Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Clean Strawberry Festival

"I think they should put a warning label on strawberries: 'Caution: tastes nothing like a strawberry milkshake'." — Ryan Kaplan.

~ ~ ~

Strawberries are one of my top 5 favorite fruits. Love love. They are sweet, juicy and are often tart and good for you, too. I am totally into making fruit and veggie soaps and so I'm on a kick to see the beauty in all that others from around the world have produced with the fruits of the earth.

Check out the beauty....

Strawberry Silk Soap with Bamboo Silk and Strawberry Seeds
I love the color blends and this photo is perfect!

Strawberries and Cream Handmade Soap

Kiwi Strawberry Soap

"A delicious bright blend of juicy ripe kiwis and fresh picked strawberries."

Chocolate Strawberry Hot Process Soap

Strawberry Rhubarb Curl
"The aroma of sweet fresh strawberries mixed with sour rhubarb is mouth watering!"

Strawberry Cold Process Soap

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Peek Into My World

Oh, just some stuff I've been up to....

Made with real bananas and fresh buttermilk (no baby food and powdered milk here!)
Lock your doors when you shower with this because the monkeys will sniff you out and steal your precious bar.

Nice Pear
New shaving soap with added activated charcoal, bentonite clay and green tea extract
Limited edition Summer Release

Slab of soap on my hand made cutter (Thank you, Brad!!)

Painted Crazy
(sadly these were snatched by my wholesale customers before they were even released)
Sorry, folks.

Patchouli, Cedarwood and Lavender essential oils
Custom soap for wholesale customer. Thinking of bringing it into our line because the smell is heavenly and I like the way it looks.

What do you think?

Again, custom wholesale ...

Oh, and I got a haircut. Remember the lye situation? Yeah, occupational hazard my hair has been. Always in my face, How many times have I had wisps of hair in my face and I had raw soap on my hands or gloves and I wiped it away just to leave my face with chemical burns. No more of that garbage!
(no makeup, no coffee) I'll post pictures once I'm fully awake, showered and have mascara on.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wake Up!

I love drinking coffee so much that usually my first cup is gone after about 3 minutes. I started drinking it light and sweet, then in college drank it black and now I drink it with liquid Coffee Mate in French Vanilla. Hard to admit that, but I'm at the point of professional lazy first thing in the morning. My husband pre-makes the pot of coffee (thank goodness for him and his memory), so all I have to do is press a button for it to start percolating. I don't know how I came to love it so much. Maybe it's the darn French Vanilla "milk". I even crave coffee before bed. I could drink the standby decaf, but, coffee isn't GOOD for me, so what's the point of drinking it if it isn't doing its purpose, like waking my sleepy bones so I can make every one clean with the soap I'll make once I'm vertical!

I make a coffee soap: Citrus Black Pepper, which is one of my favorites, but it's curing until June 30th, so I won't include it. These below, however, are stand outs that your eyes may enjoy resting upon for a minute or two.

New Orleans Original Cafe Au Lait Soap by Sweet Olive Soapworks
"Wake up with the aroma of New Orleans French roast and chickory coffee topped with a dollop of milk for your skin!"

Venezia Organic Body Bar by Natural Logic
"Italian Coffee, Vanilla and Cocoa. Hand Milled. All Natural and Organic. VEGAN."
I loved reading the process in which Toni makes her soaps.

Organic Oatmeal and Hazelnut Coffee Bean Soap by The Sitting Tree
"The combination of oatmeal and organic hazelnut coffee beans makes for the perfect kitchen soap! The ground coffee gives off a wonderful aroma and gently exfoliates, while removing nasty odors like onion, garlic, and fish. The oatmeal gently softens and nourishes the skin."

Cigarettes & Coffee by Whole Truth
...chocolate, coffee, ginger and bitter almond? Sounds delightful....

Coffee Kitchen Soap by Veve's Handmade
"This vegan soap is a must have in every kitchen. This bar has a light yummy cafe mocha scent."

