July 12 in 12

July 31, 2018

I’m exhausted. July has been busy. There was soap (lots and lots of making of soap).  Had to get the fall scents made so they’d be ready for September.  Then there was two trips to Philly. One to meet my new nephew.  He’s the cutest!  Came into this world on July 4th (four days late)!  The kid wanted a special birthday. The second trip was for his baptism. Then there were cape shows, Boston shows, and my usual farmers markets.  Then there was life.  And let me tell you life is challenging me at the moment. I can’t wait until the end of August comes and I get a little vacation…or at least a break from everything. I need some time to recharge!  Anyway, without further ado here’s a peak into my July.

July 1, 2018: Reverse Impressions

I haven’t done a reverse imprint in ages!  Thought I’d add squiggly lines to the top of this Seaweed Soap batch.

July 2, 2018: Record Keeping

I’ve reached a point where I think I can start drawing conclusion on my testing.  I’m going to keep recording until at least week 18 (which will be three months), but I’ve definitely gathered enough information at this point to finish writing my research paper.

July 11, 2018: Falmouth, MA

This was my second cape show of the month.  It’s one of the few shows where I get some help as my mom comes down with me.  It’s SOOO nice having help unloading and loading and being able to take a bathroom break ha!

July 12, 2018: Mermaid Soaps

They’ve been popular, so popular that I’ve been busy making more batches.

July 16, 2018: Mica Swirls

I got to the end of June and thought I’m doing good…I’m pretty caught up. And then the beginning of July happened and suddenly I was like I have a million soaps to make and I HAVE to start on my fall soaps!  Between restocks and fall soaps by the time I reached the end of the month I’d made over 230 lbs of soap!

July 17, 2018: Embeds

I tried to purposely avoid embeds in my fall soaps since I used so many in my summer designs and they take so much more time to make, but I couldn’t avoid them completely! 🙂

July 18, 2018: Mermaid Tails

I ran out of mermaid tails and had to stop making my mermaid bars.  Made about 80 tails today! Now I can get back to making more bars.

July 20, 2018: French Vanilla

I know this soap is going to discolor to a dark brown.  Already you can see the vanilla changing the white to yellow. I think as the vanilla does its work and the soap gets darker it will be a striking contrast between the white and brown.


July 21, 2018: Pumpkins Galore!

Now that the pumpkins are made I can make my pumpkin patch soap!

July 24, 2018: Soap Challenge

I put forth the challenge to my fellow New England Soap makers (in our local chapter) to make a soap this month that was inspired from one of their favorite movies/TV shows/ or books. I tried to create a soap that represented the TV show Haven. It didn’t go as planned, but I still think the soap is cute and it was a fun challenge!

July 26, 2018: Fall Soaps

The fall soaps are almost done. I have three more batches to make and then that’s a wrap. I’ll give myself a couple weeks break (and catch up on some bath products and other things) and then I start on the winter soaps!

 

July 28, 2018: Dry Rack

There are a couple more batches to cut still that will get added to this, but here’s my dry rack at the end of July.  Standards are restocked. Fall soaps are made. There’s a lot of soap there.  And the winter soaps will be joining them soon!

 

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June 12 in 12

June 30, 2018

Do you know June is my favorite month?  It just so happens to be my birthday month!  And the weather has finally warmed up.  And schools out for the summer. Summer markets get into full swing…it’s just all around a great month!  Here’s what I was up to this June!

June 7, 2018: Shrink Wrapping Bath Bombs

So, this was the reason I bought the shrink wrapping system for! To package my bath bombs.  Of course I made a huge batch and packaged them all right before I got the system and haven’t had to restock until just recently.  Oh My Word!  I’m in love.  This cut down the packaging time drastically and was so much easier! Worth every penny!

June 8, 2018: Label Designs (and redesigns)

Oh my word.  I’ve been doing a lot of label designs and redesigns.  Updating a lot of labels to be more in line with my business image and correctly some labels that weren’t labeled 100% correctly.  In the process of creating new labels for my body sprays I did them THREE times.  First time with wrong label size, second time I didn’t like the design. Guess third times the charm.

