Finished

October Means Halloween

It seems we have a tradition started. Living in an apartment doesn’t give Kristen and the kids much room, or a place, for pumpkins. Last year, she and the kids brought their pumpkins here and carved them. Yesterday, we repeated that event.

They picked up their pumpkins from a local grower and brought them over here for carving while I was finishing up another batch of soap.

A fun and productive afternoon was had by all.

Categories: Blogging, Finished, Garden, Just stuff, No Knitting, Soap | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It Ends Now

Well, it sort of ends now. Today is the last day to get your comments in (on the blog, not on Facebook); I’ll be making the draw for 6 soap samples tomorrow.

soapsamples

Test pieces for some of my soaps… don’t they almost look good enough to eat?

It’s a long weekend here in Canada; we celebrate Thanksgiving on Monday. We will not be doing the “turkey thing”; I’d rather have a nice quiet weekend without the hectic busyness of cooking a full turkey dinner. That’s not relaxing at all, thankyouverymuch! I was thinking of putting together a big pan of lasagna, to be honest. Not very Thanksgiving-ish, is it? Certainly decadent, though!

I have every intention of filling the weekend with knitting related stuff. I have a book on the iPod (The Confessor by Daniel Silva) and a couple of projects on the needles; I am ready to relax!

First though, John’s slippers are finished… the knitting and the felting, although I will have to throw them back into the washer to felt a little more. For some reason, one slipper felted more than the other.

Johnslippers

My washer isn’t the best one out there, that’s for sure. I get lint on everything, and I do mean everything! I’m leery of washing anything white because I’ll end up with dark lint streaks on it; I’m afraid of washing anything dark because I end up with light lint streaks all over it. It’s rather frustrating, to be honest. In the case of the slippers, though, at least we can brush the lint off.

Because John’s slippers are finished, I’ve allowed myself to start his sweater. I’ve gone through one ball of yarn so far and that’s just knitting a few rows each evening while watching a show or two on the computer (we don’t have a tv… by choice).

HL1

The stitch pattern is an easy one to memorize and read and, as you can see, knits up fairly quickly. The yarn feels really nice in the hand and makes a cozy fabric. I don’t think he’ll be at all disappointed with this cardigan. I’m already a little jealous.

I also have another small project on the needles. I’ve decided I like having a face cloth on the go; they’re the perfect small project – they knit up fairly quickly, even with fine yarn, and they’re a usable little item. I don’t especially like using them in the kitchen but I do like using them on my face.

whitefacecloth

This time, I’m using Paton’s BumbleBee baby cotton, a 100% cotton, DK weight, that I do believe has been discontinued (yup… just checked; it was discontinued in 2005… and, yes, I’ve had it that long!). It’s a very soft cotton, nice to work with and knits up beautifully. I have about a half dozen or so balls of it so there will be a few of these face cloths in my linen closet before too long, or they’ll be given as gifts, accompanied by a bar or two of handcrafted soap.

Speaking of soap, I don’t think there will be any soap making this weekend; I’m out of coconut oil and I’m waiting for an order of a couple of items to arrive from Voyageur Soap & Candle in Vancouver. I could just run out and pick up some more coconut oil but soaping isn’t high on my priority list this weekend.

Categories: Blogging, Cardigan, Contest, Finished, John's Sweater, Knitting, Making Soap, Slippers, Soap | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ah, the Weekend!

And I’m feeling like it’s already getting away from me. There are so many things I want to do but, so far, not much is getting done. Well, I shouldn’t really say that. After all, I did make a small test batch of soap for myself (using 12 ounces of oils) and I did get some shopping done, including the purchase of a cake for a certain someone’s 60th birthday on Monday (but you didn’t hear it from me).