Coffee Butter Sugar Cube Scrub by Twin Dream Creations
These are made with soap, but they look like cookie dough batter to me! yum...

The Galley by Soque Co.
"Infused with Fair Trade Certified freshly brewed coffee and finely ground coffee beans. The scent of the coffee and the grounds help to remove funky smells and grime from your hands in the kitchen - think garlic, onions, that orange Dorito "cheese" that sticks to your fingers...We threw in some activated charcoal for it's detoxifying properties and some actual coffee butter for moisturizing."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Blooooz

Warning: Soap porn ahead. Back up if you can't handle it.

Pacific Ocean Soap by Coco and Lola Bath Body - USA
"Has a great smooth texture to it which includes coffee and oatmeal" No scent

Blue Sugar type soap for men by Burnt Mill - USA
"dark, sophisticated men’s cologne begins with a blend of caramelized sugar and vanilla topped with heady notes of cedar and tonka bean. The soul of the fragrance combines rich notes of licorice, patchouli, lavender, heliotrope, and coriander, freshened with crisp bergamot and mandarin, then finished with soothing notes of star anise and ginger"

Blue Moon by Sam's Suds - Canada
"A clean scent with a hint of musk"

Coconut Cream Blue Flower Tart by The Roche Shop -USA

Color Cube by Baltic Products- Made in Latvia
Cool looking, eh? ("Handmade"? More of a cleansing block having looked at the ingredients)

Blue and Blue soap by EnJabonArte - Guatamala

Blue Chamomile by Indulgent Creations - USA
"Scent of blue chamomile"

Gold Coast Blue Soap by B-Naturalz - Australia
"This soap was inspired by beautiful Gold Coast Beach. Smells like ocean breeze."

That was a bunch of happy blues, don't you think?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Eye Candy Soap Friday

Wink Soap (pink grapefruit, bergamot with cocoa butter balls) by diPalermo Body
I totally want this. Not only is it gorgeous, it sounds amazing.

White Witch by Future Primitive
Hunky, chunky, hefty bar. Gorgeous and powerful soap. Sexy as can BE!

Mmmm, I almost want to nibble on it.

Sea Salt Soap by Revive Bath & Body
Super pretty with the pink Himalayan salt sprinkled on top.

Cashmere by Soaperstar
Sexy like a vixen!

Soap by pienovonios
Every soap looks luscious. I'll take them all! ;)

Black Beauty by Camamu Soap
Looks like a nighttime desert scene to me... Very pretty.

Cucumber Aloe by The Jane Co.
Simply simple in its simplicity.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Product Body Is Giving Away $75

As most of you know, my husband and I own the soap /B+B company Product Body and we're having a $75 giveaway.

There's no purchase necessary for you to enter. We're extremely proud of our new line of soaps and the top-to-bottom redesign of our website. So to celebrate (and help promote it of course), we're going to be giving away a $75 gift certificate to one lucky Product Body/Absolute Soap fan.

We're giving everyone up to two entries in the drawing, and they're easy to earn by Facebook liking or tweeting. All the details are on our website, so stop over now and you can get your entries in. Now, go to the main page of Product Body and right above the photos there is a link to give you ALL the details on how to enter.

Good luck!! Entries stop counting 11:59 pm June 30th, 2011.

Winner will be chosen sometime between July 1st- July 3rd.

Go have fun and spread the word.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Follow Up On My Day From Hell

My post "Burning Joanna" was sort of comical as I read it back to myself today. Yes, when one steps away from a flame, it's not so hot anymore, is it? I really appreciate the time you all spent writing your comments. I know it takes energy, but I felt the warmth come right out of the monitor.

Thank you for being so supportive and sweet... and thinking it was humorous, because it was, in retrospect. That first experience in the morning:

Clear "burn your skin off" liquid.
Screaming, "BRAD! Brad! Brad!"
Charges in.
To the sink.
To the sink.
To the sink.
Kill. Kill.
Soak it up.
Open cabinets. Wet.
Open drawers. Wet.
To the sink.
Skin stinging.

