I love my job but as much as I am loathe to admit, sometimes I run around here like a chicken with its head cut off. Okay, that is it. It is time for less coffee and more tea. Whew! As I take a minute to sit down and take a breather, I wanted to share the winners of the Winter Soap Challenge.
The winners are… (drum roll please) Mary and Mo! Congratulations! Watch your mail boxes for your prizes. There are some really fun things inside!
We had a really hard time choosing the winners. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work! We had so much fun admiring your pictures!
It is time to bring the Winter Soap Challenge to a close but before we do, we have one more submission to share. Shelly submitted her soap challenge over the weekend and she did some amazing and rather unique things. I am not able to explain it nearly so eloquently so I will let her talk you through her soap.
When receiving the breathtaking picture from Majestic Mountain Sage to create an inspired work of soap art by using the picture of ice topped mountains, a calm lake and an old forgotten fence, I knew that ALL of us would be up for a real Challenge indeed!! I pondered the picture, staring at the weathered brown fence and felt like this was the fence of yester year. The fence looked cold, worn and had nobody leaning upon its side to gain a rest, so that one may gaze into those majestic breathtaking mountains. The air felt crisp and awakened, ready for the day! The blue water seemed refreshed and awaits an eager fisherman to lend in its hook! Yet those snow capped mountains beckoned to me that there was a story here waiting to be told. It was all about that fence, that sad looking fence of yesteryear!
Then it happened, as if inside a fairy tale dream! The mountain roared and could hold its peace no longer. The fence was twinkled upon from the dew drops that ran down the sides of its rugged post. In an instant a house stood strong! A little chimney was puffing away into the morning air that reflected life stirring within the walls. I could hear the echoes that reached thru the valley. Sounds of footsteps that were walking thru those wintery slopes! All the sounds were arriving and taking its rest at last, upon the doorway of this little house. Not a fence, to gander out to the coldness of the world, but to a house. A place where ALL travel to and find what they have been looking for all along, a home. Home was found, and that little old fence was gone, life had finally found a place to reside and start its humble winter morning.
Thank you for reading my inspiration! The mountain voices are ALL the pieces of swap soaps from the 2014 Botanical Swap. I found it fitting to place a Botanical Swap collage into this majestic place. The Home represents “OUR” Majestic Mountain Sage and the Sage Forum. People gather from around the world to find a place, not that they can lean on, like an old raggedy fence, but a place that they can call their soaping home!
The aromas that flow from this winter soap, is one of a melody of morning song, written by the notes sung by each soap that was submitted in the last Botanical Swap of 2014. I added yet another note, one that I found fitting, I added my beloved fragrance oil from Majestic Mountain Sage itself, Old West! I found that this special noted scent help string together the chords that had been presented to me while dreaming of this very special Winter Morning Challenge indeed!
I have had so much fun receiving pictures of all of these soaps and hearing the thoughts behind them. Now for the hard part. Choosing the winners. The entire MMS staff will aid the in selection of the two winners. Check back on Friday to see who are the winners!
I love fragrances. I think that is half the fun when it come to making personal care items. I love the delight that comes across people’s faces when they open a bottle and take a big sniff. Watching people react to different fragrances is a big thrill for me. From small children to the elderly, we all enjoy scents. Join me today as we create a wonderful roll on perfume!
Over the next few days we will make a variety of roll on perfumes. I will choose different carrier oils and explain the differences. Today I will be using Jojoba Oil. Jojoba Oil is actually a liquid wax. It is very stable and has a long shelf life. It also is a light to medium weight oil, meaning it doesn’t feel extremely greasy.
For this particular project, I am using Golden Jojoba Oil. I had a few reasons for this. The first is for the color. I felt that beautiful golden color would complement the fragrance I was using today. Golden Jojoba is also just a little heavier than the Colorless Jojoba. I really wanted something that could be massaged into the skin, leaving a nice after feel and plenty of scent. If I were using a different scent or looking for a lighter feeling oil, I would use the Colorless Jojoba.
