Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Seasonal Soap using Seasonal Ingredients

Additives in soap can be very seasonal.  Let's see what I got this year for fall and winter:
Ginger Apple
(used freshly juiced ginger root)

Can't skip pumpkin for fall!
Pumpkin Chai
(high % of unrefined virgin pumpkin seed oil)

And Oktoberfest beer soaps!
Ginger Lime
(Paulaner Oktoberfest beer imported from Germany)

and another one
Dark Star
(Weihenstephaner Oktoberfestbier imported from Germany)

So what's your seasonal creation?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Oh Soy Wax, Why Are You So Difficult?!

Can you believe it is holiday season now?!  I'm a bit stressed preparing for holiday shows.  I don't sell in markets, only selling online for the sake of it.  The only physical markets I do are the Christmas shows.  Preparing for markets is sure getting on every single nerve of mine!
Making candle is not my main focus, just something to provide for the holiday shoppers as another choice for gift giving.  It is consider just an embellishment to my bath and body products.  Last year I used Ecosoya Advanced wax, it is a soy wax blend, it is probably the most bullet proof base you can use to make beautiful candles.  It was, every single pour perfect and no fuss!  BUT, yes, big but, the hot throw is not to be desired...  For those of you who do not make candle, hot throw meaning the scenting power when a candle is on fire burning.

This year I decided to switch to a high soy wax content base, to be more precise, 98% of soy wax with 2 % botanical oil.  Higher soy wax content means lower melting point and greater fragrance throw.  I was very excited to test this wax out.  Fall and winter holidays are the perfect time for some romantic burning candles!  Well, my grand plan only will work if this soy wax would cooperate!  The frosting and pot hole by the wick issues are driving me bunkers!  After consulting with other candle makers, I'm forced to accept the nature of the beast... sigh.  Alright, so I embrace it since I can't fight against it, right?!
HOW?!  So frustrating...  Then I gave up for a month, didn't want to deal with it.  Until now I have some time to think about it again I decided to quickly cool down what I pour in the jar then top it off with soy wax icing.
What I mean by soy wax icing is by beating the warm wax with an electronic hand held whisk the same way as making whipped cream.  There, I think I found my solution, and it actually adds visual interest and texture!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cupcake Gone Wild

I don't make cupcake and cake soap that much but when I do, they go wild and out of control!
This is eye candy post today, sorry, no tutorial or experiment!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Calling for Milk Soap Blind Testers!


Awhile back I wrote a post about making breast milk soap, read here if you have not yet: Controversial Milk Soap
I have always wondered the actual difference between all milk soap, ok, not all, but I'm talking about "fat" milks like cow and goat milks.  Amount all the plant "milks" only coconut milk has enough fat to compare to animal milks.  I used same recipe, same lye discount, same lye concentration... etc., to make 4 batches of milk soap: goat milk, cow milk, breast milk, and coconut milk.  Now they are ready to put to blind test!

I'm looking for 8 US testers.  I will mail all 4 samples with numbers on them to selected testers.  Since this is a blind test, I won't reveal the answers until I get everyone's report back.  I will include a simple steps of how I want them tested and a couple questions for testers to answer back to me.
PLEASE, only if you are willing to test breast milk soap, if not, do no apply.  If you wish to test, please leave a comment and email me at: 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Am I Capable of Making Simplicity?

What and how does one perceive simplicity?  Is there to a point where simplicity = boring and uncreative?  Or even worse, sugar coat your creation as simple beauty because you are hitting soaper's block (similar to writer's block)?
As I pushed for more and more complicated design combinations this year, which required much time consuming planning ahead, the reverse question is, am I capable of finding my simplicity root?!  Or, am I just plain hitting soaper's block?!  But, the most important question I need to ask myself is, what do I perceive simplicity?!  I have no answer yet...
This is my Oatmeal Milk & Honey soap, made with local goat milk and honey with added colloidal oatmeal flour, simply, unscented, without "make up"

And this one, scented with matching synthetic fragrance oil with added titanium dioxide and pencil lined with red mica:

Or would you prefer my usual complicated project like this: