Salt bars with a twist

Finally!  The first attempt at a salt bar is in the books.  And it’s been an experience, let me tell you!  These started out a beautiful shimmery mica cobalt blue when it was just the oils in the pot.  Well, that was then and three colors later, it’s seemed to settled at purple.  wonderful …..     :/

I added the lye and this mixture turned gray,  Well, that was bad enough, but then it turned pink, then a fuchsia, then purple.  *sigh*  The mighty morphing salt bars are now cooling.  They smell fabulous, like the FO’s description says – like Beach fragrance.  But when you look at them your mind tells you think grape.  Then you get a snoot full and it’s Beachy keen.  Oh well.  Live and learn.  I should’ve downloaded the information sheet first on the FO before using it.  I didn’t have this one printed out ahead of time and the stuff was already cooking, so I took a chance that all would be well.  wrong-o.  So, I’ll get that data sheet now and have it for the next batch, but you can bet your sweet bippy it isn’t going to be used in a salt bar again unless I leave out colors altogether.

On the plus side, now I know how to achieve a killer purple.  That is, if I ever want one.

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Myrtle the Turtle

This little cutie is about 4 1/2 inches long, so it must be a young one.  Well if it was real, but sadly, it’s just soap.  There’s no scent in this one because it’s for a baby.  It’s only been colored with green mica into a honey M&P base and set until firm – about 45 to 55 minutes.   Then it popped right out.  It’s really cute and it’s going into a gift basket for my niece in SC who just had a baby.  He’s an adorable little fellow and will be lucky enough to grow up with the sand between his toes.   I can’t wait to ship this off to her – hopefully tomorrow – and just imagine what she’ll think when it arrives.  This has been loads of fun making this goodie/baby basket for mommy and new baby.  I’ll have to do more of these because I get an excuse to shop in the baby section of stores!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new cover image

The new cover image

My wonderfully talented (and good looking) son, a graphics arts wiz, made me a cover image for my biz FaceBook page! This is what he sent me. I was completely blown away! It’s exactly what I would’ve asked for had I thought to request one. He wanted to make this for me to give me a branding image to build on and that’s exactly what I got. I love it!

Pretty in Pink

Image

A second batch of patchouli cottonseed oil soap was made on Thursday and this is what popped out on Friday afternoon.  So far this is the only one out of the mold, but you can tell this one was still a bit soft because of the finger poke at the top.  I was sniffing it to see how well the FO held up in the soaping process, it slipped a bit in my hand, so I grabbed for it and my finger sank in at the top a little bit.  Oh well.  It’s not done if it doesn’t spring back, right?

The FO held up very well  despite pokes and slips.  It’s a pretty shade of pinkish-coral.  I  used the Mica from WSP in Coral for this one and just puffed it directly into the soap until it reached a color I liked.  I wondered if it would morph if I did it that way, but so far, it’s held  steady at this shade.  It deepened a bit once it got out of the mold and hardened up slightly.  We’ll see what a couple of weeks will do.

The next one I plan on doing is a spa bar, or as some folks call it, a salt bar.  I bought some snack-sized, round plastic storage containers for this batch because being a salt bar, it will harden very quickly and will crumble if you try doing a loaf and cutting it.  So to avoid that possibility, I’m making them individually in small ‘molds’.  They’re only a couple of inches across at the top and slightly less at the base, so they’ll be small, but good proportions for a soap bar.

I’ve been reading a lot recently on how wonderful a salt bar feels once it’s cured enough to use, which is typically about 2 months minimum, 6 months is ideal.  Not sure if I can wait that long to try it.  I couldn’t hold out with the castile!  Used it in a shower last night and my skin felt satiny smooth!   Fabulous!  The lather in a salt bar is supposedly very lotion-like as some have described it, so we’ll see when it’s ready if that’s an accurate description.

Lost weekend at the computer

It’s easier now to sympathize with policemen and doctors who complain about the amount of time they have to spend each day doing ‘paperwork’ after the weekend I’ve spent at my computer doing graphics design of the labels on some new products added into the NN line.  I should probably call it my Lost Weekend since that’s all I really remember from it.  But there is an upside – nicely printed newly labeled productsLotion Bar, Baby Balm, Body Wash, Foot Balm, and Lip Balm!

