Thursday, April 29, 2010

Brown Rice Family

The Etsy video team has invited experimental and documentary filmmakers to contribute to our original video series and photographer Pascal Perich produced this first guest filmmaker episode on soap and music makers, Brown Rice Family. The Brown Rice Family is a multi-ethnic group that makes soap from Japanese brown rice in Brooklyn, NY. The also create music together!

This is their message on their Etsy shop (I love it!):

We are Brown Rice Family and we firmly believe that the most natural way is the most civilized way. BRF initially started out as a world roots band that gathers inspirations from all corners of the world in order to create fresh and healthy music. Now, however, we have evolved into an independent company. Ancient rhythms of the world inspired us to see that core values of our life are being compromised due to our society’s foolish ambition for mass production. We learned that almost all products that we consume contribute to our severe global pollution. We want to be free from these poisonous and low quality products that big companies are feeding us. We know that in order to be a true independent organization we must have control over our own necessities such as food, clothing, housing and personal care products. Our goal is to make high quality natural products that would meet the necessities of first, the Brown Rice Family. Then we want to share the same products in accordance with one love.

Thank you, Heather, who works over at Etsy, for giving me the opportunity to share this with you.  These are definitely some of the things I miss about Brooklyn.  It would be great to walk over there and perhaps sit with Mei, their dog, and watch them and hang.

Thank you to all the members of The Brown Rice Family!  Beautiful soap AND music.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Soap Cutters I Dream About

This one is really awesome, but these are custom made, I assume... for the master soap makers.   Got this picture from  There's a whole series of soap cutting pictures I just love.

Then for the serious bulk soap makers, there are people who make enormous soap cubes.  This is a H1H hydraulic machine that can cut blocks of cold process soaps into bars, producing in excess of 1000 lbs of force to cut soap.  Here are pictures but you should got to the website for a look see.

cool, right?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Sunny Saturday Means I Give You Yellow Soap Porn

Today was one of those days that had to be the perfect day.  Low humidity, breezy and under 80 degrees.  The breeze felt cool and driving in the car was magnificent.  All the windows were open and I actually felt ageless.  That doesn't happen too often anymore so I think I'll mark this one as a good day.  

I bring you soft, happy, bright colored soaps to brighten up your weekend in case your Saturday, or weekend isn't going so nicely, whether it be the weather or otherwise.   I like to get lost in photos of soaps when I feel bad sometimes.  So I invite you as well if you need an invitation to lose yourself a little.  Come to Soap Land for a a little while with me...

Handmade from scratch, these bars are enriched with Cocoa Butter and real Silk Fibre for extra conditioning and topped with Calendula petals for added color :)

Know why I named this soap Verbena Bobbitt? Because it's scented in verbena, and I'm mad as hell at it! It was cut in a fit of rage then strategically pieced back together. Sound familiar?  This soap is imperfect in shape, color, and texture, but still makes a good cleanser. Each bar weighs a minimum of five ounces and is jagged around the edges. It smells of verbena, lemon, and a hint of rose.

Fresh, quality ingredients are used in each beautifully handcrafted bar. I use a combination of 8-11 specially selected oils and butters in my cold processed soap to produce a gentle cleansing bar of soap, rich in lather and bubbles.

Our fresh sugar soap smells fantastic with sparkling citrus notes, light florals, amber, caramel and vanilla. A very acurate duplicate of the Fresh Brand Sugar Fragrance.  

This soap is made with an amazing blend of orange, peppermint and petitgrain essential oils and is so refreshing.

The scent of freshly whipped sweet cream with undercurrents of rich vanilla beans is topped off with the bright, tart scent of lemons. A perfectly delicious pairing.

Citrus and fruit! Delish! Top notes of juicy orange, lemon and blueberry blend with middle notes of lilac, violet, pear and strawberry. Finish is soft with vanilla and musk. Stunning!

Calla Lily...this strong, rich fragrance of calla lily grabs you and keeps you! Creamy Coconut Milk and freshly peeled Aloe Vera make this one of my favorite soaps! Rich,creamy lather. Fresh Aloe lends it's healing properties to skin issues such as acne, ecsema and simple sun burn. With Spring here, a must have bar for getting BEACH ready!! 

