March 2015 Calendar

MarchI’m excited for March! I’m starting to plan my garden and . (Even though it is snowing here in Utah right now!)

We’ve designed this monthly calendar that you can print for your desk or workspace. Print out a copy (or two) so you know what holidays are around the corner! Remember! The month of March includes time changes for those of us who still have Daylight Savings Time.

Click here to download your copy now!

Do you have anything fun planned for this month? Let us know! We would love to hear about your fun plans!

Andee

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Winter Soap Challenge – Christine

This is the type of winter morning that inspired this soap.
This is the type of winter morning that inspired this soap.

Christine submitted one of her soaps for our Winter Morning Soap Challenge. I think one of my favorite things about challenges is to see different perspectives of the same thing. Check out Christine’s view of beautiful Cache Valley.

This soap came about when I was shopping at a local soap supplier and smelling fragrance samples a little before Christmas. I did get a small bottle of this scent to play with, although the actual soap did not happen much before Christmas, more as an afterthought that we still have a couple of months of winter.

Christine's Soap
Christine’s Soap

The official fragrance description is as follows: perfect blend of wet snow, a frozen air accord, woodland moss, spearmint leaves, an ozonic accord.

I do suppose that describes it somewhat, in a sober sort of way. To me it is more than that though. The picture in my mind when smelling it is very much like your beautiful picture of Cache Valley. As a matter of fact, if you zoom in quite a bit on the right side, in the crease of the mountain about halfway up, you can see a grove of trees that inspired this soap. To me, it smells of crunchy footsteps, ice skates on a pond, runny noses, wooly mittens, ravens cawing, animal tracks in the snow and some serious sledding. Can you tell I love winter?

This soap is hot processed, the brown color made with cocoa powder representing the obligatory hot chocolate when returning indoors. The green part is colored with chromium oxide and mica and piped on top. The finishing touch is a layer of snow made of hemp oil M&P soap colored with white frosty mica drizzled over the top and some iridescent glitter.

How fun! I love all of the thought that is put into these soaps! They are just too cute! Remember, if you want to join in on the fun, you have until March 15th to submit your photo and description! Read more about the challenge here!

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Winter Soap Challenge – Mo

This is the type of winter morning that inspired this soap.
This is the type of winter morning that inspired this soap.

I sent out a challenge the other week calling all soapmakers. I must say I have gotten some amazing responses. Allow me to introduce you to Mo, who will be sharing the soap she made.

Did I need another excuse to make another loaf of soap…yep! Nope!

Mo's Soap
Mo’s Soap

Your posted photo celebrates a crisp cold winter in its quiet beauty. I was inspired. Looking at the photo I imagine slicing into a set loaf and seeing this very scene.

To begin I drew a slice of the soap blocking where colors would go. As I drew I thought about how I would layer the batter layers to get what I wanted. I marked where I would put the botanicals (coffee grounds and ground oatmeal), the copper mica and the hues of blue, pink and white.

Mo's Soap
Mo’s Soap

As the lye  water and melted oils cooled I organized my working space. I was methodical (I am not usually so). I set up the bowls, the spoons, and the spatulas. I mixed my colors-blue, pink and white. I ground the coffee grounds and oatmeal setting each into a small saucer. I opened the mica. I put spoons next to each dish. (Imagine setting the table for a formal affair!)

After the workspace was set, I opened my computer to the winter photo and set my map on the keyboard for easy reading. When temperatures were good I mixed the lye and oils. I kept the trace slow needing time to think, layer, read, think. Did I say I was taking my time?

Mo's Soap
Mo’s Soap

I began tipping the loaf pan for the first layer of snow. This was followed by layering the oatmeal to represent snow and form a base for the coffee grounds. This brown layer represents the fence and dead grasses. Next I carefully layered blue for the water and another layer of brown for the distant shore. I placed dark blue for the mountain finally layering with pink, white and blues for the winter sky. The top was decorated with blue and pink and copper reflecting the soaps origins.

The scent was an efficacious process. I purchased Osmanthus several months and have never tried it. This was a perfect time to try it. I did. And I had to add a few drops of Frankincense. Maybe it’s not a cold weather scent but I live in Florida and all my seasons are mixed up any how!

This a cold process soap.

The result is beautiful! There are subtle layers of colors and brown lines with shimmering of copper. There is a story in each slice. The final soap is exciting!

