It has been a long time since I've typed anything here, and I am sorry for that. My schedule is still pretty awkward to juggle right now, being that I am a state away from my husband during the week (and my soaping kitchen!). I just had an interview earlier this week as well, and if I land the job, I will be moving to night shift!
I am posting pictures right now of my 4most popular soaps. This one is EMERALD. I sold out pretty quickly the first time I made a batch, so I made another batch and sold out of that one immediately after it cured! So that means, I'm going to have to make another batch :)
This is TANZANITE, another gemstone inspired soap (December to be specific). It started out as "Eucalyptus Spearmint, but I decided to incorporate the fragrance into the gemstone line. Same thing happened with this one as Emerald.
Three in a row for the gemstones! This one is RUBY for July. I recently made another batch of this one (it looks slightly different, but that's the nature of handmade!
This is "OATMEAL, MILK, & HONEY". There is something very warm and inviting about this one. I need to make another batch of this still.
In other news, I will be at an outdoor show on October 12th in Vandalia, Illinois from 9am-2pm. So hopefully we have such nice weather as we have been having.
I'm also in the midst of testing fragrance oils for Wholesale Supplies Plus. It has been a very fun adventure, and I have already tested 10 of the fragrances. 5 to go! There is already one that I'm sure I will have to add to my line.
Anyway, I haven't taken pictures of the several new batches of soap that I have made, so they are in the curing rack, but not pictured yet. I'm not entirely sure when I will get around to actually taking the pictures since my equipment is at home, and my computer is here.
I apologize for not updating in quite some time. As I have mentioned in a previous post or two, I have been going through some major life changes as of late and have not had the time/opportunity to update. Rest assured, soap is still being made! Check out the CURING RACK
and see what I mean! I have been lax in taking pictures and posting descriptions because of the aforementioned life adjustments, and really only have had the time to make a few batches.I have also made a few minor changes to the website. Even though I had recently implemented the quick order page, I have just as quickly taken it down. The reason for that is, not many people used it, and it was more work to maintain for me. There are other items I need to address with the website, so once I get time, I will get to them. Anyway, this post will be a little short, so sorry about that, but check out the curing rack and see what's new!
I LOVE perfume oil. It's an awesome way to get a concentrated dose of your favorite fragrance! It's so simple, there are no harsh preservatives, with a base of pure, silky smooth coconut oil. I just wanted to point it out, in case you didn't know it was there. I personally love the Amber Romance fragrance (a deeper, more feminine scent that I like in the winter months), and Vanilla Bean. Right now, I have Flowering Mimosa, Vanilla Bean, and
Vanilla Ylang Ylang already made and ready. Only $12 each! Click HERE
for more!You can also find them in unique fragrances at Ali Marie's on Gallatin, in Vandalia, IL.
Check it out!
Good afternoon! I am a little late with a blog post. Okay, about a week or so late. Sorry! All I can say is, the life changes have begun, and I've been a little scatter brained. I have accepted a new job, which requires me to move (not far, but moving is still never easy). In addition, I am leaving my dear husband behind until he finishes school. It won't be much longer, but again, it won't be easy.
Needless to say, I haven't made too much soap lately, nor have I really gone out to promote my wares. However, I made the above soap a week or so ago, and it is ready for Independence Day! This is AMERICANA, a patriotically inspired soap scented with blackberry sage. Blackberries are in season during this holiday (which reminds me, I need to go to Eckert's and pick some!). I have a little sample sliver of this soap at my kitchen sink, and it foams soooooo nicely! It also smells fresh and amazing, and the colors really pop when it gets wet. This is a limited edition soap so get one soon! The 3 for $15 discount applies to this one too :)
Also, I wanted to mention that I have made yet another goats milk soap with red Brazilian clay, which I have so aptly named "RED GOAT". It is curing right now, and I have yet to get a photo of it. It is scented with strawberry rhubarb, a very light fragrance. I also have ideas for "white goat" and "black goat". Maybe this will become another soap line....? Until next time!
Since I first saw the technique, I have been in love with it. Practically my entire planetary line of soaps has been made with it. In fact, it will be from now on :) Since this is a challenge, I have tweaked my usual technique (not much) and did a little something different with color. But anyway, this is what I started with:Materials:Tools
- 4x plastic squeeze bottles
- 4 cup measuring cups
- High weight capacity scale (mine is old and can't remember where I got it)
- Pipette (for mica swirl)
- Hair pick, chopstick, and toothpick
- Pyrex bowl
- Make-shift double boiler (see image #3 :)
- Stick blender (ugh, mine is oooolllllldd)
If you are looking for basic Cold Process soap making instructions (CP), Anne Marie from Bramble Berry has a very nice tutorial on her Soap Queen blog:Free Beginner's Guide to Cold Process Soapmaking
Anyway, let's get started! (Click on any image to make it larger
1. Here are all my materials gathered. I used 4 different colors: Blue, mango, yellow, and white.
2. This is my lye cooling in some ice. I added raw silk and white kaolin clay to this mixture.
3. Here are my oils melting down. I like to use a high olive recipe for this swirl.
4. Here are all the colors mixed up, fragrance free.
I always do this... I am a fragrance junkie, so I'm ALWAYS trying new ones. I have only used the same fragrance for soap *maybe* twice. Being the type of junkie I am, I'm mostly never satisfied with just one fragrance either. What you see in the little beaker in #4 is my blend of the two fragrances in the ingredient list. My thought is sunset-like colors, so I wanted a fresh, airy and ozonic fragrance, with a little bit of a green layer.