I'm not even going into the second part of my day. It's too exhausting to even think about it. I have good news, though! I took all that lumpy bumpy weird volcanic ugly soap into a crock pot because I knew the calculations were correct and I cooked that sucker for a long while, then I added some color later on, did the zap test and shoved it all into a fat mold. This morning, I cut it all up and this is what I found:

Hot Process Fresh Linen

Yielded 30+ bars. One of my wholesale customers (private label) has already claimed them as hers for the taking. Something good came out of the day, at least.

I haven't gone in the lab today. My crock pots are still needing to be cleaned and my lab sink is filled. I couldn't pull it together to go in there today. I worked administratively today. All day. I'll get back on my horse tomorrow.

I still feel stingy...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Burning Joanna

Today was the stupidest day.

Scratch that. Today I am the stupidest soap maker on the planet.

I know I had plenty of coffee but not too much too make me jittery, I don't have a head cold, I'm not on drugs, I am clear headed, and was raring to go with some major soap production this morning and - W-H-A-M-! Disaster.

I have a number of heavy duty plastic pitchers to mix my lye and water in. Well, I needed to make an extra batch, so I found a nice thick glass container I could use and I started adding my water, doo doo dooooo, then I pour in my measured lye and start stirring. Explosion. Lye water goes everywhere. Did I say everywhere? Uh-huh.

First thought, was you stupid cow, of course the heat would break it! But before that I was thinking oh, it's natural and thick and what could go wrong....with music in the background and my head all going back and forth, doo doo dooooo. Happy go lucky me. Not anymore. So my lab is like this. Formica top, shelves in front of me, but no wall, so anything that spills, goes straight down and on the floor behind it. And pools and poisons, god only knows what's behind and underneath those shelves. Nothing important, I'm thinking. Thinking too fast... clean it up, clean it up. I scream my husband's name like 5 times. Where the hell is he? He runs in barefoot. I scream GET OUT! I'm like a lunatic at this point. I have a half gallon of lye water in a pool on the counter top, dripping behind, in front of and in my cabinets....let's not even mention (no, let's) the drawers! All this time, I am thinking, cow, cow, cow. Stupid head!

Now let me say this about lye water. It does not want to be absorbed that readily. It wants to do damage. It likes to destroy. Because I normally use SO many paper towels while I make things in the soap lab and I need them to work, I can't buy the cheap crap because it's like using copy paper which is useless, I buy Bounty select-a-size. Well, my selected size today was three feet. Luckily I had kitchen gloves and my goggles on when this explosion occurred, but because it's 90+ degrees F in Florida, I was wearing a tank top and short shorts. A little lye here and a little drip there. The clean-up took me 90 minutes with two rolls of paper towels and a bottle of vinegar. I also had a huge sink load of stuff I had to sanitize because lye water got on them.

So AFTER the clean-up, I needed to get the lye burns off of me. No direct splash, which I'm thrilled about, but I felt little stings all over, like a little drip got here there and as I was cleaning up perhaps and drip got back there , oh and there.... dreadful morning to say the LEAST.

After my shower and utter disgust with the whole thing, I went to one of the super mega shops and got myself three more super duper plastic pitchers for mixing my lye and water. No more glass. If you didn't get this great piece of knowledge from my story: Do not mix lye and water in a glass container, no matter how politically correct and non-plastic-ey you are. Be safe and don't put everyone and everything at risk for chemical burns. What a horror.

