Thursday, June 17, 2010


I'm having a sale on select soap over at the shop, to clear out some inventory for new scents and yummy new stuff.  30% off!  

Get 'em while we got 'em!  :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Better to light a candle, than curse the darkness....

So I've been threatening to make candles for ages now.  Who doesn't love a candle?!  A while back, after much research and brain frying, I settled on a soy paraffin blend and ordered up some supplies.  Tonight, the experimenting begins...

The vast choices of waxes will make your head spin.  Soy, paraffin, palm, mottled, beeswax, gel wax....and on and on.  Don't even get me started on wicks!  Much like the art of soapmaking, the more I research, the more questions one has.  I suppose that's part of the fun right?  The journey?  This is 25lbs of fun:

Try lugging this sucker up and down the stairs several times.  My next house will be devoid of all stairs, trust me when I tell ya.
I'm making container candles and tonight's jar is a pretty standard 8 oz. colonial.  I started by sticking my pre-tabbed wick into the jar with a glue dot and then warming the jar in the oven, on it's lowest setting.  This, they tell me, assures better wax adhesion to the jar wall and helps control wet spots.  I'll take their word for it.

First thing I'm noticing is that the heat from the oven is making my wick limp (insert joke here) and melting the glue dot.  Hmmm....maybe I should wick it after I heat the jar.  Next time.  Mental note.

Next, I scoop out 8 ounces of wax and put it into my metal pour pot in a pan of water, to act as a double boiler, and heat until melted.

Pardon that yellow cheese-like substance, above.  The handle broke off my pot almost immediately after I bought it, and I had the bright idea to Gorilla Glue it back on.  Do you see a handle in the picture?  Umm, no.  :)  The first run through the dishwasher and it fell back off, but left some hardened shmutz behind.  Don't worry though - the stuff wouldn't come off if you lit dynamite.


So after the wax is melted (stir, stir, stir) I added some color chips (stir, stir, stir).  I chose a light lemon yellow because I'll be scenting it with a lemon squares scent that will rock your sox.  Smells just like the real thing!  I poured in about .8 ounces of fragrance once I took the pot off the heat, and when the temps were about 175-185, I poured...

The melty glue dot problem made the wick tab come unstuck from the bottom of the jar and it began to float around a bit so I had to reattach it.  Not too big of a catastrophe but that's something I need to fix for next time.  I know some chandlers use glue guns so maybe I'll go that route. 

Ya like my wick holder?  I need to order some wick bars (or get some popsicle sticks) but this worked for now.  The main thing is that you get your wick centered and keep it from falling over while your wax cools.

Jack was highly intrigued...

And that's pretty much it.  I let it cool and popped a lid on.  I didn't have any major dimpling issues or anything.  Looks good, smells good.  Yay!
Now, however, comes the arduous and extensive testing process I always put my products through.  Once this cures 48 hours I'll test out the melt pool, the burn times, the sooting, the flame height, and all of the other things that can go wrong and tweak from there.  I'm pretty excited about adding them to my line though, eventually.  But never before they rock.  :)

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Girl And Her Big Screen...

Any techno-dorks out there?

I'm not a huge electronics person (I can barely work my DVR) but I must admit I like my computer stuff.  A few years ago I bought a Gateway PC with a gorgeous 24" LCD monitor.  Going from a 17" to a 24" is a big leap.  I felt like I was working on a big screen TV at first.  I always buy Gateway stuff because until they started branching out and making low cost PCs to sell to Best Buy etc., they always had great quality and really good customer service.  Now it's a crapfest, to my dismay.  But I digress...

I loved this monitor.  I would walk into my office in the morning, and I swear it would sparkle at me like Johnny Weir in a headband from my desk, and once I think I even heard it ask me how I wanted my coffee.  Tons of features, great colors, like 4 extra USB ports on it, big as buick....loved it.  Well, the sucker crapped out on me after only three years.  Gateway was unapologetic, and the repair chick basically said I might as well use it as a doorstop because fixing it would be as costly as a new one.  Ugh.  Three years?  Really?  Unacceptable. 

