#25 – Ocean Breeze

This batch was the brain child of my friend, Jennett, when she messaged me a couple of her ideas, this was one of them.

“Ocean Breeze”~Strengthen hair with ocean minerals supplied by fresh kelp water and crisp cucumbers scented with mint essence for a breeze that will calm your nerves and ease split ends!

I love having friends with a flair for marketing. ūüėČ

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I had run out of aloe vera, so I wanted to be certain I had that, and the nori for the kelp component. I picked up both at my local health food store on Friday so I could soap this weekend. I soaked the nori in aloe vera over night to give the aloe vera a boost in all of those minerals and vitamins. It turned the aloe vera purple, but the lye turned it back to green. I strained most of the nori out of the aloe vera, only adding a couple teaspoons into a small portion of the soap to see how it behaved. It smelled fishy. I was concerned.

When looking up the benefits of seaweed, or nori, in soap, I came across the following on Ehow.com, though I would take it with a grain of salt. (Ha! I’m so pun-ny sometimes):

Possible Additional Benefits

  • Some manufacturers claim their seaweed soap can also detoxify the body, increase metabolism, reduce cellulite and even have a slimming effect by stimulating the thyroid with the iodine seaweed contains. Research has not been done to prove or disprove these claims, but many users report success with certain soaps for these purposes.

I don’t think I added enough nori for this particular batch to have that huge effect. Only the one sheet, but I didn’t add it all into the bar. Smelled too fishy to me, and I didn’t want it to over power any of the essential oils, especially the mild scent of cucumber essential oil.

To the aloe/lye mixture, I added the liquid silk though I’m thinking I didn’t add enough. Been browsing some forums talking about the differences between the liquid and the tussah, having used both, I miss the tussah. I need to find another source. The tussah silk (as well as other ingredients) in smaller quantities at Soap Making Resource is not cost effective for me – great company though, and I’ve used them and loved their stuff and their customer service. Shipping is normally fast, except when having major sales (at least that one time a year ago). Though, glancing over those same forums, someone mentioned The Scent Works. I get my boxes and labels from them. Hmm.

I read that sodium lactate makes a harder bar and moisturizes, but I don’t think I’ve been using enough. My Mad Scientist picked up a gallon of it for his own science projects, so I’ve been dipping a few millimeters off the top at a time. I normally use about 4 ml in a 3 lb batch of soap. ¬†However, visiting the Bramble Berry site, it says to use a teaspoon per pound.

This batch has the essential oils of Cucumber¬†(“The oil is used in many treatments for anti-aging, acne, eczema, psoriasis, wrinkle reduction, dry scalp, sunburn, stretch marks, brittle nails and damaged hair. This oil is proved to improve the elasticity of the skin and balance the nutrients required by the skin.”), Ylang Ylang¬†(”¬†Ylang ylang oil is an excellent moisturizer for the skin. It balances the production of sebum of the skin and helps in maintaining a healthy skin. Ylang ylang oil has been effective in treating split ends, wrinkles and few other aging problems.“), Spearmint¬†(“It has restorative, antiseptic, insecticide, carminative, stimulant, antispasmodic, emenagogue and cephalic properties….Certain skin disorders like acne, congested skin and dermatitis are also treated with the healing effects of Spearmint oil.”), Peppermint¬†(“Peppermint oil is used to treat numerous disorders like acne,… ¬†sunburn,… drowsiness,… ¬†mental fatigue,… tension,…” I only snagged what might benefit in the shower.), and Rosemary¬†(“It is sometimes used in care of the scalp in relation to dandruff control.”).

Each of these essential oils has many benefits for the skin and hair, for instance, the cucumber will help with sunburns. Mixed with aloe vera, this will be a wonderfully gentle soap for the summer. The rosemary, the small amount that I added, helps in extending the shelf life of the soap. Overall, the scent is divine. My kitchen smells wonderful.¬†‚̧

Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Hydroxide, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil,

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Avocado Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Nori, and Fragrance.

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One year later

I made my very first batch of soap a year ago on April 28th. It’s a citrus blend that I copied from a Soap Making Resource recipe, nearly ingredient for ingredient, with a couple additions which you can read all about here.

This soap was cut with a guitar string, which is why its ragged and uneven.

This soap was cut with a guitar string, which is why its ragged and uneven.

The above picture was taken a year ago right after it was cut – the day after it was poured. The following picture was taken a couple days ago.

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Not much of a difference, right? I’m pretty pleased that the color and scent has stuck around so long. A year later and no DOS (dreaded orange spots). My Summer Solstice is based loosely on this recipe, with a few changes to make it my own.

So, I decided to check out how my laundry soap did (which I blogged about here and here when I was still talking about my soaping hobby on my personal blog). I used all vegetable shortening. Please keep that in mind when viewing the next couple photos.

