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May 30th, 2004

We went to Home Depot today to buy some pipe to make tubular soap molds. 3 inch plastic pipe makes a nice round log which can be sliced to have nice disk-shaped soaps (think Sappo Hill here).

The amusing part happened when we got in the elevator to go up to our apartment. This mini-van driving young couple with a baby got in with us, and the guy started eyeing our pipe very oddly — finally, he asked what we were going to do with it. I briefly considered telling him we were going to build potato guns to shoot at the annoying neighbors across the street, but instead just said it was for soap molds. I suppose if I’d said it was for bongs that would have been funny too.


It’s bad enough when I start carrying 50 lb. sacks of sodium hydroxide or 5 gallon buckets of oil upstairs. Being a soapmaker is fairly unusual, I guess.

It’s hard on kitchen floors too. I really need a soapmaking studio.

Posted by Claire at 09:12 PM | Soap Habit | Comments (1) | Tweet This Post

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May 29th, 2004

Well. Somehow in the last 48 hours I have managed to leave a path of destruction in my wake.

Okay, maybe not that bad. We had a very good day at the market, liberating patrons of their cash. It was our best day of the season, in fact, which is makes me very happy.

However, I also managed to flood the kitchen with the dishwasher and ruin our kitchen floor. I’m rather too embarrassed to go into much detail (just imagine a lot of sudsy foam pouring out of the dishwasher, fascinating the cat) and the floor is just a sad, sad thing (slightly related to the dishwasher). Somewhat luckily, the damage doesn’t show (unless you get right down on the floor) when it’s wet, so I’m hoping a good coat of wax will achieve the “just washed” look. It’s not really that bad, it’s basically cosmetic.

Well, okay, I really don’t want to pay to have new linoleum put in when we move out, just because the STUPID landlords used the cheapest, crappiest linoleum they could find. This, on top of the cheapest, crappiest heating system which cost us a small fortune in electricity this winter. We have paid through the nose to live in this supposedly “low income” housing — I think that means if you aren’t low income when you move in, you will be when you leave. The rent isn’t even all that low for this area — for what we get, it’s kind of high, actually. That was fine, until the power fiasco.

Anyway. This wasn’t supposed to be a rant, but I’m feeling pretty low at the moment. I hope tomorrow is good too.

Posted by Claire at 09:14 PM | Days Go By | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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May 27th, 2004

Today was one of the more icky days I’ve had in a while. The interview was okay, but I have the nagging feeling that I’m not fully qualified for the position — unless they want to take a chance on me and my stellar abilities to learn on my feet.

Then, I had an oral exam in French (sounds like a kinky dental appointment), which is nothing more than attempting to have a conversation with a partner for ten minutes on a given topic. Bleh. I don’t think we embarrassed ourselves TOO badly.

Then… (is there more?) the chapter exam was also this evening. That was bleh too. Stupid verb conjugations and prepositions.

But I’m done for a while. It’s all soap, all the time from now until next Tuesday. Yippee!!!!

Ooh, and some more new fragrances arrive tomorrow. The cinnamon vanilla came yesterday (yum, but needs more vanilla so I’m going to spike it) along with a few others. I loved the two large bottles I ordered (the c.v. and one other) but I’m sorely disappointed in the sample sizes I bought. A pear that doesn’t smell like a real pear, and an apricot that doesn’t smell like a real apricot — this does not excite me. I’ll probably end up mixing them with something else when I soap them up — ummm, maybe ginger with the pear (I got a smaller sample of ginger fig that is way heavy on the ginger, so it would be good), and something spicy to tone down the extreme sweetness of the not-apricot.

Soaping is a lot more fun than the rest of my life, I swear.

Posted by Claire at 08:21 PM | Days Go By, Soap Habit | Comments (1) | Tweet This Post

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May 26th, 2004

I really didn’t mean to go this long without posting something. I’ve been doing other things lately (www.puzzlepirates.com, for one).

I have another job interview tomorrow. I’ve given up trying to think “This one will be IT” but it is a nice place to work. I’d like to be hired there.

Otherwise, it’s pretty much all soap, all the time. I took some soap to a local store today, to see if they would be interested. Cross your fingers.

Posted by Claire at 05:48 PM | Days Go By | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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May 21st, 2004
Up Late

I’m up late again… bad me. That’s what not having a “day job” does to me — I don’t get up early except on the weekends (how’s that for backwards?) and I stay up late. On the weekends I have to be down at the market by 7:30 am on Saturdays and 8:30 on Sundays (or else be set up by 11 on Sundays, depending…)

Anyway, what else would I be doing this late but making soap? *grin* I can’t believe I waited so long to try out hot process. I absolutely LOVE it. There are things I can’t do with it that I can with cold process (really smooth soap, swirls) but having usable soap THE SAME DAY is nothing short of miraculous. Being able to use fragrance and essential oils that aren’t compatible with cold process opens up an entire scent library to me — I’ve wasted POUNDS of soap discovering that certain scents just WILL NOT play nicely in cold process soapmaking. I can use them all with hot process!!! Love it!!

Besides, the soap isn’t glossy smooth, but it has a neat marble-y look to it instead, which I think is cool. I don’t want all my soap to look like that, but it does fit right in with my swirly soap, and my full-of-ground-herbs-and-flowers soap, and my layered soap. Now I have marble-y soap. If I could get multi-colored marble-y soap, more the better (that’s next on my agenda).

I haven’t been this excited about soap for months. It’s always fun to make it, but sometimes it gets kind of boring doing the same thing every time I make soap. This has got me all giddy again (poor DH, he thinks I’m nuts, I suspect).

What can I say? I love making soap. I don’t have career aspirations in the traditional sense (As a kid, I always thought I’d do something cool — be a great scientist or a great lawyer or a great SOMETHING!). Now I know I want to be a great soapmaker and make the best damn soap the world has ever seen. Watch me. *grin*

Posted by Claire at 02:33 AM | Soap Habit | Comments (0) | Tweet This Post

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