Archive for October, 2009

Another Embedding Tutorial from jaspersgarden

Friday, October 30th, 2009
Hi everyone! Kathy here again feeling like I need to redeem myself (see Blowing Bubbles!)! I decided to try embedding FOAMIES in clear M&P. Hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients/Equipment needed:
20 oz Clear Melt & Pour Soap
2 tsp Pixie Dust Fragrance Oil (from MMS)
1 Sheet Foam Stickers-Fairy Twinkle (#106-908M, from Michael’s craft store)
3 – 9 oz clear, short SOLO cups (PETE)
3 – .15 cc Scoops
1/2 Teaspoon
Fractionated Coconut Oil
Blue Liquid Dye (mine is water-based)
2 Neon Pigments – Blue & Green (Oil soluble & non-bleeding)
1 Mica – Violet Pearl
Packing paper to protect your counter – Neon’s will stain!
3 Qt Stainless Steel Pot (filled 1/2 way with distilled water)
1 Qt Stainless Steel Pot (to melt soap in)
Double Boiler Maker
Popsicle stick (to stir soap with)
Cutting board
Paring knife
Pot holder for counter
Scale
Milky Way Mold – Basic Rectangle
Extra mold nearby in case you have leftover soap
Toothpick or Bamboo skewer (to help place/move FOAMIES)
XACTO knife (to trim soap if you over-poured like I did!)
Alcohol in a spray bottle
LOTS of ventilation!!

Instructions:
Cut up clear M&P soap base and place into the 1 Qt Stainless Steel pot. Place the 1 Qt pot into the 3 Qt pot of water – use a double boiler maker so the water doesn’t get into your soap. Turn the stove on to Medium heat. I prefer to melt M&P with the double boiler method rather than using a microwave. Use the method you’re most comfortable with. As the soap begins to melt, stir it with the Popsicle stick once in awhile until completely melted.

While your soap is melting, place packing paper down on your counter. Set out 3 – 9 oz SOLO cups and 3 – .15 cc scoops. Add 1/2 teaspoon of Fractionated Coconut Oil to each cup. Add one .15 cc scoop of Neon Green Pigment colorant to one of your SOLO cups. Add two .15 cc scoops of Neon Blue Pigment colorant to another cup. And two .15 cc scoops of Violet Pearl Mica colorant to your last cup. Using the .15 cc scoop, stir each one until there are no more lumps that you can see. Leave the .15 cc scoop in each cup.

While waiting for the soap to melt, figure out the layout for each cavity. Also, stir those colorants again to make sure there are no lumps.

Once the soap is completely melted, add 1 drop of Blue liquid dye (oil or water based dye – doesn’t matter) and stir your soap. I saw this on another blog and thought I would try it! The clear M&P soap base has a yellowish tint to it, but if you add that one drop of blue dye, it makes it look clearer. See pics of before and after. I was impressed!!

Now add 2 teaspoons (9.8 mil) of Pixie Dust Fragrance Oil to soap and stir. Place your FOAMIES in each cavity (face down) and spray the FOAMIES/each cavity with alcohol. Carefully pour about 1/8″ of clear soap into each cavity, just enough to cover the FOAMIES. Spray with alcohol to burst any bubbles. Use your toothpick or bamboo skewer to gently reposition your FOAMIES – they moved when I poured my soap, arrrhg! Wait 10 minutes. Keep soap base in pot of hot water to keep it melted/warm. Pour clear soap into the SOLO cup with the Violet Pearl Mica, stir quickly but thoroughly. Spray one cavity with alcohol. Pour the colored soap into the Fairy/Swirl FOAMIES cavity to top of cavity. Spritz with alcohol again to burst any bubbles. Repeat this for each colorant/cavity – one at a time, otherwise the soap will solidify in your SOLO cup. Don’t forget to spray alcohol before pouring your second layer or they will fall apart. I had colored soap leftover in my SOLO cups so I poured it into an extra mold sitting to the side. Spray with alcohol before pouring another layer of soap! Remember ~ alcohol is your friend! Let them sit for 24 hours – do not move it! Now you’re ready to unmold!

Supplies needed:
5 – 4 x 6 Shrink wrap bags
Heat resistant cutting board
Heat Gun
Impulse Cutter/Sealer (or)
Shrink wrap System w/Heat Gun (or)
Scissors and tape

After un-molding and trimming your bars (if necessary), place each one in a 4 x 6 shrink bag. I broke out my Monster Machine (which is very heavy) to get a nicer finish with the bags. I don’t use it very much because I usually only do CP/HP and use Dan’s Bands – so simple! I forgot how much fun M&P could be – instant gratification! Turn the heat gun on Low. Shrink the sides first, then the top and back last. Do this quickly or you run the risk of melting your soap.

Enjoy!

Notes: I had no idea what FOAMIES were! Scrap booking maybe? When I opened the package, I noticed that they had sticky stuff (glue) on the back of each FOAMIES…that was a pain to try to get them into the cavities, face down, without them sticking to my fingers or toothpick/bamboo skewer. So I had this brilliant idea of how to get the glue off of them – yea – wait for it ;o) !! I took a piece of scotch tape and laid it over the back and pulled the tape off quickly. Not a good idea!! On the first one I tried, the butterfly wing tore off a bit. So for the next one I placed the tape on and gently removed it – it kind of worked! There was still some glue on the back, but all I needed was a small area without glue to touch with the bamboo skewer without the FOAMIES coming out with the skewer – LOL! Anyone know how to remove glue without destroying the FOAMIES? Maybe Goo Gone and a Q-tip?

Make sure your counter is level, or your bars will be crooked.

This one was fun and not as much work as my Blowing Bubbles – which look more like Brachs Jelly Nougats candy ;o) so says my family! MMS sent me a 1 oz sample of Starfruit Fragrance Oil ~ so now my brain is going crazy trying to figure out how to make M&P stars :o) !! Thanks Andee!

Kathy

Equipment/Ingredients needed.

Equipment/Ingredients needed.

Layout for each cavity.

Layout for each cavity.

3 colorants with FCO in SOLO cups - Top view.

3 colorants with FCO in SOLO cups - Top view.

3 colorants with FCO in SOLO cups - Side view.

3 colorants with FCO in SOLO cups - Side view.

My double boiler maker with clear M&P chunks melting.

My double boiler maker with clear M&P chunks melting.

BEFORE Blue Dye ~ melted clear M&P soap shows a yellowish tint.

BEFORE Blue Dye ~ melted clear M&P soap shows a yellowish tint.

AFTER Blue Dye ~ melted clear M&P soap ~ what do you think?  Better?

AFTER Blue Dye ~ melted clear M&P soap ~ what do you think? Better?

1st layer of clear M&P soap with my FOAMIES - Top View.

1st layer of clear M&P soap with my FOAMIES - Top View.

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Lotion Bar Tubes and Andee’s Return

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

The Lotion Bar Tubes are back in stock!!!!!!!!  Oh, I can’t believe it!!!!  It seemed like we would have to wait forever.

Andee will be back on the blog tomorrow.  I am so excited!  She has missed us, and worked a half day yesterday, and will work a half day today.  She feels so much better.  Yippee!!

OK, here is my cheesy joke of the day.  Why did the kitty eat cheese?  So she could wait by the mouse hole with baited breath.

Tomorrow is Friday and Andee will be back.  WHEW!

Tina

PS:  All groaning comments are welcome!

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Advice from a Guest Writer

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

My name is Jennifer, a new soaper, loyal customer to thesage.com and frequent reader of this blog. When I read the entry “Updates, Guest writer, and the Swine Flu” I realized I was reading it out loud to my boyfriend as if I was talking about people I actually knew. I gasped out loud and everything!

I decided to answer the call to be a guest writer because as a frequent reader I wanted to give back and I think that a lot of you would relate, or at least be entertained for a few minutes about my adventures in soap making.

My soap making business came about in a very strange way. I was searching for guns that fired ping pong balls for my boys on a website that sells surplus goods and ran across an ad for a lot of tiny glass bottles. It reminded me of my college days when I really loved Patchouly. I had a small bottle of oil that I wore every day much to the horror of my roommate who hated it more than anything. One day, the bottle mysteriously disappeared. Reportedly “dropped by accident” and thrown away. I spared my roommate and didn’t replace it, but loved it nonetheless.

So, I see these little bottles and think, hey, I wonder if I could sell this oil myself. I have been a professional website designer for almost 18 years and one of my recent clients was really into aromatherapy and I saw that it could be something that I could easily make and market. So, I started researching essential oils and as you know along the way if you research such things you will find recipes for scrubs, lip balms, shampoo, soaps, lotions, perfumes, oils and on and on and on. I could have filled an entire store with everything that I wanted to make which brings me to the learning part of this story.

They say that when you start a business you make many mistakes and learn lots of things. I have only been at this for a couple of months, but learned some lessons that I can share with you.

First, you can’t just make whatever you want and market it. There are rules in place from the FDA that are beyond what most of us can realistically adhere to if we want to market anything like a balm that aids in the healing of psoriasis. Turns out, if you make that claim you are in fact making a “drug” and you can’t do that from your home kitchen. Want to make perfume? Want to use Everclear to do it? Do you have a liquor license? Because you are in fact selling alcohol and if they want, the bureau of Alcohol, tobacco and firearms can pay a visit and leave you not very happy. (I have since learned that you can of course get around that by using Cyclomethicone which is available on thesage.com), but my point is this… There are rules and regulations from the FDA about making this kind of stuff and it took me days to try to comprehend them. So Lesson 1 is this… You can’t just do whatever you want. Make sure that you do your research!

This is what reluctantly brought me to making soap, because there are no incomprehensible rules from the FDA about making and selling it. At first, I was afraid of it though. Gloves, goggles, masks, leave no skin uncovered, really? I’m going to take some caustic chemical and turn it into something that I expect people to use? Well, once I got over the fear and tried it I was hooked. A cook by nature and a wannabe chemist at heart, this really turned out to be a surprise dream come true. Anyway, now I have so much soap at my house if I never sold any of it I would never have to buy a bar for the rest of my life. My children would not have to buy a bar for the rest of their lives either! There were so many essential oils and fragrance oils and additives available and I wanted to try them all! Seeds, salts, clay, pumice, colors and other stuff. Holy cow! The possibilities are endless which brings me to another lesson learned. I bought so many things that I lost track of what I was going to use them for. I would buy an ingredient for a recipe that I found, but when I would pick up said ingredient 3 weeks later I had forgotten what it was for! Worse, I made soap and don’t have the recipe I used to recreate it! So, Lesson 2 is this… Keep really good notes. Print and save recipes. I now have a 3 ring binder with lots of notes and recipes.

Being a professional website designer, I of course have an online store to sell my goods. However, while waiting for my soaps to cure and making more and more soaps, scrubs and other things along the way I got busy doing other things and haven’t launched my website yet. I have 24 different kinds of soap to sell but no one can buy them because my website which is finished and ready to go doesn’t have any products listed on it. It will take me a few days to enter them all on my website and get the store going. Lesson 3, could be don’t wait until it is overwhelming to enter all of your products online. Lesson 3 Part 2, people can’t buy what they don’t know is for sale!!!

I have such a wide variety of soaps, and some I know I will not make again because they might not be good sellers. I don’t know what people will want restocked for future purchase and what I can let go. Some of the soaps that I made I only bought enough ingredient for one batch of soap, so if that soap is popular, I will end up having to order more product which seems ok, but this means that I will have to keep a lot of ingredients on hand and therefore tie up a lot of money in making my products. I also don’t want to have a lot of ingredients sitting around going unused and possibly spoiling. While I haven’t officially learned Lesson 4 yet, I think that it would be to not have such a variety where I need to keep so many ingredients on hand. To me, buying more of one thing that gets used up quickly makes much more sense.

I do have an exception to this lesson though… One thing that I really think is ok to buy lots of is essential oils, fragrance oils, flavor oils, additives and colors! One soap recipe can be made using the same ingredients, but made a completely different product using different oils, additives and colors. When I place an order at thesage.com, I always order several 1 ounce bottles of essential, fragrance or flavor oils. It is not expensive, many of them are around $3.00 and they go a long way. If you find one you don’t like, 3 bucks isn’t so much of an investment that you feel like you’ve lost too much. I have even found a few scents that I thought I wouldn’t like that have become my favorites! Also remember, just because you don’t like it, doesn’t mean that someone else is not going to love it, and you are making it to sell to them, not to keep for yourself! Test fragrances out with your friends and family! Lesson 5, sometimes it is ok to buy “too much” of these things!!!

One thing that I lucked out on for sure is that I found thesage.com right away. I have placed orders with other companies, but have found this place to be the best. I get really good quality products that comes in really good packaging that I can recycle and reuse. I will not mention names, but some companies send everything in plastic bags, which you could say saves money on shipping, but not enough to make up for the fact that when it gets here, I have to find (or even buy) a container to store it in. I have received butters and other items in zip lock bags that really didn’t travel so well. I have received open or broken glass bottles from other places too due to my order not being packed in the box carefully. I have found thesage.com to be the best, fastest and most careful out of all of the places I have ordered from. Most of the time they are the most cost efficient too. And their customer service is outstanding. As a newbie I ask silly questions and get fast, patient answers from friendly people. Lesson 6 find a great supplier. I did!!

So, I could go on and on about with more lessons, but If I don’t get my products listed and start selling something I won’t be able to keep up my new found love!

Get well soon Andee. Congratulations to Mouein, and to all my fellow closet cooks and chemists have fun!!! And, be nice to Tina!

Jennifer

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New Products, Snow and a Bad Joke

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

snow_angelWe have 4 new molds in the catalog, including two loaf style molds. We also have two new scents, one is Monkey Farts Fragrance Oil, and the other is Rosewood Essential Oil. See http://www.thesage.com/catalog/new.html for all the new items.

Yesterday we got our first real snow in the valley. It was wonderful! Each year I look forward to making snow angels and it appears as though this winter will a promising season!

Swine Flu Note (again): we have had two staff members get this flu, one in March and one in September. Since we have had friends in the area and away that have also had this flu we thought we would mention a helpful hint in the event you also contract this virus. Severe cases seem to cause such turmoil with the body that hair and nails stop growing for just a blink. This can cause the hair to break off/appear to fall out and the nails to grow with a disease caused dent. While the hair will grow back and the nails will grow out, it can be alarming for the post-illness ego to think that the body is falling apart again. If you, or a loved one, gets this flu it might be beneficial to take a multi-vitamin during and after the illness. This may help prevent or decrease the likelihood of these problems. As with all supplements, please talk to your doctor. We don’t want any supplements to interfere with medical treatments.

OK, here is my joke. I am sure it is such a groaner that Laffy taffy doesn’t even want it. ;-)

If an astronaut dips his bare toe into a pie, will the pie eaters get mistle toe (missle toe)? I told you it was a groaner!  I’m hoping Andee will get better soon because she can see I am subjecting our readers to such silly jokes!

Happy Wednesday!

Tina

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Updates, Guest writer, and the Swine Flu

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

I’m Tina and I’m the guest writer for the blog today. Andee is at home recovering from the Swine Flu which turned into pneumonia.

I have a few updates for you that we are dealing with here at TheSage.com, they are:

1) the Swine Flu has caused a rush on hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial soaps. These products use pumps, primarily high out-put pumps. This has caused the manufacturers to be delayed in production. What does this mean to you? If you want white or black pumps to be consistent in your line of products, AND you do not have a stock pile of the pumps, it will probably be January before you get them. We are currently out of white and black pumps. We are looking at some overstock pumps in colors. At this time we do not have a solution to this problem, at least one that can be cured before time has its way.

2) Swine flu notes from those that have had it: It isn’t as easy to catch as the media says it is. Keeping your hands away from your face and washing with good soap (I wonder where we could get that?!) reduces the possibility of catching this virus. The virus can’t survive on hard surfaces for long periods of time. Keeping door knobs clean, washing hands, avoid touching the face, and never allow someone to sneeze on you are major strides in prevention of this disease spreading. Pay attention to your health as well. When you feel less than 100% make a mental note. Tamiflu can be taken to stop the flu from taking over your body but it MUST be taken in the first 48 hours of symptoms. Andee’s sister had a severe case of the swine flu, but Andee’s symptoms were lessened because she got the Tamiflu early in the cycle. If you do get the flu, plan on someone taking care of you. This season’s flu viruses make getting up for a drink of water too taxing on the body. This is why people are easily dehydrated and need hospital care. Your caretaker should be checking for fever at least every 4 hours. It is best to take notes through this time. If you do need hospital care the notes can accompany you to the hospital and be very helpful. We found that Gatorade’s G2, a drink with electrolytes, was very helpful. We mixed drinks (not that kind!!) and took temperatures at least every 4 hours. When you start to feel better, stay at home! It takes at least another week to get back on your feet. Don’t push going back to work or to school. If you go back too soon plan on getting laid up with bronchitis or pneumonia instead of getting better. A week going stir crazy, watching movies you have already seen 100 times is MUCH better than coughing up your lungs. Lungs are required organs for living. ;-)

3) We expect Andee back next week. She is breathing much better, but she is still getting breathing treatments and talking little. Too much effort spent telling stories zaps all of the available energy. We know you miss her, we do too. If you want my opinion, I think Andee would rather be at work and doing her blog.

4) While we are preparing orders to go out the door, I will probably be absent from Andee’s blog. I can do one or the other well, but trying to both is not in my current skill set. If you would like to be a guest writer please let us know. There is a link on our site to contact us. Send your comments to the Customer Support address and not to the blog. Andee’s email takes all the blog comments and no one is monitoring her address. http://www.thesage.com/about/contact.html is where you can go to send your blog entries. I’ll send major goodies to all who help during this time.

5) Shipping. Halloween is coming and we have no shipping disruptions for this holiday, but in November we have several. http://www.thesage.com/class.php3 will list all of the holiday events you should be aware of while making your orders. Please don’t forget that the Friday after Thanksgiving is only for UPS Next Day Air (sent on Wednesday) and Second Day Air (sent on Tuesday) deliveries. We feel really bad when an order is placed on Wednesday evening that requests Next Day Air delivery. This results in an order being delivered on Tuesday, December 1st. Check the schedule link and tell us in the comments of your order what is happening. We’ll do what we can to make you look good.

6) Lunch. I may not need to mention this but I’m going to try anyway. Yesterday I took lunch later than I normally do, for reasons of some staff being out with the flu and I was taking phone calls during our normal company lunch. When I finally got to my lunch a customer called with some questions and she refused to email in to have her questions answered. The lovely Kandie, our order desk guru, asked me to take the call because the caller was upset. I left my lunch and came to the phone. I answered the question that was the crisis which was explained to Kandie and then the customer wanted more info. I explained the percentage of Vitamin E to use and asked the caller to double check my answer with our online catalog. This obviously was not the answer she wanted and I tried to explain I was getting sick from not eating. The more I explained the more angry she became. My blood sugar was dropping fast and I was shaking like a leaf. Please don’t take our request to eat lunch as rude behavior, or that we don’t care about our customers. We do care. We want to be there to answer your questions and answer them correctly. So, if you call the office please accept my apology in advance. I’ll try not to let my lunch time get away from me again. Thanks for letting me explain why our phones may be closed during our lunch time.

7) Share a cup of tea with me. If you are placing an order, just write in the comments field that you want to share a cup of tea with our staff. I’ll have my favorite tea bags in the shipping department so they can add one to your order. If you like iced tea more than hot tea, tell us. If you like green tea more than you like black tea, tell us that too. If you have the flu, tell us, we’ll send a G2 packet instead. I think this flu/holiday/lunch post needs to be wrapped up by sharing a cup of tea. I’ll provide the tea if you provide the water and the cup. We’ll toast through cyber space and share a moment of companionship.

Best wishes,

Tina

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Making Citrus Slices Using Loofah in Melt & Pour Soap by Nina

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009
Supplies:

Transparent Melt and Pour Soap
Loofah
Orange Pigment Powder
Green Pigment Powder
Yellow Pigment Powder
Citrus Blend Fragrance
Scale
Pipette
Rubbing Alcohol in Spray Bottle
Mold
Microwave safe Dish

Instructions:

1. Cut loofah into 3 slices; small enough to fit into mold

2. Weigh and then melt soap base in microwave or double boiler (I used 7 oz)

3. Add Fragrance oil to melted soap.

4. Divide soap and pour into 3 separate cups. Add pigments to each cup of soap.

5. Pour a thin layer of soap from each cup evenly between the three cavities. Spritz on top of soap with rubbing alcohol to disperse air bubbles. Allow to cool.

6. When a film appears on each layer of soap (blow top of soap to check) spritz loofah slices with rubbing alcohol and then place onto the thin layer of soap. Pour the remaining melted soap over the loofah slice.

7. When soap has completely cooled and hardened, pop out of mold and your done!

Hope you enjoyed!

Nina

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Using Embeds in Soap by jrdgarrett

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009
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I gathered ingredients and tools to have everything handy.

9O20-03

I used an electric soap melter that I picked up at a local thrift store. It takes a little longer to melt than the microwave but makes pouring a breeze.

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Then I colored a small amount of the soap with violet mica.

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Filled mold about 3/4 of the way full.

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I scooped Melt and Pour Transparent Soap. I use a sturdy ice cream scoop. It seems to cut through it a little easier.

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I started with filling about 1/2 of this mold with transparent Melt and Pour Soap.

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Stirred until all clumps of mica are distributed.

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I let the soap set a few minutes to harden slightly. I sprayed the item to embed with alcohol.

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I placed the item into the soap being sure the entire item would be completely covered by the soap.

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Items waiting for next layer.

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I stirred until all clumps are dissolved.

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Here I added copper mica to melted soap. (My Grandson helped me with this soap.)

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Added Oak Leaves and Acorns fragrance.

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I placed item to embed into soap being sure it was upside down!

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I covered the item with the remaining soap being sure to fill all the way to the top of the mold.

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I let the soap sit a couple of hours to harden. Because this mold was not flexible I had to put it in the freezer for a few minutes but then the soap popped right out.

You can see where we didn’t have the mica completely dissipated so it left a few spots but we think it adds to the charm of the soap. The spider turned out great. He’s completely covered with soap but you can still see him.

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The soap was still a little soft and the ring wouldn’t stay where I wanted it so I used a straw to help keep it afloat.

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I added black mica to a small amount of soap.

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I then added black soap to the top of the mold filling it completely.

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I stirred until I thought no clumps remained.

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I poured a small amount into my mold and let it sit a few minutes to harden slightly so the item would not sink.

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Creepy!

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Spraying lightly with alcohol to reduce bubbles.

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I added a layer of copper mica colored soap to this mold. I let it sit for a few hours and then unmolded it.

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You can see the Dinosaur really well through the crystals in this mold.

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Oooohh, Aaahh!

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You can barely see the ring through the crystals in this mold but enough to make it look like a real “treasure”!

I love making embedded soap. My grandchildren love it! It gives them something to look forward to and they wash their hands a lot more trying to get the toys out!

Thank you so much for making this skill easy to learn and affordable to do. The staff at MMS is so helpful and patient. Whether I call with questions about cold process soap or making hand cream they are always willing to clear up the fog of confusion I’ve created in my head. Without them I would never have attempted this craft. It has turned into one of the most useful, rewarding things I do. Thank you!

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New Citizen

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
Tomorrow, our office will be closed until 1:30 pm. You may be asking why there is such short notice. Tomorrow morning a member of our staff, Mouein, will become a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. We will be attending the naturalization ceremony to support him. Mouein left Lebanon and came to Logan in 1990 to go to school at Utah State University. He attended school over the years and decided to stay here. We certainly are glad that he decided to stay!

After the ceremony, we will return and process all the orders we can. Any orders that are air shipments, or have Required By dates, will be shipped and we will ship as many normal orders as possible. I guarantee that we will work hard to make sure the orders get out. If you have any questions about orders, our staff will be back in the offices at 1:30 pm and will be able to help you!

Don’t forget to submit your blog or video posts to win the MMS Perfumer’s Kit. Remember, this kit is worth $280! Wow!

Andee

Hi! I'm Mouein.

Hi! I'm Mouein.

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Using Soap Embeds in Soap by jaspersgarden

Monday, October 19th, 2009
Hi everyone! My name is Kathy and I love a challenge! I’m doing a soap in soap embed as my challenge. Hope you enjoy it! I really thought this was going to be easy ~ but it turned into a lot of work!! This little project took 4 days to complete!!

Ingredients/Equipment needed ~ for EMBED soap:
37 oz Clear M&P soap base
8 – 9 oz clear, short SOLO cups (PETE)
8 – .15 cc Scoops
Fractionated Coconut Oil
7 Neon Pigments – Blue, Purple, Pink, Green, Yellow, Orange & Red (Oil soluble & non-bleeding)
1 Mica – Rose Pearl (optional)
Packing paper to protect your counter – Neon’s will stain!
Measuring Spoons
4 cup Pyrex
1 Stainless Steel pot lid that fits over your Pyrex, it will be loose
1 Fat Popsicle stick (to stir soap base in Pyrex)
5 Qt Stainless Steel Pot filled 1/2 way with distilled water
Cutting board
Paring knife
Pot holder for counter
Scale
Embed molds – I used:
Tiny Cubes = tiny ice cube trays (easy to unmold)
Bottle Cubes = bottom half of water bottle ice cube trays (easy to unmold)
Circles = Wilton Candy Melting Plate (this was the hardest to unmold – go figure!)
Alcohol in a spray bottle
XACTO knife to trim embeds – if necessary

Instructions:
Cut up clear M&P soap base and place into a Pyrex cup. Place Pyrex into the 5 qt pot of water – don’t overfill or the water might get into your soap. Turn the stove on to Medium heat. I prefer to melt M&P with the double boiler method rather than using a microwave. Use the method you’re most comfortable with. As the soap begins to melt, stir it with the Popsicle stick once in awhile until completely melted.

While your soap is melting, place packing paper down on your counter. Set out 8 – 9 oz SOLO cups and 8 – .15 cc scoops. Add 1/2 teaspoon of Fractionated Coconut Oil to each cup. Add one .15 cc scoop of each Neon Pigment colorant to each cup. I used 1/4 teaspoon of the Mica in its cup. Using the .15 cc scoop, stir each one until there are no more lumps that you can see. (Note: The Blue & Purple Neon Pigments could have used two .15 cc scoops) Leave the .15 cc scoop in each cup.

While you’re waiting for the soap to melt, stir each colorant/cup again – just to make sure it has dissolved completely – we don’t want any lumps of colorant to show up in our embeds! According to Andee, this is called “Mulling Pigments” – that’s a new word for me!

Once the soap is melted, turn the stove down to Low, but keep the Pyrex in the hot water between pours to keep it melted. Pour some melted M&P into your first SOLO cup/colorant about half full (I’m going to guess around 4 to 4.5 oz for each cup). Put the Pyrex back into the hot water. Using the .15 cc scoop, stir the colorant/soap base quickly (but thoroughly) and pour into your embed molds. Spray with Alcohol to remove any bubbles. Repeat this until all 8 colors/SOLO cups are mixed and poured. Do NOT pour your M&P soap base into every cup upfront – it will solidify quickly! I could only do 4 colorants/cups a day because I did not have enough EMBED molds to complete this part! Save the SOLO cups after you’ve poured your colored M&P soap!

I waited 24 hours before unmolding my tiny cubes, bottle cubes and circles. Then I had to remelt my M&P to finish the last 4 colors…next time (next time?) I’ll buy more ice cube and bottle cube trays so that I can finish this in one day! After unmolding, I stored each colored M&P embeds in their respective (used) SOLO cup.

Ingredients/Equipment needed ~ for OVERPOUR soap:
52 oz Goatsmilk M&P soap base (should be white M&P but I didn’t have any)
1 Fat Popsicle stick (to stir soap base)
5 Qt Stainless Steel Pot filled 1/2 way with distilled water
3 Qt Stainless Steel Pot
Cutting board
Paring knife
Pot holder for counter
Scale
Milky Way Loaf Mold (12 x 3.5w x 3t)
1 oz Blowing Bubbles Fragrance Oil
1/2 teaspoon FDA Approved Brilliant White Mica
12 Embed Circles
120 Embed Tiny Cubes (15 of each color)
9 Embed Bottle Cubes
40 Embed Tiny Cubes (5 of each color)
Alcohol in a spray bottle
LOTS of ventilation!!

Instructions:
Cut up Goatsmilk M&P soap and place in the 3 Qt stainless steel pot. Place this in the 5 Qt pot of water – don’t overfill or the water might get into your soap. Turn the stove on to Medium heat. Stir M&P soap with the Popsicle stick. While this is melting, add 1/2 tsp of the Brilliant White Mica into a shotglass. Add the Fragrance Oil to the shotglass and stir until it is mixed thoroughly.

Once melted, add the Mica/FO to the soap base. Stir well. This really didn’t whiten my Goatsmilk M&P base that much. Should have used White M&P, then I wouldn’t have to use any whitener. Turn the stove down to Low.

Important: Figure out your layout in the mold before you start!

Are you ready??!! You can not afford ANY interruptions for this part! OK, here we go!!
1) Pour small amount of Goatsmilk M&P soap into Loaf Mold – about 1/2″ thick.
2) Spray with alcohol.
3) Spray each circle with alcohol liberally and place on top of Goatsmilk M&P soap, flat side facing you — do this quickly before the M&P has a chance to set up. Also, push each circle down into the Goatsmilk M&P soap.
4) Once you have all 12 circles in, spray with alcohol again.
5) Wait 15 minutes.
6) Make sure you keep your Goatsmilk M&P soap in the water between pours to keep it warm/melted.
7) Pour large amount of Goatsmilk M&P soap.
8) Spray with alcohol.
9) Grab a handful of tiny cubes and spray liberally with alcohol and dump into Goatsmilk M&P soap.
10) Spray and dump – spray and dump — try to remember where your last dump was!
11) Keep doing this until all tiny cubes are gone (I used 120 tiny cubes).
12) Spray top with alcohol again.
13) Wait 15 – 20 minutes.
14) Spray a bottle cube with alcohol liberally and place on top of loaf, flat side down.
15) Keep doing this until all bottle cubes are gone (I used 9 bottle cubes).
16) Spray the loaf with alcohol again.
17) Pour the rest of the Goatsmilk M&P soap into loaf.
18) Spray with alcohol.
19) Grab a handful of tiny cubes and spray liberally with alcohol and dump into Goatsmilk M&P soap.
20) Spray and dump – spray and dump — try to remember where your last dump was!
21) Keep doing this until all tiny cubes are gone (I used 40 tiny cubes – could have used more than this).
22) Spray top with alcohol again.
23) Ta Da!! You’re done! Now let it sit for 48 hours – do not move it!

Now you’re ready to unmold and cut!

Supplies needed:
Wooden Loaf Cutter (or whatever you have – a miter box might work!)
Crinkle Cutter
2 – 4 x 6 Shrink wrap bags (for ends of loaf)
10 – 6 x 6 Shrink wrap bags
Heat resistant cutting board
Heat Gun
Impulse Cutter/Sealer

After cutting your bars, place each bar in a 6 X 6 shrink bag. I had to cut the bags on the sides and top. The 4 x 6 bags were just too small for my bars. After cutting the bag, I wrapped it against the bar and taped it shut – like wrapping a present. Or use an Impulse Cutter/Sealer, if you have one. Turn the heat gun on Low. Shrink the sides first, then the top and back last. Do this quickly or you run the risk of melting your soap. I don’t worry about this with CP, but M&P is a whole different beast!! ;o)

Enjoy!

