Saturday, February 27, 2010

Yuzu Crazy

This soap holds a special place in my heart for many reasons. One, it reminds me of my very first successful batch of soap-Grapefruit Lily. I loved that soap. If I could describe what happiness smelled like, that would be it, but I can't remember where I got it from. 
 (Grapefruit Lily)
Two, it’s scented in one of my favorite spring/summer scents: cranberry yuzu. This soap is called Yuzu Crazy because I am crazy about this scent. Yuzu is often called the Japanese grapefruit, but it’s origins are actually from China . It’s very tart and aromatic, and the actual fruit looks like a hybrid of a lemon, a lime, and a small grapefruit. It looks rotten in this pic, doesn’t it?
(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

I think this is my 3rd batch using this scent. While the scent to me is overwhelmingly yuzu with a touch of cranberry, I decided to make the color more cranberry-ish. The bottom looks almost translucent, and I sprinkled the top with raspberry seeds-just because! Yuzu Crazy is part of my official Limited Edition line. There are 5 in all. You’ve met Onion Bagel earlier, and next week I’ll introduce you to Edward Cullen (Yes, I’ve been bitten by the Twilight saga) and Miss Priss. Stay tuned….

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm Not Only A Soap Maker, But I'm Also A Client!

I love, love, love soap! I think I love buying it as much as I love making it. You will find that every soaper does it differently. The fundamentals may be the same, but the outcome is always something fresh and unique. I thought I'd share some of the soaps I've bought over the last few months from my great soap making friends:

(Ok, this soap was actually a free gift with some candles I purchased from Misty, but this soap was too fantastic not too share!)

(It's sold out, but please visit this shop-it's so freaking awesome!)

(Made with real pumpkin. I literally want to eat this!)

Monday, February 22, 2010

I'd Rather Smell Like An Onion Bagel Than Use A Detergent Bar Soap

Yes, that really is the name of my newest soap. I was listening to Fall Out Boy, and you know how they have those hysterical song titles that don't really sound like song titles? Well, this soap name is in the same vein. Okay, not really, but it's more attention-grabbing than Ocean Breeze Soap (no offense to anyone with a soap with this name, but you know how I roll!)

The real inspiration behind this soap is the scent-why that's a novel idea, huh? Seriously, this scent reminds me of Coast, Zest, and Irish Spring-the blue one, not the green one. BUT, those "soaps" make your skin feel tight and itchy-well that's what they do to my skin, at least. I've noticed that since I've been exclusively using handmade soap, I don't need as much moisturizer-seriously-and my skin is a human ash tray.

Don't ask me about the design of this soap-it's fucked jacked up. I was trying to do that Mantra Swirl-you know the one that one the Saponifier "best in swirl" contest, and it didn't quite pan out. I didn't CPOP this one so it's going to take forever to cure. That's okay because I am making so much soap right now...

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Hangover

Blame it on the Goose...I think I was hung over when I made this soap. This was the experiment I alluded to in my last post. It's really not an experiment, but more of a different way of doing things. So, let's talk about this soap: First of all, I made sure I used enough ingredients to fill the top of this mold. Not to get off topic, but then again, you should be used to that by now if you're a regular reader of this blog, but the mold I used happens to be a wooden box I got from White Barn Candles many years ago during one of their after-Christmas sales. That thing had been collecting dust for years before I started making soap, and I only paid about $3 for it!

Getting back to the soap, it's called The Hangover. Why? Because of the scents I used of course, and it just looks like a drunk person made it. What are many bars and bar stools made of? Wood, right? There's a touch of teakwood in it. Now for the drinks! Take two parts Southern Comforts, one part Sangria, and one part Amaretto, and you'd have one hellava hangover, but it is delicious in soap. It's strong and robust and greatly unisex. It is reminiscent of my All Liquored Up soap which was a fluke soap-meaning I won't be able to duplicate it again, but this one I think I can manage.

The colors remind me of New Mexico with it's browns, yellows, and rusted reds or the remnants of a horrible hangover...I really wanted this soap to look like a wild night of partying. I think I succeeded. And look-virtually no alligator texture! Know what I did? I spritzed the top with rubbing alcohol and covered it before putting it in the oven. I didn't realize that a little part of the batch didn't get covered, and wouldn't ya know it? Alligator skin! So, I've rambled on enough, whatcha think?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Channeling Patti Flynn

I admire many soap makers across the world wide web. One of my favorite hands down is Patti Flynn. Her soaps make me just want to pack up, sell all my possessions, and board a plane to Australia , move in with her, and pick her brain of all her soap making prowess. I love how Patti incorporates color, texture, and additives into her soaps. They’re truly functional works of art, and look how monstrous these bars are!

(These are Patti Flynn soaps via Etsy)

I need to stop being so cheap frugal with my soap making efforts. It’s partly because I don’t have the space to house a lot of finished product, but it’s also because oils are so expensive. I’m a fledgling businessperson, and I have to budget accordingly. With that being said, my bars are wimpy in comparison, but still delightful nonetheless!
I almost called this soap “The Patti Flynn” but I decided to go with Sophisticated Lady instead. It’s a blend of English tea rose and lavender essential oil. I sprinkled the top with dried rose petals and lavender buds. I would have preferred that the layers were more even (half and half) in color, but I can live with it. I’m going to try to make my next batch of soap more monstrous in size. I have a little project I worked on over this past weekend. I shall reveal in my next blog post...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!

