Ebru weekend

I’ve been lusting after all the pictures of ebru painted soap lately and after seeing it on a fellow soaper’s blog I knew I had to try it! ¬†With the long weekend and the torrential rains we had soap experimentation was definitely in the plans!

Pretty but not what I was going for :-)

Pretty but not what I was going for ūüôā

The first batch I did on Friday and I chose very vivid colors. ¬†Loved the design until I looked in my cups of colored soap and realized I had a ton of left overs! ¬†I immediately thought “I can make this work” and started adding to the mold. ¬†Next thing I knew I had covered my entire design with blobs of colored soap! ¬†I took my handy dandy chop stick and started swirling so I wouldn’t be totally outdone!

ebru 2

Batch 2 I scented with Sage & Citrus so I chose my colors to reflect such.  Not as ebru as batch 1, before I covered with blobs of soap, but I kind of like the delicate lines.  If I had to do over I would have colored the back ground soap to make the designs stand out better.

Sunday I unmolded both and I have to say I like both!  Are there changes I would have made if I had to do over?  Probably, but I call it a very successful experimentation for a rainy 4th of July weekend!

ebru 3

What fun things did you do over the weekend?

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Spinning Swirl Challenge!

i took the challenge! ¬†Well sorta, lol. I didn’t officially enter the official challenge but I was so fascinated by everyone’s submissions I had to try it myself!!!

freshly poured

freshly poured

 

I have a small slab mold that I haven’t used in ages. I made a small batch of my usual goats milk soap recipe and divided it into 4 containers. Each container had a different mica infused oil: pink, yellow, blue and one was left natural. ¬†I poured each color alternately until I used all my batter and then started spinning. It’s really not so much the spinning that does the swirl but the stopping!

After 24 hours of dying to unmold the time finally arrived last night!

 

Several of the bars

Several of the bars

spinning soap 2

spinning soap 3

 

They are much smaller than my normal bars (3-4 oz bars) but I’m overjoyed at how they look! ¬†Such a fun challenge!!!

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lip balm name…Help!

After I made that fantastic infused oil I decided lips could benefit from it too!  So pictured below is my new ultra soothing lip balm!  I only made 12 tubes so I could give it a trial run, but what to name it?  I combined the sunflower oil infused with calendula and chamomile with beeswax, cocoa butter, jojoba and lanolin.  Love the color and I left it unscented and unflavored.

Calendula is known for being healing and anti-inflammatory and chamomile is soothing and itch relieving.  And of course Beeswax is anti-inflammatory too!  And I just love the way the combo of cocoa butter, jojoba and lanolin feels on my lips.

So, the big question is…What do I call it? ¬†Let me know what you think in the comments below. ¬†I posted it on my Facebook page but so far only one person has responded. ¬†I’ll glad send a tube to the person with the best name! ¬†Thanks!

New ultra soothing lip balm

New ultra soothing lip balm

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Tattoo Balm

Trying something new this week.

Last Friday I got a new tattoo to honor my best friend who passed away from Colon cancer.  I wanted something totally special for her as she was my oldest and dearest friend.  I chose a trio of daffodils as her birthday was in March and she passed away in March and she has 3 beautiful children.

Daffodil tattoo

Of course I then needed something to protect my new ink! ¬†The artist just recommended a “white lotion” which told me absolutely nothing! ¬†I started researching and so many different things are used depending on your artists favorites. ¬†Way confusing! ¬†I wanted something healthy for my skin but also soothing and anti-inflammatory. ¬†Some of the obvious choices were coconut oil, tea tree oil and aloe vera but I found those can actually “pull” the ink from your new tattoo! ¬†ARGH! ¬†I don’t want to ruin it before I actually heal it up!

Finally decided on a mixture of Sunflower and Apricot Kernel oils with Calendula and Chamomile steeped in.  I then added a touch of beeswax to thicken the mixture.  Sunflower oil is very light in texture and naturally emollient and also rich in vitamins A, C and D and healthy carotenoids and waxes which form a protective barrier on the skin. The nourishing properties of apricot kernel seed oil have an anti-inflammatory effect and may soothe minor skin conditions such as eczema as well as being rich in gamma linoleic acid which helps skin to maintain moisture balance.  I infused my oils for the salve with calendula, which is healing and anti-inflammatory; and chamomile, which is soothing and itch relieving.  As I said I added a touch of purified beeswax to thicken but you may not know that beeswax is anti-inflammatory too!