I’ve only done one load of laundry with this soap, but I didn’t like how it smelled, since it didn’t have any scent. I like my laundry to smell yummy.¬†I haven’t touched or looked at this batch in months.

This batch is also over a year old, poured on May 3rd. It was partially gelled, which I didn’t know what that was at the time. I thought it was odd, but was more concerned with the soap ash on top. It also was cut and photographed the day after it was poured.

May 3rd, 2012:

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A year later, May 31, 2013:

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What in the…?! Yuck! I have it stored in a drawer on freezer paper. I stuck my hand down to grab these four to bring them out and immediately dropped them back into the drawer when I felt how slimy it was. It smells. I can’t place the smell, but smells like its rotting. So, I went and got a paper towel and a plastic bowl and set them up for their photo shoot. I’m actually embarrassed to be presenting these, but its a learned lesson. Don’t use cheap oils. This seems like DOS to the extreme. Do any of my soaping followers know?

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My first Fair! – KETCH Artisan Fair

I was approached on Etsy on April 18th to be a vendor for the KETCH Artisan Fair. Overall, I think it was a great experience, and was wonderful meeting everyone. I handed out a number of business cards, so I hope they visit. Because of the Fair, I finally decided to publish my Facebook page, so you can add me there, too.

I was apprehensive about doing a fair already. I made my first batch of soap last year, so I didn’t think I was ready, or have enough stock. I asked my friends on Facebook and they said it would be a great opportunity, which I agreed. The cost for the vendor booth wasn’t a bad price, plus it was going toward a good cause. I also donated 3 bars of soap to their auction, even prettied it up in a basket with a¬†loofah.

I asked my friend Tina to come help me, because I am too humble to sell my own soap. I might get better at it, but she gushes about my soap. For instance, her teen daughter had acne and nothing seemed to work for it, but now her acne breaks out are few and infrequent.

So, anyway, Tina was super excited about helping me out and by the end of the day, she got a bar of soap. ūüėČ ¬†Her mother-in-law stopped by toward the end of the day and asked to barter with me, dinner at Texas Roadhouse for a bar of soap. How could I refuse?! ¬†The meal was super appreciated! I was so hungry by the end that I was tempted to eat my own soap. ¬† Despite how hungry I was, though, I only ate half my steak and fries. I took it home to hubby, gave him a kiss, and passed out till the next day.

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I’m ashamed to admit that these pics were taken by me. I should know better, but I was feeling especially lazy after dragging everything into the hotel, and setting it up – and didn’t think the pics would be used for much, only to show how I had things set up.

I really wasn’t prepared to do a fair, since I wasn’t aiming to do one anytime soon. I’m mainly focused on selling to friends and family, and people they know right now, and getting my recipes set up how I like them.¬†However, I have to say, this was a huge learning experience on what to expect at a fair.

As you can see from the pics, I have a bowl set up with samples (they look like cheese bites!), and the name of the soap with the ingredients and the boxes of soap in front of the sample bowl. I need to figure a better way to display my soaps.

Why don’t people take samples?

Anyway, I made back my vendor fee, which makes me happy. I just went over the costs of each of the soaps and the profit I made, remove the vendor fee, and I still made a slight profit. So, not a complete bust, and got my name out there.

There were not a lot of people who showed up, but I¬†don’t¬†think it was heavily¬†publicized. There were times when Tina and I were just sitting there chatting with each other, or our neighbors.

For future fairs, I would like to dress up in steam punk fashion: corset, little hat, and a lab coat. Wha?! I’m doing alchemy here! *hehe* I would also like to start making the labels with a steam punk graphic designed look. I accidently did that with my business cards. They were purple and yellow, but I¬†inadvertently¬†printed them in black and white… and I like them!¬†

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#22 – Sugar Scrubs

I had no idea sugar scrubs could be so FUN to make.

I bought a sugar scrub some years ago at my friends prompting, and when I had the extra cash bought a vanilla coconut sugar scrub that was just so frakin delicious smelling, but because of the cost, I was very conservative with its use. Well, I still had some left (I bought it in 2009!) and I went to go use some recently, a sniff test told me it had gone bad. It gave me a sad.

I had no idea sugar scrubs were so EASY to make. ūüôā

I made two batches for the KETCH Artisan Fair, a Vanilla/Brown Sugar batch and a Lavender batch. I made 10 jars each at 8 oz, but of course, kept one each for myself. I bought the blue jars for these. I’m glad shipping was so quick from the company I went through. By the time I got the jars, I only had a week left before the fair.

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Vanilla/Brown Sugar

Ingredients: raw sugar, brown sugar, almond oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, optiphen (paraben-free, formaldehyde free preservative), vanilla fragrance oil.

