Saturday, June 13, 2009

I made lotion today!

I noticed how often I use hand lotion since I've been working at the deli and washing my hands all the time. Rather than buy the stuff, I decided I wanted try making some for myself. Sure it would be simpler to buy a base lotion and just add scent to it. But making the lotion was a lot of fun! It was so cool to watch the clear yellow oils turn milky white when I added the distilled water. The best part is, no need to wear protective clothing, lotion's not caustic like raw soap. I scented it with Yuzu fragrance oil. So now I have lots of lotion to match my Yuzu soap!

Since this was my very first batch, I reused empty containers - it made about 24 ounces of lotion, so I was scrounging for a while! If I decide to sell lotions, I'll need to order bottles. Anyway, I can't wait to bring these in to the art group on Monday and see how people like them.

The past few weeks I've been making soap like a crazy woman.

I need to get a good supply on hand for the booths I'll be doing this summer and fall. I ordered shea butter, coconut, olive and palm oils in bulk back in April.

It was great fun to make several double batches of soap each night. The kitchen smells so good with the soap in the oven overnight and the loaves are ready to unmold and cut in the morning.

I love seeing the slabs of soap after they come out of the molds. I try to cut them all so they will weigh about 3.5 ozs.
Once they are cut, I put set them aside to cure for several weeks and then I will weigh and label them for sale. It's important to note the date they were made and the exact ingredients in each.

Well, I had to inlcude this shot of Lanora's face, you can sure see where the Bluefaced Leicester name comes from on her! I used to wonder if people shaved the necks on their BFLs before they go in the show ring, but here you can see that wool sheds away during the summer, same thing is true of the wool on their bellies. Nature's way of keeping them cool. :-)

This afternoon I had the sheep out in the yard next to the house using electronet. That stuff is SO handy! As I was taking photos of the sheep, I noticed the sky was getting darker.

I quickly gathered up the Shetland goslings and got them inside. Then the winds started up and the rain rolled in! We got a good 1/4 inch. I'm hoping another round or two comes through tonight.

On another note, my surgery went well last week. I was so happy to find that anesthesia practices have changed quite a bit since I was last put under. Thanks to everyone for sending the good wishes. :-)

12 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to hear that your surgery went well! Now, perhaps you can relax and enjoy the summer...?

    I'm in the market for some goat milk soap with a spicy cinnamon-clove scent. (heavy on the clove!) Do you make anything like that?

    Your place looks beautiful, Becky! It amazes me what you have been able to accomplish in what, to me, is practically a residential setting!

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  2. Soap made in the oven, in plastic moulds??? I've seen many a soap 'recipe,' but nothing like that.
    I've also looked online for supplies such as shea butter - can you reveal where you ordered yours?

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  3. Nice picture of Lanora. And congrats on getting all the soap made! I am still finishing up planting veggies, flowers and tree seedlings. I'm glad you got some rain. We saw the clouds to the north of us but the rain missed us.

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  4. Thanks Nancy, I'm just glad that our closest neighbors raise livestock too (pigs) --- wow I never thought I'd be saying THAT! But at least they don't complain about the animals we have here.
    I used to make a cinnamon-orange goat milk soap and I do have a little of that left. But now I've got a Ginger Pear, and a Pepperberry fragrance - both of which I just love. I'll have to send you a little sample. :-)

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  5. Sure Deb, I can share the source for the oils, it's Columbus Foods. Their website is www.soaperschoice.com. It's really nice to have LOTS of oils on hand. I need to order more myself.
    And yes, I put the plastic molds in a low oven (180 degrees) and then turn it off and let it sit overnight. This is called the Cold Process Oven Process (CPOP) method. The soap goes through a "gel stage" and is ready to use within days rather than weeks. I do it at night for safety's sake. Last year I put a whole bunch in during the afternoon only to have my son come and pre-heat the oven to 425 for a pizza! OMG, that was a mess.

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  6. Sorry you didn't get the rain Terri, I know we all really need it. I'm still planting veggies too. My cucumber and zucchini sprouts are finally ready to put in. I've got lots of pumpkins seeds sprouted too. I may plant them on the compost pile and see how they do there.
    If you biggify the photo of Lanora you can really see her blue face under the white hairs.

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  7. Neat soaps and lotion! I love all that homemade stuff, do you/will you have an Etsy shop?

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  8. Hi Karen, Thanks for reminding me about Etsy. I signed up for an Etsy shop but I haven't put anything in it yet. I've got to get that set up. It seems complicated though. I need my potter friends to help me get it going. They do real well on there.

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  9. Hi Becky,
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  10. Hi Becky,
    Great post - I just loved the pictures of the soaps. I was also interested to see that you will be at various booths this summer...where will you be?! Anything in Iowa? I'd love to try some soap! Great picture of Lanora too. She's so elegant looking compared to our Icelandics.

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  11. Hi Claire, LOL, it took me a while to think of BFLs as elegant looking, but I sure do now.
    No, I won't be down in Iowa, I'll be staying much closer to home. Although I would have loved to go to the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend and I'm tempted to go the the North Country Fiber Fair in Watertown, SD in September... But for sure I'll be at the Majestic Pines Art Festival in Nisswa, MN in July and then at the Midwest Felting Symposium in Madison, WI late July through Aug. 2nd (as a student, not a vendor, but I will have work in the art exhibit), and in September I'll be at Sticks and Stones Art Event here in Mora, MN and then in October it's the Fall Fest in Hinckley, MN. I have stuff in a couple area shops and art exhibits, but I really need to buckle down and get more work done. Making the soaps and lotion and lip balm is the fun part!

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  12. Thanks for the award Sabrina. LOL. ;-)

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