Damage to items that got touched by the lye:
  1. Laminate counter top got a few raised lesions.
  2. Hand blender's cord got a superficial burn. A brown mark.
  3. Me. A few superficial chemical burns (it has been my week for chemical burns).
  4. Scale has some visual marks...can't read any of the buttons and the tare button doesn't work, but the scale still works! Need a new one.
Later in the afternoon, I go back to making soap. I have my lye mixtures ready for me from before my accidental glass breakage situation, I get my oils weighed and ready to go. I make my first batch of Orange Lemongrass soap. Ahhh, success. I get my second batch ready to start, pour my lye mixture into the oils, and just when it usually goes to trace I pour my fragrance in, but then I notice that it looks really white and it doesn't seem to be going to trace. Hmmm. Straaaaannge.... Getting nervous because this has never happened to me before. I keep blending, and blending, and stirring and blending, and then it occurred to me that maybe I never put lye in that batch of water. Oh lordie! I took my glove off, dipped my finger in the pitcher to see if my finger starts to burn (what?! I had been burned so much already, how brave is that really? Not.) Then, since it didn't burn, I licked it. Nothing. I just poured water into oils and fragrance and now what? More mistakes, what?!

So thinking quickly on my feet, I thought to add another batch into this one, but add 3x the lye amount. I certainly thought it would work. Why not? Seems logical to me, doesn't it? I had 2 batches in that one and was adding one more. That makes 3! Well, the chemical reaction it created made it sort of lumpy and then it turned pasty. Then I thought I'd just fill a wooden mold to see how it would come out. And within 3 minutes that soap turned into a volcano. That was crazy. My husband came in and asked me why I was baking bread in the soap molds (ha ha, not funny).

All that soap is now in a crock pot, hopefully turning into hot process soap. I don't have crazy notions that the soap will end up okay, but I am hoping for it. I need a little magic.

I'm a bit grumpy right now. And stingy. And more grumpy because I can't stand the words, "Mom, I'm bored, what am I supposed to do?" It's summer vacation, go find friends and figure it out. My son has camp for the last 3 weeks of the summer. He's going to kill me if the first 8 weeks will be like this.

Yesterday, my daughter got sunburned so she asked me to buy her an XL soft shirt from Walmart, and I did. Just now she walked in with the shirt. She cut it all up to make it like the old movie, Flashdance, and cut the bottom, too.

I'm burning now in more then a few places.

Get me out of here.

I'm done soaping for the day, too.

Soap Break

A cake batter moment.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Today I Am Using...

So I have this thing where I post every so often what stuff I use or eat or wear, and I thought this could be a good way to get some soap makers a bit of exposure, as well, because I always have 3 or 4 soaps going at once in the shower with me.

This morning, in the shower, I used Metropolis Soap's "The Great Citrus Caper" which I have been quite enjoying for weeks. This sucker doesn't shrink very willingly, either! At first I thought the essential oil blend was a little too potent, but I'm feeling it. Ginger and Lemongrass are spicy and fresh and it really is a delightful combination and I have become accustomed to it, and I wouldn't change a thing now. So there. The ginger is dominant and the design of the bar is bright and cheery. This is a morning bar, for sure. Wakey Wakey!


Also, today I'm using Product Body's Eucalyptus Tea Tree Facial Soap. Never had a fondness for tea tree essential oil, but I've been using this bar as my facial soap daily now for 2 weeks or so, and my face just feels better. I am getting used to the scent because I know I'm doing my skin a favor. My skin looks healthier and happy.

Product Body

(Licking my lips) I used Platypus Dreams' "Shea Body Butter, in Vovacia" Oh my yum. This is a thick and frosting-like cream. Thick and moisturizing. I love it! I want to check out her other scents. This one is a tad on the sweet side for me, but I can't stop from using it, because what is better than dipping your fingers in icing?

Platypus Dreams

Of course, I am using The Morbid The Merrier's "Harlot Jasmine Tea", as I use it just about every day (Love it. Harlot is the best lip balm on the planet and I am a nut for tea smells).

The Morbid The Merrier

I am also using Neosporin for the raw soap burns on my face. They itch more than they hurt now. Dumbness on my part. Wiping away my hair out of my face with raw soap on my gloves. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, huh?

pain food

So that is it for today. More on another day. Ciao!