Thursday, January 13, 2011

A few random thoughts for a snowy day

I had trouble getting started yesterday because a snow day is so fraught with possibilities! Here was my thought process - well, I could do some sewing (I'm learning how to make clothes and I have some lovely hot pink fabric for a tunic). I could play some Rock Band (I've been working on expert level bass for easier songs and hard bass for things like Iron Maiden - 92% and 94% last night, so I'm getting better!). I could work on some jewellery (I really need some shorter necklaces to go with the lovely blouses my mother has made for me)  or I could do some baking (we need cookies and cupcakes for upcoming groups and classes). I have a list of research ideas a mile long. And I need to get into the workshop to work on the Iron Chemist challenge! But in the end, I cut out a few pairs of sleeping shorts and a pillowcase, then spent the day playing Professor Leyton on my DSiXL and watching TV.

Here's what I did instead of actual things yesterday - my thoughts on some of the e-mails and comments I read...

Sara came up with a great way to remember the difference between cetyl alcohol and stearic acid in lotions. "Cetyl is slick and stearic is thick!" I love this!

You cannot make a conditioner without a positively charged ingredient like BTMS-50, BTMS-25, cetrimonium bromide, and so on. If you make a conditioner with emulsifying wax, you have made a lotion and it won't feel very good on your hair. (Click here to read about how conditioners work on your hair.)

When you're making a product for the first time, make a small batch of it to see if you like it, especially if you're making some substitutions (like trying a different oil) or learning how to make something for the first time. (BTW: Congratulations, Sara, on your first lotion!) Start by making a 100 gram or ml bottle or a 4 ounce batch. Believe me, when you mess up on 2 kilograms of lotion (multiplying the recipe by 20 times), you'll know why I say to use smaller batches when you start!

And keep notes on what you make! (More about that later today!) Get labels on those bottles so you know which one is your favourite version, and make notes on your recipe sheets so you know what you did differently this time!

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