Fall Soaps: Part 1

October 3, 2017

Normally I list these out in separate posts for you, but I’m behind on everything this month (months really…moving has really thrown me for a loop this season). So, I’m posting all the Fall Soaps in two posts (some of these are still in stock and others I’m already sold out of–which I guess is a good problem to have).  All soaps can be found on my webpage! http://www.jennifersoap.com

Apple & Clover

Beau Brummel w/ Shredded Loofah

Rustic Woods & Rum

Irish Tweed Beer Soap

Lavender & Lime w/ Avocado

Maple Cream

Oakmoss w/ Avocado

Advertisements

August 12 in 12

August 31, 2017

E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D!  I’m so tired.  While I’m pretty much settled in from the move and finally getting caught up on making everything, I still feel like I’ve run four marathons back to back to back…  A lot has been going on.  It’s just that time of year where the craziness starts and it won’t slow down until Christmas comes.

August 4th: The Corner Spot 

The first two weeks of August I set up in a little pop-up (affectionately called “The Shed”).  This was part of a town initiative in Ashland to create a community space.  They created a park area, and the shed for local artisans and food to come in set up for a time and sell their products.  I had applied to be a part of this back in February when they sent out a call for proposals.  I figured it would be a good experience–especially if I wanted to one day have my own store front.  Here’s my set up. I’ll have a full post soon on more about my time there.

August 7th: Restocking 

One thing I was able to do while set up in Ashland was work.  It was nice to have a space to do stuff when the shop was slow.  I restocked on my Gifts for the Magically Inclined. Going to have to make more soaps! But hopefully I’m restocked for the moment.

August 8th: Soap Soap Soap!

I continued on my crazy soap making spree in August.  Here’s lilac in the mold.  I finally got (mostly) all my restocks made and my fall soaps done.  Now I can start thinking about making the winter soaps ha! It never ends.

August 9th: Baby Shower Favors

Baby Shower favors! I adore these.  The customer wanted an earthy green and it was so much fun to be able to do something just a little different than my normal colors!

 

August 1oth: Bath & Body Class

I had classes all week  while at the corner spot.  This was a teen Bath and Body class that day. It was lots of fun making product with the girls! Hopefully inspiring some young girls too!

 

August 11th: Custom Anchor Soaps

Aren’t these pretty! I love the simplicity of them and can’t wait to design the labels to go with them.

August 13th: Pranks

I house sat for my parents while they were gone in August.  And my dad (an Army guy) played a prank on his neighbor (an Air Force guy) while they were on vacation in July.  Well I walk out on the deck to water some flowers only to be startled by this lovely rat. Ha! Go Army! I was raised right ;).  I know who’s the best.

 

August 14th: Lip Balms

Oh my! If I never see another lip balm tube again. Ha!  It too me a week, but I restocked on all 16 flavors I offer.  Almost 1000 lip balms made. I’m hoping they’ll get me through the winter season, but I have a feeling I’ll be making lip balms again before the year is over.

 

August 15th: My Happy Place: The Dance Studio

Despite all the work and craziness I’ve made time to make it to ballet each week.  It’s my happy place–where I can just forget about all the worries for an hour and lose myself in dance.

August 17th: Transparent Soap!

I make a pink grapefruit soap with goat’s milk. I make my soaps go through gel phase. This soap went through an intensive gel phase! 24 hours after I made it-completely cooled and it has this glassy slightly transparent look. I’ll be interested to see if this changes as it cures! I’ve NEVER had a soap stay this transparent looking!  It’s super cool. You can see my finger behind the soap!

August 18th: Designing Custom Labels 

 

I had a couple custom orders this month. They’re so fun to do for me.  Remember the anchor soap for a few photos up…well I got to design labels for them. I was really happy with how they turned out. This was my initial sketch I started with before I put them into Photoshop.

