Forever Young

This one was a half-measure of success.  It turned out nicely enough but one of the colours completely disappeared.  😦  Still the rest stuck around for the show, so it’s all good anyway.  The fragrance is from NG, a lovely called Fountain of Youth with greenery, melons, lotus flower, lily of the valley, but as is my tendency, I don’t use the FO name, but come up with something uniquely NN’s own turn on it.  Sprinkled with amber coloured sugar and gold glitter, enriched with three milks, two vitamin, and triple oils, and coconut milk, this one will offer the same rich, luxurious lather that the other milk soaps offer.  Coconut milk, with its high fat content, is an excellent superfatting ingredient that also lends a great hand to the lathering ability.  I love adding coconut milk to soaps!  I’ve tried others, but they just don’t do as much for the soap as coconut does, and it’s purely about the fat content.

I used three colour – a bit of white pearl mica, a splash of Sunset Pink Mica, and a dash of Chrome Green.  Unfortunately, the Sunset Pink contains carmine, which is touchy in CP soap, so it decided not to stick around for the rest of the party, but vacated the premises during the overnight set up.  No party-crashing gel soap gremlins though, so thank goodness for small favours.  The swirls turned out nicely, so I’ll take it!  This one will be ready for shipping December 26th, and by that time I’ll likely have to make replacement batches of a couple of others made since September that have turned out to be surprisingly popular.  Who knew something with charcoal in it would be a top seller!  Most love the look at first, then get a whiff of it’s one-of-a-kind fragrance and they love it even more for that.

I’ve returned to work again after hand surgery to correct a trigger release in my right (working) hand so soaping will take a bit longer to do now, since I won’t be here during those great cool morning soaping hours.  I love making soaps in the morning because  the house is a bit cooler, so I

Handmade Artisan Milk Soap

don’t get hot, sweaty and messy trying to get it completed before the warmth of the day seeps inside.  Ours heaters really keep it toasty in here, which is great for relaxing at the tv or computer or sleeping with a good book putting you out every night, but it isn’t so great for soaping.  Besides, I’m a morning person now anyway, so doing the thinking and planning of a soap, snapping pics, and listing it, then gossiping with the fellow soapers in a group in Facebook, is a routine I’ve built up quickly during my recuperative phase.  Now, life continues, it’s back to work, and the real world now, so play time is done. 😦

There are plans for several other soaps to come along very soon, so stick around, and watch to see what’s coming off the assembly line next

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The web pic with cut bars – Caribbean Sands

Caribbean Sands Milk & Aloe Soap

 

This is the pic with the cleaned up bars I’m using in the web site and in the Payvment store listing.  Morning light is so kind when trying to get good pictures with the truest reproduction of the colours.  The sparkly tops just don’t show up no matter what I do once the soaps are firm and shaped.  They always look better while the soap is still kinda wet. Sometimes in the push to make, create and list, we forget to give credit to others who’ve contributed to the creation of our craft, such as our suppliers, who supply us with butters, oils, molds, additives, glitter, packaging, paper supplies, labels, lye, those intrepid USPS postal carriers, FedEx and UPS guys etc. So with that said –  a special shout out to Candlesandwoodcrafts.com for the wonderful wooden molds in 2 and 3-lb sizes.  Great prices, speedy shipping and best of all, really easy to use.  Love my molds, guys! When I’m ready for more and/or larger ones, you’ll be the first to know.  Thanks!

Back at it again

This is the first soap I made after the hand surgery last week and boy did it ever feel great to be back at it again!  It was about to get ugly if something didn’t change and fast, so here’s the latest soap off the assembly line.

