Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope that all of you have a wonderful time with your 
friends and family
on this 
Thanksgiving Day!  

I hope that each and every one of you
have a safe and happy
Holiday season.

I thought that I would include a funny.
After all we can all use a laugh every now and then.

This is borrowed.  It is not my own.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Musical Lemon Lavender Soap

musical lemon lavender handmade all natural soap
Musical Lemon Lavender
This soap was inspired by a candle from Yankee Candle.  I stopped in this summer and fell in love with the Lavender and Lemon candle.  However I wanted to keep the soap all natural.  I also have friends that are musicians and so they are the inspiration for the top of the soap.

music notes cut from soap
Music Notes cut out of soap
Placing the music notes
I started out by making a 1 pound batch of cold process soap colored with activated charcoal.  This soap I left unscented.  It took more charcoal than I thought it would to color this soap.  I then poured it is a silicone 9 X 9  cake pan that I got for soap.  I put  it in the oven for just a minute to make sure that it gelled because I knew I was going to use it the same day.  After about 5 minutes in an oven pre-heating to 170* I put the mold in the freezer to speed cooling.  After about 2 hours in the freezer I pulled it out of the mold.  I cut the soap into three strips of 9 in X 3 in X 1/2 in.  From there I cut the strips into smaller strips about 3/4 in X 3 in.  Next I cut out little music notes out of the strips.  I set these aside until the base soap was done.

Top is all full
 For the base soap I started by measuring out my water and lye and making my lye water.  Next I measured out all of my oils.  I have found that when I am not working with milk I prefer to not melt my oils, but to let the lye do it for me.  In my personal opinion this leads to the soap being a little more silky.  Of course, this is just my personal opinion.  The oils I used meant that my base soap was fairly light in color.  I poured off equal amounts of soap, about 2 1/2 cups in 2 different containers.  I colored one with turmeric oil for yellow (although in hind sight I should have gone darker) and the other I colored with alkanet oil for a purple.  Next I added zinc oxide mixed with a little oil to the remainder of the soap for white.  Zinc oxide has the added advantage of being very good for your skin.

As you can see placement of the
notes is random
After I got all of my soap ready, I started by filling my sample mold using just a little yellow and purple in with the white.  After I had the mold filled, I took a wooden skewer and did a figure 8 swirl through each cavity.  This give a hint of swirl to even my samples which I like.  I am a very detail oriented person.  You can ask anyone in my family and they would gladly confirm that fact.  ;)

Unfortunately the yellow doesn't show 
The music note are level with the
top of the soap bar
I frequently start with my samples so that I don't run out of colors for the samples or have too much of a color for my design.  After my samples were finished I started filling my mold.  I started with a nice layer of white soap, followed by a layer of the remainder of the yellow.  Next I added another layer of white followed by the remainder of my purple.  I stopped at this point and used a spoon to swirl the soap from the top to the bottom of the mold.  This gave me a nice swirl throughout.  Next I layered the remainder of the white on the top, smoothing it out for a nice canvas for all of the music notes.

Once I got all of the little music note placed I used a wooden skewer to nudge each of the embeds down into the soap.  I did not insulate this soap and it does not appear to have gelled.

I sliced the soap after 24 hours.  It behaved very nicely.  The embeds did not splinter or fall out when I cut the bars.  Although inside the bars the purple is more purple, in the samples it is still almost blue.  We'll see what happens after it has had some time to cure.  Well, have a wonderful thanksgiving everyone!

I am linking with the following blogs:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My Crazy Life

Things have been incredibly crazy lately.  For one thing I decided that I would host some spa parties to boost holiday sales.  I have also added some new products for my local customers.  These are not limited to locals for any other reason other than an intense desire not to deal with shipping glass jars.

Of course, I ended up with a massive migraine during the last two weeks.  This always complicates things because I do not have insurance and absolutely do not want to go on any medications.  However, my migraines can be downright difficult to deal with.  On top of that I also came down with a vicious sinus infection.

Lip Balms
On top of getting all of my products ready to present, I also had to get my house company ready.  Part of having three kids is the fact that my house is rarely completely company ready.  I am a firm believer that while it is important to keep a clean well organized home, it is equally important to spend time with your children.  So when my youngest son needs some extra attention or snuggle time, I try my best to take the time with him.  And of course goes for my husband or my other two children as well (even though the older 2 kids are mostly past the snuggle stage).

Bath Salts (old fashioned kind)

For my local customers, I have added several products.  I added two bath salt types, Lavender and Peppermint stripe.  I have two sugar scrubs, Vanilla & Brown Sugar and Pink Grapefruit.  I have two lotion bars, Warm Vanilla and Lavender.  I have also made some lip balms mainly for family and close friends, Chocolate Mint, Lavender, Lavender Sparkle, and an Herbal.  I am re-doing the packaging of the lotion bars, but the rest of my products are packaged in a way that I am satisfied with.

So due to the amount of time needed to make the new products, computer issues and about 3 days spent trying to recover I have not spent any time working on my blog. I have not forgotten about my readers and I am very grateful for all of you.  I will probably not be posting on a regular schedule again until after Christmas.

Lotion Bars
Among other issues I have to find a way for all of my soap making stuff to be out of the house but still accessible.  My husbands family is coming for Christmas and we will need the space inside.  I was already looking for a shed or small building to move my soaping into, but I have not found anything ready made.  I have some ideas, but for the time being I will probably be emptying out the shed that is already here and putting everything inside.  Of course this involves sorting through a bunch of stuff that I have not gotten around to looking at since we moved into this house.  As usual this requires a lot of time.

