Bob Ross Experiment: Day 4

Okay so I didn’t get my unemployment check and I’m getting very stressed out about school. To try and keep my mind off of my dwindling funds and the mountains of homework and college applications still to come I decided to clean the whole house and start studying for my classes a week before they start. I figured if I kept busy I wouldn’t have time to think about going bankrupt. Well it was just starting to work when I walked out to the mailbox to see a notice from unemployment asking me to fill out paperwork I had already filled out and mailed. Guess they lost it…good my check will be even later.

So I’m feeling very doom and gloom and I decide since my feet hurt, instead of cooking I’ll paint. So I start my Bob Ross experiment achieving the sort of quiet calm you can only get when you are so exhausted from not breaking down and sobbing that your brain just stops. So I realize that I’m doing pretty well: I’m not over thinking, I’m not stressing out about how I use the brush or how much paint, what color…I’m just doing because this is so much better than thinking about living in a box and who to give my dog to since I won’t be able to afford dog food.

And my land with shadowing looks like Bob Ross’s. This is great!

Well then he says to add white to make the reflection in the water and it’s gone. My Zen is gone. I make mush. Mushy land. So I decided screw Bob! This is his fault! If you’d just stop using your fun and amusing adjectives I’d know what the hell to do with the brush. And screw your stupid camera man who keeps zooming out when you do detailed work so I can’t see what you are doing with the brush! And screw this stupid wooden palette that keeps absorbing the paint giving me less and less area to work with since I can’t clean it off!

Bob’s shoreline

I’m making waves! That’s right waves! And not the I’m going to write the maker of the Bob Ross kit “waves” but actual waves on my painting. And they are going to be crashing into my beach which will explain the mush look. And my waves look good! Bob Ross good.

So after the catharsis of my waves I start the DVD back up feeling more on par with Bob. He has me make a really really big tree, which means I just stab the canvas with my brush to make leaves this time. And my stabbing looks awesome and my tree is awesome!

And then he wants it to have a friend… And he puts the friend right over my super awesome superstar painter waves. So now the best of my waves are covered by a tree 😦

Bob knew and is having his revenge. You will not paint outside Bob’s lines! Oh well, didn’t need that little self esteem boost anyway…Not like anything else is going right, right now why should my waves get to exist?

Well the trees lead to bushes, which lead to us making a path. My path looks kind of like Bob’s but it isn’t great so I decide since I was so awesome with the waves I’d fix my path…I make it worse… It now looks horrendous and nothing like Bob’s.




Ugh, okay what’s next Bob? I need a pick me up! Do something easy like birds in the distance….Wait what? Bob what are you saying??? No this painting can’t be done! Please Bob you gotta stick around and help me fix this mess…

😦 alright bye Bob. Thanks for the lesson in humility.

So my first painting is done and my conclusion is this; while it doesn’t look any where near as good as Bob’s it is much much much better than anything I could have done on my own. I’ve never been artistically gifted when it comes to painting. Often what I draw barely resembles what it’s meant to and drawing utensils have much finer tips so just imagine what I’m like with a paintbrush. So I’m pretty proud of my mushy painting. It looks like a landscape and that’s a huge accomplishment for me. Especially, since even the crappy waves that are still visible are still pretty rockin’

So I think I may try and recreate the painting without Bob and I definitely want to try making a Bob Ross flower and maybe give it to my mom.

Okay I’m exhausted. I’m going to go finish doing chores, reading, and then let Zoey lick the tears off my face while I hug her.


Beer Soap

So I’m too tired and too worn out to take any pictures but I made the beer soap. Yep, I decided on beer. I used India Pale Ale. I’m not a beer connoisseur so no clue if this is good stuff or not. It was in my fridge, so now it’s in the soap. I decided the soap might not smell great since it’d be beer chemically cooked with lye. Not sure burnt beer smells great… So I dumped in some marsala chai to try and give it a sort of spicy fragrance. Well I cut the soap a few days ago and it was still soft so I’m letting it dry out. It smells mildly of black tea. Doesn’t smell at all like beer or marsala chai.

Today I packed up all the soap. So that about finishes up my soap escapades. I made 8 soaps in about a week with a total of about 150 bars of 5 oz soap. My cousins stopped by and smelled the soap and they only liked the raspberry and the buttercream. Pretty much the only two things that smelled strongly and smelled like sugar.

In about a month I’ll send them out for testing by my sister and brother in law. Then about a month after that I’ll make my Etsy storefront and start selling goodies. Oh, also when I start selling the soap is when I’ll start making the other goodies so they’re fresh.

