Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Soap Bar Blog Facebook Photos

I am happy to say that, as of today, we have 327 members on the pretty new Soap Bar Blog Facebook Page!  I have taken a few photos from the group.  Nice soap, right?  Come join us if you'd like.  There is lots of sharing, technical info and all around good people here.

Thanks to all of you for letting me be me!
xo Joanna

s o a p  *  p o r n  *  f e e d s  *  us

DonnaOShaughnessy's soap
Charcoal soap scented with Lavender and Orange Essential oils.

Debbie's soap
Yesterdays soap. Organic olive,coconut and rapeseed oil with a ton of unrefined cocoa butter. Scented with peppermint, lavender and tea tree essential oils

Michael of My Planet Earth Soap Co.
Honey/Grapefruit (Raw Organic Honeycomb scented with Pink Grapefruit, Lime and Litsea Essential Oils), Oatmeal Stout (Black Amber Ale Beer Soap) and Winter I Freaking Hate You! (Scented with Litsea, Lemon and Bergamot Essential Oils).

 Jan's soap (Sunlit Soap)
Apples a la Mode 

Emma's soap (Spiral Soaps)
Lemon Soul, a sublime blend of lemon, may chang & black pepper essential oils, and a sprinkling of poppy seeds. 

Leanne's soap (aromaNature Savon Naturel)
Locally Sourced Spiralina Soap

 Ceri's soap (Oakwood Soaperie)
Buttered Rose Soap with tussah silk, rose clay, and floral eo's

 Marcie Brown's soap
Cascade Trail. Very woodsy with pine, cedar, fir, spruce, juniper, dirt and earth FOs.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Little Inspiration For The Uninspired

Blueberry Bunny and Strawberry Oatmeal Soap by Bubble Bones

H. Hao-Cheng

Peppermint Pine Bar and Cinnamon Clove by luckyloulou Soap Co.

Laurel and Olive oil soap and wooden soap dish by Pabadoo

I found some beautiful soaps today, didn't I?  All of these look so genuine, pure and honest.

I found some inspiration in my morning post.  Hope you do too!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Our Sponsors

The Soap Bar Blog is an ad-supported site. We feature affiliate links and other ads to help support me in this venture. Of course, I respect our readers and would never display ads that are inappropriate or just plain junk.

I only work with sponsors that offer products that are relevant to the soap community in general. I put a lot of time into making this a great soapy resource, so please support our sponsors if you need anything from them.

If you or your company are interested in advertising with us, please see our rates.
(sorry, the link didn't work....fixed it!)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Black Beauty By Tokyo Factory


Ayu, of Tokyo Factory, sent me this gorgeous soap that I have been staring at for weeks. Kimono has a presence of its own, and sitting on my shelf, with such grace....well, I just couldn't bring myself to use it.  I loved the stamp and the look of the soap so much that I just needed to savor its beauty.  That never happens to me.  Usually I race into the shower with whatever new bar has been sent to me, in such a hurry, I usually have clips dangling from my hair, or (yes..) socks I forget to remove. (no teasing)

The beauty of this black beast is quite stunning.  I love the soap bits present in the pitch black mass.  It breaks up the stillness of the bar and adds beauty, playfulness and charm.  And of course each bar looks different.  I had myself a one of a kind.

I tried Kimono this morning and the smell was delightfully simple and evolved completely in my shower from simple and kind to complex and frisky.  It felt almost like I was bathing with a perfectly found rock, geode, mars stone because of its grace and natural pureness.  Lather:  Tight creamy bubbles instead of big fluffy ones, but the lather was plentiful.  As I already know from my own experience, charcoal soaps create grey lather, and that's my least favorite element of this soap.  Not a huge complaint being that the soap was a luxury to use, fabulous to smell and my skin felt conditioned and soft when I was through with my bathing ritual.  

grey bubbles ensue

On Ayu's website, here is the information on Kimono:

Scent: A Luxury Blend of Rosewood, Clary Sage and Anise.
One of Our Signature KIMONO Soap.  This soap contains luxurious ingredients such as Coconut Water, Rose Clay, and rich Bamboo Charcoal Powder.  Pure Bamboo Charcoal is known to clean skin pores deeply and clean body odor. Soap is packaged in a beautiful custom designed, recycled paperboard box.

Would I recommend Ayu's soaps?  Absolutely!

xoxo Jo

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Soap + Clay

My true love is soap.

