Flaking Out

There are many ways to “mess up” a perfectly good bar of soap and still be able to use it.  I’ve made all kinds of “ugly” soap that is still usable, such as oatmeal or mica that collects at the bottom of the mold and makes a bar of soap look dirty.  Air bubbles have created pockets in some molds causing my fairies to lose their arms.  It may look bad, but it’s still usable.

The usable, useful aspect of soap and candle making are what draws me to these crafts.  More importantly, they have a pretty long shelf-life.  I love to bake– to stir, to measure, to pour.  But my family can only eat so much, and I end up throwing away what was once perfectly good food that I spent time creating.  For a long time I searched for a hobby I could lose myself in without having to check the pantry for spoiled baked goods.  For a long time that hobby was out of my grasp.

While I already have more soap than I can use, it’s not going to go bad in the next week, and I can always wrap it up for gifts or share with family and friends.  After all, soap and candles won’t ruin someone’s diet.

This past weekend, I finally made a bar of soap that I couldn’t use.  It wasn’t something that I was striving for, but it was bound to happen sooner or later.  For both candles and soaps, I’ve been having a hard time getting the fragrances just right.  There are formulas  for fragrances in candle making, so I decided to use a fragrance calculator for use with a melt and pour soap project.

I have four molds with raised designs that I really like, and I wanted to pair a color and fragrance for each of the designs.  Since the molds only hold a little over 2 ounces of soap, the fragrance calculator called for a .02 fragrance load for a light scent.  Completely flaking out, I failed to think about the fact that my kitchen scale only has one decimal place.  So I went right ahead and measured out .2 ounces of fragrance for 2 ounces of soap.  And then I got a little light-headed.

Since this was a flake out, I didn’t think about it until it hit me that there weren’t enough 0’s on my kitchen scale.  Luckily, the thought popped up pretty quickly, and I only messed up one bar of soap.  Except for the excessive fragrance (which I could never use on my skin in those quantities), the soap was lovely.  The color wasn’t muddled; there were no air bubbles.  It turned out fine except for the overwhelming, head spinning fragrance.

Luckily, melt and pour can be melted and poured again.  So I melted down that lovely, smelly bar of soap and turned it into four more bars that turned out to be just as lovely except for one.  That one is simply ugly.


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