NG’s type fo called Sun and Sand was used to scent this one, though I renamed it in my soap to be Caribbean Sands.  You’ll see why when it’s cut.  It uses the new colours purchased from Conservatorie of Peacock Blue Mica, Milk Chocolate Mica, and Pearl Mica.  Honey base M&P from NG dazzled with 24K gold mica unscented for the clam shell embeds up at the top, and Himalayan Pink Salt.  The usual recipe was used again, though I’ve added a new additive to the mix, silk amino acids, which I’ve heard make the soap silky and lustrous in the lather.  The coconut milk and colloidal oatmeal were also included like they always are, but instead of water to dissolve the lye, I used aloe juice.  The lye tends to turn the juice a pinkish colour so I had to throw in a dash of Titanium Dioxide to lighten up the white part, but all in all, the aloe substitution didn’t alter the outcome too dramatically.

The fo behaved beautifully.  No acceleration, colour stayed true, no ricing, so this is a winner of a scent!  I’m really tickled with the results and in a few days I’ll find out what the swirling did for the inside.

Free Shipping!

This offer has already been listed on my Facebook page, so today I’ve gotten in here to post it for anyone interested in checking a few folks off their Christmas lists this weekend.

Free shipping on all orders placed this weekend only.  This offer is good up to Sunday night November 25th, at 11:59:59.  Once midnight strikes and the clock turns to Monday am’s wee hours, the offer ends.  Like Cinderella’s charmed clothes and slippers, it’ll all be over. So hurry over to my web site,

http://www.NeecysNecessities.com  or http://www.facebook.com/neecysnecessities

and start marking those names off your shopping list!

This offer is good for US orders only.  If asking for international shipping, please email me and I will try to work with you to keep it as reasonable as possible and still get there on time.

 

* I have extended the Free Shipping to include Cyber Monday, so shipping is free through Monday night, midnight, November 26th!  Enjoy and happy shopping!

 

Hand surgery

The surgery to eliminate a trigger in my right thumb went well on Tuesday, but with a bulky bandage on my working hand, and the instructions for no lifting or heavy use on that hand until at least next week will pretty much stop my soapmaking days in their tracks until at least next week.  I might just be nuts by then, going so long between batches! The stick blender has been tucked away for now, but it will return sometime next week if luck holds and the healing is quick.  Fingers crossed – left hand only – for a rapid return to two handed living!

Meantime, Happy Thanksgiving everyone and I’ll see you all again after this holiday is put in my rearview.

Celestia’s cut pics

These were ready to cut today, which surprised me.  I thought I’d have to wait another day or two, but they’re cut, shelved and drying now with an anticipated ready date of December 22, 2012.  The swirls are not exactly the way I wanted them, but at least the contrast between the blue, white and violet is clearer than recent batches have been.  Colours have not been cooperative with me and these manufacturers of these colours are disappointing me a lot lately.  Many end up bleeding into the soap surrounding it, giving the swirls a blurry edge rather than a crisp clean line.  I’ve tried four different types of colours from four different suppliers now and hope that the ones I got yesterday will be the proven winners.  I’ve seen really beautiful results from other soapers who’ve used this company’s colours, so my hopes are high.

The notes of the fragrance, Nature’s Garden and Candles’ Sun, Moon, and Stars FO, is ivy, clover, vetiver, jasmine and green stems, so it sounds like it should be a green scent, but to me, it smells more like a blue one.  Maybe that’s just me.  Dunno.  But it’s subtle, not a major whap in the face like some fo’s can be.  Since the name was about heavenly bodies, the name for the soap was Celestia.  I don’t like to name my soaps the same as the fragrance oil.  To me that seems too easy – maybe uninspired, but maybe not.  Maybe I’m just creating more work for myself trying to dream up names for these things.

The same recipe was used – three oils, used all three milks this time, two powders and one liquid (coconut), added Vitamin E & A, and sprinkled the tops with a star glitter in keeping with the name.  The embeds were a clear soap base of M&P, coloured with Diamond Dust and 24K Gold Mica from NG, no fragrance, and then cut in half to be pushed down into the surface.  These embeds were placed a bit too close together (as opposed to too far apart in the Chai Latte), so these bars will only be around 4 oz. give or take.  They’ll be $4 each since they’re smaller.  Turned out okay, I guess.  I loved how it looked uncut.

