Saturday, August 13, 2011

New stuff, continued

Well, so much for waiting until tomorrow to post pictures! I apologize for the messy looking soap molds, but what's inside them looks great, I think!

Some new stuff

Took yesterday (Friday) off from soap making, but back at it today. Today I made an all natural activated charcoal soap, swirling it with my favorite soap recipe which is a rather pale  creamy white. No titanium dioxide used, so we'll see how it turned out. Also left it unscented.  Apparently, that wasn't enough for me! I have had this mold my father-in-law made for me that I had yet to use. It is solid wood, but kind of an unusual shape, so I wasn't sure what to do with it. I have been jealously looking at the great stuff everyone has been making using molds like these from Brambleberry, so I decided to use the mold from my father-in-law to make a pretty design on top, which will be the front side of my soap...if that makes sense :) I made one of my old standby recipes - just 2 pounds - mixed the lye and fat mixture together with no scent, and poured that mixture into cups with some pretty fall colors. The colors I used were black (activated charcoal), rust (I hand blended colors to create this), red bourdeaux, and gold sparkle mica. To the main soap mixture, I added pumpkin spice fragrance which smelled out of this world! Poured in the scented mixture into the mold and made some pretty designs on the top with the aforementioned colors.  I am sooo excited to see the result, but don't want to let myself get too excited yet! Pictures will be posted tomorrow :)

Happy Saturday!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Back to soapmaking!

So my summer course is finally over and I now have time again to make some soap.  Mom has been very busy making tons of batches, but unfortunately, she only has a camera on her phone so I don't have many pictures of her soaps to share. We are gearing up for fall.  We've got one confirmed craft show in October that last year had attendance of 30,000! We're just about confirmed for another craft show that will be in a very busy local mall in September. Finally, I was contacted by someone asking if I'd like to participate in their craft show in December so I may be doing that as well.  In addition, Etsy sales are coming along nicely.  However, I'm feeling extremely uncertain as to how much product we need. I've read to either expect to make 7 to 10 times your entrance fee, or 1% of the attendance of the show. If anyone has feedback on their own experiences, I would love to hear!

 Last week I made a great Chai Tea recipe, similar to the Chai Latte I am currently selling.  The new recipe, however, is my own creation and is completely vegan. Sprinkled a little bit on cinnamon on top.

I love the way the way soap mixture fell way down through the scented tan colored mixture.
This past Friday, I gave a shot at making some milk soaps.  I haven't been making any milk soaps since my class, but was ready to dive in!  I made one loaf of soap made with local yogurt and local honey, and another with coconut milk scented with almond. Results of the yogurt/honey soap are below:

The cut soaps are below

The soaps have an interesting, kind of nutty smell to them. I washed my hands with a small piece after cutting, just to try it out and pH test the soap.  Even though it is a fresh soap and needs a lot of time to cure, it felt creamy and nice. The soap turned out a bit more rustic and not as smooth as what I am used to, but overall still seems like it will be a nice one.  My husband loves the way it smells, and I like that it is made with local ingredients.

I'm still on the fence about the almond coconut milk soap.  The smell is improving as time goes by (it was almost too almond at first), but this soap was really a huge challenge to make.  It came to trace incredibly fast, and I was about 5 seconds away from having soap in a bowl. Because of the fast trace, I had a lot of difficulty getting it into the mold. The result of the cut bars is some air pockets on the sides that I am not wild about.  I think the soap is ugly, but I've used it on my hands and it is fabulous.  Maybe folks can overlook its ugliness? :-)

Made some Nag Champa today, with another recipe I created with soap calc. Wish me luck!  Have a great week everyone!