Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thoughts for a not-so-warm Tuesday morning

I haven't had time to write up posts for this week, so you're going to get things off the top of my head for the next few days! Sorry! 

Fellow enjoyers of sewing - When did we stop calling ourselves "sewers" and started using the word "sewist"? According to WordSpy, in 1964. I don't care how old the word might be, sewist just sounds silly. And yes, I grant you that sewer might look like sewer (as in where waste water goes), but sewist? There's something really weird about that word. I've tried saying it a few times, but it just sounds wrong. Sewist. I don't know - I'm not going to use it!

How do you know which preservative to choose for your product? In general, you'll want a broad spectrum preservative (one that fights bacteria, fungus, and yeast) and something suitable for the application at hand. If you have a lotion, shampoo, or anything else with water, you'll choose one suitable for water containing applications. If you have an anhydrous product, like a scrub, you'll choose one suitable for anhydrous products. Here's the handy dandy chart on preservatives I've created to help you make those choices!

So what're you making this week? Are you planning out your Christmas gifts yet? I'm hoping to get into the workshop on Saturday and make some shampoo bars (one left!) and a ton of body wash!


Tara said...

I'm definitely starting my Christmas projects already. So far I've made 3 batches of Chocolate Almond cold processed soap, a batch of Cranberry Red Palm Liquid Soap and a batch of Pure Olive Oil Liquid Soap. Still on the agenda: body scrub, body butter, lip balm, foaming hand wash, shampoo & conditioner and bubble bath. I've got 50 bags or so to make! Already I am getting tired just thinking about it....

Bajan Lily said...

How about 'seamstress'...?

mamafrog said...

That is about the dumbest term I've heard in a long time--and it feels way newer than '64! (I was around then.) I've always used sewer or seamtress, just makes more sense when you're talking about sewing. Though I always thought seamtstress was more someone who was into fancy dressmaking and a sewer made clothes and household things. Potaytoe potahto!!

melian1 said...

i've got my christmas projects planned, and have got orders in for the ingredients i'll need. later this month i'll start with the cp soap, then next month i'll do the lotions. i'm making an aftershave this month also, after the traditional (really old, lol) recipe from a thread on the dish, to give it plenty of time to meld and age.

i've never heard of "sewist" and think it's a bizarre term. i've always heard "seamstress" or "sewer" in spite of the similar spelling to another word. after all, if we can keep "read" and "read" and "red" straight, why can't we keep "sewer" and "sewer" straight? sheesh.

sfs said...

I am planning to make a shampoo/body wash bar for my son who is returning to college.

BTW, your preservative chart lists optiphen as unsuitable for anhydrous products but The Herbarie says this:

Optiphen is suitable for anhydrous formulations and emulsions, such as creams, lotions, salves, body butters, and body scrubs.

I'm so confused!

Always.Looking.4.1.More said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Always.Looking.4.1.More said...

Hello Everyone!


I understand how you feel about that confusion. I've found that, as good as our teachers, mentors, and helpers are there comes a time when we just have to try ingredients and find out for ourselves what works best with whatever formulation we are making. (Susan is one of the good ones; and I also have a few chemists who are walking me through this learning process, both w/degrees and w/o). I'm building relationships with each of these people which allows me to be honest and straightforward. I just told one of them recently that I don't agree with their idea about an ingredient, so I'm going in a different direction. They encourage this and they want me to report back what I find out. It was this person who told me to stop studying so much and TRY some things because this is the way I'm really going to learn.

So SFS, be confused but forge forward anyway with the knowledge that you've gained so far. And if your formulation fails, which my most recent one did (a teeth & mouth cleaner), then find out why and let us know so you can teach us.

BTW: My mentor didn't know for sure why my formulation failed since it did work the first time I formulated it. But we're pretty sure it was the little change I decided to make. So I'm making another batch the way I made it the first time and I've learned that heat can change an ingredient's molecules more than I realized.

Laura said...

I've started making Christmas gifts but this year none of them include bath/body products. On the list so far is ginger-infused honey syrup, tangerine powder, vanilla sugar, pear-vanilla jam, spiced mixed nuts, and a tangy mustard that I just love.