Tuesday, July 15, 2014

107 in the shade

Got my hand watering, transplanted a couple of veggies, and fed all the veggies before 9am. I'm not going out again till around just before dusk, when I'll plant some of my spinach starts. It's going to be 107 today!

Last night, I got in the studio after dinner and went through my tools to make up a package for the potter in West Virginia who just lost his house and studio in a fire. When I had a much larger studio, I had a couple of wheels and a lot of duplicate ribs, trim tools, and some other small tools, sponges, etc. So it was just a matter of going through boxes and trays to sort out duplicates. 

One can only imagine how dreadful it would be to not only lose your home but your studio - the source of your income.

Other than cooking, gardening and a couple of meetings with  the lawn guy and TV repair man (good news is that the TV isn't dead. Bad news is that it's a $450 fix!). It was a costly day since it's going to cost that much  or a bit more to replace our sod in the front yard.). Good thing I decided to put off buying a new computer and the iPad mini after I found out that new iPads are supposed to be coming out this fall.

I spent some time after dinner ordering some Pyrex bowls and a vintage double burner cook top for the studio. I can use it for soap making and for heating wax. My old one was going strong after 38 years or more but it was pretty raggy and I left it in North Carolina when we moved; but after reading reviews on modern versions of anything electrical, they seem to all be junk - don't work well, fail in a matter of months, have cheap plastic gears, etc.

There's still an immersion blender,some old pots and wooden spoons to get before I get started on my first attempt at soap making. So far, I haven't found a used one, but I'll look a bit longer before I bite the bullet and buy a new one since the quality choices all seem to have limitations.

Some of my soap molds are coming from China and won't be here for a few weeks, so there's no rush to complete the list. Meantime, I'll finish up paperwork here while waiting for the TV repair man who's going to be here within the hour to remove the loaner and get our repaired TV set up.  When Jim gets back from the hospital I'll be heading to the studio for a little while, to do a bit more organizing - a never ending chore in this small space, and more so now that I have to find a place for all these soap making supplies. On days like this I'm so grateful that I put a heater/air conditioner unit in my studio.

In this extreme heat, I'll be making one of my ten, fifteen minute dinners - linguine with clam sauce. It's almost too hot to eat, let alone cook! 


  1. Glad you are being careful.That kind of heat can kill you.

  2. whew! 107?!?! your soaps are going to MELT in that kind of heat, haha! I feel bad, I have been complaining about the 80 degree temps here.....
    BTW, one of my monk friends suggested I call my soaps Shambhala soap. I told him I knew someone that might want to use that name for themselves :)

  3. :-) Tracey, it was too hot in the studio, even with the air conditioner on yesterday, so no pottery or soap making, even if I did have all my tools and ingredients on hand.. Good thing I wasn't planning on soap making till the fall. Between the heat and a week of a computer, dying, TV appearing to have died, lawn dying (you get the idea) the only soap making related things I've had time for have been to order some things on the Internet, join a couple of Yahoo soap making groups, and do a bit of reading and make some "how to" and recipe notes in a a couple of little dollar store booklets I purchased for that job. .I ordered a very basic book today that someone on one of the yahoo groups recommended, and downloaded a kindle one, that I started reading today.
    After reading your blog, and a few of these books, It does seem like you have to be pretty exact with the temperatures, weights, the trace, etc. I think if selling is something you want to do it might be good to aim for niche and luxury markets. When pottery sales were down the past couple of years, the so called, more expensive "living room" pots still sold. If I were to think about selling, I'd go for the expensive soaps, with great packaging, and gear the soap for the both the new age/health/all natural market and the high end market. There are way too many people making reasonably priced soap at home these days and selling them on Etsy, craft shows, etc. I'd aim for high end buyers, boutiques, salons, spas, etc.
    After reading some good sounding recipes today, I need to order a few more raw materials. Happiness is finding that I already have a few very small bottles of sandalwood essential oil, and a few others, that we were taking for health reasons. So I'll have to buy a couple of the other, less expensive ingredients in one of those recipes I want to try. Good luck with your new batches!