Twilight Party Hosted by Michelle

Last week, I received an e-mail from Michelle and this is what she said. “Just had a great Twilight-themed spa party thanks to your products! I got the Body Milk Kit, Glycerin Scrub Kit and Vegan Lip Gloss Kit (Honey Flavor), along with the Bella & Edward fragrances. The girls loved it and trust me, 12 year olds are a tough crowd! I did 1 mess-up – the scrub jars were too big for my shower caddy goody bags, so I ended up with smaller mason jars but I am sure they will get used in the future! Thanks again!”

I e-mailed her back and asked for pictures as well as for more information about the party so I could share with you. Her response was so descriptive, I just copied it for your perusal.

“I was looking on the internet for ideas and was thinking about a spa party for about eight 12 year old girls. We have a place locally that does this and it would be about $20 for just a scrub! I am pretty crafty, and when I came across your site, once I saw the Bella & Edward fragrance I knew I had to run with it. The kits looked so easy and economical I figured that was the way to go (and just get the fragrance separate).

I set up the dining room table ahead of time to keep organized and get them excited when they walked in. For each project, though, I did bring supplies into kitchen. First we did the body milk – I let them pump right into bottles halfway, drop in their fragrance, color & glitter (vampires sparkle you know!) then shake it up, then top off the bottle and re-shake. Next we did the scrub. While we were doing this I had the Vegan lip base (they are ‘vegetarian vampires’) melting in it’s jar in my chocolate melter. I did pipette that into the pots for them since it was hot. Lastly, I had given out a white washcloth and black hair tie and we made a face mask with yogurt and oatmeal which they put on with cucumber slices on their eyes.

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They really had a blast and kept saying how fun it was. As they were done with each take-home product, I had a plastic ‘shower caddy’ goody bag for them to put it in to not get mixed up with the others.

I had such a great experience I will probably do this with my Brownie Troop (although they are younger).

Thanks so much again! I will be back for sure!”

Michelle,
I had a good time reading about your experience. This sounds so fun! I wonder where I could round up a few 12 year olds for my own party!

Andee

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Making Soy Milk Soap with the Half and Half Method

Yesterday, I promised that I would show making a Soy Milk Soap with the half and half method. I am using the same recipe to show any differences that occur while making the soap.

8 ounces weight Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
4 ounces weight Coconut Oil
4 ounces weight Olive Oil

2.2 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
3 fluid ounces Soy Milk
3 fluid ounces Water

Weighing time: 8 minutes
Adding lye to Soy Milk and water: 5 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of stirring
Heating of oils time: 2 minutes
Pouring lye solution into the fat mixture: 5 seconds
Using immersion blender to mix soap solution: 90 seconds
Pour into mold: 10 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours

Note:
I have attached two photos of Soy Milk soap that have gone wrong. This is a great example of why the half water and half milk method can be helpful for those learning how to make milk soaps. Soy Milk is high in carbohydrates whichi is causing a problem in all Soy Milk Soaps. Half and half method to the rescue! Start with the half and half method and you will find that your soaps will turn out better.

On Monday, I’ll show you an amazing Twilight party!

Have fun soaping!
Andee

Adding Lye to the Soy Milk and water.
Adding Lye to the Soy Milk and water.

Mixing the lye solution.
Mixing the lye solution.

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Making Soy Milk Soap

As I mentioned on The Sage Forum, “Milk brings to soap a few problems, lactose is the primary issue, but certainly not the only one. The sugars in milk can settle out of the soap during a the heat wave we call saponification. This looks like a gelatinous mass on the bottom of the soap mold. Sometimes it looks something like monster snot. Avoiding this situation means we get a beautiful and usable soap.”

Soy Milk does not contain the lactose that can give any soap maker problems. I decided to make my soap using Soy Milk as my liquid of choice. I will not be adding any additive to the soap to see how it turns out.

