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 Mermaid Spa, Portmeirion

It’s been a busy month on the wholesale front, and I’m so happy to introduce yet another new stockist of our luxury handmade soap – The Mermaid Spa in the extraordinary village of Portmerion.

Mermaid Spa

                     The Mermaid Spa

For those not in the know, Portmeirion is an Italianate village designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975. It’s situated on a headland on the north Wales coast, and the spa itself overlooks the estuary. It’s a stunningly beautiful and relaxing place to have a spa – the perfect place to visit for a bit of R&R if you’re in the area.

View from the spa

                    View from the spa

Yesterday they took delivery of a great selection of our soap – as if you needed another reason to visit such a glorious place!

Chaos Reigns on Throwback Thursday

A spanner has been thrown into the Blogtober 2016 works. This week my kitchen (well, the entire interior of the back of my house) has been ripped out. Right back to the brick:

Renovations 1

                      Renovations 1

Renovations 2

                       Renovations 2

I knew it was coming, but I stuck my head in the sand and told my myself everything would be ok.  Well of course it is, and it will be even better, but flipping heck it’s having a major effect on daily life!!  Needless to say I’ve not had much of an opportunity over the last few days to just sit and write, so here I am, again, with just 63 minutes of the day left, determined to get Blogtober Day 20 out before midnight.

Fortunately for me, today is Thursday, so I can do a little #throwbackthursday post.

This here soap is one of the very first drop swirls that I made to sell, made on the 15th June 2014. If you know my current range, you’ll know that I’m rather partial to a drop swirl, and here, folks, is kinda where it all started. Things have changed a bit since then:

Black Jack

                        Black Jack

Black Jack was fragranced with Aniseed and Spearmint essential oils, and although I thought it smelled utterly amazing, sadly Joe Public didn’t and It was dropped from the lineup PDQ.  Perhaps one day I’ll make it again, just for me 🙂

I’ll be back tomorrow with Blogtober Day 21. I Will. I WILL 😀

 

 

10 Favourite Foods

When I woke on Saturday 1st October, the idea for this blogfest of daily posting came from some fellow bloggers who had all committed to participate in Blogtober 2016 as organised by Mandi at Hex Mum +1

I very much wanted to do my own thing though. I needed to get used to blogging again after a few months away from the keyboard, and I also wanted to find out whether I would/could be inspired to find something to write about every day.

Having got halfway through the month it seems that inspiration isn’t an issue at all, but lack of time is.  I have ideas for many posts, but many of them will take more time than I usually have to do justice to the topic.

So today I’m going to rattle off a fairly quick one, and for this I’m referring back to Mandi’s original list of themes:

Blogtober 2016

        Blogtober 2016

October 19th – 10 Favourite Foods.

I love food. I was a terribly picky, fussy child, but as an adult there’s very little I won’t eat.  Unfortunately, while I’m eating my way through the foods of the world (except for tripe, and goat’s cheese, bleugh!) my children are channelling my youthful aversion to anything remotely interesting.  Karma…

So, in the interests of sharing a little more of me, I give you 10 of my favourite foods, in no particular order (note, I don’t say my 10 favourite foods – there are far too many favourites for that kind of narrow mindedness :-D)

  1. Cheese.  Yep, despite considering goat’s cheese to be an abomination, I LOVE all other types of cheese, especially Camembert and Stilton. A good mature cheddar is a thing of wonder too.
  2. Chocolate Mousse.  Not just any chocolate mousse mind. It has to be a dense, rich, dark chocolate mousse. The more like a ganache the better…
  3. Smoked Salmon.
  4. Great bread dipped in extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  5. Moules Marinière
  6. Steak (rare) and chips
  7. Crispy, oven baked jacket potato with (real) butter and cheese
  8. My mum’s raspberry trifle. Oh my word I salivate just thinking about it. I guess I should share the recipe here sometime.
  9. Pizza.  Not necessarily a fancy pants pizza, just one made by my husband with plenty of mozzarella, pepperoni, onions, peppers and mushrooms. Yum!
  10. Chicken fajitas, nice and spicy with lots of guacamole and sour cream.  A traditional Saturday Night In dish in our house.

I’m not sure whether there’s anything  more you can read between the lines here, but there you go, you now know a little more about this Soapmaker.

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

Luvit, Barmouth

I am VERY excited to announce that we have a brand new stockist!

Luvit is a gorgeous gift shop on the High Street in Barmouth, in the south west corner of the Snowdonia National Park.

luvit-barmouth

                     luvit-barmouth

Owena at Luvit is very supportive of local makers, and sells a wide range of lovely gifts, many of which have a retro / vintage twist. And now she now also stocks a selection of our luxury handmade soaps too – woohoo!!  Please pop in and have a look if you’re in the area 😀

Check out Luvit’s Facebook page too.

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