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Melt-and-pour soaps that I make

One of Those Days

Don’t you hate when you have one of those days where everything goes wrong and there isn’t even a happy accident to make it worthwhile? Lol. My day was I Love Lucy worthy when I tried to make some product. *rolling eyes*

First, my foot has been really bothering me, so I tried to do some of the prep work while sitting, and when I cut some of the glycerin soap base I almost sent it flying across the kitchen. I ripped a hole in the wax paper, nearly dumped my FO and vanilla stabilizer mixture, and almost overflowed my measuring cup.

It has to get better, right? Nope. *laugh* I have a sample of Matte Burgundy pigment, which looked like the perfect red for Red Velvet Cake Soap, so I mixed the powder into some glycerin and it looked gorgeous. Added it to the soap and it turned lavender. Huh?! So I added more thinking it was so light that it wasn’t showing the real color and it just became an even richer shade of lavender. It was pretty, but not when representing a cake. lol. Added some yellow to bring out a muddy tone, but fourteen drops of yellow didn’t change it a bit. Holy smokes! I don’t think I’ve ever added that many drops of dye to a soap before and here I was adding it on top of a whole milliliter’s worth of burgundy dye! Somewhere around 8 drops of brown oxide made it a little darker, but not a big change. Finally I cut some slices from my strong and deep Americana Red color bar (which is basically a chunk of super strongly colored soap that you usually shave a tiny bit off of to color your soap) and finally after four small chunks of Americana the soap actually turned an acceptable reddish brown. *cracking up* I literally lost track of how much dye went into this soap and have no way to accurately figure up the cost, let alone recreate this color. I started to pour the first halves of the soap slices (I’m going to put a “filling” between layers and then pipe “frosting” on top) and my hand decided to do its own thing, and I poured soap down the side of one of the mold cavities. A little hard to have layers when there’s a smear of soap down the side, so I tried to clean it off. Buh me. It’s a silicone mold, so of course the cavity moved around when I tried to scrape the upper side, which resulted in me totally wrinkling up that slice of soap. *shaking head* I got disgruntled about that and then it suddenly dawned on me that I can’t duplicate this color, so I can’t do a second pour to finish these after pouring the filling layer. I’ll have to use half of the other first pours to make layers now. Dude, seriously?! Fine. I set the mold aside and I’ll deal with them some time after they set. Maybe my luck will improve by then.

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Since things weren’t going so well I figured I’d switch to an easy peasy pour. Just add some stabilized Buttercream FO to white glycerin base, and pour some ornament soaps to hand paint later. They turned peach for some reason. I’m not joking. I expected a little discoloration from the vanilla, but I’ve never had it become so noticeable. My mom was here helping so I asked her if it was too weird to use for ornaments, but she assured me they would be pretty with this color. I then overpoured one cavity so bad it went all over my stove top. Lol. I still have no idea how either. One moment it didn’t have enough to fill the top of the cavity and quicker than the blink of an eye I had soap pouring over the side of the mold. I wasted probably one whole soap’s worth.

I figured I’d try one more batch of soap that can’t go wrong (at least to my knowledge so far). Mechanic’s Soap. I pulled up soap recipes on my laptop and I couldn’t find over half of the soap recipes. I checked Overdrive and they’re not there either. Biscuits and gravy!! (Apparently a bunch of files were on a flash drive for me to transfer from the desktop to my laptop, but with my lovely memory issues I had managed to forget this key bit of information. This has since been remedied. *grin*) I pulled up the mechanic scrub which has some of the same ingredients, to refresh my memory, and after seeing apricot seeds and ground flax in the scrub recipe I started doubting that I’d get the soap version right, so I decided to go ahead and make the scrub, since I needed some anyway and actually had the recipe. Lo and behold I don’t have any pumice. *cracking up* I had put a note to myself in my grocery app to order more when I next ordered from my wholesaler, but I’ve been really well behaved and haven’t ordered from them in a long time, so I never got it and hadn’t seen that reminder for a long time. After sounding like Muttley from the Dastardly and Muttley cartoons I scrapped that and decided to try to save the work session, since it was one of the few times I had help, and decided to make some Sleepy Time and Monsters Away sprays.

