All posts by Andee

I'm a twenty something soap snob. I've grown up with hand made soaps and I love them! I really like making melt and pour soaps because they are so easy. My favorite scent is either Velocity or Cotton Candy. I tend to hoard fragrances, I even have an Earl Grey Tea from the MMS catalog. I won't tell you how old it is, but it sure is good!

Announcing our 2016 Calendar Contest!

CalendarWe are excited to announce the launch the 2016 Calendar Contest!

If your soaps, lotions, lip balms, bath fizzies and more are EXTRAORDINARY products and have what it takes to be featured in our calendar, we would love to hear from you. Share your pictures with us at Calendar@thesage.com (limit one photo per product). Or send us a product and we will photograph it for you with a set up equal to your awesome product!

The grand prize winner will earn the cover space on the front of our calendar and will also win a $200 Gift Certificate along with a complimentary copy of the 2016 TheSage Adventurous Makers Calendar. The 11 runner up winners will each receive a complimentary copy of the 2016 TheSage Adventurous Makers Calendar, along with bragging rights for being selected as a TheSage Adventurous Maker! Deadline for all submissions will be August 28th, 2015.

Submit your entry to Calendar@thesage.com

Andee

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August 2015 Calendar

PrintAugust is almost here! Time to get kids ready to go back to school and it is time to start thinking about holiday shows, festivals and gifts. Ack!

Don’t forget to plan your orders around the last of your summer play time! We’re fast at shipping your orders out and if your order is in by noon (Mountain Time) we will try to do our best to get your order out the same day.

We’ve designed this monthly calendar that you can print for your desk or workspace. Print out a copy (or two) so you know what holidays are around the corner!

Click here to download your copy now!

Do you have anything fun planned for this month? Let us know! We would love to hear about your fun plans!

Andee

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Pioneer Day 2015

Pioneers and their wagon.
Pioneers and their wagon.
Today is a Utah State holiday we call Pioneer Day. We will be closing at noon today so we can enjoy time with our families.

Our wish for all our employees and Utah customers is to have a safe and enjoyable holiday! If you need to travel, please travel safely. If you are lighting fireworks, please have some safety precautions for you and your loved ones. Your safety is extremely important.

All orders through 9:30 am this morning have been processed and shipped. Any order placed after 9:30 am today will be processed and shipped on Monday.

If you are not in Utah, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Andee

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Behind the Scenes: Meet Shayla

Do you ever wonder who the people are behind the scenes here at TheSage? Well, wonder no more and meet Shayla!

What does Shayla do?
Shayla is a valuable member of our team. She is in charge of our Graphics/Labels Department. This means she designs those cute labels you see on the blog samples in your orders. Shayla also helps take your orders over the phone and if we need extra help in the warehouse for Production or Shipping, Shayla steps right in!

Shayla

As all of our Phone Team gets asked some common questions, I asked Shayla a few of the questions that you might ask us on the phone! I hope you find some inspiration in Shayla’s favorites!

Andee: What is your current favorite fragrance?
Shayla : Polynesian Red. I love that it makes me feel pretty, beautiful and like a woman.

A: What is your favorite thing to pack?
S: I like packing the fragrances, flavors or essential oils. It is so fun to pour into the bottles and then label.

A: What is your favorite thing about working at TheSage?
S: I have a couple of favorite things! I love my teammates because we are like a family. We work hard and it’s nice to know people care about you. It makes it easier to work with someone who cares about you. I also love the company garden. It is nice to go outside and work on a garden together. The harvests always taste better!

A: What are some of your favorite things to do at home?
S: I like to craft. I love working with wood and I like making it look antiqued or vintage depending on the piece I’m working on.

A: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you have learned about soap, lotion, lip balm or other cosmetics?
S: Lanolin, I didn’t know what it was! I was like “ew” and I think it smells weird right out of the jar. I was surprised to find how well it works to make skin feel better. I love the Brian’s Hand Butter on my feet and elbows!

Thanks Shayla for talking with us!

I hope you enjoyed your Behind the Scenes peek with Shayla! I’ll see you soon with another Behind the Scenes peek.