Wow! Mo’s soap is just breath taking. But so are the others I have waiting to be shared. If you want to join in on the fun, remember that you have until March 15th to submit your photo and description! Read more about the challenge here!

Taylor

 

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2015 Central Soapers Workshop Countdown!

We're going to CSW! Are you?
We’re going to CSW! Are you?
I can’t believe how close the 2015 Central Soapers Workshop is! A mere 24 days away and the last day to register is March 1st! Eeekk!

I’m so excited for this year because there are some awesome events that will be going on. (Including my fragrance blending presentation. I’m over the moon about it!) There are three different registration tracks (Business, Soapmaker, or Virtual). If you are wanting to learn how to make soap for the first time, you are covered with the Soapmaking 101 Bootcamp the day before!

  • The Business track is for business owners who sell their handmade soaps and more! Dig deep into marketing, sales, social media, wholesale and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices). You are going to walk out of the Business track with new ideas and encouragement that will help you boost your sales!
  • The Soapmaking track is for soapmakers who want to learn more! Attend demos, workshops, and have access to the exclusive Freestyle Soap Lab (sponsored by the awesome crew here at MMS). You are going to learn about new techniques, new methods and even things you may have never thought about! If you don’t have any soapmaking experience prior to CSW, you must register for the Soapmaking 101 Bootcamp to attend the rest of the Soapmaking track events.
  • The Virtual track is for anyone who would love to join us in Kansas City, but can’t make it! You get to check out all the presentations online once they are released in April.
This is some of the fun from last year! You have to come this year!
This is some of the fun from last year! You have to come this year!

So… who is going to be at CSW from MMS? Tina and I will be! Come join us and if you bring your tutus, we’ll even pose with you in some pictures! (Sorry Virtual attendees! You will have to make do with pictures from the Business & Soapmaking Track attendees!)

If you can’t make it, follow us on Twitter for workshop updates! We will be tagging our posts with #centralsoapers. I will try very hard to keep the Twitter feed rolling on our end, but I might be having so much fun that I forget to tweet!

See you in Kansas City!

Andee

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Winter Morning Soap Challenge

This is the type of winter morning that inspired this soap.
Winter Morning in Beautiful Cache Valley

Attention all soapmakers! It is time for another challenge and we want to see your soaps! The theme of this challenge is Winter Morning. To get your imagination going, I am going to share a photo of our beautiful Cache Valley. We want to see how you would make this beautiful landscape into soap.

All participants must submit a photo of their soap and a description. The description must include a write up about the scent, and how the soap came about. Here is your chance to use some creative writing. Make us excited about your soap.

Your submission can be Cold Process, Hot Process or even Melt & Pour soap. You can submit your entry either via email (blog@thesage.com) or on Facebook. You must be an existing MMS customer to qualify. Submissions will be accepted until March 15th. The MMS staff will then vote on their favorite soaps based on appearance and accompanying description. Two winners will be selected. On March 20th, we will announce the winners and share their photos.

Winners will receive a $30 Gift Certificate, an Extra Large Handmade Tray Mold and a 1 oz bottle of our new fragrance, Icy Waters! You won’t want to miss out. We will be doing a special project with the mold after winners are announced. Happy creating and good luck!

Taylor

 

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Caramel Latte Lip Balm

Finished Lip Balm. YUMMY!
Finished Lip Balm. YUMMY!

You know when a good friend introduces you to something so good, it feels like it has turned into an addiction. Yeah. I am suffering from the effects of a well intentioned friend. My new addiction, you ask? Caramel Lattes. Well, today I am going to give into that addiction and make a lip balm worthy of those liquid delights. Come join me!

Ingredients
Soy Wax
Candelilla Wax
Palm Kernel Oil
Conditioning Emulsifier
Castor Oil
Coffee Butter
High Melt Point Shea Butter
Caramel Toffee Flavor Oil
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
10 grams Soy Wax
20 grams Candelilla Wax
20 grams Palm Kernel Oil
10 grams Conditioning Emulsifier
80 grams Castor Oil
20 grams Coffee Butter
36 grams High Melt Point Shea Butter
4 grams Caramel Toffee Flavor Oil
Recipe in Ounces
0.35 oz Soy Wax
0.71 oz Candelilla Wax
0.71 oz Palm Kernel Oil
0.35 oz Conditioning Emulsifier
2.82 oz Castor Oil
0.71 oz Coffee Butter
1.27 oz High Melt Point Shea Butter
0.14 oz Caramel Toffee Flavor Oil
Recipe in Percentages
5% Soy Wax
10% Candelilla Wax
10% Palm Kernel Oil
5% Conditioning Emulsifier
40% Castor Oil
10% Coffee Butter
18% High Melt Point Shea Butter
2% Caramel Toffee Flavor Oil

 

Weighing Waxes
Weighing Waxes

Weigh everything into a microwave safe container. Heat gently until liquid. If the wax is slow to melt, remove the container from the microwave and stir.

