Friday, December 30, 2011

Fresh Beauty From Тонкая Материя

I have been a long admirer of Тонкая Материя's.  The soaps look incredible and I am awed by the lighting and photography skills this person has.  Maybe one day I could get my hands on the soap so I could review it!  Mmmm....

Here is lovely eye candy for  you.

Soap: Milk Chocolate (2 photos)

Soap: Lavender

Scrub: "Milk + Jasmine"

 Soap: Chocolate and Mint

Soap: Lemon and Juniper

 Shave Soap

Birch Tar Soap

Visit Тонкая Материя's Flickr photo stream.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's What You Scatter

A story passed on.....

I was at the corner grocery store buying some potatoes...
I noticed a small boy, ragged but clean, hungrily looking at a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas.  Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the boy next to me.

'Hello Barry, how are you today?'

'Hi, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank you. Just admiring  the peas. They sure look good.'

'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?'

'Fine.  Getting  stronger.'

'Good.   Anything I can help you with?'

'No, Sir. Just admiring  the peas.'

'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr. Miller.

'No, Sir. I have no way to pay.'

'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?'

'All I got is my prize marble here.'

'Is that right? Let me see it', said Mr. Miller.

'Here…. She's a dandy.'

'I can see that.  Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?', the store owner asked.

'Not exactly, but almost.'

'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble', Mr. Miller told the boy.

'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.'

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me. With a smile she said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are very poor.   Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever.   When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.'

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado, but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years passed.  I had occasion to visit some friends back in that old town and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two had nice haircuts, were wearing suits...all very professional looking.  They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket.

Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her eyes followed them as, one by one, each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary one at a time.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.   'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.  They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them.  Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size....they came to pay their debt.'

'We've never had a great deal of the wealth,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho.'

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.


It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter….

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Morbid The Merrier is Making The World Smell Better

I have been wooed by Lysa Luna's products for well over a year and I am an addict.  Officially.

She is the owner of The Morbid The Merrier and creates some powerful creativity in her packaging, scents, and products.  I had the fortune of receiving a package from her recently which included Odditoria Sugar Polish in "Morton" and I LOVES!  It is almost gone and now I need a bucket of it.  I don't know what sugar she uses but let me tell you that its grain is fine and smooth... I would rename it Sugar Smoothing Scrub, or Sugar Smooth or something.  Of course, if I were really given the assignment to rename it, I would put more thought into it, but you get what I'm saying.  It is soft, luscious and amazing.  No greasy aftermath and totally handmade from scratch.

 Could you just DIE with that label?  I love EVERY label she makes (and she designs them all!)

I also received an amazing selection of perfume samples:

Amiya, Histoire Du Secretaire, IsabellaDhanya, Horseman, Paramour, Histoire Des Amoreaux and Histoire Du Professeur.  All unique, all sensational.  My personal fave is the Natali which is a chocolate, patchouli phenomenom.  Lysa is responsible for me now loving patchouli blends.  (Brad is none so happy, but oh well)

Here a pic of Horseman:

I need

The thing on my next order will be Morton's Lotion.  Yummo!

So onto Lysa's incredible talent beyond bath and body.  She makes jewelry, sculptures, cupcakes and other things and oddities.  I love everything she sells.  Check out THIS necklace that she has for sale, too, on her site:

It has a locket that she fills will the buyer's choice of solid perfume.  And it's only $68.00. 
ONLY, I say.  Work of art.  

In preparation to me writing this blog post, I asked her if she had a coupon code anyone could use if they wanted to buy anything and she is gracefully offering 10% off.

First you have to go through this link:  It automatically takes off 10% of everything in the order.  Get it while you can!

The Morbid The Merrier is quality, unique and consistent.  And she wraps everything so beautifully.  Every package.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Soap Travels Unveiled

These past two weeks have been incredibly busy here at the Product Body Headquarters.  Between life, filling and shipping orders and me getting a 2 day migraine that knocked me on my feet, I have finally gotten to Soap Travels.  I feel bad that I didn't get to it sooner, but it came at the busiest time of year for me.

Regarding Soap Travels, started by Cocobong:

Imagine receiving a little parcel containing three soaps from three different soapers. You get to choose one, replace it with one of your own creations and send it on its way again. This little parcel will travel around the globe, sharing your work with other great soapers.

Here are the contents of my package... they are all pretty and lovely:


 unwrapped except for Miss Julia's (cocobong) because it was too 
beautifully wrapped and I knew which one I needed to keep.