Notes:
If you don’t have the tiny ice cube trays, pour your colored, M&P soap into drawer dividers about 1/2″ thick. Let it cool then cut into strips, then cubes ~ wish I had thought of that on Day 1 ;o)

If you use the double boiler method, I found that melting M&P in a stainless steel pot melts a lot quicker than using a Pyrex cup.

I did not use the freezer for any part of this. The freezer method tends to leave dew on the embeds, plus it’s too cold to use as embeds in a warm/hot over-pour.

Remember ~ alcohol is your friend! If you don’t use alcohol, your layers will come apart. The alcohol dissipates – so don’t worry about using too much! You cannot smell any alcohol whatsoever – just that wonderful fragrance oil!

Do not scent your Embeds ~ I have alot left over which I can use on another batch. It’s best to over-scent your overpour soap.

Embed Molds - Tiny Cubes, Bottle Cubes & Circles.

Embed Molds - Tiny Cubes, Bottle Cubes & Circles.

Tiny Cubes in SOLO cups, Bottle Cubes, Circles, XACTO knife, Alcohol in spray bottle, Fragrance Oil for overpour soap.

Tiny Cubes in SOLO cups, Bottle Cubes, Circles, XACTO knife, Alcohol in spray bottle, Fragrance Oil for overpour soap.

Pyrex cup inside 5 Qt Stainless Steel pot - melting clear M&P soap.

Pyrex cup inside 5 Qt Stainless Steel pot - melting clear M&P soap.

Layout of embeds - do this before you start!  (sorry about the lighting, this is another room in my shop)

Layout of embeds - do this before you start! (sorry about the lighting, this is another room in my shop)

Goatsmilk M&P soap, Blowing Bubbles FO mixed with Brilliant White Mica in shotglass.

Goatsmilk M&P soap, Blowing Bubbles FO mixed with Brilliant White Mica in shotglass.

Goatsmilk M&P soap melting in 3 Qt Stainless Steel pot inside 5 Qt Stainless Steel pot filled half way with distilled water.

Goatsmilk M&P soap melting in 3 Qt Stainless Steel pot inside 5 Qt Stainless Steel pot filled half way with distilled water.

1st layer in Mold ~ Goatsmilk M&P with Circles Embeds (top view).

1st layer in Mold ~ Goatsmilk M&P with Circles Embeds (top view).

1st layer in Mold ~ Goatsmilk M&P with Circles Embeds (side view).

1st layer in Mold ~ Goatsmilk M&P with Circles Embeds (side view).

2nd layer in Mold ~ Goatsmilk M&P with 120 Tiny Cubes Embeds.

2nd layer in Mold ~ Goatsmilk M&P with 120 Tiny Cubes Embeds.

3rd layer in Mold ~ Bottle Cubes, flat side down.

3rd layer in Mold ~ Bottle Cubes, flat side down.

4th layer in mold ~ Goatsmilk M&P with 40 Tiny Cubes Embeds (could've/should've used more than that).

4th layer in mold ~ Goatsmilk M&P with 40 Tiny Cubes Embeds (could've/should've used more than that).

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Confetti Soap, Part 4

Friday, October 16th, 2009
On October 1st, I showed the finished batch of Confetti Soap using shreds. Today, I’ll show you the finished batch of Confetti Soap using chunks.

Collect needed supplies:
Soap we made on October 1st, cut into chunks
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Coconut Oil
Sweet Almond Oil
Fragrance Oil of your choice (I’m going to be using Pears & Berries Fragrance Oil)
Scale

Recipe in ounces:
40 ounces weight Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
20 ounces weight Coconut Oil
20 ounces weight Sweet Almond Oil

30 fluid ounces water
11.1 ounces weight sodium hydroxide

1.4 ounces of Pears & Berries Fragrance Oil

24 ounces of soap chunks from soap made on Thursday. I used 8 ounces of each color.

Weighing time: 8 minutes
Adding lye to 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: 2 minutes
Mix shreds or chunks into the soap solution: 30 seconds
Pour into mold: 30 seconds
Allow soap to rest: 24 hours

Soap out of the mold and unwrapped.

Soap out of the mold and unwrapped.

Cut bars of soap.

Cut bars of soap.

Notes:
You will want to make sure that the soap is thicker than the water thin trace that we generally have. This will prevent the soap shreds from settling to the bottom of soap.

Have fun!

Submit your photos and text for the guest written Embedded Melt & Pour Soap Challenge! Submissions will be accepted through October 18th at blog@thesage.com. The submissions will be released October 19th through October 23rd. Each guest writer will receive a $25 gift certificate. I have already received one entry! Don’t miss out on your chance!

Don’t forget to submit your blog or video posts to win the MMS Perfumer’s Kit. Remember, this kit is worth $280! Wow!

Andee

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