Weighing Conditioning Emulsifier
Weighing Conditioning Emulsifier

This often allows the surrounding oils to melt the wax. When the mixture is completely melted, add the flavor oil. Mix well.

Weighing Castor Oil
Weighing Castor Oil

From here, you can either pipette the mixture into your tubes or you can use a filling tray. I like using a filling tray because they are simple and fast. If you are using a filling tray, insert your tubes into your tray. Flood the tray with your melted lip balm. Allow the mixture to cool. Scrape off the excess.

Weighing Coffee Butter
Weighing Coffee Butter

I like to use a plastic putty knife. Remove the tubes from the tray and cap.

Weighing High Melt Point Shea Butter
Weighing High Melt Point Shea Butter

If you are going to pipette the lip balm into the tubes, fill the tube until you get a dome of liquid material at the top. Wax shrinks when it cools and doing this helps insure that you get a very pretty top. Fill all of your tubes making sure they are domed on the top before they cool.

Heated Lip Balm
Heated Lip Balm

You may need to reheat your container of lip balm during this process. This is normal and to be expected. Allow the tubes to cool and cap.

Adding Caramel Toffee Flavor Oil
Adding Caramel Toffee Flavor Oil

Now you can give your lip balm an elegant label or put it into a cute bag. Enjoy this great lip balm or give as gifts!

Taylor

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Taylor’s Intense Hand Cream – Day 2

Finished Hand Cream
Finished Hand Cream

Yesterday we made an excellent hand cream for hands worn ragged by work or hobbies. While it was an excellent cream, general consensus was that is was just a tad bit too waxy. I wanted to tweak my recipe just a little to see if we could remedy that. Come join me today for our next experiment.

For today’s hand cream, I made a tiny, tiny change. Yesterday’s recipe had 3.5% Stearic Acid. I reduced that to 2% Stearic Acid. If we look at this numerically, it is a miniscule change but it makes a HUGE difference in the finished product. I put the additional 1.5% into my water. Try this recipe to see the difference for yourself.

Ingredients
Almond Butter
High Melt Point Shea Butter
Castor Oil
Dimethicone
Conditioning Emulsifier
Stearic Acid
Hydrovance
Aloe Powder
Comfrey Extract
Goldenseal Extract
Jewelweed Extract
Liquid Germall Plus
Water
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
16 grams Almond Butter
36 grams High Melt Point Shea Butter
12 grams Castor Oil
28 grams Dimethicone
20 grams Conditioning Emulsifier
8 grams Stearic Acid
16 grams Hydrovance
4 grams Aloe Powder
4 grams Comfrey Extract
4 grams Goldenseal Extract
4 grams Jewelweed Extract
2 grams Liquid Germall Plus
246 grams Water
Recipe in Ounces
0.56 oz Almond Butter
1.27 oz High Melt Point Shea Butter
0.42 oz Castor Oil
0.99 oz Dimethicone
0.71 oz Conditioning Emulsifier
0.28 oz Stearic Acid
0.56 oz Hydrovance
0.14 oz Aloe Powder
0.14 oz Comfrey Extract
0.14 oz Goldenseal Extract
0.14 oz Jewelweed Extract
0.07 oz Liquid Germall Plus
8.68 oz Water
Recipe in Percentages
4% Almond Butter
9% High Melt Point Shea Butter
3% Castor Oil
7% Dimethicone
5% Conditioning Emulsifier
2% Stearic Acid
4% Hydrovance
1% Aloe Powder
1% Comfrey Extract
1% Goldenseal Extract
1% Jewelweed Extract
0.5% Liquid Germall Plus
61.5% Water

 

Weighing Materials
Weighing Materials

Weigh everything but your preservative into a microwave safe container. (Here is a helpful hint. Weigh your Aloe Powder and water first. This makes is easier to incorporate and prevents clumps from forming.) Heat gently until everything is fully melted. If you don’t fully melt your materials, they can cause a grainy lotion. Once everything is fully melted, use an immersion blender to mix everything together.