These labels are done courtesy of time spent perusing a site called The Graphics Fairy.  Loads of beautiful antique calligraphic art, pen flourishes, and art ephemera is constantly being uploaded to this site every day, so you’re bound to find something you like if you take the time to really look for it.  There is a search box in case you want to narrow your focus to one thing at a time.  This web site and the second she has are –

www.graphicsfairy-diy.com

and

www.backgroundfairy.com

I’ve saved a couple of backgrounds to try to use in other places  because they were just too beautiful to pass up!

The products that I lost the weekend for are Lotion Bar, pictured is Peach scent, Body Wash in the bottle with the silver flip top cap (unscented so far), Baby Balm in Baby Clean scent on the left in the flat white jar,  Happy Feet foot balm for sore feet with white camphor & eucalyptus in the flat white jar on the right, and lip balm in Margarita and in Peach flavors in the twist up tubes on the left.  Ta Da!  Very pleased with the outcome of my Lost Weekend.

The learning curve smooths out….just a little.

The order from Wholesale Supplies Plus arrived today with the anxiously awaited Pearlizer & Bubble Booster on board.  I added some ( as per instructions) to a small bottle of body wash I’d made with Peach FO and a slightly larger bottle of shampoo with the same FO and wowee!  It looks much better  – in the bottle at least – so the real litmus test will follow later this evening when I try it out in the shower.  Can’t wait!

Also in that box of wonders was a quartet of colours for soaps that are all oil locking.  This means it’ll work best being added to oils as I soap and hopefully my soaps will take on a whole new dimension! I’m very excited to try them out soon, though no soaps are really needed right now, so maybe i’ll give ’em a whirl with a rebatch.  There’s some fugly soap I’ve chopped up to be rebatched tomorrow.  The scent might need a bit of a booster, but the soap is fine.

For those who don’t really know the difference, oil based, Hot Process or Cold Process soap is very different from a Melt & Pour soap.  The oils in HP or CP soaps moisturize, leaving the skin feeling soft, supple and soothed after a shower or bath and the lye used is taken up by those same oils and neutralized in the curing (in the case of CP) or cooking (in the case of HP) so it is no longer in the soap itself once it’s ready for use.  CP soaps generally take about 4 or even 6 weeks to cure as they are not cooked but rather blended with the melted oils and the lye solution together at a similar temperature.   The saponification process takes place in the mold.  It goes through several stages, some of which are known as gel phase, which looks sort of clearish and slightly greasy, almost like Vaseline.  Rather gross in my opinion.  HP – Hot Process –  cooks the oils with the lye solution, forcing it to reach a quicker saponifaction stage and the stages come up much faster if you use a stickblender to get the two halves to mesh.  The colour will change, and slightly thicken, then it cooks and rolls in on itself.  It becomes very thick, too thick to stir with a stickblender, so a spoon helps here or even a spatula.    CP soap is easier to work with if you want to create swirls, or something equally fancy like frosting for soap cupcakes because it’s thinner when you pour it into molds.  It’s easier and you have more time to play around with it adding colours and giving it that tie-dye look.  Some soapers use funnels for this, others use plastic cups, others use other items that hold small amounts of the soap with enough room to blend the colour iin before adding it to the base in the mold.  Generally speaking CP soap is prettier.  Still I’m a die-hard HP fan.  It might not be all that pretty, but it’s the next best thing to instant gratification.  The soap can be used in a week or two rather than a month or two.

Melt & Pour is great if you’re in a pinch for time and really need something to take to someone the next day or within a few days.  It’s already sapped, takes colour beautifully so long as the colour is water-soluable, and FOs stay true in it.  It’s great for doing soaps with multiple designs, weaves, knotworks, hearts, flowers, bugs, etc.  It can be painted, tinted, or brushed with a gilding or glitter and be gorgeous.  Just keep in mind that often the glittery look does not translate well on the ‘net in pictures.  All in all it’s a great way to get your feet wet in the soaping business and decide if it’s what you’d like to try further.

It’s now time to go test the body wash and shampoo to see how I like that Pearlizer & Bubble Booster.    Now it’s clear what to do with the shampoo base to make it the way I want it to look, so let’s see if it’s the way I want it to feel.