What soapy thing have you done today?

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Lefty

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I have two shows coming up in early November, so this last week I made my final batches of soap for those shows. One is some guest-sized leaf soaps (good for Thanksgiving) and the other is a batch of my regular bars using BB's Cashmere fragrance. I did an ITP swirl which I haven't done before. I wanted it to be swirls of light pink, white and brown from the FO discoloration. So far the pink is a bit darker than I wanted, and what is supposed to be brown just looks sort of yellow! Hopefully after a few weeks of curing, it will mellow and be a bit more brown. But I'm loving the look of the swirl. I kept my signature vertical line in the soap, so that made it a bit more challenging to pour the layers!

I also have a bunch of lip balm testers out to a group of volunteers who will be sampling and giving me their feedback. I've been making lip balm for a while, but just for myself, so I figured I'd do some market testing first before offering it at my upcoming shows!

Now I'm working on all the non-soapy side of getting ready for the shows such as packaging and labeling, planning my table setup, working on any printed materials, etc.
 

Michele50

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Thanks, Michele50. I'm beginning to get a better sense of the amount of work that goes into keeping up a soap business. I don't think going into business is a smart option for me, given that I've been unable to work for the last number of years due to sickness. Making the soap is more than enough work. Thank you for sharing your experience with me, and for the advice. Soaping is a therapeutic hobby for me....it fulfills a need to be creative and feel useful. I'm thinking it should stay that way. I am truly grateful for all of the advice given to me. :)
You're quite welcome. I'm new to the forum (as a member that is) but find a lot of assistance and advice here, It good to find a place where there are so many eager to help lovely people. I've been nudged by many who receive gifts as soap from me to sell on Etsy--are you kidding, lol. I, like you, make soap as a creative outlet. I enjoy the choice to make whatever soap I want, start to tackle new techniques and make it at my own pace. We had to sell our business due to osteoarthritis in all major joints and spine so I just could no longer stand on my feet for 13 hours a day without being in severe pain all the time. My husband talked me into selling, otherwise, I suppose I would have carried on for longer. Being retired I had time to focus on what I enjoy--creativity--and fell in love with both the science end of soap making and the artistic end of it. Happy soaping and enjoy your lovely creations!!
 

Liesel Atwood

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You're quite welcome. I'm new to the forum (as a member that is) but find a lot of assistance and advice here, It good to find a place where there are so many eager to help lovely people. I've been nudged by many who receive gifts as soap from me to sell on Etsy--are you kidding, lol. I, like you, make soap as a creative outlet. I enjoy the choice to make whatever soap I want, start to tackle new techniques and make it at my own pace. We had to sell our business due to osteoarthritis in all major joints and spine so I just could no longer stand on my feet for 13 hours a day without being in severe pain all the time. My husband talked me into selling, otherwise, I suppose I would have carried on for longer. Being retired I had time to focus on what I enjoy--creativity--and fell in love with both the science end of soap making and the artistic end of it. Happy soaping and enjoy your lovely creations!!
You and I have very similar life stories, Michele50! Tho not a previous business owner, I am a nurse, so I totally get the "on my feet for 13 hours s day" concept. I'm sorry your health forced you into a career decision you might not have wanted. I understand that, too. It seems that the pain of losing something you love, in addition to excruciating physical pain, creates a type of "creative energy" that forces itself out of us in either a good way or a bad way. Soaping and cardmaking are my creative outlets, but only when I feel well enough to enjoy them. I'm guessing the same is true for you? And I agree...this is a community of beautiful, eager and helpful people. I'm pretty new here too. At the end of the day...as sad, pain-filled or socially isolated as it might have been, we all come to a place like this for the same reasons. Advice. Company. Social contact. Maybe distraction from pain. whatever the reasons, I am grateful to have found such a supportive online "family". Happy Soaping everyone! And thanks again, Michele!
 

DKing

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I bought some large syringes to test with this months challenge soap and discovered they work great for filling my lotion tubes. Good thing I bought 16 of them :)
I was contemplating buying some large syringes to use instead of squeeze bottles as I thought that they may give more control. Please let us know if they work well for the drop swirls. :) I haven't seen anyone else use that method yet, but I am sure others have?
 

