Soap Conference: Part 3

May 29, 2013

Game Night and an English Fete = LOTS OF FUN!

Trivia and clickers and soap questions leads to lots of fun and laughter!  Wholesale Supplies Plus sponsored the game night and I had a great time participating in it.

game night 2

game night

I got too involved in the game once it started to remember to take any more pictures :D

English Fete = English food and drinks and games with prizes…you can’t go wrong!  I have to say I was thoroughly impressed with  The Essential Depot.  They had five different games and they made the games fun and not so difficult that you couldn’t win if you tried.  I won at two events and had a blast playing at all five of them!

I managed to stack them 17 high. When I added the 18th it all fell over :D

I managed to stack them 17 high. When I added the 18th it all fell over :D

You had to toss two rings around the same bottle to win that item. I did!  Won some lye which I needed so it worked out well!

You had to toss two rings around the same bottle to win that item. I did! Won some lye which I needed so it worked out well!

 


Soap Conference: Part 2

May 28, 2013

I’m CP/HP Certified! Woohoo!!!  I passed my test :)

certificate

Now it’s on to the advance test.  I’m super excited about the advance test. I get to actually formulate my own recipe and record myself making it and submit a bar of soap to the Guild :D  There is also a multiple choice question section too I’ll have to pass.  I’m not that worried about it. Now that I’ve got the first one out of the way the stress of the unknown is no longer there.

I’ve been asked quite a few times now if you “need” the certification tests.  You don’t really, but I teach soap classes all the time and for me these tests allow me to add a certified in my author bio for these classes and I like know that I’ve a way to prove to students that I really do know what I’m talking about when I teach them :D

As an added bonus the conference offered a couple classes that I participated in that I know will help me with the Advanced test too.  So I say bring it on!


Soap Conference: Part 1

May 27, 2013

I’m still trying to process everything from the 2013 Soap Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina.  It was an amazing trip (and EXHAUSTING!).

There were a lot of awesome classes offered. I think my favorites though were:

  • Kevin Dunn’s “Superfat of Discount? Identical of Different
  • Kerri Mixon’s “Chemistry of Fatty Acids & Oils”

I learned the most from those two classes and I just found them fascinating!  Who’d have thought the girl who hated chemistry in high school would be absolutely enthralled with it today??  Guess it just had to be chemistry of soap to pull me in.

See science can be lots of fun!!

science

Other classes I really enjoyed (and got some good information out of) were:

  • Kat Hackney’s “Advance Colorants”
  • Marla Bosworth’s “Natural Shampoo”

Ann Evanston’s keynote address was inspiring and definitely gave me some stuff to think about and things to think about changing.

The soaps submitted to the Soaper’s Showcase were all pretty amazing this year too.  I loved the packaging category. There were some inspiring soaps there!  Here’s a couple pictures!

soap entries

packaging3

cake 3

garden

 


Dryer Balls

May 17, 2013

I recently learned about dryer balls.  The first time I used them I fell in love with them.  Of course that led to me wondering how hard they were to make.  Well after reading a bunch of different blogs on how to make them I decided to give it a go.  I’ve tried two different methods and then kind of combined the two.

Before I get into them let me explain what they are and why they’re so awesome!

1. They are an Eco-friendly alternative to the conventional dryer sheet.

2. They do more than a dryer sheet by pulling the moisture out of your clothes so you don’t have to run your dryer as long, saving you time and money.

3. They reduce static just like dryer sheets do.

4. They soften your clothes like liquid fabric softener when they’re bouncing around your dryer, but unlike fabric softener they don’t have harsh chemicals.

I first tried wool yarn.  They gave me nice round balls, but it took me 6 hours to wrap the eight balls you see here!  I have to tie off the ends and then these are ready to go into the wash.

dryer1

Then I tried just using wool roving to make the entire ball (much less time consuming)!  I actually think I like this method better.  My first balls were pretty bad (they’re going to my mom :D – She doesn’t care that they’re a little to small and misshaped.)  Once I got a hang of how to wrap it it went went pretty smoothly.

