June 30, 2013
It’s been my goal this past year to find ways to slowly replace all the “chemical” products I use in my house. I’ve either been working on creating my own recipes for items or changed the brand of items I was buying (mainly my toothpaste!). I’ve got a all natural deodorant I’ve been using and I really like (it’s almost ready to be launched!!). I’ve changed my facial moisturizers. And my next big change has been household cleaners.
I’ve been working on infusing different vinegar blends to create different scented vinegar cleaners. My first blend was “Orange, Grapefruit, Cloves, and Cinnamon.” It’s currently infusing.
Then at one of my events I was RIGHT across from a “Fresh Lemonade” stand. I saw them going through soooooooo many lemons so about half way through the day I went over and asked them what they were going to do with the rinds. They said “throw them out” so I was like can I have a box? They gladly gave me one (and would have given me more if I wanted).
This box had about 75 lemons in it and I spent hours removing the skins from the rind. I got three crammed pack bags of rinds! I used one bag to start four jars of infusions. The rest went in the freezer to use throughout the summer to make more infusions.
Then my friend has given me free access to her “fields of mint” (and I really meant fields of mint!!!!) whenever I need it.
So lemon-mint infusions are made! Now it’s just a matter of waiting four weeks for them to be ready!
Next on the list are to get more oranges and limes (which I have a “source” for those too). Woohoo for resourcefulness! Between getting the rinds from people, the herbs/mint from friends and family all I’ve had to buy to make these are the spices (cloves and cinnamon sticks), vinegar and bottles. All in all not bad! Can’t wait to use these!
June 27, 2013
Continuation from yesterday! I did two other soaps for West Point. One was a take on my (what’s turned out to be really popular) Embedded Heart Soaps. The other was a simple and clean soap with a mica top that I then stamped “Army Themed” stamps into. I have to say I love these, especially the “Go Army, Beat Navy!”
Embedded Heart West Point Themed Soap:
Stamped West Point Themed Soaps: So these didn’t work out. The fragrance I used (coconut shavings) darkened this soap way too much. I ended up stamping them with my logo, but the rubber stamps dipped in mica just weren’t looking good on this one.
I had to restock my Cedar & Saffron. I’ve done the same technique/colors with this soap for a while. This time I changed up a color though and man when I cut it it made me think Army Camouflage
And there you have it, my Army themed soaps. I really like them. I’m hoping West Point does too. Because this Army Brat would be tickled pink to have her soaps featured in their gift shop!
June 26, 2013
Most of you probably don’t know I’m an Army Brat. I grew up moving from place to place (13 moves in 18 years!). I loved it. I didn’t know any other way of life then (I had my first move at 7 weeks old! And overseas to boot.) but looking back now I wouldn’t change a thing. I spent ten years of my first eighteen living in Europe. I learned how to be independent and I learned how to speak a foreign language (pretty fluently, because I attended a French high school for three years).
I am, through and through, an Army Brat and proud of it. My grandfather was in the Army, my brother is, and my Dad spent 22 years in the Army before retiring to a civilian job. My dad went to West Point. Every year (since my family settled in MA) we’ve gotten together with family and gone to a Army Football game for a day of tailgating, football, and lots of fun.
Last year I when I was in one of the small gift shops at West Point I asked the shop if they did wholesale and might be interested in selling my soaps. They said they would definitely consider it. We’re heading back to West Point in September for our yearly football game and I’m going armed with Army/West Point themed soaps to show them this time (and my wholesale agreement/pricing). I’m super excited about these soaps. I came up with five different designs. Most are the West Point Gold-Black and Gray color theme. With a red-white and blue themed soap as well as the U.S. Army logo.
Army Logo Soap:
This is the Army Logo:
All in all I think “Army” minded people will see the resemblance in the soap to the logo.
Red-White-Blue Flag Soap:
Classy West Point Color Themed Soap:
June 23, 2013
These were (once again) inspired by real food. I saw these cupcakes/pies:
(From Cupcakes Garden)
After going man those look good and making me crave some cherries my next thought was those would be really cute as soaps. I already had my pie soaps that I’d created last year. I figured I could do the same concept/technique, but just in individual cupcake holders.
I decided to make some Cherry Pies and Blueberry Pies. I swirled the base (either pink-white or blue-white). Then I embedded cherries or blueberries on top. From there I piped the lattice and there you go!
I really like how they came out. I made a small batch (just seven of each). Not sure how they’ll go over at the market, but figured I’d try these and if they go over well then next year I can make more.
June 21, 2013
How about a little break from all these soap posts? I know this blog is mostly about soap, but occasionally I like to change it up a bit! So…
Trapezing! (or more accurately “flying”)
I took my first class (a two hour session) years ago. I really really liked it. Since then I had done a class here or there (usually when I a friend was visiting. I’d drag them along an we’d have lots of fun!). The trapezing school by me offers these ten week intensive classes. I really wanted to take one for a while. I finally signed up for a class in April. We’re nearing the end of the ten week session now and can I say I AM IN LOVE!
There is something magical and exhilarating and just plain fun about flying through the air and trying to get your body into positions it doesn’t want to ha! My biggest goal for this class was to “catch” the pullover shoot and learn my swing (which you need to really advance on to any of the tricks after the basics). It’s taken me five weeks but I’ve finally started to conquer the pullover shoot. Once I got the trick the next stage was the “catch” it.
Last week (6/14): This was one of the best tricks I’ve done. Everything was right. The catchers timing (it was a different catcher from who we usually have) was off so we just touched hands.
This week (6/21): Success!
Now it’s on to working on the swing. I’m so sad the class is ending but I’ll be back in the fall when classes resume again.
June 20, 2013
This article was shared on a crafty board I participate in and it just struck a cord with me. It’s a short easy read and worth the time! I especially love #6: Collaborate. It’s part of what I love about the soap community we all share. I swear it feeds us all and makes us all better and willing to darn new things!
Take a read! It’s worth it! 12 Most Striking Tendencies of Creative People
June 16, 2013
Happy Father’s Day to the BEST dad out there. I’ve got two wonderful parents who have given me opportunities, supported me, encouraged me and always believed in me. They’re there for me when I need them, but taught me to stand on my own too. I’m a Daddy’s Girl in so many ways and love Father’s Day. Hope everyone has a wonderful Father’s Day!
Love you Dad!
June 14, 2013
I go in spurts it seems. Massive soap making then no soap making (while I’m usually working on other bath products). My markets and fairs are in full swing and I had to restock on about 10 of my standard soaps. Plus I was working on a couple of new soaps for this summer (as I’m running low on the specialty spring soaps). So between the restocks and new soaps I’ve made 150lbs of soap over the past ten days! I’m ready to crash now :D The good news I’m restocked and should be good to go for a couple months…next up will be starting the winter soaps come mid-July so they’re ready come September! (CRAZY!!!!)
(Some of the cupcakes are from a few weeks ago and some of the soaps are not part of this round (those are the ones in the grayed out portion of the picture.))
June 10, 2013
Today is June 10th! My birthday! :D For today only all orders (over $12) get free shipping! Just go add items to your cart, go to check out and select the FREE SHIPPING option. It’s just for today though! So don’t miss out!
Jennifer’s Handmade Soap