June 9, 2018: Bubble Scoops

These have been pretty popular!  Made another batch. I think I should be good for a couple months 😀

June 10, 2018: Happy Birthday Fun! BONUS POST!!

I took today off from markets and went to Canobie Lake Park with my friend to celebrate my birthday.  Enjoyed the day, rested, and just spent time doing things for me (no business/work)!

June 12, 2018: Boxes!

It was time to package up my summer soaps.  Over 150 boxes here for the first round of packaging!

June 12–Part 2: This week was challenging to say the least.  I had a market this day.  It was a nice day, but extremely windy. Stakes were doing nothing to hold down tents and people where holding on to their tents with every gust of wind.  Three tents ended up blowing over.  One blew over into my tent, me, and then my car window–shattering it.  I cannot say this enough! If you do outdoor shows make sure you use adequate weights!  30 or 40 lb kettlebells with ratchet straps for each leg work really well.  The time, stress, and inconvenience this caused me still makes me mad. All because of someone else’s inability to properly anchor a tent.

June 13, 2018: *Sigh*

What’s wrong with this label? At least I caught it BEFORE I started putting them all on the boxes.

All packaged up! (Well round one anyway).

June 16, 2018: Beverly Art Fest

I love this show.  It also always feels like the kick off to summer.

June 18, 2018: Photo Editing!

I managed to get my soap photos taken!  I love my new lens 😀  Now comes the “fun” of editing all the pics!

June 20, 2018: Studying

When at markets I use the time to study.  I don’t know how I’m going to remember all this.  I “know” it or know how/where to look it up, but I can’t write an essay answer for every question yet. So much studying still do to.

June 23, 2018: Fall and Winter Soaps Scents

I feel like I just finished the summer soaps and already I’ve had to start thinking about the Fall and Winter soaps.  I need to start the Fall soaps in July so they’re ready come September. I’m really not ready for fall scents ha! I determined the scents I’m going with, now time to start designing the soaps.

June 25, 2018: Forgotten Dishes

Ha! I used my dishwasher to wash dishes from a June 9th class. I completely forgot about them until today when I needed a pot and I realize I was missing it and I thought back to when I last used it and remembered the dishwasher.  That’s how often I use a dishwasher!

June 26, 2018: Skating

I used to skate. Then I started a business and well skating was one of the things that was no longer in the budget.  Today, for the first time in six years, I got back out on the ice!  I wasn’t as hopeless as I feared!  It felt so good to be back on ice!

June 27, 2018: Lip balms, lip scrubs, mermaid soaps, and more!

It was a busy day restocking.  Trying to get caught up on everything before next week when I go visit my sister!


May 12 in 12

May 31, 2018

Ah May!  Warmer weather, longer days, and the start of outdoor show season!  Here’s what May looked like for me!

May 1, 2018: Promo Cards

Busy preparing for my summer time at the corner spot!  Promo cards of the classes I’m offering this summer there.  Putting them in bags at events and putting them out on the table!

May 2, 2018: Shrink wrapping! 

If you’d told me I’d use the system this much I’d have said yeah right! But it’s amazing how many uses I’ve found for this system (and I still haven’t used it for what I originally was going to buy it for, ha!)

May 5, 2018: Spring Farmers Market

Markets are in full swing again.  No more free weekends for me!  Ahh, show season.

May 10, 2018: Label Redesigns

I’ve been redesigning most of my labels.  Not huge changes, but updating them (changing a font style I use) and making sure they are meeting all labeling requirements.

May 11, 2018: Mermaid Soaps

Oh look, there’s that shrink wrapping machine again. 😀  Mermaid soaps have been packaged and are now listed on my webpage! Woohoo!

May 13, 2018: Embeds…way too many embeds!

I don’t know what overcame me in April when I decided on and designed my summer soap line, but almost every stinkin’ design included embeds. I’ve been making embeds like a mad woman! Hopefully I have some lovely summer soaps to show for all the work. Pictured here are almost 70 leaves I had to cookie cut out.  Slightly tedious.