Julia guessed that I would choose Patti Flynn's soap and, indeed, that is the one I am keeping.  I have never had the pleasure of trying Patti's soaps, so I must confess, I have been curious to say the least.  I have tried Julia's soaps, so that was right out.  The Mianra one is absolutely gorgeous, but I had to pass because of The Flynn. 

I am now going to send this package across the world to the next in line for Soap Travels.  Hmmm, what bar to include.... I guess we'll all have to wait for that blog post.  I have a special soap I custom-made for a Palm Beach magazine that is quite pretty.... maybe I'll send that one along.  Made with Atlantic ocean water, coconut milk, banana and mango powder and blue and green mica. 

Once I try The Flynn, I will post again with my mini "review" - you must know, I know!

I have to say how honored I am to be on this list of soapers who were chosen to be part of this awesome journey.  

Thank you, Julia!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Soap Travels

I know I said I'd do the Soap Travels update on Saturday, but life totally got in the way.  Now I am not with my soaps, so I can not be eloquent about their descriptions and there are no photos to share.  I promise I will get to it.  Today?  Tomorrow?  I will do my best to carve out insanity time for a little story of my soapy delivery.

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Holidays, Soap Travels + Soap Porn

With the holidays approaching, soap production has slowed A LOT.  Now I am just making more to replenish our depleting stock once the holidays are over.

I think this year I am actually taking a mental vacation from work.  We will actually close up shop for the duration of our children's holiday.  We are well prepared for the holiday shoppers and all packages will ship by the 19th and then we are closed until January.  Feels good to say it out loud and make it "official".  Oh....people can order, but nothing will be processed until January.

Now, I know I promised to take on more with this blog and bring it.  I MEANT it and it is my every intention to do so.  I just get so surprised every year how slammed business and life gets in the months of November and December, so I hope you are all patient with my bringings-ons...

I do have some great news.  I got a small package from Cocobong, who has started "SOAP TRAVELS", a project that will include many countries and their soap makers which is a super fun idea.  Here is how it works:

Julia sent me a parcel with three bars of soap in it.  I received it yesterday and I am super-happy-thrilled-amazed by this whole project.  It is such a great connection between us all.  Included in the package was a bar of her own soap, and two soaps from other soap makers, which I will reveal in my next post (I have no camera and I am typing in the pitch dark).  My job is to choose the soap I want to keep and replace it with one of my own.  I then send the package to the next Soap Travels participants and then, they get to choose what soap they want!  How fun is this going to be??  Cocobong has explained Soap Travels best.

So excited to bring the photos and descriptions to you over the weekend.

Come back to check it out.

I leave you with a photograph of Julia's soap.  This photo makes me want to be a wee little girl and dive into the peaks of that brown soap.  Just imagine being so small and feeling the smoothness of that bar.  Right now.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Soap Porn Eye Candy Monday

shaving soap by Тонкая Материя

chocolate and mint by Тонкая Материя


resolutions by Eleja's Soap Bar 

Panelė Aušrinė by Sraigutes namukas

peppermint soap by Bie's Junkyard

holiday soap by Seifenzwerg

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Full Belly and News Of A Giveaway

I hope everyone's holiday weekend was a good one.

I am full.

I know it's only an American holiday, so I ask, "How was your weekend?"  Mine was full of family, napping, Thanksgiving food, lots of sweet potatoes and cookies.  Oh, and I wrapped over 200 bars of soap today.  But I took off Thursday, Friday and Saturday off - - completely.  I haven't given my family ALL of me for almost a year.  Funny though, I give up the computer (includes, Twitter, blogs, email, Facebook) and as I walk around the house looking for some quality time with one of my family members, one is shopping online, one is editing digital photos and the other is playing video games.  Hmmmph.  I can't say that that was the whole weekend.  My son did some skateboarding and we watched, took photos, we ate many meals together, talked, laughed.... and overall, I think it was quite relaxing.  I also did some gardening.  It was starting to look like a jungle outside.  It was like when you were little and they show you three pictures of something similar and one that is totally different.  That was my house before the weekend.  Which one is not like the others?  It was pretty gratifying to pull away debris from my house and put it to the curb.

I did want to mention to everyone that Product Body is having a giveaway over at the blog and we are giving away two soaps and two bath steeps of your choice.  So head on over there and enter to win!  It is open to everyone in the world.  Ends on December 15th and there are a number of ways to enter.  Good luck and spread the word!

