Thursday, April 30, 2015

New Stuff

First, I want to share some information about incense making. I've been searching the web for years looking for a site that showed how someone who doesn't make incense every single day for a living (ladies on the roof style) can make paste that sticks to incense sticks. Watching the videos coming out of India makes me feel extremely inadequate as an incense roller person as those ladies whip those sticks out in about -- well, I don't know, it's so darned fast my eyes blur just a little. So I developed my own technique, which after a couple of hundred incense sticks, I've gotten pretty good. Some day when my hands aren't feeling shy I'll make a wee video of my technique to share. For now I'm going to share a video of someone else -- Carl Neal, an incenseur for decades, he's got the gig down pretty well. And he has a YouTube channel, so if you want to learn some basics of incense mixing, he's the guy to watch. The problem with watching videos of other folks making incense is that they can get boring after a while because they try too hard to preface the work with wads of information you probably aren't going to hear because you're too busy speeding up the video to the good bits to listen. Carl Neal gets right to it.


I made a batch of soap last week and it's soft as a baby's tushie. My scale is so far off tare that none of my oil to lye to water ratios turned out right. The soap is super squishy and lye-free, so I'm thinking I miscalculated (or my scale did) the lye and didn't put in enough. And I hate rebatching because it funks up the scent and whatnot and I put in a LOT of super fine oils, like neroli and orange blossom and gardenia and white champa and Kaffir lime and davana and a bunch more (vanilla, petit grain, lemon, olibanum . . . and more . . .), so I'm really resisting the rebatch thing. I'm considering turning it into a super fragrant creme soap and putting it in jars. It's only two pounds, but dang if that isn't going to be a ton of creme soap to jar up.

I bought a new scale today. And a dozen 4-oz jars to put that creme soap into.

The incense dust I created a few days ago is still melding away. I haven't had a lot of free time to take the last step and add the liquid to create the paste and then begin the rolling onto sticks portion of the game. For me it's meditative, I get in a groove and don't want to stop unless I absolutely have to. I'm back at that place where every time I try to sit down to do that kind of work, someone needs me to bake a pie in 15 minutes and vacuum the house because so-and-so's coming over in 10 - 9 - 8 - 7 - 6 . . . . I told my daughter I was packing my bags and moving to France, to which my granddaughter quipped, "Oh, Grammy, you're so silly."

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