Then I used the wool string to start a small ball to act as the base.  And used wool roving to be the outside.

dryer2

I don’t think I’ll continue this.  I ended up having a hard time making the ball round. I know it seems like it’d be easier but it was harder to get the roving wool wrapped around the yarn in a nice round shape.

I meant to take a picture before these went in the wash, but I forgot.  So here they are after the wash. The roving wool balls have shrunk considerably.  The yarn ones not at all.  It really doesn’t look like the yarn balls felted.  They did a little (and I used 100% wool that’s not machine washable so I know that’s not the problem).  I’ll try a set out in the dryer and see how they hold up…

into wash

Here they are removed from nylon after two washes.  The top three sets (which were the later ones I made) came out really well.  I know it doesn’t quite look like it in the photo but they’re pretty round and the size I was going for and they felted really nicely!

dryerballs

The maroon and brown are the yarn. They seem pretty sturdy, but just not very felted so we’ll see how they hold up.  Then the bottom are my rejects.  Not round…too small…but hey you’ve gotta have a learning curve.  Good thing I don’t mind using my rejects :D


Wool Roving

May 14, 2013

As you know I’ve recently ventured into making dryer balls…I actually really like making them.  I’ve been experimenting with different wools and colors and I’ve discovered I really like wool roving (instead of wool yarn)!  I’m getting some really nice dryer balls!

I bought my first batch of wool roving on ETSY a while back (when I was going to try felting my soap) so I decided do go back there to do a search for more. I was looking for some nice colored wool.  I finally settled on IndigoCrane because I loved the bold colors she offered.  Check her out here: https://www.etsy.com/people/indigocranefiber

Oh my word! Her wool is GORGEOUS.  I almost don’t want to felt it it’s so silky smooth and just delightful to touch.  But even more than that the colors are AMAZING!  So bold and just down right beautiful.

blue

green

maroon

red


Mouse Cupcakes

May 10, 2013

I saw some cupcakes made to look like mouse cupcakes and I fell in love.  I decided right then I needed to replicated them in soap!  I think they came out pretty darn cute :)

mini1

mouse2

mouse1


Soap Photos

May 8, 2013

My friend has been doing soap photos for me of my products and they’re SOOOO GORGEOUS! I have to share them!

Cupcakes:

bluewhite

Wake Up Rosemary:

wakeuprosemary

Oatmeal Milk & Honey:

OMH1


Sundae Soaps

May 6, 2013

I made another round of Sundae Soaps.  Mainly because I had the ice cream scoops made.  I’m not sure if I’m going to continue them.  They’re such a novelty product. I do sell them, but not as much as I’d like to make it worth continuing them.  We’ll see.  For now enjoy some pictures of the newest batch!

sundaes (8)

sundaes (16)


Embedded Heart Tutorial

May 2, 2013

This really isn’t a hard soap to make.  It just takes two days to do.  I love embeds.  I have a patience for them that not everyone does.  I plan out my soaps in advance and then make the “parts” I’ll need to create the whole.

STEP 1: The first step in this soap is making the heart embeds.  I use this heart mold from Wholesale Supplies Plus: Heart Mold.

8022

If you fill all 8 of the small hearts it takes about 12-14 ounces.  This mold can be a pain to unmold.  I have a recipe I love to use for embeds because the bulk of the rcipe are solid oils/butters and so it makes for harder embeds, which in turn makes it easier to unmold.  I usually leave the hearts in the mold for a full 24 hours and then before I try unmolding them I stick them in the freezer for about an hour or so.

Oil(s) Selected

2lb Batch

Castor Oil

2.25 oz

Shea Butter

9 oz

Coconut Oil (76 Degrees)

6.75 oz

Olive Oil

9 oz

Palm Oil

9 oz

5% Lye Amount

4.90 oz

Water

11.88 oz

Yields

36 oz

This is a 2lb recipe.  You can shrink it to a 1lb batch if you’re just going to do heart embeds.  I am always making embeds so I use the 2lb batch.   I’ll use the leftover soap to create embeds for another project.  It just saves me time in the long run.

I don’t add a fragrance to these hearts and I use titanium dioxide to color them.  Not adding fragrance doesn’t affect the overall batch.  By not adding fragrance it ensures that I don’t get any discoloration in my nice white hearts.  Feel free though to add fragrance if you’d like.

STEP 2: Unmold hearts!

supplies

STEP 3: After I’ve made and unmolded these soaps I’m ready to make the actual loaf.  I use a five pound mold and I need four and a half hearts to get them to go the entire length.

I use this recipe for the loaf.  It’s one of my favorite moisturizing recipes, but you can use any recipe you want.  This is for a five pound batch of soap (you’ll need 4 and half hearts to fill the loaf).  In this tutorial just did a 2.5 lb batch (where I only needed two hearts).

Oil(s) Selected

5lb 

Avocado Oil

5.4 oz

Meadowfoam Oil

1.35 oz

Coconut Oil (76 Degrees)

10.75 oz

Olive Oil

21.50 oz

Palm Oil

10.75 oz

Shea Butter

5.4 oz

5% Lye Amount

7.5 oz

Water

18.15 oz

Yields

80.65 oz

STEP 4: Once you’ve mixed the oils and lye and the batch has reached a very light trace it’s time to split the batch up.  I split about a quarter of the batter out and set it aside for the top.

TIP: Unless I know I’m working with a slow moving fragrance I do not add it to the soap before I split the batch.  I’ve found by not adding the fragrance to the part I set aside it gives me more time to work with it and it makes for a more fluid soap which in return makes it easier to create nice crisp and clean lines between the two layers.

STEP 5: In the bottom layer (which should be about three-quarters of your soap) mix your color and fragrance together.  Pour it into your mold.

first layer

(I did a side view, instead of a top view) so you could see that you’ll fill approximately 3/4 of the mold.)

You can use any color you want.  The first batch I did I used a teal and gray.  I love this soap!  I didn’t have any more blackberry-sage fragrance oil on hand though so the batch you’re seeing pictures of is Orange & Amber.  I went with orange as the base color and black as the top (a little Halloween-y, but hey I like it!)

STEP 6: I let this set up a bit before I add my hearts in (unless it’s setting up fast then I put them in right away).  Next I go back to my top layer and add my fragrance and color.  Once it’s mixed together I go back to the base and add the hearts and then pour the second layer over them.

hearts embedded

I used Orange Peel in this batch.  First time I’ve used it.  If you want a slowwwwww moving fragrance this one’s for you.  I had to wait and wait and wait (despite a lot of stick blending) for this soap to set up enough to hold the heart embeds on top!

poured soap

STEP 7: If you want you can add a mica top.  I love the look of the mica tops with these soaps.  My mica top didn’t quite work out as planned.

TIP: Here’s some free advice from my trial and errors!  Don’t spritz your soap with alcohol right after doing your mica top.  And don’t spritz your top and then try and do your mica top!  The first time I tried the mica top I had a lovely swirl pattern.  Out of habit I spritzed the top and it caused the micas to migrate and mix together.  The second time I made soap with a mica top I did my mica top and then came back about 30 minutes later AFTER the oil had absorbed into the soap and spritzed.  Worked great.  No smudging…but I did get a small amount of ash on one of my tops.

So this time I decided to try spritzing it before I did the mica top in hopes of no ash.  Well, the alcohol kind creates a layer over the soap and while I was able to pour the mica on top (see pic below) when I went to swirl it it did not work!  Moral of all this, if you’re going to spritz do so only after the oil has absorbed into the soap.

mica top

Here’s the kind of sort of salvaged top.  It’s not an elegant one, but I think it kind of actually works for the orange/black theme I’ve got going!

salvage

STEP 8: I insulate my soaps. I like them to go through gel phase, but you don’t have to.  After 24 hours I unmold and cut and admire the pretty bars!

orange (1)

orange (2)


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