Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Shaken not Stirred...

I've been thinking and experimenting with the hopes of getting a reddish color naturally in soap.  It has been my quest for a few days and wahwahwah....not a chance with what I've tried or how I tried it.

First was just a total jump right in approach with boiling some red wine to remove the alcohol and then freezing it to eliminate the volcano effect.  I mixed the red wine ice cubes with the lye with no extra water.  It smelled horrible and turned a dark maroon brown color....looked kind of yuck.  I swirled this raw soap mixture in the mold with another batch colored with Rose Clay...calling it Wine & Roses Soap.  The red wine soap turned brown after a gel.  Days after being cut it still looks the same...no color change.  Still a brown.  It isn't an ugly brown color, just brown.  No smell remains...purely unscented.

Wine & Roses Soap

After this batch, achieving a red color was still on my mind.  I wanted to try two more approaches.  The second was still red wine, but I was going to add it to the batch by the 50/50 method.  And my third attempt was to use tomato paste.  I added the paste after a light trace directly to the batch.  

Here is a picture of the soap in the mold...the large one is the tomato paste and the smaller one being red wine.

And here they are after a gel and unmolded 24 hours later.  The red wine is still brown but not as dark as attempt number one (with it being ice cubes) and the tomato paste is a nice pale orange color.

I decided to make soap balls with the red wine 50/50 soap (second attempt) and have some soybean oil infusing with paprika for a bright orange base to toss the light brown balls into.  I'll shake the soybean oil everyday for about a week to get a nice dark color.

Here is the making of the red wine soap balls....totally reminds me of peanut butter balls at Christmas time.  As a matter of fact the 50/50 red wine soap looks about the same in color to a batch of peanut butter balls.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hi, my name is Rebecca and I'm addicted to knitting....

I knit...a lot!  Here are a few of my latest knitting pieces.  

I finally knit a color work mitten on DPN (that is double pointed needles for you non-knitters).  I've been hesitant to do this thinking the colors carried in the back and the needle intersections would pucker.  I finally just jumped right in and decided to give it a go...boy was I wrong.  It was simple!  I'm now stalking my next color work mitten patterns.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I submitted a pattern to a yarn company.  I was denied, but I have to understand that this is a major yarn company who probably gets lots and LOTS of pattern submissions from some well known designers.  I admit that yes I have been knitting for ages, design and knit my own patterns, used to work in a yarn shop in Los Angeles and taught many people knitting basics, fixed major problems and did a lot of finishing work...I have never wrote an entire pattern with the intention of it to be sold or posted for free on Ravelry...so technically I've got the know how and the skills, but I'm a nobody in the 'knitter's world'.  I plan to change that in a very small way in 2013.  I have a spiral bound notebook filled  with many of my own patterns that I've developed throughout the years and I'm going to make some official pdf patterns available on Ravelry. (Ravelry btw is a knit and crochet community online...again for you non-knitters.)  But in the meantime...here are a few of my recently completed or in the works projects.

Northern Lights Mittens

Kung Fu Panda in the works...he needs to have his legs sewn on

Welted Fingerless Mittens

A leafy business card display

As for soap...I've got the oil and lye mixtures sitting on my counter cooling off just waiting to become a batch of Cucumber Banana Soap.....stay tuned for the big reveal later this weekend.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

First Soaps for 2013

So I thought I'd try red wine in soap to see what type of results I'd get.  I expected red or mauve but I got brown.  That is okay since I swirled  it with some rose clay for what I'm calling Wine & Roses Soap.  Looks pretty cool.  I took some leftover spiced wine from Christmas (it was kind of gross...so no worries on the waste and not actually drinking it) boiled it for a few minutes to remove the alcohol then put it in the freezer.  I really didn't want to experience a volcano with the sugar/alcohol and lye.  I think next time I'll try the 50/50 wine/water method to see if I can keep the red color. 

Wine & Roses Soap

I then decided to do something with all of my leftover soap shavings I had sitting in a bowl...... that I'm so surprised my cat never knocked over.  I grabbed some Eucalyptus infused oil for the base and dumped in all of the shavings....gave it a good mix and then tossed in the remaining orange balls I had.  I think it looks pretty awesome....maybe one of my favorites.  It smells sooooo good too!  I just love all of the colors and the fact that I used scrapes that otherwise I'd have no clue what to do with.

Here it is in the mold

Bits & Bobs Soap