Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Big Reveal! Ok, Maybe Not So Big

Hey Ya'll,

My "alkie" candles are finished, and while I'm not completely happy with the results, I'm not unhappy either. I know I'm going to catch HELL for this, but I'm not a big fan of pure soy and that's what these candles are made of. Yes, soy is cleaner and supposedly better for the environment, yadda, yadda, but I can't get past the pastel colors they produce no matter how much dye or color chips I use. If any soy experts out there know of a way for me to produce a richer, bolder color in soy wax, please let me know. Also, when the soy hardens, it's still really soft, and they make a little crease around my wick. Ok, I'm being picky, but I like paraffin. There, I said it. I LIKE PARAFFIN!!!! Enough of my bitching, here's the finished product. I'm going to next make a batch with a soy/paraffin blend to see if I notice any difference. Oh, the fragrances I used for my alkie candles: the pink one is called Daiquiri Luxe, the brownish-gray one is called Flaming Black Russian, the brownish-yellow one is called Southern Iced Tea (for those who don't imbibe), and lastly, the mint colored one is called Watermelon Martini.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Something New

Hey My Lovelies,

Most of my candles, as you've seen, have been shaped like some kind of cake or pastry or scrumptious dessert item. I've decided to try making a "regular" container candle. I've done them before, but it's been a good 5 or 6 months. To keep my theme going, all the scents of course, will be "edible," but with a twist. I haven't decided on a name for this line yet, but all the scents will be based on either some of my favorite drinks or those of my friends. But there's one more catch: All the scents will be "alcoholic." I found these cool jars over at Candles and Supplies. I think they're elegant without breaking my budget. I've got a few tasty cordials I'm preparing now. I'll have some pics tomorrow. Oh, guess what I'm watching? The Lost Boys. Oh my goodness, I'm really old now:-D Smooches!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Feline Be Mine

While I'm watching A Raisin In The Sun on TV, and waiting for my candles to set, I thought I'd share a picture of my baby. Her name is Pepper, and I've had her since she was 6 months old. She's 11 now, but it still feels like yesterday. I've had cats all my life. I have this kindred spirit with them. I love their independence and their "I-don't-give-a-damn" attitude. Pepper displays much tenacity. I adopted her at the shelter, but she picked me. We've been through thick and thin, that cat and I. I swear she's my mother re-incarnated sometimes. She'll give me a look like "What do you want?" and other times she'll look at me like "I need a hug. Love me!" It really is true that pets can be therapeutic. If I didn't have her after Spencer died, I don't know what I'd have done. Yes, that's my Boondie.......

Flaming Special Monday!!!

Today's Monday, so you know what that means-Flaming Special!!! It's smokin! It's hot! Are you ready? If not, then get ready! Spring is right around the corner, and if you'r watching your waistline or starting yet another exercise regimen like me, then you can certainly indulge in these decadent delights: This week's special is all about ice cream. These lifelike desserts will blow your mind. Buy any Decadent Sundae, Rootbeer Float, or Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae, and get an A La Mode Pie free. That's a $5.50 value in your pocket, and 0 calories on your thighs! Available at The Decadent Flame on Etsy of course!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Etsy Update

Ring the alarm!!! Shawn finally got off his ass and registered as an Etsy seller. Now let's see if he actually lists his acid-trip drawings. Way to go Shawn! I'll keep you all posted on the new shop.

Etsy Love

Today marks the start of a new series at Bubs and Flames. I call it Etsy Splurges. If you're a lover of anything handmade or handcrafted, and you haven't heard of Etsy, HELLO!!!! Have you been in a coma for the last few years? Yes, I have my own Etsy shop called The Decadent Flame, but if you've been reading my blog, you'd know that cuz I shamelessly plug it every chance I get. Today's post isn't just about me, but about my love of handmade, original, one-of-a-kind creations. There are so many talented people in the world, and I'm sure only a fraction of them are on Etsy. I'm trying to get my friend Shawn who does these really ornate, swirly-type drawings to list his stuff on Etsy, but he's dragging his ass. As a starving artist, I love this forum because it only costs $.20 to list each item you sell. That's 1/5 of a dollar, and it's great exposure for your wares.