Golden Jojoba Oil
Ginger Pomelo Fragrance Oil
Recipe in Grams
480 grams Golden Jojoba Oil
20 grams Ginger Pomelo Fragrance Oil
Recipe in Ounces
16.93 oz Golden Jojoba Oil
0.71 oz Ginger Pomelo Fragrance Oil
Recipe in Percentages
96% Golden Jojoba Oil
4% Ginger Pomelo Fragrance Oil
Weigh the Golden Jojoba Oil into a container. Add the fragrance oil. Mix well. Using a transfer pipette fill the roller bottles. Place the roller ball insert into the opening of the bottle and push until it is fully in place. Screw on the cap, label and enjoy!
I love my job. And no, I am not saying that for a marketing ploy. I work in one of the coolest jobs in the WORLD! I get to try and test new products, formulate like crazy and talk with all of our wonderful customers. I love reading through our catalog and laughing at all of the descriptions. There are some pretty great ones in the fragrance category.
That being said, my favorite category in our catalog is actually our Gifts and Teas section. If you haven’t checked out our Free Gifts Program, you should. There are some awesome things in there that you can treat yourself to every time you place an order. Some of our most recent additions have been some fabulous and mouth-watering vinegars. Let me tell you about them!
First on our list today is the Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar. Now I adore balsamic vinegar. I love pouring balsamic vinegar and olive oil onto a plate then dipping bread into it. The Blackberry Balsamic is perfect for bread, salads, cheese and even drizzled over a pork roast. It is wonderful.
The next vinegar I wanted to talk about is the Ginger White Balsamic. This vinegar is perfect who love the taste of ginger and like to add a little exotic flair to their food. I have enjoyed putting this on noodles, salads, curry and even on flaky fish. This vinegar is a big hit every time I cook with it. You should get a bottle for yourself to try!
The Raspberry Champagne Vinegar is absolutely exquisite. It is tart, crisp and berry sweet. I love it in vinaigrettes, particularly when I am serving salads that are topped with fresh berries. I have even heard of it drizzled atop fresh melons and berries as a simple yet memorable dessert. Or adding some to sparking water to make a spritzer. I think that sounds yummy. Want to try a spritzer with me?
The next vinegar I wanted to talk about is the Fig Balsamic. I must admit that I was a little unsure about trying this vinegar due to my lack of exposure to figs. Goodness, why did I even hesitate? This vinegar is divine. If you are wanting add a note of intrigue to dishes where you normally use Balsamic Vinegar, try the Fig Balsamic. It won’t disappoint.
Until we brought in all of the astounding vinegars, I had never heard of a Balsamic Vinegar that wasn’t dark in color. So you can imagine how much the Golden Balsamic surprised me. This vinegar is wonderful. I like to use it for dipping bread, on salads, fish, chicken and even grilled vegetables. I have taken great delight in using this where I wanted the flavor to surprise people without the color giving away my secrets.
The last one on our list today is the 25 Year Balsamic Vinegar. While the entire staff has loved trying all of the different flavors, for many this was ranked as their favorite. This vinegar is so different from what many of us are accustomed. It is sweet and tart and full of flavor. We have used it every where from dipping bread to drizzling it atop strawberries with whipping cream. If you are looking for a top notch vinegar that can be used from appetizer all the way to dessert, this is it.
If you want to try one of these fabulous vinegars, just let us know in the comments field of your next qualifying order!
There are always events that may make a ripple in the world news but are huge when it comes to the location it occurs. Today was one such thing for us. Today Orbital ATK tested the largest and most powerful rocket booster today at Promontory Point in Utah.
It is a rather exciting and momentous event for those of us who live here. For the MMS staff, there is an even larger tie. Many have spouses or family members who are either currently working or have worked on the massive rockets that have taken astronauts, space probes and robots up into space. My own grandfather worked on the boosters for the Space Shuttle Program.
This morning, we went to go watch the QM-1 rocket booster testing. It was an astonishing sight. Today they tested the rocket booster at high temperature ranges. They heated the booster to 90ºF to simulate hot weather conditions then ignited the booster. From where we were watching, it took 5 seconds for the tremendous sound to reach us. 5 seconds may not seem like a lot of time but it certainly is strange to see something before you can hear it.