In those missing files were the recipes for those sprays, but hey, no big deal. I know the scents that go into at least one, so I thought all was good. However, the spray base is a concentrated formula that has to be reconstituted, and I couldn’t remember the ratio. I got on the wholesaler’s website to find out that it was discontinued and they had removed the product directions, of course. I was about in tears at this point. *laugh* After some searching I found my binder of printouts from the wholesaler’s site of the MSDS files, which also included instructions. I finally found the sheet for the multispray base thankfully, but at that point I was so discombobulated that I knew I wouldn’t get the recipes right, and plus I was having a debate over should I even make more product to sell when I probably can’t recreate them later if they sell out. (After I sat for awhile I decided that I still will, but more about that later.)

I decided to move on to some bubble washes. Mom was here to help, so I figured I’d put her at the stove heating the base, to keep me from starting a fire somehow or something, with this streak I was having. Then I discovered that I only had a few ounces of base left. Mom and I talked it over and decided we would try to go to the store in Topeka in a few days (one of the few ingredients I can get in this state instead of online), and I figured I’d check their price on their website before I could forget, so we could figure up how many to get/how much I could afford. It too was discontinued. *shaking head* Wrap it up, no more filming today Folks. *laugh*

After Mom left and I finished putting ingredients and equipment away I did some research on my wholesaler’s site. Thankfully they have an all purpose body spray base that is also safe on linens, so it’ll replace the discontinued multipurpose spray, which makes me confident that I should be able to keep making my kid sprays. I also found a well rated bubble wash base that will hopefully be as good as the one I (and customers) have loved. I also ordered the low supplies and got a free sample of black glitter. Finally something went right. *grin*

It helped my mood to discover that the soap cake slices have turned out a usable color and Larry has a four day “weekend”, so hopefully he can use that steady hand of his to cut off the edges that bled on several of the ornament soaps. See, I think that although the cake soaps are more of a brownie batter color than Red Velvet, that it’ll work. Just might be a “Chocolate Layer Cake Soap Slice” instead. *laugh*

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Since I’m not truly convinced that my luck has changed, I don’t trust myself with an Xacto knife and will leave that to Larry. *cracking up* I don’t want to try to host Thanksgiving with a cast or stitches. So I’ve decided to let the fire burn out in the woodstove early in order to avoid burns or catching the carpet (or my hair) on fire and I’m just going to re watch some Quack Pack on DWTS. *grin* It’s probably safer for everyone if I just recline with Bo and watch Sadie. Redneck pride, baby!

I hope my misadventures in crafting has lifted some spirits and that you have some awesome luck this fine Tuesday. I think I’ll just wait until afternoon to test my luck again, so maybe I’ll sleep in really late. 😉

Ducky in the Window

I’m too pleased to hold this post for a more traditional time. I didn’t want to mention that I found some cupcake boxes to try for packaging the duck soaps in case it was an epic failure, but I’m really stoked to report that I think it turned out cute. *time to boogy* Here, I’ll wait a moment so you can get up and boogy with me. Whew, I didn’t want to do that alone, so thank you! *grin*

I found that the tallest soap with an apple hat on the duck is just a tad too high to put in the boxes. With the lid open it looked super cute to me, so I went ahead and photographed it. If needed I could still close it and it would just make the window pyramid a tad.

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I decided to swap out for a hatless soap (there’s wax paper under each soap, so that’ll protect them from each other). I happened to take two angles with the lid down, although admittedly I hadn’t taped anything down since this was my first test.

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I think the boxes, especially with a touch of Easter grass or tinsel shreds, look so sharp and also should make it easier/more secure for shipping. There will also be less smudging too, since the splashes are wide and the ducks have to be wiggled down into a cello bag, which will smudge the bag and possibly the edge of the soap. I’m going to keep experimenting, but this is definitely the version that I think looks great. That window gives it the feeling of a gift and makes me think of that first peek at a corsage. *smile* Hopefully it invokes some nice feelings for you too. I’d love to know your reaction and hope you have a great day!!

