Thursday, May 30, 2013

Soap Updates: Shaving, Salt, and Lavender!

So I've been making a lot of soap over the past few weeks -- just never got around to posting it! 

First off, here are my cut Goat's Milk bars -- scented with Clothespins, a very delicate, clean fragrance.

Also, here's the shaving soap I made, using Jenny's blog post as a guide:

I also made a Margarita-themed Salt soap bar, using Kosher salt, with a light yellow-green swirl and kosher salt, with a limey scent

Today, after getting my supplies in, I reused two half-n-half containers, one has Cucumber Mint inside, the other, one of the Bramble blends I received -- I'm calling it Dragonfruit!

And last but not least, my latest take on my lavender soap:

Thanks for checking them out, and happy soaping!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bramble Berry Goodies!

Well, for those of you who keep up with my  soapy ramblings, you know that bramble Berry selected my Peacock Swirl soap as Facebook Photo of the Week.

Today, I got my box of goodies from Bramble Berry! Yay!

It almost all didn't fit into my soft light box!
I've been wanting to try Aloe Very gel for some time now, and I use castor oil in all my recipes to boost lather -- the more the merrier! LOVE the adorable notebook they sent, and the Soap Queen notepads are lovely (I want an apron so bad!). These scents are TO DIE FOR, by the way.

The cherry almond was used by one of the MP soapy swappers I got, and I love how it came out in the soap. Not overly sweet, and not heavily almond (I don't like almond scents.) This one seems like a lovely happy median.

One of the scent blends is Hungarian Lavender, Lemon EP and Strawberry (1:2:1) -- I love this one!  Sharp citrus with a subtle floral sweetness. 

The other blend is Hungarian Lavender, Pomegranate&Black Currant (1:1) -- This one is also sweet with a subtle hint of lavender; it reminds me of how the old Dragonfruit SoBe's used to smell (GOD I miss those drinks!)

Also got an ultramarine violet color block for MP soaps -- I still have some soap base lying around somewhere. ;)

Thanks to everyone at Bramble Berry for the amazing soapy package! I can;t WAIT to try these scents out and make more awesome swirls! Just have to wait for my sodium lactate to get here ;D

Friday, May 24, 2013

Soapy Swap Update #2!

I was excited to find a package slip in my post office box this afternoon, as it meant the rest of my soapy swap soaps had arrived! As you guys know (if you're been reading), I participated in both the melt and pour AND the cold process swaps, as it was my first one, and I wanted to have a large sampling of other soaper's work to examine and analyze and pour over and sniff and USE. Because it's what I do! Yaay, OCD.

So, without further ado, the soaps!

I got a soap from QUEBEC. How cool is that!? Unfortunately, I don't speak French. :( I DO know that the name translates to The Daughter of the Sea (Yay Google!). First off, this soap is incredibly adorable! It's a very crisp rosy scent, though I don't think the fragrance is mentioned. The name of the soap is Apple and Pink, and it's made using Magdalen Island's Honey, which I've never heard of before. This bar is very sturdy, and I adore the mica swirls on top! And the little rose :O

Next up is Fresh Linen & Lavender from Joyful Sundries!  I love the simplicity of this packaging. The ribbon of cloth makes a lovely subdued compliment to the naturally colored soap. The top has hints of lavender blossoms, and the scent is definitely a keeper.

Cinnamon Ridge Fragrance Company used Cranberry Pomegranate -- which is also another favorite of mine. I used to use little car fresheners that smelled like this soap does! It's interesting to see the soaps packaged in muslin bags -- I'd never considered that one before! Maybe a packaging switch is in store in my future... 

Oh man. I could eat this. Seriously. It isn't an overpowering fragrance. They used Dark Chocolate and Cream Cheese Frosting FO, and oh my god, I think I may have found an artificial chocolate scent I enjoy. It's also naturally colored with cocoa powder, and I love that I got a round soap! I've been wanting to make some for a while, but I have no containers, except for a grits one I've been saving -- though that would make a sizeable circle. Okay, before I eat this one, I need to stop sniffing it. Or maybe just one more little one...mmmm.