During the test, more than 531 instruments were use to monitor and gauge 102 design objectives. Wow! That is a lot of equipment. The test also demonstrated the boosters ability to meet ballistic performance requirements as well as demonstrating the upgrades to insulation, liner and nozzle design. If you want to learn more about this test or to watch it for yourself, check out http://www.nasa.gov/ for more information or check out this article.
Last week I told you how Cache Valley was covered in another blanket of snow. Well, that blanket is receding but it made for a beautiful view this morning. The air was crisp and frosty, the birds were puffed up like crazy. They are so cute. They were determined to herald the morning with their song. It was the perfect morning to sit at the kitchen table and look out to watch the sun rise.
May I just say the sunrise in the Rockies is truly spectacular? Mary made a soap that celebrates that breath-taking beauty. Read what she has to say about her soap!
I lived most of my life in Nebraska and Colorado, and miss the serene beauty after the snow storm has passed, the sun has been out and is now fading. The deep blue against a pale blue sky, swirled with peach and white, offers a calmness I never tire of. It shows a glimpse of what is to come.
This is my CP soap submission:
I tilted my loaf mold and poured a small amount of white, colored with TD and Shimmer White Mica, with a Copper Mica pencil line (my first time using it) followed by a blue, and another Copper Mica Pencil line. I let this set up a couple of hours then spritzed with alcohol (to help the remaining soap batter ‘stick’.
Placing my mold upright, I continued with a new batch of soap divided into 4 colors. I used a Dark Blue Ultramarine, a Medium Blue Ultramarine, mixed with a Light Blue Mica (name unknown), White that I mixed the same as above, and a Peach color made with Peach Sunset Mica. I layered and swirled my colors. I used Hershey’s Cocoa
Powder as my final pencil line (my first time using this). The top is a simple swirl. My soap is scented with Icicles FO
Thank you so much for doing this……it really was a ‘Challenge’ and guided me to try a few new things. It was a LOT of fun.
Wow! If you compare the picture to the soap, there is an astounding resembalance! 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!
I love vacations but I don’t always have the ability to just pick up and go. So I like to bring a vacation to me. Sometimes I do it by choosing a new scent for my lotion or I make bath salts so I can sit in the evening and relax. Today, I am providing a vacation to my lips! Come join me for a tropical illusion!
Recipe in Grams
286 g Soy Lip Solutions
5.5 grams Island Flavor Oil
5.5 grams Sugar Baby Flavor Oil
Recipe in Ounces
0.63 lbs Soy Lip Solutions
0.2 oz Island Delight Flavor Oil
0.2 oz Sugar Baby Flavor Oil
Recipe in Percentages
96% Soy Lip Solutions
2% Island Delight Flavor Oil
2% Sugar Baby Flavor Oil
Start with the Lip Solutions Base of your choice. I will be using our Soy Lip Solutions base, but there are many to choose from. Select your favorite. Heat the base gently in the microwave until melted. Once the base has completely melted, add the Island Delight Flavor Oil and Sugar Baby Flavor Oil. Stir well.
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. I like to use a plastic putty knife. Remove the tubes from the tray and cap.
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. (You may need to reheat your jar of Lip Solutions during this process. This is normal and to be expected.) Allow the tubes to cool then cap.
Now you can give your lip balm a pretty label or put it into a cute bag. Enjoy this great lip balm and give as gifts! If you want to try this lip balm for yourself, tell us in the comments field of your next order! We are sending over 500 lip balms to the shipping department!
Here in Utah we have had a few weeks of beautiful spring weather. Enough to make the horses start shedding and the robins sing. Which has resulted in a bona-fide case of Spring Fever here at the office. Well, winter has decided to make a grand reappearance. Everything is now white. The enormous mountains that scrape the sky are white, the roads are white and even the orange cat that slinks through the nearby field is white. It is the perfect day to sit with a cup of hot chocolate and make winter inspired soap.
April has shared what a picture of our winter frosted Cache Valley inspired her to make. It is amazing to watch as she builds her soap. I will let her tell you all about it!
This is my first soap challenge. And boy was it! For some reason I decided the fence was a good place to start. Of course I wanted water, snow, mountains, and sky but the fence was my crazy launching point.
Three bars of soap were sacrificed in the making of this soap.
