Vanilla Bean

June 7, 2016

I’ve been asked a lot for vanilla, so here we go: vanilla!  I really dislike the smell of straight vanilla.  It’s too sweet for me and this soap it definitely one I’ll never use.  However for everyone that’s asked for vanilla now’s your chance to get it!

Vanilla Bean: is a sweet, sugary aroma of fresh vanilla beans.

vanillabean

Available on my webpage!


2016 Soap Conference

June 3, 2016

Another Soap Conference is in the books–my third.  It’s three days of craziness, but an inspiring craziness.  I learned some new things, reinforced some known things, and overall felt that my knowledge as a soaper has grown.

I attended a variety of classes from Good Manufacturing PracticesProduct Regulations, Bubble Bars, Cream Soap Making, and Making Shaving Soap.  The two I was most excited for were the cream soap and shaving soap. I’ve been doing a lot of research on those two topics in particular and I’ve just not make the jump to “start” experimenting.  I think part of my problem is I’ve read TOO much.  So much so that I get overwhelmed by all the (conflicting–at times) information out there.  Basically I need to experiment and discover my own methods that work for me.  That’s what I’m hoping to sit down and do this June.  If I put it off June will become July, and then August…and then it’ll be 2017!

I didn’t have my act together completely before I left.  I’d planned to take both the MP Basic and Advanced Certification Tests at the conference.  (I don’t do much with MP–mostly just teaching it with kids–but I figured I do teach it and I should get those two tests done and out of the way.)  I took (and passed) the basic, but I didn’t have my soaps made in enough time in advanced to take the Advanced.  I’ll finish up the soap testing this month and then just go to a local test center and take the Advanced test to get it out of the way.

Then!  It’s full force ahead for the Masters.  I’ve started studying (i.e. doing research and experimenting) with many of the portions on the test, but now it’s time to REALLY turn my focus to learning ALL aspects of the Masters Exam so I can officially register for it next year.

The venue was a beautiful place.  The weather was hot (which I wasn’t complaining about seeing as I was coming from raining cold 50-60 temps).  I made an awesome new soapy friend (we roomed together). And overall had a great time.

My goals for the next month:

  • Make Cream Soap
  • Make Shaving Soap
  • Take Advanced MP Certification
  • Experiment with natural Deodorant
  • Continue to put together my “long term goal” plan

Those are some good goals and my goal is to make blog posts about them as I go.

 


Wisteria Boulevard

March 24, 2016

Last year when I made my cider soap I did a five layer alternating diagonal design for a 10 lb batch of soap.  It took FOREVER.  I loved the look and wanted to make it again, but I knew I had to do it on a smaller batch of soap.  So, here it is again with just four layers.

WISTERIA BLVD: classic floral fragrance comprises ultra-feminine notes of Wisteria, Rose, Violet and Ylang with undertones of precious woods and tender musks for a captivating and enchanting scent.

Top Notes: Melon, Peach, Coconut, Apple
Middle Notes: Ylang Ylang, Rose, Jasmine, Violet, Wisteria
Base Notes: Vanilla, Musk

I think it turned out really pretty.

wisteria (8)


Sweet Tea Zing

February 24, 2016

Can you say WOW that’s bright pink!  I used a really small amount of pink too and it still was WOW! I love it.  I love it even more with the pink-gray-white combo.  I’ve had a tea cup stamp that I’ve been wanting to use for ages and this soap’s design was totally designed around that stamp.

Sweet Tea Zing: this fragrance starts with the relaxing indulgence of sipping sweet tea with a zest of lemon, drops of honey nectar with the extra zing of cardamom.

Top: Earl Grey Tea, Lemon, Bergamot
Mid: Honey, Cardamom
Base: Mint Leaves, Green Tea Leaves

I like it.

white_tea (14)

white_tea (7)


White Gardenia

February 18, 2016

Each year I try and do a couple floral scents (not my thing, but I know others love it).  One of the florals I went with this year is Wisteria and White Gardenia.

White Gardenia: begins with top notes of citrus, lily of the valley,  and aldehydes, followed by middle notes of white gardenia, jasmine, and muguet; sitting on a subtle note of amber woods.