Now, didn't these soaps cheer you up a little?
Creams, yellows and oranges just have that effect on me, especially in photographs.
Well done, soapers!  And thank you!  :O)

xo Joanna

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fragrance & Essential Oil Destash!

Most of you are soap makers and bath and body products creators so I put this out to you.  Perhaps it could benefit us all.

I have more oils than I know what to do with and I want more stuff that I DO want to work with so I am thinking that I either want to sell my stuff or trade it with something of equal value that I really want.  I have WAY to much stuff here that will go to waste if I don't move it along.  We all have to pay through our nose to try new things.  I am ready for new things to have!

I received three essential oils from Camden Grey today that I do not like at all and I want to try others because I have grand ideas that I can not start on until I clear out some things.  I am running out of space.  I did not want to offer half empty stuff, so everything listed is either unopened (you can see the black tape on some of them or untaped (they didn't come taped - Camden Grey).

Click on the pictures to get a bigger view.

Camden Grey Ginger EO - 2 ounces - I paid $5.95 -  it arrived today. 
S O L D!

Camden Grey Manuka EO - 1/8 ounce - I paid $5.95 - it arrived today.  
S O L D!

Camden Grey Rosewood EO - 1/8 ounce - I paid $3.12 -  it arrived today.  
S O L D !

Brambleberry Peppermint EO - 1 ounce 

Brambleberry Mango Lassi FO - 16 ounces
S O L D !

Brambleberry Cream Cheese Frosting - 16 ounces

u p d a t e !

Majestic Mountain Sage Graham Cracker FO 
(love this, but I have too much!) - 16 ounces

If you are interested in buying any or all of these, offer me a price and I will charge you actual shipping costs.  My email is jo(at)productbody(dot)com.  I wish I could offer you more at the moment, but I will have other type of things, like perhaps clays, botanicals and other stuff.  I want to keep it quality, not junk ...I'll keep you posted!

Oh, did you like my hi-tech copy paper back drop and our cool '57 Chevy that bit the dust under some car as my prop?  Also the cute face is my office pen.   

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lip Balm Raves

There are two lip balms that deserve praise from me because they are both luscious and smell delicious!

The first one I received was from Erin, of Naiad Soap Arts.  It's Banana Buttercreme.  Right off the bat, I thought would be sticky-sweet, but it had the perfect combination of banana and sugar.  It was not overly sweet, it was lovely and it was almost more of a lip gloss than a balm and it came in a slide tin.  Very cute, super glossy, and way banana sophisticated.  No monkeys.

Downside: I had a hell of a time getting into the damn thing with the tamper-proof shrink wrap plastic.  Yeah, you should have been a fly on the wall for that because I looked ridiculous!  Not Erin's fault.  My fault for never really being good at breaking the code of shrink wrap.

The next one is HARLOT Circus Peanut by Lysa, of The Morbid The Merrier.  Man, that's good.  This one comes in an elliptical lip balm tube and is super easy to use and is super portable which gets an A+ in my book because I'm all about comfort and function.  The smell? Ohmagod, can I just tell you?  It brings back memories of childhood when I could sit in one place and eat sugar crap and love every second of it - sticky teeth and all.  This balm is called Circus Peanut, and it does smell like circus peanuts, but also it has a hint of that candied popcorn in there... Cracker Jack sweet.  I can't quite put my finger on it, but it is SO GOOD!

Oh so good...Better get them before they are all gone and the circus leaves town!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Find For The Day

One dozen sweet little handmade 100% pure beeswax candles. Poured in to a farm fresh eggshell. They will come to you in a recycled egg carton. 

I love these!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wannabes, Copycats & Mimickers

Creature Comforts Blog had a post today about the dilemma of having one's work being copied - copyright infringement, intellectual property... and it was weird because I was just having a conversation with another soap maker this afternoon (who may want to remain nameless).  

