Thursday, December 27, 2012

Living in Winter Thinking of Spring

It's only December but my mind is already in Spring!  Can't blame me for wanting to skip Winter when it's so colorful in the Spring with all kind of blooms.

Let's start with the first bloom of Spring - Ume Blossom.
Ume is Japanese word for plum.  Plum trees can blossom as early as February.  They look very similar to cherry blossom which happens usually in the early April.

Sweet Pea

 Wild Honeysuckle

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Avocado Goodness

Yes, cleaning left over in the kitchen again, to soap that is!
I pureed half avocado with coconut water and froze into ice bars to melt my sodium hydroxide.  I always want to try soaping with fresh avocado to see what it brings to the table but avocado isn't exactly price friendly.  This left over came about only because I forgot about it in the refrigerator and it didn't look too appetizing after 2 days... so into the soap it went!
Inspired by this photo from Design Seeds:

What do you think?  Dead on?!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Full Moon Soap - Using Evaporated Goat Milk

There are people who swear by fresh goat milk soap.  Then I saw evaporated goat milk in a can in the supermarket, it says on the back, double strength!  Can't go wrong with double strength!  Got to try for sure!
I froze the milk into ice cubes and used it to melt my lye.  The difference in using this evaporated version from regular fresh goat milk is that my lye solution got really thick, almost like medium trace already even before mixing into the oil/butter!  And it started with yellow color.  Don't know how this is going to effect my final soap colors because I added titanium dioxide and colorants.
 This is what I bought from the store:
I think you can find it in any supermarket.

And, this is the soap, finished the night before full moon, cut the day of full moon!

This is inspired by a color scheme from Design-Seeds
What do you think?  Dead on?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Blind Milk Soap Test Results

About 3 weeks ago I called for 8 milk soap blind testers and I sent them each a package containing 4 individually numbered and wrapped soap samples like the set in the photo above.  If you have not read the post yet, you might want to read it first: Calling for Milk Soap Blind Testers
3 out of 4 samples are very similar in color, only #2 is much lighter.  All testers had been given simple instructions to clean their hands with soap or detergent first before testing my soap just to be more accurate.  Then they were asked to answer a few questions from me:
1). Which on lathers the most?
2). Which one produces the creamiest lather?
3). Which one is the most moisturizing 5 minutes after wash?
4). Please take your guess on which soap is made with what milk.
Some testers just answer my exact questions.  Some actually took time and gave me comparison informations far beyond what I asked for!  Thanks a whole bunch!
Now a lot of information I received are disagreeing with each other, but I can clearly draw 2 conclusions:
1). Most of testers prefer coconut milk soap, it wins the overall performance category, yay!
2). Fresh goat milk soap is not more superior, it's a myth, just a label appeal because of the price and perception.  BUT, it does produce more big bubbles and suds more than other milk soap.
Ok, let's talk about breast milk.  In my opinion breast milk quality is hard to control, it really depends on the person's diet.  Apparently my donor is too skinny, her milk contains very little fat!  Haha.

Anyway, here are the correct answers!  Did you guess them right?!
#1 Goat milk (full fat)
#2 Coconut milk (70% concentration milk)
#3 Cow milk (full fat)
#4 Breast milk