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Showing posts from August, 2013

Promoting Your Peeps

Hey All!  One of the best things about our "soaping subculture" is the wonderful friendly camaraderie and support that I have found in my fellow soapers.  Everyone I come in contact with, either online or in "real time" has a great story and instantly becomes a friend.  Today I ran across a friend I met this spring at a soaping workshop here in Kansas City.  Rebecca is a cool chick and I wanted to give Artisan Soaps a little shout out.  Her blog is so pretty and informative, and I'm officially jealous of her workshop!  (Dang girl, you've been busy!)  Check it out and give her a thumbs up!

Obsessed Again

I was practicing on my photo skills a little last night.  Somewhat better.  The lighting is terrible in nearly every room of my house, so it's challenging.  I refuse to give up trying, though!  I chose to name the Goat's milk (UR) "Burlesque"; It's a sexy, sultry, groovy dark musk with a hint of berry/plumb for a touch of sweetness. Despite the subtle fruity note, it's a wonderful rich scent for men or women... so I thought this name might be an attention grabber for the guys  :)  Hubby agreed!

Cutting Yesterday's Work

I told you I was very excited to get this soap cut, and it was a little softer than normal once I got started! Needless to say I powered through and I'm pleased with them.  My photography skills, or lack of, are sad and I don't think I do them justice...I'm glad I'm not trying to sell pictures  LOL!

I should have know that the more I worry about something it always seems to work out, and you can see that I definitely got purple!  The swirl didn't turn out that great but it still looks pretty good considering how much extra color I added.  I think the name is perfect as the scent is rather intoxicating.  The goat's milk smells wonderful and I like the effect I got on top, although I may get a little soda ash but that's ok.  The Aria is is fairly plain to look at, the FO seems to have yellowed the soap just a little, but the fragrance is sensational!

The Lakeshore Breeze is the best swirl of the day - a pretty good example of the Holly swirl (for more about …

Lots of experiments

Today I got the chance to indulge in soaping for most of the day.  I did four batches today, using a technique I've never tried before, courtesy of a great  Youtube tutorial from SophiasNaturals.  She demonstrates an interesting form of thermal transfer that I haven't seen, immediately mixing the lye water into the hard oils until melted.  The liquid oils are added after.  I used this method for all my soaping today and it seemed to work well.  I didn't need to use the stick blender very much at all, which helped me tremendously as I often tend to overmix.  I wanted to attempt the "Holly Swirl", which is basically an in the pot swirl done twice.  Sorta..  I had a lot of half bottles of fragrances, so I did some custom scent blending, too. It was a day of experimenting.

Top:  Small batch trying Sweet Cakes "Aria".  I used a some ruby mica for a cute little swirl.  It smells so good right now.

Middle:  This was my attempt at Holly Swirl.  I have so much t…

My Humorous Journey

Someone recently asked me how I got started in my soapmaking hobby.  I always tell people it started with candlemaking.  True, but I've been thinking back over all my forgotten attempts at craftiness.  This is gonna be long!

I guess it started back in the day, when the country decorating craze was in full swing.  I loved to pour over Country Living magazines (obviously before Pinterest!), dreaming of a home like the ones on those pages.  I was a very young mother at that time; a newly married military wife transplanted in Southern California, far away from my Midwestern home.  I didn't have much money in those days to spend on "home decor", but I tried to find a way to somehow pull off the country thing.  Those magazine pages were full of people whom, I believed, breezed through their days, throwing together this and that for the perfect touch of charm in every nook and cranny.  I didn't realize that these homes were, although real, staged within an inch of their…


Here are the examples of my testing over the weekend.  My trial was with fragrance oils from Sweet Cakes Soap Supplies.  Numbers 1 and 2 are two oz mini bars.  #3 is approximately 4 oz and was poured into a yogurt cup!  I'm extremely pleased with the fragrance quality, stability and overall performance in CP.
Final Grade - A+  !     Thanks Sweet Cakes, you have a new long term customer!   