001

When I say a small batch, I do mean a small batch. I bought a small carton of milk so I could have milk with my tea at work. Once it was empty, I washed out the carton and brought it home for this very reason. That makes about four bars worth of soap. The soap inside…

002

…is a recipe I designed as a face soap, with lots of moisturizing, pampering oils (like cocoa butter, rice bran oil, coconut oil, and olive oil). The colorant is spirulina, which turns the soap a lovely shade of green. Right now, it’s still too soft to remove from the carton but I’m itching to get it out and see how the swirling worked out. To create the swirl, I used about one quarter of the soap batter, incorporated the spirulina into it, and poured it back into the soap pot before pouring the whole batch into the carton. I’ve scented the soap with the last of my sandalwood essential oil (there wasn’t much left).

I’ve also blind baked a pastry shell for the quiche we’re having for a birthday lunch tomorrow. And I’ve cleaned out the fridge.

003

Lunch tomorrow will be Quiche Lorraine. I decided to blind bake (bake ahead of time) the pastry so it’s one thing I won’t have to do tomorrow. I did have a nice fluted edge on the pastry but that kind of melted. Oh well, it’s all in the flavour, right?

Still on the slate for today or tomorrow… finish John’s slippers. I got absolutely nothing done on them this past week. Two soles… that’s all I have left to do. In my defence, we did have company this week and the slippers take a good deal of concentration. I did do some knitting, though.

005

The checkerboard face cloth is off the needles and I’ve started one of the ubiquitous garter stitch face cloths. I much prefer it in the finer yarn, to be honest. The chunkier ones are fine for dish cloths and such but for a face cloth, I do like the texture and feel of the finer yarn. Plus, it’s mindless knitting… never a bad thing.

Well, this post is taking a lot longer to write than I’d anticipated. It’s now Sunday morning and I’m already thinking about what needs to get done before Kristen and the kids get here for brunch.

While they were out rollerblading yesterday, I made another batch of soap. This one is a hemp soap.

007

I love the colour! This morning, I’ve unmolded and cut it and I’m really happy with it. I’ve tried lathering up a small end cut and it lathers beautifully. I really think I have a winner with this one. I wasn’t sure what to scent it with so I’ve left it unscented; I don’t mind unscented soaps, especially if it’s something I’ll be using on my face.

005

And the Spirulina soap, out of the milk carton and cut?

003

I’m really pleased with the way the swirl came out. I haven’t tried lathering this one yet but I am definitely looking forward to trying it.

Now…. time to do some prep on our brunch. Quiche Lorraine coming up. I’ll tell you about John’s new (upcoming) cardigan another time.

Categories: Baking, Blogging, Contest, Cooking, Finished, Just stuff, Making Soap | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sandie, This One’s For You

When I started posting about the soaps I’m making, Sandie commented that I should make a chocolate soap. I listened, Sandie (so to speak… how do you “listen” to a written comment?). I’ve just been waiting for the perfect recipe. Well, I found it.

Voila! Double Chocolate Soap…

2xchocolate1

Unfortunately, it doesn’t smell like chocolate because I couldn’t find any chocolate fragrance oil. It is, though, two shades of chocolate and does include some real chocolate among the oils. The darker layer is coloured with Dutch process cocoa powder while the top layer is just the oils with semi-sweet chocolate.

I was attempting to do something called a pencil line – a thin line of another colour – but it didn’t work very well. You can see it but barely; this bar has the most visible line of all of them. Often, it’s done with a sprinkling of cocoa over one layer of soap with another layer poured on top of it. Apparently, I didn’t use enough of the bronze mica powder I was using. I know for next time.

Last night, after cutting the chocolate soap, I also cut the swirl soap. It was still pretty soft and I probably should have left it for another day but…. well, I’m impatient and I really wanted to see how it turned out.

swirl_cut

I’m satisfied. It isn’t perfect but I do like the look of it. Unfortunately, you can see that the colorant didn’t get evenly dispersed in the oil I used to blend it. I used a small wire whip to mix the oil and the colorant; I should have used more oil, I think, or spent more time getting it thoroughly mixed. Lesson learned. On the whole, though, the technique was fun. I’ll use a different recipe next time, though; this soap, after almost 48 hours is still very soft and will take a good long time to cure.