Apparently I don’t really make blue soap. I was looking at my dry rack and all my standard soaps and I realized there was no blue in my soap collection. For whatever reason blue is just never a color that calls to me and so I never think about using it.  It really is a pretty color though and so I’m going to try and use it a little more!

gardenia (7)


Stamping Soap

February 15, 2016

Stamping Soap

Stamping soap is super easy and can create a really cool looking soap!  There are two key tricks to remember when stamping soap: 1) Don’t use too much colorant.  2) Stamp just after you cut a batch.  The rest is really up to your imagination.

Let’s get started with a step by step walk through!

Step 1
Make your batch of soap.  When you make your soap think about the stamp you are going to be using.  Is it a large stamp that will fill an entire bar?  Or is it a smaller stamp?  Is it square or rectangular or some other shape?  The shape of your stamp should dictate your design.

Example Small Stamp
Honey Bee
honey-almond

Example Vertical Stamp
Flowers with Embedded Cube

juniper_sage

Example Full Bar Stamp
Solid Bar/One color

FullStamp

Step 2
Prepare your color and stamp.  Spoon approximately 1 teaspoon of mica (or other colorant) onto a sheet of wax paper.

Step2

Note on Colors: I love to use micas.  Their shimmer and sparkle always make the soap look just a little extra special to me.  I also find micas stamp the best for me.  You can use other colorants though.  Oxides and pigments work, but I find they can be a little harder to get a clean smooth/uniform stamp with sometimes.  Titanium Dioxide works, but can be very difficult to stamp cleanly.

Note on Stamps: There are different types of stamps: Rubber (commercial or hand carved), acrylic, and metal.  From experience I find that the rubber stamps work best.  Their surface area is typically larger and they hold the colorant to them.  That said I have stamped soaps with metal and acrylic stamps reasonably well.  There’s just not as much color stamped on the soap with them.

StampsTypes

Step 3
Cut your soap.  Lay it on a flat surface.  Gently tap your stamp in the mica.  Make sure all the flat surfaces are covered.  You want a thin layer of mica on the stamp. Too much and you won’t get as clear a stamp/imprint.  If you have too much colorant on the stamp gently tap it on your work table to remove some of the excess mica.

Step1

Step3

Step 4
Firmly (and evenly) press the stamp into the soap.  Play around with the pressure you need.  Too little and you will get a light or partial imprint on the soap.  Too much pressure and you could distort the detail and leave deep marks in the soap.

Step4

Step5

For each soap you stamp reapply a layer of mica to the stamp.

These are some examples of different stamps I’ve tried. Some have worked great and others not so much.

Acrylic Stamp: As you can see there’s really not much color on the stamp part.  What did transfer was the color that was on the outside of the stamp.  Another lesson you can learn from this picture is I used the wrong size stamp for this soap.  I really needed a stamp that was more square shaped to fill the entire black space.

orangeamber2

Titanium Dioxide: I’ve never had a huge amount of success when using TD to stamp soaps.  This one isn’t awful, but it definitely lacks any type of wow factor too.

beer1

Activated Charcoal: This is still (to this day) one of my favorite soaps.  The charcoal stamped the soap so nicely and it just pops!

black and white1

Neon Pigment: This stamp is a hand carved stamp. I find they don’t quite have the same ability as commercial stamps when stamping soap. You have to be a bit more meticulous when stamping with them.  I used a neon colorant here which made it even harder.  I love this stamp. I don’t get the crisp clean detail as I would from a commercial stamp but it’s still a pretty stamp.

white_tea (7)

Small Stamps: I love this honey bee stamp. Worked out perfectly on my little travel soaps.

HoneyBee


Raspberry Porter

February 11, 2016

I bought this fragrance on a whim. I like raspberry and I thought why not I’ll try a small batch.  In the bottle I loved the smell, and it holds true in the soap so I’m really happy!

Raspberry Porter: It’s a fresh combination of Sun ripened Raspberry, Squeezed Lemon and a winey fruit scent with hints of Green Leaf and Rose.

It’s a clean and simple design (did some soaps like this last year), but I love the look.  Added jojoba beads to it for look and exfoliating.

raspberry_porter (7)


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