Vanilla Champagne

December 1, 2016

Vanilla Champagne…I had really good intentions with this soap, but it just didn’t do what I wanted.  There’s just too much gold.  I really like the stamps, but I needed to do something to break up the expanse of gold soap…maybe if I’d added starts or something. I don’t know.  I just wasn’t really happy with how this one turned out.

A sparkling aldehydic accent creates a fizzy effect for the citrus top notes of lime and orange to open this blend.  Hints of green floral and rum liquor notes from the fragrant heart.  Clear woody tones combine with earthy accents while a base of vanilla bean surrounds the fragrance.

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The Making of Safari Themed Soap Favors

November 22, 2016

First, let me say I am INSANE.  There is no other word to describe me trying to create animal favors during crazy show season when I don’t have time to do anything but constantly restock for my business.

I was told to just get the rubber safari ducks and embed them in a soap base and use those as favors.  They would have been cute and worked, but they just weren’t what I imagined.  So…out came the notepad as I started to brainstorm and sketch some ideas.

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This image was my inspiration. (I looked at so many safari themed cupcakes in trying to figure out how to make these soaps).

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I would normally make all the embeds first and then make the bases, but I was super short on time and I knew if they were going to have enough time to cure before the party I needed to make them asap.  So I made the bases and then started figuring out the embed pieces I’d need.  Eyes…ears…whiskers…faces…noses…mouths…oh my word! There were a million little different pieces I needed for each different animal.

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These were the bases that I was gonna have to attach a million tiny pieces to…

Once I figured that out there was then the challenge of cutting them all out. I needed an oval cookie cutter that I didn’t have.  So I sacrificed a piping tip and shaped it into an oval.  It worked in my hour of need, but piping tips don’t make good cookie cutters.

Piping tips as a cookie cutter...the brain figures out how to make it all work ha!

Piping tips as a cookie cutter…the brain figures out how to make it all work ha!

All those tiny circles?  Those are the other end of the misshapen piping tip.  Again, not a great cookie cutter ha, but it worked.

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Once the circle were cut I started playing around and realized I could imprint a circle into them and then fill them with a “wet” mica to add extra color.  I also used a skewer dipped in wet mica to make the whiskers marks on the tiger.  THE-MOST-ANNOYING-THING-EVER.  I was ready to pull my hair out.

Was it worth it? Yes.  The added extra touch just makes the soaps, but OYE!!

Because I didn’t make the embeds first I had to “embed” them onto already hard soap.  Which meant an extra step of putting wet soap on one side and then putting it on the hard soap.  Could have saved myself time if the embeds had been done before, but I didn’t know what I was going to need and I was in a crunch for time so the bases had to get done before everything else.

The final step was the piping.  Oh so much piping.

Giraffe: I had to pipe the spots and horns on him.  I love him. He’s so so so stinking cute!

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Lion: Piping his mane turned out so much better than I thought it would.  When all the pieces came together I was in love with him too.  The stringy mane/hair just totally did it for me😉.

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So many different stages to piping the lions. I still had the eyes and mouth left to do once I got to this point. Have I mentioned these were an incredible amount of work?

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Tiger: If I ever do these again I need to find a better way to do the stripes.  It was tedious to do these and it’s not as clean looking as I wanted, but it was the best I could do with what I had.  They’re still cute.

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Gorilla (which was supposed to be a monkey):  There was somr major improvising that went on with these when I started to pipe them.  What I wanted to do wasn’t happening and on the fly I just said…let’s try this and it worked.  I really do think these are cute.  Disaster averted!

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Zebra: The first couple I did were really bad.  It took a while to get the hang of these.  Piping straight or curved lines that need to come out steady and even is a hard hard thing to do.  They’re not bad looking. Not perfect and a few things I’d change next time, but I love them. I especially love the ears.  I happened to have the perfect mini cookie cutter to use as ears and the little pink in them just makes them stand out.

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And there you have it.  My absolute madness…and all this during prime busy season for me when I barely have two minutes for anything outside of the business.

The final soaps:

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gorilla

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tiger

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Cedar & Balsam

November 17, 2016

I changed up the design for Cedar and Balsam this year.  I just was 1) sick of making cubes and 2) frustrated with the extra cure time this soap always needed (for whatever reason it always was extra soft).  And the design had gotten boring to me after three years of using it.  So this year I went to my tree mold and used those to embed in a swirl of different greens/grays.

The first batch didn’t turn out quite as I wanted.  There wasn’t enough of a distinction between the tree green and the batch green.  The second batch I dusted the trees in a black mica and that gave it the distinction I was looking for and I like them much better.

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Winter Wonderland

November 12, 2016

The next soap on my list was Winder Garden (but I call it Winter Wonderland).  I wanted to create a winter scene of pine trees.  As you can see my background was too busy (too much blue) and so the stamped green trees get lost.  It’s unfortunate, because I really like this design otherwise.  If I ever do it again I know better.

This fragrance begins with top notes of fresh lime and menthol;  middle notes of Douglas fir and lavender;  with full-body base  notes of eucalyptus and pine.

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Reindeer Poo

November 7, 2016

I didn’t do many new winter soaps this year.  I have so many classics that everyone looks for that I do those and that doesn’t leave me room for doing many new ones.  I did work a few in though.  The first of these, and the one that cracks me up most is “Reindeer Poo”.

Fragrance Description:

Reindeer Poo begins with top notes of apples and pears; followed by middle notes of eucalyptus, pine, and geranium; and well-balanced with base notes of vanilla, cedarwood, and patchouli.

And then, the supplier gave us this cute poem to go with it.  I was hooked.  Then of course came the brainstorming on what to do as a design to live up to the name.  I wanted absolutely no BROWN.  That decided I think knew I wanted lots of color!  And hence came the multi colored balls embedded in a white base.  This soap makes me smile.  The fragrance does accelerate so if I do this next year I will work a bit differently as it caused me a few headaches.

Santa saved a precious gift
And it’s especially for you.
Just a little something extra
And it comes from Rudolph, too!

He knows that you’ve been naughty
Instead of being nice.
Once again you’re on the bad list
And he’s checked it over twice.

Santa hopes this little poem
Doesn’t throw you for a loop.
All your getting this year
Is a bunch of reindeer poop!

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Fall Soaps: Cranberry Fig

October 14, 2016

This soap is nothing like what I planned. I accidentally used the color theme I was going to do for this soap with my Plum Spice soap and I didn’t want to use the same colors.  So I randomly decided on two purples swirled with white as two separate layers.  Sometimes it is good when plans go awry.  I really liked what I ended up with.  The redesign colors actually are really nice and work well for this scent.

I made Bramble Berry’s Cranberry Fig years ago (like 3-4 years…).  I decided to come back to it this year because I’ve always liked its tartness.

Is an excellent compromise between the tart bit or Cranberries and the sweet, mild allure of Fig.

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Fall Soaps: Plum Spice

October 6, 2016

This one smells like bubblegum candy to me.  Not the overpowering kid bubblegum, but a mellow and spicy yummy bubblegum.  I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as did.

Sweet Cakes describes it as:

A nice, mellow blend — the sweetness of plum warmed up and mellowed with a spice mixture.

I did a reverse imprint on the bottom of the soap.  Isn’t it pretty?  I was surprised how much I liked it.  I think I like the balance and contrast of the overall bar.

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The loaf before I cut it. The pink one I was trying to fill in the void with color but it didn’t stick. I used a mica in oil and the soap just absorbed the oil. Next time I’d try painting it with dry mica.

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Simple, but one of my favorites from the fall soap design.

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