Sunday, December 14, 2008

Who Said MP And CP Can't Mix? - Tutorial

If you're anything like me you'll have quite a lot of spare soap lying about, or scraps from old projects. You can't bear to throw it out. Sometimes a batch just doesn't look like you'd envisioned, although it is still good soap for all intents and purposes. So it accumulates constantly and consistently over time. Soon you are up to your eyeballs in soap and you can't give it away fast enough!

Here are a couple of very quick and easy instructions to re-fashion your soap, making sure it gets used and isn't just sitting there, ugly and unloved. You don't even need isopropyl alcohol to stick the CP embeds to the MP. Easy!

I had made a batch of Cold Process (CP) Coconut Salt Soap (scent - BB Sensous Sandalwood) which turned out to be extremely crumbly. I found some Melt & Pour soap base (MP) I had lying around for a while (I am a CP girl to boot!) and thought these would make nice holiday gifts for the guys.

1. Set Up

I placed my crumbled up bits of soap (alternatively you can slice them or use shavings of soap) into the empty silicone muffin mould.

2. Melt your MP soap. I used about 250g for 3 soaps. For ease of melting chunk up into roughly 2-3cm cubes, put in a heatproof container and in the microwave on 30 second bursts until just melted. You do not want to overheat your soap or make it boil. I have a tendency to do that, so don't! This can increase sweating of your soaps after they have hardened.

3. Add your colourant. Mix gently until it is dissolved. You also don't want to over-stir your MP soap. For these ones I used Australian Amber Mica in an opaque base, and some Shamrock Green mica in a clear base. I then add fragrance when it has cooled down a bit ... you want the fragrance to be easily dispersed so don't let it cool down too much. Fragrances and essential oils have flashpoints, it might do you well to check those. If you add a fragrance and see steam rising after you have added it, you can be sure that you fragrance will be weakened as it has evaporated.

4. Pour gently over the CP soap embeds. Shimmy (is there a better word?) your mould so that the soap will cover the bottom of the embeds. Alternatively you can just pour the soap on carefully and in a circular motion around the embeds to make sure you have covered them. If you do this you will end up with embed exposure on the top of the soap once you have unmoulded. (Like the ones pictured above)

5. Spritz with some isopropyl alcohol to get rid of any air bubbles and you're done! Wait until they have hardened (a good few hours) and pop out from the mould, wrap immediately in plastic packaging (or you could just wrap in Glad Wrap initially until you get some packaging.) This will prevent your soaps from becoming sweaty.

For the girls I found some of my Ylang & Citrus EO soap with some UM Pink swirled throughout.

1. Shave your soap with a vegetable peeler and roll them up into little rolls.

2. Arrange nicely in your silicon muffin mould.

3. Melt about 250g of your clear MP soap base, again by chunking up into 3cm cubes, microwave bursts of 30 seconds, and not letting it overheat. Add your colourant, stir, add fragrance when a little bit cooler, stir. For this project I wanted a clear outside so the embeds were more visible. I love sparkles and they add an extra dimension to the finished soap. So I added some Pearl White Mica. I scented with BB Red Apple as I was making these for younger girls. Its a great kids' scent!

4. This is a bit tricky. Pour your MP soap over the CP embeds. For these I make sure that I pour a bit of soap into every single hole in the middle. It's very easy to accidentally overfill these soaps, and end up with soap everywhere. Try to be gentle and slow, but not too slow as you want your MP to flow and not harden. If it does harden to the point it is unpourable just put it in the microwave for 30seconds until it is remelted again. I wouldn't recommend remelting over and over again as your soap will lose quality.

Once done, spritz with isopropyl alochol. Wait a few hours to harden, then turn out and immediately wrap in plastic packaging, or Glad Wrap so they don't sweat.


Oops.. I didn't realise there was an unmelted part of soap in there. In the end I just planed it off with my soap cutter. I used my crinkle cutter to get the effect you see in the first picture of this tutorial.

Inevitably there were soap shavings that just didn't want to roll into nice little well, rolls. I made up another batch of clear MP and scented it with a Rose fragrance. I'm giving these to the grown-up girls! :)

This is one I'm using in my bathroom. It wears down nicely, revealing all the embed layers.

Great for stocking stuffers!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Handbound Books on Etsy

It's that time again... 1:30am and I am still awake! I should have been in bed at least 2 hours ago. I'm trying REALLY hard to go to bed before midnight! (unsuccessfully as you can see)

Just wanted to share an awesome etsy find. I LOVE anything stationery-like (my bestie will attest to that, she is worse than me!) and this crafter deserves a mention. Handbound journals! OMG I am in stationery heaven.

Okay so you might not all get as excited as me about stationery. Still worth checking out though!

My Handbound Books

I am loving the Blue Distressed Leather Journal.

*yawn* off to bed. Just had to tell/write and let someone know at this ungodly hour!

Big day tomorrow ... found out the ATO has cancelled my ABN (Australian Business Number) ... so first thing in the morning I'm off to the tax office. I only spoke with them on Friday re:updating details. Now it is cancelled?! Oi vey!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Bath Bomb Test

Here's the bath bomb test I did a few nights ago!