Today, there will be no soap making… I have been told (it’s okay, I hadn’t planned on making any today, anyway). Today, we will be making REAL french fries… fried in beef tallow. Which John doesn’t mind buying, now that he knows that our local butcher carries rendered beef tallow. Which I like using in soap. Which makes THE best french fries ever. That is a win/win in my book.

potatoes-3-1483281-639x852

Categories: Blogging, Cooking, Finished, Just stuff, Making Soap, No Knitting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

September Already

It seems that summer has taken its leave. The weather has suddenly turned cooler and wetter. That’s very good news for the British Columbia/Washington State fire situation; if I’m not mistaken, all of the fires burning around here are now under control and a campfire ban has been lifted. Our skies are clear of smoke; they’re not clear, though. It’s still overcast but it’s regular clouds, rain clouds, not smoke. This doesn’t mean winter’s on its way yet; September and October can still be very warm around here; it does mean that autumn crops are coming on strong! Apparently, the farmers growing pumpkins have them ripening far ahead of their usual season.

Around here, life is interesting. There have been a few changes around the yard, nothing I need to share but it is definitely more quiet (a welcome change, to be sure) around here.

Trinity and Ethan were here last night while Mom had a much needed night off. They’ve been (and are) outside with their roller blades, trying not to fall, and avoiding the rough patches on the road (we live on a fairly quiet street so I’m not worried). So far, there have been a few tears but no major injuries, thankfully.

One of my co-workers let me know this week that I’ve become obsessed with soap making; you know what? She’s right. I made another batch before I left for work yesterday, in addition to the batch I’d already made this week.

This is a soap from Anne L. Watson’s lovely little book “Milk Soapmaking”, which was available on Amazon at no charge. As the name of the soap suggests, it’s made with yogurt! I’m surprised at the array of ingredients that can be used in making soap.

Yogurt Parfait sliced

I wanted to be able to tell, at a glance, which soap is which, so I coloured this one with some blue colorant that I still had from my lotions and potions making days. I didn’t want a solid colour so I mixed some of the colorant with a bit of the oil and coloured half the soap batter, which I then swirled back into the uncoloured mixture before pouring into the mold. I love the result.

This one has also been scented. In this case, I used a blend that I’ve used in the past as part of a muscle rub – equal parts of ginger, juniper, rosemary, and peppermint essential oils. Now that it’s curing, the scent is amazing; the peppermint is definitely there and the remainder blend very nicely with the mint, making it an almost masculine scent.

The one I made yesterday is also from one of Anne L. Watson’s books, “Smart Soapmaking” (also free on Amazon). This one is the Almond Facial soap, made only with liquid oils (just how many people do you know who just happen to have fractionated coconut oil lying around?). I wasn’t sure what colour to make it because, again, I want to be able to tell at a glance which is which, and decided on pink and purple, simply because those are the other two colorants I have on hand.

Mermaid soap 1

This soap took a lot longer to solidify than any of the soaps I’ve made so far; I think it’s because of the fact that there are no solid oils (fats or butters) in it. The colours are amazing and it makes me think of a mermaid’s tail, with the swirling pinks and purples that Trinity loves so much. Because the soap is still a touch sticky on the top, I decided to take it a step further.

Another item I have left from my lotion making days is some opalescent cosmetic grade glitter, very fine, very sparkly, and very Trinity! Before I let her cut it, I sprinkled some of the glitter on the soap and we now call it Mermaid Soap. The wavy cutter only adds to the mermaid feel, don’t you think?

Mermaid soap

As for my knitting, the face cloth is about two inches from being finished. I’m hoping to have it finished this weekend but we’ll be taking Kristen and the kids to the I.P.E. That stands for Interior Provincial Exhibition, the longest running exhibition in British Columbia. That will take care of tomorrow. Monday is Labour Day, though, and I’m off; perhaps I’ll have time to finish it then… and immediately cast on for another one.

