Sunday, April 29, 2012

Goat Milk Swirled Soap

Recently I showed you some goat milk soap I made using Mango fragrance. 

Today's soap is along the same lines, but it’s scented with one of Bramble Berry's Summer 2012 S.O.A.P. Panel winning fragrances. 

Say hello to Lavender Green Tea! 

I am not a fan of lavender at all.
I mean NOT AT ALL!
But I absolutely love this fragrance.

It’s so fresh and green. 
It's like a clean breeze on a summer day. 

Did I mention that I love this fragrance?

Lavender Green Tea did not disappoint in the goat milk soap. 
The scent is fresh and strong but is not overpowering. 

I may share a bar or two of this at some point, but I think most of it will sit in my personal stash for a while.  It should just get better with time.

Once in a while I’ll take a bar and use it.  In the meantime, I will stop by frequently to inhale the freshness.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Shelter Soaps

Earlier this week I made some glycerin soaps that will be donated to a women’s shelter. 

The soaps will be given to women and children who have suffered domestic abuse. 

I hope the soaps bring a small measure of joy and comfort to the recipients.

The outer portion of the soap is scented with a clean laundry type of fragrance. 

The inside of the soap is made up bits and pieces of various fragrances. 

So the scent will be a surprise with each use.

Until next time,
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Little Retro Car Soaps

When you were a kid, did you play with little cars?  I spent many hours playing with little cars and building roads for them.  From that love of little cars come these retro little car soaps.

Aren’t they cute?  The cars are the perfect size for kid hands.  They are about the size of typical toy cars.  One car should last for at least one bath.  It might even last for two or three baths if it isn’t driven around the tub (or arms) too much.

The little car soaps would also be a great way to encourage hand washing.  Time for the kiddos to wash up for dinner?  They can grab a little car off the soap dish and scrub away!

I think kids would love washing up with these little car soaps. 

I just put a set of these up in my Etsy shop, and I'm anxious to see how they are received. 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day!!

I made this soap recently.  It’s inspired by the earth and smells like dirt and grass.  It’s a breath of fresh air in the springtime in Iowa.  The scent in this soap is what it smells like in my garden when I get to play in the dirt for the first time each spring.

I started off with a layer of dirt. 

Then I added a layer of grass.  I envisioned crisp layers of black and green with straight lines, but ended up (once again) pouring the second layer while the first layer was still runny.  So I knew that crisp, straight lines were not going to happen.

Once the second layer was set a bit, I added the sky.  Then at the very top, I plopped white clouds into the sky.

I cut the loaf into bars the other day.  I was so anxious to cut it to find out what each slice would look like.  I had no idea whether the look I was after would turn out at all.

Here are some of the the bars. No two are exactly alike.  What do you think?

 Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Black Soap Cut and Stamped

Good Morning, All!

Remember the black soap I made a last week? 

The bars are now cut and stamped and I thought I’d show you how they turned out.  What do you think of the textured top? 

This soap will be available in about two weeks.  The activated charcoal provides exfoliation and detoxification properties.  The essential oil blend smells nice.  It lets you know it’s there, but it’s not overpowering.  And it doesn’t take anything away from the soap itself.

I have been practicing touching up photo backgrounds using FotoFuze.  This picture is one where I tried to get the backgroung to be white. 
Which of the above photos is the most appealing to you?  Which one do you think would be the best picture to use for the Etsy listing?  I appreciate your feedback.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rock Candy

Have you ever had Rock Candy?  When I was a kid, I got to spend a week in Minnesota each summer (or most, anyway).  One of my favorite memories of those days was going to an “Old Fashioned” candy store where the candy was in big glass containers and big baskets. 

We got to choose some candy to put in our very own sack.  The idea was to make our sack of candy last all week. 

One of my favorites was rock candy.  I loved the sparkly look of those sugar crystals on a stick.  I can’t remember if they were made in different colors and flavors way back then, but if they were, I know the richly colored ones would have been my favorite.

Rock candy was fun to eat.  And it took a bit of time to eat the sugar on a stick, so that helped me make the candy last longer. 