Our newest Bath Steeps:

decadence bath steep...
... which include Pacific Sea salt, coconut milk powder, baking soda and colloidal oatmeal. 
Simple, decadent and creamy good.

soothe bath steep...
... enriching ingredients some which include Dead Sea salt, coconut milk powder, colloidal oatmeal,
arrowroot powder, lavender flowers, chamomile powder, roses,  and calendula petals.

invigorate bath steep...
... enriching ingredients as Dead Sea salt, Pacific Sea salt, coconut milk powder, colloidal oatmeal,
arrowroot powder, white kaolin clay, calendula petals essential oils of multiple citrus fruits plus orange peel powder..

And we have so many new offerings in the soap department, it's crazy, but most of the newest editions are also limited, and so when they are gone they are gone.  I have one suggestion to any of you who might be interested in Product Body's products:  Go here and sign up for our newsletter, because we often have exclusive sales for just our newsletter subscribers and you never know what might happen here at the Product Body Family.  It's a whirlwind of fun!!

xoxo Jo

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sliding soap. Bombs Away.

Every so often, my mother has an experience to share regarding my business, soap....whatever and writes a little short story.  This one was from last weekend and not so much regarding anything business related other than the horror I found under her sink.
the tragedy of body detergent.  Yes, this is what I found.

A story about my daughter, a sweet freak

I don't know if I ever brought this up in any of my stories, but Joanna and her husband and children all regularly go through my pantry and medicine cabinet pointing out and tossing those things that have expired.  Even Nina's friends have been heard to say "this is expired."  This is rather embarrassing, humiliating and obnoxious on their part, but I take a deep breath, being the good sport that I am and put up with their nonsense.

However, Joanna went too far this week end. Too much coffee or something.  She was sitting on the floor of my bathroom with the cabinet wide open pulling everything out and throwing everything into the garbage pail.  I should have known I was in trouble right then and there.  Suddenly she began yelling "bombs away" and slid the first bar of Irish Spring soap down the long hall until it went under my bed.  Then the second bar, the third bar and 16 bars later (all under my bed) with my grandson, Desmond bent over laughing.  She was done.  I couldn't even speak. 

I said "you come from very good breeding.  Your father was a college professor, your mother a psychotherapist, and you're a freak.  
"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, Ma." 
My daughter the diplomat.

When I found a jumbo box of Irish Spring under my mother's bathroom sink (you know the kind you can get at Costco or Sam's Club bulk stores) I was semi-mortified.  Semi, you ask?  Well, I do periodically find 20 year old aspirin or a box of cotton balls, where the box looks almost vintage, so I kind of figured that the soap must have been bought from before I started making soap.  I just want to mention that my mother keeps an incredibly clean house and everything is immaculate, so I don't want to paint a picture of my mom having vintage cotton ball boxes and 20 year old aspirin in a dingy water stained, hoarder-like household.  Not even close to reality.  My house will never reach the cleanliness state that hers has been like since I left for college.  That is, unless I have a cleaning service - which I sadly don't.

I digress.

So... the soap scenario was fun.  My son (11 years old) was 20 feet away, at least and I am sitting on the floor, sliding each boxed bar of Irish Spring down this long, perfect-brand-new-and-double-shiny wood floors and would slide right by my mother (who's face looked stunned), went under her bed and my son would laugh and pick it up from the other side.   We all laughed so hard, except, I had to explain that if I ever find another commercial soap box in the house, I may have to be more extreme with my sliding measures.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cream Crunch... an unpublished blip from years ago

I played with a new soap today, being that I am waiting on WAY too many bottles of fragrances and essential oils.  I need to continue to make soap for the local wholesale customers, local folks, our online business and my personal holiday gifting stash.  What makes a good gift for out of town family members?  Real soap made by me, from me,  it's too perfect a plan and I'm sticking with it, because I have no time this year for my own shopping plans.  Too darn busy making gifts.  Which I love doing, btw.

I can't stop making soaps for the holiday orders but I am down to the dregs of bottledom.  I've just made so much.  (feels good). ... It I had to make some.  I was at the lab and I felt the soap-addict-lure.  Whipped up a conditioning velvety yet exfoliating batch with ground oatmeal, bentonite clay, crushed walnuts shells, buttermilk, shea butter...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pure Cocobong

A while back, Julia, of Cocobong, sent me gifties in the mail:  her soap.  Soap as pure as a first snow and Julia is sweeter than honey.

Here is what she sent:
 Wrapped all gorgeous and stuff!

 PURE stands in the center.

Ingredients:  Palm oil, olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, avocado oil, palm kernel oil, sunflower oil, goat milk, coconut milk, (and I can't read the last ingredient because I ripped it and didn't notice that I ripped off the last material).  I had to translate from German to English, mind you... I am not well versed in other languages, sadly.  Yeah, I am a typical American.   But I know some American Sign Language and I took 4 years of Spanish in my teens!

