Quick update –

Just a quick note with a pic of the cut images for Cucumber Mint.  No bleeding, acceleration, ricing, separation, just pretty, clear sharp swirls.  Love it!  What a great fragrance – fresh, green, watery, light.  Just a great soap for the shower or bath!  I’m going to have to try this one out as soon as it’s ready, which will be early December.

 

Cucumber Mint cut image

 

Friday’s back! Yay!

And since it’s Friday, you know what that means – it’s soaping day!  Today, there were two batches made, a 7 bar, 2 lb loaf and an 11 bar, 3-lb loaf.  Let’s start small and work up.  The 2 lb load was a batch of the recipe I now use most of the time for soaps, one with 3 oils and coconut milk,  using a new FO from Nature’s Garden & Candles called Aqua di Gio.  Man, dos this fo get your eyes rolling around in your head.  It’s almost an aphrodisiac, probably should be classified as one! Love it!  And it’ behaved beautifully!  No ricing, acceleration, discoloration, nada, just plain – well, nothing about this one is plain – just glorious aroma from start to finish in the soap.  It didn’t affect the colour added to a portion of the soap either.  Wunnerful, wunnerful!  It’s now out of the mold and sliced though no pics have been taken yet.  Soon, though.  No glitter, pearls, or fancy top on this one since I made it for men.  It also has French green clay for a good slip during shaving.

Calm Sea (Aqua di Gio) in the mold.

The second batch was larger, 3 lbs and will yield about 11 bars at about 5 oz. each.  This one used another new FO called Cucumber Mint, also from Nature’s Garden.  It has a fresh, clean, watery green scent, very juicy smelling, just right for a pick-me-up bath or shower.  It’s still in loaf form, not cut as it’s still too soon to try that.  I did sprinkle a bit of glitter on the top though somehow I wish I hadn’t because it looked really pretty without it, showing the swirls of the colours in the soap batter.  Just two colours, and this Fo also did not accelerate, discolour, interact with the colour in a negative way at all.  It worked perfectly with the CP batch recipe, using a different formulation for the soap, but it still includes coconut milk.  I love the way a soap made with coconut milk feels in use – smooth, softening, moisturizing, silky!   So, here’s the Cucumber Mint –

Cucumber Mint – before the glitter

See what I mean about regretting the glitter?  It covered up that pretty swirly design.  *sigh*  Why did I do that!  *smacks forehead*.  I need to do a remake of the Peach and another batch of the Amethyst & Pearls since they are being requested a lot and I made only small batches of each.  There’s also the issue of too much of the colloidal oatmeal in the first batch of the Amethyst & Pearl which made it cut irregularly, the second batch was blotchy because hubby insisted I use up the oils I had though they weren’t fresh enough, so they’re spotty and the batch of the Peach gelled in the center so some of the bars have circles.  I can’t sell these bars, so they were going to need to be replaced.  Next week, hopefully.

I’ll be off a couple of days next week anyway staying nearby in case the hubby needs me following his eye surgery, so maybe they can be redone then.  I hate it when batches fail!  What a waste! Next time he insists on using something simply because it’s already here, it isn’t gonna happen!

Ripe Raspberry – October 25, 2012

I was warned, you know.  I was told that this fo was not so great oob, but I truly had no idea just how extremely understated that statement was until I opened the bottle and took a whiff.  Recoiling was putting it mildly.  It has a very distinctive reek to it.  Reek!  But the reviews I read stated not to be put off by it, but try it in cp soap and the fragrance pops.  So, taking a leap of faith based on their opinions, I tried it and found that though initially it still didn’t smell all that good once put into a batch of cp soap, I waited none too patiently until the next morning before checking it yet again and found that to my amazement, it smelled like juicy ripe raspberries.  Doubting Thomas has vacated the premises now.  It must need a bit of oxidation time, best I can figure as to why this happened like this.  It didn’t smell at all good in the bottle, not much better after the p0ur, but the next morning, wow, it was a vast improvement over previous sniff tests.  And so with that I give you – Ripe Raspberries…..

Ripe Raspberry – top shot

 

and the inside…..

 

Ripe Raspberry – cut shot

 

The colour changed a bit toward the orangey-peach side instead of remaining the reddish-orange it originally was during the stick blending.  I don’t have the ideal shade of red for raspberries, so this was as close as it would get, so there it is.  But at least the colour didn’t bleed like the last batch did.  Soapers just aren’t ever happy with their product, are they!  We have certain images in our heads that may or may not match up with what our results turn out to be, and based on that, we’re either ecstatic or grumbling about should-have-dones.  The colour change won’t effect the soaps performance overall, so I’m fine with it exactly as it is.  The recipe is a good one that gives great bubbles, moisturizing, softening, and performs beautifully nearly every single time, depending on the FO used, so it’s fine as far as I’m concerned.  The soap has 3 oils, three milks, Vitamin E, and colloidal oatmeal to bring you lasting soft skin with loads of bubbly cleansing.  It will be ready for use December 8th though as always, pre-orders are welcome.  Visit my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/neecysnecessities and clock Shop Now below the cover image,  or my web site, www.neecysnecessities.com to order.  These will be added to both pages in the next day or two.