8 ounces weight Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
4 ounces weight Coconut Oil
4 ounces weight Olive Oil

2.2 ounces Sodium Hydroxide
6 fluid ounces Soy Milk

Weighing time: 8 minutes
Adding lye to Soy Milk: 5 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of stirring
Heating of oils time: 2 minutes
Pouring lye solution into the fat mixture: 5 seconds
Using immersion blender to mix soap solution: 90 seconds
Pour into mold: 10 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours

This recipe is the same as the test batch that we use for fragrance testing. If the protein gives you trouble, make a half Soy Milk and half water batch. Tomorrow I will show you my half Soy Milk and half water batch.

Have fun soaping!
Andee

Adding lye to the Soy Milk.
Adding lye to the Soy Milk.

Stirring the lye and Soy Milk.
Stirring the lye and Soy Milk.
Wow! What a color change!
Wow! What a color change!

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Spiky Melt & Pour Soap

I was looking for a bar of soap in the mechanical room at home since I needed another bar of soap. I stumbled across this bar of Melt & Pour Soap I made around Christmas. I was really surprised to see little spikes on the surface of the soap. Unfortunately, the pictures I took didn’t show these little spikes well.

Have you ever seen these before? Do you know what this is? I have a few prizes for correct and the most humorous ideas.

Tomorrow, we will make soap with Soy Milk. Have you ever thought about using Soy Milk? How would you go about adding the Soy Milk?

Andee

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Right Out of the Shower Emollient Cream

Many of us enjoy keeping our skin soft and hydrated. This cream has a light waxy feeling after rubbing it in, but it truly helps skin retain moisture. I think this cream would be perfect after a shower. What do you think?

The objective of this cream was to use beeswax from the local beekeeper to make a nice cream. I’m sending samples in orders. Send in your comments and we will revisit to tweak this recipe to your liking.

Collect needed supplies:
Beeswax
Allantoin
Hydrovance
Dimethicone
Coconut Oil Fractions
Conditioning Emulsifying Wax
Water
Fragrance Oil of your choice (I’m using Freesia Fragrance Oil)
Germaben II
Transfer Pipettes
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Immersion Blender
Microwave
Containers for the finished lotion

Recipe in grams:
1 gram Beeswax
1 gram Allantoin
3 gram Hydrovance
2 gram Dimethicone
10 gram Coconut Oil Fractions
4 gram Conditioning Emulsifying Wax
77 gram Water
1 gram Freesia Fragrance Oil
1 gram Germaben II

Weigh all ingredients except Germaben II and Freesia Fragrance Oil into the microwave safe container. Heat in the microwave using short time bursts until everything is melted. Blend using the immersion blender. Add Germaben II and Freesia Fragrance Oil once the temperature drops below 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Blend until completely mixed. I like to add the color at this point to help me determine if I have mixed all of the ingredients together. Pour the mixed cream into the containers.

Enjoy!
Andee

Collect needed supplies.
Collect needed supplies.
Weighing the ingredients.
Weighing the ingredients.
Melting the ingredients.
Melting the ingredients.

Filled jars.
Filled jars.
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Blackberry Pie

Last week I made the Blackberry Sage Light & Luscious Body Souffle and it was fantastic. Since I had blackberries galore, I had to make a blackberry pie. I used a recipe from an America’s Test Kitchen episode that was originally aired on January 3rd 2009. The Best Blueberry Pie episode video can be found online, if you would like to watch this pie being made. This recipe truly brings a new meaning to the phrase, “It was as easy as pie.”

I did substitute blackberries for the blueberries, but the change of the berries didn’t change the desired slice-able pie. The resulting pie was enjoyed and quickly eaten by our staff.

Makes one 9-inch pie

Foolproof Pie Dough
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces), plus more for work surface
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup vegetable shortening , cold, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup vodka , cold
1/4 cup cold water

Measure 1 1/2 cups of flour, salt and sugar into the food processor bowl. Pulse briefly until the ingredients are blended. Add butter and shortening and pulse until the flour mixture has been completely coated with butter and shortening. At this point, I think it looks like coarse cornmeal with some large clumps. Add the last cup of flour and pulse again until mixed. Pour the crumbles of dough into a medium mixing bowl. Add cold vodka and water to the crumbled dough and press with a rubber scraper to blend. Mix until the dough is tacky and holds together. Divide the dough into two halves and roll into balls. Flatten the balls into disks and then wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 45 minute and a maximum of 2 days.