I am not only a seller on Etsy, I'm also a client. I love combing the different categories for unique and original finds. I buy something off Etsy at least once a week. What I like as a buyer is the shipping is really cheap. For example, I bought a pair of silver hammered earrings and a pendant from this fabulous shop, loosewirestudio, and I only paid like $2 for the shipping. You can't beat that! I also bought some Lemon Bars from Noel Delights. Let me tell you-this woman can bake her ass off! I'm such a pig. Anyone who knows me, knows this. I was a little skeptical about ordering food from a person I know nothing about, but last week, I ordered these ginormous Chunky Clusters (which she must be sold out of because I don't see it on her page). They were filled with raisins, chocolate, and peanuts. Oh-my-goodness! Each bite was like a multi-orgasmic experience. Hey, I'm a chocolate connoisseur, and I am not exaggerating. Pick some up today.
Some of my other finds were a 3-pack of flower petal hair pins from Katinkapinka. She's fabulous, and I look fabulous wearing them. I also picked up a jar of soap balls from CherryBlossomCo. They're made with pure cocoa butter, but they're not scented. I was a little put off by that when I got them, but my disappointed turned to pure surprise when I lathered up. These little balls pack a powerful, sudsy punch, and they're moisturizing. Check me out in my Katinkapinka and my Boondie posing with the soap balls. Tune in next Sunday when I show off my new purchases and reveal my latest purchase.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

New Product Alert and Candle Making Tutorial

Good Afternoon Everyone,

As I stated in my previous post, I was going to be making either soap or candles, and I decided on candles since I haven't talked about them much since I started blogging. Candles in themselves are pretty simple to make, but I'm having difficulties personally with choosing the right wick size. Why is that important you may ask? The wick really is the most important part of the candle. It will ultimately determine the performance of your candle in terms of burn time, burn capacity, flame capacity, and scent throw to name a few. If the wick is too small, the melted wax around the wick will extinguish the flame. If the wick is too large on the other hand, then it will shorten your burn time, create a really high and dangerous flame, and you'll get that ugly black soot around your candle container. Okay, that's your quick tip of the day, now on to the good stuff. My beverage candles which I currently sell on Etsy inspired me to make a new candle with the same jars. I call these Decadent Sundaes, and yes, I will be selling these on Etsy.

Decadent Sundaes are just that: I took strawberry scented gel wax and hot fudge scented soy/paraffin wax and drizzled them along the insides of a 7 oz fountain soda jar. Then I heated some soy/paraffin blend wax (it's not too hard and not too soft), scented with either Strawberry Jam fragrance or Vanilla Bean fragrance then let cool for about 15 minutes until it formed a slight skin. I next took my battery-operated drink mixer and whipped the wax for about five minutes until it began to appear whipped in texture and appearance. I did not want the wax to harden, but stay pourable. Once I poured the whipped concoction, I set a waxed ice cream scoop on top. For the Strawberry Sundae, I placed two waxed strawberries on the side, then I drizzled some more gel wax over the ice cream and the strawberries to set them. For the Hot Fudge Sundae, I placed a wax cherry on top of the ice cream scoop, then drizzled more hot fudge wax over them. Check out the set up through the finish.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Some Sisterly Love

Dearest Fans,
I am so fabulous-so fabulous in fact that I had to get a makeover that channeled my inner diva. I'm only slightly exaggerating, but I am excited about my new look. This is the look I've been going for-soft pastel pinks, and delicious graphics that represent my line of business. I must give a huge shout out to my blog designer extraordinaire, Jess of Cuppycake Designs. She is efficient, thorough, and very professional. Thanks Jess!

While I'm passing out all this free love, I have some for one of my favorite divas Beth over at My Chic Things. Not only has she been mentoring me through this journey I call blogging, but she has done wonders for my confidence. She does internet consulting as well at My Chic Things. How do I love she, let me count the ways: Beth's set up my Top Site, advised on how to become an effective blogger, and she put my Hot Fudge Brownie Candle on display on her blog.

Lastly, I'm giving some much needed love to my real sister Myia. I've been a real bee-yotch since the love of my life passed away in September, and she's beared with me through it all. She's giving me so much support not only dealing with the loss of Spencer, but she's my silent partner in this venture I call soaping and chandling (is that a real word???) Anyway, Myia, I love you for everything that you do. Now let's get back to work!