So, the hubby and I went to every store in town to find a replacement that didn't break the bank.  Nothing really jumped out at me.  I tried hooking up an old monitor I had stashed in the closet that weighs roughly 10,000 pounds... and wow....did I really use to use this thing?  Was it back when I was spearing pterodactyls and perfecting my cave drawings? 


I was having serious separation anxiety.  Today I found my new one.

Now, I give my sister crap for buying HP computers (don't even get me started) but I do like their peripherals.  Meet my new 25" best friend.  :) 

Maybe now I can post some decent soap pictures.  I suppose it won't change my photography skills, will it?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Who put dressing in my blackberries?

I'm on a mission to try more scents than I normally choose.  Yeah - I'm one of those.  I'm a citrus girl.  I admit it. I head straight for the kumquats and guavas and starfruits, with the occasional foodie scent thrown in when I'm hungry.  I gotta cut that out, and expand my soapmaking horizons.  So in an effort to make something differen't (and because a customer ordered it...heh...) I made a decent sized batch of blackberry & sage soap.  Yeah, I know....more fruit.  But hey!  There's sage in there too!

Baby steps....

Sunday, May 2, 2010


So I'm getting to that age where little lines are beginning to frame my eyes, my underwear is getting a little higher, sweatpants are becoming my ensemble of choice, and I am aquiring a wicked, searing case of CRS.  (Can't Remember Shit, for the uninitiated)...

A regular customer of mine put in a special order for goat milk soap the other day, and this afternoon I got out my arsenal of pots, pans, ingredients, and molds and set to work on a lovely swirled batch of blues, sages, creams and black - scented with blackberry and sage.  I tell ya though - this sucker just would NOT trace.  I whipped that batch half to death and it's still runny...hmmm...come to think of it, the frozen goat milk took forever to melt too.'s in the mold now and it STILL isn't setting up!

Uh....are you thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?   


Did I forget to add the lye? 

I'm seriously beginning to wonder about myself.  It ain't normal, I tell ya. 
I'll keep ya'll posted on the soap.... (and my hastening brain deterioration) ;o)

UPDATE!:  Oh's a goner.  Complete toast.  Ugh.

Friday, March 5, 2010

As promised...

I did actually make some time to make my soap for an order I got from a sweet lady in Illinois.  She wanted these for a shower that has a color theme of "spring greens and pinks".  I hope she likes it. 

Anyway, she requested pink grapefruit scent, which I happen to love, as well.  YUMMO.  I just poured it, so we'll keep our fingers crossed that the gremlins stay

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance...

I know I've been a little MIA of late.  Sorry guys.  Lots of changes going on in my life.  Most of them for the better.  My son has gone off to college and my daughter is set to graduate from high school in a couple of months so the hubby and I have decided that it's time to stop living solely for our children and sell our house to move to the country...

:::cue Wide Open Spaces by The Dixie Chicks:::

It's always kinda been a dream of ours and now we feel like it's time.  The Economy didn't get the memo, however.  Right now I live in a very small, albeit doable, home on a patch of grass roughly the size of a chicklet.  It worked at the time we bought it, because it allowed my kids to stay in their schools and near their friends which was the most important thing to us.  Now my son is almost 21 and doing his own thing (thank you, Jesus) and my daughter hopes to attend college in the fall, as well - though she has no problem with moving anywhere we go.  She's easy like that.  That girl just sort of rolls with whatever comes.  She gets most of that from her dad.

So our house is for sale and we're hoping to find some acreage that I can breathe in, be closer to my elderly mother who lives alone in the middle of nowhere - or at least be able to afford to make more trips to check on her, and settle ourselves somewhere we'll be forever.  Someday maybe even add some goats and chickens to share my time with.  I love animals and I've taken interest in a simpler life and simpler things.  Just thinking of it makes me happy.

So, as you can tell by the cobwebs around here, I haven't had much time for creativity and making bath and body products.  I did get a special order tonight for some soap (pink grapefruit) so I'll be concocting that for her this evening and maybe I'll post pictures and share them with you. 

Hope all is well with everyone.  Stay tuned - I'll be around...

