Friday, June 27, 2014

Old School

You can't beat an OHAUS triple beam scale. This is how I learned to measure chemicals for glazes, and I just can't warm up to the digital scales. Kinda like I still can't warm up to CDs. Give me vinyl any day. Guess I'm just an old school sort of girl.

Gerry gave me this one for Christmas a few years ago, and it has served me well. I used it this week for measuring soap making ingredients. All the books and websites suggest a digital scale and recipes are in ounces. I can't do math, but I do have a unit converter on my ipad, so I just converted everything to grams before I started and it went even smoother than I thought it would. Very happy that I won't have to buy a digital scale!

I'm using my grandmothers old measuring spoons and antique molds I found recently.

I also brought out Gerry's old dark room beakers. We have had them for years, and until now, I never found a real use for them, except decoration and dust collection. Loved using these for the soap making.

I made two batches of soap just to get my feet wet. I was unorganized and inefficient, but I know now how to avoid that and I know it will get better as I learn. At least I had the right tools. That makes any job way better.

I made one batch in one of the old sewing machine molds. It has coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, shea butter, and castor oil as the base. I added moroccan red clay, sweet orange, bergamot and cedarwood, and then sprinkled cocoa powder on top mostly for looks but orange and chocolate is a nice combination for me. Scenting the soaps is going to be the difficult part, they all may end up unscented, I am struggling with this. The second batch was the same base, but I used Rooibos tea as my water component and added sweet orange and bergamot. I stirred in rooibos tea leaves and the soaps looked really pretty, warm and toasty burnt orange color. I will do great with the color palette, I got that!

Tea, coffee and clay seem to be the most attractive additives to me, the scents, not that appealing. I need an aroma class! Can't wait to show you the molds for the rooibos, they are chickens!!! Speaking of... mine are growing like the weeds in the garden!

Wesley and I made lunch together today, yum!!! All healing foods, gotta get Gerry nourished from the inside as well as the outside to heal that incision!  Vitamin C, E, Olive oil, beta carotene and avocado....... good for you stuff!


Dennis Allen said...

Who was the idiot that came up with pounds and ounces anyway?? Grams are so much easier. If I'm mixing a 5 or 10K batch of glaze the digital is just fine but for small amounts the Ohaus is sooo accurate.Besides, it makes me feel more like an alchemist.

cookingwithgas said...

The soaps sound wonderful. I'm excited for you. That is my kind of lunch, that looks fabulous.
I'm using my candle that you made, thanks!!

Tracey Broome said...

Dennis, agreed! I love that alchemist feeling, especially all those glass beakers!
Meredith, I have used all my candles up, that reminds me I should be making more of them too!!! and yes, the lunch was easy and sooo good.

Michèle Hastings said...

We don't have digital scales either, we do things the old fashioned way!
I know so little about soap making (nothing actually). If you are adding things like bergamot,lemongrass, tear, or coffee, won't it smell like it? I am so clueless.

Tracey Broome said...

Michele, I'm pretty clueless too. It's kinda like raku, just throw it in the fire and see what happens. Seems to be my way with everything I make,haha! It seems the lye that I put into the tea/ coffe neutralizes the aroma, I only smell the essential oils.... Stay tuned :-)

Vicki said...

Love this Tracey!
Can't beat old utensils and wares. I'm on the search for an old US cast iron skillet. So much more integrity in well made old pieces.
And, I don't like digital scales either.

Enjoy the journey as you perfect your soaps - they're going to be awesome!
Wouldn't mind buying a couple, when you feel they're ready ;)

Tracey Broome said...

Vicki, if only you were closer, I see skillets in antique stores all the time! It might be awhile before I can sell these, lots more testing to do!