Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Soap Queen's Talk It Out Tuesday: All Things Lotion

In a June 26th installment of Talk It Out Tuesday:  All Things Lotions discusses all things about water-based lotions because a lot of her readers has plenty of questions on the subject. She is more than happy to answer your questions.  In this installment she discusses what is a lotion and the different types, how to make them, making lotions without preservatives and more.  If you interested in learning about making your own lotions, I would recommend reading this informative installment in her series.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Another Patriotic Soap Project: Stars Soap Pops

July 4th has since past, but you can celebrate and show your patriotism with these star spangle soaps at Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day next year, or all year round. It does not matter. Even though the scent of Fresh Pick Strawberry is perfect of summer, but you can change the scent to fit the season.  Nothing is holding you back on this project, except your imagination.

This Star Soap Pop Melt andPour Project from Wholesale Supplies Plus is intermediate project that should take you under six hours to complete and results in eight soaps.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wasabi Spoon Swirl

For all of you cold process soap makers, you have done or at least heard of many techniques to make your soap unique.  I have to ask, have you ever heard of spoon swirl?  According to Jenny of I Lather'd Be Soaping says to do a spoon swirl, at least two colors of soap are needed. Basically, soap is drizzled into a mold by the spoonful, alternating colors, until the mold is filled. It can take a good long while to spoon out all of the soap, but the effects are totally worth the effort. It is crucial to know your recipe and fragrance or essential oils well when attempting a spoon swirl. Both the recipe and the fragrance must be well-behaved in order to allow enough time to work. This is the time for tried-and-true soap recipes and fragrance/essential oils that won't accelerate, rice, or seize.

If you are interested in learning more about Jenny's spoon swirl technique, check out her blog entry titled, Wasabi Spoon Swirl.  For a full demo, check out her video in the article that shows how she did it.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

How to use Germaben II

Many of you may have heard of Germaben II as a preservative to you in some of your lotion and cream recipes.  According to Majestic Mountain Sage, Germaben is a complete perservative, effective against many kinds of bacteria, yeast and mold. It is a colorless liquid with a slight scent. The odor is not objectionable.  It is used  as a preservative mostly in lotions and cream but not in soap.  If you would like to learn more about a few considerations and a recipe for using Germaben II, then read the article, How to use Germaben II on Majestic Mountain Sage's website.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Soap Cupcake (Another Palm Free Recipe)

If you loved the Palm Free Swirling cold process soap recipe from Lovin Soap, then you may try this cute Soap Cupcake Recipe.The author is moving way from using palm oil in her soap recipes.  One technique I love to use is piping cold process soap on cupcakes. Its simply just waiting for the soap to get thick enough and then piping it. She says tat it is super easy to do.  Give it a try and let us know if it is easy or not.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Soap Making to Sell? Trust Yourself

Have you ever thought of selling your soap? In this article by Gary Everson Soap Making to Sell? Trust Yourself tells his experience and gives you some valuable insight on this very subject. So read this article and start planning to sell your soap creations.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Soap Kettle for sale @ Michaels

For a long time Michaels Arts and Craft Stores have been selling Life of the Party soap supplies.  Life of the Party sold a soap kettle for melting large batches of glycerin soap. I would best describe this soap kettle is very similar to a rice cooker that could purchase at any large discount box store.  When I worked at Michaels awhile back I had the opportunity to try this soap kettle and I found it to be awkward.  There are several reasons why I say that.  First of all, there are only two temperatures - melt and warm.  The melting function is a very warm temperature so it melts the soap great, but if you put it on keep warm it seems to cool the soap down where I had to reheat it again.  Then it would seem to boil over.  So I felt like I was running over to the microwave to reheat a small batch of soap.  Secondly, once the soap got down to a small amount I found it difficult to get it out with the spoon.  So if I tried to take out the metal insert, it was very hot and using hot pads made it cumbersome to pour out the soap. And lastly, I found it difficult to wash out any remaining soap since the insert was metal.  It would have been nice if they could have coated the insert with a non-stick coating.

Just recently they have converted to selling a brand called Art Minds which happens to be their own brand. And I saw that they have brought back this soap kettle and are selling it for $34.99.  And I do not know how much it would cost to purchase a rice cooker from Target or Walmart but it if it cheaper, then buy a rice cooker there for cheaper.  But you can always use a 40% (or 50% when they come out) on one of these machines.

So I give this soap kettle mixed reviews.  It is great if you need to melt a large batch of glycerin soap instead of running back and forth to the microwave.  But on the downside it can be awkward.  It did not work for me, but it may work for you.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rainbow Soaps

I have to admit when I was younger I went through a phase of rainbows.  I had my room decorated with the blue sky and clouds wallpaper and hung a kite with a rainbow on it.  When I saw this melt and pour tutorial on The Soap Queen's website how to make Rainbow Soaps it brought back memories of my youth.  If you know someone who is into rainbows or went to the University of Hawaii (their mascot is a rainbow) then this would make a great gift to make for them.

Monday, July 23, 2012

How to Make Homemade Foot Care Products

Want an interesting gift for that pedicure loving friend or relative? Want to create your very own foot care products from scratch? Well then this is the article for you. In this I will give you the recipes needed to make your own foot soak, foot scrub, and even more foot care products that are fully customizable to whatever scent you prefer.

Citrus Foot Soak
Makes 1/2 cup

1/4 cup Epsom Salts
1/4 cup Baking Soda
6 drops orange oil
6 drops lemon oil

Mix the salt and soda together and add in the oils. Fork mix them until thoroughly mixed. Place this mixture in an airtight container, preferably dark. Use 2 Tablespoons of foot soak with 1 gallon of water.

Herb Foot Soak
Makes 1/2 cup

1/4 cup Epsom Salts
1/4 cup Baking Soda
12 drops lavender oil
Horsetail, Lavender, and Peppermint leaves in a cheesecloth bag

Mix the salt and soda together and add in the oils. Fork mix them until thoroughly mixed. Place this mixture in an airtight container, preferably dark. Use 2 Tablespoons of foot soak with 1 gallon of water. Soak the cheesecloth bag in the water mixture when you use the foot soak.

Rose Foot Balm
Makes 1/4 cup

2 Tablespoon Jojoba oil
1/2 teaspoon Aloe Vera gel
1 Tablespoon beeswax pellets
20 drops rose oil
1 ml vitamin E oil

Heat oil and beeswax until melted. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Pour this mix into a glass container and store in a cool dark environment.

Rain Forest Foot Scrub
Makes 1/2 cup

1/2 cup seas salt, ground
1/2 cup baking soda
6 drops bayberry essential oil
6 drops eucalyptus oil
1 Tablespoon glycerin (or sunflower oil)

Mix sea salt and soda together and add in the oils, mixing well with a fork. Place in a dark airtight glass container in a cool dry dark place. Mix in the glycerin or the oil when you are ready to use. This is a recipe that will make enough for one full treatment.

Energizing Foot Scrub
Makes 1/2 cup

1/2 cup seas salt, ground
1/2 cup baking soda
6 drops bayberry essential oil
3 drops rosemary oil
3 drops peppermint oil
1 Tablespoon glycerin (or sunflower oil)

Mix sea salt and soda together and add in the oils, mixing well with a fork. Place in a dark airtight glass container in a cool dry dark place. Mix in the glycerin or the oil when you are ready to use. This is a recipe that will make enough for one full treatment.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Lotion/Massage Candle

This year's The Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild Conference in Portand, OR was attended by over 310 people. Debbie May of Wholesales Supplies Plus gave a demo on "How to Make Lotion Massage Candles" which received accolades from those trying the formula and for the simplicity of the recipe. This is an easy project which should take a 1/2 hour to make and resulting in (3) 8oz. candles.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Five Homemade Bath Salts & Soaks Recipes

Love to add a little something to your baths?  Then check out these five Homemade Bath Salts & Soaks recipes from Tip Nut.  The five recipes include Cinnamon Soak, Soothing Bath Soak, Oatmeal & Cinnamon Milk Soak and Herbal Salts.  Since I love the scent of cinnamon, I think I will try the Cinnamon Soak and Oatmeal & Cinnamon Milk Soak first.  Make sure to read the helpful tips that Tip Nut provides.

If you like those recipes, you may also want to consider Tip Nut's Homemade Herbal Bath Tea Bag Recipes.  Recipes include Basic Milk Bath Starter Recipe, Lavender Bath Soak, Lavender Oatmeal Bath, Lavender Oatmeal Milk Bath and more.

Friday, July 20, 2012

How to Make Flower Seed Paper

For a long time I have had an interest in learning how to make my own paper to wrap my soaps.  I have been searching online on how to do so but I have not taken the plunge to try.  In this tutorial on Ehow, How to Make Flower Seed Paper, by eHow Hobbies, Games & Toys Editor says  handmade paper is a great way to add a personal touch to letters, gifts and invitations. The art of papermaking has existed for thousands of years, but you can make flower seed paper with a few simple steps and some special tools.  The author says that is project is moderately difficult, so since I have never tried this before I can not say whether or not it is but I would like to try to anyway.  It would be a nice to add seeds of a particular plant in the paper if it is an ingredient in my soap.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

All About Soap Making: Cold Process

Are you interested in cold process soap making?  Here is an article by Gary Everson titled, All About Soap Making: Cold Process that appears on the website Ezine Articles:

"Cold process is a method of making soap which does not require an external heat source to initiate saponification (the chemical reaction that creates soap). It is the process of making soap from scratch with fats, lye and distilled water and is the purest and most basic form of soap. It may be formulated to hold essential oils for fragrance and extra conditioners (known as superfatting).

In Cold process soap making, all the components of the oils are retained, particularly glycerin which is often removed from mass produced soap. One common requirement for either hot or cold process is a good quality oil. Traditionally this was in the form of animal fats, such as lard or tallow, both of which make a very nice bar of soap, but more recently, with the trend towards vegetarianism and non animal based products, the use of vegetable oils has become predominant, the favorite oils among soap makers being Olive, Palm and Coconut oil.

You will need a Lye Calculator for Cold Process Soap Making, this will enable you to determine the precise quantity of lye required for a given amount of each type of fat used. I cannot stress enough how important it is to read the instructions and warnings listed on the lye container, in the wrong hands lye can be a very dangerous chemical. When you make the lye-water solution for your cold process soap, you will notice the lye reacts with the cold water and it gets very hot, to avoid this becoming an issue, you can either use chilled water, or make the lye solution the day before, however the lye and fat needs to be a similar temperature about 100 F, so you may then need to re-heat the lye solution.

The next step is to carefully combine the lye solution with the fats. To try to prevent extra lye from remaining in the soap, cold-process soap makers add up to 10% extra oil. Then, in 30 days, the lye will have completely combined with the oils and the result will be good quality homemade soap.

In a finished soap, all the oils are saponified and no longer contain any lye, only soap and glycerin. Instead of simply using distilled water to dissolve the lye, milk, fruit and vegetable juices, or herbal infusions can be used. This offers a great alternative and makes for some great soaps.

A great way to create unique, decorative bars of soap that you can sell or use as gifts. Coconut oil and palm oil are both very commonly used to make soap. Any vegetable oil will do, yet olive, almond, canola, and sesame oils are the best. White castile soap is officially recognized and is made from olive oil.

Why use natural soap? How does natural handmade soap differ from commercially made soap? A bar of handcrafted soap is kind to skin, natural, and versatile, you can even wash your hair with it. If your soap is handmade it tends to be fresh and contain more natural elements. Adding natural herbs is neat, as well as other goodies. Natural bar soap retains glycerin which forms during saponification in cold process soap.

A natural glycerin is formed from the cold process method that is much less drying to the skin. Use soap that is hand made with all natural ingredients and natural oils and your skin will thank you. The cold process method of making soap is often avoided by budding soap makers because of the potential dangers of handling lye, but if the proper precautions are taken there is little risk and the resulting soap that is created is unique and delightful and can be offered for sale or can be used as gifts."

Copyright 2007 Gary Everson

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gary_Everson http://EzineArticles.com/?All-About-Soap-Making:-Cold-Process&id=431608

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What is Phenoxyethanol?

Have you heard of the preservative Phenoxyethanol?  Well according to Wikipeidia it is is an organic chemical compound, a glycol ether often used in dermatological products such as skin creams and sunscreen. It is a colorless oily liquid. It is a bactericide (usually used in conjunction with quaternary ammonium compounds), often used in place of sodium azide in biological buffers as 2-phenoxyethanol is less toxic and non-reactive with copper and lead. It is used in many applications such as cosmetics, vaccines, and pharmaceuticals as a preservative.  It can be used as a fixitive in perfumes and other topical items.  And can be used as a an ingredient in vaccines.  If you would like to learn more about Phenoxyethanol, then check out the Phenoxyethanol on Wikipedia.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Draped Layered Candles

Here is technique in candle making I have not seen yet - Draped Layer Candles. Julie Kay submitted this technique to Candletech as she makes and sells her candles to the public.  It would be a different technique on candle making that I would like to try in the future.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hops & Calendula Infused Bath Oil Recipe

Do you love to use oils in your bath?  Here is an interesting recipe from Alison Kontur of DIY Skincare called Hops & Calendula Infused Bath Oil .  It is very simple to make.  I have not made too many infused oils before but the one I did was made in a dedicated slower cooker and it came out great.  I used lavender and cooked it on low for 8-10 hours.   I am thinking of giving this one a try sometime soon.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Green Machine (15 layered Melt & Pour Soap) Tutorial

This 15 layered melt and pour soap bar was inspired by a cold process soap project that appeared in a Brambleberry Newsletter on January 27,2011. The article was called Let it Bleed: Cold Process Soap Color Gradation tutorial for those who would like to check it out. For those who are melt and pour soapmakers, you can learn a similiar technique by checking out the Green Machine (Melt and Pour) Tutorial, which appears on the blog Soap and the Finer Things in Life. If green is not your color, then you would subsitute your favorite color for green.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

MInty Lip Sugar Scrub Recipe

Are you looking for a sweet, yet minty lip scrub to exfoliate your lips? Check out this recipe by ehow member brantsbabe on How to Exfoliate Your Lips With A Mint Sugar ScrubCooler weather can wreak havoc on your lips. Don't let chapped, flaky lips make you less kissable. Try this sweet little scrub that's guaranteed to soften and exfoliate your lips

Friday, July 13, 2012

How to Make Beeswax Candles — Pure, Eco-Friendly Candles

Making beeswax candles is surprisingly easy, and beneficial for the environment. Beeswax candles burn without releasing smoke and toxins into the air. With a soft, yellow-amber color, and a natural honey scent, they are also a warming accent to any living space.

There are two different ways to make beeswax candles. One involves rolling sheets around a cotton wick, while the other is simply pouring melted wax into glass jars, or other containers. Try out these eco-friendly candles to save money, and to protect the environment from the pollution of paraffin candles and artificial fragrances.

In the article How to Make Beeswax Candles — Pure, Eco-Friendly Candles covers the subjects of supplies, rolling beeswax candles, and making candles in glass jars.  Hopefully this article will inspire you to make your own candles.  Have fun!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Watermelon Soaps

Watermelons are a fixture of summer.  Here is another version of making your own melt and pour watermelon soaps.  Bring a little summer all year round by making these watermelon soaps from Candletec.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How to Conduct a Basic Burn Test

Have you started making candles as your craft?  And you are wondering how long your candles burn? On the internet there are probably a variety of articles on how to determine your candles will burn.  And the type of wax and size of wick will effect how long your candles will burn.  So how do you conduct a burn test?  I found this article on How to Conduct a Basic Burn Test that can get you started.  So start testing because this information will be important if you start selling your creations.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fireworks Melt and Pour Soap Loaf

The nations birthday is now over.  For next year's celebration you may want to make Fireworks Melt and Pour Soap Loaf from Wholesale Supplies Plus. This is an advanced project which should take six hours to complete and should make 44 oz. Loaf or 8-1" slices.  If you do like the colors you can change them to more patriotic colors. But whatever the colors you decide, the end result will remind you of fireworks exploding in the sky. Bright colors and awesome fragrance are sure to make this a favorite summer soap.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Travel Tin Candle Containers @ Michaels

For those who have taken a candlemaking class from me in the past, I thought I would let you know that I was in Michaels Mountain View today to purchase the travel tin containers for an upcoming class.  I happen to inquiry when this time would be in since there were none on the shelves.  To my disappointment I found out these tins are discountinued and will no longer be carried.  I am glad that I finally got an answer since I have been calling several stores to see if this item was in stock.  If your store still has them on the shelves, I would recommend you purchase them at that moment. If you  need this particular item, then you will have to order online.  I would check with Wholesale Supplies Plus, Yaley or Glory Bee.

Americana Tin Candles

Even though Independence Day holiday has passed, these American Tin Candles from Wholesale Supplies Plus can be made for any holiday that you bring out the stars and strips.  Or they make a great addition to any holiday picnic table or Americana decor.  This is an intermediate project takes about 2 hours to make and yields (12) 8 oz tins.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Soap Queen's Talk About It Tuesdays: Lip Balm

The Soap Queen's July 3rd's segment of Talk About It Tuesdays is about lip balm.  This is a fun topic because lip balm are a blast to make and use. Read on to find the answers to many of Bramble Berry’s frequently asked questions. I f you want to get started right this very second, check out our Lip Balm Quick Start Guide on the Bramble Berry Website.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Make this Cute Knitting Soap

Do you have someone in your life that knits?  Are you looking for something different to give them as a gift because they have everything?   Well, I saw this really cute melt and pour project on The Soap Queen's site.  It is pretty simple to make this Knitting Soap even if you do not have previous melt and pour soap making experience.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Palm Free Swirling Soap Recipe

Are you a cold process soap maker who would like to find a recipe that is Palm free? Well, you are in luck! I found this Palm Free Swirling Soap recipe on the Lovin Soap website. In this July 3rd article, the author had decide to make soap without palm oil.  And this is her recipe.  Since the author does water discounting especially with recipes high in olive oil because I don’t want to wait forever for the soap to set up to be unmolded and cut.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Recipe: Linden Blossom Shea Soap Log

Cold process soap makers are you looking for a new soap recipe to try?  Then may I suggest Linden Blossom Shea Soap Log recipe from Aussie Soap Supplies?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What are Sea Sponges Used for?

I found this article on What are Sea Sponges used for? on WiseGeek.  If you are curious, then read on. If you have more information about this subject please share.

"Sea sponges are very simple animals that live on the ocean floor. They attach themselves permanently to an anchorage, and move sea water through their bodies, filtering out tiny organisms for food. The channels that the water flows through account for their hole-riddled structure, and is what makes their composition so useful.

They are harvested by divers; sponge-diving has been a family tradition in many areas around the Mediterranean Sea and off the coast of Florida in the U.S. They have been used as cleaning tools for thousands of years. Manufactured cellulose sponges have decreased the market for natural sea sponges, and for common household cleaning use, they are certainly sufficient and much cheaper. Still, there are some applications where you might want to spend the extra money to get the genuine article.

If you love your car, you might want a large natural sea sponge to wash it with. When wet, sea sponges are very soft, much softer than their artificial cousins, and much less likely to damage a finish.

Some women prefer the gentle texture of a sea sponge to apply makeup, and remove it. Artists have always used sea sponges, both in clean-up of their tools and as another way to apply paint to a surface. Home decorators are now often 'sponging' paint on walls to create a particular look, such as a faux marble or stone.

One of the most interesting recent (and more than likely ancient) applications of sea sponges is as natural tampons. Several lines of natural bodycare products now offer sea sponge tampons, which are nothing more than sea sponges of a particular size. The sea sponge is soaked in water, squeezed as dry as possible, and then inserted into the vagina, where it absorbs the menstrual flow. If it is uncomfortable, the user can simply trim away some of the sponge to get a more comfortable 'fit'. The sponge can be removed and rinsed and reinserted every few hours until the user's cycle has ceased. It can then be cleaned with vinegar, or peroxide and air dried before being stored for future use. When cleaned properly, a sea sponge used as a tampon can last six months or more, and is much more earth-friendly than disposable tampons. They also do not carry the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome that regular tampons pose.

Sea sponges are a renewable resource; unless the oceans become too polluted for them to live, we can count on a steady supply>

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What is Trace in Soap making?

Most of you who make soap by the cold process method knows what trace is and what it looks like. For those who are new to soap making may have never heard of the term.  According to Odie of Riverlea Soap, trace is the so-called "point of no return" in soap making. It is the point where the oils or the fats in your soap have successfully mixed with your lye solution. More appropriately, this is the point where your oils and your lye turn into soap. Did you know that there are tell tale signs of trace?  Yes, it is true.  Odie says there are two signs that your soap has traced:
  • Your soap has a thick consistency similar to cake batter after you've mixed it.
  • If after you drizzle some of the soap on the surface of the mixture, it leaves behind a "trail" that takes a while to sink back in the mixture.
In the article titled, What is Trace in Soap making? , the author goes into detail about achieving trace, factors that affect trace, false trace, checking trace, and superfatting. So if you are a newbie to cold process soapmaking and want to learn more about trace, I would highly recommend reading this informative blog post. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bayberry Heel Butter

Fragrant Bayberry Wax makes an excellent additive for pedicure treatments.  It has a subtle woodsiness that makes it perfect for unisex products, and blends beautifully with antiseptic essential oils, Lemon Tea Tree, Lavender, Juniper, and Rosemary.  We've blended the wax with healing Kokum Butter, Andiroba Oil, and moisturizing Brazil Nut Oil.  This herbal balm will help to soothe, moisturize, and deodorize tired feet. This recipe for Bayberry Heel Butter from The Natural Workshop is best applied after a pedicure.  Check the article out for recipes to prepare for your feet.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Felted Soap Craft from Martha Stewart

Have you ever heard of felted soap?  This innovative felted soap craft from Martha Stewart, made to resemble a stone, makes for an eco-friendly exfoliating experience in the shower.  This happens to be a very simple project since you will be using a premade bar of soap.  I have seen this process done before but I have never tried it before. 

The tools and materials you will need to make your own felted soap: Cheese grater, Bar of soap, Small container, Gray and white wool roving, Old stocking and a Bowl of warm water.

Felted Stone Soap How-To

1. With a cheese grater, grate the bar of soap into a more organic "stone" shape. Start by shredding and smoothing the edges. Reserve soap shavings by grating over a small container.

2. Ball up half the shavings in your hand and press into one flat side of the soap with your fingers. Repeat for the other flat side with the remaining shavings.

3. Wrap thin layers of gray wool roving around the soap until the soap is completely covered. Add a thin, narrow piece of white roving to create a natural sediment strip in the stone.

4. Carefully place wool-covered bar into a foot cut from an old stocking. Briefly dunk stocking with soap into a bowl of warm water. Roll soap between hands to build a lather. Continue agitating the wool fibers in the lather, re-wetting as needed in the warm water, for about five minutes or until the soap is completely felted. Remove soap from stocking and allow to dry.

If anyone else has another or better tutorial they would like to share, please do. I would like to see if there are other ways of making felted soap.