Sniffing Dirt

I’ve had trouble starting this blog entry because I’ve been selfishly sniffing the four new FOs that I ordered recently and enjoying how I keep finding different notes in them.  *grin*  I managed to control my spending on them last order, but I just got a newsletter with new FOs just in time for Valentine’s…*dreamy sigh*  I just love how a few drops can come together to remind you or a memory or encompasses a feeling.  I’m using that as my excuse for being addicted to collecting FOs.  Lol.

Anyway, I am so excited that the Dirt FO is a really interesting scent.  To me it’s more like the smell of dirt beneath your nails after working in the garden instead of the pungent freshly dug notes that I expected.  It’s a bit woodsy with almost a hint of musk.  When I sniff there are notes that dance around like when a word is at the tip of your tongue, but you can’t quite figure it out.  Larry rolled his eyes and took a few whiffs last night since I wouldn’t let him change out of his work clothes until he gave his impressions on the new FOs.  To his nose (admittedly he comes up with some odd comments and impressions about some scents, but he reinforced mine, so I’m including them lol) Dirt smells like when he’s stacking freshly cut lumber.  There’s that dry woodsy note, but then that earthiness that surrounds him when he’s in the timber.  I never expected such dominant woodsy notes, but they really give the scent some depth.  I’m not so sure now that kids will want to use it except to be defiantly washing with dirt, but I think I have a way around that, which I’ll mention later.

The Jasmine FO is simply beautiful.  I haven’t decided what I want to name it, but it is one of the nicest florals I’ve ever smelled.  It doesn’t have the complex notes of the Moonlight Path knock offs or the cloying sweetness that can overtake a gorgeous honeysuckle, making this FO incredibly unique.  It’s bright and joyful while seeming so elegant and feminine.  *happy sigh*  I want to make a batch of lotion with it to see if I get more detailed impressions of it.

Bubblegum (may change to Gumballs) is more of a dead ringer for those delightful little orbs of happiness I used to get for change as a kid instead of the Bazooka variation that I have on hand.  Admittedly they’re somewhat close and I may have to do a scent test with some helpers to see if they can tell the difference, but it’s a really happy FO.

*drum roll* To the best of the bunch…Fruit Loops!  I’ll have to rename it just so that no one could ever get snippy over trademarks, but holy smokes is it spot on!!  *big grin*  It has so many scent notes without being overwhelming.  It took Larry several sniffs to start to pick out the different fruit, but it isn’t one of those fruit combinations that gives you a headache (thankfully!  I’m hoping that is the case while working with it too!).  The bright citrus and berry notes with a generous helping of sugar to it.  I fit the stereotype of a girl since I love anything chocolate, but this may be my absolute favorite non-chocolate FO.  *happy sigh* An exciting idea I had while making myself light-headed (and maybe making me at risk for an intervention lol) is that I may mix a few drops of Dirt FO in with this and name it something like Gummy Worms in the Dirt (yeah, working title, but gets the idea across).  That’ll incorporate the amusingly defiant dirty name that catches a kid’s eye with the attractive fruity notes that makes it a really fun scent to actually use (by the way, I know a 40-something “kid” that would grin at getting something with that name, so I think I’m onto a keeper of an idea *grin*).  I think this will be the perfect FO to use for the new ducky soaps too!  *breaking out the happy dance*

Since I’m on the computer I may go fantasize about another gift certificate to my wholesaler.  They came out with a dark chocolate covered strawberry FO that I really want an excuse to order.  *grin*  I’ve tried several times now to come up with a good custom blend of that since it’s one of my really special indulgences, but I could never really captured it.  Maybe I’ll just look into vacation deals for Branson so I can smell (okay, okay, so I can eat) the real deal.  I hope that you’re having a cozy weekend too full of happy scents!

Cookies Packaged and Ideas

I’m going to attach a picture that I keep staring at. I am using the cupcake liners as a base and then I’m putting them into favor boxes. I figure that white works best for now. Last year I used Santa boxes for the dessert cakes and the ones that didn’t sell had to be redone. I’m going to be a little more practical with these little cuties. 🙂 I just can’t get enough of them. Lol. I totally love testing them too! I feel so indulgent with chocolate and buttercream surrounding me. I even thought of simply naming them “Indulgent” because of that, but my other half thinks that’s pretty lame. Lol.

While mentioning names I figure I’ll share that we got a bit silly while throwing names out there. We talked about using “Yippee Pie” as a play on Whoopie Pies. It’s an amusing name, but not really me I think. I kind of like “Sweetie Pies”, but figure that’s probably not ideal for boys. All ideas are appreciated if anyone wants to share 😉 Hint hint. Lol.

In the meantime I think I’m going to make a new FO blend for the holiday. I was getting groceries and caught a whiff of a maple pumpkin candle, and I really want to do a version of that. *happy sigh* Absolutely beautiful and comforting. Autumn, breakfast, and dessert all in one lovely swirl. I don’t know if people would prefer to only use it in a soap since it will have a hint of maple, but I’ll try out a lotion or oil in it. I think it’d be so awesome to catch a whiff when moving around in my daily activities. *smile* Maybe it’d be a good reminder to keep counting my blessings too, since it’ll also remind me of Thanksgiving. I keep going back to the yummy maple with a hint of vanilla and spice. I don’t know if I’m more hungry for pancakes or donuts now, but I need to put my phone down and unearth my breakfast ingredients. I need a full stomach to help me finish planning. I mean, c’mon! At least the FO won’t go to my hips though. 😉

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Cookie Sandwich Soaps P2

I totally love how the cookie soaps came out. *grin* It took a little longer to get the bath frosting to the right consistency than I expected and took my handheld mixer nearly half an hour to cool down. Lol. I had bought a cookie press/cake decorator years back and never got around to actually using it, so I thought I’d try it for these. It worked perfectly! I used a star tip straight down and was able to do it while the bottom wafer sat on a strip of wax paper on the scale. I applied a quarter ounce of frosting to each wafer and immediately pressed the second wafer on top, but learned after the first to not use too much pressure. Lol. That glove had to go in the trash because I had soap frosting all over. *grin*

They harden up pretty nicely. I put them in a ziploc bag to sit overnight and will check them tomorrow. I’m hoping they harden up a bit more so that they’re not too delicate to package. I had pictured packaging them in cute cello bags and tying them off, but there’s no way that I’m getting a delicate little puff in a bag without messing it up or getting frosting all over. We’ll wait and see if it looks easier then. So far they look pretty cheap too, depending on how they get packaged. *happy dance* Hopefully they sell out at the craft fair like last year’s dessert cake soaps did. *crossing fingers*

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Christmas Tree Soaps

I have to admit that I’m really happy with these soaps. It took awhile to get the hand painting down, but I loved every moment of it. *cheesy smile* For once I even like that they’re not perfect – it adds to that happy, homemade vibe I think. I will try to darken the tree color in the next batch though. When I started the pour I noticed that because the molds are so shallow the soaps are lighter than it looked when it was in the measuring cup. Some days I have big brain farts. Lol. I also think that I’ll trim off the tree stumps. They’re actually where lollipop sticks should be placed for making lollipops (it’s really a candy mold) and since it’s so shallow I’m having a problem with them breaking off. I think that it might work out better if I just take them off and not worry about it. They’d be a LOT easier to package too! Lol. I’m still stumped over that part. They’re really big, so they don’t fit in any crafter bags and I really don’t think a gallon size ziploc would look overly professional. *grin* I may end up with that holiday colored Saran Wrap I guess. I’m always up to hearing ideas if you want to share. *smile* Anyway, I hope you like these too.

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Glitter Me Happy

Cheesy, I know, but I couldn’t resist. *grin* I embedded those small glitter flowers in pairs in cute bars with even more glitter. I’m not much of a glitter kind of girl, but I’m loving these glitter soaps. I had some over pour and used that for some more flowers to embed.

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The fruit of my insomnia

The living room is a tad warm from an overly efficient woodstove, so it was a perfect time to get some work done while avoiding that room. Lol. I am slowly getting stuff ready for next month’s craft fair and although I really should make some more lotions I decided to focus solely on soaps tonight. I tend to get restless and lose interest when I’m not creating new things, so soaps work perfectly since it isn’t unusual for each soap to be a bit different. The obsessive part of my personality freaks over that, but I’ve finally realized how much the restless part of me loves working at fixing that, and knowing it’ll never fully work. Lol.

I worked on the ice cream cone soap for awhile, but then got the urge to make some embeds while it cooled. I got a small flower silicone mold over the summer and decided that would be really cute embedded in a clear bar or round. The first batch I made another pour of the strawberry used in the cone, but then I decided to totally explore one of my untested ingredients. *struggling to control the excited squirming* I went unscented and will scent the outer soap, instead of a two scent layer soap like the first batch, and made them a super soft lavender. Okay, okay, I’ll be honest. I was shooting for a darker shade, near violet, but after 5 drops I decided a lavender was a better option than running the risk of turning someone’s skin purple. Lol. Anyway, I pulled out the untested iridescent soap safe sparkles and mixed it into the soap. I saw the fantastic shimmer when the soap caught the light as I poured into the flower mold. I really hope that the sparkles stay suspended in the soap instead of sinking, but it might be really cool if they do sink to the front. My biggest hope is that the soap sparkles catch the light as well when set as while they were being poured. I can just see a little girl in my mind’s eye lifting her two-toned soap up to the light and smiling as it shimmers. I had to fight the urge to pop the mold into the freezer for a quick set, but I did the right thing and will let them set properly. It’s still a bit like being five and waiting for Eve to finally become Christmas morning though. *grin*

Lastly I decided to make a big batch of the improved mechanic soaps. Larry tested the experimental batches awhile back and said that the guest rounds actually worked better, so I stuck with those molds this time. He said at the time that guys would probably like a pine scent to them better than Pop a Wheelie, although that isn’t bad. I truly tried to make a woodsy scent, but I’m not too sure what this will smell like once the set. Lol. I had added a tiny percentage of Musk FO and then a ml of Christmas Wreath FO, since it has an awesome mixture of balsam and other notes, and then whisked in my additives. I noticed that the scent was a little odd at that point and figured that it was just too soft, so after I reheated the mixture (it drops temp quickly when lots of additives are added, especially when whisking) I added another ml of Wreath. I still didn’t think it was overly impressive and added a tad more musk. That helped, but I tell you it was still a really odd smell. I’m not sure if it’s the oatmeal, pumice, ground flax, or ground apricot seeds, but one of those is really altering the FOs. I reheated the mixture again and knew I needed to try to save the batch since it isn’t the best idea to reheat yet again. I reached into my flat and grabbed for Sand Dunes, which is part of what I use for Pop a Wheelie, but it turns out that I grabbed Sands of Morocco. I added a ml of that and it gave a nice, spicy twist to the mixture. It’ll be interesting to see what it smells like after it sets, since I’m not sure if the culprit will continue to change things while the soaps cool. After thinking over comments Larry has made in the past about the soaps I decided to not worry unless they smell horrible, since he said most guys don’t care what stuff smells like – just that it works as advertised. Lol. I need to make them smell masculine enough for women to think it’d be a good scent for their guy apparently. *grin* I’m crossing my fingers!

My soaps are covered and cooling in the few higher spots that I can reach that my kitten can’t, and my cone soap is all wrapped up to finish setting, so I think it’s time to settle in with an episode of Once Upon a Time and hopefully fall asleep. I just need to keep my mind off of wanting to un-mold the flowers and embed them. *grin* I hope you are slumbering peacefully while I write this and that I am when you’re reading this. 😉

New scents

While I anxiously await the delivery of my sale order with delightful new options, I finally wrote up the previous new scent descriptions lol.

The Deluxe Vanilla is just what you expect. *wink* I honestly think that I’ll replace my regular vanilla with this, so I can have a stronger scented product. I don’t know why the government has limited the percentage of the main vanilla that I use to such an extent, but this is perfect for that extra punch of yumminess. *grin*

I got a good Piña Colada to replace my drunken version. It’s very tropical with a strong pineapple note (as expected). The coconut is a little lighter than I expected, but I really like this version.

The Cedarwood EO smells amazing. I’m a sucker for the smell of a wood shop anyway, so this just delights me. To top it off, it is thought to have medicinal properties, so bonus!

A new FO that totally intrigues me is Frosted Snowdrops. I’m going to have to rename that, because it is so misleading in my opinion. It’s definitely not a holiday themed scent to me. It’s a complex floral with some musk. This FO has me coming back, trying to identify the notes. It’s very clean, feminine, and sexy though, so I’ll need to pick an intriguing name for it. I want to hear what notes others pick up when checking it out. *grin*

Oh, pure yummy bakery describes Angel Food Cake. It’s similar to the Deluxe Vanilla, but with a baked pastry note to it. *happy sigh* It’s like sniffing at the bakery without the temptation to add to the hips. *grin* I get the slightest note of almond to soften the scent too, which just delights me. Can you tell that I’m excited about this one?? Lol. I bet that customers who like Cake Batter FO will love this one too. *crossing fingers with a smile* Yum!

I also found another chocolate that I actually like. I have so many FOs in my “meh” box, with several being variations of chocolate, but this is a keeper. It reminds me of the chocolate that is used to scent chocolate candles. Do you know what I mean? It’s almost a brownie scent with some attempts at milk chocolate. I’m excited to blend this with the Fudge Brownie FO to see what bit of PMS heaven I can get. *grin*

Two last FOs have a lot in common. Caribbean Coconut FO is much better than the plain coconut FO that I have, which will retire to the meh box. This is a great coconut with the softest note of pineapple to sweeten it slightly. The other, Sun & Sand, also has coconut, but it’s the coconut suntan lotion variety. *smile* This FO is just how it is named. Salty water, fresh air, and suntan lotion. A vacation at the beach all on one FO. I’m really happy with these two.

Now, before I get too antsy, I better get my new order to huff all over. Lol. I can’t really say “drool over”, since I sound more like a cocaine addict, sniffing and huffing all my stuff. Rofl. Or so I’m told. *grin* Anyway, my cold medicine is kicking in, so time for a nap. Have a great day and I hope you had a wonderful holiday! 🙂

A Little Fun

Well, I got injured a few days ago and put my time to good use – I put in a supply order.  Lol.  Remember that post a while back about not getting any new FOs?  Um…slap my hands now *grin*  Since my drunken pina colada turned out so below my expectations Ibought a five star pina colada FO.  I also got a caribbean coconut that has great crafter reviews and an angel food cake FO that sounds amazing.  I’m hoping that it will help boost my vanillas…along with the deluxe vanilla that I added too.  Rofl.  I got a cedarwood EO and a Hershey’s-like chocolate FO.  I want something a little different from the fudge brownie that I usually use.  I got two free FOs too – Sun & Sand (what a great one for Summer!) and Frosted Snowdrops.  I read reviews that most crafters sell it out year round.  Oh, I am so excited! 

I got a few other items, too.  I got some citric acid powder to make some fizzy bath salts (fun idea, isn’t it?!).  I also got some honey powder to improve the Acne Bee Gone soaps, too.  I’m so impressed with the awesome benefits of honey that I figured a versatile version would be an awesome additive in some of my products.  Super sparkle iridescent glitter has been on my wish list for awhile and I went for it.  Lol.  Now that I’m experimenting more and inspired to make new soaps, it became a must. *grin* The last additive that I am so excited about is another emulsifying wax.  My other one gives my lotions a thicker, creamy, and protective feel.  This new one is more of a soft, silky, whipped, and powdery feel.  Some people just aren’t into the feel of lotion and I think this will be a great alternative. 

I also found an e-book that gave some great inspirations, too.  The most exciting thing I want to try is “bath cookies”.  What a neat idea!  They even get baked! Lol.  This book is where I read about making fizzy bath salts, too.  I’m very happy that when I’m out of commission I can find great inspirations.  Back to recovering for now, but exciting things to come!! 🙂

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