May 14, 2018: Body Butter!

Restocking on body butter. I love then stuff. Don’t it look like frosting?

May 17, 2018: Soap, soap, and more soap!

I was a bit crazy this month making all my summer soaps in basically two weeks (that’s what happens when you get behind and suddenly you have to have the soaps made if you want them out by the end of June).  I had to stamp these beach soaps, and then I made Grapefruit Mint and Raspberry Lemonade soaps. Love the embeds…but man they’re so much extra work!

May 19, 2018: Fruit Punch Soap

I love all the colors in this soap, but I won’t be making it again any time soon. Oh my word it’s so much work!  The six color swirl wasn’t too bad, but individually placing all those embeds.  What was I thinking?

May 22, 2018: Watermelons and Lady Bugs

These were the second to last of the summer soaps.  The watermelon soap did not go as planned. It’s cute and a bit abstract, but not what I was going for.  The fragrance got thick quick and I just had to pour!  The lady bug soap didn’t go quite as plan either. The black circles shifted and I didn’t get the pattern I was going for. Oh well!

May 23, 2018: Fails!

Oh my word.  This fragrance caused me problems, but in general nothing about this soap went as I had hoped.  It just isn’t the elegant black and white soap I was hoping to get.  Not happy with the cube/square swirls and the embeds moved and the stamping…Sigh.

May 25, 2018: Cupcakes!

Worked on a custom cupcake order. These are just after I made them, still wet.


April 12 in 12

April 30, 2018

I got slightly obsessed this month with mermaids.  I probably could have filled half the month with posts of just mermaids!  I restrained from doing this ha!  Here you go: April–where the weather is kind of sort of finally getting warmer and spring feels like it might actually get here!

April 1, 2018: Dragon’s Blood

I was mostly caught up on restocks, but I had a few soaps I still needed to make. One was  Dragon’s Blood.  I really like the simplicity of this one.  And the stamp is just too perfect.

April 3, 2018: Custom Favors

These were for a Winnie the Pooh themed Baby Shower. I can’t help smiling every time I see them!  The gift sets I created came out so cute.

Here they are all packaged up in their gift sets and ready to go out! I’m in love with them. They turned out so cute!

April 4, 2018: Studying

I’m making progress…I think ha!  I’ve actually started writing the research paper. I’m studying the essay questions and I’m making the soaps for my 9 months of testing this week (2nd week of April).  This is progress, even if I can’t physically check any thing off my list yet.

April 5, 2018: National Shrink Wrap System

This beauty got ordered a little sooner than I planed, but I needed it for an order in April.  It’s definitely taking some practice to get used to, but it will in the long run save me so much time on packaging!

April 6, 2018: More custom favors!

It’s that time of year: lots of showers and weddings going on.  I’ve been busy making favors.  I love that I can create something unique and special for someone.

April 8, 2018: NaOH 

Can’t make soap without lye.  Another shipment of it arrived.  I think I’m all set for a while.

April 12, 2018: Mermaids!

If you’ve been following my FB page you know I’ve been slightly (okay, maybe more than slightly) obsessed with mermaids.  I have been playing around with a bunch of different designs and I think I have decided on what I like best.  I can’t wait until these are ready!

April 14, 2018: Oh look! More Mermaids! 🙂

Here you go.  May your eyes be happy taking in these cute soaps!

April 16, 2018: And yet more custom favors! (It’s that time of year!)

Did I already mention it’s that time of year?  Yes? Ah, well here are some more favors I’ve made!

April 18, 2018: There’s a running theme here! Cupcake Favors!

I made  A LOT of custom favors this month (not all have been pictured), but it should give you an idea of how my month went in the terms of soap making :D.  These cupcakes turned out so sweet!  Can’t wait until they’re ready to go to their new home!

April 18, 2018: Single Tails and Creating Labels

I wanted to have some mermaids for my event on April 21st. The bar soaps weren’t going to be ready so I decided to package up sets of three tails.  Of course that meant creating labels and figuring out how to package them.  A few kinks to work out, but I really like these!

