Urban Chick

Aug 03 2012 Published by under daily soap stuff,new soaps

I love Hippy Chick so much that I decided to give her a friend from the burbs. Meet Urban Chick, obviously she would be all glammed up, with an “in” colour that is just so,.. hip!

 

 and with an armoa to boot she is alittle irresistable.  Im talking essential oils of Sweet orange, lemon, geranium bourban, white grapefruit and jasmine absolute. Im talking sophisticated! Uptown lolol and not so hippy.

 

Hippy Chicks meet Urban Chicks :) Can you spot the harbour bridge do?

 

2 responses so far

Coconut & Lime soap

May 24 2012 Published by under new soaps

I’ve been wanting to blog this post for about 3 days now…but l couldn’t get a nice photo of my new Coconut and Lime soap and it has been irritating the heck out of me.

The photography course is going really well, but one thing l have noticed – OMG l am getting sooooo fussy when it comes to photos LOL. I’ve taken about 100 shots of these three bars of soap, and edited about 15 of those…and although l’m still not happy with the one above, it is just going to have to be good enough because l am sick of looking at it! I’ve tried evey room in the house…tried different bowls and soap dishes and teatowels and angles and lighting…you name it, l’ve tried it.

Here’s (a small sample of!) the gallery of contenders. Too dark, too light, too bright, too shadowy, too yellow, too green, too cropped, too grey too fuzzy too sharp, too big too small l’m starting to sound like a Dr Suess story LOL.

Annnnnnnyway…it’s really nice soap. Trust me LOL.

Actually…l think l like this shot better (shoot me I’m going crazy :P)

4 responses so far

Monkey Farts!

May 12 2012 Published by under new soaps

Hahaha l love Monkey Farts soap, it must be the immature kid in me but l still get a laugh out of reading the label and scent description every single time. Last night John and l made 3 batches of soap, and this was one of them. I am still terrified of crackling, but yet again l kept it cool, soaped more s.l.o.w.l.y…reduced the water, and banned too much titanium dioxide. I’m paranoid.

But we were rewarded with three beautifully smooth logs of chocolate coloured Monkey Farts scented soapy goodness. In the background of this shot you can see the green Hello Myrtle soap batch that John was allowed to make all by himself. I managed not to dither in the background too much this time LOL ;-)

Doesn’t it look YUM :-)

Is it just me being hungry, or do these look like chocolate brownies?

Hope you are having a good weekend! I’ve got a to-do list as long as my arm and have managed to achieve none of it, but at least l got to faff around and post soap pics LOL.

4 responses so far

Howdy!

May 03 2012 Published by under new soaps,soap photos

It’s probably only been about a week since l blogged, but it feels like a decade LOL. You know how when you have heaps to say…and no time to type it out…and then suddenly it doesn’t really seem that important anymore. That’s where l’ve been at. Oh, and terribly sick, without trying to sound like a drama queen.

Somewhere in all of this SIXTEEN new fragrance oils arrived for me to play with, and l made two of the worst batches of soap l’ve ever made. Great for the confidence – not! There was Pink Chardonnay which went in the bin yesterday, and then Grapefruit and Lime which l was sure l was going to love, but god help me it turned out awful – what was meant to be a pretty swirl turned out a disgusting muddy mess of orange, yellow and green. I healf heartedly took a few photos but they just made me feel even more depressed LOL.

Thankfully the Pomegranate and Sage turned out beautifully, because otherwise all of my soapmaking equipment was going in the bin l was so grumpy with it all.

And l made some lemon scented goats milk soap too which thankfully must have known it HAD to turn out acceptably:

Something strange has been going on recently and l am tearing my hair out over it.

Many of my soaps lately have been ‘crackling’, quite badly. Not just crackling either though – there are definite ‘clear’ lines in the soap where you can see attempts at swirling. See the top left one below? That was the first.

This soap below is the Pink Chardonnay that went in the bin, and it had big streaks all though it, but no swirls to speak of.

