August 29, 2011
I’ve learned a lot over the past 2 weeks as I delved into attempting to make bath fizzies. I’ve gotten some great feedback from some awesome soap makers and I’ve figured out a few things to make my life easier when making fizzies. I want to share that experience with you.
My first piece of advice to you is do not attempt to make your first bath fizzies on the most humid day of the year. This is not conducive to successful fizzies
My first problem as I was making fizzies was I was filling the whole mold (each cavity) and then going back and trying to get them out and of course they wouldn’t come out or they came out broken. What I didn’t realize was you needed to make one fizzy and then remove it from the mold right away. The longer you wait the harder it is to get it out of the mold.
First piece of advice: Make one fizzy and remove from mold immediately after.
The next problem I was having was the bath fizzies would start to bubble and expand on me as they picked up the moisture in the air. It seemed that by the time they were hard enough to pick up it was too late because they’d already picked up the moisture in the air (again humid days, not the best time to experiment with bath fizzies!)
My solution: I cut strips of the plastic knitting/sewing sheets and removed my fizzie on it. Then I was able to pick up the fizzy without ruining it. I slid it and plastic sheet into the bag and tied it tight.
After 24 hours I reopened the bag and removed the plastic then retied. This creates some extra work, but I get nice fizzies now! I’m hoping with the change of weather I can remove this step, but for now it works.
August 26, 2011
I’m way too detail oriented! I’m always sketching out ideas. In part it’s just how I’ve always been, ten plus years of working in the design field has taken a natural instinct and made it nearly impossible for me to function any other way. I’ve been free hand sketching my designs for my craft fair tables for months now as I figure out what I want to do and as I get new “pieces” to help me display my products.
Well, I finally reached a point where free hand sketching wasn’t cutting it. I needed to draw my plan to scale and see just how everything would layout out… This is what came from that (I warmed you…way to detail oriented!)
My dad and I went to the Bolton Fair this past weekend and we saw a shelf display for soaps I LOVED! The lady there was really nice and let us take pictures of it! So I went to work designing a shelf pretty much like hers, just slightly modified…
Of course I had multiple options (the above is the one I think I’m going with, but before I got to that final design I had a couple other options).
And for those who the above plans and elevations make no sense here’s a picture of the shelf I’m basing my design off of!
And since I wrote and scheduled this post my table design has changed AGAIN :D Each farmers market I figure out another little piece of the layout…eventually it’ll get to exactly what I want it to be!
August 24, 2011
I have a “soap making schedule.” I like to have everything planned out to see exactly how long it’ll take me to get things done…when I’m going to do what recipes…use what fragrances… Plus I knew I was on a tight schedule trying to get all my fall/winter soaps done by the end of August. (Teaching starts in September (on top of the full time job) and my free time gets cut drastically).
With that in mind I had soap to make last night. However I spent part of the evening with my mom and didn’t get home till 7:30. Well after getting home, putting away groceries and getting settled I pulled out my soap stuff. Went to go weigh the materials out and my scale (which turned on) wasn’t registering any weights. What to do? Go to BB&B and get a new scale or not make soap that night?
I did the math in my head. Leave at 7:45. Twenty minutes to store. Ten minutes in store. Twenty minutes home. 8:30 before I could start on my batch. (I should note here I have a self imposed bed time of 10 PM. I get up every morning at 5:30. If I don’t give myself a bed time I’d keep working and just pretty much burn myself out). Anyway, I DID go get the scale. In fact I got two (paranoid one wouldn’t work). Got home and made soap at 8:30. Didn’t finish till quarter to 10 then proceeded to make bath fizzies (cause they were also on my schedule). *sigh* By the time I finished those and took my shower and finally got into bed it was 11 PM. I’m a tired girl this morning, but I stayed on track with my schedule!
I loved my old scale. I do not like the new one I got. It’s going back. It reads in fractions. Which is fine for most people, but not for me. I need to be able to get a precise 13.2 and not have to decide between 13 1/8 oz. and 13 1/4 oz. I’ll go do some research on scales and find one I really like, but for now the back up scale (see I knew it was smart to get two!) works. Not what I want, but works great as a cheap back up scale.
