Wednesday, 9 November 2011

In all its ugly glory :)

Here is my 'Down Under' Soap.  The camera doesn't pick up the green too well.  It is a bright green almost a cross between Avocado and Lime.  I wonder how well the colour will hold up.  It smells very refreshing and the colour is perfect for the scent.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Mixing Business with Pleasure

Wow it's been a while!  Here is why...

This is my first Christmas selling my products, in fact I have only been selling now for a few months.  Everyone warned me that starting a new business was hard, but they weren't telling the whole truth -it is near impossible!
The effort that goes into experimenting, testing, creating, packaging, promoting, actually making the product, and PLANNING (sigh), is hard work.  The average person doesn't realise that soap takes 4-6 weeks to cure, so can you imagine how difficult it is to predict how each market will go, and how much soap you will have left over to add to the newly made soap, for the following market - 6 weeks in advance.

So I have been running myself ragged making every soap I can afford to make.  My curing rack is stocked to the brim, I have spend weeks packaging, and I am ready - I think!?  I am broke, and with every penny I have invested in my brand new business, I am hoping for fine weather, and happy customers with bulging wallets over the next few weeks :)

So when all this happens, and the blood, sweat and tears (lots of tears) start to become a little overwhelming,  I decided to take a day off (for the first time in as long as I can remember).  And guess what I did with my day off - I made soap! lol
Not customer driven soap, not 'pretty soap' that will hopefully sell, but experimental, all for me and no-one else soap - and I loved every minute of it!  I was reminded of why I love this addiction so much, and what I had begun to loose sight of.

So here it is:

A delicious Cucumber soap (my first ever), with Parsley for colour and scented with EO of Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Tea Tree.  It is miles away from every other soap I sell, and for the first time in a long time, I can't wait to cut it.  I am going to call it 'Down Under'

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

I nailed it! :)

I have a love hate relationship with Oatmeal, Milk and Honey soap. it's beautiful to use and I love the 'wholesomeness' of the bar.  However I hate making it. I've had it overheat (many times), I've burnt the honey and the milk, I've had it separate, and I can't for the life of me get it to look a beautiful creamy colour.  I have made some bars that are good - but not great. 
So you can imagine my happiness when I FINALLY got it.  I am 100% happy with this batch.  I did a couple of things differently - I used a different honey, I warmed a small portion of the milk and mixed the honey in with that and added it at a thicker trace, and I added oats that were ground a lot finer.

All these things seemed to have given me the bar I was looking for :)

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Salt Bars

A while back I made some salt bars.  A simple 100% coconut recipe.  I love them, but not for my body, more for my face.  I use mine religiously as a facial bar, and its fantastic for combination skin.
However, I have decided that I needed to revamp this simple recipe and add a little bit of luxury to them.  So I have now made a batch with coconut oil, Shea butter and a tiny bit of Castor.  I'm so excited about these, they are scented with Eucalyptus and peppermint and are 99.99% natural ( I just had to add a couple of drops of colour) -  these need a super long cure, so I'll let you know what I think in 6 months ;) lol

Thursday, 11 August 2011

A new Look?

I hadn't made soap for a while, until I received a few new fragrances last week.  Since then, I have been making up for lost time.
I have a new recipe, as I am now planning on going palm free.  My new recipe has lots of Shea butter in it, which seems to give my batter a creamer texture, is slower to trace and beautiful to work with.  So my new batches are now taking on a life of their own.  They are simpler, less colourful and I guess less technical.  But I like it.  
When I first began soaping, I decided I would call my business K.I.S.S as I was once told on a forum to 'keep it simple sweetie', and it's something I have to remind myself every time I make a batch.
Sometimes there is beauty in simplicity.

So here are some of my 'simpler' soaps

This is a Vanilla and Cinnamon soap - I didn't use ANY colour in this, just a little TD.  This could be a first for me!

The dark swirl is vanilla, the tan is cinnamon and the white is unscented

Berry and Cherry - O.k this has a little bit of colour and a touch of glitter, but I only used one colour

and a tiny swirl ;)

and a beer, oat and honey soap, scented with sandalwood. Simple.

Friday, 5 August 2011

8 colour swirl

Today I attempted my second in the mold swirl.  I have discovered a fragrance from Sweet Cakes called Cucumber Melon.  It slows down trace, so is perfect for multi swirl, so I decided to to try 8 colours.  It is a mix of pinks, purples and blues, with a little black and white.  The pics have come out a little darker than the soap, and as it has cured the purples and pinks have come out more:

My colours

The colours after pour

First swirled with a spoon

Then with a skewer
After cutting

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Gold Bar

I ordered some organic unrefined beeswax from a farm that was selling on Trade Me.  There name is Huttons Honey. 
When I picked it up wrapped from the post office, the lady behind the counter said 'for some reason this reminds me of a gold bar!'.  When I got it home and unwrapped it, I thought she couldn't have been more spot on!

I just think it looks delicious

Only $20 for 1kg

Or maybe it's just because it reminds me of a block of soap!