Tomorrow, I'm going to try the Soapquick again-maybe. I have a new candle project I want to try, so maybe I'll do that. Smooches!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bubblin Fun

Hey Ya'll,

You know that I'm a soap and candle maker (at least I'm trying to be anyway.) I haven't blogged about making candles yet because I'm currently ga-ga for soap. My mind is flooded with ideas. I'm working on a new line of cookie soaps that I hope won't turn out disastrous. I'll make a big reveal sometime next week. I will give you, my loyal fans (violins playing in the background), a sneak peek of a really easy-breezy recipe. It's called Cookie Dough Soap. It's so easy, you can make it with the kids (if you have any), or the gals, or the guys, you get the picture. I wanted to show you all pictures of the project in process, but I didn't get the idea til the very end, so for that, I apologize. Wear comfortable clothes, preferably something you won't mind getting dirty because it can get a little messy. First rule of thumb before embarking on any project: Have all your supplies together before you start. You will not have time to scramble around with mushy, soapy hands once you get started. Notice that I don't include a thermometer with this recipe. We're not using lye, oils, or water, so there's no real need for one. Let's get started! You will need the following:

  • Microwave-safe bowl

  • 16-24 oz of M&P soap (that's melt and pour for you novices) I personally like oatmeal M&P because it's already tan in color like cookie dough. If you don't have oatmeal soap, use white M&P as opposed to clear because you want the soap to have a "solid" appearance

  • brown, skin-safe dye if you're using white M&P soap

  • 1/2-1 oz of cookie dough fragrance oil (FO)

  • wooden spoon

  • freezer or parchment paper

  • cellophane or plastic wrap

  • ribbon or rapphia

  • clean hands

  1. Cut the soap into small squares and toss into your bowl. This allows for even melting and shortens your melt time.

  2. Place bowl in your microwave and melt it in 30 second blasts. Do this at least 3 times. You could just zap the soap for a minute+, but all microwaves aren't the same and you could scorch or burn your soap. You don't want your soap piping hot. The goal is to melt it into liquid form. You may notice that your soap has an alcohol-y smell. That's okay. Once you add your FO, it will dissipate.

  3. The liquid soap will be hot, so if there are still some chunks, just stir it with your spoon so the chunks are incorporated into the liquid soap. If you still have a lot of chunks, blast it in 20 second bursts til it softens, then stir to melt it down.

  4. Now is the time to add your FO and dye. Stir well to incorporate.

  5. Now that your soap is liquified, you want it to form a "skin." That's when your soap begins to solidify. Now is the time to work quickly, but not like Speedy Gonzalez.

  6. Using your hands, you want to scoop some of the cooled mixture (that's important. The soap should be warm to the touch, but not so hot that you can't handle it) and begin to start forming balls with it. The size is totally up to you. You don't want perfect, round balls, but they should be textured and messy like real cookie dough. If the soap isn't firm enough, let it set for about 3 minutes or so. It doesn't take long to cool.

  7. Again, the consistency should be sticky and gooey. If it's too hard, zap it for about 10-15 seconds. Once your "dough" is formed, set it on your freezer or parchment paper so they can harden. I like to leave mine overnight so that it's really solid and hard. You don't want it to break apart as soon as you touch it.

  8. Once they've hardened, your soap is now ready to either use or package for gift-giving. You can wrap them in cellophane or plastic and tie a piece of ribbon or wrapphia around them. Here is a pic of my finished soap. Hope you have fun making yours. Smooches!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Shameless Plug

Evening folks,

I've got a Top Site, and I'd like your business to join it! It's great exposure for your business, and there are plenty of ad sites available. It's a great place to garner some well-deserved exposure for your business or site. Go to now to sign up. And to all, a good night!

Flaming Special Monday!!!!

