Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Soap Again?


Here's my first attempt at felted soap. What do you think? I'm undecided at the moment. It was lots of fun making it! I wonder though, what happens to the wool when your soap bar gets smaller and smaller. Does the wool shrink with it until it can't shrink anymore or does the soap disappear and leave the wool covering behind? By the way, the soap underneath is a chocolate soap made with goat's milk. Moving on!


This is my Granola Scrub. You can make your own here. This scrub contains ground oatmeal, ground almonds, brown sugar, raw cane sugar, white sugar, almond oil, cocoa butter, macadamia oil, wheatgerm oil, honey, preservatives and sugar cookie fragrance. I'm happy with how this turned out! It feels like moist cookie dough :)

My next soap will be a Shea and Mango Milk soap. If it turns out to be a success, should I give away a bar of soap to someone for free? You could be my personal reviewer! And no your skin will not melt and fall off! Err...I hope!

I joke, I joke! :) Goodnight.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Much Ado about Soap


I was experimenting with a new soap recipe yesterday and the bars at the front are unscented and well basically just soap without the frills. If they turn out to be nice, firm bars, I will use them to practice handmilling! I'm experimenting with getting smooth bars via handmilling and one of the techniques involved using freshly made day old soap instead of waiting for the soap to cure. I have yet to tell if the experiment is a disaster although the soap certainly didn't melt smoothly. It looked like a gloppy messy pile of...glop.

The soap hiding shamefully in the back is my ham soap. They've darkened slightly although I still think they look like ham! Actually, from the picture, they sort of like pate now. Their only saving grace is the fact that they smell like a fudge brownie. I'm making more soap soon for Dan's father's birthday which is coming up. This time, I'm going to still my itchy hands and make something I know won't turn out to be a disaster. I also think it's time I get a soap beveller or cutter. I want uniform soaps! On another note, I snapped my glass thermometer in half by accident. I was not a happy chappy :(

Anyway, I came home from the tennis a couple of hours ago. Went to see Nadal vs. Tsonga in the semi-final of the Australian Open. Long story short, unseeded frenchman, Tsonga obliterared world No.2 Nadal. I actually expected Nadal to win but Tsonga played well! Until last week, I've never paid the slightest interest in tennis so I was surprised when I actually enjoyed myself!

Before I leave you, does anyone know if using milk powder or fresh milk in soap makes any difference? Goodnight!

Oh, by the way, the soaps are curing in the storage room! Note to self: invest in soap cupboard.

Monday, 21 January 2008


My shipment of goodies arrived today! I'm so excited! I'll be making lots of stuff later. Queenscliffe was fantastic. It was incredibly relaxing and the beach was definitely not something I was used to. The surf was brutal! I somersaulted without meaning to at one point. I also managed to catch some waves which was so much fun. I want to do it again and again!

Anyway, I've been tagged by Steph at Playing With Soap! Some of you may remember her from this post about her lost cockatiel. However, through her hard work and determination her much loved bird, Tita, is now safely back at home. She makes great soaps and has an interesting post about Beet Juice Soap. Check it out!

The rules are:

Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

Share five random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.

Share the five top places on your "want to see or want to see again" list.

Tag a minimum of five random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.

Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment in their blog.

Five random and/or weird facts about myself

1. I always dream strange dreams or bad nightmares. Sometimes, I have really bad nightmares and I am reluctant to sleep again the next night because of them. It's always been that way ever since I was a child.

2. I have a phobia of lizards, frogs, the dark and massive amounts of blood. The latter is probably my strangest phobia. When I see lots of blood, my neck starts to feel funny and I instinctively reach for it. Too many vampire movies maybe?

3. I enjoy working with my hands and I learn best this way. Cooking, writing, crafting, playing instruments, video games are all favourite things for me to do.

4. I have lost around 8 mobile phones in a total of 6 years. It was a bad habit of mine that I have learned to break!

5. My mum owns a school of dance back in Malaysia and I've been learning classical dance since I was 3. Though I've stopped ballet, I still enjoy tap dancing!

Five top places I want to see or see again

I have so many places I want to visit! I can't make up my mind!

1. Malaysia
I miss home :( and Chinese New Year is coming soon.

2. Hawaii
The beach is my favourite place. Hawaii would be a dream come true!

3. Switzerland
Where every picture you take is postcard worthy :)

4. Egypt
I've always wanted to go to egypt ever since a friend raved about her trip there. Visiting the pyramids, I can almost envision it.

5.The rest of the U.S.A
Florida, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York! DISNEYLAND!

I tag:

Lori from Homemade Bath Products.

Emmy from The Natural Beauty Workshop.

Denise from Go Planet Earth.

Nadia from Sterces-Ytrid.

Wilson from Wilzc.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Queenscliffe and Mama Aum!

I'm going to the beach! Yay! I love the beach. It's my favouritest (which is better than favourite) place in the world. Dan's parents rented a beach house up in Queenscliff which is a resort town on the Bellarine Peninsula approximately 103 km south of Melbourne. In Malaysia, if you drive 103 km you end up in a different state.

