Thursday, November 11, 2010

Frenzy, Setting Soap & Near Calamity...

Do you ever have one of "Those Batches"?  It usually starts, at least for me, with a really Good & Creative Idea.   The idea percolates in my head (like a ping pong ball in a mayonnaise jar) and finally becomes A Plan.

There are a few things Mom taught me about myself, the least of which is not "Honey, you really shouldn't start a project at this time of should wait 'til morning when you're fresh"  -Mom, if you're reading this: You were right back then, and you still are! :)  But I digress...

My plan was a Christmas soap with little white hand-cut trees imbedded in a lovely green soap.  Simple.  Elegant. Understated.   Welllll...

I started last evening around 5:00.  I know that's early to many of you, but by that time of day I have banged my drum like the Energizer Bunny all day - "wide open" - "in high gear" (pace myself? what does that mean, exactly?) and I am a bit too spent to be starting soap.  I know this.  Mom taught me this.  I refuse to acctept this.

I thought things were going pretty well.  I had come hope from doing the "art thing" at my son's school, whipped up a rather creative casserole, my soap was mixing in the ol' KitchenAid in the soap room...(move over Helen Reddy,  "I am woman hear me la la la-la)  "I can bring home the bacon da-da-da-da,   fry it up in the pan da-da-da-da!  (Although my hubby really is the bacon bringer & I often burn what's in the pan...)  What's that old saying about "Pride comes before a Fall?" 

So I check on the soap.  Oh my!  It's getting pretty thick and pretty big.  I add the EO's and scurry back to line the mold.  That's right, I had become distracted & forgot to do my LEAST favorite thing -aaarggh.  So I'm snipping & folding and getting a bit tense.  Whew, that's done.   I scurry to the soap room and get the soap and hurry to pour it in.... "Can you grab those Christmas Tree cutouts for me?"  Uh oh...I can feel myself getting a bit "bark-ey"  it was a question, but not really -if you know what I mean....look out, she's gonna blow!  

But it's o.k.  the soap is just right for imbedding my little trees. I'm conversing with myself in my head, as usual:  " Tra-la-la, get 'em straight..oh this is gonna be so GOOD!"  Keep goin' just a couple more.   Oh yes, this is nice.  Now a  little round red candy dot at the top of each tree.  Lovely.  A few clear sugar crystals at the bottom of each tree for "snow".  Genius.  They're going to want these at the Smithsonian.  Now lets put it in the laundry room, mist the top with a bit of alcohol to prevent 'the ash'" (you can see where this is going, right?)

Do you ever have those fleeting thoughts that "flash" across your consciousness -you know the one's that you don't like?  The "I wonder if's"?   I got one of those, that I mistakenly ignored, as I was setting the red candy dots.  It went like this "I hope the alcohol doesn't make the red color run....nah!  It'll be fine

Why don't I listen?   I spray the alcohol...ha -it's fine.  I'm looking around to figure how to insulate without anything touching the top....I turn back to the soap....AAAAARRRRRGH!  Oh help!  The red is "run-ning" like Forest Gump -everywhere!  Oh no!  I frantically grab a spoon...I'm scooping the offensive red blobs....I'm trying to blot pink stained alcohol from the tops....what to do...I know, I'll use the white snowflakes -the ones I thought about using in the first place (but the red really did look nicer, before the alcohol debacle)  But the top isn't pretty and smooth anymore -my bottom lip, this isn't what I wanted.  But I have no time to pout about "The Soap that Almost Was" because "The Soap that Is" is starting to set up before my eyes.

Do something, Becky!!  So I did what any soaper would have done...I swirled the top! " No No, 'DingBat'  -Not ordinary swirls...try to make it look intentional  -like wind...that's it...little, tiny, delicate winds swirling around your Happy Trees!" ( Have I ever mentioned that my "self talk" is often rather harsh? ) 

Ever the Optomistic Realist, I think these may be o.k. after all.  Wish I had saved the first photo with the red candy dots, it was actually quite striking, but I didn't decide to share this ghastly goof-up until this a.m.   But here's what they look like now...let's hope the color stays....surely it will....right?


cocobong said...

I start to sweat just reading this! Gotta name for this one? I do.....Blizzard!

Michele said...

Oh my goodness, what a save. Whew! now take a deep breathe. After all that it looks like you pulled it off. : )

cocobong said...

OTannenbaum is to peaceful and solem for this baby, baby.

Jennifer said...

Nice work!!! At least this soap was made with lots of love and will be one of your most memorable! By the way, loved your stories about your grandma... and the photo of you with that MAMOTH mask is priceless. Do you really use that mask when you make soaps? xo Jen

thesoapsister said...

Hi Jen, A (hopefully)final issue with that soap: IT BROKE IN HALF while I was putting it on the curing rack/pulling the mold liner off the back! Can you even BELIEVE IT??!!
Actually, it only messed up about 3 of the soaps...but still, it actually cracked in half and the bottom part hit the shelf below. Oh soap! (I think that's my new expression....dedicated to this particular batch!)

Isn't that mask a HOOT? The photo of me lookin' like Darth Vader is just such a contrast to Grandma Elsie and her Mona Lisa beauty that I HAD to put it on the site! It makes me laugh, and I think it's good not to take myself too seriously....after all, it's just SOAP, right?

I only use that ensemble when I'm pouring the lye. (It beats holding my breath! -yes, I've done that, too.) For the rest of the process it's usually just safety goggles with "readers" built in. Love those! The full face shield is really nice in that it flips up and down without taking it off, but it's so big that I feel like I'm wearing some sort of crazy headdress. (move over Carmen Miranda..."I'm a Chiquita Banana and I'm here to say...lalalala) Now there's a visual for ya! LOL!

Hope you have a great day and all "soaps well" for you!


Maggie said...

Now when you give these soaps out as Christmas gifts, you can tell them all about this story!