Good Morning Bubbleheads and Flamers,

It's Monday, so you know what that means-it's time for our Flaming Special!!!! This week's special is all about drinks and snacks. Buy one of our beverage candles and get all four of my new drizzle soaps for free. Personally, I can't have a snack without something to drink, and that was the inspiration behind this week's special. So let me break it down: The drink is my Beverage candle scented in either Cola, Cherry Lemonade, or Rootbeer Float. I made some gel wax ice cubes and filled up a fountain soda glass then drizzled more gel wax over it. I finished it with a glass straw to give it an authentic look. Of course my drizzle bars are the bomb!!! I've got peppermint with chocolate drizzle, coconut with chocolate drizzle, strawberry shortcake drizzle, and last but not least, lemon iced biscotti. These soaps are off tha hook! I've got the soaps wrapped and packaged in plastic, and I can still smell them! It makes me hungry just thinking about them! Head on over to my Etsy shop to scoop up this awesome deal!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

SoapQuick-Day 3

Dearest Bubbleheads and Flamers,

My prediction came true-I totally ruined this batch for a number of reasons: I rushed the process because I was so eager to post to the blog. Soap making is a science. Why do I keep forgetting that? So what really went wrong? One, I don't think I measured my oils and lye properly. I've never worked with a pre-made batch of oils before, and I didn't take the time to do my calculations. Secondly, I didn't gauge my temperatures correctly. I think my oils were too warm for my lye solution, and I also think I used too much fragrance oil, and I didn't stir in my dye long enough (look at the color patches on top.) Lastly, I've got to stop using plastic to line my mold. My soap keeps seeping through the plastic and the plastic gets stuck in the "cracks." Friends, I'm not discouraged. I'm encouraged. Now that I've assessed all that went wrong, I'm going to try it again, but this time, I'm going to do it right. Here's a few pics of the soap from hell. Oh, but I have a consolation prize. Look at these cute chocolate drizzle bars I made. I'm going to be selling them on the Soap Seduction starting tomorrow. Be sure to pick up a bar or two-smells just like you're favorite candies.



Thursday, February 14, 2008

SoapQuick-Day 2

Hello Flamers and Bubbleheads,

I think I totally screwed up this batch of soap for a number of reasons. One, I didn't stir the lye/oil mixture long enough. I only achieved a very light trace even after I added the fragrance. When I poured it, it was still very liquid-not the pudding consistency I'm used to. This was also my first time making the lye mixture the day before, and my swirling leaves little to be desired. I've just got issues. I think it's going to look like crap when it's all said and done. Tune in tomorrow. At least I've got Smallville tonight to take my mind off of things.

Valentine's Swag

Is it Valentine's Day already? I guess it is, and I'm surprising my co-workers with some cool swag from The Decadent Flame and The Soap Seduction. I love my co-workers because they always buy my stuff. I made these heart candles with the intention of drizzling some chocolate on them, but it didn't quite work out as planned, so I ended up making a top layer of chocolate. The solid layer is scented in strawberry, hence, Chocolate-Covered Strawberry. The plain, solid candle is scented in Cinnamon. I'm giving my boss this basket I call The Chocoholic. It's all soap, and it contains 2 oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, 2 chocolate kisses, and 2 chocolate mint bars. It's available at The Soap Seduction.

Don't forget to check back later for Day 2 of SoapQuick.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

SoapQuick-Day 1

Hey Decadent Subjects,

Today is the day I embark on my latest soapmaking journey using this SoapQuick formula that I bought from Mission Peak Soaps. As the photos will show, I've laid out everything in preparation for the big day (tomorrow.) I usually make soap on the weekends cuz I have all day, but since I do have a real 9-5, I'm only preparing my lye solution today. If you've never made soap before, lye is no joke! It is nothing to screw around with. It will burn and/or eat your flesh alive if you do not take proper care when handling it. Always wear rubber gloves (shame on me for not wearing mine in this pic.) Always add the lye to your water (preferably distilled water). Never add water to your lye. It will cause a catastrophic eruption. When the lye and the water are mixed, it heats up to over 200 degrees. You can literally see the steam rising from your container and it smells all to be damned! Do not inhale this stuff. I've already mixed my solution, and now I'm going to let it sit for a day until it reaches room temperature (less than 100 degrees). Tune in tomorrow for Day 2. Oh yeah, I still can't decide on a scent. I'm thinking some kind of chocolate in honor of Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Hope and A Prayer

