahh; and these are some cards I made for the holiday season. Cheesy


By the way, hihi! I'm new to Craftster! Tongue
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