I don’t eat rock candy anymore, but I do make Rock Candy Soap!  I love to use various colors and fragrances in these fun novelty soaps.

Do you know someone who likes rock candy?  Do you have fond memories of rock candy or some other vacation treat?  I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Soap for Hubby

Yesterday I wanted to do a quick and fun soap project.  So I made some soap for Hubby.  Nothing fancy here.  Just some glycerin soap base with color and fragrance added.

Since I first started making soap, Hubby has used the glycerin soaps that I make from the premium melt and pour bases by Bramble Berry.  The first time he used the soap, he noticed that his skin was less dry.  He has been a fan ever since.

I was a big glycerin soap fan until I made my first batch of soap from scratch.  Now I much prefer the soaps from scratch.  I used to have to use lotion every day to keep my skin from feeling itchy and dry.  Now I hardly ever need it. 

I have friends who tell me that since they started using my soaps from scratch they don’t need much lotion either.  I even take my own soap with me when we travel so I won’t have to use the hotel soaps.  My skin feels softer and cleaner when I use soap from scratch.  And of course I get to decide what goes into it; that’s a plus, too.

Back to Hubby’s soap.  It’s quick and easy to make the glycerin bars for him.  And I don’t have to package them!  I can just toss them into a zipper bag and be done with it.

His favorite scent (meaning my favorite scent for him to use) is Blue Man from Bramble Berry.  I usually make the bars with clear soap, but today I made them with the goat milk base, which is white.  So instead of the usual vibrant blue, the soaps are a softer, muted blue.  I used the same blue colorant for the soaps above and below.  But the soaps above were made with the clear base, and the soaps below were made with the goat milk base. 

Anyway, these should keep him supplied for a while.  When these run out, I’ll happily make some more for him.  That is, unless I convince him to prefer the soap from scratch in the meantime.

Next time I'll show you another soap from scratch that I made recently. 

Thanks for reading! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Goat Milk Soap Mango Swirl

I love goat milk soap.  My shower usually has a bar of cold processed clove soap and a bar of cold processed goat milk soap.  I made this soap with myself in mind.  I thought it was a good time to experiment with color and swirls.  I may have gone a little wild.

I used a Bramble Berry fragrance called Mango Mango.  It’s very sweet and seemed to be a good fit with goat milk soap.  I left part of the soap uncolored, and colored the remaining portions with neon orange and neon green.

First I poured in a layer of uncolored soap. 

Next I poured the green colored soap over the white, sort of in rows. 

 Next I added orange soap in rows between and on top of the green rows.

I used a chopstick to make feathery swirls throughout the soap.
Then I plopped some orange on top and swirled a bit. 

I used the chopstick to try to make hearts, but only some of them turned out.

Goat milk soap just gets better over time.  I just finished up the last bar of a batch I made in 2008.  It was even more wonderful in 2012 than it was in 2008.  I love the soft, creamy feel that the goat milk seems to give the soap.

It’s going to be hard to wait to give this Mango Swirl a try, but then that is always the case with cold process soap.  But wait we must.  Giving the soap some time to cure before use allows the soap to get milder.  It also gets harder so that it lasts longer.

Have you ever tried goat milk soap?  If not, I hope you’ll consider giving some of SoapArt’s goat milk soap a try.  A bar or two of this batch will probably show up in my Etsy shop in a few weeks.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Black Soap

I had great hopes of making soap from scratch a couple of weeks ago, and then the handle fell off my sink.  The handle was replaced within a couple of days, but I didn’t get to make soap again until today.  And what fun I had playing mad scientist today.

After debating about which soaps to make,  I settled on my choices.  Recently a customer told me that he loved the activated charcoal layer in my Feel Good Spa Soap.  He requested a bar of soap with activated charcoal throughout.  Why stop at one bar?  I made a whole loaf today!  I'll tell you about the others another day.

There wasn’t much creativity involved in the black soap other than coming up with a custom essential oil blend that is guy friendly.  That doesn't mean it's exclusively for guys, but I do think that, generally speaking, guys will like it.

