Wednesday, 21 October 2020

On a quest or two

 Lately I have been finding that some of my soaps are becoming discoloured for some reason and I am on a quest to find out why. I wondered if the problem was what is called 'Dreaded Orange Spots' which I dismissed for ages as I just put it down to the weather at the time I made the soap but recently I have been wondering if that indeed is the problem. 

According to the Soap Queen some causes of the spots are:

Rancid oils
The water used
Fragrance oil
High superfat

So I am trying to narrow down which ingredient is the culprit as I doubt that humidity is the problem seeing as it has been so dry this year.

I did check the Expiry Date on my oils and the Olive Oil and Castor Oil were past the Expiry Date. I haven't made a lot of batches this year so the Olive Oil is usually fairly fresh when I use it but perhaps that is the issue....or the Castor Oil ....or the Sunflower Oil which I have been using in the last few batches. I never had this problem years ago and also wondered if using the Room Temperature Method was also a cause but on looking back at old soap posts I realised I have been using that method for some time and haven't always had discoloured soaps. 

In this last batch I used a tried and true recipe of Jan Berry's which is Palm Free No Butter Soap and also added Egyptian Amber Fragrance Oil from Gavin's Little Green Workshops.  I have used this Fragrance Oil before with no problems so if this batch discolours I can rule that out. By the way, if anyone reading this wants to order some Fragrance Oils from Gavin a lot of his are out of stock at the moment and also Aussie Soap Supplies sadly burnt down recently but the owners are going to rebuild and they now have their website partially up and running again and you can keep updated also on their Facebook page. I am sure that most Aussie soapmakers will be keen to order from them once they are back up and running again and will support them. As if this year hasn't been difficult enough for businesses.

I am also on a quest to find out why my beautiful Blue Moon rose started out flowering like in the photo above....

but subsequent flowers are looking like this.  I think I should also go on a quest to find out why some of  my 'resized' photos turn out looking really odd. Perhaps I need to find another photo editor apart from the one that was on my computer when I bought it. 

I hope everyone is keeping safe and well. Here in Queensland life goes on pretty well as normal as far as we are concerned but, of course, it is different for many other people particularly those who are trying to keep their businesses afloat and pay rent, mortgages and feed their families. Still we are far better off than people overseas who are experiencing second and third waves of COVID-19. I pray that 2021 will be a much better year for everyone and, seeing as Christmas is only 65 days or so away the New Year is approaching quite quickly. It doesn't seem like that long ago that I was seeing 2020 in with my grandchildren on The Strand in Townsville. Happy memories!

Monday, 12 October 2020

Memories of unusual times

A couple of months I was reading the news on the ABC website and saw an article suggesting that it would be a good idea to record our memories of the current COVID-19 pandemic for future reference and also to be able to recall our feelings at the time. As I live in Queensland these are some of my memories of the first six months or so in our state but circumstances are different in each state. 

Toilet paper just disappeared overnight 

Monday, 5 October 2020

A botched batch of soap

 I am sure that all of you who make soap have had a few 'surprises' when using a tried and true recipe. Well, that is what happened to me last week when I was making another batch of my 100% coconut oil soap . I added a new to me fragrance oil and that is all it took to botch it up....well appearance wise anyway as the soap will probably still be good to use. 

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Counting down the days

 Well, who would have thought that the Carnival of Flowers would go ahead in 2020 but, short of an outbreak of COVID-19 in our city in the next few days, it will start on Friday. Visitors to our parks have already started arriving and the weather has been fine and pleasant so far.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Making masks

I have been thinking of sewing some masks for a couple of months now although here in Queensland they aren't mandatory.  A few people in our city do wear them but not a lot although that could change if we saw a change in the number of people becoming infected with COVID-19. If the time comes when it is recommended we do wear them I certainly don't want to wear disposable masks due to the cost and also I don't want to add to the huge numbers of PPE that are already being discarded.


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