I am doing the same things with my soap that I’ve always done – the same amount of titanium dioxide, mixed the same way…in fact it’s probably the same batch that l’ve used for the last 6 months, l try not to use too much.

The only things l can think of are:

  • that while experimenting with non-palm oil recipes, l’ve started using Rice Bran Oil a bit. Could it be that? I guess it’s the one consistent change, but surely just swapping one oil wouldn’t do all this? It’s only ever a third of my recipe.
  • maybe l am using too much colour/clays in the batch (but it’s never been an issue in the past)…
  • that l am overheating the soap (but again, my soap has gotten way hotter than these ones before without this crackling)…I’ve even forced it in the oven without all of this happening…
  • that l just need to give up LOL.

I would love some advice. I thought l was experienced, but l am not feeling that way at the moment. Just very frustrated and annoyed at how even after more than 5 years of soapmaking l can still get it so wrong.

16 responses so far

A parcel for me!

Apr 02 2012 Published by under new soaps,soap photos

I received a parcel today in the mail. Much excitement! These soaps came from Michelle at Tierre Verde soaps in Texas.

I am totally in love with the packaging. The soaps smell absolutely beautiful, but l don’t think l’m ever going to be able to unwrap them, because l can’t bear the thought of ripping off all that gorgeous brown paper and carefully applied labelling!

Maybe in a day or two. I’m going to find that Lemongrass and Calendula one very hard to resist ;-)

 

3 responses so far

I really need to cool it…

Mar 30 2012 Published by under daily soap stuff,new soaps,soap photos

I made some soap yesterday and was really peeved at my impatience. I soaped this batch far too warm – although the oils were room temperature and even starting to solidify again, the lye water was hot, hot, hot, and when the two were combined, the total temperature was way too high. I’d had visions of carefully blending a pretty pink top layer and taking quite a bit of time to sculpt the top nicely. But once l had added the fragrance, it just about seized on the spot and l was left frantically whisking what was fast turning out to be hot process soap.

Good for the arm muscles!

It turned out fine…perfectly usable…even sort of pretty…but just not what l had been aiming for and l am so cross with myself. The essential oils haven’t blended into the pink part very well, and l know l could do much better if l just slowed down and waited. I was hoping for a lovely ‘buttery’ look on top.

(meet Hippy Chick – scented with a ylang ylang essential oil blend!)

I’ve also been experimenting with soap photos & white backgrounds, and am starting to figure out how to make them work.

And of course I’m still loving that 50mm lens. Oh yes we are destined to see many, many out of focus backgrounds here for quite a long time!

Another new soap: ‘Bubble & Squeak‘ – named in honour of using all the leftover soap scraps to make it! It’s a bit smaller than my normal bars as l experimented with a different sized mould and calculated incorrectly on the amount of soap mix needed. But it looks and smells lovely nevertheless, it is scented with orange, lavender and may chang essential oil as well as Roman Chamomile. The crackled effect in the orange – again…someone was too impatient, soaped too hot, and left themselves too little time to blend the top layer properly – the crackles are from me adding a little more water to the batter to try and thin it down and not quite succeeding.

I’m taking myself back to soap school and starting from scratch. No more ‘winging it’ with too hot ingredients. Because it is so disappointing when things don’t turn out how you envisaged.

 

It’s probably the best batch of Meditate soap ever :-)

 

12 responses so far

making Little Lotion Bars :-)

Mar 23 2012 Published by under lotion bars,new soaps

melting the oils & butters…(shea, coconut, cocoa, olive, beeswax, soywax)

pouring into tart moulds…

waiting for them to set…

(mum this is sooooooo boring please can we go outside and play!)

The finished lotion bars (after being melted down and repoured into different moulds, l like these much better!)

