Archive for September, 2011

New Soaps…

Sep 28 2011 Published by under limited edition soaps,new soaps,shampoo bars

Festive Floral – one of my limited edition Christmas soaps which will be available November 1st. Softly scented with a custom blend of floral fragrance oils and filled with lots of cheery confetti shreds to make a beautiful gift soap.

Peppermint Rose – another christmas soap – crisp Peppermint essential oil blended with Rose fragrance oil, an absolutely lovely smell. This soap was meant to turn out white, but l will forgive it…the glitter on top still makes me happy :-)

Green Apple Shampoo bar – available now. You can read all about the shampoo bar experiment here.

Leomn Shampoo bar – on the site now, but not ready for sale for a few more weeks. I love this bar!

And finally, Mintie shampoo bar with a blend of peppermint and spearmint essential oils.

2 responses so far

Play Doh soap :-(

Sep 23 2011 Published by under daily soap stuff,new soaps

A couple of days ago l posted this pic on facebook. New soap with a new Magnolia fragrance oil that l hadn’t tried before. I was quite excited, because it looked soooooo pretty, and l was hoping it wouldn’t be one of those fragrances that turned the soap brown like vanilla does.

A quick aside – l always buy my new fragrances in 100ml bottles – there are smaller 15ml or 25ml ones available, but l figure l just can’t be bothered – most of them work out fine once you’ve learned the initial fragrance temperaments and how they behave in soap, so l am usually willing to ‘risk it for a biscuit’ so to speak. Because the odds are if that l only bought a small bottle the tiny batch of soap it was used in would turn out fabulous and then l’d be wishing l had just bought the bigger bottle and made a huge batch to start with. It’s a bit hard getting excited about the design possibilities of three bars of soap LOL.

So l used a good 30 mls of fragrance in this 1kg soap loaf, as well as some pretty blue and pink colours and some red soap bits on top. lt turned out lovely if l do say so myself.

Here’s another pic with my Peppermint Rose christmas soap on the right hand side. The middle loaf is a lemon shampoo soap, and there is a log of Snow Candy on the left of the pic.

So can you imagine my horror when l sniffed it after cutting the bars, and it smells like NOTHING. Nothing whatsoever. Nothingy nothingly nothingness.

If l had to hazard a guess, it has a slightly ‘play doh’ kind of smell, not even a whiff of the nice soapiness you get from an unscented soap. lt’s like the Magnolia smell just morphed into a fragrance sucking monster and took all of the nice bits out of my soap and left it with a sort of rubbery dull after smell.

Not happy Jan!

This one will be going in the grater *sighs* or maybe l will have a go at making some of those little soap balls l see everyone using these days.

You live and learn hey. l will be paying much more attention to those 15ml bottles from now on.

7 responses so far

Soap Gallery

Sep 22 2011 Published by under daily soap stuff

I’ve added a Soap Gallery to the website.

It’s not technically my own gallery, as it is hosted on the Simply Soap Facebook page – l decided that instead of adding yet another feature to the website that it would be more user friendly to just add it to FB where most people hang out anyway. You can see it here, and l will add photos to it as l find them – l’ve taken so many, and always bemoaned the fact that l only get to use one or two of them -  so it is really nice for them to have a home :-) And l’ve found it quite interesting to compare newer soaps to the older ones and see for myself how my soapmaking style (and photography!) has evolved.

I hope you enjoy it!

(you don’t need to ‘like’ the facebook page to be able to view the gallery, at least l don’t think so!)

One response so far

calling all Lurkers – say hello!

Sep 20 2011 Published by under soap competitions

Two things today…

Simply Soap now offer international postage (although the rates are a bit scary!)

In honour of shipping worldwide, and also because l’m feeling nosy, it’s time for a new competition – and because l’ve always wanted to know who reads this here blog, l’m encouraging you all to say hello and introduce yourself. lt doesn’t need to be a huge biography, just a few lines about who you are, where you’re from and finally, why you read the Simply Soap blog. And if you want to add anything else about yourself, feel free.  I’d love to meet you!

