what was i thinking? formulating

Do you remember when I said I was going to start a series called "What was I thinking?"  Well, I think I'm ready.  I came up with the idea when I was organizing and delcuttering for our move from Minnesota to Oregon and was amazed at how many ingredients I had and how many notebooks of ideas and formulations I had, but yet felt like I had nothing and too much at the same time.  

Once in awhile I go through my formulating notebooks only to realize I keep trying to rediscover the same things!  I see myself trying similar formuations for lotions or soap or bath fizzies, not realizing I've done them already.  What a waste of time!  How unorganized am I?  I'm left brain, but yet I'm not.  I have a minor in chemistry, I should know how to formulate.  I do know, but sometimes it's not as fun as playing around I guess.  Restraint...I have none.

Today I discovered a bath fizzy recipe from November 2011.  I made it today and I like it.  My notes say my friend likes it.  Why did I not keep continuing to improve it?  Obviously I didn't love it if I didn't make it again.  If I combine the recipe I'm on now with this one I think I will be happy.  Maybe that's formulating.  But November 2011 to March 2013 is a long time to formulate something as simple as a bath fizzy and frankly not an earth shattering recipe either.  Oh well...I think I learned a few things.  Maybe I should come up with some rules for formulating....


The Rules of Formulating.

1.  Don't talk about formulating.
2.  Don't talk about formulating.
wait...this isn't Fight Club!
3.  Figure out what you want to make.
4.  Study ingredients and recipes.
5.  Formulate a recipe.
6.  Try it out for awhile.
7.  Figure out if you like it or not.  What do or don't you like about it?  Try to pinpoint ingredients that you like and ingredients you don't like.
8.  TAKE NOTES!!!  I want to slap myself silly on some of my recipes for not taking notes.  Luckily I take notes on the recipes I do like, which is better than nothing.  It would be nice to have more notes on things I don't like.  You always think you'll remember something, but you won't.
9.  If you want to change the recipe, don't change too much at one time.  The best way to test a recipe is to only change one ingredient at a time.  Technically you should have your control recipe and then you could maybe make 3 other recipes changing one ingredient on each one and then compare.  This way you can be sure what ingredient does what.  I felt like I could change multiple things at the same time, but in the end it just confused me.
10.  Focus on your goal.  Don't get sidetracked. 
11.  On a side note...don't be afraid to think outside the box.
12.  If the recipe is going nowhere, ditch it, and start over!  This is what I did with my body creams.
13.  Know when you're done and then pat yourself on the back.

Even though I haven't been the ideal formulator, there is a method to my madness.  I have learned so much over the years and suddenly everything is coming together.  I feel like I can formulate in an efficient manner now.  I feel like I know what each ingredient can bring to a formulation.  The perfectionist in me says it was a waste of time and money, but it was a hobby for me so it was okay to play around.  Either way, I enjoyed a lot of the products.  

I better go...I need to formulate.  I will never stop!

Comments

  1. We are so alike! I am going to take your list for my own, thanks <3

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    1. At least I'm not all by myself in this! I could've made the list longer too!

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks (as I sit here formulating again). My bath fizzy idea fizzed. Combining the two recipes did not work!

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  3. You are funny, Milla,but so right!
    :)

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    1. I have to laugh at myself, right?

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  4. This post made me laugh, but I can relate. 8,9, and 10 are me all over!!! Sometimes I get ideas as I go, when making a new recipe or just tweaking, and I don't remember to write my changes down. Your advice is great!

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    1. I do that a lot...change my recipe as I go. Sometimes that's good and sometimes that's bad! I have one lotion that I know I changed compared to what I wrote down, but I'll never remember now. Now if I just had my own chemistry lab and assistants I would get so much more accomplished!

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  5. Good tips, Milla! I especially like #8. I've been keeping a notebook since the beginning and a folder full of recipes and tutorials that I've found on the web. It's handy to be able to go back and look at what you did or didn't do and make adjustments from there. And my folder of ideas and techniques is good for finding inspiration, and so I don't forget the things I want to try!

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    1. I like how you organize all of your stuff! It is fun to look back in notebooks for ideas and inspiration.

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  6. ha..this made me laugh. I identify with #10..I get sidetracked all the time! Taking notes...I used to be great at taking notes and they were always neat and organized. Once I started soaping, that all went out the window. All of my notes are in numerous notebooks (various sizes too), on scraps of paper(kept in a large bubble mailer, which is very hard to search for something in particular but I know it's in there somewhere). Basically it's whatever paper close by that I can write on...and they usually have coffee cup rings on them.

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    1. You really sound a lot like me! I randomly write on sheets of paper and then stuff them in my notebook. Of course sometimes that's THE recipe I want and have to hope to heck I can find it again. Lately I've been dragging my notebook around with me and forcing myself to at least write my quick idea in there just in case! I usually have some sort of oil or fragrance oil spilled on it.

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    2. LOL! I must admit, I don't mind having coffee-stained notes....it's the Soap Calc printout that matters. Don't know why, but I don't like it one bit when I spill oil on the Soap Calc sheet! :D

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