Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Am The (Soap) Re-Animator!

Okay, I'm a little over dramatic, but you should be used to that by now. One of my favorite horror flicks is Re-Animator. It's one of the sickest, grossest movies I've ever seen, and I LOVE IT! The premise of the movie is this med student tries to bring his dead professor back to life, and he does, but not without all hell, literally, breaking loose. I encourage you to check it out if you love blood, guts, gore, and humor. So WTF does this have to do with soap you may ask. Well, very simply, I brought these dead-ass bars back to life by re-batching them. It's the same premise...

Cinnamon Buns after un-molding. Beautiful, aint it?
For the record, I am SO DONE with sodium lactate. I followed the rules to the letter, and my bars turn out so hard that they're brittle and crumbly as evidenced by these sapsuckers! I used about 2 tsp of sodium lactate and added it to my water before I added the lye. I don't know what went wrong, but never fear...

Cut and crumbled...

'Scuse the bad pic

I grated these biyotches up so nicely. It was actually very cathartic. I was tempted to make soap balls with them, but I decided to stick with the original plan. There's not a whole lot more to say, so I'll let the pics speak for themselves. So, while writing this post, I've decided that I'm the Re-Batchinator. It looks more like hot processed soap than re-batched. Either way, it works...

Sliced and revived...I'm thinking of "glazing" them with some white M&P soap.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

And Now...A "Bastile" Soap

About Face-A Bastard Soap

It's only fair that I give this bastardized Castile soap some love. This is actually my 2nd batch of my About Face soap. The first one was done totally on a whim, and it was purely experimental. The response I've received has been very positive, and it sold out completely. The first batch, too, was bastardized (I'm loving this word, so you'll see it a lot), made with olive and coconut oils. This time, I upped the ante and made the soap with 85% olive oil and 15% shea butter! Ah....lovely, pungent shea butter. I say pungent because I only use the unrefined variety. In its raw form, unrefined shea butter has a sulfuric odor to me (Anybody remembers Sulfur 8 hair grease?), but once you melt it down and scent it, the odor is completely gone (thank goodness!!)

Face is scented in pure essential oils of tea tree and eucalyptus. It's very medicinal-smelling, but not a complete turnoff. I liken it to a solid astringent-except it won't strip your skin bare of its natural oils. The color you see in the soap is actually French red clay. It's a drawing clay, but used in this soap, it's drawing powers are very subtle. I used it mainly for color. These particular bars are also sliced thinner than my others because I really designed this soap to be a "specialty" bar. Although it's perfectly good to be used all over every day, I personally like to reserve this one for "special" occasions-like, uh, washing my face. I CPOP'ed these so they'll be ready in a mere 3 weeks:)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Bitch Post #12: You Call It Castile, I Call It Baloney!

Time for a new pic...I look nothing like this anymore, lol!
I haven’t done a bitch post in a long time, and I’m long overdue! Bitching is so therapeutic, and one of my biggest pet peeves is misinformation (or misleading information)-of any kind. When I see listings for Castile soap, the first thing I look at are the ingredients, and guess what? Eight times out of ten, I’ll see something like this:

Olive oil, coconut oil….

A true Castile soap has only one oil: Olive. If a soap has filler oils even in the most minute amounts, then it cannot be called a true Castile soap. Amy from The Olde Crone has a good word for those soaps: Bastile, or bastardized Castile soap. One thing about Castile soaps that I like but others may find a real turnoff, is the lather. The lather is dense and creamy-not very bubbly-although I’ve seen some Castile soaps that have cured for up to a year (I personally can barely wait 3-4 weeks, yet alone a year for a soap to cure) and the lather was sick-as in frothy and abundant. 

Stone Washed Denim
 I have made only 2 Castile soaps in my three years of making cold and hot processed soaps. The first one I made back in late 2008? I called it Stone Washed Denim, and it was scented in a clean cotton scent. I did notice that the bars were still kind of soft even after about a month, so I let them sit. And sit. And sit.  I would say these bars did not fully cure until about month 3. I sold the last bar probably about 6 months after I listed it, and it was rock hard. That experience deterred me from making another Castile soap-until now.

