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Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Day of Disasters (a long story)

I was finally able to experiment with my new FOs yesterday and I swear a lightning cloud was hovering over me the entire time, striking every time I turned.  *grin*  I had to start using a walker due to my injuries in December and this was the first time that I actually got to make some products with the handy-dandy device.

Things went well at first actually.  I sat on the walker’s seat while scooping out lotion and with a little craning I could see the readout on the scale (we’ll just say that I’m fun-sized, so sitting down puts me at a disadvantage in “a bigger world” lol).  I made a batch of goat’s milk lotions with emulsifying wax and although I had to stand and carry the pan to the stove I was feeling pretty confident.  Buh me – I should know better *grin*.  As the liquids started to melt I happily started whisking the mixture while sitting.  Yep, I bet you guessed it…that’s when some of the lotion splattered me in the face since I was just above the lip of the pan.  I decided to abandon sitting then and balanced the whisk on the pan’s handle so I could go measure out FOs into the measuring cup, since it’d only be a few more minutes before the mixture would be incorporated enough to add the additives.  As I turned to the other counter the whisk fell off and as is human nature I lunged to grab it before it hit the floor.  (It doesn’t really make sense, but anything starts to fall I tend to jump lol.)  The whisk bounced off of my hand and splattered lotion across the side of the stove, under the stove’s top (in what used to be such a small opening but it appears to be the perfect size for stuff to fly into), across two walls, a cat scratcher, and even the laundry basket (thank goodness I didn’t have clean things in there at that moment!).

As you can imagine lunging isn’t so smart with injured feet, so of course I stumbled a bit and slammed my hand into the cat scratcher.  I never knew that the side of cardboard was so sturdy until then…*grin*  Anyway, I managed to grab a towel and start cleaning it, but then discovered that my dog apparently loves the taste of lotion.  *rolling eyes*  I scrambled to try to get it all up before he could any more of it, but he’s not small, so he managed to push me over to go for the side of the stove.  *sigh*  Thankfully I had just finished cleaning off the basket, which is a pretty big one when sat on its side, so I pushed it over there to block him from getting near everything.

However, while the clean up fiasco was going on the lotion was still warming on the stove, and of course I totally forgot about it when I suddenly had a mess to clean.  Once that mess was cleaned up (still had to keep the basket there because the dog was still intent on finding any traces lol) I looked into the pan and saw that the ingredients had melted to the point that they then separated back out.  *face palming*  The last time that this happened to me (I was making some soaps while the lotion ingredients warmed that time) I couldn’t figure out how to save the batch and lost it all, but I wasn’t giving up without a fight this time since there was so much of it.  Anyway, I thought of the cool immersion blender I started using for incorporating the FOs and grabbed it really quick.  Did you know that if the little holes on the base of the attachment are outside of liquid then it acts like leaving the top off of your regular blender?  I sure didn’t, but I do now.  *cracking up*  So I stood there holding the dripping blender over the mixture in the measuring cup in one hand and trying to wipe lotion and wax off of my standing mixer, that wall (seriously…I think my walls started multiplying and jumping out to get dirty), and of course I had to try to clear the droplets off of my glasses.  Have you ever noticed that glasses are like magnets for stuff to splatter?  Sorry, a little off topic there.  I also discovered that a droplet of lotion had missed going into the open brand new bottle of FO that was sitting on the counter by mere centimeters.  At least that’s one disaster that was averted!  Anyway, the blender blended things perfectly as they cooled a little *mock wiping brow with relief*.

Thankfully I had no other problems with the two jars of lotion I was making and when I poured them they looked beautiful.  I’m so concerned with making sure there’s at least a little bit more than the labelled amount in each product that I make a few extra ounces than called for, which was lucky with lotion coating half of my kitchen, but wasn’t enough to make even a small jar to sell.  I decided to use the left over lotion to test the new Fruit Loops FO so I could use it for some soaps soon.  First, I found that when I pulled the pan off the stove I had forgotten to turn off the burner.  Second, it solidified (still separate too since only what was in the cup for the two jars had gotten blended), so I decided to pop it in the microwave in a smaller measuring cup to warm it back up.  Third, it melted a LOT quicker than I expected and got boiling hot (not good).  Thankfully this bit was for me to test, so I decided it was a great time to see if the blender would still incorporate them if they were that hot.  By the way, the lesson about needing to submerge that hole had faded from my memory for the moment while I went into crisis mode, so of course I tried the blender.  *grin*  Not much lotion was in this, so only a couple drops splattered.  I got my itty bitty whisk out that I used to use for blending FOs into lotion and put some muscle into it.  As soon as the FO blended with the lotion the scent became overwhelming.  I got an instant migraine and it was like I stuck the stuff up my nose.  Not even a full ML of FO even and it was this strong.  *shaking head*  I have to figure out what FOs I want to mix with it to see if I can mellow this out, which is really disappointing because I was planning to use it for my first batch of ducky soaps.  (Once I have a plan I really don’t like changing them, just part of my personality no matter how much I try to work on it.)  Meh.

Anyway, I left it sitting by the others, lids off, so they could all cool and set up.  As I washed up all of my utensils I noticed that my clear jar of tester was now two-toned.  The lotion and additives had separated while cooling.  It took stirring it with a tiny spatula about every two minutes for the next half hour for it to stay incorporated and set up properly.  At this point I was exhausted, mentally and physically, and figured it wasn’t overly smart to touch anything else in that room, let alone make anything else.  *laugh*  As I dried my hands I looked over at the amber jars of perfectly poured lotions and there was a dark stripe.  Yep, I feared the worst…it had separated while I dealt with everything else and this order would take even longer to fill.  I got the tiny spatula back out and broke the surface of that smooth lake.  I went half way down to see how much had separated.  Not. A. Drop.  Seriously!  I never noticed, since I’ve never had so many disasters to make me start looking around for others, that the amber jars have a dark area right before they bend to come up to the lip.  *sigh*  I tried to smooth it back out, but it’s like trying to smooth marshmallow creme.  *grin*  Thankfully I can confidently say that the lotion’s quality is good, no matter if one isn’t nearly as pretty as the other.

Today I used some of my test portion and as long as I hold my breath, and cover up the areas it’s on, I can tolerate the lotion enough to not waste it.  I’m really happy to say that despite all of the disasters it has that thick and awesome texture of cold cream that I can get with my immersion blender.  That hour was one of the longest I have ever experienced.  *laugh*  I’m very thankful that I don’t usually have quite that bad of luck.  I hope you have a wonderful (and mess free) weekend!  I’ll be avoiding the kitchen.  *wink*

App Note

Just a quick note that didn’t really fit with the new FOs post.  I found an iPhone app called “Total Recall” and I recommend it for anyone that finds idea mapping handy.  I do it a lot for my business ideas, especially since my mind has a habit of going freakzoid when I need to go to sleep and comes up with a ton of ideas that I want to sift through later.  The app is pretty easy to use, fun to look at the results, and is the best idea mapping program I’ve ever seen.  If you get the app and get stumped, I’m happy to help if I can.  I’m using it for scent combo ideas, a map for actual product ideas, different maps for projects and ideas I’m working on for customers or family, and I even have one for my writing (for those that don’t know, I write poetry and short stories too).  It’s the most impressive app I’ve found in the past year, which is saying something since I’m the poster child for “there’s an app for that”!

Sniffing Dirt

I’ve had trouble starting this blog entry because I’ve been selfishly sniffing the four new FOs that I ordered recently and enjoying how I keep finding different notes in them.  *grin*  I managed to control my spending on them last order, but I just got a newsletter with new FOs just in time for Valentine’s…*dreamy sigh*  I just love how a few drops can come together to remind you or a memory or encompasses a feeling.  I’m using that as my excuse for being addicted to collecting FOs.  Lol.

Anyway, I am so excited that the Dirt FO is a really interesting scent.  To me it’s more like the smell of dirt beneath your nails after working in the garden instead of the pungent freshly dug notes that I expected.  It’s a bit woodsy with almost a hint of musk.  When I sniff there are notes that dance around like when a word is at the tip of your tongue, but you can’t quite figure it out.  Larry rolled his eyes and took a few whiffs last night since I wouldn’t let him change out of his work clothes until he gave his impressions on the new FOs.  To his nose (admittedly he comes up with some odd comments and impressions about some scents, but he reinforced mine, so I’m including them lol) Dirt smells like when he’s stacking freshly cut lumber.  There’s that dry woodsy note, but then that earthiness that surrounds him when he’s in the timber.  I never expected such dominant woodsy notes, but they really give the scent some depth.  I’m not so sure now that kids will want to use it except to be defiantly washing with dirt, but I think I have a way around that, which I’ll mention later.

The Jasmine FO is simply beautiful.  I haven’t decided what I want to name it, but it is one of the nicest florals I’ve ever smelled.  It doesn’t have the complex notes of the Moonlight Path knock offs or the cloying sweetness that can overtake a gorgeous honeysuckle, making this FO incredibly unique.  It’s bright and joyful while seeming so elegant and feminine.  *happy sigh*  I want to make a batch of lotion with it to see if I get more detailed impressions of it.

Bubblegum (may change to Gumballs) is more of a dead ringer for those delightful little orbs of happiness I used to get for change as a kid instead of the Bazooka variation that I have on hand.  Admittedly they’re somewhat close and I may have to do a scent test with some helpers to see if they can tell the difference, but it’s a really happy FO.

*drum roll* To the best of the bunch…Fruit Loops!  I’ll have to rename it just so that no one could ever get snippy over trademarks, but holy smokes is it spot on!!  *big grin*  It has so many scent notes without being overwhelming.  It took Larry several sniffs to start to pick out the different fruit, but it isn’t one of those fruit combinations that gives you a headache (thankfully!  I’m hoping that is the case while working with it too!).  The bright citrus and berry notes with a generous helping of sugar to it.  I fit the stereotype of a girl since I love anything chocolate, but this may be my absolute favorite non-chocolate FO.  *happy sigh* An exciting idea I had while making myself light-headed (and maybe making me at risk for an intervention lol) is that I may mix a few drops of Dirt FO in with this and name it something like Gummy Worms in the Dirt (yeah, working title, but gets the idea across).  That’ll incorporate the amusingly defiant dirty name that catches a kid’s eye with the attractive fruity notes that makes it a really fun scent to actually use (by the way, I know a 40-something “kid” that would grin at getting something with that name, so I think I’m onto a keeper of an idea *grin*).  I think this will be the perfect FO to use for the new ducky soaps too!  *breaking out the happy dance*

Since I’m on the computer I may go fantasize about another gift certificate to my wholesaler.  They came out with a dark chocolate covered strawberry FO that I really want an excuse to order.  *grin*  I’ve tried several times now to come up with a good custom blend of that since it’s one of my really special indulgences, but I could never really captured it.  Maybe I’ll just look into vacation deals for Branson so I can smell (okay, okay, so I can eat) the real deal.  I hope that you’re having a cozy weekend too full of happy scents!

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