Tuesday 1 December 2009

Fetch Me That Gin, Son

I have had the children home from school for the past two days, DS having transformed himself into a viler-than-usual snotmonster, and DD with a voice that sounds like she's smoked two packs of Marlboro a day for the last twenty years - just a tad incongruous for an almost-seven year old. And, of course, they have not been getting along; we're talking Vietnam rather than World War III, and at least the house is still standing and the indoor plants have not been napalmed.

In spite of this, I have managed to make 12lbs of soap since Saturday. First was a nice, fresh-scented soap which I am calling Lonesome Pine, and DH (who was in one of Those moods) called disinfectant; colored with white clay and softly swirled with French green Argiletz clay to give a lovely marbled effect.

Then yesterday I went to town on the frankincense and myrrh scented soap. I used unrefined palm oil for the base color, added just a titch of red dioxide to deepen it, and to add luxury and decadence, I added some shea butter. The gremlins were looking for me, however - I soaped with a 38% lye solution (to cut cure time) and hotter than usual, about 118 degrees Fahrenheit = instant heavy trace. I managed to avoid their malevolence by some extremely swift action, in terms of hurling it into the molds, and then battling it mano-a-mano to clobber it into some kind of submission. Ha ! I thwarted those soap daemons ! To drive their defeat home, I sprinkled the logs with natural frankincense and myrrh resins and watched gleefully as it went into full gel. So today when I unmolded and cut, I carefully brushed on some fabulously shiny, sparkly gold mica .... and I named it - what else ? - Three Kings Soap.

Preternaturally aware of the sudden and unexpected onset of Christmas, I soaped again tonight, using a lavender and bergamot fragrance oil, and colored with alkanet infused olive oil. Here is another magical transformation - alkanet colors the oil a marvellous deep, rich burgundy blood red; once the lye solution is added, it turns a dark purple. Wow. Topped with dried lavender flowers, that is now sitting in its gel phase. Thanks to my creative friends, to whom I howled for help, I had several suggestions for a name, and have tweaked my friend Chris' suggestion of 'Ionian Breeze' into 'Sicilian Breeze', which I think captures the sunny, Mediterranean, refreshing scents of lavender and bergamot.

I have also learned some new things today, things that made the whole soap-as-gift malarkey much easier - sticky labels from here. They have great free, user-friendly templates and software, and I can't tell you how much time that saved me, rather than plodding through trying to do it in Word. The only hassle I had was with my printer, which lost the ability to print in anything other than yellow; this was only a minor setback, although I did briefly consider what images I could use that would look fine in just yellow - ever for the easy life, that's me.

So here are a couple of pictures of the Three Kings soap in logs; as you can see, I'm not overgifted in the photography department, but I believe you can see the sparkles .....I shall try to persuade DH to get all artistic over the weekend, so that I can post some decent pictures ....

There just isn't enough time in the day, hence my selection of that particular tarot card. I hanker, I ache, I hunger, I yearn, I lust for time on my own in which to have nothing to do, to do nothing ......

PS. the challenge is to identify the song from which today's blog title was taken .....


  1. O my I can almost smell those gorgeous soaps !!!!!! Hope everyone feels better real soon :)

  2. LOL thanks Tia, they were well enough to go back to school today !


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