Once the pie dough has chilled, remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Place the chilled dough on floured work surface and roll the dough into a 12 inch circle, leaving the dough about 1/8 inch thick. Gently place the dough in a pie plate and adjust the dough to fit in the pie plate, while leaving the overhanging dough. Refrigerate while working on the filling.

Blackberry Filling
6 cups fresh blackberries (about 30 ounces)
1 Granny Smith apple , peeled and grated on large holes of box grater
2 teaspoons grated zest and 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca , ground
Pinch table salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1 large egg , lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water (optional for a glaze)

Before preparing the blackberry filling, adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and place a rimmed baking sheet on the oven rack and pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place 3 cups of blackberries in a medium saucepan and place on the stove, turning the temperature to medium heat. Use a potato masher and mash the berries several times to aid releasing the juice from the blackberries. Cook until approximately half of the berries have broken down and thickened. You will have to continue to mash and stir the berries while they cook. Once the berries have reached this point, remove from the heat and allow to cool while you prepare the apple.

Peel the green apple and then grate using the large holes of a grater. Place the apple into a clean kitchen towel and wring dry. Dump the apple into a large bowl and add all blackberries (cooked and uncooked), lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, sugar and ground tapioca to the bowl. Stir until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Pour the filling into the chilled dough in the pie plate. Place butter over the top of the filling and set aside while you roll out the second disk of dough.

Remove the other disk of chilled dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Place the chilled dough on floured work surface and roll the dough into a 11 inch circle, leaving the dough about 1/8 inch thick. Gently place the dough over the pie filling, leaving an overhang of pie dough. Trim the pie dough using kitchen shears or a paring knife, leaving 1/2 inch overhang. Fold dough under itself so you create an edge that is flush with the rim of the pie plate. Press the edges with either your thumb and forefinger or with the tines of a fork to ensure the edge of the crust is sealed.

You can brush the egg mixture over the top and sides of the pan if you desire a golden glaze after baking, but it is not necessary.

Place the pie on the heated baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. After the pie has baked for 30 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to bake until the juices bubble and the crust has browned, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pie to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. Slice the pie and enjoy!

Notes:
Vodka allows the dough to stick together without adding more water that will make the crust a complete soggy mess. The vodka does not contribute any flavors and cannot be substituted. You can use either fresh or frozen berries. Simply do not thaw the berries and they will behave just like fresh berries in the finished pie. If you are having a hard time grinding the tapioca, use a spice grinder, mortar and pestle, or a small food processor.

I would really like to show you a picture of the finished pie, but it was eaten before I could take a picture of the beautiful pie.

Enjoy!
Andee

Flour, salt and sugar in the food processor.
Flour, salt and sugar in the food processor.
Cutting the cold butter.
Cutting the cold butter.
Cold butter added to the flour mixture.
Cold butter added to the flour mixture.
Cold vegetable shortening added to the flour mixture.
Cold vegetable shortening added to the flour mixture.
Starting to pulse the butter and shortening into the flour.
Starting to pulse the butter and shortening into the flour.
Dough looking like coarse corn meal.
Dough looking like coarse corn meal.
Adding the last portion of flour to the dough.
Adding the last portion of flour to the dough.

The dough in a mixing bowl.
The dough in a mixing bowl.

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Fresh Honey

I love fresh honey! Honey harvest season is here for us and I’m so excited for the fresh honey comb.

Now will be the time for you to check with your local beekeepers for beeswax and honey. You can use the beeswax for any recipes that call for the beeswax. You may have to clean the beeswax, but it isn’t difficult to do. I like to use a double boiler for gently melting the beeswax and then straining the melted beeswax through a cheesecloth over the container for the beeswax to cool in.

You can also use beeswax and honey in Cold Process Soap. Check out the Bee Good Soap in our Recipes Section.