 

August 21st: Mini Vacation Starts (Sort of) 

Every year I take the last two weeks of August off from shows (I cheated a bit this year I did schedule two weekend farmers markets…but the other 12 days are mine).  I need this time to 1) Work on Winter  Soaps and restocking products and 2) to recoup and relax! I am utterly exhausted by the time I get to the end of August and crazy show season is just about to start.  I need that break to get through the coming four months.  This year more so that normal! I have plans to do some work (what needs to get done) and then I’m doing some day trips, exploring my new town, and just enjoying life and some time off.

Oh…one last thing if you haven’t heard. I offically (finally) started an Instagram account! I know, I know it took me long enough. You can find me here: jennifer_soap


Cinnamon Vanilla

February 26, 2017

I’m not a vanilla girl (unless I’m eating it). The smell just turns me off in bath products and soap.  But I have to say there is something about this blend that I like.  It’s sweet, but the spicy element of the cinnamon makes it really appealing.

May I say trying to “pose” vanilla beans is a pain in the backside!  Oh my word I must have taken 15 different photos with the vanilla in different positions trying to get one that looked good.  I think these two were the best of them though I still wasn’t 100% happy.

cinn-vanilla-1

cinn-vanilla-4

Vanilla Cinnamon Soap is now listed HERE!!


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.

2016-10-28-12-07-48

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

2016-09-10-09-48-56

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.

2016-10-21-17-23-02

2016-10-25-12-45-33

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.

2016-10-24-18-41-24

2016-10-25-12-45-37

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!

2016-10-25-13-23-04

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 ;).

2016-10-25-13-12-43

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?

2016-10-25-13-22-53

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.

2016-10-25-14-41-19

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!

2016-10-25-14-40-54

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.

2016-10-25-14-41-06

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:

safari1

giraffe2

gorilla

lion3

tiger

zebra1


Planning a Baby Shower…

November 21, 2016

If you remember last April (I know that was a long time ago) I planned the Bridal Shower for my sister around a sunflower theme. Well this November I was once again in charge of shower planning. This time for a baby shower. Yup, I’m gonna be an aunt again (December 25 due date).  I keep giving my sister grief that she had to pick the BUSIEST time of the year for me ;).  Every weekend is booked with shows and basically I couldn’t get there.  What I did…I found someone to help cover my event on Saturday so I could drive down to PA on Friday night, do the shower on Saturday and then drive home Saturday night in time for my Sunday event.  Exhausted doesn’t begin to cover how I was feeling on Monday!

But, it was worth it.  I don’t know how party planners do it.  It’s exhausting!  Maybe my OCD and Type A personality don’t help things…control freak has been used a time or two to describe me ha!  But it’s so worth it. The outcome was absolutely adorable.  I went with a Safari/Jungle theme (since we didn’t know if it was a boy or girl).  And when I do a theme…I do a theme :D.

Everything from the food tags, the gift bags, games, and decorations fit a theme.  Check it out. Pictures describe the event so much better than words ever will!

Decorations:

decorations6

decorations7

decorations11

decorations12

decorations27

decorations28

Centerpieces:

 

 

 

decorations2

decorations1

decorations26

decorations8

decorations15

Family:

family3

img_3008

Food:

decorations9

decorations10

Some ducks just didn’t want to stay afloat!

decorations19

decorations20

decorations22

decorations23

decorations24

decorations30

Cake: This cake came out better than I hoped for and made me do happy dances all day every time I saw it.decorations_cake

Favors:

safari1

I saved the favors for last, because I am beyond proud of them!  I worked my tail off on these.  48 favors took me about 10 hours to make.  So incredibly labor intensive, but oh they were worth it.  I learned a few things to do and not do along the way, so I could cut down on the time a bit in the future, but overall these are not easy to make.  I created five animal soaps: Lion, Tiger, Zebra, Giraffe, and Gorilla.  The lion and the giraffe are my favorites, but I love them all, especially together. (Tomorrow I’ll have blog post on all the steps it took to just create these cute fellas).