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

If you are not sure if your mixture is emulsified, let your mixture sit still for a minute or two. If an oil slick develops on the top, keep mixing. If no oil slick develops, let the material cool below 120 F before adding your preservative. If you desire, you can also add a fragrance oil. I have chosen not to because I am intending to use this cream on irritated skin. Fragrance and essential oils can cause further irritation.

Adding Emulsifier
Adding Emulsifier

Once the cream has fully cooled, put into jars. I like to scoop the lotion into a plastic bag and pipe it into jar like frosting. It gives clean edges and makes for speedy filling.

Notes: I am really happy with this lotion. It is quick to rub in yet is durable. One of my favorite things about this lotion is the powdery/velvety feeling on the skin. Many lotions that are durable and long lasting also have a greasy, heavy feeling. This hand cream isn’t that way at all.

I can apply this hand cream then immediately hand paper work. No finger prints. The cream is perfect for both men and women. Just scent with your favorite fragrance!

Taylor

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Taylor’s Intense Hand Cream – Day 1

Finished Lotion
Finished Hand Cream

It is a new year and I am ready to learn something new. I recently signed up for a Ceramics 101 class. While I am loving it and discovering a profound respect for potters,  I have found to my dismay that my hands are drying out horribly. My skin is so dry, I feel as if I am turning into a lizard! This week I wanted to play around with some recipes that will keep my hands soft and smooth, no matter what conditions are thrown at them. Come join for some intense creams designed to reestablish your good relationship with your skin!

 

Ingredients
Almond Butter
High Melt Point Shea Butter
Castor Oil
Dimethicone
Conditioning Emulsifier
Stearic Acid
Hydrovance
Aloe Powder
Comfrey Extract
Goldenseal Extract
Jewelweed Extract
Liquid Germall Plus
Water
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
8 grams Almond Butter
18 grams High Melt Point Shea Butter
6 grams Castor Oil
14 grams Dimethicone
10 grams Conditioning Emulsifier
7 grams Stearic Acid
8 grams Hydrovance
2 grams Aloe Powder
2 grams Comfrey Extract
2 grams Goldenseal Extract
2 grams Jewelweed Extract
1 gram Liquid Germall Plus
120 grams Water
Recipe in Ounces
0.28 oz Almond Butter
0.56 oz High Melt Point Shea Butter
0.21 oz Castor Oil
0.49 oz Dimethicone
0.35 oz Conditioning Emulsifier
0.25 oz Stearic Acid
0.28 oz Hydrovance
0.07 oz Aloe Powder
0.07 oz Comfrey Extract
0.07 oz Goldenseal Extract
0.07 oz Jewelweed Extract
0.04 oz Liquid Germall Plus
4.23 oz Water
Recipe in Percentages
4% Almond Butter
9% High Melt Point Shea Butter
3% Castor Oil
7% Dimethicone
5% Conditioning Emulsifier
3.5% Stearic Acid
4% Hydrovance
1% Aloe Powder
1% Comfrey Extract
1% Goldenseal Extract
1% Jewelweed Extract
0.5% Liquid Germall Plus
60% Water

 

Measuring Aloe Powder into mixing vessel
Measuring Aloe Powder into mixing vessel

Weigh everything but your preservative into a microwave safe container. (Here is a helpful hint. Weigh your Aloe Powder and water first. This makes is easier to incorporate and prevents clumps from forming.) Heat gently until everything is fully melted. If you don’t fully melt your materials, they can cause a grainy lotion. Once everything is fully melted, use an immersion blender to mix everything together.

Weighing Water and Oils
Weighing Water and Oils

If you are not sure if your mixture is emulsified, let your mixture sit still for a minute or two. If an oil slick develops on the top, keep mixing. If no oil slick develops, let the material cool below 120 F before adding your preservative. If you desire, you can also add a fragrance oil. I have chosen not to because I am intending to use this cream on irritated skin. Fragrance and essential oils can cause further irritation.

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

Once the cream has fully cooled, put into jars. I like to scoop the lotion into a plastic bag and pipe it into jar like frosting. It gives clean edges and makes for speedy filling.