Tattoo Balm Prototype

I’m using the balm 3 times a day right now but I feel the area starting to feel tight I always add a little more often. ¬†I like the portable container-much easier to cart to work and the bathroom without carrying much. ¬†I just skip it in ¬†my pocket and off I go! ¬†I’m also excited as it is all natural. ¬†Maybe I’m on to something? ¬†I wonder if it would make a good cuticle balm? ¬†Time to show those a little love too!

2 weeks post tattoo using my tattoo balm!

2 weeks post tattoo using my tattoo balm!

Really happy with how it’s healing! ¬†Wish I had help taking the second pic but still happy with the healing!

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Transformation Thursday

in the spirit of another soaping friend I wanted to share the transformation of my dragons blood soap.

The soap on the left was made this past weekend. The soap on the right is fully cured. I love the mystical quality of the original soap. Dark and mystical swirls coupled with mica gold swirls.

The next picture shows the freshly made soap compared to the same bar only 4 days into the cure. I love how the dragons blood darkens and makes the swirls more dramatic!

Soap never ceases to amaze me!

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No soap?

A co-worker of mine is always asking about whether my soap is safe (He has obvious issues about the goat milk thing lol).  But recently he has proclaimed he is forgoing all soap/shampoo for safety reasons.  Hmmm, only water washing?

I have to admit I am biased…I make soap so of course I want you to use it! ¬†But try as I can to find research (real research) on the subject, I just can’t. ¬†I’ve found plenty of bloggers who try the experiment and tout the benefits of it but where’s the real scientific research?

I’ve been making and using my soap for several years now and I have to admit my skin is in the best condition it’s been in. ¬†Usually winters are hard on me and I want to scratch all my skin off but since I started my soap I find I am clean but not scratching. ¬†I love a good shower. ¬†Nothing feels as good to me and the whole event. ¬†Winter, Summer, Spring of Fall I love the hot water, the soap, the scents and the way I feel refreshed when I get out. ¬†copaiba

Could I really imagine giving that experience up for just water? ¬†Nope, I am safe to say I can’t!

As a nurse I imagine I would get fired for not using soap when I washed my hands at work. ¬†And would I really want to put my patient’s at risk by potentially spreading germs?

What do you think?  How natural could you go?

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Finally soaping!

Whew! ¬†It’s been a rough couple of months at my house and I have so missed the soap! ¬†Yesterday I finally found the time to get back in the kitchen for some fun and whipped up a batch of Cucumber Green Tea soap. ¬†Amazing how 2 months goes by and you forget all the little nuances of making soap that seemed so second nature only 2 months ago.

I combined my freshly juiced cucumber and pulp with my goats milk ice cubes and added my lye to make cucumber milk!

freshly juiced cucumber with pulp and goats milk after I added the lye

freshly juiced cucumber with pulp and goats milk after I added the lye

I totally had forgotten how hot that combo can get and how fast it can happen! ¬†I desperately didn’t want the milk to cook and turn yellow-that so would ruin the look of my green soap! ¬†I quickly emptied the ice maker into the sink and chilled the whole pot till the temp came down and then added my oils and butters. ¬†I took half of the mixture and added green tea that I had powdered and then swirled the 2 together in the molds. ¬†I can’t wait to unmold tonight!

IMG_7459

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What a year!

I’ve been catching up on blog reading this lazy January weekend, and in reading a few other people’s top of 2014 lists, I realized that I had never published my own. Since I was curious as to what they were, I decided to dig into my stats and find out. And I was happy with what I found:

10. ¬†Weekends are made for…¬† I’m glad this one was popular as it focused on an adorable little boy with a brain tumor. ¬†We recently found out his tumor has grown so he will be starting treatment soon.

Here is the first batch curing.  They will be ready in 3 more weeks!

Here is the first batch curing. They will be ready in 3 more weeks!

9. ¬†It’s been a while¬† Surprisingly this was a post I made about getting my act together for 2014! ¬†Obviously it resonated with others. ¬†I’m glad to know there are others out there that feel as I do!

8.  Shaving soap  When I had a request for shaving soap I jumped on it!  I still continue to tweek the recipe as there is quite a cult like following for the perfect shaving soap!

First batch of shave soap curing

First batch of shave soap curing

7. ¬†Soap Inspiration¬† I get inspiration from so many sources! ¬†This post focused on Defeating Pain’s blog and how I used her copaiba bath soak as a relaxing formula for soap! ¬†One of my most favorite soaps to date!

copaiba

6.  Festival Time!  So many of us fund our hobby/obsessions with festivals.  It allows us to make our passions and then pay for them!