Sorry this one is so short and detail lacking but I’ve had a rough week, I was thinking of just not posting anything at all and assuming the fetal position. Hopefully, things start looking up and posts will be more lively.

I apparently don’t know my colors

Okay so I blended green into my soap once it was finally made and it vanished. I was baffled and had no idea what to do.  Especially since the raspberry soap seemed to hold its color.

So I thought well I could just make the top of the mold green. So I poured the soap into the mold and in between layers I dropped green food dye and at the very top. When I ran out of green, I poured in some blue and yellow.

So I smear that around and it turns a very pretty green on top. Very Christmasy.

But then a strange Christmas miracle happened…it turned red!

Day 3: Bob Ross Experiment

So while talking to my mom on the phone in Target about my upcoming internship and how excited I am, she starts busting up laughing. Mom, what are you doing? In between laughing she tells me she’s reading my blog about my first day of painting. I tell her oh, yeah what I painted is horrible and she blurts out, “There’s pictures?!?” So we start talking about my day some more and then she starts to crack up again and says, “I figured out how to get the pictures to load…”

I love my mom, she’s such a dork. Now I’m okay with my mom laughing at my failure because the only thing funnier than me trying to paint with Bob Ross is maybe my mom trying to paint with Bob Ross. I get my excellent hand eye coordination from her.

So afterward I call up my big sis and I tell her how mom thought the paintings were hilarious. My sister being the big sweetheart that she is pulls up my blog and tries to find the good in my paintings. Like that the big triangular thing is definitely a mountain. I love her, but she’s very very wrong about my artistic ability, which I proved today.

So today I managed to kill some happy trees, and make a horrible bush that looks more like the back end of a very fluffy dinosaur if you squint really good.

Okay first off I may have to take longer breaks between painting because this paint takes forever to dry and if I power through like Bob is, my paint just all blends together on the campus into a sort of gray blob.

We started with a bar of land which isn’t quite as distinct as Bob’s but it’s kind of hard to mess up a green horizontal line. He then had me highlight it with yellow which on his painting looks like leaves from far away and mine looks like yellow paint. He then had me pull out the knife and make a back and forth cutting motion with short edge or top of the knife. Okay so for Bob this produced a very nice straight white line which when he went back over it blended and looked like the reflection of the land into the water. For me none of the paint came off the knife. He had me do that same thing where I take the knife and cut the paint so it puts it on the flat end but no paint on the sharp end. So I just jammed the sharp end into the paint and I got a big smeared mess but at least this time there was paint on the canvas.

And then the happy trees and his friends started. I love watching him make these because I loved the idea as a kid that trees could be happy and that they weren’t lonely but got to hang out with their posse. Well my trees ride the short bus to school. I was supposed to take my brush and push up on the corner zigzagging down the trees. The bristles of the brush were too coarse and if I pushed hard enough to get them to bend then it make thick smushes of paint rather than fine green branches hanging off the sides.

So then he says let’s make a bush, and he keeps talking about how we’re going to have to make some decisions now and I wait to here what the options are and nothing happens. Alright Bob I guess you psychically knew I shouldn’t be trusted to make my own decision and took back that offer…

So he starts making the bush and it involves the #1 brush, some green and black paint and more smushing and that’s how the fluffly dinosaur if you squint just right was born. So now looking at my painting I see where the decision was and why he took it back. He meant we’d have to decide where to place the bush so that the trees in the background weren’t levitating but once he realized that way he had placed his bush would blend nicely into the trees he took back his question. However, my trees were placed awkwardly and are made more awkward by their strange ability to float in the air.

Finally, we start to highlight the trees. Bob uses a different technique to highlight his trees with his brush which involves lightly smudging with the very tip of the fan brush alone the branches. A few of my branches actually look like branches except some of those are too long for the tree because the fan brush was too wide.

Now highlighting the bush was a whole other ball park. It looks like my dinosaur has a weird growth all over him. Just look at the picture. It’s self explanatory.

And the last thing we did was blend the bottom of the bush into the water to create a reflection. This is where I decided I need to stop and let the paint dry in between steps. When I tried to blend I found I had too much paint and it didn’t blend so much as just smear paint around. Also, the # 2 brush I’m supposed to blend with is again too stiff and too thick to blend properly.

What my painting should look like by now:

Raspberry Soap

So the Raspberry soap was pretty uneventful. I went back to using my regular soap calculator since the site was no longer down instead of the brambleberry calculator. I think the problem may have been too little lye and too much fragrance with the buttercream recipe. Brambleberry’s fragrance calculator asks the ounces of your soap rather than the oil and I guess everything is factored by the oil since the lye has to react with the oil. I came to this conclusion when I saw the difference in lye and fragrance for the soapcalc recipe.

