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Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by FlybyStardancer, Feb 12, 2014.
Such pretty soaps!
We survived the CHRISTmas rush. Between my super salesman hubby and my commercial accounts, I was wiped out (both physically and product-wise.) My two larger commercial accounts are learning, and both have already ordered "their" soaps to restock. Yesterday I finished making those and they are now resting in the molds. Today I will unmold and let them sit a few days before cutting.
Now there is time to play! I started experimenting with a heart column mold from WSP. I had gotten some m & p to use in it. I only colored the soap for it (no scent.) It unmolded successfully and that brings me such pleasure! Time to melt more m & p and fill it again. Maybe I should have ordered more than one of these, but it seems the one they are showing now must be a bigger size. It says 2" and this one is more like 1 1/4". I'm gonna get several of these columns made then try my hand at embedding. So far the only embedding I have done is curls of alkanet purple. I had air pockets and the purple bled.
It rained ALL DAY yesterday so I made SOAP and lots of it! I filled every soap mold that I had! Teakwood and Cardamon for my honey. Lemongrass for my Aunt, bamboo and white grapefruit for a sick friend, my herbal soap for me, tried the Sweet Orange Chili Pepper sample I had. So Much Fun! It was still raining, so I cleaned up. It was still raining then I clipped my dog. More rain.... Opened a bottle of wine.... More rain.....another bottle
I made 72 bars of my most popular soap, Malka (a salt/Dead Sea Salt soap with pink clay, scented with geranium and bergamot), 50 lbs of my second most popular soap, Lavender Goat Milk (just what it sounds like... with a nice purple swirl for fun), and 72 bars of my third most popular soap, Morning Mint (a salt soap with rosemary and peppermint essential oils).
The 50 lbs (or a bit more) was in my new 25 lb For Craft's Sake molds, something I want to post and ask others about. The 72 bar batches were in my Bramble Berry slab molds with dividers. They're my go-to molds for salt soaps, because I know I would mess up the cutting time if I tried to do loaves. And I hate wasted batches...
The day before I made 25 pounds of Kitchen Hands (goat milk, coffee, calendula, with citrus essential oils) and 25 pounds of a new, as yet unnamed soap that's all about the calendula and citrus with a hint of mint. It will be a new, spring time soap. It's uncolored, so a fresh, sunshine yellow from the essential oils and calendula. I'm very happy with it!
The holidays wiped out my stock, so I'm (obviously) replenishing. Next will be body butter batches, then liquid soap, and lip balm. I figure I have three or four more days of intense work before the real vacation comes!
How do you like the 25 pound molds. I am looking at getting one because I cannot keep up with production making 48 bars at a time.
I've used them twice, and so far, so good. On the one hand, they don't seem to need insulating--my milk soap cracked on top, and then cooled and was smooth. This is in a basement workshop that is always cool, and I opened a window last night and turned on a fan, just to make sure they didn't overheat.
The bars that result are big--about 5.5 ounces before curing with a 1 inch cut (3.5 inches X 2.5 inches I think). I like my bars on the big side, so that's fine with me. On the other hand, that means with each of them, I'm getting about 70 bars (there are always end cuts that aren't full bars). I can make the recipe a bit larger, and still be within the lining, but I'm not going to get more than 8 bars.
I'm thinking that after using them for a few weeks, when I'm totally sure... I'll get two more. That will let me make 2 50 lb batches pretty easily--about 150 soaps. I really want next year's holiday season to be less rushed than this. I hate running out of product (especially product that needs to cure...) before the season is done!
Watching swirl videos for inspiration. Got my neons in and thinking I might do a lilac or black raspberry vanilla. Still need to make some shampoo bars and a few batches to replenish my favorites after the holidays.
This holiday has wiped me out physically & emotionally, its been tough getting motivated to soap actually. Might get a batch in tonight though.
Does sugar scrub counts?
Yes, Dahlia, they do! I'll share my latest scrub story -- I made version III of my emulsified sugar scrub a few days ago and have been trying it out. I'm trying to tweak the amount of emulsifier so just the right amount of fat is left on the skin to feel like a nice lotion. I think I've finally found the sweet spot. What's been fun is that this recipe has lard in it. With gentle daily use, my hangnails, cracked calluses, and rough skin are truly much better this winter, and I'm thinking that lard is a big reason why. I'm adding pink clay to the scrub with the hope of getting a pale coral pink color. About 1% by weight of the scrub base (meaning everything minus the sugar) seems about right -- maybe a wee bit less might be even prettier.