New super sized bar scents

New super sized bar scents

5.  Four Thieves soap  What a great legend and what a great soap this turned out to be!

Four Thieves

4. ¬†Give me a hand? ¬†This one focused on the hand pain I have been experiencing with milking the goat as well as the gym. ¬†It’s obvious there are others out there that suffer as I do. ¬†I was glad to share something I had found that works!

WAGS gloves

3.  Why beer in soap?  A favorite ingredient in my soaps, I often get asked why would I waste good beer in soap.  Obviously there are other beer lovers out there.  LOL

2.  Beldi Black Soap  I love trying new things and this soap totally had me at go!  Fascinating history and process for making and using led us all to enjoy this post!

New Beldi black soap

New Beldi black soap

And the winner is….

1.  African Black Soap  Another soap that fascinated me to the point I had to try it!  Great history and process.  One day I want to compare the traditional soap with my attempt at it.  Would be an interesting comparison I imagine!

African Black Soap

Thanks for a great year in soap!  I hope this year will be just as interesting, I sure plan to make it that way!

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Happy 2015!

NEW YEARI was just filling out some cards for my “real” job and when I started writing the date I had to marvel at the fact that it really is 2015! ¬†Seems like only yesterday we were all worried about the millennium!

I try to take stock and make strides toward a new a better me each year and this one is no different. ¬†So many things to take stock of that it seems important that I make a list! ¬†ūüôā

1. ¬†Soaps: ¬†It’s important to take stock of what has sold well and made folks happy. ¬†I like being able to just pull it off my shelves when someone asks for it. ¬†I already know I want more Dragon’s Blood, Geranium Rose and Cucumber green tea. ¬†I also want to explore some spring time scents as waiting for them to cure will help me look forward to warmer days! ¬†I also think the new larger bars are super nice and last better in the shower.

2.  Shave butter:  Suggested by a customer at a festival and it really has intrigued me.  I bought the supplies but my 2 surgeries and recovery got in the way!  I like the idea of a butter for shaving, especially this time of year.  (Have I mentioned how much I hate winter?)

3. ¬†Lip balm: ¬†Folks don’t seem to want it much so I think I will pair down my stock and concentrate on formulations I like. ¬†I’m truly a lip balm addict so why not enjoy what I like?

4. ¬†The business: ¬†How to make it grow? ¬†Or is it important to grow when you are doing what you love? ¬†The mere art of creation is so fun to me but it’s important to sell what you can to finance your hobby. ¬†The whole art of self promotion can be such a mystery to me. ¬†I find it funny to talk with other soapers across the country who charge such high prices and folks don’t bat an eye. ¬†My goal has always been a good quality product and a reasonable price will be worth it’s weight in gold!

2014 didn’t end on a personal high note for me. ¬†Two surgeries in the last 2 months of the year combined with the flu at Christmas can wear a person down. ¬†I’m ready to take stock and soap on! ¬†What changes are you making personally or professionally this year?

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Four Thieves Soap

Legend of the Four Thieves 

One of the most popular legends in the Herbal world is the Legend of the Four Thieves.  This story has everything a good mystery needs from expensive jewels to trickery that leaves everyone wondering how they survived!  This particular tall tale takes place in the 15th century but over the years has been changed to make it more dramatic or relevant when necessary.

During the plagues (the Black Plagues are the most common) a group of 4 brothers began robbing those who passed from the disease.  This was quite easy to do as those who died remained contagious so no one wanted to be near them.  At first the brothers were largely ignored for everyone knew they would eventually pay the price with their own lives but to everyone’s surprise they never got sick and continued to rob graves.  These brothers became legendary and amassed a great deal of wealth.  The one question everyone had on their mind though was what secret did they possess?  Was it trickery?  Magic?

Many years later they were captured.  After much discussion they agreed to share their secret in return for their freedom.  These men were the offspring of a perfumer and an herbalist.  They learned about essential oils from their parents.  They knew the oils that would protect them so they rubbed them on their bodies and used them to clean anything they brought back.  You can find all kinds of mythology on the internet about this legend!

Many essential oil companies, like Young Living, offer their version of this blend at a high price, but the formula is all over the internet so why not make your own? Here’s my favorite blend.

Combine the following oils in a small, glass vial:

10 drops rosemary oil
20 drops lavender oil
15 drops lemon eucalyptus oil
15 drops peppermint oil
25 drops orange oil
15 drops clove bud oil

Looks like I’ll be making soap soon as I have converted it to grams for my favorite soap recipe!

Thanks to Jessie Hawkins for the fantastic recipe!

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