Archive for April, 2011

Taking Stock…

Apr 27 2011 Published by under daily soap stuff,new soaps

So…apart from me faffing around with the website, there has been a fair amount of rethinking in the soap department going on here. When l first started making soaps again, l was delirious with excitement, and transfixed with the possibilities before me. Every bottle of fragrance had to be tried and experimented with…every combination of colour and design explored and pored over. I spent hours and HOURS on etsy admiring thousands of soaps. (gosh there are some seriously clever soapmakers out there!)

However…it’s a few months down the track, and l’ve realised there’s alot to be said for NOT making every combination that comes into my head. I’ve been feeling like there’s no control, no restraint. There’s too many possibilities, and only so long l can continue giving free rein to my imagination before it gets the better of me and spontaneously combusts with overexcitement.

l decided it would be very nice to carefully plan out a range of soaps. A smaller and more thoughtful range. Something l can easily keep up with. To perhaps tinker more with different oils and butters and put some energy into learning about the different qualities of everything. Instead of just being caught up in the bright headlights of COLOUR…SWIRLS…BLING…and EXCITEMENT.

l feel calmer already :-)

l decided my website had to be more earthy and natural…so now my soaps are going to follow suit. l could never decide which l admired more – the ‘earthy’ look loved by more ‘natural’ soapmakers, or the loud and vibrant look achieved by soapmakers who are so clever with multiple layers and neon swirls and heady fragrances. But doing my design questionnaire set me on the right path, (sort of headed towards ‘natural’ with a little excitement here and there!) and l am feeling quite determined to follow through on this.

l’ve since cleared out hundreds of soaps that didn’t fit the new direction…and am working on ‘The Range’. It’s very difficult. There are still unopened bottles of fragrance winking at me everytime l walk past my soapmaking shelf. l am going to have to be firm and sell them on ebay. There are still about ten too many soaps in my ‘pared down’ list of  Soap Flavours I Must Have On My Website. I spend most days glaring at it and trying to rearrange things. And then there’s the world of cream soap…and sugar scrubs…and salt bars…and soy melts..and solid lotion bars…and liquid soap…ahhhhh…l have to constantly remind myself that l named my business Simply Soap for a reason.

K.I.S.S !!!

ps. Meet Spiced Orange and Vanilla Bean :-)

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Website Dilemma

Apr 20 2011 Published by under daily soap stuff

The other thing l meant to comment on today was the Simply Soap website…

l decided to give it a bit of a tweak, but now don’t know if l like it. The worst thing about being a webdesigner is that you expect your own website to be perfect, and it usually isn’t. I made myself complete my own design questionnaire (and it did help a little bit) but l still can’t decide on what l like at all, and it changes every 30 minutes. So of course l am constantly tweaking and rearranging and faffing about with it. And l looked at my blog header this morning and thought ‘oh damn, maybe l should have just kept it how it was, because l think l like it’ LOL so goodness knows what will happen today.

Before:

After:

I wanted something that looks natural, a little bit classy, and possibly lighter than the original design. The black navigation bar looked too gloomy to me. l also wanted some sort of a logo, but haven’t achieved that really…

l love the idea of kraft paper, twine, simple packaging, simple ingredients etc. l’ve decided to lean towards more natural looking soaps instead of the loud fun ones, so l wanted the website to reflect that decision. But l’m not sure if purple and cream really achieve that! I look at it now and it appears a little staid and boring…like it needs a good scruff up LOL!

What do you think?

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Missing in action

Apr 20 2011 Published by under daily soap stuff,new soaps

My goodness, l decided to have a week off soapmaking after my epic fail soap, but it turned into almost two weeks, and l have now got the soap guilts instead LOL. It seems like ages since l’ve made anything, so l eased into it gently this morning with a sugar scrub recipe l’ve been wanting to try.

l would love to one day offer some sort of a scrub for sale, but l’ve only ever made it twice, and l must say that this batch isn’t one l think l’ll make again. lt’s very pretty and smells beautiful (lime essential oil) but it is filled with solid coconut oil and a bit too greasy for my liking. The water was beading off me like crazy in the shower and l felt a bit like Susie Moroney when she greases up with fat to protect her skin before her long ocean swimming marathons. I’ve got the 14yo dd trying it out for me in the shower right now (anything to get her to wash!) and then dd (9) will be trying it next, she’s much more into body products :-) But l’m going to have another shot with a different recipe or two, and then compare them all.

I’m also really interested in making cream soap/whipped soap – there are lots of gorgeous ones l’ve seen on etsy, and l have been reading  instructions and comparing different recipes…so when l’ve done my website work for the day it might be something else to have a think about. l haven’t quite got all the ingredients though, so l think an online shopping spree is in order!

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Epic Fail.

Apr 05 2011 Published by under daily soap stuff

OMG there are so many titles l could give this post.

In The Bin.

Trashed.

Coconut Overload.

My beautifully pretty snow white glittery & coconutty peaks of soap from the last post have turned out to be a total disaster, and l have just returned from the rubbish bin where the entire batch got ceremoniously dumped. l very rarely throw out any soap at all, even if it is only for personal use l always try and rebatch, because l hate throwing things out.

But behold:

As the days went by, it was morphing into a beige bar of brown speckled ugliness that looked like a piece of cement topped with cosmetic glitter, and smelled pretty much the same. l could hardly bear to look at it. Too much coconut cream l think, plus too much titanium dioxide, and a tad too much enthusiasm LOL. l am so disappointed and disheartened. Thankfully the soap fairies were nicer to me with the following batch of Chamomile Grapefruit, so l haven’t hung up my soapmaking apron in defeat just yet.

And then there’s this colourful hussy of a rebatch called Drama Queen, scented with Rhubarb, Raspberry and Rose which cheers me up heaps:

I’m going to take a break from soapmaking this week l think. I have a new quilt to start, and some websites to catch up on.

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