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!