Greetings and salutations, everyone!
Oh my gosh, it is HALLOWEEEEEN! :O! How exciting!! I don't know about the rest of you, but Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday! I love dressing up, I love watching guilty pleasure movies (Hocus Pocus and The Craft are my favorites!), I loooove handing out candy to all the kids that come by our house, and I love carving pumpkins! Basically, I love everything about Halloween!! :D (And yes, I will be watching Hocus Pocus and The Craft while I hand out candy as Hipster Ariel tonight! And my dog will be dressed as a bumblebee. No shame!)
Husband and I went to a party on Saturday, and it was (as always) a great time! In fact, it was five years ago Saturday that we met for the first time - at the Halloween party thrown by the same friend! Crazy! It was a really nice time, and it's always great to catch up with everyone.
On the school front, I've got three classes going right now in addition to working full time, so I have been running on pretty much no sleep for the majority of the last two weeks. One of my classes ends this week, though, so I am hoping that things will calm down enough over the next two weeks that I can work myself into a routine and still have some free time.
Next weekend I am running a 5k through a corn field on a farm, which I am super excited about! And then that evening we're going for a hot air balloon ride for our 5th anniversary. :D So much awesome stuff is coming up, and SO MANY HOLIDAYS AND SPECIAL OCCASIONS!!
Speaking of holidays, you may have noticed that many soapers are already into Christmas soaps! I am no exception to this - I have a custom order which I've made for someone, and I am making three dozen bars of soap to give to my co-workers. I was given an American Soap Supplies tall and skinny mold for my birthday, and I have to say - I think I love this shape the best! I think I might want to do all of my soaps in that mold from now on. But the jury is still out - there are some soaps that just do well with the square shape, you know?
Moving right along - you may have noticed some changes to my menu bar recently! And if not, that's okay too. :) I am now taking custom orders! Obviously, I need 4-6 weeks notice, but I am happy to work with anyone who is interested and come up with something you will love! All of my FAQs and policies are up, as well as an order form. If it's too complicated, shoot an email my way for clarification. I am looking very forward to expanding my customer base. So many people have been asking if I sell my soaps yet, and no, no store front yet (though I'm hoping to have something up online maybe by the summer?), but custom orders, I definitely can do!
Also, I am thinking I will cut palm oil out of my recipes once I run out of this current bag I've got. I have a friend who is allergic to palm and coconut, and while researching alternatives for custom recipes for her, I learned about the palm oil trade and problems with sustainability and labor in the industry. While I understand soapers use such a small amount of palm oil relative to the larger industries (looking at you, food), I still feel like it would be better to step away from palm altogether. Brambleberry actually has a very informative article on it, and there is also a really interesting and enlightening conversation in the comments of that particular article as well.
I will likely switch to mango or cocoa butter in place of palm, which will make my bars a bit more expensive, but I feel it will be worth it in the long run. Additionally, there are several local farms I can get tallow from, for those who aren't as worried about the vegan aspect of things. I also have a friend who is raising bees now! They are keeping what wax they get just for me! So I will have that as well for soap and lotion bars. :)!!
That is it for now, I gotta run and finish - you guessed it - more homework!
TTFN! <3 And happy soaping!
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.