Monday, March 27, 2017

Chemical Reactions and the Homemade Slime Scare

I have kept quiet about the whole homemade slime dangers until now. Everyone assumes that the problems with the homemade slime has been with the borax. After watching a video from a news channel where the child had received chemical burns from her homemade slime I had to speak out. Her doctors suspect that it was the borax. Considering that I have been using a solution of borax to neutralize my homemade liquid soap, I just had to do some more research.  Borax is used in several products as a buffer.

No one ever considers that the problem might be the chemical reaction. After all, the whole homemade slime experiment is a chemical reaction. You take a PVA glue (Polyvinyl Acetate) and adding a solution of borax. PVA reacts to the boron components in borax in a predictable way causing the PVA to become similar to rubber. The chemical reaction also happens to convert the PVA to polyvinyl alcohol and acetic acid.

Most recipes I see online are almost always in volume. Teaching myself how to get consistent result to my own crafting, I learned long ago to use a good scale to weigh my formulas. Did anyone ever consider that something went wrong in the measuring? What happens when you add more on one ingredient than another?

People, chemicals put together make something else altogether. So while PVA glue may be safe and borax when used in the appropriate manner may be safe, what happens when the formula for slime is not followed exactly as it should be? What is the resulting chemically reaction that is the cause for the problems that have been showing up.

Is slime made with borax the problem? I don’t know. I just wish more scientific facts went into the warnings rather than hysteria. I have read the Material Safety Data Sheet on borax. Which is why I ended up using it in my liquid soap neutralizations. I need to do more research for my own edification. I just wish more people would do their own research before jumping into these bandwagons.

For the record, I have never made slime. When I was very small my father gave me a whole bunch of slime which I didn’t know what to do with. I have never seen the appeal of slime, though my daughter does love playing with it. I just had a problem with the pointing of fingers at borax with no real facts that it was the cause of the burning. I recommend caution, parental guidance, and lots of research.

*P.S. Also note that many also add food coloring and glitter. Craft glitter is NOT skin safe. All the glitter in my soaps and lotions are cosmetic grade glitter. How will the craft glitter react when exposed to polyvinyl alcohol? Food coloring may be safe to ingest, but that doesn't also mean it is skin safe. Think about applying a jalapeno to your skin as opposed to eating them. Many hobby stores have colorants and glitter made for melt and pour soaps.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Pink Leopard Soap

I really like how this soap turned out. I always loved the spots of leopards. This soap reminds me of a particular person I know of. She always would wear leopard print. I think she would have loved this soap. This was a very fun soap to make even though it did take a bit to make. I watched cake decorating videos as well as some leopard print soap videos to get the gist of how to make this. I kept in mind my elementary art teacher's advice about randomly placing items. I think I will be making this soap again, though probably in different colors.

I am still hand cutting all my soaps so they are uneven. I try to cut them to weight 4 ounces. Obviously, some will weight a bit more than than. All soaps that weight less than 4 ounces will be cut into sample sizes if there are any. The soap is scented with Black Cherry.

The ingredients are: Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Aqua (water), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Lard, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance, mica, titanium dioxide, manganese violt, iron oxide, tin oxide, chromium oxide green, ultramarine blue.

This soap is available for $7. Buy 4 soaps, get one free with all orders shipped free. I use only skin safe ingredients. Every person is created different with different allergies. I listed everything I use in this soap for your information. However, if a rash or irritated skin occurs, stop using the product immediately.

The End of My Website

It is with sadness in my heart that I must close my beautiful website. I don't have the sales to keep it open at this time. Perhaps in the future I will be able to open it again. I will keep my Etsy shop open though. Since I am just starting out selling, I will just keep a current inventory on my facebook business page in a photo album. When I get some interest, I will just put together a custom listing until I sell enough product to keep my inventory listed on Etsy. I know this is not ideal for many, but I just don't have the resources to keep my entire inventory on Etsy at this moment. I am very happy that Etsy does make it so easy for me to put up a listing and take payment which was a problem for me on the website.

I will be trying to do some more promoting of my business using this blog, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. Just remember, I am a Domestic Engineer (Stay at Home Mom) whose children come first. I homeschool all my children, I am part of a Children's Ministry team and we are still without a home as yet. I know that I will adjust eventually to shouldering a bigger load, but I am warning you that I will most likely have spotty posts until I find my groove.

Links to keep in mind:

Facebook==>The Ladybug's Soapbox
Pinterest==>Ladybug Soapbox
Etsy Shop==>The Ladybug's Soapbox

My email is

Thank You and God Bless

Carol J.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas Giveaway--Closed

December 15, 2015 This Drawing is now CLOSED Congratulations to Catherine Orvis Gilpin

Merry Christmas! I hope that everyone is having a wonderful Holiday season. I wanted to write this quick little post to offer you a Christmas Giveaway. In celebration of my new website store, I am going to give away 2 soaps and 2 lip butters of the winner's choice. In order to win this giveaway, simply comment on this blogpost or the facebook post on my business page which soaps and lip butters you would like. My family and I will put your names in a bowl and do a drawing. Only one name will be entered, so you don't have to post multiple times. The winner will be randomly chosen.

Please comment by Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at noon. That way I can send out the winner's package the next day so that, hopefully, they will get it in time for Christmas. The winner will be notified immediately.

Which soaps are your favorites? Available soaps can be viewed on my website.