I tried out an end cut of my latest batch of "River Belle" soap today. I scented it with Fresh Cut Roses FO from Nature's Garden. I've never thought I cared too much for florals, but by golly this soap doesn't smell too bad now that it's cured out. At first ... um ... well, I really really was turned off by the smell, but I've learned to not get too picky about the scent of an uncured soap. The smell and the lather of my soaps change so much in the first few weeks. Now the scent is a very pleasant rosy floral -- it's definitely not a sicky sour "cheap perfume" floral. Even my dear manly-man husband showered with the sample and told me he liked the smell -- and without me asking. (!!!)
I made a small batch of "unpetroleum jelly" this afternoon and added an antiseptic EO blend to the salve. DH, other friends, and I are going to Belize in January and hope to dive in the coral reefs there. A couple of years ago, my friend Candy and I found out the hard way that cuts or scrapes from the coral often get infected with bacteria and microscopic parasites and take a long time to heal. When we both got back home to good ol' Iowa, the small scrapes we had gotten on the coral were staying itchy and inflamed -- something I'd never seen before. I researched the problem and figured out an EO blend that really worked to heal these injuries -- and also helps heal minor landlubber owies like rose thorn stickers, splinters, inflamed hangnails, and stuff like that.
Soaping yesterday and today
The only thing I did today was to work on a new CP recipe and spend a couple of hours making pate and having dinner out with the family.
Yesterday I unpacked a new order and went to Lowes hardware to buy a large sheet of corrugated plastic to make some molds, and purchased a fondant mat to use as a liner in soap mold, at Michael's using my 50% off coupon.
My new one pound silicone mold was in that order as well as a few fragrances. I only ordered a small size of couple of them and now I wish I had ordered a larger size of the cucumber melon. I love it! The mango one is nice but quite sweet, so I may add a bit of something to it to tone down the sweetness a bit. Any ideas?
I also had rosemary and lavender in that order, and I have on hand, sweet orange EO, lemon grass EO, and a citrus EO mixture, basil EO, frankincense EO and Sandlewood EO and the only other non very sweet FO's I have are Energy, Black Raspberry Vanilla, and Oatmeal honey which doesn't seem like a likely mixer for the mango scent.
Right now our son and family are in town until New Years day, so soaping will have to wait till they head back to California. Tomorrow I'll get these new oils cataloged and put away; and work out the pattern for the new coro plastic molds I want to make. The first one I make is the tally skinny one;but first I need to find out the dimensions of the commercial ones.
I tested out my colour switching micas today since I totally killed a 5lb batch that accelled on me I just found out that my groovy little micas are cp stable & I use them in nail polish. Mfgr states ok to use in all body care.
I am in the process of switching to Quickbooks, so pretty much the whole day spent fiddling with the set up. Blech!
No its for South Africa
Shredded my coffee soap last night, it just wasn't right. Perhaps it was the type of coffee I used so I'm trying to save it with a bit of E/O.
Umolded, cut and beveled some soap.
Started my plans for 2015 and scale broke so now I have to find a replacement.
Well, I was hoping! But that is cool, too!
I've made heart embeds and hope to get them in some rose scented soap today. It will be my last batch I make until I get to Sam's for more olive oil. Trying to talk hubby into going today or tomorrow. But even if he agrees, it will be my next-to the last batch until my castor comes from WSP. I do have a 3 loaves to cut and 2 more to wrap and label.
Made another batch of coconut soap because my first was ugly. This one uses 100 percent coconut water in place of distilled, and I pressed grated curls of a white soap that ended up without scent onto the top, so it looks like it's covered in sugared coconut. My step-sister loves coconut and will appreciate it, I hope.
Also made a batch of chocolate mint tea-time soap with MP tea-time thingies pressed into the minty top--clocks, tea cups, tea pots, cupcakes, biscuits and cookie jars. So cute. It's gelling now.
And for once I washed everything right away!
We got a huge order today, 80ish bars of soap plus lotions and bath teas... Time to relabel because this customer isa private label customer.
My sister and I are completely stunned by how well this year has gone.
Congrats! Doesn't it feel good?! My Hubby is my salesman. He has the gift of gab and uses it to sell for me. He sold so much right before Christmas that I'm out of almost everything. He not only sells direct but played a big part in getting my 3 commercial accounts.
I'm guessing many will be online today with WSP's big sale going on. Me, I was in need of too many things and remembering how frustrating it is when what I must have is sold out. So I ordered last week and it was shipped yesterday. I need to get other obligations (like getting Christmas stuff down out of my classroom) taken care of so when my order arrives I can MAKE SOAP!
250 pounds of oils were delivered today. My UPS guy must hate me!
I made a swirling tool!
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