      1   "Shedonism"                     2  "Magnolia"                    3 "Silver Mountain Water"

A glimpse into my personal life

As everyone knows by now - I really like making soap - duh!  I thought I'd share a little more about us - our family.  My hubby and I have a large, busy blended family and already have 2 grandchildren - despite our amazingly young appearance (wink)!  There is always something goin on at our house or with our grown kids.  This past week we kept Ethan and Liddy while their mom and dad took a much deserved break.  Being "Irish twins", Ethan is 2 and Liddy is 1. Needless to say they kept us moving for several days!  It's exhausting, but soo much fun!  It really is true that being a grandparent is all about the love and good times. The stress and worry of being a parent is no longer there and it's just pure enjoyment for everyone (most of the time!). We have six kids together, so there should be a whole passel of babies one day.

And here I am over the July 4th weekend, happily peddling my soaps.  I know it's cliche, but life really is so good and we are so fortun…

Playing with the new scents!

Ok folks, here are my trial batches (1 lb each) I made today to test these new fragrance oils from Sweet Cakes Soapmaking Supplies.  I'm really happy with them!

First up:  The name of this scent is "Shedonism"!  I love this name, but might go with something like "Goddess".  Idk.  The scent was very strong when I mixed it, so I only used .5 oz for this pound of oils.  It smells very nice but I should have used more after all.  It's rather floral, but with a striking earthy undertone. I was able to use a double color swirl using alkanet root and annatto seed - no trace acceleration!  I'm excited to see this one cut!

Next:"Silver Mountain Water"  Amazing men's scent that is outdoorsy and sexy.  This smells very upscale so far.  I used the entire 1 oz for this batch; it smells great and I hope it sticks through the cure. I used activated charcoal for color with plenty of time for swirling.  Very, very nice!

Third:"Magnolia"  Since Sca…

Oh, Happy Day!

I just tore open my first shipment of fragrance oils from Sweet Cakes Soap.  I have really been looking forward to this.  I have to say - even out of the bottle - they are ALL fabulous!  I am very impressed and sooo excited to try soaping with them - only, which one first??  Too many choices, maybe I went overboard?  No way - not possible!  If these stay true in soap, they will be out of the ballpark!
My weekend is packed already - I hope i can scrounge up some time to play.  Seriously, I am VERY excited  :)    Did I mention I kind of have a "thing" for fragrances?

Happy with my results

I cut my soap last night and am very pleased with the results of my natural colorant experimental batches. The nettle seed turned out beautifully, despite the fast trace of the soap.   The cobalt mica is also pretty - a little darker than I had wanted, but I really like the effect of the soap shavings.  I hope it doesn't darken too much during the cure...we shall see.  They both smell fabulous!

Something New

I tried a couple of new things today!  First up, I did an awesome new men's soap using nettle seed powder for my color.   I've had some trouble using the natural colorants, and have shied away from them for awhile, but waded back in today to give it another shot.  I blended about 1/2 tsp nettle seed with a tablespoon of water to make a thick paste.  When I added it to my batter for my swirl, it turned an ugly army green (sorry soldiers, no offense!).  And unfortunately, the soap thickened pretty quickly so I didn't get the nice swirl I was hoping for.  I had to do a spoon in and ran my tool through all the layers, with a little contrast swirl on top.  Now that it's starting to gel, it's looking dark, but I think it's going to be pretty.  The scent is wonderful - I did 3/4 Indigenous and 1/4  Black Amber Musk- there should be no darkening with these oils. I'm giving thought to a name for's rich and woodsy with a little ozone.  I'm thinking …

BOGO and other Cool Stuff!

Hi everyone!  Just a note to let you know I'm running a BOGO special with Zaarly KC.  And...this is very cool...Zaarly is now offering subscriptions for recurring monthly delivery (free delivery in the KC metro!)

I had my photo shoot for Z a couple of weeks ago and my storefront is all spiffed up and looking great.  I'd love to see some of my blogger friends checking out what the Zaarly experience is all about!   Scroll down to the video about our recent volunteer experience at The Ronald McDonald House (I'm in the orange bandanna!).

Too busy to play with soap

Oh my gosh - what a crazy weekend!  Kids are moving home and other kids are moving out into a house that we've been painting.  It's barely controlled chaos right now.  I've had no time to play with soap this week  :(   I hope to get more pictures up soon!

Don't bother me.....