Friday, June 26, 2009

And that's a wrap!

Phew! Got the wrapping all done! Thanks so much to all of my friends who gave me input. It really helped. If all of the pieces fall where they are supposed to... I'll get these delivered today!

Not sure if I'll have anything to post until Monday at the soonest... so enjoy your weekends! - H

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Round two of the label vote

Ok! So We're going with door number two! Seemed the consensus was to try out a different font. I got all of these fonts at

Here are our beautiful contestants:

This lovely font is my favorite. It is called "Teaspoon" and it was created by Haley Fiege. Her website is called It is. Check it out.

This font is called "Rickles"... so I had to get it. Created by Font Diner.

"Lemon Chicken" by Crack-a-Jack Studios, I think they're in Australia.

"akafrivolity" by James Milligan (akaType.) He has some other cool fonts too.

I like to call this A Very Brady Font, but it's called "Cheri."Created by Ben Balvanz (Font-a-licious.) He's got a bunch fonts on there. And by a bunch, I mean pages & pages. And they're all good. So thanks for helping me. I need all the help I can get! LOL -H

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

sorry for the ugly pdf

Um... so I tried e-mailing a bunch of my friends with a pdf document. I was trying to get feedback on the labels I've been working on today. The document made the images totally ugly.


So I am resorting to the blog. Anyone want to give an opinion on which label they prefer?


Thanks! - H

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Finally, a bath fizzy I love.

I was tinkering with the bath fizzies again and I just love these.

First off... they are really big. The bee and the dragonfly were over three ounces a piece. The dragonfly is scented with essential lavender oil, but oddly, it is my least favorite. The others are scented with fragrance oils and the scent is a little more subtle. I made the bee to match my Mr. Bumble Soap.

Later, I made these little solid lotion bar shells.

Really. They're perfect. I am making enough to fill the tin. I'm putting together a goody basket to be auctioned off at the Team-Works Charity Golf Tournament on July 8th. You can read more about Team-Works here. So, I'll be giving them a basket with this tin filled with lotion shells, a large Mr Bumble Bar and the Bee shaped bath fizzy. I'm going to try to tuck some more goodies in there too... but they have to be perfect for me to add them. So says me.

The shells are made with beeswax, cocoa butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil and coconut essential oil.

Lastly... if you love candy... READ THIS BOOK!

I won't bore you with a review... but I devoured it. Har. - H

Monday, June 22, 2009

Vacation's over... time to blog!

Well folks... where to begin? I had a super fun trip. Funny though... I thought we cleaned the house before we left. So this morning was spent tidying up.

You know good and well though that the first thing I had to do when I got back was to check on whatever soap project I had on the soap shelf.

So what you are looking at here are some seashell soaps. They were really tedious to make. First off... I need to give credit to PJ Soaps and Brambleberry for their tutorials on the melt and pour variety of these soaps. The soaps in the picture are actually layered cold processed soap. So it took me about three days of soaping for a little batch of twelve small soaps. They look really neat... but I think it's too much for the work. However... I would consider trying these again by using a swirl technique instead of layers. Once I did the first dark layer, I carved out channels and poured a light layer... then finished off with the dark. It's cocoa soap with cocoa butter on the dark and shea on the light.

Like I said, we had a great trip. On the way back we stopped in Leavenworth again. Lucky for us, there was an accordion festival over the weekend, so there were some Lederhosen sightings.

Now for those of you who aren't familiar with Leavenworth... in short... it's a town nestled in the Cascades that was settled by Germans and is modeled after a little German town. What can I say... I only dig the town of Lynden more because it is Dutch and if you know me... then you know how I feel about Dutch things. (Pardon my punctuation.)

Anyway, Leavenworth is pretty neat. All of the signs are catered to the feel of the town.

This is the 76 Station and a Subway sign. But all of the signs are like that. Cold Stone... you name it.

The town pretty much looks like this. The soap shop was closed again. Which I think is really weird for a Friday when the accordion festival is in town. But I won't dwell. A good time was had by all. We're glad to be home.

More soap tomorrow! - H

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This is what we think of hotel soap.

Get the picture?

Seriously though, I used to really look forward to hotel soap. But those days are over. We're on a little road trip today. We stopped in the town of Leavenworth, WA and guess what I saw... a soap shop! It was closed though. We got there after 6:00 so many of the stores were closed. But we had brats, and a good time was had by all.

Curious how I am going to blog on soap while I'm on the road? So am I! - H

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Now I know why people make them so big.

The kids and I made cupcake bath bombs today. There are some great tutorials out there on them. Of course, at Brambleberry... but I found that Turtle Taylor has a great one too.

As usual, I have never made bath bombs before, cupcake or otherwise, so I was in all new territory. But we were happy with the end result.

We made them in a mini cupcake pan... so they don't last very long in the tub. But it was fun.

This morning we went out and picked more lavender to try and get that project going again.

Fun! - H

Friday, June 12, 2009

This whipped soap is dedicated to my friend who's name starts with a "B."

You never really know how your friends will feel about you putting their name out there for the world to see... so why take chances?

So I had coffee with my friend a week or so ago, (we'll call her "Bunny") and of course, the conversation turned to soap. First of all, Bunny is very punny. She greeted me by saying, "if you sell your soap, is it laundered money?" Now... that is extremely punny. But I am a dim wit, so it took me a minute to get it. Anyhoo, she asked me if I could make whipped soap. I never had. And frankly, I found the prospect to be terrifying.

In order to make whipped soap, you whip your oils until they're fluffy. Then, you add chilled lye water. I use lye water, but I don't know if I am graceful enough to chill it and then add it to a mixer. I can get a little clumsy at times.

At any rate... I toyed around with my soap tonight and I think I may have had a successful experiement.