Now, I’m rambling so I’d best go finish up the breakfast dishes and get this day going. Happy Labo(u)r Day to all!

8_ribbons

 

Categories: Blogging, Finished, Just stuff, Knitting, Making Soap, The Weather | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Gift Knitting

As I mentioned yesterday, giving soap as a gift is nice but, really, there should be something to go along with the soap. Wouldn’t you agree?

007

To that end, I found a ball of fingering weight cotton that I’d purchased at the thrift store a few years ago and decided to cast on for a face cloth. Now, this isn’t going to be your regular Cream ‘n Sugar cotton dish/face cloth. Oh no, this is, after all, fingering weight. And I’m working this face cloth on 2.25 mm circular needles. This is a work of love!

The stitch pattern is one I came up with years ago. As a matter of fact, I posted about it on my earlier blog, in 2007. You can see that post here.

How long will it take to knit this one face cloth? I have no idea but over the course of Saturday afternoon, I managed to knit approximately two inches (I figure it will need 8″ for sure), and that was with numerous breaks because of wrist pain. Let’s just put it this way – the person lucky enough to receive this face cloth had better appreciate it! 😉

If you’re interested, you can download the pattern by clicking the link: Waffle Face Cloth. I’ll also post a link to it on my new page…. Patterns. You’ll see it at the top right hand corner of this page.

Yesterday, I decided to do a little bit of experimenting seeing as I still had half a tub of tallow. I found a small batch recipe for experimenting with. There were three options on the page – 100% tallow soap, 100% lard soap, or 50/50 tallow and lard. I chose the latter option. Then, I started playing.

Instead of a water/lye mix, I chose to use some of the goat’s milk that I still have in the freezer. I also decided to colour one half of the soap with some FD & C yellow that I still have on hand from lotion making years ago and scented the yellow with lemon essential oil. To help with exfoliation, I also threw in a teaspoon or so of poppy seeds.

In the other half, I added about half a tablespoon of bentonite clay, which is supposed to help with creating later and helps to detoxify the skin (if you believe in all that).

LemonPoppyseed Soap

This was how it looked after pouring it all into the mold (it only filled half the mold, which is just what I wanted). Looks almost good enough to eat, doesn’t it? (Except for the fact that I can’t stand custard.)

I unmolded it this morning and cut it into slices a little later. The colour is darker than I had anticipated and will, I know, lighten up a bit but it still isn’t a pretty shade of yellow. The scent, however, is very nice, fresh and lemony.

002

It will, I think, be a good wake up soap. Even though I’m tempted to try more soaps right now, it’s time to stop… at least for this week. I’ve been doing a lot of reading, a lot of researching and for someone who failed chemistry in high school, I’m finding it all very fascinating and there’s so much more I want to try.

Incidentally, I do intend to repost a bunch of my patterns in time. I’ve removed all of them from Ravelry because I simply don’t have the time or energy to make sure they’re 100% correct and/or answer all of the questions I get about them. However, I know that most of the patterns were fine but need reformatting… just to make them prettier. Eventually. 

Categories: Blogging, Cooking, Finished, Knitting, Making Soap | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Just A Little Bit Addicted

Ok, you could make the case that I’m just a little bit addicted to this whole soap making thing. In the past three weeks, I’ve made seven (yes, seven… what of it?) batches of handcrafted soap.

Let’s see… there’s Coconut Milk Soap, Castile Soap, Honey and Oat Soap, Lavender Goat’s Milk Soap, Shaving Soap, Java Jump Start, and, as of last night, Borax Soap. Just what is Borax Soap, you might ask?

Well, for one, it’s a pure white soap that contains borax (no surprise there) and beef tallow. Yes, you read that correctly… beef tallow. For those of you who might be scratching your heads wondering what beef tallow is, it’s just like lard (rendered… or melted… pork fat) except that it’s rendered beef fat. Just do a Google search for “beef tallow” and you’ll come up with all sorts of reasons it should be part of your life, whether ingesting it or putting it on your skin. It really is a healthy fat, especially if you’re getting grass fed beef fat.