I have been using PURE exclusively for about 2 weeks now in my shower, and I quite love the simplicity of it. Unscented, pure handmade milk soap.  LOVE milk soaps... they are a slice of heaven.  PURE has a natural scent that is unique, gentle, nutty almost, but ever so faint.  The lather is creamy with small bubbles, the way you know that the bar will be soooo conditioning on my skin.  Big BIG bubbles in a bar of soap doesn't mean the opposite, however.  I make plenty of conditioning bars of soap that are crazy in the fat bubble department.  Don't ask me how.

PURE washes on smoothly, slowly, silky.  Stealth-like, rippling with muscles and smoothness.  Then the soap rinses off cleanly as if the bar came, washed and then vanished exposing the skin left behind with nothing but softness.  I'm trying hard to give it the visual impact it gave me, but I'm not sure I am recalling it as powerfully as I experienced it.

Knowing a dear friend made this soap added a greatness to it.  A balance of excellence, skill and love went into it, and I feel it when I bathe.  With every bubble.

Julia, you are my Queen.

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Very First Video...

Ok, I promised to step it up.  This isn't a how-to video, but it's a start.  I am unmolding soap and explaining embeds and scents.  So I present to you the video:

Thanks for your undying support, you guys!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stepping It Up

So I have been thinking that I need to step it up here at The Soap Bar because there is just so much to share and I have you all as an audience, so why not make this the best place to come visit.  Right?

I have had my issues this year between medical stuff and life (you know how that can get)... but listen, I am ready to bring it on.

What I'd like to do is start making videos of what I do in the lab.  Tutorials, simply making soap, etc.  I kind of have to figure out how to work a camera like Tiggy of Future Primitive and Celine of Soaperstar, but it can't be THAT hard, can it?  I have no one to "tape" me when I formulate, so it may take a little time to get it right to where it will be fun to watch.  I hate myself on video and photos, but I'm over it.  I am 41 years old and who really cares - it's what I'm doing.

So there you have it.  I will be attempting to video myself and bring to you some more content.  I'd love some feedback, really.  I need you to tell me what interests you.  This is the busy time of the year for me, so I will be struggling to make my Christmas/holiday offerings but, I am committed to this blog and so my attempt at giving the time this blog deserves is real, a passion, a love.

Please leave your comments, as this will fuel me.

I love you

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Peek Before It Browns

I tried a new scent out (Blueberry Vanilla from Daystar) and I kind of figured that it would brown due to the vanilla content, but I used some, not a lot, of titanium dioxide and blue mica for swirls in a test batch.  You can see the swirls on top that went brown after three days.  Even though the whole test batch will be brown as a bear, I captured the blue/yellow when I cut the loaf.  It reminded me of those rocks that look plain on the outside and once it gets cracked open, there are gorgeous jewel-like stones inside.  I've seen them in museums and specialty gift shops.

Sad to say, but completely expected... the soap is now fully brown, but it was fun to stare at it while it lasted. :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Carrot and Other Ramblings

I have been playing with vegetables and fruits in my soap and I am really loving how much of a vitamin punch it gives the soap.  The next batch I'm making will be with carrots and perhaps goat milk or buttermilk.  Haven't decided.  I am going to make it a facial bar so I am thinking white clay, a few extracts, chamomile, shea butter and rice bran oil.  I'm not sure if I should scent it with an essential oil or just leave it pure.  My feeling is leave it pure and unadulterated.  I'd like to use carrot seed oil, but I don't have any on hand and it is quite pricey.

Budgeting now... trying not to spend everything I have before the holidays.

There are so many fragrance and essential oils I want to try and there are so many I have that I don't use.  I wish there was a room where everyone could put their unwanted oils and choose the oils they wanted from others and it wouldn't cost anything.  We could just trade up.

Yeah, I'm a dreamer.  But that would be nice, right?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cocobong Sends Me Soap

Featured here before you are soaps from Germany.  Julia, of Cocobong, is a friend of mine and she decided to send me a care package.  Aw.  These three soaps were so delicately and carefully wrapped in beautiful paper and raffia.  It took everything in my power not to dig in before the camera came out, but I'm so glad I waited because this first shot is my favorite.  It's simplistic beauty is what I love so.