I’ll send out these two yummy bars of soap to a random comment. Sandalwood Rose & Grapefruit Pomegranate are two of the newest soaps on the block around here, and they are so pretty!

Entries close at midnight on Sunday 25th September and entry is open to everyone, l’ll post this worldwide.

ps. Non-Lurkers are also very welcome to enter ;-)

UPDATE: Entries are now closed – congrats to Simone, comment number 13, l’ll be in touch to organise delivery of your prize :-)

26 responses so far

to market to market…

Sep 16 2011 Published by under daily soap stuff,soap photos

It’s been such a long time since l’ve taken my soaps to a market, but l’m getting ready for one this weekend, and decided to take some photos for the website before stashing it all in the car.

I have all the soaps arranged in two wooden trays (approx 42 bars per tray) and am also taking a few tin buckets and a cake stand for other flavours. I’m not sure yet what l’m going to use as a table cloth, l used all of my old ones as quilt backings LOL! Better go and hunt through the linen cupboard :-)

I hope you all have a great weekend!

edited to add:

Isn’t this a great quote:

When you buy from small businesses you are NOT helping a CEO buy a third vacation home, you are helping:

  • a mom put food on the table (that’s me!)
  • a little girl finally get those dance lessons (that’s me too!)
  • a little boy finally gets to be part of the football team
  • a young lady get a new dress for her big dance
  • a dad a present for his wife for the first time in years this Christmas.

Please Support local small businesses!

(and thankyou to all of my wonderful customers, l appreciate every single purchase you make!)

8 responses so far

Lemon Lime Salt Bars & 75 yo yo’s

Sep 08 2011 Published by under new soaps

I made these Lemon & Lime bars about a week ago after getting rid of some older soap flavours. l got bored with lemon poppyseed soap and lime wasn’t selling so well either, so l decided to combine the two essential oils in a salt bar for something a little bit different. I absolutely adore salt bars, they are so nice to wash with once they have smoothed out a little bit! Every recipe is different, but l add normal household salt to my finished soap batter at approximately one half of the oil weight. And it makes a very hard bar that also has amazing amounts of bubbles, l quite often stand in the shower for ages just admiring the lather of a salt bar. (yeah, l totally need to get a life LOL.) It’s not scratchy or exfoliating, the salt actually adds a lovely smoothness to the soap for some reason, and it has quite an exclusive ‘spa’ feeling about it. A soap for when you’re wanting something a little bit special :-)

The other thing l like to do apart from soapmaking is quilting. I’m fairly new to the quilting scene, but am learning fast and enjoying it a lot. And in the spirit of liking to take on much more than l am capable of, l decided l was totally in LOVE with this colourful yo yo quilt when l saw it on the front of a magazine a couple of months ago. Undeterred by the fact that it requires around 430 yo yo’s to be created and then hand sewn on in rows, l decided l was going to make it, and even took 100 pre-cut yo yo squares on my recent holiday to sew in the car while we were driving all day.

Except, my god, it takes so much longer to make yo yos than l had anticipated, and after say 4 or 5 while the car was moving, l was a bit yo yo’d out. (no l didn’t make them while l was driving LOL.) Plus l didn’t really want to spend my entire trip to central Australia staring into my lap when l was supposed to be admiring the great outdoors. So after what l thought was still a pretty massive yo yo making effort, l sat down to count them and was a bit underwhelmed to discover that l’d only managed 75, including the 30 or 40 that l had already made at home.

Bummer.

400+ just seems so out of reach, l need a little more instant gratification than that ;-) And l’ll also admit that the idea of having to hand sew them all on the quilt top once l’d finished making them was also starting to do my head in.

So l found this pillowcase/cushion cover that l purchased on ebay recently. When l saw it on ebay l thought it was gorgeous, but when it arrived, it didn’t look half as nice as the photo had indicated. Must have been the camera angle or maybe l just need new glasses. So l’ve decided to use some of my yo yo’s to sew on top and sort of repurpose it into a cushion cover that l actually like.

