I am starting with a store bought product but this is possible as a hobby for some people. It’s interesting to try out.
This is a kit from BackToTheRoots.com though there are other companies that offer these kits. This seems to be the best marketed product to be found by beginners.
This particular kit’s requires almost no effort to maintain beyond spritzing with water, it grows to the harvest stage in about 10 days and they are edible. I dried mine and used them in pasta sauce a few days later.
For all of my hobbies and projects I keep notes in matching Journals. I started this habit when I was about 15 so I have been writing journals for over 20 years. I have kept most of them, these are my crafting journals from the past five years. I leave blank pages at the beginning or end to write an index when I am done. I often reuse the recipes over and over as the years go by. It takes me about a year and half to completely fill one.
Wooden crates can be used to make all sorts of furniture cheaply and often more sturdy that the build your own laminated particle board they sell in a lot of stores.
The best places to get crates are craft stores, always check for coupons and deals first.
First you will want to sand down any rough edges on the crates, then apply stain in one or more coats to get the color you desire. I am using a Sedona red applied twice. It’s the same stain I refinished my plant stands with. There is a slight difference due to the type of wood differing but it is very close. Apply a sealant or lacquer after the stain has dried to protect the wood.
When it is done and completely dried use short screws or nails to affix the crates together. I used one of the simplest designs for this because I needed it to stay in it’s small space.
I plan on a small square coffee table as well but I went with the TV stand first, I will eventually do both but it is the rainy season now so probably in the spring, that way I have two matching pieces of furniture. Here is the standard arrangement for making a coffee table.
This soap is also known as Moroccan Black Soap or Beldi. It is made with 100% olive oil, black olives, distilled water and potassium hydroxide. It should not to be confused with African black soap which is very different. As this is the first time making it I am trying to be as simple and traditional as possible.
Because we are using KOH instead of NaOH this will not be a solid soap. The olive are blended up and added to the lye water, it is also common for the olives to be blended with the oil instead. This is made in a crock pot and is cooked for 3+ hours, in that time the olive breaks down and gives this soap paste a unique texture. It is used by rubbing a small amount onto the skin and working it to a lather, then letting the lather sit for several minutes on the skin before a good scrub and rinse. This soap gel should be sequestered for two weeks to a month before use.
Calculate this recipe using Soapcalc.net as a 100 % olive oil soap, set the superfat somewhere in the 5-10% range based on your preferences. You will be using KOH as your lye source for this recipe. Please check the type of KOH you are using with the soap calc settings. The water content should be calculated in the range of 60-70% of the oil weight depending on how thick you want it to end up.
Add the oil to the crock pot and turn the heat to high. Weight water into a separate heat safe container and add 100 g of olives for every 300 g olive oil, stick blend until everything is in tiny bits.
Add the KOH to the water and mix until dissolved thoroughly.
Add the lye solution to the oil and stick blend until light trace is reached.
Continue to cook for 3-4 hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes or as needed. It can expand rapidly so watch it, until enough water has cooked out and it settles down. It will go through a mashed potato and chunky phases, It might get somewhat solid, you just break it up and mix it. Cook in the 170 to 200 degrees F range and continue to cook until the soap gels and turns dark, it has taken me up to 7 hours of cooking to get gel phase in this soap. Keep cooking it until it gels, the higher the water content the longer it may take. Typically Essential Oil that blends with the natural scent of the soap is chosen.