And this is what happens when your brother-in-law gets hold of your camera :P. Ha!

zachisreallysilly


Piping Challenge

September 16, 2016

I started this challenge with the idea to do a flower scene. Then I read the “rules” for entering and I realized my idea wouldn’t meet those requirements.  Bummed I played around with some random piping of flowers, but I was uninspired and didn’t like what I was doing. And may I mention I REALLY REALLY REALLY dislike piping flowers.  I don’t know what it is about them, but they’re not fun for me. Yes, they’re pretty and people like them, but it’s like having a tooth pulled for me–NOT FUN!

purpleflowers

purpleflowers2

whiteflowers3

I was almost ready to call it quits and just say forget about it, when I remembered years and years ago I did some mini soaps of Oscar and Cookie Monster.  Remaking those as large versions appealed to me and I was re-inspired to making something.  What follows is the process it took to make these.  Way too much work and not something I plan to make more of, but for the challenge they were fun.

*UPDATE* I still couldn’t entered my character soaps. When entering I realized it also said “no embellishments” so that takes my character soaps out of the running. Don’t know where my brain’s been lately!

Since I was making a “face” I needed to pre-make several pieces: eyes, mouth, and cookies.  I did these by pouring soap into a circle mold, unmolding, and then slicing them in thin pieces and then cutting those pieces in half (for the cookies and mouths).

step1

step2

Next I made the base of the characters.  Gray for Oscar (since he is sitting in his garbage can) and brown for Cookie Monster (because I didn’t want an all blue soap).  I filled the base only half way (I used two different cupcake molds because I like the different effects for each character).  Then I piped their bodies.

step3

step4

I used tip 233 to make their “fur” or body.  Because we had to use at least two tones in one element of piping I did two different color greens for Oscar, which I love how they turned out.  And two different blues (light and a dark) for Cookie, but the blues kind of melded together and there’s not a lot of distinction between them. I was a little bummed over that, but they still look cute.

After piping their tops I then embedded the eyes, mouth, and cookies.

step5

step6

step7

From there I had to pipe the eye balls on the white eye pieces.  I used tip 10.  I also had to pipe the eye brows for Oscar.  I used tip 16.  Lastly I had to pipe the “tongue” on to Oscar’s mouth.  I used tip 3 for that.

Overall I really like them.  They’re cute.  They’re different.  But best of all they’re not flowers ;).

cookie1

oscar1

pair2

I had had some left over soap from another batch of embeds I was making and so I just poured it into some round mold cavities I had.  I didn’t know what to do with them.  I had leftover soap better for Oscar and Cookie and I was like I’ll pipe the rest on top of the extra round soaps.  I liked it. More so than the cupcake ones.  If I ever do anything like this again I’ll probably use that as a base as opposed to cupcake holders.

cookie_whitebase

oscar_whitebase

And a bonus: Mummies!  I had left over soap again from a different batch and I knew I was going to be piping for the challenge so I made black bases, know I could turn them into mummies.  It’s made me really tempted to make other Halloween faces now like pumpkins, monsters, and whatever else I can think up!

 

mummy

And there you have it: my piped soaps.


Fall Soaps: Rice Milk

September 8, 2016

This is a flower scent.  Probably not what most people will expect from the name of the fragrance. I went with it because other soapers at the conference really loved it.  I can’t be trusted when it comes to floral scents because I dislike most.

Here’s how Lebermuth describes it:

Soft, sheer milky floral fragrance.

I think that’s about as accurate a description as you’ll get.  It’s unlike many other scents I’ve smelled before and I think overall it will appeal to the flower liking crowd.

I wanted blue for this soap.  I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it as I knew the fragrance would discolor (just wasn’t sure how much).  I worked the design to be a deep blue/gold/white theme (hoping to work with the fragrance if it did discolor too much.  A lot of work to make, but I’m happy with how it turned out. Here are some behind the scene photos!

ricemilk4

Unscented white soap, chopped up into tiny cubes.

ricemilk3

Embeds where then dusted in Gold Mica.

ricemilk2

I did a dark blue bottom layer then added the dusted embeds on top of them. From there I’d pour the second layer (a lighter blue).

ricemilk1

To finish it off a gold mica swirl on top (to pull everything together.

rice-milk