I think if the sand is nice, white and fine, I will steal some to make a scrub or put in soap. Sand Soap! Better than ham soap, huh?

I've been all geared up lately to make new scrubs and soap and what not. However, there has been flooding in several parts of Australia and suppliers are having trouble with transportation so I'll be crafting after I return from the beach. I don't know which one I'm more excited about!

Also, I've been on the look out for good quality unrefined shea butter lately. I'm eager to try out the difference between West African and East African shea butter. Already I have a few suppliers in mind I would like to try. I started with Mama Aum. They are an Australian based company located in New South Wales.

They sell organic products for the household such as toiletries and laundry products down to nappies for babies. Recently, I ordered 250 gms of shea butter from them and after a few days I decided to send them an email to inquire about the whereabouts of the shea butter. However when I opened my mail, I received an email from them instead, stating that they were having trouble with shipping due to the floods and as an apology to me, they included another 100gms of shea butter for free.

I was delighted! Good service always, always wins points with me and I am a very loyal customer. Do give Mama Aum a try! The people there are so friendly and reply very promptly.

You can read about their company here and about their shea butter here.

I will see all of you next week! Bye!

Friday, 4 January 2008

Ham Soap??

I made soap yesterday, cold process loaded with luxury oils and ingredients like jojoba and goat's milk. Let's just say I made an expensive mistake. Okay, LOTS of mistakes.

Number one, I am an impatient person. Very, very impatient. Mixed the lye with oils when both were not at the same temperature. Oils were too hot at about 70C and lye was about 45C. I know, I know! I bet you know what happened. No? I'll tell you.

This recipe had tons of extra virgin olive oil so as you can guess I was stirring till my arms were about to break. Added the extra ingredients before trace because yes, I'm impatient. The goat's milk powder AND the honey caramelised giving it a weird dark orangey colour and the lye probably saponified the jojoba oil which was supposed to be used for superfatting.

Finally, I got it to trace. Or so I thought. Poured the soap into the moulds and lo and behold, like magic, the mixture started separating before my wide eyes. Why? Lye and oils at different temperature. NOW I know why they need to be the same. The hard way.

I was determined NOT to let it go to waste so I dumped it back in the pot and started stirring and stirring with the stick blender until everything was incorporated. However the colour of the soap was atrocious so i dumped in some titanium dioxide to lighten it.

This morning I cut the soap into pieces. Dan looked over and said "What's that you're cutting up? Ham?"


Dan backs away slowly. "Uh, okay okay, I was just kidding. It's totally...soap."

Ham????? Okay, I admit defeat. The soap is now the colour of ham. If there is a soap god, he hates me.

Anyway! I have a question and if anyone can give me some suggestions I'd appreciate it! How do you get citrus essential oils to hold up in soap? I heard somewhere you can mix it with kaolin clay but I'm not sure how to do that.

I cannot find my camera so till then I don't have a picture of my (^&*$R%^%#^%$ ham soap. If you read my blog, you know I am in the habit of losing my camera. If there is a camera god, yes I know you know but I want to say it...he hates me too.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Dangerous Essential Oils

Most essential oils should never be use undiluted on the skin and can be toxic if taken orally. Some should not be used at all, they have been manufactured for industrial purposes and are extremely dangerous to have around the house.

Ajowan (Trachyspermum copticum) toxic thymol, powerful irritant
Bitter Almond (Prunus dulcis var amara) toxic cyanide (prussic acid) present in unrectified oil - only use FFPA grade
Boldo Leaf (Peumus boldus) very orally toxic
Calamus (Acorus calamus) carcinogenic oral toxin ß-asarone, methyleugenol; FDA banned from flavorings
Camphor, Brown or Yellow (Cinnamomum camphora) carcinogenic safrole; EU banned
Colophony (Pinus spp.) stong sensitizer
Costus (Saussurea costus) strong sensitizer; IFRA banned
Croton, Cascarilla (Croton tiglium) methyleugenol, blistering agent; EU banned
Elecampane, Allantroot (Innula helenium) strong sensitizer; IFRA banned
Fig Leaf absolute (Ficus carica) phototoxic sensitizer; IRFA banned
Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) severe irritant allyl isothiocyanate

This was taken from Elaine's Aromatheraphy. Please go here for the full list. Also check out this list of essential oils which are known to be skin sensitizers.

Cyanide is a highly toxic poison and the word "carcinogenic" is used to describe a substance that is capable of causing cancer.

Please be extremely careful when handling essential oils. It is mentioned in the article that a 15ml bottle of Birch and Wintergreen essential oil has enough methyl salicylate to kill a person if ingested. They are particularly dangerous to children because of their sweet and minty smell.

In fact, any essential oil should be kept out of reach of children and thoroughly researched before being used. It is better to err on the side of being TOO careful.

Maybe not the best topic to start the new year with uhh hehe.