Good Morning Decadent Subjects,

I think I've found the answer to my biggest challenge making soap: the oils! These damn oils are going to be the death of me. Soaping is a science, so I'm learning the hard way. Who knew that mixing lye, water, and something as basic as Crisco oil could produce Ivory soap. Okay not Ivory soap exactly, but you get the picture. I won't even go into how expensive soaping oils are. I'm talking olive oil, palm oil, and coconut oil to name the biggies. I'm a novice, and I don't have money to waste on this stuff and risk making a bad batch. To make a long story short, I found this pre-mixed base at Mission Peak Soap. It's a blend of coconut, palm, extra virgin, castor, and canola oils with a little rosemary extract thrown in for good measure. They say this bucket will yield 4 pounds of soap. I'm going to be making a 2 lb batch using my plastic loaf mold. This bucket of pre-mixed oil cost me $16.95 which is pretty good considering I'd pay that alone for just the olive oil. Of course, I'll have to add lye and water. Follow me as I make my first batch. Keep your fingers crossed. I bought two buckets of this stuff, so it better work:-) Tune in later as I do the set-up.

A special shout out to Pepper for graciously posing with the "bucket"

Guilty Pleasures

Today is Tuesday, so it must be One Tree Hill night. I loooove this show. Chad Michael Murray is so freakin hot-for a dog in real life that I hear. Will he and Peyton get back together? Oh please let it be! They have been screwing around with these two since Day 1. It's worse than the Dawson-Joey-Pacey saga on my other guilty pleasure Dawson's Creek. I could go on forever about that show, but I'll end it with Joey+Pacey=Yeah, baby!

Also on tap tonight: Nip/Tuck. That show is absolutely insane. It is friggin dynamic. I love Christian Troy, but he's gotta be a walking STD. Did ya'll see the episode where he was screwing old girl on the rooftop and she fell over and died? Only on Nip/Tuck does this happen? And what about Sharon Gless filling dude's mouth up with that stuff you stuff teddy bears with? Off the hook! I love this stuff!

What are your faves on right now considering there's a writer's strike and all? Do not include Reality TV. I'm talking scripted shows only. Hit me up. I'm curious. So until tomorrow my divas and dudes. I'll be on Etsy checking out how many sales I didn't get......

Primaries In The Potomac

Hello everyone in Decadent Land! Today is our version of Super Tuesday in the Potomac Region(DC/MD/VA) so I thought I'd hold an election of my own. Vote for me on these sites. My platform is I'm different. I'm fresh. I'm current. My prices won't put you into foreclosure or the economy into recession. I'm bi-partisan. Whether you're red or blue, it doesn't matter. I only see green.

Seriously folks, exercise you're right and vote! We've got too much riding on this election not too.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Football Is Over-What Am I Gonna Do????

There's now an empty space in my heart and a few hours of time to kill on Sundays now that football is over. I live for the NFL-at least on Sundays. I am a true fan of the sport. I just don't look at tight butts and bulging biceps. I am a die-hard Redskins fan. Haters, there's no need to comment. Rep your team! We have a new coach, Jim Zorn, formerly the QB coach of the Seattle Seahawks. My immediate reaction was what the f$#%? What is little man (aka Dan Snyder) thinking? This dude is off the hook! Of all the available coaches, why Zorn? I'm sure there's a method to the madness, and I'm in for the long run. We'll have to wait and see. My only consolation is that the NFL Network will be showing re-runs of the best plays of the season til pre-season starts. I only have about 6 months to go. I guess I can make a lot of candles in that time. Here I am in my beloved's Redskin jersey. This one's for you Spendy. RIP baby!

Flaming Special Monday!!!

Hello to all out there in blogger land! Today is Monday, and if you didn't know, now you know! It's time for the weekly Flaming Special at my Etsy site. I call it the Pie-ro-maniac. It's an assortment of my pie candles all for $20.00-a $27.50 value. It's an opportunity to try something new and different in candles. They're whimsical and untraditional, yet fully functional and loaded with lots of scent. My co-workers buy them and set them all over their houses. I tell them all the time to light them. That's how the scent travels. Besides, I can't make any money off of them if they don't burn them:-) Seriously, check out the Pie-ro-Maniac over at