Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gift Baskets

When I give gifts I usually like to give a basket full of different items.  I know I would like to get a bunch of different things instead of just one.  This is one I did for my mother-in-law to give to a client.

Gift Basket
It has bar soaps, liquid soap, bath salts, a bath bomb, lip balm and a bath puff.  Everything is sitting on a couple of white face cloths and I wrapped it up with clear cellophane and some curly ribbon.  For some reason I didn't get a picture of the finished product.  

Below is one I did for our neighbor when they had their baby girl.  Don't look too close at the labels, I've changed them since then.I put in a baby towel, washcloths, baby friendly soap, bath toys, and a balm I made that is good for diaper rash.  I also put in some things for mommy, bath salts and lip balm.  I wrapped it in cellophane and added a balloon.

Baby & Mommy Basket

Finished Basket

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

One More Makes Four!

Finally getting around to post that Baby #4 showed up two weeks early on August 31.  It's a Girl, Charlotte Lucy and she was 7 lbs 6 oz. Her brothers and sister are very excited and love holding her.

Friday, August 5, 2011

New Soap

My sleep deprived brain is not functioning at peek performance, but hopefully I can make this post make sense.  I decided to try making my soap using the Room Temperature Cold Process (RTCP) method.  I've come to understand there are two ways to do this method.  The way I did it was to measure out my hard oils/butters into my pot, coconut oil, shea butter, etc.  I then mix my lye and water together.  Once the lye was totally dissolved in the water I poured it into my pot.  The high heat of the lye solution is what melts your oils.  I squished up any chunks with my stick blender, then added the rest of my oils and additives.  I have to say this is wayyyy faster then melting your oils on the stove top and waiting for your lye to cool down.  I added Calendula petals to this batch, next time I think I'll add less.
I read that some soapers don't like this method because the soap comes out soft.  I did have to leave this one in the mold longer then usual, but I also tried a different recipe, which could be the culprit.  I have a problem with trying more than one new thing at a time!  I didn't use Palm oil, like I normally do, and I added Canola oil as well.  I used less than 30% Canola, but that can make a soft bar too.  All I know is this is one silky, lathery, yummy soap, it just doesn't last long!  I think I'll put the Palm oil back in and use less Canola next time and see what happens.  Happy soaping, everyone!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Little Bit of This & That

I tried a new soaping method today, still cold process, but with a little spin.  It's setting up right now, but once I get some cut and take some pictures I'll tell you all about it.  For now here is a sneak peak.....
For some reason the picture is upside down, but you get the idea, soap in a wooden mold. 
I have also been trying/making some other new things.  One is a "Pet Deodorant Powder".  I haven't been able to give my poor doggy a proper bath lately due to my "condition" and taking her to the groomers as often as I should is not in the budget.  But in my internet wanderings I came across a recipe for the Deo powder.  Of course I wrote it down to try and then didn't make a note of WHERE I found it (Duh!).  Anyways I finally mixed it up today and sprinkled it on my 60 lbs. dog.  You are supposed to brush it through their fur, but I'm lazy so I just rubbed it around with my hands. 
The recipe is Baking Soda, Arrowroot Powder and ground Lavender.  It also called for 15-20 drops of EO/FO but I figured the ground Lavender should be smelly enough.  I haven't let the dog in the house yet to test the smelliness, but I wrote down that it can be used on carpets as well, so maybe I'll try that next. 
I put it in this cute little glass bottle, I got it at the Dollar Store and it has a 'holey' lid, perfect for shaking.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lining Your Mold

I have three wooden molds that I use to make my soap and I usually line them with wax paper.  I try to use the wax paper more than once but it doesn't always hold up well.  So I've been looking for a better way to line them.  I came across this post on the Lovin Soap Blog that I have got to try.  Since I don't use dividers I shouldn't have a problem with the plastic being to thick.  I'm thinking of trying it with those thin plastic cutting boards you can get, but I'm wondering if they might warp a bit from the heat.  So if that doesn't work I'll have to look around for lexan plastic that is mentioned in the post.  Have you found something else to make lining your molds easier?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Getting Low

I definitely need to start making some soap!  Inventory is getting super low and so were some of my oils.  I picked up some supplies today, so that fixes one problem.  I attempted to make some laundry soap, made with 100% coconut oil, and had a slight problem.  After I poured it into my mold I put it in my warm oven, this is what happened after about 25 min.  

Obviously it got too hot.  The kids thought it was pretty cool, I thought what a great way to start after not making soap for a few months.  The good thing is I was going to grate this all up for making laundry soap.  So I let it sit for 24 hours then broke it up into small pieces and chopped it up in my food processor. 
You can make your own laundry soap a few different ways.  This is the way I make it:

5 oz soap bar
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda (I use the Arm & Hammer brand, big blue box)
Hot water

5 gal bucket with lid

Grate the bar of soap, either by hand or in a processor, into a bowl.  Pour about 2 cups very hot water over the grated soap, stir to help the soap melt.  I like to do this in a large glass Pyrex measuring cup, so I can zap it in the microwave if it is not melting.  I then pour the Borax and Washing Soda into the bottom of the bucket and add a few cups of hot water, stir until both have dissolved.  Add the melted soap, water mixture, stir.  Then fill the bucket half way up with hot water.  Stir again and add more hot water until bucket is about 3/4 full.  Put the lid on the bucket and leave in a cool place overnight. 
You should get something that has the consistency of jello.  But I've done this a few times now and never gotten the same consistency twice.   I pour some into an empty laundry detergent bottle and use about a 1/4 cup for each load.  I have a super-capacity front load machine and it works great.  If you are going to use homemade soap I suggest you use one that has not been superfatted.  Superfatting means that the finished soap will have a certain amount of oil left over that didn't turn into soap.  And I don't know about you but I don't think that extra oil will help make your clothes any cleaner.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Where Did You Go?

Just a little update on why I disappeared.  Way back in December we went on our yearly family trip to Florida.  While there we 'unexpectedly' found out I was 'expecting' baby #4!  Now I am one of those women who experience 'morning sickness', unfortunately it lasts longer than the morning, all day in fact.  It also involves trips to the bathroom where I lose everything I have eaten.  This lasts (based on previous experience) for about 4-5 months with the nausea lasting from 6-9 mounts. 
Now that you have heard my sob story you may (or may not) understand why, since this blog is about my adventures in soap making, there have been no posts.  When you feel nauseous all the time you have no desire to be creative.  But I have broken down and forked over big bucks for a wonderful medication we have here in Canada.  It is specifically for pregnant women suffering from morning sickness/nausea, it is basically high doses of vitamin B6.  I feel so much better now (at 4 mths) that I feel bad I never took it with my other three.  I caught up on my soap blog reading and I'm getting the soaping itch, so hopefully I'll have something to blog about soon!