Saturday, March 30, 2013

Welcome to Unique Useables!

This is the new blog for Unique Useables, the bath product company created by yours truly! I can't promise things will be updated frequently -- my husband, wife, and I are trying to buy a house together (hopefully by June!), I'm trying to finish up this semester in college, I work part time, AND I make soap! I also make scrubs, bath bombs, and several other things but they are being put on hold until life becomes more manageable. Once that happens -- business in full swing! I also make handmade journals, but that is more of a hobby and is too time consuming and not messy enough for me. :) 

 So! How did Unique Useables come into being? It started over a year ago. I was taking a course on creating Handmade Journals and Artist books. What are artist books?


This is a page from one of mine that I finished for a project just recently.

They are handcrafted books (this is loosely defined) which focus on an idea or a message. This one was created about the abuse of women.

 After the course, I couldn't stop making blank journals! Sewing was therapeutic, and I didn't even consider it work. At the suggestion of a friend, I created an etsy page. And Unique Useables was born. The whole idea behind Unique Useables is to create unique, handmade items that are useable in people's daily lives, while being as eco-friendly as possible. Recycled papers, papers without harmful chemicals -- even papers I made myself!

 As time progressed, I found myself becoming more and more interested in soapmaking. I grew up with my grandmother, who made old fashioned lard and lye soap -- talk about harsh on the skin! I knew soapmaking could be an art, and I was intensely interested. I started with melt and pour bases, just to get the hang of dealing with fragrances and colors (small steps!) and because ordering and gathering all of the supplies I needed for cold process soapmaking was a time consuming (and costly!) process. More time elapsed, and after binders full of research, recipes, techniques, and processes -- I settled on hot process. I knew I would be too impatient to let the cold process soap cure -- so why not do hot process? Shorter cure times, cooking through saponification, rustic looking soap! Amazing! Finally, the big day: My first batch of soap! I took crappy cell phone pictures of the process (I intend to work on my pictures, guys, just so you know!)


 All of my items set out proudly on the counter! LETS DO THIS!


 Melting the oils And I got so excited I forgot to photograph again until it was in the mold.


 I used Sweet Pea as my first fragrance, a favorite of mine and most of my friends. I tried swirling a light pink/red color into the soap as I poured and sorted it into the mold.


I thought they came out nicely, and after a week's cure, packaged them. Look how amazing they are! I will always pride myself on that first successful batch. Many, many batches later, I am a very happy soaper with an amazing friend/support group locally between family, coworkers, and fellow students and professors. This is my journey.