 

Hot out of the microwave
Hot out of the microwave

Notes: The first time I applied this cream, I loved how creamy it was on the skin. It feels a little waxy while applying but once you stop rubbing it in and let it sit for a minute, your skin develops this velvety and dewy feeling. It is also durable and long lasting without being overwhelmingly greasy. I wore this lotion for over three hours without reapplication. (Considering the number of times I wash my hands, this is quite a feat.) I felt comfortable handling my papers without leaving greasy prints.

Hot, mixed lotion
Hot, mixed lotion

This formulation was a lot closer to what I had in mind but it isn’t quite there. I think tomorrow I will make a small adjustment to reduce the waxiness. Come join me tomorrow!

 

Taylor

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UPS Shipping Alert! Severe Weather Delays in Louisville, KY

ExclamationI’ve just received an email from UPS notifying us of a severe weather delay in the Midwest. I’ve attached the text of the email I received.

Severe weather in Louisville, KY, caused a significant disruption to operations at Worldport®, UPS’s main hub in the United States. As a result, some shipments may experience unavoidable delays.

UPS is working to move shipments to their final destinations as quickly as possible. You can track shipment progress on ups.com.

The UPS Service Guarantee does not apply when transportation networks are disrupted due to conditions beyond UPS’s control.

If you have an order that you are expecting, please check your tracking number to determine the package location. We hope that people are safe during this weather.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call us or send us an e-mail.

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Men’s Light Face Cream

Jars of Finished Lotion
Jars of Finished Lotion

Today I wanted to make a light face lotion for men. I wanted something that would be gentle and kind to the skin. Men who shave frequently can be a little picky about that creams they put on their face. I can’t blame them really. After the abuse a razor doles out, I would want something that gives a little TLC too. Come join me for this fabulous lotion!

Finished Lotion on my finger
Finished Lotion on my finger

I wanted something that was classic mint but I didn’t want to cause pain or tingling. By keeping the usage rate of the Peppermint Essential Oil really low, I was able to achieve the scent without an overwhelming cooling sensation. For face creams and lotions, we want to keep the percentages of fragrances and essential oils extremely low. Not only is the skin very delicate but we are applying product near the nose. We don’t want things that are strongly scented here.

Ingredients
Coconut Oil
Dimethicone
Argan Oil
Conditioning Emulsifier
Sodium Lactate
Stearic Acid
Liquid Germall Plus
Peppermint Essential Oil
Water
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
20 grams Coconut Oil
12 grams Dimethicone
8 grams Argan Oil
12 grams Conditioning Emulsifier
8 grams Sodium Lactate
5.6 grams Stearic Acid
2 grams Liquid Germall Plus
0.4 grams Peppermint Essential Oil
332 grams Water
Recipe in Ounces
0.71 oz Coconut Oil
0.42 oz Dimethicone
0.28 oz Argan Oil
0.42 oz Conditioning Emulsifier
0.28 oz Sodium Lactate
0.20 oz Stearic Acid
0.07 oz Liquid Germall Plus
0.01 oz Peppermint Essential Oil
11.71 oz Water
Recipe in Percentages
5% Coconut Oil
3% Dimethicone
2% Argan Oil
3% Conditioning Emulsifier
2% Sodium Lactate
1.4% Stearic Acid
0.5% Liquid Germall Plus
0.1% Peppermint Essential Oil
83% Water

 

Weighing Conditioning Emulsifier
Weighing Conditioning Emulsifier

Weigh everything except the Peppermint Essential Oil and Liquid Germall Plus into a microwave safe container. Heat gently until everything is liquid. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture. Allow the cream to cool. If the cream starts to get spots of oil on top, it needs a little more time mixing. Just use your immersion blender to mix for a little longer.

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

Once the cream is below 120 F, add the Peppermint Essential Oil and the Liquid Germall Plus. If you want to add any color, this is the time to do so. At this point, I like to pour my cream into a plastic bag. I let the cream cool to room temperature then pipe the cream into my containers. It is much easier to pipe a cooler cream than one that is warm and very fluid.

Taylor

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adding Water
Adding Water

 

 

 

 

 

Heated Material
Heated Material

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Ready to Mix
Getting Ready to Mix

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adding Peppermint and Liquid Germall Plus
Adding Peppermint and Liquid Germall Plus
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Thoughts and ideas from the world of Majestic Mountain Sage.