I added cosmetic glitter because I was hoping for a glittery bath. Perhaps if I had put it in a real bath it would have worked better. Unfortunately my bath has taken a beating from renovating the bathroom and I am afraid it may have a few holes in the lining *cry*
I haven't had a bathroom with a bath (unless you count the last bathroom which had a kid's size bath and I am not a small person so would have been very uncomfortable!) for many many years so I was very excited to be moving into a place with a bath! Especially since I LOVE bath bombs and bath salts!

I think my brother Simon will kill me if I keep on asking him to do things for me around the house! But what else are little brothers for eh? :) I guess this one's gonna have to wait for a while though, at least until my fence is finished! :D

Back to the bath bombs ...luckily the colourants were easy to wash off, as soon as I tipped the water out so am happy giving them away as presents :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fences and The Bath Bomb Debacle

Phew I've been busy!

Aside from the usual things that keep me busy, I have been MADLY trying to get Christmas pressies made. On top of renovating... which has been interesting to say the least. The fence is ALMOST finished. I feel really sorry for my little guy, Tob-e, I have had to lock him inside when I am at work because I've had no fence to keep him in the yard. Went to the trouble of getting a temporary fence before I moved in, which he figured out how to get around on the first day. He has a history of fence jumping! But is particularly bad now for some reason, maybe because it is a new place. Anyhow, the first day I went to work after we moved in here I came home to find two of my neighbours watching him making sure he wouldn't go on the road. Who knows how long he had been outside (8 or 9 hours?) and they both work during the day. I know we get quite a few people walking their dogs down the little cul-de-sac I'm in, so I hope he didn't cause them too much grief. He is a good boy though, and doesn't wander too far from his front yard! Loves his mummy too much to leave :)

Sunday 30 Nov was day 1 of the fencing:
Excuse the messy plants, I do plan on landscaping this all at some point!

Lining it all up with string. Then, the posts were put in.

This took my brother and I about 6 or 7 hours to line the posts up with a spirit level, dig holes to the right depth (well we kinda did - we were digging into clay mainly. fun fun!) and concrete them in

Day 2 (today, Wed)- This took about 4 hours. Putting the fencing in. It's not quite done, and I don't have a gate, but it's getting there!

I'm so proud of us!!! We have never done anything like this before. Simon is a site supervisor for a building company, but we have never ever done anything at all like this. Big kudos to him. (and my mum for helping a bit too today!)

Now onto bath bombs. I twittered about never ever ever being able to make a bath bomb successfully. I gave up for about 18 months or so, and after seeing a bath bomb tutorial on Soap Queen's blog, thought - why not give it another go! So I did. And I failed. Sort of. I am still giving them as Xmas pressies. They still work, so that's good enough for me! :)

It took me a whole THREE hours to make these bombs. They kept crumbling and not staying in shape. I used my bath bomb moulds (the round ones you normally think of when you think of bath bombs) and they would not stick in the middle, so I just did halves. I also used the snowflake guest moulds and made a gorgeous white with silver glitter snowflake with a goldmica with gold glitter background. They turned out great ......... the first time I unmoulded them. Then I had to keep repacking them because I'd tap them out and they would start to crumble.

Here are my bath bombs - warts and all (no pun intended)

<--- Just after unmoulding.

The photo just below demonstrates exactly what happens when you don't pack your bombs tight enough!

Its funny, my warty bombs that hadn't exploded 24 hours later were flat on the bottom, the perfect texture. Oh well! I did a bomb test and will post it tomorrow.

Hope all is well with everyone :)


PS. If anyone can tell me how to make my photos stay next to each other (rather than one on top of the other) that would be awesome! :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Introducing...... Me!

To whomever is reading this.... Hello!! :) My name is Justine Rodino. I'm 24, living in Perth WA. I thought I'd start blogging because 1. I talk waaay too much, this way I can just tell people to go to my blog to see what I am on about :) and 2. My business launch is coming VERY soon. I can't wait! I have been reading and reading and reading and reading on marketing and business strategies, and also on ways to improve my product and presentation! I have found some AWESOME sites along the way, and some inspirational blogs and websites.

Trying to juggle life with starting a business is HARD, especially when I have a 30 hr a week day job (and 4 hours travelling time per week) on top of renovating a house I just bought and trying to keep in touch with people, and keeping the dog happy! I am going to build an empire and never work for anyone else again if I can help it! (Gotta give credit where credit is due though, the people I am working with are the best yet, and in a way I don't want to go, but we'll see how the business goes, as building an empire is slightly more appealing hehe and I think I'm onto something!).

I'll just be blogging about life in general, B&B disasters (and obviously things that turn out too! but I seem to be having more disasters lately, just because I am trying to move forward of course!), business stuff, and cool things I find on the net. That will also aid me, as I wont have to go through 10000000's of bookmarks to find something again when it is so neatly packaged in a blog :)

Well that's it in a nutshell. Chat soon.