Monday, February 1, 2010

On a layer kick...

I guess I've done so many slab swirls lately, that now I'm doing layers like crazy.  I wanted to post pix of a new one I just cut, which is a Bath & Body Works dupe called Fresh Ginger Lime.  It's a blend of lime, oranges, apples and ginger.  Didn't like this one when I poured it (very grassy) but once it's cut and sets up it smells soooooooo nice.  Definitely don't judge it out of the bottle!

Next, I wanted to post  the cut pics from the tri-layer soap I poured (see older post) of LUSH's Rockstar.  Kinda bummed about how much they muted but still sorta cool.

These will be ready for the shop by the end of february.  Off to get the meatballs into the crockpot -
Hope you enjoyed the photos! :)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Two more for the shop...

Hi. I'm listing two new soaps to the shop this evening and I hope you like them.  This first one is a White Ginger & Amber, which is a warm amber blended with a hint of ginger and light florals.

This next one begs you to remember the taste of childhood sugared lemonhead candy. It is scented with a fragrance that takes it up a notch with citrus top notes of real lemon, and warm base notes of vanilla and sugar.  Citrusy and sweet.  :)  I also added a sweet sparkly daisy just for fun.

They'll be available tonight.  Thanks for reading! :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010


I haven't soaped in a while so instead of one batch, I made two....well almost two.  The first batch is a customer request of a dupe of Aquolina's popular Blue Sugar.  It's more of a men's scent, but not SO manly that women can't wear it as well.  It has vanilla (more on that in a minute), caramelized sugar, cedar, tonka bean, licorice,  patchouli, lavender, coriander, bergamot, mandarin and star anise.

I used coconut oil, avocado oil, cocoa butter, rice bran oil, castor, and olive with 100% GM.

I went lighter on the color in this batch and wish I had goosed it a little more, but....ah whaddya gonna do?!  Creamy colored base and some light azure colored swirls.  Nothin' too fancy.  Here it is in the mold:

Trouble is, my son was home from college for the night, and he and his friends came in right when I was mixing things up and completely forgot about the vanilla content.  This sucker'll probably end up a nice yucky brown.  Oy. So much for my multitasking skills.

For my next trick, I wanted to do a layered soap with a dupe of LUSH's "Rockstar".  No vanilla stabilizer in this one either, because apparently my brain has left the building.  The supplier says that it only discolors to a "creamy peach"   (wha'?!) so hopefully the color will mask it enough.  I've only poured one layer so far.  LabColor's Royal  Purple.   The blue family is almost always a differen't color than the final result when it's poured, so think purple, people.  :)  Right now, it's more of a....ummm....NOT purple. ;o)

This will probably change a thousand times, but I'm thinking maybe a layer of a lime-y green and a layer of orange or hot pink or something.  We'll see how it goes.

So what's everyone else soaping?  Also, if anyone has soaped Daystar's Blue Kisses and have experience with the level of discoloration, please post in the comments below.  Stay warm everybody.  It's crazy cold here in Michigan!  Brrr!


It's gellin' like a felon now and looking slightly less blue so maybe I'll get purple after all.  Serious glare in the pic.  Sorry.  :)

Update #2...

Poured another layer. One of my soapbuddies (Thanks, Salty) assured me that he's soaped this scent before and it didn't discolor.  Whew.  I hope it stays this funky lime color.  :)


I decided to go with orange for the final layer.  I toyed with pouring a 4th, but they'd never fit in my soap 

Then I sprinkled some soap safe magic sparkle and put it to bed. :)

These will be ready to be sold in about 4 weeks.  I wasn't sure I was going to like this scent when I heard about so many people going bananas over it - because  you are so overpowered with scents when you walk into a LUSH store, it's all just too much - but this is really super yummy!

I'm tryingto kickstart a line of aromatherapy bath oils, and maybe I'll get to that today.  If I do, I'll post more later.  Have a great day, all. 
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New product launch...