Lavender

Ingredients: raw sugar, white sugar, sunflower oil, olive oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, optiphen, lavender essential oil, lavender buds.

I thought the Vanilla would go fast, but I was wrong. The Lavender was a huge hit. I love the vanilla and use it more than the lavender, so I have to remember that what I like doesn’t necessarily mean its the same for everyone.

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#21 – First attempt at Lotion bars

I was asked to show my soap at the KETCH Artisan Fair on May 5th. I received the email on April 18. I had about 40-ish bars of soap and didn’t think it would be enough for a fair.¬†I figured I should make more stuff, but 2 weeks is not enough time to make a batch of cold process soap. So I was looking for alternatives.

This post is about my failed attempt at lotion bars.

I found the recipe over on the Otion Soap Blog for the Ultra Healing Lotion Bars, but made some adjustments. I didn’t add any extracts but added a couple other things.

Ingredients:  Sweet Almond Oil, Mango Butter, Cocoa Butter, Beeswax, Shea Butter.

I scented four bars with the 4-thieves blend, another three with the lavender & lime sorbet blend, and left three without any scent. One of the 4-thieves has been used for my personal use.

Well, by the time of the fair, the bars were starting to separate between the oil and the wax. *grumps* But the moment its rubbed into the skin, its fine. I just don’t feel right selling something that doesn’t also look like its supposed to. Sooo.. back to the drawing board for the lotions.

My Fair helper wanted me to bring them, so I agreed. But I sold the bars at half price and advised of the issue.

I love having the lotion bar for work because my hands dry out sooo much, and this keeps them supple. I shuffle a lot of paper at work, and dry hands makes it far easier to get paper cuts. But not when I keep them hydrated. 

I’ll do more research and experiment a bit with this again. I’m wondering if the added ingredients was the issue with my batch.¬†Hopefully with some tests, I can come up with something that wont separate.

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#20 Peppermint Coffee (2nd batch)

I got requests for peppermint coffee soap, so I remade it, although, I readjusted the oil recipe. I keep making changes. I really need to find a basic recipe to stick with, and make it in a huge batch, so all I have to do is dip out the amount of oils I need. It takes me about an hour to make a batch of soap, but I bet I can cut down the time by premixing the oils.

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For this batch, I decided to do a mantra swirl. After watching a few YouTubes on how this is accomplished, I went about doing it myself. Instead of cutting it as normal, I cut three inch blocks, and cut those in half. They will be larger bars, but I’m ok with that. The soap came out wonderfully. I LOVE how it came out. And it smells divine!

This is the first soap where I didnt use Shea butter. I’m not sure how different that will be, but it’ll be interesting testing it (because showers are always fun with new soaps – and doubly fun with a friend! ūüėČ ¬†). The coffee layer has coffee extract, nutmeg EO, coffee grounds. The peppermint layer is spirulina, peppermint EO, Clove EO, and Vanilla EO. I used brewed coffee made from distilled water.

INCI Ingredients:

Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Coffea Arabica (Coffee), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Prunus Dulcis (Almond) Oil,  Coffea Arabica Seed Oil (and) Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) grounds, Titanium Dioxide, and Fragrance.

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#19 – Cucumbers!

I’ve been busy so my poor blog has been neglected.

A friend asked for cucumber scented soap. What I had on hand was Aloe Vera & Cucumber and Cucumber & Melon fragrance oils from Nature’s Garden. Since all I had was 1oz of each, I added Eucalyptus and split the batch in half. I had new smaller loaf molds that I was wanting to try out (blue silicone). I also tried to color them up to be green and peachy using a combination of¬†Safflower/paprika and spirulina. I didn’t mix it very well since the paprika left orange spots. *grump*

I’ve been using a sliver in the shower. Smells heavenly and seems to lather up alright. About average for all my soaps.

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I can cut each loaf to about 3 bars of soap from each, and they weigh roughly 3.5-3.8 oz each, so a slightly smaller bar of soap than the loaf mold I normally use.

I also had half eggs and shamrocks. The eggs didnt turn out the way I wanted, unfortunately. They are waaay too dark. My thoughts on saving them is to shred them and mix them in uncolored batter and make cupcakes. They are scented with Vanilla, Peach, and Strawberry fragrance oils. I’m contemplating what to scent the cupcake with, but vanilla would discolor and I would rather keep the cupcake part a light shade of soap. Peach and Strawberry?

The shamrock was just left over cucumber that I didnt know what to do with. I might sell them. I haven’t decided yet. St Patrick’s day is over, so I might not. *ponder* Dunno. I might just keep them for myself.

Vegetable oils: Coconut oil, Olive oil, Sunflower oil, Palm oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Castor oil.

 

 

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