Category: Projects

Fight Club and Soapmaking.

Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter Soap

I was given a great gift for Christmas – new soapmaking ingredients I haven’t used before. Among them were Cocoa Butter, Clary Sage Oil, Avocado Oil and Ginger Root Powder. Since then, I’ve been wanting to experiment with some new soap mixtures but haven’t had much time until this last week.

As a hobby, making soap is a great stress reliever. It’s a mixture of science, art and aromatherapy all in one. I had a pretty busy week and by Thursday night, I was ready to “degauss” (as my coworker and friend, Noah, likes to say!).

So I popped open a beer (gasp!), laid out all my supplies and spent an hour on the following creations. Click on the picture of the soap  for notes on the ingredients.

Shea and cocoa butter homemade soap
Shea and cocoa butter homemade soap

I finally watched “Fight Club“.

Fight Club DVD cover art (C) 1999
Fight Club DVD cover art (C) 1999

Have you seen the 1999 movie “Fight Club”? I love watching movies but apparently I missed that one. A couple of months ago, after mentioning I make soap, people were asking if I had seen the movie. Everyone was surprised that I hadn’t. I think the actual response was “WHAT?  You make soap and you haven’t seen Fight Club?? That movie’s awesome! Tyler Durden makes soap!”

Another friend at work, Michelle, loaned me her “Fight Club” DVD before Christmas. After a bit of prodding, I finally watched it yesterday. All in all, I liked it and thought it was a decent movie. The movie has a large following of fans that can probably add more to this analysis. For me, I now understand the Tyler Durden/soapmaking references. I’d say more but I’d be breaking the first rule of Fight Club.

Want a bar of soap?

Want a bar of soap? Leave a comment and be entered into my drawing!

I don’t sell my soap. It make it, give some away and use most myself. I’m not making soap in large enough quantities to supply a lot of people but I’m going to try something new with this batch.

Comment on this post by 7:00pm (Arizona time), Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 on why you want a bar of soap. The names of those who comment by this time will go into in a hat. After that, I will draw one name from that hat and award one of the bars of soap pictured above to the person whose name I draw.  Comment all you like, but I’ll only put your name once in the hat. (Gotta be fair, right?) Make sure you put an email address I can get back to you with. I’ll only use that so I can ship you your free bar of soap – I’ll even pay for the postage!

I’ll post the winner’s name by Friday, January 30th. Good luck!

This Weekend’s Batch of Soap

Shown here are my most recent handmade soaps:

Latest Soap Creations
Latest Soap Creations

Sunday Morning Sounds

Window Shopping

For several years, I’ve been tossing around the idea of getting a portable digital recorder. I have a decent amount of stationary recording equipment (mixer, microphones, effects, USB audio interface, etc…) but the idea of having something that would give me the ability to record sound and music in a portable package has always intrigued me. I’ve been “window shopping” for quite a while.  After a ton a research I broke down and bought a Tascam DR-1 digital recorder.

In the month or so since I bought the DR-1 it never ceases to amaze me. The built in stereo condenser microphone is incredibly sensitive and clean. I’ve used it to record interviews on the set of my friends’ movie, Locker 13, to record live music, and I’ve been using it to record ambient sound.

A Lazy Sunday Morning

This morning, I woke up just before 7:00am. As was my usual weekend morning routine, I got some coffee brewing in the coffee maker. It was still fairly cool out, so I opened the front door to let some of the morning air in and let my cats sit by the door.

I figured it would be a good time of day to see what the DR-1 could do. Again, I must say was impressed. Later, listening to the recording through headphones and with my eyes closed, it took me right back to that perfect time on a lazy weekend morning when all you have to do is be.

Sunday Morning Sounds Recording

Take a listen to the recording here – I recommend using headphones!


Title: Sunday Morning Sounds

Recorded: Sunday, September 28th, 2008, 7:00am

Length: 5:05

Recording events:

  • Neighbor’s car starting and driving off
  • Garla meowing and “talking” into microphone
  • Garla rolling around on the floor and purring
  • Birds chirping
  • Coffee maker brewing in the kitchen
  • Coffee maker beeping when brewing completes
  • Small airplane flying in the distance

One of my side projects

New poster art for Locker 13
New poster art for Locker 13

Brothers’ Ink Productions is producing an anthology feature film this summer called “Locker 13” comprised of 6 vignettes along the lines of the films “Four Rooms”, “Short Cuts”, or “A Night on Earth”.

I’ve been helping my friends over at Brothers’ Ink with their blog that will be documenting the production of Locker 13.

read more | digg story

Amateur Soap-making7ujh

About six months ago, I started experimenting with making my own bars of soap. Some pictures from my earlier experiments are on my soap-making project page. I’ve had both good and mediocre results. I’ve tried a few different soap “recipes”. Currently, most of the soaps I’ve been crafting begin with a glycerine, shea butter or olive oil base. Of those I’ve made, I think I like the olive oil-based soaps best. They lather pretty good in the shower, moisturize the skin and are longer lasting.

Some of the essential oils I’ve used so far are: lemongrass, sandlewood, lavender, vanilla, orange and coconut. I like the first three best, either alone or combined. Things start getting a little more interesting when you start including additives like chamomile and lemongrass leaves along with soap coloring.

A couple of days ago, I started putting together the vanilla-scented soaps you see here:


I used scraps from previous batches to get the marbled red chunks. I didn’t document that process, but here’s what I did with the large slab of cured soap tonight:




P4304548 P4304559

We’ll see how this soap works in practice. I think my next soap will be an olive oil-based lemongrass and sandelwood combination. Maybe I’ll throw some oatmeal in there too. Why not? Throw caution to the wind – that’s what I say!