Salt Bars

August 29, 2016

Salt Bars!  Since I was playing around with brine soap I figured I’d play around with salt bars too.  It has been years (like four or five years!) since I last made salt bars. I wasn’t a fan of them the first time I made them and never had any burning desire to make them since.  That is until recently.

I had some extra pumpkin from a batch of beer & pumpkin soap I’d just made so I decided to use it in my salt bars.  Used a traditional recipe high in coconut oil with a little bit of Shea butter and a 10% superfat.

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This is less than two hours later and they’re solid.

salt bars (1)

I’m squeezing these as hard as I can…and not even a minor dent. These bar are rock hard! (Note it took them less than three hours to go from soapy liquid in the pot to hey here’s a bar!

Testing: And once again I’m just not a fan. Low, low lather. Super scratchy.  Just not for me, but I know some of my customers will love it.

I couldn’t leave it at that.  I made another batch with a slightly different recipe (replaced shea with avocado) and no pumpkin.  And I tried to push the limits of using dead sea salt (with a blend of sea salt) and it didn’t work.  I mean the bars are hardening up, but they were very soft and crumbly…didn’t come out of the mold pretty. *sigh* I should know better.  The bright side, is my desire to make salt bars is gone. Ha!  So I’m probably good for another five years when it comes to making salt bars😉.

One thing that amuses me to no end with salt bars is how fast they set up (when you use the proper salt).  Within three hours of being poured my bars were rock hard.  I mean you could do some serious damage with them.😉


Aloe Vera!

August 22, 2016

Aloe, oh aloe!  I’d read about aloe.  I’d watched some videos about using aloe.  I figured I was ready to try it.  My mom has had this HUGE aloe plant for I don’t know how many years and I’ve always said I was going to make some soap and use some of that aloe in it.  I don’t know how many years I’ve been saying that, but I finally did it.

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Quite the aloe plant isn’t it?

Took some aloe, sliced it up, and then pureed it.  No matter how much I pureed I still had some small bits of the skin.  No one had ever said anything about the skin and so I figured it would be ok.  Well after I made the soap and cut it I was no longer sure that it would be okay.  Those tiny flecks grew in the soap and I didn’t trust that.  I had a feeling that they would be cause for concern. The last thing I wanted was moldy soap!

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Can I make a random comment? Aloe has a very distinct smell when cut and I can’t say I like it very much!

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No amount of blending completely pureed it. Might be I need a different (better) blender.

Thank goodness for FB Soap Groups.  After posting my soap and the process I got a lot of feedback on how to make aloe soap and that this batch probably was probably going to be a lost.

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Here’s a small piece of the soap. You can see the small specs of aloe practically tripled in size.

I’ve been watching the soap as it cures and the green spots have slowly kind of morphed to a brown color.  I’ll keep watching it and probably test out a bar using it and seeing how the water affects it over time.

Second batch I took my new found knowledge (advice) and didn’t use the leaf, but just scoped out the aloe and blended that with a little bit of water.  This soap is void of the troubling green specs and I’m excited to try it.

Look at this yummy, messy process😉

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Sliced off the top of the leaf and scoped out the aloe center. Quite a messy process.

 

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Then I blended the aloe with some water. Lovely looking! Not a green spec insight! Now to make some soap with it!

No green specs.  No worries this batch.  I’m excited to use this soap. Not sure if I’ll notice a difference between it and my normal soap, but I’ll know it’s got all the aloe-y goodness in it.

As a side note:  You may laugh at me; it’s okay.  I never knew that I could just cut the leaf/stem off the aloe and leave it be (the plant that is) and it would “heal” itself. I felt so bad looking at the oozing stem where I’d cut it, but I needed my aloe!  Well a few days later I went back to look at the plant and it had closed itself right up! Haha. I know; I’m silly.  I found that quite fascinating to see.  And now I don’t fee so bad about cutting pieces from the aloe plant.


