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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Puree

My first experiment into our 'Garden Fresh' soap.  Pumpkin Spice Puree-a deliciously creamy Handmade Soap made with REAL pumpkin puree and a sweet fragrance blend of Pumpkin, cinnamon, and clove.  The above picture was taken at 2 days after pour.  I am sure that this particular soap will deepen in color. 

'Garden Fresh' you ask..yes!  We have been brainstorming ideas for a line of soaps made with Fresh Fruits/Vegetables.  Yummy ingredients like Avocados, Cucumbers, Pumpkin Puree, Carrots, and more.  Soap that is filled with Good for you Vitamins and Minerals, or what we like to call Skin Food.  You can begin to look for our Garden Fresh Soap starting in September with our Pumpkin Spice Puree Garden Fresh Soap.  (a limited edition fall soap-available mid-September)

This picture (right) was taken a few weeks after pouring.  As you can see it has darkened up some, but still retains it's creamy orange pumpkin look.  A sprinkling of Cocoa Powder adds just the right touch.

Ingredients:  Olive oil, Distilled Water, Coconut oil, Palm oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Pumpkin Puree, Shea Butter, Castor oil, Cocoa Butter, and Fragrance Blend.

We look forward to sharing our new soap with you at the next show!

 We have been busy in the workshop brainstorming more Garden Fresh ideas! Our ultimate goal will be to make our Garden Fresh soap with Locally sourced fresh ingredients during the growing and Harvest Seasons.  We have also found a fantastic local Goat farm that we will be getting Fresh Goat's milk from for our Goat's milk soaps!  Every little bit we can do to support other small businesses in our local community. 
We also have some great news coming your way that we look forward to sharing with you!
As always have a happy soapy day!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Back to Soap - the latest re-batch

I am getting back into the soapy kitchen this week.  Last week I played with re-batching some CP soap that wasn't so good.  Re-batching (also called Hand Milling) is a great way to use soap that either didn't turn out, or has lost it's fragrance. 
It's a great way to re-use something that would otherwise be a toss out. 
I had a few batches of CP soap that lost it's fragrance and needed a pick me up.

I love floral fragrances in soap, but floral can be tough in CP soap.  It tends to accelerate trace or separate completely for me.  I decided to use up some shreds I had from a previous batch that were uncolored...perfect for a purple lilac soap!

Step One:
Shred Shred Shred.  Grab a hand shredder (or a salad shooter if you want to save your wrists/elbows), a bowl, and your soap and shred.  I always do my shredding while catching up on my favorite shows! 
Step two:
The cook.  I cook my re-batch in my small crock pot I purchased specifically for this reason.  You can also use a double boiler, or even boil it in a bag.  I prefer the crock pot because I can do other things while it cooks, and it doesn't have to be watched quite as much.  So into the crock pot it goes on the lowest setting with the additives you choose to add.  This recipe is:
1/4c distilled water-I used 1/4c because this is an old batch of soap and was pretty dry.
You could also add a little bit of extra oils if you would like at this stage.  I did not in this recipe.

Step three:
Prepare your color and mold.  I am making a lilac soap so I dispersed Ultramarine Violet in about 1 tbsp of glycerin and let it sit and dissolve.  I love using liquid glycerin to disperse my Iron Oxides and Ultramarines because it tends to dissolve much better and there are not as many clumps.  You can always disperse the colorant in oil if that is what you choose.  In this case the original recipe had Olive, Coconut, Palm, Castor, Shea Butter, and Avocado so I would probably pick Avocado for dispersing.  You also want to prepare the mold you will be using.  I lined my small 1.5 lb log mold with freezer paper, this is going to be a small batch.

Step Four:
The waiting game.  Check your pot every so often and give it a stir so the soap on the bottom doesn't burn.  If it looks like it needs more water you can add a bit as needed; just remember the more extra water you add the more time will be needed for it to evaporate out later.  Check your color, see how pretty the purple looks. 

Step Five:
Adding color/fragrance.  Once your soap is fully cooked and looks like mashed potato goop, it's ready to add your color and fragrance.  Add your color first and stir well to incorporate, you may want to cook it for just a bit longer to fully incorporate your color.  Once color is fully incorporated you can add your fragrance. I used .5oz of fragrance to my 22oz soap.

Step Six:
Spoon into your prepared mold.  I used a log mold, which makes it fairly easy to spoon into.  I use what I call a spoon and slam method.  Spoon a little into your mold and then slam it onto your counter to get rid of the air pockets.  Repeat often to get your soap nice and air pocket free.  Once all of your soap is in the mold set it aside to cool. 

Step Seven:
Unwrap and cut!
The best part is seeing what your creation became.  Once your soap is cooled and hardened you can un-mold and cut it into bars.  I cut mine on all sides so that it would be nice rectangles with crisp edges, but if you would like to leave it more rustic you can cut it just into slices like you would normally cut a loaf of soap.

This small batch yielded 6 bars of hand-milled soap.  The fragrance is a nice strong lilac and smells beautiful. 
Making your own re-batch soap is super easy and super fun! You can use any soap to make re-batch, although I highly recommend a natural soap vs a commercial bar of soap.  You can get already shredded re-batch base at which saves time not having to shred it yourself and provides endless possibilities! 
Our Bare Naked Natural soap would be perfect for this project because it is fragrance free, however I'm a big fan of recycling so use what you have laying around and see what happens!
Remember: if you have multiple colors in your soap shreds it's going to end up varying shades of brown or gray.
Good luck and Happy Soaping!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hometown Values

We had an amazing weekend at Gold Dust Days this past weekend.  The weather was beautiful and the community turned out to support it's local crafters.  On of my favorite parts of this particular show is that it's right in our backyard and is full of activities for kids.
The bike parade was my son's favorite part of the show; the look of pride and excitement filling his face as he rode the bike that he and his Dad decorated during the day filled my heart.  With this show being in our backyard my family came often during the weekend to say hi, participate in the community events, and watch the parade. 
I met some more amazing crafters, and spent the down time reminiscing with crafters that have now become old friends!
I met two amazingly talented jewelry artisans that have an incredible talent for beading. 

Snowflake Cottage: Handcrafted Gifts & Beaded Designs by Rustye
Rusty is an incredibly talented lady, she has done things with beads that are truly stunning.  The hours of work that must go in to each and every one of her designs blows me away.  Rusty uses  many different materials to create one of a kind pieces of wearable art.  She doesn't have a website, but she does many local shows including the Duvall Farmers market and you can send her an email if you love her stuff as much as I do!

Sally Martin with Martin-Robinson Productions is the other incredibly talented artisan that I met over the weekend.  She also has an amazing talent for making extraordinary pieces, and again the hours of time that goes in to each and every piece is incredible.

You can find Sally's amazing wearable art online @
Sally also does some very beautiful Pearl strands which I purchased this past weekend.  It's a beautiful purple color and looks exquisite with my favorite teal blouse.  I'll take a picture of it soon so I can share!

Lastly I wanted to say a huge thank you to the Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce and the host of volunteers that put together Gold Dust Days for our small community.  It truly is a hometown value show and I look forward to coming again next year!