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A Sticky Situation

Last night I finally got to try out the new Popsicle mold. I figured that I could use it for Valentine’s or Easter, too, so I wrote out recipes for a few varieties that I could do in pinks and reds. It wasn’t until I actually started to work with the ingredients that things got a bit iffy.

I decided that Cotton Candy would be a good scent to pair with a pink soap, and then decided that this would be the perfect time to try out the tutti frutti dye powder now that I know how to keep it from speckling, since it’s neon pink.

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Now that my wholesaler has a Q and A section I read that the powder should be mixed in a bit of glycerin and used then as a normal dye. They mentioned that their small hand mixer worked wonderfully for this.

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It took 15 minutes to get it like this. Seriously?! The little hand mixer is battery operated and has a little design flaw apparently. While doing this I found (Larry reminded me that I learned this lesson before, but I inconveniently forgot it apparently) the battery is located right under the lever that gets pushed down to operate the mixer. When the mixer runs very long that battery begins to heat up that little tab of plastic to a very uncomfortable temperature. At 15 minutes I was doing the potty dance from the pain, trying to use a hot pad (which didn’t work), and switching hands, since my fingers were turning almost as bright as that dye. *laugh* Thankfully there were only two speckles that I could still find, so I just fished them out, and decided to keep trucking.

Funny thing about that Cotton Candy FO…there’s so much vanilla that it’s a very yellow oil. When mixed with the soap it remained very yellow. Usually an extra drop or two of coloring will cover that up, so I figured it would be no big deal.

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That is after 44 (!!) drops of neon pink and in desperation 2 drops of strawberry red. I don’t think it would have gotten to this mild of a pink without the heavy red, either. I have never used so much dye before. (Never fear, though, because I tested a little bit of the soap to make sure that the bubbles were still white. If the bubbles are colored, then there’s too much color, but as long as they’re clear/white, then you won’t dye the poor user.)

I looked up the mold on my wholesaler’s site and it said that there are 10 cavities that hold 3 oz each, so I did a test run with 12 oz of soap. Somehow I only managed to get 3 1/2 soaps when I poured though. Usually soap is right on, whereas lotion has a lot of loss during the mixing and pouring, so I figure they don’t intend for the user to fill the cavity completely. How was I to know that? Lol

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I also discovered that the craft sticks don’t fit snuggly in the slots on the lid, like it seemed. They kept slipping down into the soaps and I didn’t realize when I held them until the soap started a soft set that my tremor had made the sticks a little…uneven. Yeah, we’ll go with uneven. I won’t use the terms I used when crying to Larry about the disaster. *laugh* After I got over my pity party I decided to unmold them and check for speckles. That’s what I decided, at least. Thankfully Larry hadn’t left for work yet, because apparently it’s not a one man job. They didn’t want to come out at all. Unlike regular silicone molds I could just flip the cavity inside out, either, because of the shape. Between Larry’s strength and long fingers that could hold the entire length of the cavity to twist and cause air bubbles, which allow the soaps to release, and my pulling on the sticks, we finally got them out. I had been justifiably concerned about pulling on the sticks, since they started to slide out of the soap a little. That’s how tight they fit. (I could have put the soap in the freezer to shrink it a little and see if they’d pop out then, but that usually makes the soap sweat and I think it decreases the durability of the mold, not to mention the soap, so I try to avoid it.)

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They might have some flaws, but at first glance I thought they weren’t too bad, until I noticed this…

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Apparently where the mold has a connecting strip from cavity to cavity it tends to create a little dent in the middle of each bar. Lol. I throw in the towel.

After a few uses I don’t think anyone will see the dent anymore, but it does make it a little less pleasing on the eye to sell them, unfortunately. (Not that I could sell this wildly crooked set anyway.) Shrink wrapping the soap and maybe adding a small bow where it meets the stick should help, but now I know that I can’t do multiple varieties in one setting and that I can’t unmold these little cuties on my own. That’s a little irritating considering how much I paid for the dang thing, but Larry came up with an idea to hopefully solve the sticks moving, at least.

I’ll experiment again in a day or two and will see if I can suspend some poppy seeds in some of the pops for some Strawberry Jam Popsicle soaps. Since anything that can go wrong does go wrong when I’m the one doing it, I’m betting that the seeds sink and that the dye will go wonky, which might be in my favor, since then you won’t see the seeds in a big clump at the end of the soap. *grin*

Okay, enough sarcasm and self teasing for the moment. I’m not too upset with the flaws and I had fun learning some new things (like to use a stronger mixer if I do powdered dye again!). I’m off to do some pampering and take a nap. I hope you have a day filled with just as much relaxation and that you’re also learning to not be so hard on yourself too. 🙂

My first sale!

I’ve done a few events in the two years I’ve been building my little business, but this is my first full site sale.  In honor of Cyber Monday I decided to offer 20% off all items.  I pushed hard to get the big combos/baskets done in time and am so proud of that.

One thing I’ve been a little sad that I couldn’t accomplish was getting two kid combos available for this sale.  Unfortunately I ran out of vanilla stabilizer, which keeps soap from turning brown due to the vanilla content in the scents (which all holiday scents I’ve hoarded have apparently lol).  I put in an order for more at the beginning of last week, but apparently because I had a small order I wasn’t quite as high of a priority, and my order is still awaiting processing once they return from the extended down time.  I’m glad that they got to have an extended time to enjoy their family and the season, so I definitely don’t hold it against them, and it was my fault for not noticing I was going to run out during the most critical time.  I just really hope they get it sent out in the morning!

 

I have been itching to make the new soaps for the holiday.  I found some cute little flexible centipede toys that I want to embed.

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Aren’t they cute?!  They’re not “worms in dirt”, but I think they will work perfectly in the Dirt FO as a stocking stuffer.  *grin*  I also found some cute holiday erasers to embed.  I might have mentioned them before, but I don’t think I shared a picture.  I think guest rounds with one or two of these would be pretty adorable.

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To top things off I am writing this post from my brand new laptop.  Larry was incredibly awesome and got me my first laptop on Black Friday.  I’ve wanted one for so many years and most of my interests have required gaming computers, so I was super lucky that they had a massive sale on a gaming laptop.  *cheesy grin*  Just in time to have my business recipes on hand when I really need them. 

Cross your fingers, please, that the sale is a success.  In the meantime, I’m going to go re-watch last season’s finale of Doctor Who.  Bo has felt a bit neglected that my lap has been full, so I haven’t given enough snuggles to “the poor puppy” lately.  *grin*  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving if you celebrated it and that you have found some great deals if you’re into Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  🙂

Bring on the Sweets

I’ve been sniffing my new FOs for a couple of days now and almost put off this post, because I’m still on the fence on a few of them. I’m seriously tickled with the add ins I got for the baskets, at least.

Almost every one of the new FOs I decided to try out smell either like Vanilla/Buttercream or Butterscotch, it seems. *laugh* That’s why I keep sniffing them. I keep thinking that the next sniff I might suddenly smell a different set of notes that would make a few of these make sense, but no luck yet. *grin* First off, Marshmallow does not smell anything like I expected. Granted, I’m totally fine with the packaged little pillows of sugar, but in my experience the fresh ones are just a little more flavorful with stronger vanilla, but the FO is so different. There’s a strong buttercream note, but also butterscotch. Huh?! I was looking forward to making some interesting blends if it smelled like I had expected. The butterscotch is really throwing me off. *grin* Christmas Eve Cookies was a little different too, with the expected buttercream as the dominant note, but the spices were a lot mellowed than the description implied. It smells like a rich, crumbly, buttery, shortbread cookie at least. Hot Buttered Rum smells good, although it’s straight up butterscotch to me. *laugh* I think it’ll be nice as a massage oil or bath salt, but I don’t think I’ll be going with it for lotion. I am really happy with Madagascar Black Pepper, which has no surprises. It’s straight up peppery, which I think will give some umph to florals, the unisex cologne scents, and I want to try blending it with my old Jacob’s blend. Mmm mmm mmm.

I am so happy with the two bath sponges/poufs! The first is such a pretty color and the second is so different with strings at each end. Perfect for a man’s basket, I think.

First the spa pouf

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Next is the more unique one

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To add to the spa basket I also got some of those cool eye masks (not descriptive, they’re literally cool because you refrigerate them, I mean *grin*). Usually I get blue or teal ones, but I found these clear ones on surplus, so that’ll help cut a few dollars down to then spend on lotions and whatnot for people who are building their own baskets.

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Finally, the item I’m most excited about. Ground luffa (loofah)! (Yeah, it’s kind of pathetic to get so excited over this, but I guess that’s what makes this the ramblings of someone mad, right? *sassy grin*) I admit that I thought it would seem more dense, but I think it’s going to be a perfect change to the Men’s Scrub still. Being lighter might work out a lot better in the shower than the heavy seeds, too, which will be a huge win. *crossing fingers* I really like the look of it for some reason.

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I also got a little wild. I qualified for a free soap color sample and went waaaay out of my normal range. I haven’t decided what mold that would utilize this color well, but I’m really excited to give it a whirl. Apparently there’s still a glitter loving little girl underneath the sarcasm and slight morbid [no snickering you in the back!] tendencies. *grin* Check out this shimmery gold.

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I wish it photographed a little better, but at least the company picture did a much better job at capturing the sparkle than I could do. *laugh* Reviewing my attempts kept bringing to mind a few unfortunate viewings inside of diapers, so I was really glad that I could grab the pics from the wholesaler’s site. *grin*

I am crossing my fingers that I’ll have a very productive day in my near future and get to experiment a bit. There is some coconut oil and even primrose oil that I am itching to test. And apparently I’m unknowingly in the mood to test a few variations of vanilla and butterscotch. *raising an eyebrow while trying not to laugh* “Fifty Shades of Vanilla” might just be my next blend. 🙂

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