Thanks to all of you for that.  I really mean it.  First of all, I didn't know one thing about soap when I started writing this blog.  In fact, I was just a person who thought that handmade soap was cool and found there to be no platform for the people who made vehicle to get the soap into the front light.  The connection I found within the soaping community was greater and more sincere than I ever thought possible.  It is for those reasons that I started to make soap.  I had undying support from so many of you that I tried it, loved it and haven't looked back once.  Not ONCE.  Years later, it's all I want to do.

I never imagined that I'd be happily married to my job.  I love making soap, designing soap, smelling it, cutting it, using it.  I received a beautiful letter from a friend who had had a great experience when she opened a box of soaps I mailed to her.  It made me feel all warm and fuzzy, knowing that something I am passionate about, something I made with my own hands, brought pleasure to my dear friend. I think that's part of what makes handmade soap so precious.  Handmaking soap from scratch is truly a spiritual process for me.

I have begun throwing clay and as frustrating as this is for me, it is also centering me in, a sense.  I remember the mantra, "It's the process, not the product that is the gift".  As a new mother back then (ahem), I never rushed my daughter to finish her artwork, or gave her suggestions.... her playing in finger paints or mud, glitter, glue, homemade play dough, whatever... it was HER process, not mine, and I think it really stuck.  She is extremely talented in so many ways:  she is a beautiful French Horn musician and a talented photographer.  She also makes all of the gifts she gives me; she has made some of the most beautiful things that I will cherish until my dying day.  She loves art and the process of it.  I love that.

Since the beginning of my class, I have been focusing on the clay, only.  Centering it....this can take time, but once it is centered, a feeling of relief is present.  My teacher is amazing and he has given me tips that help my mind wrap around the clay and manipulate it to where I want it to go.  The process.  The focus, the conquering of a squishy blob, that, with an ever so tender touch, can change in one second, and so... and so.... patience, time, and energy.  I gave in to it all after the first 30 minutes of the class.  Yesterday we did trimming and I, again, focused and wasn't concerned with the final product, but to master the art of carving through leather hard clay to be smooth is inspirational.  This is good therapy if you can lose yourself in it, and perhaps utter torture if you can't BE in the process.  Working it.

I have learned a lot through my photography, pottery and soaping.  It's all a learning process and involves such self awareness through the process.  I just want to remind you that whatever it is that you are doing, stop, breathe deeply and take a step back.  If your final product isn't what you intended and you are frustrated beyond recognition, then perhaps find the time to create it step by step instead of burling through it to get to the final product. 

I think life is also like this.  I have learned that, too, through parenting my two children and owning my own business.  I must continue to remember to stop and smell the roses, just for the smell....


My kids: Desmond and Nina

Friday, March 2, 2012

Holy Batman!

Okay... I started the Facebook Group and in one day, we already have 132 members and there is a lot of chatting, sharing, support and information.  I know this a a great step for this community.  If you have other suggestions.... There are so many good Forums out there, but if you think you would use it, need it, I will create it.  Say the word and if I can do it (not rocket science, I assume), I will.  I do know rocket scientists, but I am not one myself.

I will stick a little soap porn in here today because I know now that that is so inspiring to you (FB told me so), so I create a little offering for you this morning....  Peace!

Centaur Amber Vanilla by Amathia Soapworks  (ok, it's made with 25% shea butter.  What?!  I needs, loves, must haves....

My Planet Earth Soaps: "Winter I Freaking Hate You!" Luxury Shea Butter Soap scented with Litsea Cubeba, Lemon and Bergamot Essential Oils.  Love my new friend, Mike.  A brilliant man with a perfect voice and quite possibly a soaping god.  Haven't tried them yet, but I got BIG plans, right Mike? (I almost called him Mikey like the Life commercials.  Bet he hates that!)

"Pink Champagne - a blend of wild strawberry & fizzy champagne with aloe vera and silk... smells just lovely (not too sickly strawberry)"
Oh, Celine has done it again... This soap looks exactly like an ice cream bar I used to eat during the summers in Brooklyn.  It was a chocolate, vanilla a strawberry bar.  I used to run faster than my legs could move to reach the singing ice cream truck before it left.... after my mother would throw change from our 3rd story apartment and me frantically picking up the change that scattered everywhere... Thank you Celine, for the memory.  I remember the excitement I felt in my chest.  :)

Just three for today.  I have spent so much time on our new FB page that I ran out of time today.  More soon, I promise!

xo Joanna