Thursday, January 14, 2016

Life Goes On

It has been a bit since I posted.  As the title says "Life goes on."  I have been doing various things each day but very little sewing.  (I did take up some pants for Mom.) I have also done just a little weaving.
One day this week, I started a batch of sauerkraut. I put a little over four pounds of cabbage and most of a pound of carrots in it for a total of five pounds of vegetables.  (The 'pound' of carrots after peeling and cutting off ends was about 13 oz. )  Those are fermenting in my food grade plastic bucket.  It will make a nice batch of sauerkraut in three to four weeks.

Yesterday (Wednesday) I made a batch of soap.  It has to sit in the molds for a bit to get to a stage where it can be removed -and cut if needed.  I made four and a half pounds of soap.  Soap is made with fats (which are acid) and lye (which is alkaline.)  The process  is one of neutralization.  Thus the end product should be mildly acidic for a good moisturizing soap product. (we call that mildly acidic state "super-fatted.")  For this batch, I used lard, coconut oil and grapeseed oil as my fats.  I think this is a really good recipe and I will likely repeat it in the future.  For fragrance, I used Almond, sandalwood and raspberry.   That made the work area smell wonderful.
I used a silicone loaf pan, a silicone cupcake pan  and one round soap mold to mold the soaps.   This morning I sliced the loaf into bars.  Here is how it looks.
The sun was shining in through the blinds  and it overpowered my flash. But you can see the bars and the nice creamy color of the soap.
Now it has to cure for about a month to harden and finish the neutralization process.

I mentioned some weaving:  For example, I had this warp on my Saori floor loom.
 The paint chip cards were the "inspiration/challenge" colors that I could use for it. The purple grey was not an exact match but it was closer than in the photo.
Finally, last night, I sat and finished weaving this piece.  It is set to be wet finished today.  It will have to hang to dry and then after that I can hopefully get a good picture of it to show.
But, I also want to get to my machine and sew some quilt pieces.
I never expected retirement to be such a busy time.
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.


kathyinozarks said...

busy busy you are getting lots done Gene

Barbara said...

I enjoyed seeing everything you've been doing, Gene. Sauerkraut-making, soap-making, and weaving is quite a varied agenda. In the end, you will be well-fed, clean, and warm!

Jeanna said...

I am so happy you are busy post retirement...busy doing things you enjoy is Priceless!

Debbie said...

Such a variety of interests that just keep you going and going. So glad you are loving this timeof life.

The Slow Quilter said...

Life does go on, and like you I have not done much bloging late because in my case Life Gets In The Way of things I want to do, but don't have time to do. Hope to get back into the blogging world soon. Keep up the good work you are getting things done.

Unknown said...

I've heard from many of my retired friends that they are busier now than they ever thought they would be. In my mind, I would rather be busy than not. You always do a great job on the projects you share. Thanks for sharing. :)