Tallow soap is one of the hardest soaps you can make, not difficult… hard. It’s a beautiful snowy white and, apparently, lasts and lasts. I know it sure set up quickly. Trinity and I put the soap together after dinner last night and at about 1:30 a.m. (why, yes, I WAS still awake!), I took it out of the mold. When I got up this morning (at 6:30 a.m… that was a good night’s sleep…. not!), I cut it into bars and put it away to cure.

Tallow soap

My first impression when I unmolded it was that it looked like a giant block of lard. At this point, I could have already cut it and it had only been in the mold for about 5 hours.

Tallow soap3

Borax Soap, in the cabinet for curing

I can’t tell you how good it feels when I peek into my spare room and, now, into this cabinet and see all this lovely soap just waiting to be used and shared.

Soapsoapsoap

I’ve already started using (and sharing) some of the Coconut Milk Soap and I can report that I love it. It has a smooth creamy lather and feels really nice on the skin. Obviously, after only a couple of weeks, it’s still a bit soft and will benefit from sitting longer but I’m thrilled with it.

Part of the fun of making these soaps, too, is the learning process. In doing some reading, I’ve discovered that my Honey Oatmeal soap “gelled” too fast, almost “volcano-ing” (that’s when the saponification process goes too quickly, basically cooking the soap… from what I understand). That’s not a bad thing as it helps deplete the lye more quickly. I’ve already sampled a bit of this soap and can report that it’s very nice, too.

Of these, two are my soaps: the white one (see how white it is??) and the brown one (Honey and Oatmeal) to the left of it. The rest are soaps I've purchased.

Of these, two are my soaps: the white one (see how white it is??) and the brown one (Honey and Oatmeal) to the left of it. The rest are soaps I’ve purchased.

This morning John commented, “You’re making Christmas presents, right?” Um…. yes, I suppose so. I can’t just hand out bars of soap, though (can I?). So…. I decided that I should knit some face cloths. That would accomplish two things: one, I’ll have something to give with the bars of soap and two, I’ll be working down some of my cotton stash.

Stay tuned… I should have enough knitting done by tomorrow to have something to blog about.

 

Categories: Blogging, Finished, Just stuff, Making Soap | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Soap Making, Part 2

We woke up to a very smoky sky here in Kelowna. From my reading online, a lot of people were under the, thankfully, mistaken impression that Kelowna was on fire. As I say, thankfully there are no fires within our immediate vicinity. Unfortunately, the smoke is coming from the Stickpin fire, burning across the border in Washington state. That fire is now threatening to move into BC and it’s being watched carefully by both British Columbia and Washington State fire officials.

001

This picture doesn’t quite capture the redness of the sun. It was quite the surprise to step outside and see a red sun up in the sky. We were even able to look at it with binoculars and could very clearly see solar flares on the sun’s surface. It was a truly unique experience. How often do you get to look directly at the sun and not hurt your eye? The smoke, however, is extremely unpleasant. The radio has been warning that outdoor activities should be limited while the air is as smoky as it is. To be honest, it’s affecting me a little; my nasal passages are stinging and… it stinks!

My soap making adventures are continuing and, I have to tell you, it’s almost addicting. Once you’ve made one batch, you start looking at recipes and wonder what this recipe would be like, or that one…. That’s exactly what’s been happening. After last week’s three batches, I’ve made another two batches this week.

The first batch I made yesterday is a bit of a riff on a recipe I found online. It’s a shaving soap for the men (and possibly the women) in my life (not that there are a lot of them.. men, that is). It’s based on this recipe. I didn’t have all of the oils in the recipe and I certainly didn’t want to make 5 lbs of shaving soap. That’s a lot of soap! Using a lye calculator I found online, I altered the recipe to make a smaller (approximately 2 lbs) batch using ingredients I had on hand. I only had to buy a pound of shortening (which includes palm oil and can be substituted 1:1 for said oil).

