Category Archives: Drawings and Contests

Winter Soap Challenge – Christine

This is the type of winter morning that inspired this soap.
This is the type of winter morning that inspired this soap.

Christine submitted one of her soaps for our Winter Morning Soap Challenge. I think one of my favorite things about challenges is to see different perspectives of the same thing. Check out Christine’s view of beautiful Cache Valley.

This soap came about when I was shopping at a local soap supplier and smelling fragrance samples a little before Christmas. I did get a small bottle of this scent to play with, although the actual soap did not happen much before Christmas, more as an afterthought that we still have a couple of months of winter.

Christine's Soap
Christine’s Soap

The official fragrance description is as follows: perfect blend of wet snow, a frozen air accord, woodland moss, spearmint leaves, an ozonic accord.

I do suppose that describes it somewhat, in a sober sort of way. To me it is more than that though. The picture in my mind when smelling it is very much like your beautiful picture of Cache Valley. As a matter of fact, if you zoom in quite a bit on the right side, in the crease of the mountain about halfway up, you can see a grove of trees that inspired this soap. To me, it smells of crunchy footsteps, ice skates on a pond, runny noses, wooly mittens, ravens cawing, animal tracks in the snow and some serious sledding. Can you tell I love winter?

This soap is hot processed, the brown color made with cocoa powder representing the obligatory hot chocolate when returning indoors. The green part is colored with chromium oxide and mica and piped on top. The finishing touch is a layer of snow made of hemp oil M&P soap colored with white frosty mica drizzled over the top and some iridescent glitter.

How fun! I love all of the thought that is put into these soaps! They are just too cute! Remember, if you want to join in on the fun, you have until March 15th to submit your photo and description! Read more about the challenge here!

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Winter Soap Challenge – Mo

This is the type of winter morning that inspired this soap.
This is the type of winter morning that inspired this soap.

I sent out a challenge the other week calling all soapmakers. I must say I have gotten some amazing responses. Allow me to introduce you to Mo, who will be sharing the soap she made.

Did I need another excuse to make another loaf of soap…yep! Nope!

Mo's Soap
Mo’s Soap

Your posted photo celebrates a crisp cold winter in its quiet beauty. I was inspired. Looking at the photo I imagine slicing into a set loaf and seeing this very scene.

To begin I drew a slice of the soap blocking where colors would go. As I drew I thought about how I would layer the batter layers to get what I wanted. I marked where I would put the botanicals (coffee grounds and ground oatmeal), the copper mica and the hues of blue, pink and white.

Mo's Soap
Mo’s Soap

As the lye  water and melted oils cooled I organized my working space. I was methodical (I am not usually so). I set up the bowls, the spoons, and the spatulas. I mixed my colors-blue, pink and white. I ground the coffee grounds and oatmeal setting each into a small saucer. I opened the mica. I put spoons next to each dish. (Imagine setting the table for a formal affair!)

After the workspace was set, I opened my computer to the winter photo and set my map on the keyboard for easy reading. When temperatures were good I mixed the lye and oils. I kept the trace slow needing time to think, layer, read, think. Did I say I was taking my time?

Mo's Soap
Mo’s Soap

I began tipping the loaf pan for the first layer of snow. This was followed by layering the oatmeal to represent snow and form a base for the coffee grounds. This brown layer represents the fence and dead grasses. Next I carefully layered blue for the water and another layer of brown for the distant shore. I placed dark blue for the mountain finally layering with pink, white and blues for the winter sky. The top was decorated with blue and pink and copper reflecting the soaps origins.

The scent was an efficacious process. I purchased Osmanthus several months and have never tried it. This was a perfect time to try it. I did. And I had to add a few drops of Frankincense. Maybe it’s not a cold weather scent but I live in Florida and all my seasons are mixed up any how!

This a cold process soap.

The result is beautiful! There are subtle layers of colors and brown lines with shimmering of copper. There is a story in each slice. The final soap is exciting!

Wow! Mo’s soap is just breath taking. But so are the others I have waiting to be shared. If you want to join in on the fun, remember that you have until March 15th to submit your photo and description! Read more about the challenge here!

Taylor

 

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Winter Morning Soap Challenge

This is the type of winter morning that inspired this soap.
Winter Morning in Beautiful Cache Valley

Attention all soapmakers! It is time for another challenge and we want to see your soaps! The theme of this challenge is Winter Morning. To get your imagination going, I am going to share a photo of our beautiful Cache Valley. We want to see how you would make this beautiful landscape into soap.

All participants must submit a photo of their soap and a description. The description must include a write up about the scent, and how the soap came about. Here is your chance to use some creative writing. Make us excited about your soap.