Anyway, the raspberry soap smelled really nice and I actually used some red and blue in the soap. This soap and the christmas tree soap will be the only ones that I put fragrance in.

Okay so the soap did stick to the wax paper and kind of bled through the paper and glue itself to the mold. Making this morning a battle to get the soap out of the mold. Obviously, being the behemoth that I am I wrestled that soap and won.

Also, I chopped up the buttercream soap and it looks like monkey bread and smells really good.

So I’m pretty darn proud of myself for a few reasons. First of all I’ve managed to not burn the lye and milk mixture in all but the lemon soap (because it was made with water). All my milk soaps are a nice cream color unless of course I mixed in something that would make them darker. I’m pleased as punch. The other reason I’m feeling pretty amazed with myself is I’ve made about 80 bars of approx 5 oz soap already and I still have two more soaps to make.

Done tooting my own horn. Today’s soap is going to be Christmas tree with green dye and a hint of peppermint oil.

Buttercream Soap or not

Okay so this morning I woke up early and started making the buttercream/snickerdoodle soap. I was excited because this was the first time I was going to use fragrance with my soaps and I’d read on a few soap making websites that the fragrances make the whole experience really pleasing since they smell so good.

So I went on BrambleBerry’s soap fragrance calculator since that’s where I got the fragrance from. So I added about 4 oz to the soap mixed it like normal and poured it into the mold. Then went out to do errands while it turned into soap. Got home and found this…

Why is it growing out of the mold like’s it’s the blob and it wants to take over my house? So I’ve done only two things differently with this soap that I didn’t do with the rest of the soaps…I made the superfat content 6% instead of 5 to make it more moist and added the fragrance. I’m not sure which is the culprit here. I decided that I should deal with the groceries and the dogs before seeing to this mess.

When I came back to poke it, I found this….

A giant oily mess on my counter. So I stuck the soap over the sink in case it leaked some more and set about cleaning it up. Well as I’m cleaning this up my retard of a dog is running around under my legs trying to lick up any drop of soap oil he can and I keep trying to kick him away since, obviously, it’s bad for him. Unfortunately, he succeeded and spent the next ten minutes coughing and gagging.

So once the oil spill was contained, I decided to poke the soap some more. No oil seeped out and the soap seems to be pretty dense, so I just mashed it all back into the mold where it belongs. Hopefully, tomorrow when I cut it it’s normal.

I’m still baffled by what went wrong. At least with the pumpkin soap I could see that it was too watered down at the end. With this one I’m hoping it’s a weird fluke and not the actual fragrances since I’ve got 2 more fragrances to go.

Beer soap tomorrow.

Updated: After writing this I realized I should maybe go read the Bramble Berry website for clues about why my soap erupted. I found this “Note: This fragrance sets up quickly and has a very hot gel phase. Because of its vanilla content, it will go varying shades of tan, pink and brown depending on your recipe. ”

I have no idea what this means to me, which is great I love when answers just make you more confused. So I googled hot gel phase and it turns out it means when the soap and oil are in the mold and looking like jelly. This is called the hot gel phase. So this just means the fragrance works when the hot phase is very hot but I don’t think it should have caused the muffin top.

Still confused, still have weird soap. But at least it smells like cinnamon bread!

Bob Ross Experiment: Day 2 and 1/2

Okay so they included with the kit what your picture should look like when done. So I now have my goal. I’ll be sure to post updates with my painting next to the end product. In the meantime here’s what I’m shooting for:

Okay just let the pups out to pee so they should be good while I’m painting.

I’m going to do this in 45 min sessions. And here I go!

So the DVD starts out with copyrights in every language basically saying that if you abuse the copyright laws Bob Ross’s evil twin will haunt you forever! And they stay on the screen for longer than normal.

The menu screen has soft jazz which is just so Bob Ross. Alright let’s start my painting tutorial.

OMG!!! I forgot how soothing his voice is.

Ok had to take a break to get my cup with nail polish remover in it since I have no paint thinner. I noticed that Bob’s got more brushes than my kit and that nail polish remover smell will get you high if you don’t use it in a well ventilated area…

So Bob just told me it’s okay if I don’t like my own painting because us artists are too hard on ourselves. Thanks Bob!

Okay he just brought up his step by step instructional booklet. I looked at it and he’s right it is very succinct and helpful but the photographs included are thumb nails and in black and white so are not useful at all. Sorry Bob your publisher sucked.

