Thursday, February 28, 2019

On Being An Obsessive Enthusiast

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Todd and I recently had a great discussion about something that we have in common with each other:  being obsessive enthusiasts of things / ideas / topics / subjects that we’re interested to learn more about.  And when I say learn more about… I mean spending a lot of time researching into the minute details of said subject.  His main interests involve science, technology, math, and music.  Mine are more varied and often involves DIY-ing something. 

I’ve always loved crafting and DIY since I was a little kid.  In fact you probably started following my blog for my scrapbooking, cardmaking, and papercrafting posts.  That has always been a big love for me, and while it is currently on the back burner, it doesn’t mean it can’t make a comeback someday.  But I have many many interests and actually researching into those interests is a big hobby of mine, LOL.  I absolutely LOVE being obsessive about something new-to-me and learning all I can about it!  My brain thrives on it and I love the stimulation it provides me.  I am definitely not someone that likes to have information fed or given to me.  I like to think through things myself, and my intensely curious mind will come up with lots of new questions that need to be answered.  I enjoy the PROCESS of learning and thinking, just as much as the end result of whatever it is that I make as a result of my research.

That’s why I get so annoyed at the comments section of DIY blogs.  Apparently my love of learning and thinking doesn’t apply to everyone.  I see so many intellectually lazy people who don’t want to think or experiment for themselves.  They will ask questions such as “what would the recipe for this be if I want to make 8 oz?”  I see this on DIY skincare and cosmetics blogs and YouTube a LOT.  And I applaud the blogger for anwering it as such:  “the formula is for 2 oz of face cream, so doing simple math can scale the recipe to 8 oz.”  :: slow clap ::  Do these people not scale recipes for food too??  When I read a recipe for making a meal, I make sure to see how many servings it is for.  And if it’s not the amount of servings I want to make, then I scale it to the amount I want to make.  For DIY things, I’ve created spreadsheets such that I can put the original formulation in, calculate the percentages used for each ingredient, then put in the total amount I want to make, and my spreadsheet will calculate the new amounts for each ingredient.  It’s a simple concept!  To me, the joy is in the process, not just in the end product.  I don’t want someone else to tell me EXACTLY how to do it.

Sorry about the soapbox.  I guess what I’m trying to convey is that I really get a lot of enjoyment out of learning, processing, and thinking.  I’ve told Todd before that if I hadn’t become an accountant & financial analyst, I probably would have been in science.  I actually have a bachelor of science degree in Psychology and did research for a professor in college.  I love to be methodical in research and in examining what would happen in different scenarios. 

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An example of this is making lip balm with the perfect (to me) consistency.  I knew I wanted to use coconut oil, avocado oil, almond oil, and beeswax.  But what percentages of each would yeild the best consistency?  What would make the lip balm not too hard, not too soft, emollient yet stays on your lips and doesn’t slip off?  After doing research, I knew that beeswax provides the structure of the lip balm, and what the min and max percent usage should be to make an extremely soft or extremely hard lip balm.  So I methodically created several formulations of different beeswax to oil formulations and tried them out to come up with my ideal lip balm consistency.  I did the same thing with the lavender coconut lime body butter bar.  My first try the consistency was too soft, I adjusted the percentage of oil vs wax, and came up with a much better consistency.  I don’t want to take someone’s word for a formulation… I want to test everything myself!

So what happens when you take different percentages of these main ingredients

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and mix them together with scent and micas, and then put them into water?  How does the skin feel?  How strong or weak is the scent?  How well does it bubble/foam?  How does the color mix look together in water?

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And after some experimentation and I was satisfied, then this formulation became the Unicorns & Rainbows Fizzy Bath Parfait.

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Honestly, the reading, thinking, formulating, and testing part of this is the BEST part.  And the making.  I really do enjoy the process of coming up with something beautiful, useful, and fun.  I guess I’m a proud obessive enthusiast! 


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