Dapper Dragon v3 Makes For A Nice Shave

After a week of “curing” (actually just drying) on my desk, the third version of my shave soap was solid enough to handle without becoming a mess. So, I took the ugly-looking top slice and plopped it in a bowl for some testing.

Soap and lather bowl

Ready to handle

Successfully lathered

A thick, slick lather

 

 

It made a nice, slick lather quite easily, and the blood orange fragrance oil has a very nice scent when lathered. I also left the lather in the bowl for 30 minutes while I played with my daughter and got dinner ready. It fell a little due to gravity, but didn’t collapse and was still quite slick.

Soap and lather after 30 minutes.

After 30 Minutes

I shaved with it this morning, and it worked quite well. My lather this morning might have been slightly less slick than I’m getting from my V2 soap (which was made with pure KOH), but I’m going to use it a few more days before I make any determinations.

I hope to pack up soap samples for people that have volunteered to test for me this weekend, and put them in the mail on Monday.

Guess I’d better get to work designing a logo, huh?

A Scattershot Approach to Creativity

I haven’t been very active here since this summer, but I have been keeping busy. Fatherhood and a full time job will do that for you, regardless of your creative efforts.

Thankfully, I haven’t been idle on the creative front, either.

LadySea.net Updates

My wife is a potter, photographer, and knitter. She is selling her work over at LadySea Creations. Since I’m already conversant in HTML and CSS, and have a decent idea of design, I’m the webmaster and site author over there. It’s a pretty good creative outlet. I have always enjoyed programming for that reason. (I’m writing server side scripting in PHP.) Creative problem solving, followed up by translating those ideas into a structured language. It’s a fun challenge, and not entirely dissimilar to writing structured poetry.

Writing

I have worked a bit more on The Apprentice, and also a couple of short stories. It’s not as much progress as I’d like to make, but fatherhood and work continue to be very intense. My hope to write on the laptop or paper while being Parent on Deck hasn’t really worked out. The littlest munchkin is just too active, too curious, and too smart. She requires more attention now, not less. I’ll likely be hosting a story or two here in the near future.

Soaping

I’m still really enjoying soap making. The last soap I made didn’t work for the house because I had forgotten that my wife’s tree allergies involved cedar.

The next thing I made (that worked) was a soft shave soap with shea butter. It really came out great. The lather is very effective, and the shea butter leaves the skin feeling marvelous afterward. I was trying for a lemon-lime scent with a touch of peppermint, but the peppermint oil was much stronger than I realized. I ended up with basically a pure peppermint scent.

Currently I am curing a stiffer version of this soap. I also plan to try a hard version. Whichever I like best will become the basis for my shave soap line. That’s right, I’ve decided to try selling soaps. I will call the brand Dapper Dragon soap, and sell it alongside Sonya’s pottery at Ladysea Creations.

I intend to make bath and facial bars as well. Hopefully I can include some in the products on display when Sonya does local craft sales.

Visual Arts

This is one realm where I haven’t kept my hand in this year at all. I’m not really happy about it, either. But there are just too many things to do, and not enough time. However, I have checked out the newest Krita for Windows. I really like the way it works. It is similar in many ways to MyPaint, but since it uses the KDE libraries, it’s not affected by the Gnome/GTK issues that killed tablet functionality in MyPaint for Windows and GIMP. And it’s open source!

 

That’s the state of my creative life these days. Look for more, and more frequent updates as I get these projects rolling.