April 23, 2018: Bubble Scoops

I had a little too much fun with these. I didn’t plan to go make a bunch…it just kind of happened after I made a batch with a friend.  They were just so cute I was like I need a rainbow!  And now I have Bubble Scoops. Lots of bubble scoops ha!

April 28, 2018: New England Local Chapter Meet Up (BONUS)

Lots was going on in April and I had to include a bonus day: Our First New England Chapter Meet Up.  I’m so excited to work on building our community of soap makers up here in New England. We had an awesome day!  I proctored a test session, we made ghost swirl soap, funnel pour soap, and bubble bars!  New England HSCG Members if you’re not already a part of our Local Chapter please consider joining us! We have a FB group as well where updates, challenges, and all sorts of stuff happens! Come check it out!


March 12 in 12

March 31, 2018

And just like that we’re three months in to 2018.  While I can’t say I’m sad about that (I’m sooooo ready for warm weather), I’m still a little amazed at how time seems to just fly by!  March has been a busy month–busier than I expected–not a bad thing!  Here’s a little peak into what transpired the past 31 days!

March 2, 2018: New Webpage

It’s getting closer to actually being a reality!  This is a sketch I did which the new homepage should somewhat resemble when it’s done.  I’m super excited about this update. It’s a major overhaul and a lot of work, but my webpage needed it!

March 3, 2018: Testing Bubble Bath Recipes

I finally got into the lab and experimented on a dozen different recipes I’d created. I got to play with some new ingredients and try some new techniques!  It was fun!  And I have a new class now, with fun new products for student to make!

March 5, 2018: Packaging To Soon!

Here’s what happens when you seal bath bombs in a bag too soon after making them ;).  Ahh science!

March 6, 2018: SoapMaker3 

I continue to finish setting up SM3.  All my recipes are imputed and the final stage is getting my current inventory in there and then I’ll be ready to roll.  Oh the work! I’m not going to tell you how many hours I spent on this.  At least it’s almost all set up and from this point it should be easier to deal with.

March 7, 2018: New Scale

Isn’t she a beauty! I have quite the collection of scales.  From one that measures max 100 grams to this new baby. She can weigh over 20lbs so I can now move up my recipe size.  I’m super excited to be able to scale up my recipes.  It will be so handy come busy season!

March 8, 2018: Coconut Oil

Ahhh, restocking.  I should be all good with coconut oil for at least a few months ;).

March 10, 2018: Body Butter

My body butter is always a popular item in the winter.  I’ve had to make quite a number of batches this winter.  New England has brought us plenty of cold (VERY COLD) dry weather.  Doesn’t it look good enough to eat???

March 12, 2018: Dryer Balls

Oh my word!  These are the most tedious item I make and the most time consuming. I love them and customers love them so I’ll keep making them.  I made 14 lbs worth this go around.  It took a couple weeks (through their various stages) to get them all done, but they’re done and I should be good for the next six months or so!

March 14, 2018: Summer Fragrances

One night huddled under blankets on my couch I started day dreaming about summer and then thinking about scents I would do in my summer line and before I knew it I had my summer scents picked out and designs done!  This is not normal.  I don’t normally even start to figure out what I’m going to be doing for the summer until April, but when inspiration hits I go with it.

March 15, 2018: Spring Soaps

And now that I figured out my summer line it was time to package my spring soaps!

March 16, 2018: Custom Favors

It’s that time of year where weddings and showers are fast approaching and I get busy with making custom favors!  This cute cupcakes are going to be for a little girls first communion.

March 17, 2018: Mill No. 5

Shows are going to start up full time before I know it, but right now I just do a couple each month.  This show was at Mill No. 5 in Lowell.  I love the building it’s such a fun atmosphere!  IF you’re ever in MA you should go there and check it out!

