Archive for December, 2011
Ah… Freebie Friday. It has been a while since I have had a Freebie Friday so this week we are having Freebie Tuesday! With the final mad dash to the holidays and finals upon me, I have hardly had time to breathe let alone make soap! As I was scrambling for time and inspiration, I came upon some samples waiting to be sent out. So, in order to share some resources that might be a source of inspiration I have a Freebie Friday (er… Tuesday) for this week. Yay!
The first fragrance on my list today is Lavender Flowers. Sometimes lavender can be strong and medicinal and just way too intense. This fragrance is nothing like that. It is a genteel lavender that is soft, sweet and well rounded in its floral notes. Very popular on its own, I have seen it recommended to be blended with vanilla or chocolate. Yum. Either would be lovely but I think I would prefer the vanilla blend. Well, I will never know until I try both!
Next on our list to “discover” is Cotton. This is a fresh clean scent that is wonderful. I really like to use this fragrance as a linen spray. Things have a freshly washed odor and it almost smell like clothes have been hanging out on a line, sway in a delicate breeze.
Let’s turn our attention to Ginger. Our Ginger Fragrance Oil is spicy and fresh with a hint of floral. This is sure to be a hit! Don’t miss out on this fabulous scent for the holidays!
Now we can look at Romantic Wish. This scent is a blend of orange, apple and pear. It is complemented by jasmine, lily and sweet melon, with a base note of sensual musk. I really like this scent. It is soft, sweet and feminine. This is a must try!
Next on our list today is Green Tea. Now this isn’t like a cold cup of over steeped tea. This is like a fresh hot cup of green tea with the delicate flavors just beginning to bloom and inviting the drinker in for the first sip. This is sure to delight any green tea drinker!
Let’s look at Relaxation now. This is a soft fragrance of white lilies, hyacinth, jasmine, tuberose and vanilla, that has a hint of musk and spice and a touch of lemon. This is a wonderful scent that invite you to slow down and relax. Try this in Cold Process soap. The scent blooms when wet. Wow!
Do you need a fragrance that is a treat? Try Pink Sugar! This olfactory treat has a strong base of vanilla wrapped up neatly with soft bergamot, sweet raspberry, delectable fig, rich caramel and sensual musk. Try this yummy fragrance without counting the calories. YAY!
Last on our list today is Wild Strawberry. This fragrance is absolutely luscious. This fragrance makes me think of warm summer days, when I have gone hiking in one of the local canyons and discover the treasure of wild strawberries. Wild strawberries are always small, but they have more flavor than what one can imagine. In this fragrance, some one went hunting for wild strawberries and stuffed them in a bottle. This is a must have for every berry lover.
Now remember, you can request any of these fragrances in your next order. These are a great way to receive ideas and inspiration. Try it out!
|Deb emailed in asking for help formulating a mint lip balm that is tingly when she applies it. Let’s take a look at her cupboard and see what we can do for her!
Deb has Shea Butter, Castor Oil, Olive Oil, Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Hemp Seed Oil and Beeswax. In her formulation, we will use, Shea Butter, Castor Oil, Coconut Oil, Hemp Seed Oil and Beeswax. This lip balm is firm with a smooth glide. Wow, Deb, you are in for a treat! This recipe will fill 100 tubes.
Weigh all of the oils into a microwave container. Heat gently until liquid. Pour into lip balm tubes or jars.
Deb, for a strong mint flavor, I would start with a 0.7% usage rate of the Peppermint Essential Oil. Enjoy!
|I cannot say that soap making is a “family affaire” in my case, but more a personal passion. As I reflect on how it has impacted my family in the last few years, I have started to realize how everyone has their own role in my little passion.
I first started making cold process soap as an answer to my son’s extremely sensitive skin. He was barely a few months old and was already plagued with dry skin, eczema, impetigo and the like. I quickly realized that babies do not really need soap, but since making soap was so much fun, I started making it for my family and friends. My son is now three years old and still does not use soap for bathing. He actually think soap is something for “big people”, and can’t wait to be old enough to use those cute round smelly things mommy makes! He is fascinated by my soaps. He helps me place them on the drying shelves once they are cut and stamped. And if the next time he checks on them they have changed position, you can be sure I get scolded for it!