 

Saturday, October 20th, Body Butter Day

As you see it was a day for creating body butters and these two made today were similar only in name.  The first is lush, heady, a dream to the senses in every possible way, pristine white.  The second is unscented, slightly tinted naturally by the contents of the butters and bit of Camu Camu fruit powder, rich, dense, emollient, light, and a long-lasting silky smooth feel that doesn’t leave a lingering greasy feel to your skin.

The first is made with 3 butters, one of which is Monoi butter with that voluptuously fragrant scent of tiare flowers of which Hawaiian leis are made.  Gloriously sweet, slightly reminiscent of gardenias and lilacs.  Pure, snowy white, no other scent added other than what is naturally imbued in the Monoi butter, it’s whipped thick, light and creamy into a airy smooth butter that melts on contact with your body’s temperature, smooth on evenly and goes in without a long-lasting greasy feel that cries out to be wiped off.  No, you’ll want this one around for as long as possible.  Small bits are always left over from making these batches, so naturally I must make the ultimate sacrifice for the customers welfare by testing on myself before releasing to the public.  It’s the right thing to do. Well, this is one body butter I happily roll in for hours if it was possible, but then I would likely get nothing else done the rest of the week, so I control my usage by trying out a bit on my hands and arms.  Mmmmm, yummy!  It just leaves me speechless.  Words are simply insufficient.  The Monoi butter is a bit expensive, so this butter in the 3.75 oz size will be a bit higher than the others of a similar size, but oh my goodness is it ever worth it!

Monoi Body Butter

 

The second is not nearly so decadent in appearance, but then looks can be deceiving.  It’s amazing on the skin!  I’ve tried this one out this evening whilst out on a cool autumn evening using that awful foamy hand ‘soap’ from wall mounted hand pumps in a ladies public restroom in a restaurant and must say this one is fabulous on even hours later.  It has a slightly lavender tint mixed with the orange-beige added from the Camu Camu fruit powder to result in a slightly lavender-grey colour, yet the feel is light, melts immediately on contact with my skin, then sinks in to stay, moisturizing thoroughly, deeply and for the long-term.  The Camu-Camu fruit powder is said to contain  vitamin C, vitamin B1, B2, B3, beta-carotene, amino acids, phytochemicals, bioflavanoids, phosphorus, potassium, iron, antioxidants, and calcium. It also is said to reduce free radicals, protect the skin from premature aging, help lighten dark areas on the skin in skincare products. The butters, 4 in all, begin with Aloe butter and Acai butter, a healthy dollop of shea and cocoa butters as well for good measure, then enhanced with Vitamin E.    With this amazing supply of skin care assets, it’s worth overlooking the outward appearance in favor of the benefits it will ultimately provide.  My skin still feels wonderful – hours later!

Aloe-Acai Body Butter

 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Well, yesterday was an adventure.  My computer crashed on Monday so nothing was doable online or computer related during the following two days unless it was managed on my phone.  That seriously limited everything I typically do in a day including posting here.  A tech answered my questions about what was wrong, and the news was not good.  Things have been handled and we’re back up and running again, though not without casualties.  I have not as yet had a good block of time to reinstall the camera and printer software but that will hopefully be done by tonight.

While waiting for the techie to arrive, I’d started a soap using a scrumptious FO from NG called Japanese Cherry Blossom and choise to do a two tone swirl in it.  The FO was one of those that would accelerate trace as they warned in their testing charts, but until I got into it I had no idea how quickly.  The answer to that was VERY QUICKLY!  Trying to swirl the two colours into the base colour in the 2-lb mold just seconds after adding the FO into the 3 containers was nearly impossible.  They were already thickened to the chunky stage, so the swirl is well-distributed blobs instead of curly, swirly, loopty-loops.  (Don’t you just love the technical jargon?) It also isn’t exactly aesthetically pleasing on the outside either since it firmed up so quickly and the techie was here keeping my attention divided.  I know you’re probably thinking “You knew he was coming by so why start a soap before he arrived?”  I jump too quickly on many things, as many who know me well can affirm.  I get restless whenever waiting is required and this prompts me to start something that would be best kept to a later time.

Once I have all the software reinstalled pictures can be posted on this soap.  I’m sure it will be a very soothing, delicately scented soap that will make anyone’s skin feel luxuriously soft, silky, moisturized, all those good things that we often don’t think too long and hard over unless the day is a real downer and we only want to bathe, curl up, and sleep, but the appearance is not the selling point for sure.  The soaps are pretty enough on the inside though despite their look not turning out like I’d imagined.  Soapers are their own worst critics.