Celestia – close up
cp soap with TD, violet & blue colours; Sun, Moon & Stars FO

 

Celestia

This is one that took a bit more time to get to than I’d like.  Molds had to be ordered, FO had to be ordered, then all I needed was the time to pour the embeds – trickier than you might think – wait for them to be firm enough to cut for sticking into the soap, and finding time to make the soap – again, trickier than you might think.  Health issues have stalled or cancelled outright, many things I’d wanted to be doing, but now that most of them are behind us, I can finally get down to work.

The Suns used NGs 24K Gold mica and their Diamond Dust Glitter was in the moons.  These were poured and chilled then cut in half for embedding.

The soap was my usual recipe, with swirls of Ultramarine Blue and Ultramarine Violet (Bramble Berry), dashes of star glitter (Nature’s Garden and Candles) for the sun and moon to nestle in. These colours have been used before in cp soaps I’ve made in the past and they’ve performed beautifully so I’m keeping fingers (the good ones anyway) crossed that it will do so again this time.   The FO is Sun, Moon and Stars (NG), which has notes of clover, ivy, jasmine, & vetiver.    To me it smells like a blue scent, but with the notes you’d think it would be a green scent. Maybe the cured scent will be slightly different from what it smells like outside of a cp soap.  This particular FO has .3% vanillin, so I did use vanilla colour stabilizer  (Wholesale Supplies Plus).

I’d pictured this one in my head and made every effort to have it turn out exactly like that and this time, hooray,  it did!  I’m looking forward to the cut day now to see what it looks like inside.  This one just went off without a hitch the entire way through.  What a plus to enjoy this time!  I’ve had such a struggle with so many distractions around me that my soaping has suffered a lot, with omitting things that are vital to its good use and successful outcome.

Celestia CP soap

Now the tricky part will be seeing if I’ve placed the embeds in the right spots for the right sized slices!  That’s been the bane of my embed existence.  Remember the Chai Latte?  Ugh!  I’d rather not.  But I’ve got high hopes for this one.  It’s in the fridge for a while to prevent a gel circle from marring the soap after all the effort it took to ensure it comes out like it should.  Fingers crossed folks!

Now I can go  forward to the next project with embeds, though no hints here or spoilers to let you know what that will be.  I guess you’ve noticed by now that I don’t strictly adhere to the seasons & holidays for each soaping project.  I feel it hinders the potential for the sell-ability for my bath & body products if they look tied to a holiday or season rather than all year round which is what I’d prefer.  Christmas stuff just looks strange sitting in the soap dish in May or June. I don’t like being boxed in to any limitations that building a collection around a holiday can bring.   I always did like thinking differently.

There are maybe three other projects I want to try to do, but I don’t know that I could squeeze them all in before Tuesday, when I have surgery scheduled for my right hand – and yes, I’m right handed –  which will put a stop, at least for a few days, to any heavy duty use, including holding a stick blender comfortably.  I don’t  like falling behind on things, so I’m trying to get as many done as possible before Tuesday.  Then I can relax about what to work on after I get at it again.  I want to try to make a batch of liquid soap paste for use as hand soap in pump bottles. Don’t know if it’ll be good enough for shampoo, but maybe, depending on the oils used.  After that I’d like to make another batch of lip balm and a couple more body butters, maybe some that are a bit softer in the jars, but still firm enough that they aren’t messy when applying or scooping from their jars.  I made one that I initially thought of as being a facial serum, but decided on making it an emulsified butter instead, then let it firm in the jar.  It’s a very soft butter, with lots of great things for faces like Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin C in the form of Camu Camu Fruit Powder, and Lemon Peel powder for light, gentle exfoliation.  I’ve been using it all the time on my face and my skin feels wonderful!  I’ve even tried it on feel, knees, and elbows and wow, what a difference it’s made!  The formula for lip balms needs to be changed to one that eliminates the shea and subbing with something else or find a way to prevent the grittiness it can sometimes get when heated.  A Mad Scientist day is called for.