Marilyn Norgart

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I bought some large syringes to test with this months challenge soap
how did they work with the soap?? from using syringes I could see them not going down exactly smooth enough. I would suggest oiling the tube and pusher a little bit

I finally got my ingredients for shampoo bars!!! I was only going to try 1 but doubled them cuz a friend wants to try too. I made a real stupid mistake and switched 2 of the ingreds around--one needed to be melted and the amounts were different. I don't know enough about the ingredients (well actually next to nothing) I wont give the ones I goofed on to my friend to try but I am going to try them to see if they work. maybe I need to research the 2 product and see what they do. ticks me off that I goofed like that--so I marked the containers from 1-6 in the order they need to be used
 
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Misschief

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Friday I cut, beveled and stamped my first attempt at the mini drop swirl challenge. It's kind of mini drop swirl-ish, but I think I can do better but just in case I won't share it just yet. I have to pick up some squeeze bottles (I knew I went to WalMart yesterday for something and wound up wandering aimlessly) for my next try.
Saturday I had a show (not good) so I didn't do much of anything when I got home.
Sunday I did bookwork, took some new soap pictures (which involved figuring out what to use for photo editing on the new computer, I tried GIMP but you need to know what you're doing so that was a waste of time, finally ended up using Word ha!), updated some website stuff, video editing and making labels.
For simple photo editing, I really like Paint.NET It's free and easy to use.
 

runnerchicki

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I cut a soap that I made last night using NS new true red mica trio. It came out a pinkish red. I am pretty sure I just need to use more in the batter (which was fairly white). When I mixed it up in olive oil to pre-disperse - it definitely looked red. I weighed out each of the parts to the gram and have a jar all mixed and ready to use. The rest of the trio I can now use individually if needed.

Has anyone else tried this red color trio yet?
 

msunnerstood

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how did they work with the soap?? from using syringes I could see them not going down exactly smooth enough. I would suggest oiling the tube and pusher a little bit
I havent tried them with soap yet. Not quite ready to make soap but planning to next week. They were pretty smooth with lotion though.
 

Mobjack Bay

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I cut a soap that I made last night using NS new true red mica trio. It came out a pinkish red. I am pretty sure I just need to use more in the batter (which was fairly white). When I mixed it up in olive oil to pre-disperse - it definitely looked red. I weighed out each of the parts to the gram and have a jar all mixed and ready to use. The rest of the trio I can now use individually if needed.

Has anyone else tried this red color trio yet?
I used it for the sailboat in my August challenge soap. I was afraid to use too much and erred on the conservative side, so ended up with a slightly pale red. I don’t think I was too far off. The nice thing about the trio is the range of possible shades you can get. I’ve mixed a burgundy shade and also used Queen of Hearts on its own.
 

runnerchicki

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I used it for the sailboat in my August challenge soap. I was afraid to use too much and erred on the conservative side, so ended up with a slightly pale red. I don’t think I was too far off. The nice thing about the trio is the range of possible shades you can get. I’ve mixed a burgundy shade and also used Queen of Hearts on its own.
Wow - that's a gorgeous soap. My red was pale, similar to yours. I think I will try using a bit more next time until I reach a richer red. I also didn't want to overdo it on such a powerful color. It was amazing to watch those three colors blend into red in the cup. I was doubtful at first lol.
 

TeresaGG

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I cut a soap that I made last night using NS new true red mica trio. It came out a pinkish red. I am pretty sure I just need to use more in the batter (which was fairly white). When I mixed it up in olive oil to pre-disperse - it definitely looked red. I weighed out each of the parts to the gram and have a jar all mixed and ready to use. The rest of the trio I can now use individually if needed.

Has anyone else tried this red color trio yet?
Royalty soaps on YouTube used it in at least one of last months soap.
Edit It was used in both #4 and #8.
Edit sorry She used MadMicas
 
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cmzaha

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Earlier today I soaped a few of Nature's Fragrances and have 3 of the batches cut and on the rack. All soaped reasonably well, but not sure how well I like them. The three I cut are Lavender & Spring Apricot which smells a bit like plastic to me but will see how it cures out. The second is Mahagony and Coconut, will not be one of my favorites, but again it may cure better. The third is Baja Cactus Blossom, it seems to be quite a sweet floral and my least favorite at the moment. Hopefully, they all cure out better. I have Storm Watch and Route 66 in the crate gelling. Route 66 is promising, and Storm Watch might be the one I like best. Hopefully customers like them, that is what matters.
I also made up 7 other buckets so I am ready to soap again as soon as I have time. So I got a little accomplished today.
 

amd

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Last night I did soap dishes and put soap in shrink bands - will hopefully have time to hit them all with the heat gun tonight before brew club. (After brew club probably won't happen, lol.)