Im not 100% convinced though, what do you think? The black ribbon trim on the cushion edge is going to be removed (this didn’t show in the ebay photo at all!) and the yo yo’s will all be stitched on neatly in rows. Too loud? A bit in your face? LOL?

7 responses so far

Sandalwood Rose

Sep 06 2011 Published by under daily soap stuff,new soaps

Isn’t it funny how the best laid plans go a bit skew whiff every now and then? With the case of this soap, they went both good and bad, but l’m very happy with the end result. Well, except for a few mega air bubbles!

It all started well with a  bottle of Sandalwood fragrance. But l’m a bit ‘over’ sandalwood, it doesn’t do much for me, so l had the bright idea of adding some rose fragrance oil. And it smelled divine.

Except l forgot that l’d added a floral fragrance  to the mix….

The oils were probably a little too warm … the water discounted a little too much, and the pink, white and red cosmetic clays needed more blending in than l thought they would. It was after 11pm by this stage and l was dog tired but determined to keep going and fit a soapmaking session into my day.

End result?

Seized. Soap. On. A. Stick.  To be exact, three different buckets of it, all coloured beautifully and setting up hard, not even anywhere close to being placed in the mould yet. That fragrance moved fast. Arghhhh! Armed with spatulas galore and needing another 13 arms, l scraped and slammed it all into the mould, dropping huge scoops of coloured hot soap on top of each other and hoping for the best. By the time l finished the kitchen looked like a soap factory had spontaneously combusted somewhere nearby. Oh hang on…it did!

Anyway, l got it all in the mould, sprinkled pink cosmetic clay over the top (so much for my elegant swirling plans!) and dropped it on the floor a couple of times to settle the mixture in. l should have taken a photo of the kitchen at this stage but was too tired so just covered the soap, cleaned up, tossed everything in the laundry and fell into bed.

And woke up this morning and discovered that it actually hadn’t turned out too bad at all, and it really does smell very, very nice. lt’s actually quite a strong fragrance, and could do with fading a little bit, so it will be interesting to see what the next few weeks bring. And as for my ‘scoop swirl’, well, l kinda like it, and might make plans to do it a bit more deliberately next time.

Fragrances still to soap: Magnolia, French Pear and Lavender & Cucumber. I’m trying to use up some of what l’ve got before l’m allowed to buy more fragrance oils.

4 responses so far

some soap stuff…

Sep 05 2011 Published by under daily soap stuff,soap photos

So l’ve been making soap…but not feeling like writing about it much LOL. Just some quick pics to share today instead. Here’s the bars from the Dead Sea Mud funnel swirl. Still a bit soft to be cut, but l couldn’t wait.

Next up was a batch of Grapefruit Pomegranate in new red and orange colours. A chunkier funnel swirl, as the soap was thickening up and l was running out of time LOL.

But the bars turned out just lovely, the bright colours are so cheery!

and a confetti style Masculine Musk soap, officially the most difficult fragrance to work with ever. But god it smells good so it is worth the angst ;-)

4 responses so far

Dead Sea Swirly-ness…

Sep 01 2011 Published by under daily soap stuff

I still haven’t been soaping much, but l did make a batch of Dead Sea Mud soap and tried another column swirl. The soap is poured in alternate colours over the top of a block of wood standing in the middle of the mould – it is lots of fun and the results are spectacular.

This is after removing the wood and adding some more ‘lines’ through the soap with a chopstick.

And this is not soap at all, but my gorgeous puppy wuppy who is growing bigger and bigger every day. He’s now 11 weeks old and has demolished the outdoor solar lighting, an agapanthus bush, the pebbles l collected from our recent holiday, a ceramic bird that mysteriously fell off the garden seat outside, and the door mat by the laundry door. I gave him a bath with handmade soap the other day and he tried to eat the soap balls on the side of the bathtub LOL.

He’s mostly very well behaved, and is now sitting and dropping, and learning that he is not to barge through the door when it is opened – he is supposed to show manners and sit and wait. I wish l was having as much success with teaching him not to chase the cats!

3 responses so far

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