Time is a nebulous thing. You can't see it, you can't taste it, you can't smell it, but it's there, ticking away moving mercilessly forward without pity or compassion for your own needs. Time has been my enemy for several months in a row now. Since November, actually. At that time of the year, it's always hectic, yet this year was nothing about family gatherings, love and joy, good food or celebrating the new grandson arriving in February. It was hospitals, surgeons, anesthetists, therapists, antibiotics, doctors, no sleep, too little to eat and no time to keep things clicking along in the Bubble Lab. Very stressful.
Time has continued to pass and, yes, things have smoothed out but the website struggles are real and ongoing. When you have no time to create, you disappear. It is what it is. You deal with it, tackle it and beat it into submission. I love my work and my business is my baby. It isn't something I can just stop doing much to the chagrin of some. It's what gets me through the days with a smile, gives others something wonderful from my day's diligence, so it's worth the exhaustion, the mess and that lingering (glorious!) scent of what the day's work brought to life.
Through the weeks and months of dark winter months spent in hospitals and rehab centers, it was long days, big bills, lots of running back and forth and plenty of laundry. Sleep was not my friend. It danced further away with each passing day. After a time of no sleep, it catches up with me and I sleep like a lump for almost twelve hours straight. That was the case today. Days and days of 3 hours of sleep finally took its inexorable toll and I was down for the count until nearly half the day was gone when I woke up this morning, though at least it was still morning (barely)! Good thing I'm not a fan of breakfast!
I need to get cracking on a batch of Body Wash today and sometime very soon Earl Grey Tea needs re-stocking. Time is fleeting, so it's time to get to work on these and make the most use of the time this day has left! I'm also working on the Shampoo formulation too, so watch for that coming soon. There's also a batch of face cream that I'm playing around with to get the perfect balance of smooth & light yet more without making any claims. Time's a-wasting, so see you all again soon in the Bubble Lab!
I'm a Capricorn as is my husband yet our level of patience are polar opposites. It strikes me as odd that this is true but I guess perhaps that's tied to our gender. He's very much an Alpha Male. Likes things a certain way, doesn't embrace change. Hoards like Doomsday is looming. I'm nothing at all like that. Well, let me amend that. I do like things a certain way, yes, but it's just a matter of simplification for the process I'm about to proceed with. But I race headlong into change. Change is good. It's indicative of growth and learning as well as a sign of engagement with the world at large. I am definitely not a hoarder either. I can't stand clutter and will discard, sometimes to the detriment of a day to day need. Too much clutter stifles my work process so things must be tidy before I can function in the workspace.
Within the context of the bath & body creations, patience is always in high demand as the next paragraph will illustrate. I work exclusively with CP soap - for now. I'd do hot process if there's a need for it, but it's not as much fun to do as the flexibility of swirling & design is a bit more complex yet limited. I love the swirling aspect followed by the element of surprise when the loaf is cut and expectations are met, exceeded or missed entirely. That is why I prefer CP soap despite the long cure time and the wait that's often necessary before it's firm enough to cut.
A cold process soap's design is not immediately obvious when using a loaf mold. All I see is the top of the loaf. None of the design is visible and the motions I went through to make the design is a bit like flying blind. I'm moving around with whatever tool of choice was used but that motion tells me nothing about what the design looks like. I might be aiming for a butterfly swirl with a hanger tool, going through the steps to achieve that, but it might not be anything at all like a butterfly when it's finally cut. Finding out what it looks like generally takes 2 to 5 days to discover.
Not every batch takes beyond 2 days. It all depends on the fragrance oil, the soft and hard oils used and the ratio of those in the recipe, humidity and ambient temperature, whether it includes certain extras in the recipe (or not) and how much water is used. All of those will impact how long you have to wait for a batch to be firm enough to cut without destroying your design. If it's too soft, the design smears. If it's too firm, it can crumble or even break the cutter's wires.
Now you have a clearer idea of the challenges we soap makers face with every batch we make. Other products have their own unique set of challenges as well but that's a tale for another day. With everything we love to create for our customers, know that our patience is pushed to its limits sometimes but we still wouldn't change a thing because we love our work. There's nothing more gratifying than to make something for others that gives them the satisfaction of a smooth shaven face, soft clean skin or a pampered delicate face. We have the patience to create it all and will happily do it all over again.
Hi and welcome to the Bubble Lab! I'm Neecy, aka Dee (Denise) Gunter. I'm the solo maker of Neecy's Necessities, which has been around since 2010. I'm a certified advanced soap maker and member of Hand Crafted Soap and Cosmetics Guild as well as a member of Indie Business Network. I'm an adventurous soap maker, frequently trying new things to make things even better yet I know when to stop when it's just fine as is.Follow along with my work in the lab in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.