Enjoy!

Andee

Fresh honey comb in honey.
Fresh honey comb in honey.
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Light & Luscious Souffle

It is blackberry season for us and I have been enjoying the wonderful blackberries that I’ve purchased. Since our weather is changing, I decided that I needed to make a light lotion for the fall. I decided to make the Light & Luscious Body Souffle.

What is a souffle? A light, fluffy baked dish made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites combined with various other ingredients and served as a main dish or sweetened as a dessert. This lotion is definitely light and as a bonus, calorie free!

Collect needed items:
Stearic Acid
Emulsifying Wax
Liquid Glycerin
Golden Jojoba Oil
Avocado Butter
Kukui Oil
Vitamin E Acetate
White Cocoa Butter
Water
Silk Powder
Germaben II
Fragrance Oil of your choice (I’m using Blackberry Sage Fragrance Oil)
Purple Raspberry Liquid Color from January 12 2009 (Optional)
Transfer Pipettes
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Immersion Blender
Microwave
Containers for the finished lotion

Recipe:
9 grams Stearic Acid
22 grams Emulsifying Wax
9 grams Liquid Glycerin
46 grams Golden Jojoba Oil
20 grams Avocado Butter
15 grams Kukui Oil
5 grams Vitamin E Acetate
10 grams White Cocoa Butter
813 grams distilled water
2 grams Silk Powder
9.45 grams Germaben II
5.5 millimeters Blackberry Sage Fragrance Oil
Purple Raspberry Color

Weigh all ingredients except Germaben II and Blackberry Sage Fragrance Oil into the microwave safe container. Heat in the microwave using short time bursts until everything is melted. Blend using the immersion blender. Add Germaben II and Blackberry Sage Fragrance Oil once the temperature drops below 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Blend until completely mixed. I like to add the color at this point to help me determine if I have mixed all of the ingredients together. Pour the mixed lotion into the containers.

Since this is a fluid lotion, I filled the 1 oz LDPE bottles for this post and then capped the bottles with the Black Disk Tops to match as samples to go out in orders. Fill what ever size bottles you desire.

Enjoy!

Andee

Collecting needed items.
Collecting needed items.
All oils weighed out.
All oils weighed out.
Water added to the oils.
Water added to the oils.

Using the immersion blender to mix thoroughly.
Using the immersion blender to mix thoroughly.
Lotion after the Germaben II, fragrance and color have been added.
Lotion after the Germaben II, fragrance and color have been added.

Drop of cooled lotion on my finger.
Drop of cooled lotion on my finger.

Filled bottles.
Filled bottles.
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Draining Gallon Jugs Photos

I apologize for the delay of these photos. I hope they help!

Liner removed from the caps
Liner removed from the caps

Pressing the caps together.
Pressing the caps together.
Using the drill bit to make a hole in the caps.
Using the drill bit to make a hole in the caps.

Screwing the caps onto the full jug.
Screwing the caps onto the full jug.
Using the epoxy glue on the caps.
Using the epoxy glue on the caps.

Caps and drill bit.
Caps and drill bit.
My final hole is ready to be cleaned up.
My final hole is ready to be cleaned up.

The jugs draining.
The jugs draining.
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Draining Gallon Jugs

I use many of our bases for my own personal use as well as for the blog. I hate leaving extra lotion in the gallon jugs, but it can be very difficult to empty the jugs. The I came up with an idea for when I have just a little lotion left and I want to use every last drop. This method will work if you put pumps on your gallon jugs like I do.

Remove the caps from both jugs and pull out the paper lining. Glue the caps together. I like to use a food safe epoxy glue to make sure the caps won’t slip. Drill a hole through the caps and then screw the caps onto the full gallon jug. Tip the mostly empty jug onto the caps and screw onto the caps until tight. Leave overnight. Come back in the morning and remove the gallon jug on top. Yippee! Now we have an empty jug and a full one! Remove the caps and then place a pump on the jug.

Have fun!

Note:
I’m having problems with my camera, so I will post pictures tomorrow!

Andee

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