Sugar Scrubs
Also if you  live in middle Tennessee I will be in Livingston at the Elves Bazaar on December 7th (9 A - 5 P) & 8th (1 - 5 P).  I will also be at Brotherton Missionary Baptist Church in Algood from 10 A to 8 P on Dec. 13th & 14th.  I am also considering doing some home parties as well.  I am not sure how all of this is going to play out, but I am sure that it will be a bit of a wild ride.  


I am linking with the following blogs:

Monday, November 4, 2013

Earl Grey

Ready to go
I have been frantically making soap in preparation for a craft show. I wanted to make this one for part of a his and hers gift set along with Lady Grey.  Earl grey is a very nice fragrant tea and therefore will make a mildly fragrant soap all by itself.  I had decided to go with a black, cream and of course brown color scheme.

I started with making about 10 ounces of tea with 5 tea bags to add to the water for my lye.  I moved next to my usual preparation of measuring and mixing my oils and mixing my lye water.  I have sodium lactate to help make the bars harder, but I frequently forget to add it.  I mixed the lye water with my oils and brought it to a thin trace before separating into three containers for coloring. 

 I wanted equal amounts of the black and brown soap mixture.  I only needed a little bit of white for the design I wanted to do.  I started with the black.  I had premixed my activated charcoal with enough water to make sure that it was not clumping, I added this mixture to one of the larger containers of soap.  I didn't add anything to the brown because the tea had already colored that portion.  I added just a little bit of titanium dioxide to the small portion of soap to be white.  Each color was blended just a little bit to make sure that the colors wouldn't have clumps.

Nicely swirled
I had prepared the mold with two dividers down the length of the mold.  Since I get 2 bars from each slice this way I get the same pattern on both sides.  I started by filling my sample mold.  Next I poured the outside edges  in the brown while holding the dividers steady.  I did get a little leakage though.  Next I poured the black in the middle.  After I got the black into the mold I mixed everything in the center section since I had some leakage from the outside section.  At this point I pulled out the dividers carefully and scraped the soap off of them and back into the mold.  Next I poured the white down the line where the divider had been.  I was hoping that the white would go a little deeper than it did, but it worked.

After getting all of the soap in my mold I used a skewer to do the swirl.  I inserted the skewer all the way to the bottom of the mold and proceeded to do a tight figure eight pattern in each half of the mold.  This gave me the swirl in the soap.  This particular swirl is know among soapers as a Mantra swirl.

The scent of this soap is very mild.  It is fresh with just a hint of citrus.

I am linking with the following blogs:

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sleigh Ride

Finished Bars
My newest soap addition is called sleigh ride.  The idea came from a sample fragrance I received this summer from  For those of you who don't know, Brambleberry is an awesome soap supply company.  ( No this is not a paid endorsement, just my personal experience with the company.)   The fragrance is called Woodland Elves.

Filling the mold
I didn't have enough of the fragrance oil to make a full batch and I really didn't want to make a small batch.  So I added some cedarwood essential oils and just a touch of wintergreen for a coolness to the scent.  I started by mixing my oils as usual.

Olive oil 40%
Coconut oil 30%
Sunflower oil 20%
Palm Kernel oil 7.5%
Castor oil 2.5%

I did not melt my oils.  I just used the lye water to melt the coconut and palm kernel oils.  After adding the lye water I used the stick blender only until I had a good emulsion going.  I knew I needed to add my colors at a thinner stage in order to manage the swirls like I wanted.  I pre-mixed each of my pigments with a little bit of water so that they would be ready to mix up.  After I poured the soap into 2 other containers (about equal amounts eyeballing it), I added the pigment stirring by hand to start with before mixing very briefly with the blender to make sure that my colors were smooth.
Swirling the top

 I started out with a nice layer of white on the bottom.  To that I added a layer of green and then red before starting over.  I ended up with 2 layers each of the white, red and green.  By the time I was ready to pour the second layer it had thickened to the point that I could tell I wasn't going to be able to get a second smooth pour.  I had filled my sample mold in between.  After topping the mold off with a nice smooth layer of white, I mixed about 3 .15 cc scoops of gold mica in about 1/2 tsp of glycerin.  I dropped it on the top and proceeded to do a very shallow swirl.  I knew I didn't have much room without being in danger of pulling up some of the color.
After 24 hours

After getting everything situated I left the soap on the table overnight to work.  I have stopped doing extra insulation on my soaps unless it looks like I am going to get a partial gel.  My mold is made of wood and it seems like anytime I insulated quickly I end up overheating and cracking.  I do think that this one gelled, but it didn't crack!

After about 24 hours I checked to soap and it was still a little too warm to un-mold so I put it in the freezer for about half an hour to speed up the cooling process.  When I pulled it out of the freezer it was cold but not frozen.  I pulled the soap out of the mold and pulled the liner off of the soap so that the sides could start drying just a little bit.
Cutting bars

After letting the soap sit for about 2 hours I went ahead and cut the loaf in half.  After about another hour I cut the bars.  I don't have my curing rack anymore (It died :(  ) so I had to make do.  I was trying to figure out what I could use to support the shelves that I still had, when I though of using Duplo blocks.  So I snagged the kids box of Duplos and started building.  I had to add one layer at a time, building the support, adding the shelf of soap, then adding the next level of supports.  ( If anyone tell you that they are too old for blocks like this, then they just haven't pulled them out recently.  Even my grandmother will play with them if the blocks are out.    ;) )

As you can see it worked quite well until I ran out of blocks.  I kept the "rack" for a couple of weeks before I gave the blocks back to my kids.  And before you start thinking that I am a cruel, heartless mother, let me tell you that my kids thought it was awesome.

Makeshift curing rack
The only issue I have with this soap is that I am not fond of the scent.  Everyone else has loved it, but I am not fond of woodsy scented soaps.

I am linking with the following blogs: