Soap tops revisited

As I was putting together yesterday’s ‘Wet Soap Wednesday on a Friday’ post, I was thinking about how much I like soap tops, and remembered that I’d done a post a while back about them.  When I went looking, I was surprised to find it had been almost two years ago: Soap Tops from November 2014. I was also struck by how different those tops were to the way I do things now. So today’s post is a quick round up of my favourite soap tops from more recent times.

First up is a dupe of the DKNY fragrance, Be Delicious – appley, cucumbery and absolutely….Delicious:

Delicious

Delicious

Then there’s a recent batch of Clarity which turned out just beautifully (last night’s batch didn’t look quite as good as this in the mould!)

Clarity

Clarity

The top of this Oatmeal, Milk & Honey batch swirled really nicely:

Oatmeal, Milk & Honey

Oatmeal, Milk & Honey

And this batch of Florida Sunrise (now discontinued) looked gorgeous as it started to gel:

Florida Sunrise

Florida Sunrise

Another recently discontinued fragrance – a custom blend called Enigma, looked luscious freshly swirled:

Enigma

Enigma

Finally I just LOVE how this batch of Serenity looked in the mould:

Serenity

Serenity

I’d be lying if I said every single batch looks like these, but I do tend to add a lot more texture to the tops than I used to, and I think I prefer them that way. I guess it’s about time I revised my header photo!!

 

 

Makeovers (7. Love Spell / Bewitched)

The soap that I’ve long called ‘Love Spell’ is scented with a fragrance oil that is a copy of the designer perfume ‘Love Spell’ by Victoria’s Secret. Having recently applied for my bath bomb assessment, which includes bombs fragranced with the same fragrance oil, I was reminded that I can’t call them (or my soap!) Love Spell as it contravenes copyright. I knew this, and I should have changed it ages ago, but to be honest I just didn’t spend the time to come up with a replacement. As it was, when I received the message from my assessor, the new name came to me within a minute or two. Typical! Anyway, it will henceforth be known as Bewitched.

I first made it back in the summer of 2014. You can clearly see where the top portion, coloured with titanium dioxide, shrank more than the rest of the bar during the curing process. The top was simply spattered with leftover soap batter:

Love Spell V1

Bewitched V1

Soon after that I got into tiger stripe pouring, which I initially made with a flat top (and experimented with some black stripes):

Love Spell V3

Bewitched V2

Love Spell V3

Bewitched V3

And later with a textured top:

Love Spell V4

Bewitched V4

Finally I brought it in line with the rest of the range i.e. with a full bar drop swirl:

Love Spell V5

Bewitched V5

Day 23 of Blogtober 2016. I’m starting to believe I can actually do this 😀

 

Name that Soap! (Competition Time)

I have a brand new essential oil bar, and it needs a name… This bar is scented with lavender, lemon and lime EOs.  Heavier on the lavender and lemon, lighter on the lime, but it’s definitely discernible.

Give me a name!

Please give me a name 🙂

I’m offering a free bar to the person who comes up with the name that I eventually select, and you can either enter below in the comments field, or on the competition post on my FB page. It’s open to anyone, wherever you are in the world – I’ll cover postage costs too (last time I did this it the bar went over the pond to the US).  So don’t be shy – I know you’re a creative lot!!

FYI The other essential oil bars in my range are called Serenity, Clarity, Peace, Boho Baby, Flowers and Luscious Lavender.

PS – the winning name will be chosen on Saturday 29th October, 9pm UK time.

Go go go!!

The Christmas Specials

This year I’ve made three seasonal bars especially for the Christmas period.  These are limited edition soaps – there are only 29 available of each fragrance – but they’re made with the same luxurious base recipe of highest quality, food grade oils and butters that all our bars are made of.

It still feels rather early to many to be thinking about the holiday period, but these bars need a good 6 weeks curing time, so won’t be ready to buy until mid-November – just in time to start shopping 😀

Without any further ado – here are:

Christmas Tree (Cool herbal fragrance of pine, mint, green leaf and ozone, hints of jasmine and lily and supported by notes of precious woods, amber and patchouli)

Three Kings (A resinous, woody-oriental fragrance with citrus top notes mingling with warm base of frankincense, myrrh and amber), topped with gold mica.

Candy Cane (Buttery peppermint and spearmint with hints of vanilla)

Christmas Soaps

                 Christmas Soaps

Dinosoap!

I rarely make novelty soaps, but I spotted a great dinosaur mould and thought the kids – my kids that is – might like some dinosaur shaped soap.  They were a HUGE hit so I’ve made a few more batches to sell as stocking fillers at the Christmas fairs. Made with exactly the same base recipe that I use for my regular bars, some are scented with a Christmas Tree FO and others with a Jelly Beans FO which is always popular with children.

Hopefully they’ll go down as well with my customers as they did with my children:

Dinosoaps

                         Dinosoaps

This was Day 16 of Blogtober – hanging on in there  😀

Throwback Thursday – Blogtober Day 13

I started out so well.  Most of my Blogtober posts have been planned, if not half written, the day before, at least. Occasionally they’ve been written early morning, on the day.  Never before have I got to past 10.30pm before getting an opportunity to sit down and write. I’m flying by the seat of my pants here…

So it’s going to be another quickie (though I would imagine that’s no big thing when they’re coming at you every day :-D)

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a HUGE Instagram fan and Instagram is where Throwback Thursday comes into its own. Using the #throwbackthursday hashtag gives you the opportunity to showcase pictures of projects, creations or events from the past, and for me it’s a chance to look back at soaps I made years ago.

Back in 2013 I went through a phase of making gradient, or ombré, soaps. For some reason I’ve not made any since, but anyway, today seems like the perfect opportunity to share some photos of them here.  Wonder if you can guess which ones were made in a proper soap mould and which ones were made in silicone baking pans 😀 😀

Blue Gradient

          Blue Gradient (Ocean Mist)

Purple Gradient

         Purple Gradient (Wild Berries)

Pink Gradient

                      Pink Gradient

Green Gradient

         Green Gradient (Citrus Burst)

Brown Gradient

             Brown Gradient (Amber)

This last one was made in September 2013 for one of Amy @ Great Cakes Soapworks monthly challenges – the challenge was to make a gradient soap using more than two colours:

Multicoloured Gradient

         Multicoloured Gradient (Eventide)

Actually I know perfectly well why I’ve not made any gradient soaps recently – I’m so busy keeping up my stock levels I’m not getting any opportunity to ‘play’ and make soap for fun.  Now there’s something to put on my ‘To Do’ list.

Makeovers (6. Clarity)

Blogtober Day 10.  Day 10 folks!! A third of the way through, nearly…

Anyway, this the sixth in an occasional series on the evolution of Soap Mine soap designs. Previously I’ve covered Serenity, Wake Up! (discontinued), Tutti Frutti,Delicious and Luscious Lavender, and this time it’s the turn of ‘Clarity’, fragranced with a gorgeous fresh blend of Lemongrass and Clary Sage Essential Oils.

This one has proved to be one of my bestsellers over the years, and I’ve been making it for a long time, so please forgive the quality of some of the photographs. I’ve said it before but soap photography is as steep a learning curve as soap making!

First came the two color version – a cool grey base with lime green drops:

Clarity v.1

Clarity v.1

I wasn’t overly enamoured with with the grey, so soon after it became a three colour bar, with a green base and white and black drops.

Clarity v.2

Clarity v.2

Clarity v.3

Clarity v.3

When I started adding texture to the tops, Clarity was included of course:

Clarity v.4

Clarity v.4

And so it was, for many, many batches. But then one day, very recently, I decided to ring the changes and, drum roll please…Ta da! This is the new look for Clarity:

Clarity v.5

Clarity v.5

The black base of the bar is coloured with activated charcoal, purported to be excellent for your skin. I found this post recently which talks about the benefits of activated charcoal in soap, but of course, I make no medical claims for my soap whatsoever! 😉

Holidays are coming… Blogtober Day 9

There’s no point pretending any different by this point, Christmas IS coming 😀

I’m waiting for my holiday soaps to harden up a little so that I can get them bevelled and generally tidied up before I take some decent product shots, but here’s a first look at what I did with those stars I posted three days ago.  Nothing fancy, but I rather like the simplicity of this one:

Christmas Tree

                      Christmas Tree

A Custom Order

A couple of months ago I began supplying my soap to a local retailer, Glosters in Porthmadog.  Glosters is a beautifully curated gift store, stocking handmade items made in-house, locally and further afield in the UK.

front_large

They took a selection of my regular range, but also wanted something exclusive, just for them.

One half of the Glosters team (Tom) is a potter (who sells his ceramics in the store) and the store also has a nautical feel to it. It made sense therefore when Myfanwy (the other half of the Glosters team and textiles whiz) said that she would like a ‘Potters’ soap and a ‘Sea’ themed soap.   I sent away for some sample fragrances, and in due course Myfanwy chose her two favourites.

This is the Potters Soap, fragranced with a fresh, clean scent of green florals and citrus, on a base of amber and musk. The dark blue reflects the colour of the Glosters’ logo, and for this one I kept an element of my signature drop swirl:

 

Potters' Soap

                          Potters’ Soap

 

And this is the Sea Soap, fragranced with a  refreshing salty sea fragrance (of course!), designed with the sea in mind and topped with real sea salt from Halen Môn:

Sea Salt Soap

                      Sea Salt Soap

Both these bars will be available exclusively from Glosters very soon.