Andee

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Fast Shipping!

running_timeDid you know we target all orders that are in by 12:30 PM (Mountain Time) are to be shipped the same day?

We figure you place an order because you need the supplies, not because you are trying to exercise your patience. Recently we got this comment from Jackie, “Just a big thank you. I put in a small order in around noon today and I see that it is shipping out this afternoon! It looks like I will get it by Friday so I have the weekend to work on my product!!

Thank you to Jackie and all others who email us about our quick shipping. We feel like this is one of our top services.

Just a reminder that adding to your order can be tough because we process so quickly. Don’t be surprised by our comments that we regret that we are not able to add to your order because your order has already shipped!

What do you feel is the most helpful when placing an order with us? The order confirmation e-mail? The tracking e-mail? How much do you depend on our fast shipping? Share your thoughts! I would love to know how we can help you.

Andee

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Bayberry Fragrance is Back!

BayBerryStockI am so excited to tell you Bayberry Fragrance Oil is back in stock! This fragrance is a seasonal favorite and many of you were bombarding our e-mail to know when Bayberry would be back. Now you can breathe easy! Enjoy a wonderful fragrance that didn’t discolor our test batches.

Now that Bayberry is back, what are you looking forward to making most? I’m looking forward to making a batch of Men’s Light Face Cream with Bayberry instead of Peppermint!

Andee

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Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate is Back!

SLSaStockI am so excited and relieved to finally tell you Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate is back in stock! We have been waiting very (im)patiently for this bubblelicious product to be available again. Now you can make all the bubbly products you want!

Now that Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate is back, what are you looking forward to making most? The first project I’m dying to make is the Foaming Fruity Layers Bath Soak!

Andee

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We Heard You! New Size for Calendula Petals!

Calendula Petals
Calendula Petals
I’m excited to tell you that we have a new size of Calendula Petals in our catalog! We have had many of you tell us that 1 pound was just too big and you would love to see a smaller size. We now have that smaller size for those of you who want to make small batches of soap, tub teas or other fabulous products.

What is your favorite use for Calendula Petals? I think my favorite use is tub teas and foot soaks.

Enjoy!

Andee

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Ebru Soap Challenge: Tatsiana’s Crazy Owl

One of my favorite things about sponsoring Amy Warden’s Soap Challenge Club is to see all the amazing soaps that are made! Each soapmaker has their own unique perspective and ideas. Today, I would like you to “meet” one of the winners of the recent Ebru Soap Challenge!

tatiana-ebruTatsiana made this fun and crazy owl soap and tied for third place. Her blog shows the not only the pictures of the steps she followed to make the owl, but the pictures that inspired her. I can’t decide if I love the eyes, the heart on the belly or the “ear” tufts! Ah, I love the whole design!

I wanted to ask Tatsiana a few questions and I hope you enjoy our “mini” interview!

Andee: When did you start making soap?
Tatsiana: I started to make soap in the end of 2011, and the process of soapmaking grabbed all my thoughts, soul and feelings. But at some point I took a break for 1.5 years, so it’s not that long that I’ve been making soap. For me the design of soap is very important, but the texture of soap and its aesthetics are even more important. I love to work with difficult designs and when I am told it’s impossible to do something, I find a way to do it, maybe not from the first attempt.

A: What is your favorite thing about Amy’s soap challenges?
T: There are several things I like about Amy’s soap challenges: its atmosphere and the interesting assignments which Amy gives us, they make us try something new. I also like the spirit of competition.

A: How much time did this batch of soap take to make?
T: I started to make this batch of soap 11 hours prior to the deadline, and from the beginning of making the batch and the time I cut the soap it took me exactly 4 hours, because I decided to take a recipe with 80% solid oils and butters to make the soap faster, to be able to finish before the deadline. I would not recommend anybody to do it. It took me 7 minutes to complete the design.

A: What advice would you give any soapmaker wanting to try the Ebru technique?
T: An advice in ebru technique… First of all, what is needed is a good recipe, tested fragrance oil, very thin trace and moving fast to implement the technique. But the most important is to know exactly what you will be drawing and to imaging several times in your head how it will look in your soap.

Tatsiana, thank you for taking time to talk to me! Congratulations on a beautiful soap and taking third place in the Ebru Soap Challenge. I think I will have to try the Ebru technique!

Andee

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Throwback Thursday: Soothing Oatmeal Tea Bags

Sometimes looking back at things we have made before can inspire us. Yesterday, Tina asked for advice about what to do with heat rash. Here is my suggestion for her request!

This soothing oatmeal tea bag has been a staple in my bathroom since I first made this recipe three years ago. It has lots of uses and I enjoy the calm feeling it gives my skin.

All of my ingredients weighed into the bucket for the Soothing Oatmeal Tea Bags. blog.thesage.com
All of my ingredients weighed into the bucket.
Summer is just around the corner. If you are like me, you have already received your first sunburns and bee stings all in one week. OUCH! I’ve been treating my painful sunburns with Bactine and my even more painful bee stings with Benadryl Itch Stopping Cream, but both of those stop working effectively the minute I get in the shower. Since I prefer my showers to take about 5 to 10 minutes, I was indecisive on which would be worse, terrible itching and pain for the duration of the shower or terrible BO and greasy hair for the next day at work. My pride won and I decided to take a shower. (I would bet my co-workers were relieved! 😉 )

As I was getting ready to take my shower I realized, “Whoa! Andee. What do you do for work? You probably have some things here at home that could make this shower less irritating. Go raid your stash and find something!” So … I listened to my inner voice and trotted off to my craft storage closet to rummage through my ingredients for something that would help my skin.

Beginning to mix the ingredients for the Soothing Oatmeal Tea Bags. blog.thesage.com
Beginning to mix the ingredients.
As I rummaged, I found Finely Ground Oatmeal, Calendula Petals, Milk Powder, Epsom Salts and Jumbo Heat & Seal Tea Bags. I decided all of these ingredients would make a great tea bag that would help calm my skin. Join me in the blog kitchen as I recreate this recipe for you!

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Oatmeal, Finely Ground
Calendula Petals, Finely Ground*
Milk Powder
Epsom Salts
Equipment
Jumbo Heat & Seal Tea Bags
Mixing Bowl or Bucket
Coffee Grinder or Mortar & Pestle
Spoons
Scale
Iron
Recipe in ounces:
2.12 ounces Oatmeal, Finely Ground
0.35 ounces Calendula Petals, Finely Ground
1.76 ounces Milk Powder
2.82 ounces Epsom Salts
Recipe in grams:
60 grams Oatmeal, Finely Ground
10 grams Calendula Petals, Finely Ground
50 grams Milk Powder
80 grams Epsom Salts
Recipe in Percentages:
30% Oatmeal, Finely Ground
5% Calendula Petals, Finely Ground
25% Milk Powder
40% Epsom Salts

Rotating the bucket to mix the ingredients for the Soothing Oatmeal Tea Bags. blog.thesage.com
Rotating the bucket to mix the ingredients.
*When I first made this recipe, I used the whole Calendula Petals. That didn’t work very well as the Calendula Petals just sat on top of the mixture. I decided to grind the petals to make a powder instead. I put a small handful of Calendula Petals in my trusty soap kitchen coffee grinder and ground them until they made a fine powder. I had to do this several times until I had enough Calendula Petal powder for my recipe.

Weigh all the ingredients into a mixing bucket or bag. Mix thoroughly. After the ingredients have been mixed together, fill each Large Heat & Seal Tea Bag with 1 ounce of the tub tea mixture. Seal with the iron.

Completely mixed Soothing Oatmeal Tea Bags. blog.thesage.com
Completely mixed oatmeal tea.
Notes:
I like to mix this in a 1 gallon pail with a lid. I put the lid on and shake the bucket. This recipe was fun to make and it filled 7 Large Heat & Seal Tea Bags.

How would you change this recipe? Would you add a fragrance, change the botanicals or something else? I would love to hear what you would do with this recipe!

Enjoy!

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