Another double up on a Friday –

this is getting to be a routine for Fridays it seems.  Two soap batches plus a batch of whipped body butter.

The body butter is three butters, no water, and no fragrance.  It still has the fresh, clean scent of lemons because one of the butters is lemon butter.  The butters were blended, whipped, cooled, re-whipped, cooled again and whipped a third time to give it the looks of buttercream frosting.  Once it cooled completely it reverted back to a firm butter form, but when spread on skin, the butters melt and smooth right in to soften protect and moisturize.  This one feels wonderful!

Lemon Body Butter

 

The first soap was made with an FO called Awapuhi-Seaberry from Nature’s Garden and Candles, which slightly accelerated it, though not so much that it wasn’t able to be manipulated into doing what I wanted it to.  I decided to not go with the FO’s name for the soaps but rather called this one Open Sea.  It has Coconut oil, Macadamia oil, Olive oil,  aloe juice, almond milk, colloidal oatmeal, titanium dioxide, a couple of milk powders and Vitamin E.  It gelled in the mold, which I didn’t attempt to stop.  Just let it do its thing, then left it overnight and was able to unmold this morning and slice it as well.  This will be a nice hard bar eventually, with hopefully the deep cream colours lightening up to close to ivory eventually.  The tops that were exposed to the air lightened up nicely so there’s no reason to believe the rest won’t do so as well.  The swirl of blue pops at you in the contrast with the deep cream beside it, but when it lightens, that will change.  There are natural glycerin swirls in this bar, which I love to see because they indicate a the presence of a natural emollient that’ll help lock in your skins natural oils, protecting you even during the dry winter months ahead.   This batch will be ready 11/23/12.

“Open Sea” with Awapuhi-Seaberry fragrance from Nature’s Garden

The last batch of soap was a remake of one I’d made a couple of weeks ago called Amethyst & Pearls.  This time, I left out the pearls, so it’s just Amethyst this time.  But still the wonderful fragrance Blackened Amethyst from Nature’s Garden and the glycerin swirls appeared in this one too.  Loads of them!   Slightly different soap recipe this time but still very moisturizing, a nice hard bar, and the pretty ivory color to set off the lavender swirls within.  Also made with aloe juice in place of the water, coconut oil, olive oil, colloidal oatmeal, Vitamin E, and almond milk. This batch will be ready 11/23/12.

Amethyst CP Soap

 

 

Glacier Blue – a serendipitous ending

Like many other soapers, there was a firm fixed image I had running through my head when I picked out the Glacier Falls FO from Nature’s Garden and Candles.  Lovely ocean-like swirls of vibrant blue, pearly topping of white, sparkling sugar crystals to gleam in the light like whitecaps on the waves.  You see it, too, don’t you?  Well that all went poof! the moment I added in the Fo to the oils mixed with the lye.  It started thickening up right away and no amount of stirring or SB’ing helped, probably only made it worse.  The blue was ready and still a bit loose but the white part was thickening up extremely fast – we’re talking potential SIP (soap in pot) or SOS (soap on stick), so I globbed the white into the mold, globbed most of the blue into the mold, tried to get it to do something other than just sit there minding its own separate business, then added the last of the blue on the top to sprinkle the pearls and glitter on so there would be a least a bit of contrast.  It got warm in the mold, too – did I mention that this one heats up?  It was put into the fridge immediately after the globbing, topping, sprinkling steps, and left there over night, though I watched it for several hours to be sure it didn’t erupt all over the inside of the fridge.  The top cracked after about an hour, but never went any further than that.  This morning I took it out of the fridge and loosened the papers from the sides, then left for work.  I tried very hard not to think too much on what it might look like once I got home and sliced it.  Well, upon returning home, there was no melty, mooshy mess on my table,  as a matter of fact the soap didn’t do anything odd in my absence.  After last night’s adventure I wasn’t too sure!  So, out came the knife and slicing commenced.  Here’s the results.

CP soap with FO that accelerates trace exponentially.

Not too bad after all.  There was only one major air bubble.  No gel circles.  And the crack that appeared on the top went back down and closed itself back up most of the way. The colour is still a bit on the ivory side rather than white, but after the adventure in soap globbing I had yesterday evening, I’ll take whatever I can get!  The swirling turned out much better than I thought it would.  The soap was practically solid when I tried to pull a skewer through it.  Most of that is from the spoon doing its scoopy thing. There was just barely enough time to run the spoon through it once, and even that was a near thing!

Don’t you just love all the technical jargon we soapers use – globbing, mooshy, scoopy?  So, this little soaping adventure had a happy ending after all.  Lesson here today is never use that FO for soap again – lotion only!

Next up – lavender, with a tiny touch of rosemary. More later!