Both fragrances tout good behavior, but since I want this batch to move very slooooowww, I mixed the fragrance only in the base pour. There should be no discoloring, but I added a little titanium dioxide to the main part anyway and added about 0.7 ounce per pound fragrance. It's a pretty strong scent, so I didn't want to overdo it. Each color bottle is maybe 4-6 ounces of soap. I also like to add oil/mica to the peacock swirl (the little cup with aqua pearl mica from Bramble Berry, and white sparkle mica from Wholesale Supplies Plus), and I did it a little differently this time. Continuing on...
5. Here are all the colors. I was deliberate in my lines because I wanted a certain effect, like a sunset. The lines underneath are more free-hand. Pay no attention to the white blob. You won't see it when I swirl :)
6. This is the initial pass through the soap. I use a hair pick, and I can pass it three times, but it's too big to do a fourth, so I hand stripe with a chopstick. I moved too fast on the 3rd pass, so it's a little smeared.
7. Here is a closeup of the first pass. Isn't it purdy? I usually "spot" the mica in the mix, but this time, I striped it with the rest of the colors. I think it did very nicely!
For the final swirl, I like to use a toothpick, because at this point the soap batter is starting to thicken up a bit, and a chopstick will cause it to drag too much, making the colors muddy. Ready for the final swirl?
Or, perhaps a sunRISE?
Here is OURANOS! Named after the Greek god of the sky, and is the father of Cronus
) and grandfather of Zeus
). Part of the planetary series, I used the Greek, rather than the Latin spelling of the name to deter any wise-cracking remarks. :) It is the 7th planet in our solar system, usually depicted as a baby blue color in photos due to the layers of different types of ice in the atmosphere. However, I already had a "blue" planet (see Pluto
), and since Ouranos is the ruler of the sky, why not a sky during sunset? Gotta say, think he's my new favorite!
Final bar cut~ colors mellowed a little
Showing off the swirls
Fun fact: Uranus is the only planet to be named after a figure from Greek mythology, rather than Roman mythology like it's siblings.
This is a neat technique, and it never gets old. I hope you enjoyed my picture-fest! Maybe someday I will be able to make a video. Until next time!
I've been getting a few requests for soaps made with goat's milk, which was something I had seen all around but never personally tried. Well, a few weeks ago, I tried it! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, because in the soaping world, when you use different variables, all sorts of "troubleshooting" can occur. This bar pictured was my first attempt at making the soap, and it is sitting pretty in the Curing Rack
right now.When I first cut this bar, it was very very soft, unlike my usual soaps after they sat in their mold. I found that curious, but another variable that just comes with using goat's milk. I read more about the milk, and from what I've read, I saw that it contains high amounts of lactic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, and caprylic acid. What does this mean? Well, soapmaking is a very high-pH process, with the use of sodium hydroxide as your saponification agent. When adding in any type of acid, it is essentially partially neutralizing the caustic agent. With that being said, the amount of lye I added to react with my soaping oils wasn't at the same percent as usual because of the acids found in the goat's milk. What does that mean? It means that the bar is more pH balanced, creamier, and probably all around softer. I have yet to try one of my bars since they are still curing, but I am excited to find out what it's like!In the meantime, next week's post is going to be a semi-tutorial on a soap I'm entering into a contest. It's beautiful, and I can't wait to share it. Happy Monday, and until next time!
I haven't always loved roses... I considered them cliche. As I got older, I learned to appreciate the subtleties of how the petals arrange themselves and change color as they bloom. I noticed the different colors and gloss varieties of each breed's leaves. Every rose has a different aroma~ some not at all. So, when I moved to this house, I planted 6 rosebushes. Why? Because I thought they were beautiful. Since planting, my roses have been very blessed with abundances of blooms. They grow larger every year and the blooms become more plentiful. This picture is 5 of my bushes (the 6th is a little off to the left out of frame.) The two end roses are red and cream colored and have a tea rose fragrance. The two inner ones are cream colored with very intricate pin-wheel style petal patterns. The one with the most roses on it in the picture is the fragrant one, the other one has no fragrance. The center bush is the smallest with very fragrant buds. They are purplish-pink. The one out of frame is actually a purple-blue and are the MOST fragrant. This year, I decided that instead of wasting these beauties by just trimming them off, I am going to pluck the scented petals and use them. Why not?
Oops, just noticed my finger in the frame. Oh well, you can see that I've got all my nicely scented petals in the pot with some water (you can't see the water lol). This is my canning pot, with a pyrex dish in the center. I'm going to distill these petals to capture rosewater. You can't tell in the photo, but the petals fill this container about 10 inches! I had to scrunch them down to be able to place the dish in the center.