Happy President's Day! I hope you're enjoying your day off if you're fortunate enough to have one. As promised, I am ready to announce the winner of my Sticky Giveaway. Without further ado, congratulations to Pattie!!!! I know you read this blog regularly girl, so hit me up:)

Thanks to everyone for entering. There will be more cool giveaways like this one coming soon! I appreciate everyone's participation:)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Brown Sugar Baby Cakes and Special Packaging


 I'm starting to like my alligator-textured soaps. While it does take away from the colors, it's different, and cpop'ing seems to intensify the fragrance. I made these little cakes with leftover batter from a log batch made on the same day. I absolutely love this scent! It's a Bath and Body Works dupe of Brown Sugar & Fig, and it's fragrance heaven. It's almost raisin-y, but the brown sugar and the fig really compliment each other well.  Here's a pic of the loaf I made. I haven't sliced it yet because I can't decide if I want to make these a thick limited edition or slice them regularly. I need to order more oils, I'm almost out-Yikes!

I'm also experimenting with packaging, and I think I've found something I finally like. Here's a look/see. At first I just wrapped them in this cute paper and slapped a label on it, but then I decided to add a strip of hot pink cardstock to make the package POP! The label also doesn't get lost in the busy background. Whatcha think?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cafe Mocha Loca and Brett Favre-ing

So Misty and I were on Facebook the other day yapping about our new soaps, and it turns out that she and I made a very similar soap-at least in color, lol. I've been holding on to this coffee-scented soap for a good while because I've been Brett Favre-ing (that's a new TSSism-translation: waffling) about whether I'd actually make a soap with it, or use it to make candles. I know you're probably saying just do both, but you know my mind is sometimes a day late and a dollar short.

Anyway, I made a new batch of my Amaretto Cake Bars, and I made these Cafe Mocha Loca Bars (that's my new soap.) I didn't want to use coffee in this soap, so I used cocoa powder instead to color it. It sort of looks like coffee grounds too. I'm not a big coffee lover, so the mocha scent and the cocoa powder takes some of the coffee edge off.

These are listed in my Etsy and 1KM shops. I have temporarily closed my Art Fire shop because I'm Brett Favre-ing about whether to stay at a "verified" status or downgrade to basic. I haven't made a sale there since December, and frankly, I'm wasting $12.00 a month (should be $7.00 but I won't go there) with zero sales to at least cover my fees. Don't wanna hear you gotta promote, blah, blah, blah. Maybe it's no longer the venue for me. I love all the cool apps they have, but it means zilch if you're not making sales.

 My official Brett-Favre-ing photo

Oh yeah, I'm also Brett Favre-ing about whether to re-launch my own website too? Whatcha think?

ps-Don't forget to enter my custom sticker giveaway. It's free!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My New Test Batch Molds

 (The lighting is poor...I was rushing)

Okay not exactly, but they could be. I obsess over love silicone molds! They are so easy and convenient to work with because you don't have to line them and you only need to swish some water in them to clean them out. What I'm not so fond of though is the way they bunch over when you fill them with heavy soap batter. My Wilton loaf mold has become permanently misshapen, but I'm still using it.

I found these 2 pound loaf molds on Wholesale Supplies Plus (and they ship for free!) and they have these sturdy edges so the soap doesn't get all lean-y and lopsided. I think the technical term is "bowing." I personally prefer "lean-y." These molds are perfect for testing a new recipe or making small batches of soap.

 (Photo courtesy of WSP)

I made this batch of olive-scented soap-cpop of course. It's made mainly with olive and avocado oils. This is a very rustic-looking soap. I'm not going to touch it at all. I like how it looks. It smells very light and clean-perfect for you anti-foody scent folks. This is the type of scent you'd find in say, a bed and breakfast, or a foreign inn (yeah, like I've actually been to one).

I haven't decided if I'm going to list it yet. I still have some soap snob issues. You know, having to have your soap look "perfect" before you can sell it-at regular price! We'll see...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Beautiful Snow


I stepped out of my front door, and this was a sight to behold! I had to snap a pic before it began to melt. Can you believe this is the same scene on the same day? We're expecting up to TWO FEET of  snow this weekend. I cannot wait! I'm still a big kid when it comes to snow....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A New Resource For Snewbies!

Yes, I made that word up! A snewbie is a soap making newbie. I get questions all the time about how I do what I do, or what the science is behind making soap and so forth. Believe it or not, it's hard for me to articulate how I do what I do because I don't follow the rules. I initially learned how to make soap from the ground up-meaning I've read books, and I've watched video, and I've practiced, practiced, and practiced some more! Now that I'm comfortable and confident with the process, I've made changes, adjustments, and bent-more like twisted-the rules to suit my own personal style. Because of that, I've admittedly abandoned some of the fundamentals. I was recently given the opportunity to read a brand new e-book all about making soap. It's called The Super Soap Making Book: A Beginner's Guide To Soap Making.

Let me just say that I was very skeptical about reading yet another book on how to make soap because everyone does things differently, and I have a one-track mind. In other words, don't confuse me or try to make me go against everything I already believe in! I can't take it LOL! But I was pleasantly surprised by this one. It's both entertaining and informative-just my type of instructional read. I especially love the section on the history of soap. I did not know (okay, did not put together in my feeble brain) that Palmolive soap was named so because it's two main ingredients before it became commercialized were palm and olive oils-DUH! I just thought palmolive was a real word-double duh!

I also love how this book breaks down the main types of soap making: cold process, hot process, melt and pour, and re-batching. Everything is detailed in plain speak-You know how us soapers tend to speak a language only we know which in turn confuses the hell out of a non-soap maker. This book also offers easy, doable beginner recipes, as well as entire chapters on the business of soap making and useful tips and resources.

Enough yakkity-yak. Snewbies (and you old-timers), this is a worthwhile read, and no, I was not paid to write this review. The opinions expressed here are my own.