Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Gifts

One of the downsides/benefits of being poor is that I got to/had to make all my gifts this year! So here we have...
A selection of bath bombs. The blue ones are scented with gardenia, so have a sort of talcumy smell, rather than something overtly floral, as they are for boys. Each boy will get two - one with a small star shaped soap in the middle, and one with a plastic fly for a nasty surprise! The green one and the white ones are also gardenia scented, but this time with glitter in, for my best friend's little girl. Green may seem an unlikely choice, but she assures me green is her favourite colour, and I aim to please! Finally the yellow ones are neroli scented and have calendula petals in there too:
 Next we have my version of Lush's Ceridrew's Cauldron. I love theirs because the moisturising mixture makes the bath water all milky and soft, and the oats and herbs left in the muslin bag can be used to srcub the skin. So my version is my usual bath bomb mix, plus goat's milk, cocoa butter and either 'rose garden' for girls or 'cookie dough' for boys.
 Then we have the one above packaged as a set of three on the left, then the package on the right was a special baby friendly mix I did for my best friend's baby. Baby has eczema, so I looked for advice on the net, and found that goat's milk and oats are meant to be good for this, so each of these sachets contain this moisturising mix, plus a couple of drops of lavendar essential oil to help her sleep:
 Then we've got an extra special one-off soap again for my best friend's little girl. This one is lavender scented, made with melt-and-pour soap and with some irridescent glitter for a bit of sparkle. The mould was something my dad saved for me, he can't remember where he got it from, which I was gutted about, as the one I've got has a little crack in it :(
 Then we have the bunny ones, plus a cupcake shape of the same mix. The blue ones are scented with eucalyptus and tea tree, and are meant for refreshing tired muscles. Then we've got the browny-coloured one on the right, which is scented with cinnamon and ginger, plus some ground ginger and cinnamon, and porridge oats, a lovely spicey smelling mix for warming achey muscles:
 Here we have two lavender scented hearts with cone flower petals, I put a bit too much die in these and they went too dark for my liking. And two cupcake shaped neroli-scented soaps, again with calendula petals. Plus some bath creamers - these were really tricky as they seemed too greasy but I just went with it and I think they turned out ok. Again scented with neroli and containing calendula petals, this is like the bath bom recipe but with cocoa butter, shea butter and cornflour.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Latest photies!

More of the sunshine blend:

And the mix I have decided to call 'aphrodite', the blend I make for myself, so it's jasmine, ylang ylang, palmarosa and....something else, will update next time I have the book on me!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Right - you can't keep a good girl down, as they say, so today I have come up with a failsafe plan. The two problems I have had were 1 - when the bombs swelled as they dried, making them all distorted and 2 - when they got stuck in the moulds. So my plan is to take them out of the moulds straight away, thus avoiding problem 1, and then place the spherical ones in silicon cake cases on a cupcake tin, so that if they do swell they will still look pretty, and put the flat backed ones on a chopping board to dry.

So todays recipes were my third go at the blend for my friend (I'm a poet and I don't know it!) and a new one I will explain in a minute.

Oooh, and I've also noticed a gritty feel when these are used in the bath, so neither of today's recipes have glitter in, just to see if that's all it is, or whether it's a problem with the dry ingredients.

So, friend's recipe (the one for thrush) is:
  • 75g citric acid
  • 150g bicarbinate of soda
  • 0.4ml bergamot
  • 0.2ml lavender
  • 0.1ml tea tree
  • 0.5ml jasmine
  • 2.5ml red dye
This made half a heart, a medium ball and a mini heart in the ice cube tray. I also sprinkled red rose petals in each mould before adding the mixture. You'll notice I've doubled the quantity of dye, as it just wasn't colouring the mix enough. However, as this is the only water-based ingredient, I presume it's this that's causing the mix to swell, so I may have to consider powdered dye in the future.

And today's new recipe, I've decided to call 'Sunshine on a rainy day' as the colour is a lovely warm yellow, and it just made me sing this song.
  • 75g citric acid
  • 150g bicarbinate of soda
  • 0.2ml lavender
  • 0.1ml ylang ylang
  • 0.4ml jasmine
  • 0.7ml palmarosa
  • 1ml orange dye
  • 1.5ml yellow dye
  • about 0.5tbsp dried calendula petals
This mix made one medium ball and one small ball, which is weird as this amount would usually make two medum balls with some left over. It's a mystery!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Version 2

I decided to try out my idea of using a spray pump to add the liquid ingredients. This time I mixed up 300g bicarb and 150g citric, again splitting this mix into two so I had two set of colour and fragrance to play with.

I tried a new mix for OH, still focusing on muscle aches but using different essential oils. I have also started using 1ml syringes as the droppers on the oils were getting on my wick (pardon the pun!). So v2 of Russ's mix was 0.1ml ylang ylang, 0.2ml eucalyptus, 0.3ml lavender, 0.2ml tea tree and 0.4ml juniper. I measured this into an atomiser I'd forgotten I had. I then added 1.25 mls of grapeseed oil, 0.7ml green dye and 0.8ml blue dye. I then sprayed this over the dry mix, stirring as I went. There was still minor clumping, but a definite improvement. I then sprinkled over a few calendula petals and a few cone flower petals, then made two medium balls. ~ picture to follow, when they've dried out.