They look like chocolate macaroons don't they? I used the largest frosting tip that I had. I'm not very experienced in the old cake decorating so I'm a little green in my piping skills. All of us at the house were pretty excited about the result. I even put a little Snickerdoodle fragrance in there. The consistency was just like chocolate mousse. I'm very pleased. The next hoop these little guys have to jump through is... drying. Not sure how quickly they're going to harden. But as soon as they do, I'm giving them to "Bunny."

Another way that I used this whipped soap is by joining two pieces of soap together to make a not your everyday soap ball.

I'll share another picture after the center dries and I clean it up a bit. But I kind of like it. It's perfectly round.

My lavender project is on hold. The lavender soaked up all of the oil, so I have to wait until my other bushes bloom. It'll just be another week or so. I think I need to pack a lot more blooms into the jar.

That's all the soap news I have for now. - H

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Spa Bar Results

This was a very interesting soap experience for me. I did a bunch of new things all at once and learned a lot. But it was also a success, so I'm happy. First of all, I used the molds that I made out of tape, cardboard and hot glue. And then any leftovers went into little silicone bowls.

I lined the molds with freezer paper using a folding method that is supposed to prevent your soap from leaking onto your mold. Mostly a success... but there's a little leaking in the corners. But it doesn't mess up the end shape of the soap. So, who cares. Due to my glue gun fest on the edges the leaks didn't go through, and that would be a real mess.

So there you have it. Shampoo bar on the left, and salt bar on the right. Interesting to note... I tested the pH of these and they are a little more alkaline than a normal bar of soap of mine is. The good thing is that I know why. Normally, my molds are pretty well insulated, but since these were made out of cardboard the heat escapes a lot quicker. The chemical reaction takes longer in a colder bar of soap. These guys will be just right after they cure. I'm pretty jazzed to use them.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I'm running out of clever blog titles... Bubble Gum,

This is the latest bar of mine to come out. It's a new formula that's heavier on Palm & Coconut Oil. It also has almond oil, shea butter and avocado oil in it. It makes a harder bar. This one I'm calling Bubble Gum. I blended essential oils (vanilla, pomegranate, melon) and a fragrance oil from Brambleberry called Energy and the bar smells like... Bubble Gum. It has little chunks of Vanilla Pomegranate soap in it.

Now for some big news... my molds came today!!! Yay! There are three pictured... but I bought six. This is really going to help me produce at a level that I am happier with.

Later this week I am going to try to make some 4th of July themed bath bombs. I can't wait to show you how they turn out!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Infusing Lavender.

Well, I'm back from a fun weekend. This morning I went out to water our struggling peas and went out to check on my lavender. I have two types of lavender, but I don't know what either type is, really.
But this is the kind that is blooming. I have one bush of this type and three bushes of the other. I've got plenty of lavender through the summer. I usually just trim the bushes back and use the trimmings for kindling. This year, a big windstorm blew all of my kindling lavender around the yard. It's still everywhere. Just useless.

This year, I'm going to be infusing the essential oils!

First, I picked the blooms and put them in a bag. Next, I took a stone and sort of hammered the bag gently to release the natural oils. Then I put them in this cute mason jar.

I used avocado oil as my carrier oil. So the lavender blossoms will soak in the oil for 24 hours. Then tomorrow I will strain the oil and add more fresh lavender blossoms. I'll do this for 3 or 4 days. Then, I'll have lavender oil! Hooray!

I made my spa soap this morning. No pictures yet. Unfortunately for me, I forgot to scent the soap. So it'll be an unscented spa experience. Meh.

Ah! But I was also poking around the yard to see what other flowers might be good to infuse and I found tons of wild roses. They smell heavenly and they're cute.

Every single one of the petals was a perfect heart. Enjoy! - H

Friday, June 5, 2009

Spa Day... ha!

Not really. But that's my soap project I'll be starting later today. I'm going to make (for myself) a shampoo bar, and then a salt bar from the same batch of soap. So it's kind of like my own personal spa kit. Get it? I've never made a salt bar, but you can bet I'll share pictures when I have them.

Meanwhile... I've been reconciling myself with some soaps that I stuck in a box because I hate them.

Here's the story. I thought it would be a really yummy idea to put vanilla bean paste in a batch. Sounds good, right? Well... it could be better. Turns out it looks really cool... but the soap ends up smelling like really strong men's cologne. Not my fave. So I did the old "NO! NO! NO!" routine and boxed them all up.

A few weeks later, I pulled them out. I figured I'd just grate it up and wash my towels with it. Funny thing though... the scent had faded. So this is how they turned out.

My camera doesn't take very good close up pictures. But they're good. The soap to the left I tried to bevel. I don't know why I thinkI can have a perfectly even bar of soap. So I tested out a bar & I like it. Not so much for me... in terms of scent, but I'm sure someone will like it. It's the bourbon, I'm sure.

I have a busy weekend so ciao 'til next week! - H

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Breakfast Rebatch

"Rebatching" is when you shred your soap, cook it, and turn it into a new bar of soap. I thought I'd give it a shot this morning.

You can really tell which is my first attempt, and which is my second attempt. The neat thing about these bars is they can be used right away.

A little dorky, but hey. I made some peppermint soap yesterday that turned out great. Came out of the molds really easily. - H

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Back in the saddle again...

Nothing terribly special here... but it's soap. This is Vanilla Pomegranate with Shea Butter.

Finally everyone here is all well. This afternoon I'll be a busy bee making soap since I'll have a couple of hours by myself. I still haven't tested out the box molds that I made... but... I might have some new molds coming in the mail this week. That would be exciting.

Meanwhile... it's been a virtual wild kingdom around here. We've had baby deer and baby geese making their debut. And I caught this guy sitting under the house.

More soon! Glad to be back! - H