Sorry guys! I'm still here, but have been swamped with the stuff of life! I have so much to tell and show you all, I just need some time to post an update. So much has happened and so much to look forward to! See you soon!
Saturday, August 25, 2012
I have been quite MIA this summer. I guess the reason is because I have been super busy with the kids, job and everything else, I haven't had a great deal of time to actually post anything around here. Well, the kids are back in school now, and I have a bit more time to get more posts written. I worked this morning, but managed to get in a little bit of soaping done this afternoon. First up is a brand-spanking new soap called Spiced Mocha.
This soap has ground coffee and cinnamon added to a lovely base of skin loving palm, olive and coconut oils. It is richly scented with creamy milk, cardamom, cocoa, nutmeg, vanilla and Italian espresso. I cannot wait to see this one cut, as I tried for the first time to do a pencil line with cinnamon between the dark and light sections. I wanted it to look just like a cross section of a coffee with frothy milk on top. We'll see tomorrow! Keep your fingers crossed!
Next up was my tried and true Spa Bar with Clay. I have made this a million times, and hopefully make it a million more. I love this soap. I ran completely out of it the other day, and now have to wait a month before this batch is cured. :(
Doesn't this soap have kinda a magical look to it? It started to gel right before
I took the picture, and looks really awesome!
In totally unrelated to soap news, I made pickles this past week with the abundant cucumbers that a member of the credit union that I work at gave me. I make the refrigerator kind and don't bother canning them because my family eats them up so quickly.
Using the mandolin to slice them takes no time at all and I get that cool crinkle cut! I think they stay put better in burgers with that little bit of added traction. LOL!!!
Oh, and here is a picture of my begonia outside on my back porch. I can't get anything to grow in pots, so I guess this must be the perfect growing spot for it.
Pretty, isn't it?
I hope to get some pictures of the soaps cut tomorrow, and posted.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
I know I haven't been here lately. We (the family) went on holiday to Italy for 2 weeks at the beginning of June. It was the second time we have gone there in two years and have fallen in love with almost everything about it. The food, people, wine, places, history...I could go on and on about what we love about it, but not just yet. Hopefully I can go through the 1700 pictures we took and post a few of them.....
I did finally get to some soap making today,
I decided on the Goatsmilk Calendula since my stock has run down to one bar!
The horrors! I need to have more!!
I love how ultra moisturizing this soap is, everytime I use it I feel like I am pampering my skin
way more than I deserve. I also love how beautiful this soap is in the mold, and I guess
out of the mold, too. Raw soap, before it saponifies, is super pretty with that beautiful shiny top.
I wish it stayed like that.
This past weekend I went through my stock and began to think about what I would like to make for the fall and Christmas season. Planning out soaps is almost as fun as making them, in my opinion. I think I picked out some AMAZING fragrance oils and essential oils, and have some pretty facinating ideas about types of soaps that I will carry for the fall shows that I do. I can't wait to see the fedex man pulling up in front of my house with my packages!!
Anyway, I have been working on a little project for my daughter that has nothing to do with soaps. In Italy, she proclaimed that she is addicted to anything hedgehog related. She bought 2 leather hedgehog keychains, one for her and one for her best friend, and told me that for her birthday she would like anything hedgehog. Well, she goes away to camp for a week starting tomorrow, and what's the good-mom thing to do? Send her a care package, that's what.
Inside were some bars, candy, sour patch thingies, and this:
A knitted hedgehog! How awesome! She's goona love it!
How could she not?
The cats seem to love it.....
I know, I'm weird, somebody please commit me.....
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012
This weekend I participated in a small craft show in a coffee shop in my wee little town. I didn't sell allot of soaps, the weather was rainy with spotty freezing rain, and there wasn't many people venturing out of their cozy homes. But, I did make allot of very nice connections, saw some good friends, got to see my mom. :) I also publicly launched my newest addition in my line of products. The Shampoo Bar.
For years I have tried many handmade shampoo bars that others have made. I always became disappointed on how greasy my hair felt afterwards. It felt funky and I couldn't leave my house unless I jumped right back into the shower and used the chemical-laden SLS commercial shampoo to strip all of the natural oils and gunk left behind from a basically great for me shampoo bar. I do believe now that they had too much superfatting in them. You see, handmade soapers leave in a bit of extra fat in their soaps to make them moisturizing. This level can be any where from about 4-10%. I usually leave mine at about 5-8% in my bars, my goats milk have way more, that's why they are SO moisturizing. Shampoo bars, on the other hand have to be at a much lower %, like around 1-3%. This way, the excess fat doesn't make the hair oily. Who wants oily hair? Not me.