And from Bubblin' Glenn, we have their Lounge Lizard soap! Love the swirls with this one -- their activated charcoal black is SO INCREDIBLY BLACK. I wonder how much they used! I need my blacks to be that dark. And stiking the label TO the soap! Very nifty idea, and probably saves a lot of time. Not sure about the scent on this one; it's musky and lightly minty, but it wasn't included in the description. :(

I've never smelled Tea Tree oil before. Cue my surprise when I took a decidedly strong sniff of this one out of the bag. COUGH. Yeah, lesson learned. :) Raven and Rain Soap Co send their Rosemary Tea Tree Oil Shampoo bars, which is EXCITING because I want to try shampoo bars but havent because I'm chicken and my scalp can decide to be -quite- flaky. So I'm very terrified to try anything that isn't Head and Shoulders or Pert Plus (do they even make this one anymore? I remember my grandad using it). Not sure if tea tree oil would do the trick for me with that one though...I do need to invest in tea tree oil, however. ITS SO DANG EXPENSIVE. It makes my soapy-trickle funds sad.

I LOVE THIS SOAP. It literally smells like I just popped open a Ginger Ale. I can't even process this! Oy! And I obviously cannot drink this one. :( Sad Ashley is sad. This soap is lovingly brought to you by Pine Place Market Soaps, and I have now decided that I need Ginger Ale Fragrance Oil IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW. Love the sparklies on the white embeds, too.

Maitri Bath and Body LLC gave their Beau Brummel soap, scented with "a heady tobacco fragrance." Not sure if that includes marijuana, but it sounds like it. :) And this one is a Goats milk soap! Awesome! I have something to compare my goat's milk soap to. Which I'll post cut pictures of later by the way. ;)

COFFEE BEANS. I smelled them INSTANTLY. Yum! This soap is from Rustic Relevance.  While I'm not a huge fan of leather fragrance oils (yuck) I DO think that the natural coffee bean aroma compliments it nicely. Smells like my great grandfather, who loved his old leather jacket and always had that coffee-tobacco smell about him. :) Love the very low-key packaging to it. I LOVE KRAFT COLORS. There, I said it. I can be admitted now.

Mud Creek Alchemy scented their soap with Spiced Mahogany -- which smells incredibly enticing and masculine and yum. I might have to see if one of the boys wants this soap. And it's HOT PROCESS! So happy to have gotten one of these. I started with hot processed soaps myself, but they seemed so squishy. This one does have sodium lactate in it, though -- I also have to invest in that stuff, too! I'm too impatient to wait 3-4 days to unmold my soap, so I'm usually stuck cutting it out of my HDPE molds after 24 hours.

Ida Rose's soap is scented a very light Spearmint Eucalyptus. It comes off very clean, and not heavily minty.  Also enjoy the textured tops on this one, very nice and simple. 

Lavender Chamomile! Yay! I loved this Huggies scent (we use wipes to clean up the kitties sometimes) and I absolutely ADORE this packaging! Too time consuming for me personally, but very lovely. This one is made by Susan's Handmade Soap. Love the fact that the soap bar is kept simple as well, with a nicely textured top.

SO, those are my CP soaps for the CP part of my BB soap swap! So many repetitive letters, haha. :)

Thank you all for listening to my crazy ramblings, and as always, happy soaping!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Soapy Swap Update!

As most of you know, I participated in this past Bramble Berry soapy swap, with both Melt and Pour soaps AND CP soaps! I still had some of my soap base lying around, and figured I may as well give it a hot!

I just received my M&P soapy package today, so here are the soaps I got!
All fragrances are from Bramble Berry's line.

All of these scents are wonderful, so I'll just go through the list!

This soap is from Mommy You Soap It! And is a Grapefruit Lily scented soap. It's a nice soft peach color fading into a soft cucumber green, and smells like a soft, sweet floral. The packaging is also super cute!

This soap is CRAZY AMAZING! It's from Wizard At Work from Etsy, and is scented apricot freesia. It's also a sweeter scent, and normally freesia is overwhelming on it's own, but I really adore this one. AND THE LAYERS. So impressed.

This one comes from Naturella Chandelle & Savons, scented with money Love. Hints of banana and coconut are present in this one, a nice sweet fruity scent. 

Oklahoma Red Dirt Soap from Okie Crowe! First off, this is some LOVELY packaging! It's got a layer of newspaper underneath the label to help hide some of the shrinkwrapped back, and I adore this concept because of recycling products! It also has the cutest red metallic "made in Oklahoma!" sticker on the top.This is scented with BB's Amber fragrance; which if you havent smelled it, it's a wonderfully spicy-yet-musky scent. This is definitely in the top of my favorite's list!

Next is The Mu from knittysnaps, scented with chocolate espresso. Which means it's an auto-fave, as I LOVE coffee scents. It's chocolatey-sweet with just a hint of coffee, very alluring.

And Me'Shea's Goat's Milk MP Soap, scented Peach Champagne. I LOVE THIS SCENT. Oh jeezus. It's sweet but not overly so, and kind of just smells "clean." But still sweet. And the top of this soap is super interesting, it's very soft anf fluffy -- I'm guessing it's "whipped," which works well with a peach champagne design!

This one is from Marilyn Payne Designs, and is (obviously) cherry almond scented. I love the lollipop theme for this one, as it's not so much almond as it is cherry. Smells like a cherry tootsie pop, minus the chocolate undertones. But it isn't an overpowering cherry! Some of them make me feel slightly sick if sniffed directly from the bottle, even though cherry is my favorite.Love the rainbow swirls!

And from Sudsie Q Soaps, we have White Tea & Ginger! First off, I really enjoy the white tea fragrances, they always smell so simple and clean, very nice without overpowering. The ginger adds a nice spicy note to it, and I love her color choices! The label is super cute, too, it wraps around the tops much like Anne-Maries do in her soap labeling tutorial. I want labels like these! <3

The next one is a very interesting blend from Once In A Blue Moon Soap and Bath. Not sure what the title of this soap is, but it's scented with rosehip jasmine -- which throws a curveball for it's sweet appearance. It's decked with cupcake imbeds and chocolate morsel embeds, 

It's a very floral scent with very sweet designs, lol!

Take a look at THIS! I LOVE the way Rosemary molded this soap, appropriately scented Fresh Bamboo. Her bamboo design is colored white, and the rest of the soap is a nice, soft green. The scent is lovely, too, and in the package are two really adorable, thin soaps. When we get our house, I know what's going in our guest bathroom to impress people!

I almost forgot one!

This Energy-scented soap comes from Key-Tones Soaps,  and is a lovely molded design accented by gold soapy paint! LOVE this scent, it's a nice sweet citrus!

And last but not least, the most epic soap:

IT'S THE DEATH STAR! This soap made me incredibly happy, as my household LOVES Star Wars. <3 The scent isnt named, but it smells like a deliciously spicy lavender, and is a nice, dark purple color with lavender buds embedded inside. This comes to me from Elly Ice at Frozen Water Designs, who gets total props in making a Death Star soap! <3

Thanks to everyone who created these beautiful, amazing, gorgeous soaps! I can;t wait to see what my CP package holds!

Until next time, happy soaping! :D

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Facebook Photo of the Week!

I logged into my emails this morning to check the rounds with my different sites. I then opened Facebook, to which the first post was Bramble Berry's Facebook photo of the Week. Excited, I clicked on the link, wondering what soapy inspiration I could find this week, and was dumbfounded.

The photo I saw was this:

This was my peacock swirl design I did for a friend. I had completely forgotten about sharing it to the BB FB page, as I was just so happy that the swirls came out as well as they did. I think the next moment had me uttering some type of squeal-like squeak, enough to startle my husband and prompt him to ask "Baby, what's wrong?"

HAHAHA. Nothing, silly! I'm still practically speechless! It doesn't seem like it was all that long ago that I started my soapy passion, and the hobby (that has become much more than a hobby) has been the most satisfying thing I have ever done. And I certainly wouldn't be the soapmaker I am without the wonderful staff at Bramble Berry. They are amazing at answering all sorts of questions, and Anne-Marie always inspires me to think outside of my box. Yes, my pictures could be better, but working with only a cell phone camera and no spare money to buy a nice one (as we're working on getting a house), but I do my best with what I have.

It does surprise me how much sunlight changes a picture though, take note here:

Still my peacock soap, except the colors came out looking like they ACTUALLY do. I think the marbled paper background in the first may have washed out the colors. :(

Aaaah! I still feel like I'm in denial. I keep checking the Soap Queen blog and my picture is still THERE.

:O Best dream ever.

Also, if you're into Doctor Who, and saw the season finale, OH MY GOD THE FEELS.

It's been an overwhelming day already, with this amazing feature (talk about startling pageview increases!)
 and Doctor Who. And Game of Thrones later. I'll probably be a ball of emotion by the end of today.

Thank all of you so much for your continued support, and I'm still so amazingly flattered that Anne-Marie chose my soap. You guys are all awesome, and I'm lucky to have such a great soapy community to call home. <3

Thank you all so much.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cherry Goat's milk

Now that I have your attention, an update on soapy progress!

A dear friend of mine's husband fell in love with a MP soap I did when I was first experimenting with soapy stuff. It's called Cherry Swirl, and it smells just like pull-and-peel Twizzlers (my girlfriend always has to have some to eat when I make soap scented with this FO, or she gets grumpy!) and literally bought all of it I had made, minus the two bars one of my Etsy buyers got. 

Cherry Swirl chillin' out on the counter after cutting
It's made with a clear glycerin base with goat's milk base swirlies in it. It's probably one of my favorite MP designs I did when I still had bases to play around with!

After a few months, her husband was dangerously low on the soap, and she inquired about a custom batch. I told her I couldn't repeat the MP soap, but I could give it a try with CP. I explained that since I hadnt made soap with it that way yet, that there was no guarantee it would stick, and if not I'd refund the money, and she could even still keep it if she wanted (as soap is soap is soap!). So I brainstormed for about a week, and made the cute little 2lb loaf!

Mica oil swirled tops!
I alternated pouring red/white/red/white high enough for it to break through and swirl nicely, and just cut the bars today:

SO happy with how they turned out! And they still smell delish, so everyone is happy!

I've also been meaning to try my hand at a goat's milk soap, so I got down to business today. Blended the frozen milk cubes and lye int he sink in a saltwater ice bath, keeping them very chill. I even melted down all my oils the normal CP way, as I usually use the room temp route. Tussah silk, however, will not dissolve in a lye solution that cool, LOL, so this soap is just goat's milk and shea butter. No fancy silk.

Trace came beautifully, though I added a heaping amount of TD to keep it a nice cream color (I bought a ton of very YELLOW shea butter, and MAN does it some through in my soap!) It's so hard to achieve a nice white with it that I may end up getting more ivory shea, as the money I saved buying the yellow I easily will spend on TD coloring it. Lesson learned, Ash. Great way to kick yourself! ;)

And I was even able to make a lovely textured top! I blended some of the dredges of the soap batter with a TINY teensy bit of liquid aqua color, to give a nice off-white look, and blended it into the creamed base, making pretty peaks. It's scented with Clothespins, a very, very brisk, clean fragrance from Rustic Escentuals. I wanted to use lavender originally, as it seemed more traditional, but I already have a lavender soap. Here's the lovely textured details!

Very fun. So how has your week been lately?