I did a reboot on my yogurt. @Marilyn Norgart I went to WalMart and both grocery stores in town and nobody carries Fairlife milk (or any kind of ultra-filtered milk) so I won't be able to do the cold method :( I did some research on the brand of culture I used, and I guess it is common for the first batch to be really runny but you can still use it as a culture for the next batch, so now I just fill silly for dumping it all down the drain... but also, they're dumb for not including THAT bit of info in the pamphlet. So batch two I used a good plain yogurt and the culture. It's in the fridge straining as we speak. Even with the extra boil process, making yogurt in the IP is still way easier than the crockpot. I'm a fan.

Tonight I'm hoping to get my soap bars heatshrinked - I have 55 bars to do and 12 end slices (those I just wrap in plastic wrap and hit with the gun). I would like to get labels printed out, but that always takes way longer than it should, so that might not happen. I'll have to feed the family too. Maybe Wednesday night if I get off work early I can get soap done.

ETA: Oh! I almost forgot, my friend dropped off a shampoo bar mold for me this morning! She 3D printed it for me, and it's sooo pretty! So I have to find time to try the new Humble Bee and Me shampoo bar recipe this week too.
 

MaryAlice

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Not quite soapy but I made my favorite whipped body lotion today. And I'm about to order supplies for soap making. I took a break as being a beginner I had several fails in a row but I've worked up the courage to give it another go.
 

Marilyn Norgart

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Humble Bee and Me shampoo bar recipe this week too.
I did one of these yesterday (2 counting my goof) is it the mango mango one? I don't know what I was expecting but I wound up squishing it with my hands and it was like play dough. (is that the right consistency?) I put it in a mold but am kinda wondering if I could have just shaped it freehand. not sure if I goofed up or not. I cant wait to try it--delivered my friends to her and she really liked the scent
 

amd

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is it the mango mango one?
No, the new rhassoul clay that she posted late last week. Although the mango one is on my list as it is sulfate free, which should be better for colored hair. WSP's moisturizing shampoo recipe strips the color out of my hair. So far, the DIY Bath & Body (on Etsy) has not damaged my color. I have SCS noodles, so I'm curious to try Marie's (Humble Bee and Me) recipe to see what it does to my color. The DIY B&B recipe with avo oil is a winner for my hubby, but I hand pressed it into silicone molds so the bar broke after the third use. Hoping my new press mold that my friend made will get it to hold together better. It looks just like this:
upload_2019-10-8_11-37-16.png
Although my base piece is taller so the bar thickness isn't quite as adjustable as it would be in the one shown above. I'm thinking I should be able to get 75-100g bars out of mine. Oooh! Which just made me think... I wonder if I melted the shampoo bars that I already made just slightly, kneaded in the preservative, and remolded them with the press... if that would work. I have three bars left from the DIY B&B batch that I'm not looking forward to using because of the breaking issue.

But yes, to answer your question, for melted recipes like the mango mango, it will be more like a sticky play dough. I use cornstarch on my (gloved) fingers when I'm squishing those types of recipes into molds. The cornstarch will spritz right off with a bit of rubbing alcohol or water. You could totally hand form them too, but I like using little round molds like this:
upload_2019-10-8_11-44-4.png
 

Marilyn Norgart

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But yes, to answer your question
thanks :) good luck with melting your shampoo bars--hope it works
I have been wondering about the sulfate free part as the BTMS has sulfate right in the name--or is methosulfate a different thing?
 

amd

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is methosulfate a different thing?
I believe it's a different thing. I'm going to move to PM so that we don't clog up this thread - plus I have some yogurt questions.... lol.

Hmm... well @Marilyn Norgart I tried to PM you but I get a message saying that I am not allowed to message you.
 
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