When I finally got into the soaps themselves, I found these.  Petit Monsieur, Pure, and Florida Sunshine.  I love the smell of each one, even though Pure is unscented, I do like the smell of unscented soaps.  :)

I must admit, I haven't tried them yet due to my incredibly busy schedule as of late, but I needed to post these pictures.  Why deprive YOU of these soaps, right?  I want to give Julia's soaps the attention they deserve, so I don't plan on washing my hands quickly or showering with one just to throw up a review.  I must savor the moments with each bar.  And then return.  

Thank you, Julia for your generosity and powerful kindness.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend Post

My mother periodically writes about her experiences that she has with my products.  Here is her story of the weekend:

"I wouldn’t define myself as a miser, but when it comes to my daughter’s products, I use them sparingly or until they beg to be thrown out.  Well, this week-end my granddaughter was over and of course teenagers shower a catrillion times a day.  So I thought nothing of it, until last night when I went to take a shower.  Then I saw my prized soap, (one I had been saving, still in its wrapper, that Jo made for me some weeks ago, that smelled like fresh spring flowers in a green field and it exfoliated) opened by that child.  I was waiting until the soap Jo had previously given me was down to the size of a quarter before I replaced it.  SHE SAW IT, WANTED IT, OPENED IT - AND USED IT…….Of course Jo would say, well that’s what it’s for.  
Ohhhhhhh, she doesn’t understand.  But she’s right, of course. 
If that wasn’t enough, the second trauma of the week-end was when Jo asked me to bring my jar of Crush On You to her that I kept next to my bathroom sink.  I thought perhaps she was going to use it, I use it sparingly, but she’s the artist of these soaps so I would never deny her.  I brought her my jar and she poured it into the sink.  I drew a deep breath and said “What are you doing!?”  She said, “How old is this jar?”  “I don’t know, a year?”  She then gave me a Crush On You that had a magnificent scent of summer fresh air, freshness: Sexy Laundry Day.  “What is wrong with you? I make these products and you save them like they’re irreplaceable.  You need a fresh one.”  I said, “they’re precious to me”.   
I love my daughter. 
Anyhow, the lesson I learned from my two girls is “learn to treat yourself better, lavish yourself today or your stuff will get sour.”  That goes for everything in life………….."

Ugh, my mother who saves her soap for two years... what am I going to do with her?  She can have anything she wants from me and she uses the products as if she can't get anymore.  I am trying to teach her that USING the soap and sugar scrub is good and that I will replace it whenever she needs it.

Hopefully, she will learn.  ;)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pieno Vonios Soap Maker Feature

I have admired Evelina, of Pieno Vonios, for some time and it just makes sense to show off the nature of her work with many photos to make you swoon the way I do.  Swooooooon..... According to translations on the internet,  Pieno Vonios means Milk Bath.  I don't speak Lithuanian, so I'm not sure if that is a correct translation.

I am blown away by the beauty of these soaps.
The photography is also outstanding and creates such a peaceful mood with the use of natural light, that it just relaxes me when I gaze upon her soaps.

Oats, milk and honey goat milk soap

and then, cut...

looks like white chocolate fudge! Yummy...


I would love to know where to get my yearning hands on some of her soap.  Evelina:  Do you sell your soap online?  That would be awesome.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Maleficent Megtron

Meghan's fingers!

We got a wonderful product review from Meghan Runyon who writes Maleficent Megtron.  She is the owner of Dreaming Tree Soapworks and has become a good friend of mine.

She wrote a glowing review stuff she bought from us.  Now let me tell you this about that:  Meghan has high standards and is very critical of body products so, suffice it to say, I feel pretty good about this review.  I didn't ask for one and I didn't know it was coming.  She blindsided me with compliments and I am blushing. (Loving it!)

You must visit the very talented Meghan, of Dreaming Tree Soapworks, who makes excellent B+B stuff including the best candles.  My favorite candles burning in my house, like ... always burning, are Hobbiton Banana Bread and Naboombu Isle!  Ahhhhh.

She rocks.
Thanks, Meggie!
Meghan Runyon

Please go visit her blog and read the awesome review!


Monday, October 3, 2011

Inspiration: The Soap Bar Flickr Group

Prairie Mist by Shieh Design Studio

Lemon and Juniper Soap by Тонкая Материя

Lemon Poppy Seed by Life Soap Simple

Cocoa Orange Pie by LIfe Soap Simple

Cucumber soap by Spiral Soap

Honeywash by Laurence73

Pine Tar Regular and Shampoo Bars by Appalachian Heritage Soaps

Coconut Milk Soap by Sraigutes Namukas

I love that I set up the Flickr group and I'm tickled that we, as a community, are using it.  But a reminder:  The group is as strong as it members.  Keep sharing!  :)  We all love the soap porn!!