Another thing I forgot about is how simple he makes it all look. I’m getting so excited!!! Can’t wait to get through this instructional part and start painting.

My artists out there,  just noticed that Bob has the creepy cocaine pinky nail. Is there a painting reason for this?

Okay so Bob starts off my lesson with the liquid white base coat on the canvas; his canvas is already prepped which means I have to hurry up and prep mine!!!! So I prep mine and I try and keep the coat light and evenly distributed like Bob does and I think I did a pretty good job (sorry no picture, hard to see any difference with white on white).

I also prepped the ottoman…

So Bob immediately jumps into painting our sky. So I have to hurry and get my palette set up. So far he’s just using the phthalo blue and the midnight black. He blends those together and makes a crisscrossing x across the stop half of the canvas and then blends them by doing long strokes horizontally across the canvas. Okay so this isn’t going so badly. I can make X’s and blend with my #2 brush just like Bob (the big painter’s looking brush). However, he then has me make the water. I do this by making short horizontal strokes starting from the bottom and going up to make the color lighter. I notice he leaves a white space between the sky and the ocean.

This is where things start to go wrong…My canvas isn’t as large as Bob’s. They’re close but not quite the same. So after I’ve pretty much done the whole ocean he mentions that we’re leaving the middle blank. So I manage to get a small inch long blank space between the right and left sides but once he has me blend, it’s pretty much gone.

So Bob cleans his brushes and smacks them against his easel to dry them. I mimic Bob and paint sprays everywhere. My clean cream couch is now cream and blue speckled. So without thinking I brace myself on my couch to try and position myself better to multi task while painting and I forget my palm is covered in paint,so now my couch has a huge blue stain on it.

So then the fluffy clouds start. He tells me to use that same #2 brush and just push with a corner and make clouds where ever I feel like it and to give that cloud some friends. So I switch to the #1 brush because my canvas is smaller and the #2 brush is caked in blue paint I can’t get off.

Well I think when I was blending the blue sky I was also supposed to be putting some pressure to get the extra paint off because now there’s too much blue in my clouds as I try to make them. They aren’t so much clouds as white highlighting.  So then to make them fluffy I’m supposed to do an upward sweeping motion. This results in marbled blue skies instead of any clouds. I’ve blended my clouds into obscurity. Ugh…

So the last thing I managed to do was the mountain range. We mixed a blue that’s not in my kit (so I used the phthalo blue again), midnight black, and alizarin crimson. The crimson color is really really pretty. Anyway, I’m supposed to use the knife to blend the three, make a very flat line of goop then cut it in half to get a small line of paint on the knife. Okay so I actually manage to do this. You don’t need to make it super flat, in fact on the wooden palette if you do, it gets completely absorbed so there’s no paint to cut. Okay so I’m supposed to basically push upward then drag down to make an upside down V. He keeps talking about a strong outline but again there’s so much paint on my canvas that when I put that much pressure on the canvas to apply the paint I end up scraping off excess blue sky paint instead of applying mountain paint. So I stop doing that and with light pressure apply the mountain paint. Again my colors aren’t as true because they are blue tinted. So again I blend and it doesn’t look too bad when it’s blended. But then we start the shading.

Okay this is the point where I swear to God, Bob Ross is somehow magical. Again we’re using titanium white and the knife to make the highlight. We’re supposed to apply it as lightly as a whisper. Bob says this analogy helped his friend to paint magnificent mountain ranges, but it doesn’t help me out much. I’m applying it as lightly as I can without not applying any paint at all and I’m not getting the really pretty marbled effect he is. He then has me use the #2(#1 in my case) brush to tap lightly to shadow. I’m supposed to use white for lighter places and blue-ish white for the darker side of the mountain range. My taping looks like fuzzy mountains…. His looks like shadows… Then we blend and his look likes beautiful mountain ranges with peaks and snow and shadows. Mine looks like picasso stole my brushes and painted crazy mountains for me.

And my timer went off letting me know that’s all the time I had for today.

So the conclusion for today is that Bob Ross is magic because I listened and rewound each step at least 5 times to make sure I was clear on how to apply the paint to the brush, then the paint to the canvas, and rewatched to make sure I had the technique right but he still managed to do things with his brushes that I can’t even begin to figure out. And secondly I’m making an abstract painting against my will. I really want to make a realistic landscape but it’s not really happening.

(what my painting should look like at this point)

I really hope that when we get to the happy trees I don’t screw them up. The happy trees were always my favorite part of watching Bob Ross paint.