March 18, 2018: Photo Day for the Soaps

I can’t say I was pleased with my photos.  I was lazy and didn’t set up my lighting and I should have. I know most people won’t be able to tell, but they’re definitely not the quality I’m used to producing.  Below are my “props”.  I had a hard time getting my props to look good with my soaps.  I think the day was just not meant to be a great photo day! Oh well!

PS: Yes, I know that was thirteen days and not twelve. I couldn’t narrow it down…and I left out the last week of march (it was just making soap and more soap). 😀


February 12 in 12

February 28, 2018

Here we go! Month 2! (Can some explain to me where the first month went?  I cannot believe it’s already February…technically the end of February!)

February 2, 2018: Taxes

Oh the fun of tax time! Taxes are done for another year.  Yay!

February 5, 2018: Soap Designs

I have fragrance and now designs.  It’s time for me to officially start making my spring line of soaps!

February 6, 2018: Fragrances!

Okay. I’m officially starting to make my spring soaps today.  I’ve been so lazy the beginning of this year.  With the exception of a castile batch and some laundry soap I haven’t made any soap in 2018! Time to change that.

February 7, 2018: Gardenia

I’ve seen a lot of soaps recently with colored salt on top and I’ve LOVED them.  It’s inspired me to try it out.  This one didn’t quite go smoothly when I was making it.  The inside doesn’t have the swirl I wanted, but I love the top!

February 8, 2018: Bath Bombs

I made a small batch of heart bath bombs for Valentine’s Day. I told myself I wasn’t going to, but I couldn’t help myself!

February 9, 2018: Asian Pear & LilySoap

*sigh* Apparently I’m rusty.  This soap didn’t work at all. I mean it’s not ugly, but it looks NOTHING like my sketch.  NOTHING at all.  I know, no one will know that when they see it. But I know it. Ha!

February 10, 2018:  Winter Farmers Market

Ahhh…my first show of the season–Ashland Winter Farmers Market.  Luckily I get to ease back into shows.  This was my only one in February and I only have two in March and April.  Then May rolls around…and craziness resumes.

February 12, 2018: Wool…lots of wool!

12lbs of wool in that picture.  It’s been separated into one ounce pieces so now I can start making the first step of my dryer balls.  This is not my most favorite job and when I make them I make them about 10-12 lbs at a time.

February 14, 2018: Agave Lime Soap

This soap didn’t go as planned either (…do you see a theme here)!  It got thicker than I expected quicker than I expected.  I decided to improvise and try hanger swirling it.  I wasn’t sure what I was gonna get when I cut it.  I though the soap was too thick to swirl.  I was happily surprised when I cut the soap!  I really like this one.

February 22, 2018: Studying

I mentioned at the beginning of the year how I had registered for the Master Soap Exam (back in April).  With only 16 months to get it completed  (since I didn’t do anything in 2017) I’ve been working pretty much every day on the test. I’ve broken it up on how I’m studying/working on things.  Right now I’m answering the essay questions.  35 essays…I am making progress. I am learning lots.  But oh my word this is A LOT of work!

February 24, 2018: Field of Flowers

Gah!  I have not had an easy time with my spring soap line.  I swear nothing has gone as I planned.  I mean the soaps have turned out fine, but very few actually look like what I had imagined.  The flowers on this batch DID NOT go as plan and I ended up having to resort to these plan looking ones.  I mean no one will know that but me, but I was so frustrated by it.

February 26, 2018: New Class Handouts

Hours upon hours upon hours it took me to create this 25 page handout on bath bombs and bubble baths. I’ll be teaching a class on it this Spring.  I’ve been asked many times for it and I finally put one together.  Of course that meant creating handouts for it.  Between information about bath bombs/bubble bath, supplier/info links, ingredient breakdowns, and recipes, this handout was A LOT of work.  And that doesn’t even account for all the time I spent in the studio testing and creating and tweaking recipes.  I’m excited to teach the class though!

So…I felt like I was so lazy this month and that I wasn’t accomplishing much…but when I look back over this post I think I did more than I realized ha!