Destash Items for Sale

August 17, 2016

Display items!  Most are practically brand new and all are in great shape. I’ve listed amounts and costs. This doesn’t include shipping. Shipping will be calculated based on what each person wants.

First come first served. If you want something comment or email me (JenniferSoap [at] gmail [dot] com) with what you want and your mailing zip so I can calculate shipping costs for you.  Please note that everything will be shipping from MA.  Some of the heavier items if going outside of New England the shipping will be (most likely) more than the actual destash item.

8″ (base) Round White Metal Bucket – $5.00  4 available

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Miscellaneous Molds and Cutters.  Most of these are new (haven’t been used) some have been used for classes in the pasts.  As you can see they’re in individual pieces many of them.  Selling the whole lot (about 35 mold cavities and two cutters) together.   –  $25.00

1 Galvanized Metal Oval Display Dish 8.5″ Top/6″ Base – $5.00

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Blue Metal Display bucket 5″ base/6.5″ top – $5.00  3 available

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White Wood Tray 9.5″ x 15.5″ – $5.00

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Fall Colored Basket  – $2.00

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Wood Dishes 4.75″ x 10.25″ (outside measurements) – $5.00 each  7 available 

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Flower Metal Tray 7″ x 7″ – $5.00

Winter Themed Basket – 6.5″ x 8″ – $4.00

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Holiday Boxes (three sold as set) – $3.00

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Wire Basket with beaded embellishments 2.5″ base – $3.00 

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Blue Wood Bucket 4″ base – $5.00

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Green Wood Bucket 4″ wide x 9″ long – $8.00

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Copper Metal Bucket 4.5″ x 10″ – $10.00

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Teal Wood Display Crate 5″ x 8.75″ – $5.00  2 available

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10″ Galvanized Metal Bowl – $5.00  2 available 

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FRAGRANCES:

1 oz. Weekend in Maui (NG) – $1.00
2-3 oz.  Nectarine & White Ginger (L) – $3.00
8 oz. Sweet Orange & Chili Pepper (NG) – $10.00 
4 oz. Apple Cinnamon (NG) – $5.00
6 oz. Lavender Fragrance (Elements Bath) – Free (a couple years old, but smells fine)
1 oz. Autumn Woods (NG) – $1.00
10 oz. Fresh Strawberry (NG) – $5.00 
4 oz. Vineyard (RE) – $2.00
Some Sample 1/2 oz. Jars – Free
2-3 oz Awapuhi Seaberry (NG) – $2.00
2 oz Freesia (WSP) – $2.00
2 oz Rosemary Mint (WSP) – $1.00

PACKAGING

  • 6 Gold Boxes from Nashville Wraps Square Box w/ Ribbon 5-3/4×5-3/4×3″ – $2.00 per box

goldbox

  • 25 Tea Light Boxes – They no longer sell these but they hold the tea lights (I believe it’s 6 per box) – $5.00 for set (fold flat you must put together)

teaboxes

  • Push Up Cake Tubes approx. 80 count – FREE  *The shipping is going to be around $15-25 depending on where you’re from, from what I can tell by the weight.push up tubes

MOLDS

  • Three Tiered Cake Mold – $4.00

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EVERYTHING ELSE

  • 2 oz Bags of dried Peppermint Leaves (brand new).  The smallest amount I could by these in was a 16 oz bag. I don’t need that much! – $5.00 
  • Assorted Gift Boxes (approx. 75 count) – $2.00
  • Online Labels approx. 90 sheets OL6200 (Ink Jet Glossy) – $28.00
  • Sets of 3 Double End Measuring Spoons (1tsp and 1 tbsp) –Sets Available
    • $7.00 Each Set (includes shipping) / $4.00 per set if included with other items (doesn’t include shipping).
    • Note: I got these for myself and for my soap classes. I really like them! However I had to order in bulk when I got them and I don’t need the extra three dozen I have left over.

measuring spoons

 


Avocado!