And I’m covered in paint!

Bob Ross Experiment: Day Two

Okay so after making some coffee soap I decided I’d break open the Bob Ross kit and take a look inside:

Okay here’s my take on the kit. The wooden box is actually really nice and once the supplies are gone I can use it for something else. Don’t know what but I don’t want it going to waste.I have no idea about oil paints so I can’t judge but I’ll give you my take on it after I’ve painted some stuff.

The paint brushes aren’t  great but they aren’t that cheap black synthetic crap that you find in crayola kits. The paperwork that came with the kit says that the brushes are natural bristle brushes but they feel like higher quality synthetic stuff. Bob even says that they’re ox tail brushes in the video but they are too cheap feeling to have actually come from an animal. Maybe when he was alive the quality of his kits were better. I really love Bob Ross so I’m going to assume he provided quality supplies and only after he died did the company who produces the Bob Ross supplies turned to cheaper quality materials.

Okay so the palette… I’m glad it’s large and that one came with the kit….but it’s wood. Now if you haven’t dealt with wood much you might not know but wood is incredibly porous so it sucks up paint. So since the surface isn’t as fused as plastic or metal it’s going to take way more paint to blend colors. Ugh! Oh well I’m sticking with the experiment and using the equipment they gave me in the kit.

Also, I didn’t get any paint thinner, so I’m going to improvise and try nail polish remover…

So let’s end this review of the kit on a high note. All this stuff was made in USA. Go Bob Ross, helping the economy even from the grave. I salute you sir.

Pumpkins, lemons, and coffee

Okay so here’s the update on the pumpkin soap. It’s finally starting to harden. The top is drying out but the bottom is still mush so I flipped it over to get the bottom dry. On the upside it smells like pumpkin pie filling. mmMMmmm

(I know it’s super ugly)

Okay so after I dealt with the pumpkin soap I decided I’d go out and get some lemons and some cookie supplies to make a care package for some of my coworkers who are at a intensive training school. So I walk outside and I look at my window and I think wow that is some weird water spots on my driver’s side window. I get closer and I realize there is a small hole near the rear side mirror. Those aren’t water spots!!!! My window is riddled with tiny cracks. And I literally just stand there looking around thinking well someone will come up and tell me what happened. This makes no sense so of course someone will come explain what’s going on.

Nope, no one around. It’s completely quiet. That’s when it dawns on me to take pictures and call my insurance company. I immediately start crying while talking to the lady from Geico. Her being so nice and me being so confused as to why anyone would do this to my car was a little too much for me. Then I start thinking about all the classes I signed up for and things I have planned and how not having a working vehicle is going to hinder that stuff. Not to mention if I have to call back the place I asked for the last year to take me for an internship and tell them sorry can’t start this Friday like I planned. Ugh! So I call my family and friends and whine and wander around.

So two very lucky things happened later that day: I walked down to the shoppette that’s a couple blocks from my house and they had lemons! And I managed to find a glass repair place that comes to me and had an appointment available for the very next day. (So my car is already fixed! Yipee!) So after making the police report (my mom made me) and cracking jokes with him about how if the kids didn’t write their names on the rock there’s no way to find them, I went to make soap.

So I got to make lemon soap even though a wrench was thrown in my plans!

Okay so here’s how the lemon soap making went. I decided to swap out the lemon juice for a few ounces of water. Also, I decided to make this soap with lemons and water instead of milk because I want it to me cleansing rather than moisturizing. Then I shredded the lemon rind and added that after trace. After that I poured it all into the mold and tried to sniff it but I didn’t smell anything. 😦

So this morning I pulled the lemon soap out of the mold and started chopping it up. The rind turned a really pretty orange color and the soap is a light yellow color. It smells like lemon muffins and the bit of rind I squished in my fingers smelled super lemony. I’m hoping the longer it cures the stronger the lemon scent will be or hopefully when you shower with it and the lemon oil in the rind gets rubbed it’ll release a really strong lemon scent. Anyway, I can’t wait to test out this soap.

So today’s soap that I decided to make is going to be called Wake me up before you go go. It’s made of butterscotch coffee grinds and dark chocolate fragrance. I decided to keep with the chocolate and coffee theme and make it using milk. So far it smells super coffee like with a faint chocolate smell. I think this one is going to be pretty potent since most of the soaps I can’t smell until I’ve cut them.

So weird note about making soap. Having to clean up everything everyday and clean out the soap is making the skin on my palms peel. good thing I’m starting that internship and won’t be able to make soap as often.

Oh! And I decided I’m making a soap out of beer or Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum.