We Have Soap!

We’ve been busy the past few days, adding 57 bars to our inventory. We’re making the soaps we’re out of, such as Manly, Rose, and Green Goat. And we’ll keep going, making Pine Tar, Fir Needle, Charcoal Thieves, and others.

I’ve also spent a lot of time on this website, updating photos and descriptions, and ensuring measurements and weights are correct. It’s amazing how much time it takes to keep a website current. In fact, it takes more time than it takes to make soap, especially when I go so long between times that I have to relearn as I go.

One of the soaps we made yesterday, Rose, is an idea she came up with: Making a purely white traditionally shaped bar, with a small rose-shaped bar of soap attached to the face. Something like this, only with a red rose.

Mixing White For Rose Soap

It’s difficult to get a truly white bar of soap when olive oil is the dominant ingredient because olive oil is so dark green. So the bars tend more toward the creamy side than pure white, but the effect is the same.

It feels good to be making soap again!

Hope and Faith

As our inventory diminishes, we just looked at each other today and said, “We need to make soap!” So that’s what we’ll be doing in the weeks ahead.

So far life under the ridiculous unconstitutional shut down by a tyrannical governor hasn’t changed much for us. All the places, except restaurants, we patronize remain open and we don’t miss all the meetings we used to go to. In fact, I think we’ll no longer attend most of them.

It doesn’t make sense that pot shops are open for business, but our favorite Mexican restaurant can do only take out, which isn’t the same. Or that grocery stores remain open, but one can’t go to church. Or that a person can get his dog groomed, but not get a haircut.

It’s obviously political. Otherwise why would Republican governors and people be for opening up for business, while the democrats want to stay closed for three months?!

It’s time for businesses to reopen, defying the governor and her groupies. They can’t throw everyone in jail.

There’s hope for the future and we have faith things will get better soon.

Too Busy To Blog

Haven’t done much the past few months what with two deaths in the family and all that entails. Plus, the website almost never generates sales, so the time spent keeping it up doesn’t seem worth it. In fact, I’m thinking of letting it expire.

We haven’t quit making soap, however. And we’ve been experimenting with shampoo bars, which we really like. But we don’t have enough inventory to put them up for sale.

We also tried making a camo soap, which we’re really pleased with. It has a nice outdoorsy scent, just in time for hunting season.

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.