In the photo, it’s the loaf of soap in the foreground. It’s a little on the dark side right now but as it cures, it will become lighter, like the bits stuck on the paper in the extreme foreground.

Shave and Goat Milk

The second loaf of soap is one that I’ve been wanting to make since I first came across the recipe on Pinterest. The recipe is Nana’s Lavender Goatmilk Soap and it smells amazing! Even though I made this loaf about eight hours after the shave soap, it’s already much harder. I have a feeling this will be a hard, long lasting soap. It, too, should lighten up quite a bit with drying. If you read the recipe at all, you’ll see that it contains powdered lavender flowers in addition to lavender oil. I just happened to have some of that, left over from my cream and lotion making days. It’s nice to be able to use up some of the stuff I still have on hand.

This morning, I cut both loaves into bars… 9 of each; each loaf measures 8.75″ and I cut them into 1″ bars, leaving one slightly smaller bar. I’m even thinking of cutting some of the Lavender Goatmilk bars in half as they’re fairly large bars. It might help make the soap last a little longer, too, although that could just be perception.

Shave and Goat Milk2

Now, there’s just one more soap I’d like to try. This one, which is also the featured image for this post. Can you imagine the scent? Coffee, along with ginger, cinnamon, clove, patchouli, and sweet orange?? It would be like chai meets breakfast (coffee and orange juice?)! The coffee grounds in the soap help to provide exfoliation and/or scent removal (garlic? fish?) in the kitchen. And it looks like a fun technique. Maybe next week.

Edited to add: I did make the Java Jumpstart Soap this afternoon. Tomorrow, I’ll have an idea of how it turned out. It’s my very first attempt at mixing colours. For now, my soaping has come to a halt (we’ll see how long THAT lasts!); I probably have enough soap to last me the rest of my life even though a few bars have already been earmarked as gifts for family members and friends.

In the comments on last week’s post, I asked if anyone knew where I might be able to find lye (not that I’ll need any more for a long time); after phoning my local Home Hardware store, I found out that they carry it (in Aisle 5, thank you very much). Question asked and answered. Coincidentally, had I really looked at the container my mother gave me so many years ago, I would have seen that it, too, had come from Home Hardware.

Categories: Blogging, Finished, Making Soap, No Knitting, The Weather | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Frogged

Well, the Little Arrowhead Cardi has been frogged. I did stop in at both yarn shops here in Kelowna on Saturday. Art of Yarn carries the Butterfly Super 10 cotton but the colour I need has, it seems, been discontinued and, therefore, no longer available. Kelowna Yarn and Needlecraft doesn’t carry it at all.

Considering I would need approximately three skeins, I decided I would be better off to frog it and use the yarn for something else. (Frogging, incidentally, for those of you who don’t knit, simply means taking your knitting apart, unravelling it; it comes from rip it, rip it, rip it, similar to the sound a frog makes.) Ethan and I had great fun ripping and rewinding the yarn. That was Saturday afternoon.

In the meantime, I cast on for a little hat, one I designed years ago, while working at Art of Yarn. The Lacy Cantata Hat is a lacy, close-fitting cap designed to be knit in a DK weight cotton and will fit most. At the time, I used a yarn called Cantata (the cap used exactly one ball of the Cantata); the Butterfly Super 10 is the same weight. A lot of people mistake the stitch for crochet but it IS knitted. It’s a quick knit and it’s a cute little hat, perfect for spring, summer, and fall… and it looks very “hippy”!

002

I’ll try to get pictures of Trinity wearing it this coming weekend. I think it’s something she might like. It would be fun to dress it up a little, too.. perhaps a fun pin, a crochet flower? I might even make up a few and put them up for sale on my soon-to-be-up-and-running Etsy page.

I may also rewrite the pattern, update it a little. Maybe. If there are enough hours in the day.

Categories: Blogging, Cardigan, Crochet, Finished | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How To Make Bath Bombs

I’ve had a couple of requests for the Bath Bomb recipe, so here it is. There’s a printable version as well, for your convenience. Keep in mind, this is a basic recipe. It’s up to you to customize the recipe as you will with your favourite scent, colouring, add flowers, glitter, whatever you want.