August 15, 2016

Avocado soap has been on my “to make” list for over a year now. I meant to make some last summer and time just ran out…which tends to happen on a regular basis for me.  That’s the one down side of your hobby being a full time business (with no one to do the work but you): you (as in I) have little time for experimenting.  Most of the time I’m just keeping up with making what I’m selling and there’s not a whole lot of extra time to play around.

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I was in the store and walked by the avocados and they were having a special on them and I stopped and picked up a couple.  I figured if I HAD the avocados I’d have to make time to make the soap because I wouldn’t waste the avocados.

I’ve never cut an avocado before. That was interesting experience.  My friend told me the best way, which is not how I’d probably have gone about it ha, but her way was definitely less messy and worked like a charm.

I pureed the avocados and then went about making soap as normal.  I discounted some of my water to account for the avocado.  The soap behaved nicely and the end product looks good.  Can’t wait to test the soap in a week or two once it’s finished curing.  I’m sure the avocados added some yummy goodness to the soap, but I don’t expect it to affect the lather or anything else.

Avocado (1)

Will I make soap with avocado and sell it in the future…not sure.  Avocados add an extra expense to the soap, but it was fun to finally play around with some avocado in my soap.

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I put salt on the top of the bar and separating the layers…hence the slight discoloration between the layers and the salt sweats a little in this heat.


Dancing Funnel Technique: Challenge

August 12, 2016

This month’s challenged fascinated me and I knew I’d have a bit of time to actually attempt some soaps with it so I signed up.  The design is cool, my attempts—not so much.

Attempt 1: WAY to liquidy-runny

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They said you needed a really light trace…and that the soap shouldn’t be thick. I did super thin trace and well that was a disaster.  I ended up halfway through stopping the batch I was making going back to my liquids and stick blending them to thicken them up some and then starting a new loaf.  Still wasn’t thick enough and you can see how fluid this batch looks as everything just kind of ran into everything.

Attempt 1a: Left over soap…

2016-08-06 16.38.32I had some left over soap from some embeds I was making for a custom order so I decided to practice the technique some more.  Soap was still to runny though to make the technique work properly.

Attempt 2: *shakes my head* (That is all I can say…)

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I didn’t have any clean skirt bottles so I thought I’d use piping bags…You should have seen the mess I made…hence the head shaking.  This soap was better than the first but still didn’t turn out great.  First off the black got a little too thick and the white was still too runny.  It was not a fun combo to work with.

Attempt 3: Too thick

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After the previous failed attempts at a really like trace soap I finally tried a batch at a medium trace.  That ended up being too thick.  I just couldn’t win.  And oh my the glycerin rivers on this soap!  All I did was wrap it in a blanket to insulate this one and I got this craziness. I swear the fragrance had to affect it somehow because I’ve never quite seen rivers like this, though I do wonder if it could be the TD (different supplier than I normally use).

In the end I really wasn’t happy with any of the soaps.  This method is super time consuming and doesn’t work for my loaf soaps, so it’s not one I’m likely to do again, but I gave it a go!


Ink for Sale

August 1, 2016

My printer just died and the one I updated to doesn’t take the same ink and of course I’d just restocked on ink big time gearing up for busy label printing season. So I’m selling my ink! If you have an HP printer that uses 564 I have ink for you! Prices don’t include shipping.

Available:
4 Pack (XL Black/Colors): $55 (normally sold for $67+)
Two Pack Black Ink: $20 each (normally sold for $26+) 3 available
Single Black: $10 (normally sells for $12-16 each)
Single Yellow: $10 (normally sells for $12-16 each)
Single Cyan: $10 (normally sells for $12-16 each)
Single Magenta: $10 (normally sells for $12-16 each)

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If you’re interested in any comment here of email me at JenniferSoap@gmail.com

Thanks!


Inspirational Friday

July 29, 2016

I’m a teacher, but I’m also a learner.  I always want to take in new information.  I think the two go hand in hand really.  And you know what, it doesn’t matter what I’m learning.  Yes, there are certain things I prefer to study over other things, but I still love the challenge of always expanding my knowledge base.

wrong room


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