January 12 in 12

January 31, 2018

Last year I started the Soap Your Year 12 in 12.  Here’s a recap of the basic gist of it:

12 in 12 Soap Your Year

Years ago, back in 2006 or 2007 (it’s been awhile), then casting agent Chad Darnell started something called “12 of 12”.  On the 12th day of each month you had to take 12 pictures of your day.  Then post them in a blog posts (which we would then link/share back to Chad’s original post).  It was just something different and something fun.A bit of background: I knew Chad through a Crossing Jordan webpage I created.  He did casting for Alias and Crossing Jordan and eventually became a writer on Crossing Jordan.  He’s currently working on Mercy Street (for any of you that watch that show on PBS).

Anyway, about a month ago for whatever random reason this game popped into my head and I thought this would be fun to do with soap!  But, I figured it needed some altering, because I’m not necessarily doing soap on the 12th day of every month. I think I’ve figured out a way to morph the game just a tad! Here we go!

Rules:

  1. Each month document your soaping/bath product making in 12 pictures.
  2. One picture MUST be taken on the 12th of the month.  If you’re not making/working/doing something soap related that day it’s ok! Take a picture of your empty work space, or if you’re on vacation share a vaca photo.  You just have to have one photo taken on the 12th.
  3. Create a blog post of your 12 pictures (with a one or two sentence explanation)!
  4. Post the blog post on the last day of the month.

Feel free to link your post back to mine so others can see your posts.

Now, I didn’t quite follow all my rules ha, just I didn’t have a picture taken every month ON the 12th day of the month, but I’m going to try and be better about that.  Anyway, I had fun doing it and decided I’m going to do another snapshot of my year.   If you want to join in please do!

Without further ado here’s my January 12 in 12

January 1 2018:

My pot collection has grown.  I’ve gotten to the point where I KNOW I need to be making larger batches on any soap that I can.  Not all of my designs allow me to make batches that are bigger than 10 lbs, but thee are many that I can make in 15 or 20 lb batches.  One of this years goal!  I’ve added a larger pot so I can now melt more oils at once.

January 2nd 2018: 

This totally isn’t soap related, but I had to share.  Every year I set a goal to read 50 books.  Most of those books have to get read before October because the last three months of the year don’t really leave me any time to read.  I hit my goal this year.  75% of the books read happened in the first 6 months. Ha!

January 11th 2018: 

Lists, lists, and more lists!  There is SO much I have to accomplish during my down time.  And it’s fast disappearing before me. I’ve been working every day on one thing or another.  Hopefully I get all I need to accomplished this winter.

January 12th 2018: 

I had a few things I needed to restock after the craziness of show season.  Packaging soaps here, but overall I kept up with everything this winter and that makes me happy!

January 13th 2018: 

Look at that empty dry rack!  Always makes me a little sad to see. It’ll get filled up again, just give it a little time!

January 14th 2018: 

Out with the old, in with the new (next picture ha!)

January 15th 2018: 

Got new bath bomb molds and redid all my large sized ones.  Let me tell you making 90 (and then packaging) bath bombs at once is not one of my favorite things to do.  Too many at once!

January 17th 2018: 

Sugar scrubs!  This always looks so yummy to me ha!

January 18th 2018: 

Laundry Soap.  I needed to make more for the past few months now. I finally got around to it.  This is step one of the processes: making the coconut oil soap.

January 22nd 2018: 

I still can’t believe I’ve already submitted four applications for shows for 2018.  They’ll really start pouring in come February. Let me tell you trying to put my schedule together is always challenging.

January 23rd 2018: 

One of my goals was to finally set up SoapMaker3 and move away from my old method of tracking inventory.  Let me tell you this process is SOOOOO tedious, especially when you decide to change how you track something seven years into a business and you have a crap load of supplies.  It took me days to go through and do an updated inventory (beginning of the year…time to do that), but for SM3 I have to get all the pricing.  I’ve four pages of supplies…slowly getting through all my invoices and marking pricing.  Figured if I was gonna do this, might as well do it right.

January 30th 2018: 

Soap classes!  I love teaching.  Like LOVE teaching.  Working on new classes for the spring and excited about the winter schedule.