My second mix for my friend (remember how too much water made them expand and go out of shape?) was 0.4ml bergamot, 0.2ml lavender, 0.1ml tea tree and 0.5ml jasmine. Again, I put this in the atomiser, with 1.25ml grapeseed oil, 1.25ml red dye and 0.4ml blue dye. This colour mix made a lovely rich purple in the bottle, which became a pretty lilac when added to the mix. With this I made one ball, with glitter hearts in the middle and rose petals on top, a bunny with glitter hearts in the middle, and 2 heart shapes in the ice cube mould. As I'm typing this, it has just occured to me to keep a mini heart of each mix I make, as a kind of record. ~ again pic to follow.

p.s. OH has just used one of his v1s. The scent was lovely once it was in the water (I wasn't keen on it as an oil), there were too many petals, and there wasn't enough colour.

ETA: Quelle catastrophe!! These ones got stuck in the moulds :( so no 'pics to follow'. I don't know if there was anything wrong with the mixture, or if I just left them in too long. They weren't swollen or distorted, so I think probably the latter. Feeling very dispondent - it's such a faff and they STILL don't work out! :(


Just wanted to make a note to remind myself of some changes I need to make. I used one of my heart shaped bombs last night. It was nice and fizzy, and I'd put glitter hearts in the middle which burst out at one point, that looked really pretty. The scent needs a bit of tweaking - there was an overwhelming smell like tea or bread, need to have a sniff through the oils I used and see what I used too much of. The water also felt too plain, I think I need a butter or a carrier oil in there to give an overall moisturising quality to it. Something light though, I hate when the water is greasy. There wasn't enough colour in there either - it didn't change the colour of the water at all.

So just for good measure I put half of one of the new Lush ones in, I think it's called Rocketeer. It's bright blue with an orange centre. It smells glorious - it's scented with gardenia - and it has popping candy inside. It fizzed much more slowly than mine, and left a creamy bubbly residue on the surface of the water. I think this is achieved with cream of tartare and sodium laureth sulphate, so once I am happier with my basic blend, I might try adding these components to see what difference it makes.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

A friend in need!

Ok, so a friend of mine has mentioned she has a problem with recurrent thrush, and from reading through the therapeutic qualities of my oils, I found that a few of them can help with thrush. So I decided to make her a bath bomb!

I did this on a Friday night, so I didn't want to make a whole batch, so I cut down the quantities. I used 200g bicarb and 100g citric acid. This made enough for two medium balls.

To this I added a touch of cosmetic grade white irridescent glitter. I then added about 1/3tsp of scent, made up of 15 drops bergamot, 15 drops lavender, 10 drops tea tre and 25 drops lavender...well that was the idea. But loads of the droppers don't work, and I got stressed, so a lot of guestimating went on! I think the end blend had more lavender than anything else - it certainly smells like it.

Anyway, I had the inspired idea of putting the dye in my spray bottle, hoping this would avoid the clumping problem. So I used 1/8tsp blue and 1/8tsp red dye, and mixed it with some water in my spray bottle. Problem is, it turns out I used two much water, as when I went to check on the bath bombs, about an hour after taking them out of their moulds, this had happened:

They had swelled up and become all misshapen! It's difficult to see without a comparison, but basically they have swollen and also gone flat from sitting on a flat surface. They are also very sticky. So I definitely put too much water in this mix. I think next time I should add the dye to the carrier oil instead of water, as this won't make the bicarb and citric react as much. But the spraying definitely works, as you can see the colour is much better blended this time.

Linky - herbalhelen

My friend Helen makes a whole range of natural products, some cosmetic, some for consumption and they're gawjus! So here's the linky:

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Getting started

Hi all!

I've just started making bath bombs and I've decided to keep a record of my experimenting, so I can look back and see how I've developed my 'recipe'. It's very trial and error at the moment, with scents and colours, but also with the basic ingredients and how to put them together.

So for my first batch I put the basic dry ingredients together, and divided this into two, so I could try two different scents and colours. So I started with 600g bicarbonate of soda and 300g citric acid, sieved them into a bowl, and then sieved them back and forth between two bowls to make sure they were thoroughly mixed.

To half the mix I then added 1/2tsp of scent made up of 35 drops bergamot, 20 drops jasmine, 30 drops palmarosa and 5 drops ylang ylang. This makes a beautiful scent! I chose this combination for myself, as they are supposed to have theraputic qualities for people with stress and depression. I then added 1/4tsp of red liquid colour. The colour clumped terribly, so I sieved it through and kept rubbing the clumps, like you would with a crumble mix. If you look in the picture you will see the overall effect was very pale, but with dark flecks. I am not happy with this and will experiment.

This mix made 2 large hearts and 4 mini hearts (ice cube tray). I put rose petals in the base of the moulds before pressing the mixture in. The mixture has to be pressed firmly into the mould, and slightly overfilled if you are going to press to halves together. Then when you press the two halves together you need to use a slight grinding motion and a fair amount of pressure to get them to bind together effectively.

I think next time I would make the large hearts in only half the mould, instead of putting two halves together. These hearts seem excessively big, and this doesn't seem to match up with the delicate romance and prettiness of the scent and colour I was going for.

With the second half of the mix I again added a 1/2tsp of scent, this time made up of 25 drops vetiver, 40 drops bergamot and 5 drops ylang ylang. It's not my taste at all, but it's not for me! This blend was for my OH who gets muscle aches. This time I added 1/4 tsp of blue liquid colour, and again had the same problem with clumping, as you can see in the final product. These ones have some cone flower petals mixed in before putting in the moulds. This amount made 3 medium balls and 1 small ball, plus I made 2 or 3 hearts in the same ice cube tray mould.

They were just right in terms of consistency. I didn't measure the amount of water I used, just did it by feel, and this seemed to work well. They stuck together well, came out of the moulds easily, and retained their shape 48 hours later.