Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Giving Soap: A Tutorial

My friend Amy gave me some cute washcloths and asked if I would put each of them together with a bar of soap. I tried a few different ways of assembling them, and finally settled on this "swaddling" technique.

They turned out so cute and they were super easy to do, so I thought I would share it with you how I did it.

Start with some new washcloths.

Lay one out flat (tag facing up).

Begin folding each corner toward the middle.

Now you see that all four corners have been folded in, and your square should be on-point.

Fold the top point down to the middle.

Place the bar of soap onto the towel, aligned with the top fold.

Fold the bottom point up, as you did with the top.

Then, fold the bottom up over the bar of soap.

Continue swaddling the soap by folding in the sides.  You should make it pretty snug, you don't want the baby...err...bar of soap to fall out.

Tie with a ribbon.  In this case, I re-used the ribbon had been bundling the new washcloths. Don't you just love that?!

Did you notice my switcharoo from blue to pink?  I didn't have anymore ribbon from the bundles left to tie the blue one, but I think I was able to get six tied with the two lengths of ribbon I had.

So cute!

And oh, so easy!

Consider trying this the next time you buy a bar of my soap to give to that special someone.  It's a gift that is sure to be adored and appreciated! Pretty AND practical, how can you go wrong with that?!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Is That Glycerin Soap?

That is a question I get asked all the time and usually it ends with a much longer explanation from me than the yes or no the customer was expecting. Maybe the explanation is appreciated and maybe it is just TMI, but nonetheless, it is something I LOVE to talk about.  So.....

Is that glycerin soap?

Short answer, yes.  But the teacher in me wants to pass on to you what I know, so if you ask, I must insist you sit through my little science lesson. And this lesson begins with some high school chemistry. And since I am an English teacher and not a science teacher - I promise to keep it simple!

acid + base = some by-product of the chemical reaction

What happens when you add baking soda (base) to vinegar (acid)? You get the ubiquitous science fair project bubbly volcano.  Well, what happens when you mix lye (base) with oils (acid)? You actually get two by-products, soap and glycerin! Glycerin is a colorless, sweet-tasting liquid, which acts as a humectant.  This means it will draw moisture to your skin and is wonderfully emollient and gentle.

Wait a sec, back up...did I say LYE?  As in that stuff that is used to clear clogged drains?  Yep!  Does that mean there is lye in my soap?  Nope!  My soap recipes have been carefully calculated so that every bit of lye that I have put in, gets used up in the chemical reaction process (also called "saponification").  In fact, if anything, there ends up being a little bit of the oils left over, which makes my soap even more skin loving!

But I digress - we are supposed to be talking about glycerin soap here.  Because the natural by-product of the soap making process is glycerin, technically all soap is glycerin soap - even though I haven't actually added any glycerin to my recipe. However, when people think of glycerin soap, they are usually thinking about soap of the "melt and pour" variety.

Melt and pour soap is the soap I use at the make-it-yourself soap bar.  It is made by the same process that I make my soaps from scratch, but it is specially formulated to be able to melt down smooth and stay transparent.  It does this, in part, with the addition of EXTRA glycerin - hence the "glycerin soap" moniker.

Did I tell you there would be a quiz at the end? No? Lucky for you, this quiz only has one question:

Is that glycerin soap?

Correct answer:
Yes it is!

So ends my science lesson for the day.  I hope that my explanation has been as clear as, well...glycerin!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

A View from My Etsy

I just love learning new things.  This fun collage is something I just learned to do in Etsy, so I just had to share.

Don't forget, during the month of April, I will be donating 10% of my Etsy sales to the Lake Stevens Relay for Life event.

Happy Easter!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Just a Soap Pic

I love this picture! This is as the soap is currently displayed in the store window. I am very pleased with how they turned out and they smell just as good as they look.

All of these soaps, and more are available online and in the store. 
See links to the right ---->>>


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Results of Essential Oil Testing

In my last post, I was testing new essential oil blends and I ended up testing my six blends in small batches of soap. I liked all the blends in the bottle, but was less than thrilled with the results once they were in soap.  

Back to the drawing board.

From the initial experiment, I went on to create four new blends that I ended up making into full batches of soap.  These blends are olfactory heaven!

The first one is a blend of Grapefruit and Ylang Ylang.  The light floral of the Ylang Ylang compliments the tart of the Grapefruit very nicely.

Next, is a Lavender and Basil blend with notes of Rosemary, Peppermint and Eucalyptus.  Such a great blend!

Then there is the blend I like to call, "Make Lemonade".  There is a story behind this blend and it starts with the main essential oil...Lemongrass.  You see, I don't like the scent of Lemongrass, but somehow I ended up with a large bottle of the essential oil.  Needing to use it so it would not go to waste, I decided to try to create a blend that even I would like and this is the result.  I had stinky Lemongrass, so I made lemonade!  Besides Lemongrass, this blend also has Spearmint and Litsea Cubeba.  The Litsea is another essential oil that has a lemony fragrance and I used it to sweeten up the Lemongrass.  I also added some dried calendula petals.  This blend is yum and is sure to brighten up your mood every time you use it.

Finally, is a nice floral that has Ylang Ylang, Egyptian Geranium and just a touch of Lavender.  This blend and the Lemongrass and Spearmint blend are my two favorites.

All four are now available for purchase on the website and in the store.  I have some cut into cubes, so feel free to sample (you can also request a sample with your online order).

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