There are people who are inspired and use ideas from your sheer talent and then there are copiers. The people who copy and don't then grow and create their own masterpieces are just mimickers and it's really sort of sad. They have no true fulfillment... or bones. We all know who these people are. Those of us who create original beauty in whatever we do - well, our creations may be an inspiration to someone as others have been inspirations to us. We all pull ideas from the world. From people, things, art. I think there is a tiny bit of copying in some of what we do, even without knowing it. Isn't that why we study? To learn? To become better? To gain knowledge?  

I make soap so I look at other soap makers and their beautiful soaps. Do I want my soap to look like theirs so we are twinsies? Nope. Do I wish I could have made something that looked so special? Yup. So perhaps I take whatever aspect of the soap that moved me and tuck it away in my brain for the next creative moment I have during my soapmaking craze and I whip out my own version of it as how it relates to my soap with whatever colors and scent I might be working with. I don't want my soap to look like theirs. I want to see what MY soap looks like with a different aspect intertwined into it.  

As my friend said, the copycats and the wannabes just crank out the same stuff they copy and that's just about it. There really IS no "their stuff". They don't bring anything new to the table. And yes, we all know who they are.

You can comment but no bashing individuals, please.

A Little Meringue?

These remind me of maple candy but prettier. These are gorgeous!!

by copperlily

by mojospastyle

yum yum!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lemonade Lounger by Tiggy

What a perfect soap for Spring!  Tiggy, of Future Primitive, sent me this soap.  I love lemon and I love the peaceful hues of butter tones. They just make me relax and remember to breathe, which is funny, because not one room in my house is that color.  *scratching head*

Oils, organic unrefined cocoa butter, clay and essential oils, this soap packs a nice punch in the shower.  This soap didn't smell like a buttery lemon, noooo. It had some sophisticated essential oil blending going on, it was hard for me to decipher, but it was all good and I found myself standing in the steam of the shower holding the bar to my nose rubbing the cocoa line on my lips and inhaling to make sure every oil in there got into me so I could feel it all.  It was a spiritual experience.  

This is no ordinary bar of soap.  It is gorgeous, chunky, smooth, lathers fantastically, leaves my skin soft and silky - my husband tells me so (!) and it smells great!

Tiggy also sent me the Potters Bar, but I haven't tried it yet.  I love looking at it every day.  :)

If you want to try her soap but can't decide what to get, she sells a sample pack of 6!

She has inspired a number of us soaping addicts to try the cocoa line (which I failed miserably at on the first go-around).   Not only is it made by a woman who is creative, Tiggy Fiander is also talented, friendly, funny, spicy, creative, generous, and has given so much joy to the soaping community, especially on this blog.  

Go, Tigger!

p.s.: go read her blog, too!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Master Soaper Indeed

I have been admiring Gabriele Kappes for years now. She is a master soap maker as you can see below.  I have only chosen a few soaps to feature and I'm not even sure that these soaps were the best but it was so hard to choose because they were all so good.

Gabriele's soap handle is  macsoapy, which is also her Flickr account name, in case you want to go peek at her soap yourself.

   Now rest your eyes on these beautiful soaps......

I wrote a macsoapy post back in July of '08 when I really had first discovered her.  Not only does she make so much soap, and such beautiful soap, but she takes amazing photographs.  She is some photographer!  I visit her blog all the time, which includes soap, packaging, life, local farmer's markets, food....etc, all captured with such beautiful photos.  I have no mad German language skills, so I'm fortunate that there is a Google translation application on the blog, or I'd just be browsing the pictures, which I did for a while before I noticed the translator.  **tapping head**  So observant, you know.

Today, I spent the coffee part of my morning viewing Gabi's Flickr photos (the soap and self portrait photos), which I couldn't even get through....that is how many there are.  I was in there for 2 hours? I have never spoken to Gabi, but if pictures speak louder than words, my guess is that she is a bit like me.I think that's why I spent so much time viewing so many.  I was entranced.

She has a serious side.
Has a private side.
Loves creativity,
and the beauty of food, nature, love, colors.
Is true to herself.

Hopefully one day I will meet Gabriele.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Egg Stupid Humor

Warned you.

I got these in an email so I can't give credit where credit is deserved.