I now have another little one. She is not yet one year old, but has “shared” my soap passion from the womb. As I decided to stay home for a year after her birth, I used some of my spare time to expand my soap making passion into a little soap making company. Her great blue eyes and happy smile are always great assets when selling products at baby shows! Like her brother, she does not use soap yet, but as my soaping endeavours have spread to other body products, she is always willing to try new butt cream or new baby massage butter. Her role is greatly appreciated!
From the start, my husband has been my greatest supporter and my greatest challenge. He thinks making soap is amusing because I wear a scientist’s lab coat. He often assists me by taking care of the kids during my soaping hours, providing me with mould materials (he is a plumber, so the round ones are his speciality!) and packing the car before and after a show. He has tried everyone of my soap and provided me with feedback. Even the ones he think stink. BUT … here’s my never-ending challenge: I have yet to make one that beats his store bought Pears soap! He swears that my soaps are the best (sweet of him) of all the store bought and handmade soap he has try, except for his favourite Pears soap. So he keeps me going. Hopefully one day I will meet his challenge!
So you see, even though I am the only one making soap in my family, my family is why my soaps are what they are. And that is very precious to me.
|For me, making soap is all about family. My oldest daughter has sensitive skin that is prone to eczema and painful drying and cracking in the winter months. After buying some handcrafted cold process soap, I was inspired to learn to make it for her. I started with Kathy Miller’s wonderful site for the beginner, www.millersoap.com Kathy is a wonderful lady, generous with her knowledge and time, also devoted to family, and was kind enough to correspond with me when I was a relative newbie.As I have developed as a soap maker, I have made individual recipes tailored to family members’ tastes and preferences. My daughters also offer ideas and inspirations. My youngest, then 8, wanted a “cocoa-nut” soap, scented with coconut fragrance oil and swirled with cocoa powder. She also loves lemon poppy seed muffins so together we invented a soap with poppy seeds, lemongrass EO, and anise. I colored it with charcoal and a bit of virgin palm oil and poured it in layers. Bumblebee soap was born! A recent request, watermelon soap (more poppy seeds!) took quite a lot of planning to carry out.
For my older daughter of the dry skin I formulated a simple superfatted soap with just three oils – avocado, babassu and cocoa butter. This became ABC soap and all of the ingredients including fragrance (but minus sodium hydroxide) began with the letters A, B or C. For my sister, whose 50th birthday I missed due to the great blizzard back east at the end of 2010, I made a soap in her honor on that day because I could not be with her. She loves cinnamon rolls, so I made a soap fragrant with cinnamon bark essential oil and almond and vanilla fragrance oils, swirled with ground cinnamon. I have one bar left and it still smells great.
My husband is an outdoorsman and a hunter. Last fall he bagged an elk and I rendered elk tallow for the first time. I processed it with rosemary and mint from our garden and made a soap just for him. It is reminiscent of a campfire with a light gray smokey swirl made from the charcoal from our wood burning stove. I also recently made a soap with oils infused with cedar fronds and rosemary from our yard and scented with black spruce, folded lemon, and hints of vetiver, black pepper and galbanum. Smells like a forest!
For my dear grandmother, about whom I have written before, I made a soap in her memory on the blue moon of last year, redolent with almond and cardamom and luxury oils that would have been kind to her older skin.
Finally, there is my extended family of friends, co-workers, and teachers. My older daughter, and now my youngest, have been performing in a local production of the Nutcracker and in other ballets for the last four years. This has become a family tradition and these young dancers have become like family to me. I feel like I have a dozen extra teenage daughters! I have been making limited edition soaps as gifts to cast members for opening night. Last year for Nutcracker, I did an orange spice. This year cranberry spice and pumpkin chai. For the Alice in Wonderland ballet, “Red Court Raspberry.” For teachers, I’ve been making soaps in school colors. And for one of my graduate students, Scott, I offered to make soap favors for his wedding gift. Imagine my surprise (dismay?) to find out he and his bride had invited 200 guests!