So, doing a LOT of research, I am a freak about researching, I developed a recipe for a new shampoo bar that had all of the unique qualities that I needed for my type of bar. It had to be lightly moisturizing, lots of lather and make my hair SHINE. The oils that were needed were sunflower, coconut, olive and castor. These wonderful oils turned out to be just the thing for a bar that is top notch not just for my hair type, but for many types including dry, normal and frizzy. I have tested it out on friends, relatives and some complete strangers that have raved about how soft their hair is, and how shiny and non-frizzy it is.
I am over the moon happy about this bar. I am so glad I can produce a product so natural and healthy for my hair, and yours too! I will be trying out other additives to expand my line of healthy shampoo bars like using beer and eggs for conditioning, and different essential oils for their unique qualities.
**PLEASE do your own research on how bad SLS, parabens and the like are for our bodies. Parabens (chemical preservatives) are used in lotions, shampoos, conditioners and many other cosmetics are linked to cancer. SLS is a chemical that is used to make things like shampoo, soaps, toothpaste, motor degreasers and car wash detergents lather. It also drys your skin (making lotion with those nasty parabens necessary) and is shown to be cancer causing.
Our skin is our largest organ, and absorbs almost everything we put on it. Makes me want to nourish my skin, not poison it. Maybe if we are more informed about what chemicals we use on our bodies, we can live healthier, longer lives. Just a thought.... :)
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Well, now, here I am, almost a month after I cut these lovely soaps and still haven't shown the pictures. How bad is that? OK, OK, I do have those pictures for you today. They are terrible pictures, the weather and sun has been horrible in Wisconsin this month, not too many beautiful sunny days lately, but that will soon change and the most wonderful weather will soon be here.
These are the soap logs just removed from the molds. I trim the edges of the soaps, so that when used, they will be smooth and not sharp. As you can see the soap gelled in the mold. I like it when it gels, but it does leave a weird look to the top of the soap.
Like I said, the lighting is horrible in my kitchen when the sun's not out. Here you can get an idea on how long the soap logs are when they come out of the mold. They are 21" x 3 1/4" x 2 3/4". That makes about 20 full size bars and a couple of sample bars. The sample bars are nice because you can try before committing to a whole bar of soap. Although, I haven't made a bar of soap that has ever gone to waste because I didn't like it! I really do love all the soap that I make! In the picture there is the Sandalwood Vanilla and the Rosemary Mint.
Here is the Spa Bar soap that I made 2 days ago, and need to cut. It is a green clay soap that draws out the excess oils that can lead to breakouts, and is great for detoxifying skin.
Love it. I always get a great feeling of rightness with the world when I know I have this soap in quantity. I don't think I can ever live without it, and feel a need to have at least 10 bars of it or I kinda get nervous. My friend said I can't ever die because she needs me to keep making this soap. I guess I need to teach her how to soap so she can always have it. ;)
Here's the cutting contraption that I use to cut my soaps. It allows the soaps to be cut at any thickness that I need from 3/4 inches to 1 1/2 inches. Those are the final cut Rosemary Mint bars that have been cut and smoothed again around the edges. Nobody likes a sharp bar of soap!
And if you are wondering what I have been doing when not soaping or dreaming about new recipes for soaps, working a full time job, raising 2 teenagers and whatever else life throws at me, we took a hike through the woods on Monday night and found these...13 ounces of nicely sized morels... YUM!
I do believe that these will go into a morel mushroom rissotto and also a handmade pizza this weekend. Any other suggestions with what to do with them? I would love to hear from you!
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Thought I would share with you all my big soaping day since I kinda went AWOL for a while....
I got going on soaping today considering I have a small town show to sell at the end of April. I looked at my inventory and thought it might make sense to make a few batches.
I ended up making Rosemary Mint, Sandalwood Vanilla, Oatmeal and lastly, Goatsmilk Oatmeal.
I started out chopping up some baby mint leaves that I had just harvested from my garden a few seconds before.
I added to the pile some corsely grinded rosemary that I took out my aggression on in the mortel & pestle...
Here it is all nicely poured into the mold. This particular mold holds 6 pounds of soap which makes 21 wonderfully grand bars. They are about 5-6 ounces each.
Although I didn't get beginning pictures of the next soaps, I did manage to get two of the Sandalwood Vanilla soaps in the mold. By the time I got to the next batch, the light was going away and my list of to do's for the day was not getting any smaller, but the time surely was.
I will take some pictures of them tomorrow when I unmold them and when I cut them. I love seeing other soapers' pictures of their soaps and how they are made, I hope you love seeing my soap pictures.