Posts Tagged With: grandchildren

Weekend of Experiments

I know this is my second post today but I’m rather pleased with myself and wanted to share. That’s okay, right?

One of the things I’ve noticed about a lot of soap recipes is that they give the ingredients by percentage. For instance, my latest soap has this formula:

  • 50% tallow
  • 25% coconut oil
  • 25% olive oil

at 6% superfat

And that’s it. At first, that put me off. However, having done a bit of research and reading, I’ve come to really like the percentage way of doing things. Why? Good question.

At the moment, I have two log molds; each holds a batch of soap that has 30 ounces of oils. How do I know? Well, there’s a formula for that… width of the mold, times length of the mold, times height of the mold, times .40. (i.e. 9.25″ long by 3.5″ wide equals 32.375… times 2.5″ tall equals 80.9375. Now take that number and multiply it by .40. That equals 32.375; that number would be the total number of ounces of oil you would need to fill your mold. Are you confused yet?

Length times width times height times .40   Easy, peasy.

So, I have a mold from years ago especially geared to children. It has lions, elephants, and geese in a grid (cut marks). I’d show you but it’s full of soap at the moment and I really can’t turn it upside down to take a picture. I measured it, easy to do as it’s a square mold; I figured that it would take 19.75 total ounces of oils to make a single batch that would fill this mold.

Not very exciting from this angle, is it?

Edited to add:

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Using the percentages above, as well as an online lye calculator (I’ll post links at the end of this post), I came up with the following recipe:

  • 9.75 oz. beef tallow
  • 5 oz. olive oil pomace (the cheapest olive oil you can find)
  • 5 oz. coconut oil

With a superfat of 6% (the percentage of oil that will not be saponified by the lye, to put it simply), I would need:

  • 7 oz. water
  • .5 oz aloe vera extract
  • 2.8 oz. lye

And that is exactly what I used. I added about 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla oil that I still had from way back and, after all was mixed, poured it into my mold, where it is now waiting to firm up.

I’m not going to go into the entire process; there are more than enough good tutorials out there if you’re interested in making cold process soap. I’m just so pleased that I now know how to size a recipe for any mold I might have. Using the percentage method, it doesn’t matter the size of the mold or the size of the batch; it’s easy to size it to fit.

As for the soap, as I wrote, I’ve scented it with vanilla but, other than that, it’s plain… no colour added. It should be a fairly hard, white soap with good cleansing and good lather. Hopefully, it’s something that the grandchildren will like.


Where to find lye calculators:

These are by no means the only ones; a Google search will bring up others. From my own research, these are the most popular lye calculators.

Next step? Design my own soap recipe…. one day.

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Categories: Just stuff, Making Soap | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Well, THAT Week’s Over!

I can honestly say I’m, happy it’s the weekend. It has been quite the week. There are always the usual things… work’s still busy, busy, busy; will it ever slow down enough that we have the opportunity to catch up? Then, on Tuesday, I got a call from Kristen. Ethan was in a lot of pain and she wanted to know if she should take him to emergency. I went over, took one look at him and told her to go. He’d broken his arm while playing at a friend’s house – boys being boys! That meant an evening of back and forth between the hospital, Kristen’s and my place. Trinity ended up staying the night here.

At the same time, we had company. John’s boss had been here for 10 days and would be leaving early Wednesday morning.

Ethan ended up being discharged late Tuesday but had to go back in on Wednesday morning to have his arm surgically set. They anesthetized him, set the arm, and put a temporary cast on. There was a chance that they would have to install pins to set the arm but everything went well and no pins were required… thankfully. Once the swelling goes down, some time next week (eta: Monday), he’ll go back to the hospital for a regular cast. In the meantime, we’re all watching him to make sure he doesn’t trip or bump into anything. It’s times like this that you really want to put your child in a bubble so that nothing more can ever hurt them.

Then, on Thursday night, I ended up with a couple of cuts to my right hand when I put my wine glass down a little too forcefully. It shattered, slicing my ring finger and my pointer finger.

By Friday morning, the stress and tension of the week decided to center itself in my head and I woke up with a killer headache. Needless to say, I stayed home and did a whole lot of nothing! Yes, I’m feeling a lot better now, thank you.

Yesterday was a good day. I went out for lunch with a friend, did a bit of shopping (bought a couple of tops and visited my favourite art store) and even got creative. It feels like it’s been a long time.

A couple of weeks ago, I downloaded a pdf with some crochet patterns for these…

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I think I found the link on Pinterest; I’m really not sure, to be honest. The file has been sitting on my desktop for a few weeks now, with the intention of making a few. I used to crochet a lot. I have numerous doilies and my mother has even more that I made for her.

I went stash diving and came up with three or four yarns that would work. The pink is some ancient crochet cotton; I’m not even sure where I got it as it isn’t a colour I particularly like. The blue yarn is something I picked up a few years ago at the thrift store.

006I’ll be able to cover a LOT of rocks with that cone of yarn. To top it off, I have two cones of the stuff and I have no idea what I’ll ever do with it, besides crochet what John calls rock cozies.

I also have some off white cotton (10 balls of it) that I can use. I was thinking of doing some yarn bombing of my own. Can you picture walking along the creek and coming across crochet covered rocks here and there? I think it would be fun… and whimsical. For now, though, I’ve put them in the little pile of rocks at the edge of my flower garden.

And, speaking of garden, this is what’s blooming in my garden at the moment.

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Categories: Blogging, Crochet, Garden, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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