August 22, 2011
Well these didn’t quite turn out as I thought the were. It was supposed to be a swirl of black and orange. Only I made black the dominate color when I should have made orange the more prominent color and hence the black overtook the orange. There are some swirls of orange in there, but it doesn’t come through as strongly as I wanted it too. On the bright side the orange pumpkin makes it look fun and balanced!
August 18, 2011
I LOVE LOVE LOVE how these came out. In fact they came out do well I’ll probably do the same technique again for a different fragrance.
August 17, 2011
When I first made this batch (Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Clove) it was a light brown. I didn’t bother adding a color. I know cinnamon will turn soap brown no matter how hard you try. So I just added some cinnamon to give it a fun sprinkled looked and just let it be whatever color it wanted. The light brown was pretty. Once it went into the gel phase it go super dark…almost black!
After the gel phase the color pretty much remained. It’s a bit lighter now, but mostly it’s dark. I like it though it makes me think all warm and cozy…and it smells sooooo good!
August 15, 2011
I love the smell and look of these bars (even if they didn’t quite come out as I’d imagined!) I tried to swirl orange and white and then put the pumpkin pieces in the center of the soap. The white got lost (I didn’t read that pumpkin spice will discolor brown…oops) But I think the different tons of orange actually work really well!
After I just poured:
I mixed yellow and brick red to get my orange and some of the yellow came out in the streaks.
Love the swirl...even if it muted out when it cured.
This was 24 hours later after it had cured. The yellow streaks are more prominent now, but it works!
Love the pumpkin in the middle!
And the finish soap:
August 13, 2011
Remember back to that post a few weeks ago when I was talking about what I’d use to display my soaps? And I had the idea of using bread baskets? And then I got the baskets and loved them (and there was another post here about them :))
Well I had my best friends mom make covers for them and I just got them back yesterday and they’re AMAZING! Beyond anything I imagined. I thought they’d have to cover the basket, hiding the lovely iron look, but she figured out a way to make them sit nicely inside the basket and they’re just the coolest basket covers ever!
August 12, 2011
I’ve been making soap for about 2 years now. I fell in love after my first batch…the first year I just kind of experimented with a couple recipes, made small batches and made plenty of mistakes. Once my confidence grew I started experimenting with more recipes and new oils. About a year ago I discovered the The Soap Queen blog (Have I mentioned it’s like my all time favorite blog! Like ever!). I’ve learned sooooooo much from them.
What I love most about Bramble Berry is their willingness to answer questions and help me (and all the other soap makers) out. They are so generous with there time and always willing to help.
I’ve come a long way since two years ago. I no longer pour a one color bar of soap and hope for the best. I swirl, layer, and most recently have fallen in love with CP cupcake soaps! CP is my one true love. I make custom order MP soaps. I’ve gotten into scrubs and balms (I love to pamper myself), I’m even struggling with bath fizzes (I’ll get them eventually), but any day of the week if asked I’ll pick CP soaps over all of those.
I finally feel confident enough in my own skills that I believe I could actually TEST some fragrances and give useful feedback on them! So I’m jumping in and saying Pick me! Pick me!
And here are more pictures of some of my soaps from the past couple months! I’m even giving you a sneak peak at one of my Christmas Cupcake Soaps – Peppermint Candy Cane!!
Yummy Creamsicle Delight!
Sneak Peak at some of my Fall soaps!
My favorite of my cupcake soaps: Root Beer Float with a Cherry on Top!
Peppermint Fragrance - Candy Cane Cupcake Soaps!
August 9, 2011
I wanted to see if I could get a purple sugar scrub and since I was making a batch for my friend and she didn’t care what color they ended up I experimented!
I wasn’t very methodical in my experimenting. I kind of put a little blue in and added some pink and mixed…decided it needed a little more pink so added some more and mixed and got a really cool color (pictures don’t quite do it justice). Too bad I didn’t quite pay attention to how much blue and pink I put in Oh well I know I can still get a really awesome color purple though!