The Week in Soap: 24th Sept, ’17

Just a quick catch up this week. Posts have been fairly few and fair between over the last couple of weeks because I’m gearing up for Blogtober – every time I think ‘Ooh, that might make a good blog post’ I decide to save it for next month…

I was waiting for supplies to arrive last week so I only made one main batch of soap – a remake of ‘Yr Wyddfa’ (Snowdon):

Yr Wyddfa in the Mould

Yr Wyddfa in the Mould

I’ve been trying to find a better way to create this design – this was the previous version which, while it sold really well, has, to me, more than a passing resemblance to *ahem* dog mess :-/

Yr Wyddfa

Yr Wyddfa

and when I saw the lovely designs created and document by Danica on her blog Seife und anderes, I realised that the sculpted layers technique might just be the way forward. There’s a great description of the technique on Danica’s blog, so I won’t go into details here (and anyway, I forgot to take any photos of the process, I was so anxious to get on with it – next time I will definitely document it better) so here’s the final result:

Yr Wyddfa / Snowdon

Yr Wyddfa / Snowdon

The colours aren’t quite right this time – the mountain needs to be more grey, and the greenery needs to be more, well, green… but I’m getting there.  It’s fragranced with a blend of essential oils including rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon and patchouli.

I also made another batch of dinosaurs and more stars for the next batches of Frosted Christmas Tree (which I still need to photograph to show you – oops!)

Star Embeds

Star Embeds

A couple of weeks ago I ordered a selection of green mica samples from U-Makeitup and this week they arrived – a lovely collection:

Green Mica Samples

Green Mica Samples

Green Mica Samples - labelled

Green Mica Samples – labelled

Oh, and the Christmas ribbons have started to arrive – I know it probably still feels a bit early but I’ve already had a wholesale order for my Christmas range for delivery by 22nd October, so there’s no time to be to complacent…

Christmas Ribbons

Christmas Ribbons

Thanks for reading – my next post will be the first of this year’s Blogtober posts on the 1st of the month (next Sunday – eek!)

 

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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

I’m back…

…definitely, absolutely, for good this time!!

I’m so sorry – the last two months have had so much going that I’ve struggled to find time to get on here to post, and then, over the last couple of days, I realised that I’ve  been putting it off as I didn’t know where to start. This is just a quick post to ‘break the spell’ as it were – I have loads more posts in the pipeline.

We finally moved! We’ve been in our new home for about 6 weeks now. It’s a ‘doer-upper’ and there really is so much to do, but it’s ours, it’s warm, it’s dry and we love it! Our eldest (4y) started full time school last month and has settled really well, and our youngest (18m) becomes more of a little monkey every day. Literally – she will climb, or attempt to climb, ANYTHING!

The soap business continues to grow, though with the little one demanding so much of my time I’m wary of committing to too much too soon.  My soap is now in 5 retail outlets, and I’m in discussions about another project. I did my first custom order of party favours recently, and the last craft fair I did was really successful. I’ve also put together my first ‘multi-item’ gift sets, experimented with piping, and invested in a new piece of hardware for the business – an amazing soap cutter imported from the US.  All good stuff and I’ll fill in the gaps in future posts.

And finally (because I refuse to post a photo-free update), I created my first exfoliating soap:

Super Scrubby Peppermint Soap

            Super Scrubby Peppermint

Oatmeal and ground apricot stones make this soap wonderfully scrubby – great for gardeners’ or mechanics’ hands. It’s fragranced with nothing more than pure peppermint essential oil, and simply coloured with a green mica. They’re not the prettiest bars I’ve ever created, but oh they do feel good on tired feet 😀

…and two months later…

Wow, I realised on Monday that it was exactly two months since I last posted on here.  TWO MONTHS!! I knew I’d take a bit of time out while we packed up our home and made the move to Wales, but I didn’t realise I would neglect the blog so thoroughly – so sorry!

Anyway, we’ve left the big city and are now settling into a much more rural way of life. This is the amazing view from my bedroom window:

photo 1

Not bad eh? We’re still staying with my mum, who has kindly allowed her peaceful home to be invaded by our family of four (thanks mum!) but we’re in the process of buying our new home – in the same village – yippee!

Needless to say the majority of our belongings are still boxed up and in storage and I’ve not been able to make soap BUT I decided last night that enough was enough – I had to get back to it. Mainly because a) I miss it, hugely and b)The Soap Mine is getting seriously low on stock…

So, I dug out all my soaping gear, whisked up a simple 3 colour ITP (in the pot) swirl (and oh oh oh loved every minute of it :-D):

photo 2(1)

  Delicious is scented with a dupe of DKNY’s Be Delicious fragrance, and smells utterly gorgeous. Coloured with two shades of green mica and titanium dioxide. Cut pics to follow soon.