Castile My Beating Heart

Castile My Beating Heart
This new batch of Castile soap I call Castile My Beating Heart (after Sting’s Be Still My Beating Heart). It’s colorless and scented in a blend of chamomile, neroli, and sweet orange essential oils. I’m not a big fan of chamomile, so I wanted to get rid of what I had. It’s a little too strong for my liking, so I cut it with the sweet orange, but it didn’t do much good. It might as well be chamomile soap. Any way, I CPOP’ed this batch, and it’s made a noticeable difference in the cutting and curing time. I waited a day to actually un-mold and slice the soap, and my knife glided (Why did I almost type glode as in ride/rode?) right through it. There was no sticky residual soap left on my knife. After 3 weeks, the soap is about 90% firm, but I’m going to let this one cure for at least another month. I sprinkled the tops with calendula, cut lemongrass, and poppy seeds because it was just too naked. So….

I know there are varying opinions on this subject, and I welcome your thoughts.

Side Bar: Speaking of long overdue, this blog was long overdue for a makeover. I'm a colorful person (Absolutely no pun intended), and I needed my blog to reflect that, so KA-BLAMMO!!!  I told my new graphics designer to go buck wild-like Skittles on acid. I not only wanted you to taste the rainbow, but swallow it...You like?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Soap Snot: Not A Good Thing

The feedback I get from some of my novice handmade soap buyers is that while they love their soap, it doesn’t last as long as the stuff that they buy at the store. You know the snarkhole in me wants to say Duh…, but I am after all, a classy professional, and I realize that we must take the time to educate our consumers on the difference between real soap and commercial “soap”. I use the quotation marks because that stuff aint soap. It’s a bunch of garbage-surfactants, preservatives, and fillers used to harden the bar and create lots of lather.  With all that being said, I inform my newbs that it is important that they properly store their soap after each use. Investing in a soap dish with drainage holes or slots are a must. Using those ceramic soap dishes that protrude from your sink and shower walls won’t do the trick. Real soap needs breathing room. If you allow it to float in residual water and it’s own drippings (sounds like I’m talking about a steak now…), then it will become super soft and mushy. Not.good.
I love wooden soap dishes, and here are a few that I’ve found that would love to snuggle up next to your handmade soap.



Monday, September 12, 2011

Feeling Really Salty

I have a love/hate relationship with making salt bars. I love them because they're ridiculously easy to make. I hate them because you must time the cutting of them just right or you'll end up with this:

My latest batch is still rough around the edges, but they're sell-able. I handle these with kid gloves while they're curing because they're so fragile after I slice them. This particular formula is very basic: coconut oil, castor oil, avocado oil and salt. Could it be my ratio? I use about 90% coconut oil and my salt is equal in weight to the total in oils. I really need to invest in a decent soap cutter. I really do...

Friday, September 9, 2011


Yes, I'm having a sale if you didn't guess....

Buy any TWO soaps in the sale section of my Etsy shop, and get a lip balm of your choosing.

Simply leave your flavor choice in notes to seller. Now thru Sunday (9/11).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This Is Why I'm Not A Soap "Artisan"

Ugh...Sometimes I go out of my comfort zone and attempt to try something new. Sometimes it works. Often times, it doesn't. This is one of those often times...

I call it Dingleberry Delight. Why, you may ask? Because this soap literally showed its ass. See?

Okay, it really aint the soap's fault, but I like blaming inanimate objects for my mistakes. I will try again because I really had a vision for this soap. I won't go into detail because I'm saving that for a successful batch. I just wanted you all to share in my misery....

Friday, September 2, 2011

Go The F*ck To Sleep Soap

I'm so bad. I really am. I have a penchant for 4-letter words (I blame my mother), and after listening to the audio version of Go The F*ck To Sleep, I was shocked, amused, and inspired all in one swoop. This is not a book for children. It is an adult children's book. WTF?! No decent parent would read this to their child. Would they? Anyway, listen to this audio reading if you dare. I think they chose the perfect actor to read it. But you know what cracks me up even more? The announcer in the introduction of the book. His voice is so professional, yet when he says f*ck, it's hilarious. Don't judge me cause I like 4-letter words...

And the soap? It's lightly scented in a dupe of Johnson & Johnson's Bedtime Bath. The scent description is lavender and musk. I think it's heavier on the musk than lavender, but my senses are on overload so I could be mistaken.Since I did not color the soap, I dumped a bunch of goodies on top: some locally-grown lavender buds (yay!), of course, dried calendula, and a sprinkling of poppy seeds. And...I'm not naming the soap Go The F*ck To Sleep. I'm also a little over dramatic at times.