Jul 27

Natural Marble Soap Challenge

Not addressing the fact that this is the first time in nearly three years that I’ve posted, I participated in another soap challenge club!
This technique was called Marble Soap and I couldn’t resist. I love rocks and gemstones and I started polishing rocks with a fancy rock tumbler earlier this summer, so getting back on my soap train with a marble soap seemed like a good plan.

I did not take any photos during the process, but I did record a video! I actually made two soaps, one for the Natural Marble Soap category and one for a bonus category called Snazzy Rocks. Now, I think my entry for Snazzy Rocks could have potentially qualified for the Natural category, but of the two I made, it seemed the fanciest and least likely to be found naturally so I entered it in the Snazzy category and used the more natural looking white soap for my Natural entry.

This post will contain photos from both batches, the white one is the more Natural marble, the black one is my snazzy one. I did want to create a blue one that mimics sodalite because that’s one of the rocks in my tumbler right now, but I couldn’t get a suitable blue colorant in time. I’m also going to include links to my making videos. For the white soap, I have a partially time lapsed video on my YouTube channel. For the black soap, I made this one live on Twitch (I’m live every Friday making soap by the way, come join me to watch!) so here’s a link to that, it’s unedited and somewhat long because it captures the entire process live with audience interaction. The YouTube video is shorter (especially after I stop introducing the project) and shows the method in a more concise way.

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Aug 30

Top 5 Soap Dishes for Handmade Soaps

First let me begin by saying I’m so sorry I’ve never posted this before! I sincerely thought I had already published this list as it’s been a question I’ve had to answer time and time again! I’m frequently asked “What sort of soap dish should I use?” and “My soaps are melting in the soap dish! Is there a better way to store them?” and I frequently have to send links to friends and customers for the preferred soap dishes that I recommend using. There are several different ones we personally use in our home, because every sink situation is different. Some of these work better than others for each situation, but they all work fantastically for my soaps! And bonus, since I’m working on redesigning the shape of my soap bars, they’ll fit better in these soap dishes than my previous large size bars. Those large size bars will still fit into these ones, but just not as well.

Top 5 Favorite Soap Dishes

Without further ado, here are my top five favorite soap dishes for use with handmade soaps and personally recommended for use with my soaps! I’ll explain why I like each of them and which situation they’ll work best with! I’m also including links to each of them. These links are affiliate links, which doesn’t cost you any extra, but they’ll give us a little (very small) bonus each time someone buys using these links, which helps us keep up this website!

For The Shower

shower soap dish

I would most highly recommend this suction tray for shower & bathtub use. I bought mine almost a year ago in October 2016 and I’ve been using it since then. If you want a testimony as to how long my soaps last, I put a large bar on this soap tray when I first got it and I’ve been using the same one since then.

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Apr 27

Where We’ve Been!

Want to see where we’ve been? I found this nifty map app that allows me to show you exactly where our soaps have been sent! (Well…maybe not exactly but pretty close. 🙂  I hope you like it!

It’s currently centered over the United States of America mainland because I actually haven’t sent anything outside the contiguous states! Let’s change that, shall we? If you’re outside of the contiguous U.S.A. (including any international!) what are you waiting for? Get some awesome soapy goodness and mark your place on our map!

Shop Now!

Nov 11

Cosmic Wave Soap Challenge

So I’ve participated in another soap challenge this month, the technique this time called “Cosmic Wave.” Let me first start by saying this one is TRICKY. Other people in the challenge club reported remaking this soap 3-5 times before getting it right or even giving up. I have to say I’m pleased that I got a good result, or at least partially (I’ll explain later in this post,) both time I tried it. The only reason I did a second one is because the moderator told me the glitter on top disqualified me. WHOOPS!

So, I took as many pictures as I could, but it’s sort of difficult taking photos during the process and after finishing the second batch, I sort of realized if I’d gotten my sh*t stuff together I could’ve done a video for my somewhat abandoned youtube (it’s not, I swear, I have FIVE videos IN editing right now. I’m just busy!)

So, this post will contain photos from both batches, I’ll let you know which is which, and then at the very end you can see my favorite bars from the final batch! (Don’t peek!)

First, let me show you my mold. I don’t have a “real” slab mold so I made one out of a USPS Medium Flat Rate Box. (The shallow style box) It didn’t seem very sturdy and I was afraid the edges would bow out so I used some scrap wood of varying widths to make a sort of frame for it. This lasted for both batches and probably would still be good now had my child not stolen it off the counter and then stepped on in a few days ago.  It worked extremely well and produced 20, 4+ ounce bars of soap. This photo is from the first batch (non-entry) which I colored with Mad Oils Mica and scented with my VS Love Spell Type fragrance. (yum!) Also, for this batch, I used the squirt bottle option for the ITPS (in the pot swirl) step.

cosmic-wave-soap-1

After finishing the first soap, I realized I wasn’t really fond of the spinning option to create a more wavy appearance. It sort of muddied up the colors around the edges. I was still satisfied because at least the bars from the center looked good and if it came down to it, I could just showcase THOSE bars. No biggies. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 25

Why Handmade Soap is Better (Without The Chemical Fear-mongering)

This is a post I’ve sort of needed to write for awhile, but have avoided doing so because it’s really hard to draw a line between discussing the benefits of handmade soap and talking trash about chemicals. So many of the other articles I’ve found online tend to just give a “chemicals are so bad and in all your commercial soaps!” sort of standpoint and those that give you more scientific evidence, don’t back it up with resources. I’m not too keen on sharing any of them with my friends or potential customers.  I personally believe that you can’t give an educated, well written explanation of the scientific benefits of handmade soap while simultaneously bashing one of the most important sciences to my craft (hello, Chemistry!?) Here’s the thing, being a soapmaker is basically being some sort of low-level chemist. And I have to respect my art and profession by saying “Hey, let’s be better than this!”

So here’s the thing, I’m going to the most basic version of why handmade soap is better without trying to make it too scienc-y. And if you’re a nerd like me, feel free to click on my resource links to learn more.

I want to appeal to you in a way that you prefer without being anti-chemical. Here’s the thing, chemicals are EVERYTHING and that’s not a bad thing. “Dihydrogen Monoxide,” say it with me. It’s water, I hope you drink enough of it! Sodium Chloride is common table salt. And Sodium Bicarbonate, that’s baking soda. These are all chemicals and ones we ingest on a regular basis at that! Now I’m not saying ALL chemicals are good either, and here’s where we get into the “why handmade is better” when it comes to soap. Some chemicals ARE “bad” (for human ingestion, contact, inhalation, etc.) and some, while not bad, are just unnecessary and can become harmful over time.

So let’s get started, shall we?!
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Oct 14

Wood Grain Design Challenge

First off, let me apologize for not bringing a new video to you all in weeks! I realize this has let down a few of my loyal viewers, however I hope you’ll understand when I say the last month has been CRAZY. Between getting soap made at lighting (for me) speed and taking care of my family (between three kids and a husband that is a school teacher, I’ve seen more vomit in the last week than I ever want to see again in my life.) Seriously though, tell these guys to stop getting sick, I’m tired of cleaning that stuff up.

Anyway, I’ve found a little time to try a new technique as part of the Great Cakes Soap Challenge Club (link here!) called the “Wood Grain” technique. Now there are probably several ways you could accomplish a wood grain technique in soap, including the simple use of a fondant mat*, however, I stuck to the squeeze bottle technique demonstrated in the challenge tutorial.

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Oct 02

Videos (September)

Sep 15

Videos (August)

 

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