To entertain myself, I made some swirlies on top.  Generally, I prefer the top of the soap to be smooth.  But I decided to give the textured top a try and see what happens.

I am so anxious to give this soap a try in a month when it is ready to use.  If I can wait that long . . .

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Birthday

I hope you had a blessed Easter Day.  Mine was wonderful.  I am truly blessed in many ways indeed.

Last week my hubby had a birthday.  Here’s what I gave him for his birthday.

What’s that you say?  A counter top?  What kind of a gift is that?  Ah, but this is not just any old counter top.  This is a clean counter top. 

If you think that’s an odd birthday gift, take a look at these photos (I can’t believe I’m sharing these pictures, but here goes).

I reminded Hubby that his birthday is over, and there’s no guarantee the counter top will remain this clear again Thankfully, he's a good sport and he supports my love of creating soap.

How are your counters?  Does anyone else end up with creative chaos on your counter?

Do you have any tips or tricks I can use to help me keep the counters clear of clutter?

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Kitchen Sink and Corn Update

I survived without running water in the kitchen for a day and a half.  Thanks to Hudson Hardware Plumbing and Heating for getting my faucet replaced so quickly.
Here it is!

The water pressure is great!  The water runs in a stream. 

Or in a spray.

I made more corn on the cob soaps and was able to clean up this time. 

These wrapped corn on the cob soaps should be on their way to South Dakota by Friday. 

I'll likely be taking a break from blogging to celebrate Easter.  Happy Easter, everyone!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Corn on the Cob and Kitchen Sinks

I had high hopes of making soap from scratch yesterday. 

Alas, it was not to be.  I get my coffee for the next day ready at night.  This way, the coffee can start by timer a half hour before I get up.  That means no waiting for coffee.  That’s a good thing and makes me a nicer camper in the morning.  Notice, I did not say nice – just nicer than I would be otherwise.  I’m not a morning person these days.

We have a single handle faucet with a sprayer. Pretty sweet. I should say we had a single handle faucet with a sprayer. The other night, just after I filled the coffee carafe with water, I started to turn it off and the handle fell off of the kitchen faucet and plopped down into the sink. 

Anyhoooo, I managed to get the faucet turned off.  I woke Hubby up to tell him the news.  Thankfully, he doesn’t need coffee to be nice when he gets awakened mid-sleep.  He suggested we turn off the water to the sink.  Sigh.  No more water from the kitchen faucet for me.  At least not for now. 

It just didn’t make sense to make soap from scratch with no kitchen water readily available.  The silver lining there?  I had lots of other projects I needed to be doing such as labeling, packaging, and the always-waiting-to-be-done organizing.  So, I got some of those things done.

As I made lemonade out of lemons (showing my age, I know) I worked on some of the corn on the cob soaps that will make their way to the CornPalace in Mitchell, South Dakota.  They still need wrapped and labeled, but I’m happy to have some of them made.

The cleanup will have to wait for another day. 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Soaper's Version of April Fool's

It comes every year.  Same day every time.  It’s the day that practical jokes are acceptable, even encouraged.

Here are a few ideas for April Fool’s soap jokes.  They look and smell like the real thing.  Think you can get someone to take a bite? 

Chocolate Fudge Donuts, Ice Cream Sandwiches and
Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Smoothie on a Stick



Corn on the Cob

Rock Candy

Funny story.  My kitchen counters are generally covered with soap projects (that’s a topic for another blog some day).  Much like the top photo.  My family knows to beware of any item that looks and smells like food because it’s probably soap.
One weekend I made some delicious and peanut butter cup brownies. I found the recipe on Pinterest. 

When one of our kids (she’s a grown up but still our kid) was ready to take a bite, my husband said “Wait! That’s soap!” He is so used to the counter being covered in soap that he doesn’t get his hopes up that something might be real food. As the adult child took a bite, she assured her father that it was indeed real food. I still don't know whether he was serious or kidding when he told her it was soap. 

Of course that got me thinking about how to make peanut butter cup brownie soaps. Alas, the thinking stage is as far as that project has gotten.

Happy April Fool's Day, and Thanks for Reading!