Well, I've been threatening to list these on my Etsy for some time now, and tonight I messed with them at great length to tweak them to where I think I have a winner.  These are my new herbal bath teas.  All natural ingredients, and they smell just absolutely incredible.  They'll come in a set of three differen't kinds - Muscle Relief, Pamper Me and Sleepy Time.  The paper tea bags didn't hold up as well as I'd have liked so I switched to muslin and they're great.  The packaging may change yet - still not sure what will work best for shipping etc.  I really hope you guys like them.  :)  January has been slow for sales because Christmas just passed, so maybe these will spark some interest.  :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Honey, I think we're better off separated...


I hate when I lose a batch of soap. All the work, all the expensive oils and ingredients wasted. Makes me a crazy person. I'm also a giant moron, because this one could have been prevented. Months back, I got a bad lot of sodium hydroxide. At the same exact time, my digital scale battery was on the verge of dying and causing some wonky measurements. After a couple of failed batches, I checked the battery, replaced it and all was right in the world again. I figured there was more of a chance that the mismeasurements from the scale caused the batch failures than the likelihood of several pounds of bad lye so I set the cans off to the side, bought new lye and carried on with successful soap. Why I didn't throw them away right then is a testament to my inner goober but also a glaring example of my cheap-assedness. :)

Yesterday, I ran out of lye again, and thought "Ahh what the hell - the lye is probably okay, and it was just the bad battery before" and proceeded to use it in my soap tonight. Yeah, you can probably guess what happened, eh?

Total separation. .  Notice the layer of clear liquid floating on the top of the soap, glimmering my the light of my dining room chandelier.  Ahhhh ambiance.

I've tilted the mold to one side in this next picture so you can see just how much liquid rolled to the back side of the mold. 

So....this batch is a bust.  Damn.  Lesson learned, but I still cringe that it happened because I know better.  I should have 86'd that lye months ago but I  was too cheap to just toss it. 

So how many of you have gotten bad lye and soap disasters because of it?  Share your horror stories in the comments section.
Thanks for reading...

::plays a haunting rendition of Taps:::

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's time to pick a winner!

I wanna thank everybody who entered the soap naming contest!  There were so many creative (and sometimes hilarious) names and it was really difficult to choose between them.  So tough, in fact - that I had to call in reinforcements!  I decided to use a cool little program that virtually picks a name out of a hat!  I just typed all of the entries into the program, hit shuffle, and the name is chosen with a click. 

So, without further adieu -  the winning contest name issssssss..... 


So congratulations to Holly!!! Please send me your contact information at and I'll be getting your free soap out to you! :)

Thanks for helping me out everybody.  From time to time, I'll be hosting more contests and giveaways so check back here often!  As always, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

More photographic evidence that soap is taking over my house....

Evenin' all  :)

I keep getting lots of email asking for the cut pictures of the soap I'm making.  Never fear!  They'll always be posted, but sometimes it takes me a day or two.  I have the two from the last two days cut now, so I wanted to make sure I put them up.  The first one is "Jungle Love" from monday, January 4th.  The pictures don't really pic up the pretty shimmer.  It's super pretty and girlie.  :)

The next one is our contest soap!  Whomever comes up with the name for this one, wins a free one.  FREE!  See yesterday's post for details.  Some names are a crack-up and really good so far!

Again, each of these will be ready for purchase in beginning of february.  Thanks for hangin' out with me while I make them.  

I also have some other good news.  Soon, hopefully within the next few weeks, I'll be offering two kinds of soy tarts for the candle lovers!  Stay tuned to see what we come up with!  I'm excited to get started. 

The insulation experiment yielded some interesting results last night.  I covered the soap, and I did end up getting a full gel.  It's so interesting how with each recipe, the need for insulation changes.  I have a high coconut recipe, with 100% goat milk that absolutely gets flaming hot if I even THINK about covering it.  Sometimes I even refrigerate it.  This recipe seems to handle it okay.  40 % lower coconut, same amount of goat milk.  Hmmm.   The gelling doesn't really matter that much except that it can effect hardness/softness and even slight color results.  What do you guys think?  Do you like to gel, or not?  Love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.

Anyway - I hope you enjoy the pictures.  Thanks for reading!