Monday, September 24, 2007

I've been Tagged

I've been tagged by RainyDayArt . Here's how it works. I need to list 6 things about me and then tag 6 other bloggers.
1. My favorite color is BLUE.
2. I don't drink milk - YUK!
3. I don't like deli meat.
4. I sleep very little (although I love to take afternoon/early evening naps)
5. I LOVE surprises
6. If I could, I'd stay home and never leave - EVER!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pumpkin Pie and Men


Check out this funny story that I happened to stumble across over on the Etsy forums. I think I'm famous!!! It's a shame that I procrastinated enough to run out of pumpkin spice soap. Lesson learned though, lesson learned. I have since made more and the beauties are curing as I type.

Did you know that fragrance researchers claim that the scent of pumpkin pie filling will turn men into helpless love slaves, content to sit immobile for hours while you use their arms as a yarn-winder?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Oh No say it ain't so....

....I caught the dreaded COLD!!! Under normal circumstances, I'd welcome the nasty bugger because it forces me to slow down and sometimes get some well needed rest (not to mention a couple of pounds weight loss if I lose my sense of taste). However, the last time I got a cold I actually lost my sense of smell for over a month. I do use measurements when adding my fragrance oils, but if I add and I can't smell anything and I forget that I really can't smell anything then I keep adding until I can smell something.
Ask my co-worker how fragrant my soaps were during that time - they were blow your sox off strong. One batch I swear made her nose hairs curl up!!! We still laugh about that. But come to think of it, that nose hair curling batch sold out pretty darned fast. I guess some people like STRONG! Maybe I should refrain from cooking any soaps for a few days until I'm well again. YEAH RIGHT!!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Tada!!



I frosted and cut the cake. They're so cute and whoever purchases them is going to have soap for a loooong time because they're huge - over 10oz each! They smell good too. I've already made a couple of different flavors and tonight I think I may do either Orange Chiffon or Ginger.
Reader Poll: What flavor cake would YOU like to see? Let me know, I'd love to know what everyone's tastes are.

Update: Thank you everyone who has responded to my reader poll. Here's what I've created so far:
  • Orange Chiffon (x 2)
  • Ginger (x 2)
  • Brown Sugar Spice (smells like carrot cake) (x2)
  • Butter Almond Vanilla (x 4)
  • Vanilla (x 2)
  • Pumpkin Spice (x2)

As soon as my FO's get here I'm going to add MORE pumpkin spice to the list. Hmmmm, I just had a thought - wonder if I could pull off a red velvet? Now THAT would be cool!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Carnaby Street


I've been rather busy of late and feel as though I've shirked my blog duties. I promise there's loads coming.

First, I'd like to share my excitement about my little soap cakes. I brought one in to work yesterday to show my co-worker/cheer leader how well it turned out after I frosted it. She in turn decides to show it off to another co-worker who takes one look and asks for a dozen of them for Christmas gifts. I'm so elated!!!! I came home yesterday and made 4 more last night and will make more this weekend. I'm hoping I can have some posted on Etsy soon too.

In the meantime, I added the chocolate peppermint and Carnaby Street soaps to my Etsy shop today. They've cured a heck of a lot faster than I had originally anticipated. They're nice and solid already. You could almost crack someone's skull with the chocolate peppermint and it's heavy too! Thank goodness for the cooler weather of fall.

Here's a tidbit of information - Do you know why patchouli was so popular back in the 60's & 70's? It masks the odor of burning cannabis!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Yet Another Experiment

Yesterday (Sunday) I was itching to try HP soapmaking. That's where you bring your soap to trace as usual but instead of pouring into your mold, you continue cooking it until all the oils saponify right there in the pot. Basically you shave a good 4 weeks off of cure time. Talk about instant gratification! I made 1 batch of plain unscented and I "think" it was successful but I won't know for sure until another day or so. They feel softer than I imagined they would and I'm not sure if that's normal or not, so I'm hoping they'll harden up over the next couple of days. They're not the prettiest things but in a pinch, they'll do.


Being the mad scientist that I am, I decided that since I was already on a roll with this HP thing, I'd try to create two more soap cakes using this method. That would be HP Rebatching. I did try searching on how best to do it but gave up after a few minutes due to impatience. I figured I'd just jump right in there and hope for the best.

I must say, it seems to have worked. The only difference I can see right now is that the HP cake is lighter in color than the CPOP cake (no big deal once I add frosting). Since these are HP, they can be used right away!! I think I'll try a slice later :)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Finally


I posted my Oatmeal Chocolate "creation out of frustration" soap this evening on Etsy. So much for the fancy name eh? http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7009678 . I'm hoping they'll do well over there. I've noticed there seems to be an influx of soapmakers of late (myself included). What does that mean? It means that the more of us there are trying to flog our wares, the better I have to be in order to stand out. I cannot afford to suffer another attack of soaper's block going forward. I think I'll need to start sniffing peppermint oils on the regular - (clears the brain you know).

Monday, September 3, 2007

Rebatching of the Botched

I've spent almost the entire weekend plotting soap projects. Some I've managed to complete with more success than others. One that I'm particularly pleased with, I created last night was a rebatch job, something I've been doing a lot lately.

Rebatching is where you make a batch of soap and for whatever reason you're not completely satisfied with the results ie. the color or scent isn't quite what you'd wanted. Instead of wasting it, I shred it up, and incorporate it into a brand new batch of soap and re-color or re-scent. Many soapers don't like to rebatch because the resulting bar is tends to be lumpy looking but I have a system now where I can get a nice smooth result- (see "what to call it?" post on 8/22) . I only rebatched those because although I LOVE the scent, some fragrance oils will always turn soap a dark brown due to the vanilla in it, this being one of them. It's something you just can't get around. I made a huge 6lb batch of this particular scent earlier this summer and as much as I tried to "pretty it up" with pink swirls on top, it wasn't having it (a bit like putting lipstick on a pig). So I broke down and rebatched some of it which resulted in not only my unamed soap of 8/22 but also, this beautiful cake! The left over soap from that pot was poured into my mini silicone bundt cake mold but because I waited so long to put it in the mold it started to harden and ended up lumpy looking which as it happens was a good thing because it actually looks like REAL CAKE!! Wouldn't this make a lovely birthday gift? It weighs over 10 oz, enough for 4 good sized hunks of soap.