Lotion Bars!

We finally made some lotion bars, unscented and scented. The bars weigh 1.5 ounces and are great for dry, chapped skin, whether hands, feet, elbows or lips.

Just rub the bars between your hands, against your lips or on your feet, or elbows, and they’ll be left with a nice, non-greasy protective covering.

Each bar comes in its own screw-top tin with our label on top.

Ingredients: Avocado, cocoa, and mango butters; beeswax; coconut, and palm oils.

Good Start to New Year

What better way to start off the new year but by making another batch of soap? We were running low on lavender after having a sale at a local “retirement” place, so that’s what we made today. (Jan 1, 2019)

We tried something new, using five colors besides the base, instead of the usual two or three. We cut it today (Jan 2) and it turned out beautifully! It’s still pretty soft, so it will take a few weeks for the moisture to evaporate.

Still Going Crazy

We haven’t let up making soap. We’ve set a record for number of bars in stock and have sold more than ever.

We’ve also rediscovered cold process, which makes a wonderfully dense, smooth bar. I still like Molly’s hot process, but it does produce a more “rustic” (read rougher) bar.

Since I last wrote, we made another batch of soap, the blue marble “manly” scent. This is the first time we’ve made it cold process, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.

The other soap we made the day we also made Monkey Farts was Apple Sage and Lemongrass. The featured photo that goes with this blog shows Apple Sage Fifth Generation. That means we’ve made the same scent with mostly the same recipe five times. Yes, I like it that well. It’s a wonderful scent!

Monkey Farts!

Today, Dec. 11, 2018, we made a batch of soap with some new elements. Most noticeable is the fragrance oil called Monkey Farts. They say it’s a tropical blend of bananas, pineapple, coconut, and mango.

Reviews of the scent rave about how it’s their most popular scent and they can’t keep their soap in stock, it’s so well liked.

We also added a new fat to the blend: Avocado Oil, which is supposed to be wonderful for the skin.

This soap was her idea, and she thought about the design for several days before we started making it. She used Bramble Berry’s Cappuccino Mica to color the base, then BB’s Tangerine Wow and Fizzy Lemonade, Mad Micas’ Radioactive Green and Grape Ape pigments.

Her idea was to swirl the bright colors with the dark brown to make beautiful contrasts. Since Monkey Farts is one of those fragrance oils that discolors brown, we put it only in the Cappuccino portion, not in the other colors.

She did the hanger swirl, her first, since I’ve always done them before.

We’ll cut later today, or maybe tomorrow, after it has sat long enough in the oven.

PS: Much later this evening: We really went crazy today, ended up making three batches of CP/OP soap.  Only trouble is trying to figure out how to do that with only one oven. I’m thinking that in the future, if we want to make soap back-to-back, one of them needs to be hot process.

Dec 14: Well the Monkey Farts was a disappointment. The beautiful top didn’t go throughout the bar and the hanger swirl didn’t turn out. On top of that, the fragrance is barely detectable and doesn’t seem that delightful. One problem is that the fragrance is only in the brown, which limits its exposure. The FO was put only in the brown because it discolors brown and we didn’t know how that would affect the bright colors we wanted.

More Hollydaze Soap

Today was a very gray rainy day, so what better to do than make a batch of soap? Our latest Christmas Bar seemed to be pretty popular, so we went with a similar pattern, only tried to lighten up on the colors, which were too dark on the original loaf.

We had plenty of time, so I did a hanger swirl and she did the top, complete with a sprinkling of gold mica from Bramble Berry. She tried to dribble it on with a spoon, but it clumped, so we switched to a strainer and that worked. I see why the soapers on You Tube use the strainer. Makes a nice, fine mist.

The scent is a mixture of Glory Bee’s Christmas Day fragrance oil, spearmint and fir needle essential oils, which is a bit different than the original recipe.

It’s in the oven for the rest of the day/evening, so we’ll see what it looks like tomorrow.

Christmas Bar II

Crazy Past Few Days

Doubt if anyone reads this blog, so talking to myself, but that’s OK.

Our website host jacked up the price for renewal, so we changed to Hostwinds.com, which was one of the top-two picks by “PC Magazine.” In the process, the website transfer seemed to go awry and I spent a lot of time on email and chat between old and new hosts. Basically, the website wasn’t showing any of our soaps and I couldn’t go in behind the scenes to change things.

I wrote one or two blogs and changed some fonts, then when they migrated the website again, all was lost. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong and said the problem was with our theme, “Storyteller,” and we needed to change themes. I looked at a few, but I really like Storyteller and didn’t another theme I liked as well or better.

I was just about to make the switch when suddenly the website started working. The tech guys at Hostwinds have no idea what happened, said they didn’t do anything, so it’s a mystery, but I’m not complaining.

Today I sidelined all the old material and got 16 of the soaps in our inventory listed. I think it’s a record for being up to date and having that many on the website.

We also went crazy making soap. Between Oct 28 and Nov 30, we made nearly 200 bars. That’s not much for a lot of soapers, but it’s huge for us.

More Apple Sage

Apple Sage 3rd Gen

Apple Sage Vanilla

We made another batch of hot process apple sage-scented soap today. It’s become one of my favorite scents and is long lasting. I unwrapped a bar that was more than a year old and it still smells so strongly that I can smell it when I walk into the bathroom.

The trouble is that the new bottle of apple sage fragrance oil I opened today isn’t the same as the original bottle we bought. It smells differently and is much lighter in color, almost clear, whereas the original was more of an amber color.

I don’t think it smells nearly as nice and tried to contact our supplier twice, only to get voice mail. We cut the bars today and I’m not sure how they smell. Need to give them a couple days to dry out.

UPDATE Dec 4, 2018
Went back to our supplier and she said she told me there were two kinds of Apple Sage and I needed to be sure to get the right one. She also said I came into the store once, she asked me if I wanted any Apple Sage, and I said I’d wait. When I did go to buy it, she wasn’t there and the person who waited on me didn’t warn me.

I don’t remember her version except it’s true she wasn’t there when I bought it. I knew I was running out and went there twice to see if she had it and she didn’t. Doesn’t make sense, if she had it, I’d say I’d wait and get it later.

Anyway, she took the bottle back and gave me a new bottle. I hadn’t used much of the new, probably only about six teaspoons. The new fragrance oil obviously has vanilla in it, which is known for turning soap brown. We learned the hard way last year.

Compare photo on left with the one on right. The left photo shows the soap right after we cut it. The right photo is what it looked like after a couple weeks. Very disappointing, plus doesn’t smell nearly as good as the “real” Apple Sage, which is why we made another batch, Apple Sage IV.

New Soap After Long Hiatus

After nearly 10 months of inactivity, we finally went on a soapmaking binge, almost having to relearn how we used to do things. We went crazy, making five kinds of soaps, one of which was a rebatch from some rose-shaped shape that had more bubbles than she found acceptable.

The photo shows lavender-scented bars on the left and double-mint bars on the right, which are scented with peppermint and spearmint essential oils.

Lavender and Double Mint Drying.

It feels good to be making soap again and we’re not done yet. Thanks to some very talented soapmakers on You Tube, we’ve discovered a wonderful company that makes amazing colorants. They’re called Mad Micas and they make the most amazing, vibrant colors. For instance, the colors in the picture are Grape Ape Mica on the left and Voodoo Red on the right.

Finally Made Some Soap

Well, we had one of those times where we just made soap for a couple days. We made a Charcoal Thieves soap, which is solid black and scented with the historic Thieves essential oils. Then we also made a beautiful Doublemint soap, which is half peppermint and half spearmint.

Then I made my Hot Process three-color swirl with a new scent: Cucumber Melon, which I just love.

After that, we finally made a batch of Windsor Soap, which although the scent-to-soap ratio is way lower than the way we heavily scent our soaps, the sweet essential oil blend still comes through.

Pictures to follow.

Wrapping Soap

Wrapping Soap

Tonight (March 7, 2017), we got busy and shrink-wrapped all of our soap. We have 88 bars in our inventory, which doesn’t count what we have at the senior center. All that’s left to do is print the labels and wrap each bar.

We’re talking about whether or not we should put an exact weight on each bar, which adds a bit of labor to our endeavor. That means weighing each bar, marking the weight on the bar in an inconspicuous place, then creating a label that states the specific weight for each bar.

It would be easier to calculate an average weight for each kind of soap, then just put “Avg weight x.xx” on the label, so maybe that’s what we’ll start doing with this new batch of labels.

We also discontinued free shipping. I think I finally figured out how to set up a reasonable and appropriate shipping fee, so if anyone places an order, we’ll see if it works.