Monday, March 31, 2014

The Truth about Florals

Lilac by Bramble Berry
Goodness, was I ever afraid of floras when I first started making soap. The quick acceleration was just somethng I could not handle and I am still afraid of them to a certain extent, but I think I have a good handle on them now.

When I read reviews for Bramble Berry's Lilac, I was terrified. Almost everyone said this accelerated very quickly. One user even said that it should not be used in cp soap.....yikes!!! I have 16 ounces of this stuff and all I make it cp soap. What now?

When I made my 3 batches of Lilac soap, I was well prepared. I colored the majority of the soap purple, before I added the fragrance. I also soaped at 80 degrees and I reserved a small portion for the top, which remained unscented. I hesitantly whisked in the Lilac fragrance oil, terrified that it would seize on me, but all was good. I had plenty of time to put it in the mold without the slightest hint of seizing or accelerating. Whew! I then took my unscented portion, added some pink to it and had a lovely pinkish purple color for the top, which I had plenty of time to play with and make pretty!

So, that is my secret with florals. I leave a portion of the soap batter unscented, and then add that to the top so I can beautify the soap. With my floral soaps, I keep things simple. I always soap around 80 degrees  and whisk in the fragrance. With this method, I am always pleased with the results.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Hubby Makes Soap for the First Time

I made my husband a Tea Tree Shampoo Soap about a year ago and he loved it so much, he wanted a whole new batch. This time, he wanted to make it himself. we used a recipe from the Soap Queen Blog called the Invigoration Shampoo Bar. The recipe is simple and I had all the ingredients, except for the tea tree oil, which he happily bought locally.

As you can see, Joe doesn't have much hair, so he will use this as a body/shampoo bar. He is already counting down the days until he can use it! Good job honey! I am so proud!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Natural Approach

I love colorful, creative soaps, but sometimes I like to make a more natural soap. I guess that is why I love soap making so much. It gives me the opportunity to create a new soap, anytime I want. The pssibilities are endless.

Today I made a soap using 10X Orange Essential Oil. I enjoy using essential oils and fragrance oils, but haven't made an essential oil soap in a while. I also added orange peel powder and sprinkled red raspberry seeds on top for visual appeal. The orange peel powder adds some exfoliating properties, which I am excited about. Nature's Garden states that, "Orange peel is loaded with nutrients for your skin: Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Vitamin B1, beta-carotene, and numerous other vitamins and minerals. Due to its high flavonoid content, orange peel acts as an anti-microbial and anti-bacterial agent in skincare products." This all sounds wonderful!!!!

I hope customers love this soap, because I made 3 batches tonight! I sure hope the smell sticks well. Some citrus essential oils are known to fade fast. This 10x oil is not suppose to do this. I also helped to anchor the scent with kaolin clay. This soap looks simply gorgeous and I just love with my natural ingredients color my soap the appropriate color. Win, win!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sherwood Farmer's Market!!!

Love Spell (Nature's Garden)...a dream to work with and smells so divine!

Fresh Ginger Lime (Bramble Berry). I can never stock enough!

Sandalwood Rose

Sweet Meyer Lemon (Bramble Berry) the addition of poppy seeds

A special order for a 10 year old boy named Joe. His favorite colors are blue, green and pink.
Scented with Fresh Snow (Bramble Berry)

Oatmeal, Milk and Honey (Bramble Berry)

I am thrilled to announce I was accepted into another farmer's market!!! The Sherwood Farmer's Market gave me all 10 dates that I requested and I could not be happier!!! I am going to be one busy girl, in fact, I will most likely be breastfeeding our newborn at the market. I will do so discreetly, but if you have to feed a baby, a farmer's market seems to be as good of a place as any. I did take the month after she was born off (July), but I will be back in action in August. That means that I have upped production and streamlined my processes.

I now make 24 bars at a time. I started with 8, so this is a big improvement. I bought 3 more molds, so I can make soap everyday if needed. I also make my soap labels as soon as I have completed a soap, instead of leaving it as an immense task for one day. I store the labels in a book until I am ready to package and because I switched to cigar band labels, it is so much faster!!!! I also came up with a solution for the dreaded sliding of the cigar band as the soap shrinks, which always happens! I purchased 1/2" velcro adhesive dots, that can be refasted as the soap shrinks. This has made me very happy! I sure hope this works!!! The glue dots I was using were not a good solution at all.

In the meantime, I have participated in a few small school Spring bazaars, that have proven to bring in a little money, as well as filling orders from return customers. Etsy has continued to be a slow source of income, but I am still happy to have my shop up and running.

I am now 25 weeks pregnant and feeling good! Our family is thrilled with the increased number of sunny days and we are already looking forward to the arrival of summer and our baby girl. Life is good!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Spring is in the Air

Summer Fling

Fresh Ginger Lime is my surprise huge best seller!!!

Somerset Rose on a Mommy date!
My Lion and Rose

22 weeks pregnant here. My hubby and I attended a cowboy/girl themed Bunco night with my
MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers). This is as western as I get!

This time of year is slow for this soaper. Not much action, but I am excited for spring. I am loving all the new fresh scents. I just used to new Bramble Berry fragrance oils that I am very pleased with Lettuce and Summer Fling. They are both so clean and spa-like, which is exactly what I was looking fir. I hope they are great sellers!!!!

Lettuce is described as: "Crisp and clean and everything green, this scent works great in CP soap for a light fresh fragrance. Hugely popular with our customers, it's a year-round favorite. In fact, one of our customers proclaimed it her 'all time favorite.' Try some today and you'll be pleasantly surprised at how good romaine and iceburg can smell!"

Summer Fling: "This new summer scent from Bramble Berry is full of fruits and flowers. Smelling strongly of Raspberries and Peaches, this blend is toned down by the white notes of Magnolias, Lilies and Cyclamen. Not one to let a fragrance fall flat in the bottom notes, Summer Fling also has White Musk as a supporting dry down."

I also recently soaped Summer Melon Spritzer and my customers loved it. It is funny, because both my husband and I dislike melon scents, but based on great customer reviews, I tried it and am satisfied at how well it has been received. 

I participated in an event today, a Spring bazaar at an elementary school. The entry fee was fairly low and the money went to a good cause. In the first 2 hours, I had no sales! I had great table neighbors, so I had fun chatting with my new friends and considered the day would be a success if I covered my table fee. Luckily things turned around and I actually made over a $100, which is not a good day at all, but it is more money than of I hadn't gone at all. I try to always look on the bright side of things. You never know when a new opportunity will arise!

On a personal note, I am now 23 weeks pregnant with our baby girl. I feel great and so blesssed. Life is good, even though it can be super hectic!