Using my loved ones as a source of inspiration enriches my creativity and makes my products special and meaningful to me, and I hope, to the recipients.
|Family,For many it is just a word, but for me it is the center of my soul. I am the youngest of eight children, my father passed away when I was only 3, leaving my mother with seven children still at home. My mother is a very strong woman, she went to work at the sugar factory and then in the coal mines, just to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. That left the older children to take care of the younger ones. Me, I was spoiled rotten of course because I was the baby. We managed, and I have great respect for all of my older siblings, as well as my mother. I learned to cook and clean at a very young age, and to embroider, paint, crochet, latch hook (or I at least that is what I think it is called), and many other creative outlets.
You see, my mom is the craftiest person I know; she can cut doll clothes patterns from a piece of newspaper. Fashion an old tube sock into a Barbie dress. Look at a piece of wood and tell you what she can make out of it. From her we have all etched our creative side into this world. My oldest sister is amazing at sewing, quilts, aprons, dresses you name it she can sew it. My brothers; one runs his own cabinet shop, as well as makes custom furniture, the other has a water jet machine that creates whatever his imagination can draw up. My sister Pat, she is amazing, she gardens, crochets, sews (if she has too), and makes lotions and potions. Dema is also great at sewing, and crochets baby blankets. Bobbie, well she is there for support. She does not sew, or crochet, but she has a great eye for designing brochures, fliers and the computer technical kind of stuff. My sister Gwen passed away from lung cancer 18 months ago, and although she is gone, she is in my thoughts. She liked to cross stitch and sew baby quilts. That leaves me; I am betting most of you know what my creative passion is…… Yep Soap! However, I do know how to crochet, embroider, and create just about anything I put my mind to.
One would think that being from such a large family that I would have married into a small one….. Not a chance. My husband is the youngest of eight as well; yes I have a huge family. I was lucky enough to marry in to a family that brought me in as one of their own. There are always days when one butts heads with their mother in law, but she is just as supportive as my mom. And I am very lucky to have her in my life as well.
Family does not always mean blood, or marriage. I have a few friends that are sisters, because they have stolen my heart many moons ago. They too offer support. I could not leave out my online family, the Forum at MMS; you are all so helpful and supportive. I know just where to go if I need a question answered, or a shoulder to lean on because something (probably soap) just blew up in my kitchen. The tears and laughter we share are like none that are shared with anyone else. Only we are insane enough to have this passion of soap making, a hobby that has a mind of its own!
You would think I would be done; I have saved the best for last, my husband and kids. They are my light, my joy, my soul. I have been married for 22 years, and have three amazing teenagers. My husband supports me, by listening nonstop about soap, fragrances, what sells, and making my molds, again and again, until the right size is achieved. My kids give my soap as gifts, always recommend my product, and are there for packaging help, dishwashers, test subjects and inspiration. And for that I love them deeply.
You may ask yourself what this short history on my family has to do with my current soap business. Support, every one of them supports me in my passion. My mother will come and package, or give creative ideas, or just visit on long days of making product in my kitchen. Pat and I bounce ideas off of each other all of the time. Bobbie lives in the big city and goes shopping for those items that I cannot find locally or are too expensive to ship, as well as helping me with my brochures and fliers. John makes soap dishes for me, and I trade product for herbs from Tom’s wife Kim. Dema and her family buy soap, a lot of soap; she is my business person to go to when I have questions. The Decker side of the family spreads the word about Dirty Water Soap, and little by little my tiny company is growing.
You see, family, is my soul, they have always been there, and are now ever more present in my soaping world. I would not have my life be any other way.
Just for curiosity: These figures include in laws as well. I have 1 husband ( who needs more than one?) 3 children, 2 mothers, 1 father, 23 brothers and sisters, 46 nieces and nephews, 30 great nieces and nephews and one great great nephew. I am not old enough to have that many family members! Most of them use Dirty Water Soap, how great is that?
Enjoy your family this holiday season, pull them close, and hug them tight, you never know when you will get another chance!
Dirty Water Soap Works