Your submission can be Cold Process, Hot Process or even Melt & Pour soap. You can submit your entry either via email (blog@thesage.com) or on Facebook. You must be an existing MMS customer to qualify. Submissions will be accepted until March 15th. The MMS staff will then vote on their favorite soaps based on appearance and accompanying description. Two winners will be selected. On March 20th, we will announce the winners and share their photos.

Winners will receive a $30 Gift Certificate, an Extra Large Handmade Tray Mold and a 1 oz bottle of our new fragrance, Icy Waters! You won’t want to miss out. We will be doing a special project with the mold after winners are announced. Happy creating and good luck!

Taylor

 

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Recycling and Repurposing Containers from MMS

Crafting your own lotions, soaps and lip balms is extremely rewarding but what does one do with all of the extra containers?! Re-purpose them! Let me share with you just a few ways I reuse and re-purpose my containers.

My fancy pen holder
My fancy pen holder

Have a Lip Balm Base Jar hanging around? These jars are great for holding and storing little things. I have one that acts as a button jar, another that is a coin jar and yet another that holds paper clips. Here at work I use another jar to hold all of my pens and pencils. These glass jars are great!

 

My tea/drink mix holder
My tea/drink mix holder

Just emptied out a 16 oz jar of Shea Butter or other oil? These plastic jars are great for storing tea bags, brown sugar and other things in your cupboard. I even use one of the jars to store cornstarch. They are handy and durable. I never have to worry about crazy messes when it is in a jar versus a box. What do you store in yours?

Fantastic flour storage bucket!
Fantastic flour storage bucket!

Okay, so these smaller containers are are great for storing other materials but what about those big buckets that hold 25lbs of oil?! These are my favorite containers to put to use. I store flour, sugar, beans, corn grits and oatmeal in these containers. I love these containers because they allow to purchase things like flour and sugar in bulk without worrying how I am going to store it. I always know I will have a clean bucket on hand.

Are you ready to share how you repurpose your MMS containers? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or Intagram using #TheSageRecycling. We want to see your photos! Hurry quick. All submissions made by December 12th 2014 get a chance to win an Extra Large Handmade Tray Mold. We will be giving away two of these wonderful molds. You must be an existing MMS customer to win.

Taylor

 

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Packaged Soap – Caramel Style

Packaging Inspiration. Yum!
Packaging Inspiration. Yum!

One of the hardest parts about making soap for me isn’t formulating or mixing or even swirling. It is packaging. There is a mind boggling amount of packaging available for soap. You can use shrink bands, cigar bands, boxes, bags and more! You can even leave your soaps “naked”. Today I wanted to share a fun way to package your soaps. It is especially great for the upcoming holidays. Red, green and gold anyone?

Finished Wrapped Soaps
Finished Wrapped Soaps

What actually inspired this packaging was caramels. Every year, the women of my family gather in someone’s kitchen and we make caramels. Not the pre-made type that you melt down or cut. No, we make caramels from cream and sugar and butter.  The kind of caramels that your grandmother remembers with a wistful smile.

Placing Soap
Placing Soap

After we have stood over the hot stove stirring till each of our arms has given out, we pour the caramel onto my mother’s marble block so that it may cool. Once the caramel has cooled, we slice that huge slab into bite sized pieces and we wrap it in little twists of paper. They remind me a little of salt water taffy when we are done. They are beautiful and a much coveted treat during the holidays.  Come join me as we wrap another welcome gift, soap!

Wrapping Soap
Wrapping Soap

For this project you will need your finished soap cut into bars, tissue paper, tape and ribbon. Let’s get started!

Lay your tissue paper out flat, short end toward you. Place your soap in the center, closer to the top. Wrap the top of the tissue paper toward yourself and roll the soap until you reach the bottom of the tissue paper. Secure with a small piece of tape.

Placing Tape
Placing Tape

Crinkle the excess paper that is right next to the bar. This allows you to tie a ribbon around this section with relative ease. Tie a ribbon around the section of tissue paper that your crinkled. Repeat on the other side. You are done and ready to present your soap!

Taylor

 

Crimping Tissue Paper
Crimping Tissue Paper

P.S. Send pictures of your holiday packaging for a chance to win one of our Extra Large Handmade Tray molds. You must be an MMS customer to win. Winners will be selected by the MMS Staff based on creativity and visual appeal. Two winners will be selected. Submissions must be sent to blog@thesage.com by 12:00 PM on November 25th or they will be disqualified. Prizes will ship December 3rd.

Tying Ribbon
Tying Ribbon

 

 

 

 

 

Finished Soap
Finished Soap
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Beautiful Botanicals Challenge – Karen

What happens when you are so enamored with a specific ingredient that you can’t make just one type of soap? You expand your creativity horizons of course! Vanilla Bean Specks are one of those items that you can’t have just one product containing them! They are beautiful is soaps, a must in scrubs and just a fun addition! Check out this lovely Vanilla Bean Speck inspired soap! 

Here’s another of my favorites soaps. I created this one as a more “girlie” version of my Denali Granite soap. This one also has ground vanilla bean seeds (love this in soap) and clay, with a blended berry scent.

Keep an eye out for the fabulous challenges that we do here on the blog. It is not just a chance to show your art through the media of soap and cosmetics. It is also a chance to earn awesome prizes like free product, gift certificates and more! I promise you won’t want to miss out.

Taylor

Karen's Denali Granite Soap
Karen’s Denali Granite Soap
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Beautiful Botanicals Challenge – Karen

Vanilla. The world’s most prized flavor followed closely by chocolate. It thoroughly amazes me how such a small delicate orchid blossom can create a pod bursting with such prized flavor. Vanilla is an inspirational, rebel rousing flavor. And it has inspired culinary delights, sophisticated perfumes, homey candles and more. So it isn’t particularly surprising to have people pioneering new ways to incorporate vanilla. Soap is just one of those fields. Check out what one particular soap maker developed!

 

Here’s a soap I make and just love. It gets its look from MMS ground vanilla bean seeds, bentonite clay and kaolin clay. Scented with Bay Rum; it’s an awesome soap!

Keep an eye out for the fabulous challenges that we do here on the blog. It is not just a chance to show your art through the media of soap and cosmetics. It is also a chance to earn awesome prizes like free product, gift certificates and more! I promise you won’t want to miss out.

Taylor

Karen's Granite Soap
Karen’s Granite Soap
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Beautiful Botanicals Challenge Soap Submission – Karen

I find it fascinating when people are given the same basic materials but their finished products are completely different. That is one of my favorite things about challenges. Challenges seem to give people full reign of their creativity by forcing them to think outside the box. Check out what Karen thought of! 

I LOVE this coffee soap. I love coffee and it’s just the best to use in the kitchen and after gardening. I made a 4X strength coffee for the liquid and added the used grinds to the soap. A little TD to give it a beautiful creamy (yeah, I love cream in my coffee) swirl. I added a touch of tea tree oil, peppermint and lavender essential oils. This could be the perfect soap ;*) And, it’s just beautiful (in my coffee hazed mind!) And yes, it’s a botanical. Coffee comes from trees, so there ya go.

Want to join in on the fun? Don’t forget, you have until July 18th to strut your stuff and have a chance to win an MMS gift certificate!

Taylor

Karen's Coffee Soap
Karen’s Coffee Soap
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Beautiful Botanicals Challenge Soap Submission – Karen

Soap makers are artists and scientists rolled into one and anyone who says differently needs a day shadowing a soap maker. Soap makers work with a media that can be unpredictable in shape or even colors but when things turn out just right, we all want to celebrate! Karen submitted a beautiful soap that used botanicals, micas and clay! Here is what she has to say about this bar.

 

This is a CP soap I made just for me.   I put in the things I  like.   From the bottom up, I did layers with  vanilla bean, rose hips, blue Cambian Sea clay, copper mica, red merlot mica.  Scented with bergamot,  lavender, lavendin, grapefruit.  I love these colors and the gentle scrubbiness. Very restful, very beautiful.

I agree Karen. It is a very beautiful soap and the scent blend sounds so delightful. Is anyone else wishing computers were scratch and sniff? I certainly am!

Does Karen’s soap inspire you? If you want to join this challenge, pull out your soaping container and starting creating! Don’t forget, winners have a chance at an MMS gift certificate!

 

Taylor

Karen's Soap
Karen’s Soap
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Beautiful Botanicals Challenge

One of my favorite things about summer is the garden. I find great delight in sitting in the garden, watching the butterflies, birds and bees. I also find great humor in watching the neighbor’s fat, orange cat slink through the plants only to be startled. Many bees and other insects have sent him streaking back to the safety of his yard. As I sat in the garden this weekend, I thought of all of the body care products that have been inspired and influence by nature. I thought today I would release a challenge. I want you to create a product based on botanicals. Get inspiration from gardens or local parks.

 

All participants must submit a photo of their product, a photo of their inspiration and a description about it, include what it is scented with. We will accept submissions of products inspired by botanicals, gardens and parks. All submissions will be displayed on our blog. Good luck!

Now here is the really exciting news. We will accept submissions in three categories. Soaps, Bath Goodies and Cosmetics. The Soaps category can include cold process soaps, hot process soaps and melt & pour. Bath Goodies includes bath salts, bath bombs, bath oils and even bubble bars. The Cosmetics category will include lotions, creams, lip balms, massage oils, etc. Please note that all submission are due by July 18th. To make a submission, email your description and photos to taylor.blog@thesage.com. I have gift certificates for winners!

Happy creating! I can’t wait to see all the submissions!

Taylor

Poppies
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