More craft projects

I have started making soaps, and I feel not a moment too soon. This will only be a hobby of the more casual kind.  I am just so fed up with all the chemicals I put in my hair and on my skin. I want to know what is in there.

Waiting for the lye solution to cool down
Waiting for the lye solution to cool down

Working with lye was a bit scary at first, but that fear soon disappeared. You just need to be cautious in dealing with it.

Do you wonder why you need lye to produce soap? I did too. I had forgotten everything I learned in school.

The answer is: No lye=No soap. The lye reacts with the oils, and make soap. The process is called saponification. No lye is left after the process is complete.

Two major production methods exists, hot process and cold process. When you use hot process you force the saponification to go through all the stages in a an hour or so. After curing for 24 hours you have a bar of soap you can use right away. Most will tell you to let it rest for 1 to 2 weeks, to harden. It will last longer if you do.

The other production method is cold process. With this method you need to let the soap cure for 4 to 6 weeks before you use it. The saponification process is done after a day or two, but it needs to cure for so long to make it last longer.

I have made a few batches – and loving it.  I also made a batch of Castile Soap, the soap that is produced with 100% Olive Oil. This one is special, as it needs to cure for 4 to 6 months! Just in time for Christmas.

castile soap
Castile soap in mold. Castile is the name used for soap that is 100% Olive Oil

 

Summer is here!

It’s amazing how time flies.  I wrote my previous post only a second ago. Or so it feels. Since then, the summer has come – with sun and warmth. So much in fact that we had a fire in the forest near where I live. The driveway to the garage I use was full of fire trucks and large fire hoses. I had to park my car somewhere else, and walk back.  It was the size of a football field that was burning. The firefighters got control of it, bless them all.  Check out the video in the link above, you will see some of my beloved city.

It is so warm, I have had to ditch my duvet and replace it with a mere blanket, which is unusual. I am addicted to the duvet, and it is quite necessary too since I like it rather cold in the place I sleep. This time of year, that is almost impossible to achieve. My nordic blood can endure more cold weather than warm , and I start to complain if the thermometer shows more than 74 fahrenheit. I know. I’m a wimp.  There has been a lot of complaining lately.

Not so much so when I venture out in the garden.

mint
Harvested mint leaves

I have collected some mint leaves already, and hung them up to dry.  I love the mint tea during winter.

And then there is the Peon. I have waited for this moment for 2 years now.  Last year it did not produce any buds, since I had planted it too deep. This year I will be rewarded for my patience. I can’t wait.

Flower buds , holding promise
Flower buds , holding promise