December 15, 2015 This Drawing is now CLOSED Congratulations to Catherine Orvis Gilpin

Merry Christmas from the Ladybug's Soapbox.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Green Apple Tall and Skinny Shimmy

Well this week has been such a crazy week. My hosts are having an early Thanksgiving dinner this week and I have been trying to help out. Now of course I am down to the wire entering the soap challenge for this month. I have to say I think I need to practice a bit more.

This is my first soap, the colors didn't turn out quite how I wanted. I made the mold from foamcore as suggested, but I didn't follow the instructions too well. I made the box so that the skinny part of the mold was 2.5". Well I then didn't calculate for the new volume so my soap was squarish. I didn't achieve the cute little "s" design and I had tails. I also has a difficult time getting it out of the mold. So I went back to the drawing board.

This time with my leftover foamcore, I made a longer mold. I calculated the proper volume for this mold this time. I didn't have big enough paper cups so I used my condiment containers. Since my scent is green apple, I went with a graduated green for my color scheme.

I have to say that I did like using the paper cups as suggested. It was a bit difficult for me to keep the soap flowing down the side of the mold. I had trouble keeping my mold on one pencil of the other. The heavier the mold got, I had more slippage which may have been one reason I didn't get the "s" design. Plop! Ugh.

My nephew really wanted to help out
 I didn't want to leave the top plain, so I did a quick design. This soap was also difficult to get out of the mold even after waiting three days. I don't usually have to wait very long especially with a Trinity soap batter. Not in my neck of the desert and not with a water discount. Next time I will be using sodium lactate. I ended up having to shred that mold.

Here is my finished soap. It is pretty even though I didn't get the design I was hoping for. I love how the colors turned out.
I do plan on making another mold, though with the plastic sign board my friend gave me. It is blank. I am going to try again. That is once I get my things back from storage. I had so much fun doing this soap challenge, it has helped me so much get out of a funk. I look forward to the next one.

Carol H.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Announcement! I have a website and an Etsy store!

Well with the encouragement of my friends and family I have decided to sell my soaps. I really don't expect a lot of sales at first. And really, I only want to sell my soaps so that I can support my addiction to making soap so I can make more soap. Thank you to all my friends and family who have supported my little hobby. I enjoy making soap and I enjoy when my soaps get admired.

Here are the links: The Ladybug's Soapbox website
                               My Etsy Store

I have some more soap to add. I took a little trip to Bisbee to raid our storage unit. Cowboy Preacher had no clothes for the colder weather so I took advantage and grabbed a few of my supplies and products.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Carol Harvey
Head Artisan and Owner

Happy Dance!

PS: I'll be offered some more coupons for the Holiday season.

Head Lice!? ICK!!

You know, as a child, I remember endures lice checks at school. I never had them. I am certain that if I did, my mother would have be just as grossed out as I was, if not more so. (Does anyone know how freaked out Asians get about being dirty, associated with being dirty, and how they will do just about anything to be clean?) School started in Las Cruces in August. I had heard in the news about several states having problems with pesticide resistance head lice. Like any other person, I thought that THAT wouldn't happen to me.

The schools here had a major outbreak. But I homeschool, so I wasn't worried about it. The laugh was on me. My children have been enjoying playing with their cousins who, of course, go to school. One thing lead to another and yes, they did get lice. I had lice, Cowboy Preacher had a few lice. ACK!

Here is what I did. Due to a little Facebook poster all of Las Cruces had a tea tree oil shortage, but since I keep a bottle of the stuff in my purse I had some around. I put some in the shampoo and conditioner. Since Cowboy Preacher is allergic to tea tree oil, I bought some homeopathic lice spray and shampoo. By the way, Lice Freee is some awesome stuff. One application to Cowboy Preacher and the lice never came back. Being very sensitive, he said the stuff did sting a little. Then I used a lice comb and combed everyone's hair. That is nasty to do, if I have to say so myself.

I spent even more money going to a laundromat to get all the bedding washed. Then I had Cowboy Preacher buy some diatomaceous earth which I sprinkle everywhere we slept. On one boy, I had to dust his hair with the DE since he was finding it a little difficult to rid himself of the ugly little pests.

After a few days, I added some tea tree oil to my hair coconut oil. I learned later from a friend that lice don't like oily hair. Which confounds me since both Cowboy Preacher and I have really oily hair. But I was happy that my intuition lead me to start oiling up everyone's hair (except Cowboy Preacher, of course). I had only used the coconut hair oil on my daughter and myself before. I also left a lot of conditioner on my hair. 

We were completely lice free that first week, but I kept up the oil for a few weeks after that. I have to say these lice were a bit difficult to get rid of being pesticide resistant. I knew a few people who tried to use the pesticide stuff to handle these ugly pests, but they didn't work well at all. The homeopathic stuff worked great, but I wanted to try to save what little money we had and work with what we had. I do have 5 children after all. The bottle of spray wouldn't have lasted long. The spray smelled like a cross between anise and Chloraseptic. 

I pray that this never happens again, but if it did, I am going straight for the tea tree hair oil again. That seemed to have worked the best. Notice I didn't give any amounts? I did that purposefully. I did my research and I know how much to use for my family. I don't know who reads my blog but I am sure that everyone is different. What I use for my family will most likely not work for yours. I did my research, you do yours. I know for a fact that Cowboy Preacher is allergic to tea tree oil. I know my children are not. I also know how to use this essential oil properly on my family due to my extensive research. Please do your own research. Use of essential oils is serious business.