… born on the fourth of July …

I was born on the 4th of July. Every birthday of my childhood, I was convinced those small town fireworks were produced by my Dad just for me! It was red, white, and blue with watermelon for my birthday. And the sky lit up at night in celebration. A few years later my little brother arrived on Labor Day. From that time on, we pulled out all the red, white, and blue tablecloths two times a year.

There’s more to this story.

In early 1777 our young country’s flag did not have the stars we’ve come to recognize. The Grand Union flag (below left) was the first flag to represent our original thirteen colonies. The Union Jack decorated our official flag from December 1775 until June 1777.  On June 14, 1777 (original Flag Day), the “official” flag of the new American Revolution was born. The so-called Betsy Ross Flag replaced the Union Jack with our own 13 stars in a circle and 13 stripes.

Coincidentally, I watched All the President’s Men Revisited this past weekend. It brought back so many memories of how Watergate robbed us of our Doo-Wop innocence and pushed us to the next place.

I admit it.

I confess.
I get patriotic simple this time of year.
Most of the time, I am the antithesis of a flag-waving patriot, but that all changes around this time of year.
No matter what fresh new hell is happening in this country,
no matter how sadly our flag seems to fade,
no matter how beat up the constitution looks …
I do love this being American deal.

In summers, I remind myself that It just doesn’t get any better than the sweet corn and watermelon life we have.
Earlier this month, to begin this time of commemoration, I created shampoo bars for the kids.
[NOTE to Moms and Dads out there: This would be a great project to do with kids.]

This challenge soap that we have named Old Glory, is my way of saying thank you to the Universe for making me wise enough to know that in spite of whatever shenanigans the administration du jour is cooking up, I am grateful for our American lifestyle.
The flag that represents all that is us.

I am especially moved by the strength in a faded flag.

Each piece of this soap needed to be just a bit different…like all Americans.
The ombre shading needed to fade, but not too much … just like an old flag that is still flying.
The overall look and smell needed to be uplifting … just like our flag.

Old Glory Revisited

Soaping Academics [or what I learned by making this batch of soap]:

  1. It was a very slow trace, 32:68 fat ratio, which is what I wanted, but I never dreamed it would take so very long. I loved that I had time to pour 10 graduating shades, but I do not like the time it takes until I can de-mold. Speaking of that, I finally froze the soap so I could cut a few pieces to expedite the drying process.
  2. I think I might add a bit of a hanger design to it when/if I make again. I’d also like to push the gradiating effect envelope with about four more shades per color.
  3. I continue to enjoy working with Mad Micas as those are truly WYSIWYG colorants. You can see that the blue in this soap is not a mica. It is ultra blue and although some like the ultra effect, I have rid my colorant drawer of them for now.[I have no affiliation with Mad Mica, BTW. I am just a happy consumer.]

And, at last, the Challenge Photo: