I am horrible at this blogging thing. I desperately want to write more, but damn if there isn't always something going on! School has resumed, and a class I discounted as being, "not that hard" is actually somewhat whipping my ass. Yay advanced research writing. *sobbing* On top of that, husband, myself, and three of our friends are ALL September birthdays, so we've had a *lot* going on in terms of celebrations. Plus, the Renaissance Festival is in town until the end of October, which means LOTS OF FOOD AND DRINK AND MERRIMENT! So long story short: we've been busy!
I am a few weeks late to the party, but I wanted to write about the fun times I had on Labor Day with my friend D. She came up to visit, stood in my utility room (where the soap supplies live) smelling ALL of my fragrance oils, and concocting various plans for many different soaps, lotion bars, and other sundry bath and body items. We made three batches of soap and one batch of lotion bars (not something I had yet attempted, so fun!) that day.
Our first batch was made with Mermaid Pilsner, which I had previously boiled and frozen into ice cubes. It actually performed WAY better than either of us expected it to. To go with the the marine theme, we used Brambleberry's "Yacht Club" fragrance oil, which.......ohmahgah, smells SO sexy. Like man. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Seriously, it's soooooo nice. And the beer, surprisingly enough, paired with it really well! We tried to do a tilted mold pour, and while it turned into nice stripes, it wasn't *quite* what we were going for. It still came out great, though, and we are super happy with the result. Given the fun use of beer, we decided to call it "Drunken Mermaid." I can't wait until it's cured so I can have my husband lather up with it. Oh yesss.
The second batch of soap we made that day was another batch of Lemon Drop Martini, which I've run out of. Everyone at work loves it the most, so I needed more! I am glad it's a hit, I enjoy it a lot. It helps quite a bit to know what peoples' preferences are so I can narrow stuff down (and buy bigger bottles of fragrance oil, too).
We also decided to attempt shampoo bars from one of Soap Queen's recipes. We didn't use the exact fragrance blend that she recommended, rather we chose orange and lavender (mmmmmm). I am so excited for these to cure, they smell amazing. I am really pumped to use them, as I love Lush's shampoo bars, and I am hoping that making my own will be better long-term. Plus, it's so gratifying to get in the shower and use stuff you made. I love it!
Finally, we made lotion bars. I used this incredible fragrance from Nurture Soap called "Gaia's Harvest." I got it as a sample, and D and I were trying to figure out a good fragrance for, "Rennies" (Rennie: (n.) person that goes to Renaissance festival in garb every week, loves merriment, glitter, and all things natural/awesome/somewhat offbeat). We chose that, and made a recipe with coconut oil, avocado oil, vitamin E, shea butter, and bees wax. The bees wax was sourced from our local Amish market, and when it was melted down....Ohhhhhhhmygoodness! It smelled like honey! Combined with Gaia's Harvest, the fragrance of the lotion bars is just *divine!* I absolutely love it, it's so perfect. D told me that some of her friends wanted "craft herpes" (glitter) in their lotion bars, so we messed around trying to figure out what would make the best shimmer. We made two or three bars with cosmetic glitter (Nina Simone from Mad Oils) and two different micas (Sister Golden Hair Surprise from Mad Oils and Snowflake Sparkle from Brambleberry).
I believe we have determined that the cosmetic glitter was the best "transfers to the skin but doesn't get glitter everywhere!!!" result. :) Which is good to know if people want more of the lotion bars in the future!
The day after experiment day, I was ready to make another batch of soap that I'd been wanting to try, and D helped me come up with a "female" version of Drunken Mermaid, which we named "Siren of the Seas." It's a combo of Nurture Soap & Brambleberry fragrance oils (I don't wanna give it away, hehe), and it's soooooooo nice smelling. Very floral, with some citrus and a wee hint of musk. I tried to get a "mermaid tail" shape in the swirl, which actually did show up on some of my bars. Huzzah! I love the way it smells, and so far, everyone that has smelled it has fallen in love with it too. I am hoping people will like it once they try it.
Overall, I've gotten a lot of really great soaps made, and I am looking forward to starting in on Christmas soaps! :D I can't believe I'm thinking about that, but the time is getting nearer!! I will be making my custom order Christmas cupcakes in a couple weeks, oh my gosh!! <3 Time is flying!
Enjoy the photos below of everything, and have a soapy day!
Elizabeth is a new to soap making, and wishes to share her journey in learning to make cold process soap with the hope that it will help other newbies who may stumble upon this site as a resource. From swirl techniques, choosing colors, combining fragrances, embeds, toppers, and textures, she chronicles her lessons and stories here.