Archive for December, 2010

Eclipse Party Hosted by Erin

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
Sometimes, I float around the web looking at different blogs and read about what people are making. I stumbled across Erin’s blog post about her Eclipse themed party that she hosted for her friends and she used our Twilight Collection and kits for her party. Erin has kindly given me permission to repost her blog about this party.

Her party reminded me of the Twilight party that I had posted about over a year ago. Michelle had hosted her party for a group of 12 year old girls and I wanted to throw a party just like it. Now after reading about Erin’s party, I think I’m ready to throw my own party! Want to come?

Now, I give you Erin!

First, let me say this….I am NOT a crazy, fanatic, lunatic Twihard that thinks vampires live next door and wolves are keeping watch from my backyard. I never picked a team in fact. Never. But, if I really had to, pick a team that is, I would lay claim to Team Jasper because I do enjoy a southern accent. I will say this however, I think all the Twilight Saga hubbub is downright good, clean fun. I will admit, I have traveled to Forks WA where I found myself on the Volturi tour. And, I did browse around a Dazzled by Twilight store probably way too long. And, I did have mushroom ravioli in Port Angeles WA. So I guess that makes me a fan. I like to giggle at the middle-aged women that swoon in the movie theaters when a certain someone strolls onto the screen and I love, love, love the fact teenagers are reading these books, because after all they are READING!!! That is pretty great if you think about it.

Anyway, now that is out of the way, I was browsing a fave soaping blog and I came across scented oils in you guessed it, Twilight theme. I knew the newest movie from the Twilight saga was coming out on DVD soon, therefore a party theme was hatched. And if you know me, you know I love a good party theme.

Majestic Mountain Sage has great Twilight inspired fragrance oils (which had my house swirling with good smells for the next few days) and super duper kits. I picked out one of the lotion and one of the lip balm kits. They come with everything you need and it’s all very easy.

The Sage also has a really great blog. Check it out!

My dear friend made our delicious dishes. The food was a hit! Thank you Julie!!

I had such a great time laughing with the great gals that came I completely forgot to pick up my camera. So Julie reenacted the party scene for blogging purposes.

After spa products were made and food was eaten, we settled down to watch the movie. And, when were all pooped from laughing and eating, I sent them on their way with their very own Eclipse tshirt.

Thank you to all the lovely ladies. I had a super time! And, my house is still swirling with the smells of Twilight.

Lotion and Fragrance Oils.

Lip Balm Pots.

Swag Bags.

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Orange Lip Balm

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Back at the beginning of December we received an e-mail from Crystal. It was such a great thing to read that I just had to share it with you!

First, I’d like to say I have never been disappointed with any of your products or service. Due to a complicated pregnancy I’ve been out of the soap making loop for a few months but as soon as I start again I’ll definitely be back to ordering the bulk of my supplies from The Sage.

What I really wanted to tell you about was your miracle orange butter lip balm. I received a tube as a sample with an order I placed some time ago. To be honest I’m a lip balm junkie and have an obscene collection of them, so it wound up just getting tossed in my purse with the dozen or so others I always carry with me.

My daughter is four years old. From the time she was a baby she has had a problem with dry chapped lips in the winter. The last two years have been the worst. Her poor little lips stay cracked and bleed on a daily basis from October to March. I have had her try so many balms and butters and none of them have ever made any difference. Then last week she was digging through my purse and happened to pull out your orange lip butter! For some reason she decided she wanted to use your balm and (I swear on this) after just one day of use, applying it only twice, her lips are baby soft. It’s like she never had problems at all. Amazing. So thank you very much for the sample! I can’t wait to order some orange butter and play around with it in other products!

Thank you for the review Crystal! I hope your little one has been able to keep those soft lips!

I’ve included the text and photos from the original post for you to play with this recipe. It is one of our favorites and a great reminder to keep those lip moisturized during the winter months!

I’ll have some of these lip balms made again as samples for the shipping in the new year. If you would like to try this lip balm, I hope that anyone wanting a sample lip balm will request one with their order and if we have any samples we will send them to you.

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Soaps of the Past

Monday, December 27th, 2010

The old soaps collection.

I’m sure every reader here has their own reasons for why they make soaps, lotions and other products. Allergies, sensitive skin, the desire for knowledge, a hobby, becoming a self-sustaining person, and many more reasons. While I haven’t even touched the surface of all the reasons, there is one reason that makes me think about history. I make soap because I want to be able to use a product I made just like _________(my grandma, the pioneers, the Medieval Europeans, the colonists) did.

This reason usually has me thinking about how soap making changed from a small batch production process to a large batch production process during the Industrial Revolution. Andrew Pears is credited with the invention of a high quality, transparent soap in 1789. It was not until 1865 when Pears son-in-law, Thomas J. Barratt, entered the firm in a partnership. He created an advertising campaign that was unique in its use of images and memorable slogans. Barratt is now known as the father of modern advertising. While the Pears brand is still trademarked and sold today, I find this beginning of commercial soap intriguing.

I’ve been collecting different old soaps over the past months and I’m starting to have an impressive collection. I have various soaps from the 1960s to WWII issued soaps and I even have a soap that has a 1898 United States Internal Revenue Tax Paid stamp on the package! That soap is the Cuticura Soap on the top row and center. The history behind each bar of soap is amazing. I’ll have to admit that it is very exciting to hold piece of ordinary day-to-day history in my hands!

Here is a list of the soaps and toiletries as they appear in the picture.
Top Row (Left to Right): Merrill’s Fine Toilet Soap, Conti Olive Oil Castile Soap, Williams Menthol Mug Shaving Soap, Cuticura Soap Medicinal & Toilet, Lifebuoy Health Soap, Amolin Cream Deodorant.
Second Row Down (Left to Right): Kirk’s Original Coco Hardwater Castile, Palmer Rose Leaves Soap, Octagon Soap, Ting Anti-Bacterial Soap.
Third Row Down (Left to Right): Ivory Soap, Cashmere Bouquet Toilet Soap by Colgate, Camay Soap, OQMG No 100-A-Type 1 Soap (WWII US Army issued)
Bottom Row (Left to Right): Grandpa’s Wonder Pine Tar Toilet Soap, Moon Rose Complexion Soap, Patch’s Gadoment (used for burn and wound treatments), Palmolive soap with a token for a free cake of soap when you buy one cake.
The large soap box on the side is Deseret Brand Granulated Soap that was produced and distributed by the L.D.S. Welfare Plan.

If you come visit our facility, ask about the old soaps and we will be more than willing to show you the soaps.

Enjoy this little taste of history!

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Holiday Memories

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

On Monday I posted about holiday memories and traditions and I asked for other stories from our readers.

Denny sent me this wonderful story and it pulled at my heart strings when I first read the story. Enjoy!

I was just remembering last night (someone else’s story on TV reminded me) when I got a train set for Christmas. I was pretty young–probably younger than 6. My dad was just a big kid himself and he was using the train so much that I wasn’t getting to use it. I started crying and my mom had to intercede so I got to use the train some. My mother took some pictures of Dad and me and that train set on that Christmas morning. That prompts her to tell that story every so often and how she had to break us up so I would get to play with “my” train set.

Another Christmas story: My dad was just a big kid and he LOVED Christmas. He loved being the Santa who laid out gifts for us kids. I imagine he barely slept on Christmas Eve because he couldn’t STAND to wait for us to wake up on Christmas morning. He would come to the bedroom door and announce, “Santa has been here! Come see what Santa brought!” He handed out the gifts and read the tags and opened his only when there was a lull in the action or when we had opened all of ours.

My dad loved dogs, so through the years, any dogs that were family members participated fully in Christmas, opening their own gifts or helping with the opening of the gifts of others. Buddy, a Lhasa Apso mix, really preferred to be left alone with his gifts. No help, please. We would wrap a little doggie treat for him in tissue paper and would just roll it up. It was supposed to open with just a tug, but he usually started on the side so it wouldn’t roll very well. Once when my mother went to help by grasping the corner of the paper with her thumb and forefinger to try to give the package a little tug, Buddy paused (still holding the gift in his teeth) and put one paw on Mom’s hand. Then he continued wrestling the paper off the treat. ‘Nuff said.

In my dad’s Alzheimer’s years, he still enjoyed Christmas, although I’m sure he didn’t really get what was going on or remember in the last one exactly who these people were around him. He enjoyed watching us open our gifts. He remembered how to open his, but he had to be reminded sometimes that he hadn’t finished opening the one on his lap. He would chuckle at each comment or gift (whether his or someone else’s). Mom had him write on the card they gave to me. He didn’t exactly remember what he was supposed to do because my name was upside down on the wrong side of the envelope and his name was inside the card, also upside down and on the back side of the card. I had to look all around the card to find it. Mom told me later that she’d coached him to do that much and left her name off after he’d done that. He got many chuckles on his last Christmas because each time he saw his new gifts, he would touch and hold each one over and over again. And each time he touched them and realized they were gifts for him, he smiled all over again.

Thanks for prompting the memories . . . Made me smile . . .

Denny in Arizona

I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did! I’ll share some more holiday memories and traditions later, so don’t forget to send in your stories to share!

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Holiday Memories and Traditions

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Everyone has memories and stories of previous holidays that they enjoy sharing with others. I’m sure we all listen to the stories and think, “I couldn’t have done that!” or “I can’t believe they actually pulled it off!”

When I sat down to write today, I wasn’t sure what to say at first. Then I remembered that I had asked our Facebook Page Fans “What are some holiday traditions that are the most memorable for you?” The responses given were wonderful and sounded like traditions that my family would have.

Kristin said, “We owned a Christmas tree farm, so the funnest thing for us was running that and seeing all the happy people!”

Crystal said, “My house is the gathering place for Christmas Eve. We are expecting approximately 45 people. We love making new memories every year. This year we are making salt dough ornaments for the kids to decorate. And we are going to make Taffy! Have not pulled taffy in years, going to teach my kids.”

Karen said, “Christmas carols are my favorite part of Christmas!”

Thank you to Kristin, Crystal and Karen for sharing. I want to hear more traditions and memories. Send them in no matter what holiday you celebrate.

Here are some of my favorite Christmas memories and traditions.

Memory
I must have been nine or ten years old when this happened, but it has been one of my favorite memories. One Christmas Eve after my little sister and I had gone to bed, my parents came to wake us up and told us to come downstairs very quietly. We crept down the stairs and into the front room where the Christmas tree was. My parents whispered for us to stay low and go look out the front window and then we would see something very amazing. Since the windowsill was very low, we crawled around the tree and we were surprised to see several deer outside the window eating apples that my mom had thrown out earlier that day. The moonlight bounced off the snow and illuminated the deer very well, so we sat there and watched the deer eat until the apples were gone. Then the deer walked down the driveway and across the street to continue finding various things to eat.

Tradition
This tradition began when I was just a little girl, but this is one tradition the whole family looks forward to each year. My mom made pajamas for everyone in the family one year and since then we have made it a tradition to either make or go shopping for Christmas Pajamas. We usually have our pajamas by mid-December so we can cuddle up in warm pajamas during Christmas break and the family book readings or game nights.

All week long I’m sharing memories and traditions. Send in your stories!!

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Gift Certificates!

Friday, December 17th, 2010

♫ Gift Certificates, Gift Certificates!
Now is the time to order Gift Certificates!
We are here, writing a rhyme,
We’ll get your Gift Certificate out on time!
Order Gift Certificates and have a wonderful holiday!
Hey! ♫

Don’t forget, you can also make Money Roses as gifts too! Visit the Money Roses tutorial to make great roses for anyone as a gift.

Here are our Holiday Hours! You are more than welcome to e-mail us at anytime during the holidays and we will try to get back to you as soon as we can.

December 20 through 22
We are processing orders and shipping. UPS and USPS are picking up and delivering. We are not scheduling will-call orders. We are doing inventory and will not be available for phone calls.

December 27 through 29
We are processing orders and shipping. UPS and USPS are picking up and delivering. We are not scheduling will-call orders. We are doing inventory and will not be available for phone calls.

January 3, 2010 Happy New Year!!
We are processing orders and shipping. UPS and USPS are picking up and delivering. We are not scheduling will-call orders. We are back for the regular weekly schedule.

January 5, 2010 Will Call Hours Resume!
Wednesday the 5th is our first day that will call orders will be scheduled for the new year.

No matter if you are traveling or staying at home, we hope that you have a enjoyable and safe holiday season.

Happy Holidays!

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Big and Bigger Lip Balm Tube Picture

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

I’ve had some of you asking for pictures of the Big and Bigger Lip Balm Tubes. Well, I now have a picture for you to do some comparisons of your own. On the left side of the picture, I placed a White Bottom Twist Tubes (0.15 oz) with a White cap. The middle tube and cap is the Big Lip Balm Tube set. Then on the right side is the Bigger Lip Balm Tube set. These tubes are perfect for making big lip balms, salves, traveling lotion bars, and anything else you could imagine in them. Wouldn’t these make a great traveling size of salves or lotion bars? I can see this going into pockets of the skiers and snowboarders, ice skaters, campers, hunters and everyone who needs a little extra care while outside in the winter elements. Try these tubes and I think you will love them as much as I do!

P.S. Since Christmas is so close and gifts are becoming harder to make on such short notice, buy a Gift Certificate for your fellow crafters! We now have cute letterpress cards to send with the Gift Certificates! This has me wanting to sing the following song. Gift Certificates, Gift Certificates, How you bring joy! I don’t know, I don’t know, What I’ll get! There is probably a reason that I’m a blog writer and not a song writer!

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Enhancing Lather with Simple Accessories

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Making lather with a bath pouf.

Last week, I was sicker than a dog and it took a LOT of energy just to get a drink from the kitchen. At one point during the week, I was washing my hands with some of the recently made liquid soap and I could not get an active lather like I was hoping to get. After I was feeling better, I was getting my shower caddy together when I looked at my bath pouf and VOILA! I realized that the best way to enhance a lather is to use something that can incorporate more air into the soap and water. A bath pouf is also known as a netted sponge, a mesh sponge or even a nylon loofa. There are many different names for such a product or the similar sponges.

No matter the name you call it, you can use your pouf to enhance lather for liquid soaps or bar soaps. It doesn’t take much soap on the pouf to create lots of lather. Simply wet the pouf first and then add the soap (either a dab of liquid soap that is not bigger than a dime or give a quick scrub with a bar of soap). Once the soap has been added to the wet pouf, rub vigorously until a thick lather has been created. Now the lathered pouf can be used to scrub your body and remove the dirt and excess oils from your skin.

Don’t forget to rinse out the pouf thoroughly before hanging it up to dry. It is best for each person to have their own pouf and wash it every two to four weeks. This will help prevent bad bacteria from growing in the poof. I like to wash mine with the laundry that has to be bleached, but you can also soak a bath pouf in the sink with bleach and water.

I’ll get back to the rest of the Liquid Soap Week later this week. My desk looks like …. I’ve been gone for a few days! After we tackle the rest of the liquid soap, I have some fun projects coming up. This will include an Animal Fats Soap Week, a Chocolate Lip Scrub, a Winter Breeze Body Scrub and more! Stay tuned!

Enjoy the lather!

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Introduction to Liquid Soap Week, Day Three

Thursday, December 9th, 2010
Yesterday, I showed you a liquid soap that overflowed and was a very troublesome batch overall. Today, I’ll show you a batch of soap that I formulated with the idea of having a soap that had a good lather.

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Sweet Almond Oil
Castor Oil
Coconut Oil
Palm Kernel Oil
Wheat Germ Oil
Potassium Hydroxide
Water (I used Reverse Osmosis.)
Equipment
Scale
Soap Spoons
Gloves
Crock pot or Double Boiler system
Safety goggles, anti fog are helpful
Heavy duty gloves
Immersion blender
Thermometer
Work clothes with long sleeves and closed shoes
Vinegar
Microwave for heating oils (If you are using the crock pot)
Containers for the finished soap
Recipe in ounces:
4.5 ounces Sweet Almond Oil
7 ounces Castor Oil
8 ounces Coconut Oil
8 ounces Palm Kernel Oil
4.5 ounces Wheat Germ Oil

6.8 ounces Potassium Hydroxide
12 fluid ounces Water

This batch of soap was made just like the soap on Monday and I didn’t have any incidents, so I was very excited to have a normally behaving batch of soap. The oils were 160° F when the Potassium Hydroxide solution was added. The soap proceeded to mix well through the cottage cheese and then the sticky taffy stages. When the soap started to puff, I was a little nervous since I didn’t want a soap overflow again. The soap did not overflow and eventually settled to the dense paste again. I covered the crock pot with the lid and let the soap cook for 3 hours and stirred every 20 minutes.

When the soap reached this translucent stage, I boiled 2 ounces of water and added 1 oz of soap to the water. After stirring until the soap was completely dissolved, I allowed the soap sample to cool. This soap sample was completely clear. This meant the soap could be diluted with 64 ounces of water. I allowed the soap to cook for about an hour. This allowed the dilution to occur slowly without adding lots of bubbles.

I wasn’t completely sure how to answer some of the questions that have been asked, so I have written these Interview Questions and my responses. The questions are posed as from the Blog Editor. Enjoy!

Blog Editor: What did you like about this soap?
Andee: I enjoyed making this soap. It was easy and a boost in my confidence after my overflowing batch earlier this week.

BE: Why did you chose the oils that you did?
A: I chose the oils for various reasons that were noted in Catherine Failor’s book. I chose the Coconut and Palm Kernel Oils because these oils have an excellent cleaning properties that produced a quick lather with big bubbles. The Sweet Almond Oil was picked for the persistent lather and the mild cleansing action. The Castor Oil was selected for the long lasting lather that it could contribute. I also wanted to use the Wheat Germ Oil because it naturally contains Vitamin E and is great to use on the skin.

BE: Would you consider a stainless steel potato masher to keep the puffing down?
A: I don’t think so. The puffing reminds me of a jam or jelly that is coming to a full rolling boil. It needs to be vigorously stirred down.

BE: When it got to the edges did you have a scoop to make sure it didn’t overflow?
A: No. I just used the whisk attachment and stirred well to keep the puffing soap down.

BE: What are your questions to yourself about liquid soap making?
A: I have lots of questions and each one brings more questions after it.

  1. Why does Catherine Failor use a excess of KOH when a 2% superfat doesn’t require the neutralization that her recipes need? I would be intrigued to learn how she learned to make liquid soap and what the primary resources for information were during the writing of the book.
  2. How would this work on the glass cooktop? Would the cycling heat affect how the soap cooks?
  3. Is there a better option to make a liquid soap rather than small batches?
  4. Is there a way to mass produce liquid soap as a small home soapmaker? Even this batch that I made would only fill ten 16 fl oz bottles. When you are selling product, I would think you would want the ability to make more product that 10 bottles at a time. I figure you are looking at 4 to 5 hours from start to finish, so wouldn’t it be best to make the best of your time?

BE: If you had to show this to someone else what would you want them to see or question or challenge?
A: I want people to see that liquid soap is easy to make, if you are well prepared. I think people see a complicated process and they don’t see that other products they already make have a similar process, maybe not as time intensive, but just as complicated looking in the beginning. I would hope that people would challenge the recipes I formulated and try to make a recipe that works best for them.

The Day 3 Liquid Soap samples have been sent to the Shipping Department to send out in orders. I’m excited to say I have approximately 80 samples of this liquid soap! I would love to hear your comments about this liquid soap. I hope that anyone wanting a sample soap will request one with their order and if we have any samples we will send them to you.

Melted oils in the crock pot.

Mixing the oils and Potassium Hydroxide solution.

The cottage cheese stage has started.

The cottage cheese stage has progressed.

Puffing soap as it cooks.

Stirring the puffing soap.

Stirring the soap paste.

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Introduction to Liquid Soap Week, Day Two

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010
On Monday, I made a liquid soap the right way and since I really messed up on this batch, I’ll show you what I did and how you can prevent it. This soap was the Olive & Coconut Oil Soap that I promised I would make and it turned out fine, there were just some problems during the processing!

If you want instructions for a good batch of liquid soap, I would recommend reading Monday’s blog post.

Uh-oh! The soap is overflowing!

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