You can find Little Lotion Bars here :-)

2 responses so far

Gratitude

Mar 17 2012 Published by under new soaps,soap photos

I am so, so SO happy today, l’m having the best day ever. I’m not doing anything special, just pottering around in the kitchen making lotion bars, taking soap photos, planning a batch to use up my soap scraps, adding things to the website and just relaxing. But it struck me that l am doing all of the things l love. My love for soap is back with a vengeance. I’m so glad l picked the path l have for Simply Soap – the ‘keeping it simple and natural and small’ path. I may not earn $60,000 a year, but money most definitely isn’t everything, and my heart is so happy and grateful today. Getting the photo above just made it even better LOL.

This one made me feel pretty good too :-)  The first time l tried to shoot photos of soap in the white bathroom, the results were not so good. But gosh l love these. I’m adding three new soaps to the store today, these are not really part of the ‘range’ that l had restricted myself to, but l made them back in 2011 before l decided to rein things in a little. They are just plain olive oil soap with no other oils, and there are quite a few people out there who really like them. John isn’t one of them – he complained about ‘that slimy purple soap’ in the shower when he used the test bar LOL. They’re not for everyone, but the 100% olive oil is so good for dry and irritated skin, and they are aimed at those people. There is plain, citrus and lavender, the latter two with essential oil.

I went for a run this morning and while faffing about at the back door trying to talk myself out of it, took some photos of our new lemon tree.

And l’ve realised that l really love taking photos of the simple things in life. I love getting up close to nature and noticing all the little details that we so often miss in our day to day rushing about. Sometimes there are the most amazing things going on, right under our noses. And if we rush about too much, we miss all of those beautiful things.

To me, nice soap with ‘real’ ingredients is also one of those things. It’s very simple, and often very plain. But that cliche – ‘the simple things in life are often the best’ – l am really starting to believe that it is true.

Hope you’re having a lovely day!

5 responses so far

new Honey & Oatmeal soap

Mar 16 2012 Published by under new soaps

One of the things l knew l was going to miss when giving up Fragrance Oils was my Honey & Oatmeal soap. It was so nice, and it’s such an everyday soap staple that l knew l was going to have to try and come up with something naturally smelling of honey & oatmeal to try and replace it. This is the first of the ‘experiments’. I’ve used goats milk, organic Australian honey, and ground oatmeal. Thinking about it now, l wish l’d added some cinnamon to it, because it smells exactly like a big bowl of oatmeal on a wintery morning. It’s not a strong smell at all, in fact on first sniff it smells quite plain. But while using it, if you lean down and take a sniff of the lather, there is a lovely, warm toasty smell of oats and sugar and milk. It smells wholesome and natural. And the goats milk makes it feel really lovely on the skin.

The new Honey & Oatmeal will be ready for sale in early April.

3 responses so far

Name That Soap…

Mar 10 2012 Published by under name that soap,new soaps

(competition now closed)

This is the latest addition to the Simply Soap range – along the lines of May Chang and the old Citrus Twist, it is a really lovely citrussy/orange scented essential oil soap. Except it is really STRONG, it’s almost Super Citrus, and it deserves a special name, something a bit punchier than Citrus Twist. Maybe Citrus Twist Your Arm Off? ;-)

If you like a soap that will not just wake you up in the morning but actually smack you in the head, turn off your alarm for you and even make the bed, this is it (just kidding LOL!)

I quite like the name ‘Super Citrus’, but l’m not 100% sure. I’ll send a bar of Super Mega Orange Citrus Explosion soap to whoever thinks of the most fitting name for it. I’m open to humour. I’m open to any of the names being incorporated from this post. Just hit me with your favourites :-)

competition closes next Sunday 18th March 2012 at midnight AEST and is open to anyone!

edited to add: We have a winner!

There were some wonderful entries (thankyou so much to everyone who entered!)
l am sorely tempted to make 15 more different types of citrus soap just so l can use them all, but…this one really stuck with me :-) (thankyou so much Felice, l’ll email you!)

35 responses so far

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