*Attempt number one:*
I forgot the oils in my second batch (I used small separate batches of oils/lye in the making of each layer) of soap while making the water…I
had to dig my fence out of the gooey mess and start all over again. Scrap number 1.
*Attempt number two:*
I reused the fence (which was unreasonably small for a whole loaf of soap). I waited all night to un-mold this loaf only to find my sky was too green, mountains too grey, my fence off kilter, and worst of all my snow was YELLOW! In addition I could see the error of choosing the mold I did (it was far too short). Scrap number 2.
*Attempt number three:*
Beginning again, I changed molds to allow for more room. I cut up two more bars of soap to make a fence that would span the length of my mold. (Might of been less but I was still trying to be creative, hand-carve fence? NO.) Then once again, I began with the batches. 5 batches later I had – snow layer, water layer, mountain layer, and two batches for the sky layer.
Installing the fence in the snow layer proved more difficult that I’d
imagined! Even though I waited for a very thick trace before pouring, and did so carefully, my fence started floating all over. Sticking (my gloved) hand in the soap I coerced the fence back into place for several minutes…each time I moved, the fence did too…eventually I was satisfied the fence was built.
Carefully, I chose new colors to compliment my goals. This time I thought maybe I should stay with the exact same blue just use more or less and add some black into the mountain layer. This helped even out the overall color of the whole soap. Yay.
Scenting proved difficult but I managed to find a couple of things in my closet to work with that turned out well. In soap number two I had mixed the two scents together in the whole soap. After smelling it the next day, I thought something needed to change a bit. I like both scents individually and even a bit together but for an overall scent I should try something different.
If I were sitting on the side of that lake on the bank, I imagine I could
smell a soft earthy, mossy, grassy scent coming from the dried foliage,
softened by melting snow. I scented the snow layer using an oak moss scent.
Next, I imagine the scent of the blue water being brought to me by a light wind. I scented the water layer with a beach type scent.
Then I imagine the mountain layer, watching over the lake, has been around a long time and could use both scents. I combined them in this layer.
I left the sky layer unscented so I would not overwhelm the rest of the
scents. Each layer offers something significant that blends well with the next.
Smelling the soap from the top (the sky layer) my daughter says that
somehow there is a scent coming up from the bottom that she says is
“breezy” and I believe she is right!
I had so much fun creating this challenge soap! I hope you like it! I do
This is just incredible. I hope you know how much each one of you inspires me to set outside of my comfort zone when I soap. Each photo I receive is inspiring. 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!
I love lip products. Lip balms, lip sticks, lip glosses, lip stains, etc. You name it, I have and love it. One thing that makes for some difficulties is that no lip product is alike. Some are thick and heavy, some are light, others are long lasting while yet others are super shiny! With all of the possibilities out there, it is difficult to choose what to make and wear. Today I wanted to make a light weight lip gloss that has lots of shine. Come join me!
Recipe in Ounces
0.14 oz Beeswax
2.12 oz Mango Butter
0.56 oz Lanolin
2.12 oz Castor Oil
1.55 oz Golden Jojoba
0.07 oz Vitamin E Natural
0.19 oz Squalane
0.14 oz Green Tea Extract
0.14 oz Orchid Extract
0.02 oz Tangerine Essential Oil
Recipe in Percentages
30% Mango Butter
30% Castor Oil
22% Golden Jojoba
1% Vitamin E Natural
2% Green Tea Extract
2% Orchid Extract
0.25% Tangerine Essential Oil
Weigh everything except the Vitamin E Natural, Squalane, extracts and essential oil into a microwave safe container. Heat until everything is liquid. Add the remaining ingredients. Allow to cool the pipette into the doe foot pens. Insert the doe foot, cap and label. Enjoy!
Notes: I am in love with this lip gloss. It is ultra light while having some staying power. This is perfect just by itself or for adding some shine on top of a lip tint or lip stick color. I liked how subtle the Tangerine was. It was not overpowering, which means it is perfect for date nights when you are going out for dinner. This lip gloss will not distract or detract from your food. Next time I think I would add just a little bit of Sugar Baby Flavor Oil to make it more enjoyable.
I’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.