002

 

The ingredients are easy to find and, realistically, you probably have most, if not all of them, on hand already. I’ve also included a link to a printable version of the recipe, for your convenience (the background will not print).

==========================================================

How To Make Bath Bombs – The Basic Recipe

[printable version]

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid (do not substitute ascorbic acid)
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • Optional – 1/3 cup Epsom salt or coarse sea salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons light oil (sweet almond, sunflower, fractionated coconut oil are a few options)
  • 3/4 tablespoon water (you can use rosewater or any other floral water, or a mixture of glycerin and rosewater, but be careful as too much glycerin might start a fizzing reaction)
  • at least 1/4 teaspoon and up to 1 teaspoon of desired essential oils or fragrance oils
  • 1/4 teaspoon borax, as an emulsifier
  • Vegetable or other natural colorant (liquid food colouring works well) (See note in the recipe)

Molds – 2 part ornament balls (available at craft stores)

Sieve the first three dry ingredients together until you get a smooth blend. Try not to breathe in too much of this as you sieve. If using, add the sea salts or Epsom salts  after sieving.

Set aside the dry ingredients while you prepare the wet.

Measure and combine all the wet ingredients and borax in a small clean jar. Cover tightly and shake vigorously.

Slowly and carefully, drizzle the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring constantly to prevent the reaction from starting. Make sure you mix in all of the wet ingredients. This mixture is very dry and crumbly and has to be packed into the molds quite firmly to keep shape. If you add any other ingredients (such as herbs, Epsom salts, or dried flowers), you may need to add a tiny bit more oil but be careful not too add too much as this makes the bombs soggy and may start the reaction. The mixture should just start to hold together when pressed in your hand, like very slightly moist fine sand pressed together will hold its shape. Make sure it is well mixed and try to work quickly so that it doesn’t dry out too much before you mold it.

Pack the mixture into each side of your mold quickly, throw some loose mixture on top and squish the halves together HARD (the mold doesn’t need to fit together completely; in fact, it shouldn’t, because then it’s harder to get them apart). Don’t twist the two halves; just push them straight together and smooth off any excess around the crease with your fingers.

Unmold the bombs after a few moments on to a baking sheet lined with paper towel. Unmold one side at a time, avoiding the temptation to twist the top of the mold, as this can easily split the bomb.

If the bomb splits or crumbles, empty out the mold completely, crumbling the mixture back into your work bowl and start again.

Let the bombs dry out at least 24 – 30 hours and up to one week.

Notes:

This recipe makes about four 60 mm round bombs. I used the clear plastic two-part Christmas ornament balls; you can also get an 80 mm ball ornament (the same size as the Lush bombs). Do not oil the molds beforehand but make sure they are clean and dry.

Anything can be used as a mold, as long as it doesn’t have too much detail. I’ve used soap molds and cupcake tins with success.

Powdered colorants can also be used; if using powdered colorant, add it with the dry ingredients.

Adding Epsom salts adds a bit of shine to the bomb and also seems to make the fizzing action more vigorous. It also seems to shorten the drying time required. If you want to add coarse sea salts, I recommend breaking them up a bit with a mortar and pestle or in a blender. The grains shouldn’t be larger than those of Epsom salts.

Do not substitute ascorbic acid for the citric acid as it tends to turn yellow with exposure to air, which gives your bombs a freckled appearance.

Categories: Blogging, Finished, Just stuff, No Knitting | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Fermented Not Demented

Adventures in fermentation... a whole new world for me

Stuff Dutch People Like

Your satirical guide to Dutch culture and the Netherlands!

: silviasblog.com :

sketches, paintings, photos, random things that inspire me and other kind of art related stuff

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

domestic diva, M.D.

my mother raised the perfect housewife...then I went to med school

soknitsome

so knitsome ... so knit some