Now this is old school. I put the lid on upside-down so that as the water boils, it will drip into the center dish. The ice on top will no doubt need to be changed, but this is what I have to work with. The pot is cooking as I type this. I'm going to boil the water and condense it into the pyrex bowl so that I can have some rosewater to use in future lotions. It smells so good, and I won't have to use any synthetic fragrance to scent it. How does that sound?
Things have really slowed down for me over the past month, which can be good and bad. I've only made 3 batches of soap in the past 2 weeks~ the one on the left here is TOURMALINE, the gemstone of October. It is a light pink stone and shares the month with opal. Creating opalescence in an opaque soap is pretty impossible, so I swirled in some random colors of blue, green, yellow, and white. This one smells really nice too, kind of sweet, musky, and olive-y. Very tough to describe, but smells very clean and comforting!
This one here on the right is MARS, the red planet. This is actually a picture of the entire slab, uncut. I have since cut the bars, but have yet to take any pictures of them. I scented this one with berries and cream, a fragrance that I used to call Midnight Berry. The only two planets left in the planetary line are Uranus and Neptune. Venus, Mercury, and Earth were all different styles, but I think if I were to do this line again, they will all be marbled like Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Io, and Pluto. I may also do the same thing for the gemstone line (not marbled, but all done in a uniform technique). Another thing I've been messing around with is goat milk soap! I've had a couple of requests for it, so I dabbled a little last week and made a "test" batch to see how it would work out. It worked out just great!
Again, this one is actually cut, but I haven't taken pictures yet. I added just a tiny bit of fragrance to see how it would pull through, and it absolutely did. There is no color in this batch, and as you can see, it is slightly yellow. Well, that yellowness faded, and the bar is a light creamy color. I haven't used it personally yet since it's curing right now, but I could definitely tell a difference when I was cleaning out my pots and the utensils I used to cut it!
Well, that's all for now. I will hopefully be making some more soap this week!
In case you were wondering, I took a small hiatus for a week just to get my head back on straight. I've been going through some major life changes, and I'm not entirely sure what direction I need to face. I'm also not sure if the changes are good or just... bad. Without divulging too much information, it involves work, moving, and missing my husband dearly. Nothing is set in stone, but I'm having a very hard time wrapping my mind around the circumstances.In other news, what you see above is SAPPHIRE, September's gemstone. It has been listed on the Curing Rack, but I'm only now saying anything about it.
Smells pretty clean and fresh, and I love it! Not to mention, it is also my birthstone :)
Meet Sapphire's cousin, THE RAVEN. Made with charcoal and scented with a very spa-like fragrance that is hard to describe. Feminine, but sharp... it's funny seeing both of these soaps pictured close together, because I didn't realize how similar they actually were. It reminds me of two characters in a book I'm reading, "Wicked". I'm sure many people know of this book, but for those who don't, it's based on the back story of the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz. Sapphire would remind me of Glinda, while The Raven would remind me of Elphaba. Not their (the soaps') names, but it definitely gives me ideas...
The book is surprisingly dirty, knowing that it's based on a childhood movie. I definitely won't look at the movie the same again, that's for sure. Not in a bad way though. Elphaba's history actually reminds me a lot of me, which is weird. I promise I am not (try not to be) wicked! However, she's naturally inclined toward the natural sciences, independent, and doesn't take crap from anyone. She's a social outcast (but not trying to be), sharp, and very observant. I can relate for sure.
Anyway, I have another soap that I made just yesterday, which is TOURMALINE, October's birthstone. The fragrance, to me, is a lot like a softer version of Aquolina's Pink Sugar. Another aroma I have trouble describing, but I couldn't stop smelling my hands after cutting the bars yesterday! I'm also working on implementing the 3 for $15 shopping cart system for soaps. I've been offering this discount for a while now, but I haven't integrated it into the shopping buttons. Back to it!
So here is my friend, Leo. He smells like lemon sugar and is colored with natural colorants turmeric and cocoa powder. As part of the Great Cakes Soapworks
challenges, he is the final attempt for 2013. Yay! I've had a lot of fun making these challenges. I was particularly excited for this one as it was one that I had never tried before, and I loved how it looked. Of course, I had to push the envelope and use colorants and a fragrance I had never used before either. Fortunately, the fragrance behaved wonderfully, but the turmeric isn't as vibrant as it was when I first poured (think bright red-orange!). It's still pretty, but not as contrast-y as I wanted it to be. However, since I had redone the mica swirl challenge 4 times, I decided that I was happy enough with this one to not reattempt it. I will probably do it again in the future, but Leo is good enough for me for now :)
I didn't pipe the soap in, I spooned it in gently in lines. My feeling is that if I try to make it look too perfect, it won't look natural. Now that I'm staring at it, it looks like a sleepy face... if I turned it upside-down, it looks like an awake face. Darn, now that's all I can see! Haha oh well, until next time!