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Showing posts from October, 2011

In lieu of beer...

I am still on my annual pumpkin kick. I really wanted to make a batch of Pumpkin Lager soap last night, but alas, no beer in the house. As consolation, I made pumpkin biscuits (my new favorite way to eat pumpkin) and made coffee scented soap. It contains real coffee and a coffee fragrance, with just a touch of vanilla. It's not pumpkin, but who am I to quibble with such a delicious scent like coffee?

Peppermint Candy

I think this is my favorite batch of the season. I usually put my cut bars in the cupboard to cure, but I've let this one remain in my studio so I can admire and smell it whenever I'm working. After some thought, I chose to make peppermint disks to dress up the bars over peppermint sticks. And this is how I did it without a round mold or a tube (which seemed like a disaster waiting to happen.) I first poured soap in my little square silicone mold which I thought would give me better, circular swirls than a slab mold would. Commandeering yet another kitchen item, I used a teeny ornament cookie cutter to cut out disks. Love it! I also used my favorite Christmas cookie sprinkles on the top. The miniature candy canes even taste like peppermint. (I realize, this feature is now meaningless, unless of course, you are choosing a soap to wash out a mouth....mmm...a soapy, minty fresh mouth...)

I am a Zibbeter.....Zibbeteer??

...Zibbeteur? I'm not really sure what I'd call myself, but I'm a big fan of an online venue called Zibbet . Zibbet is a website for artists and crafters to sell their handmade items. Only a few years old, this site based out of Australia is taking on the more established venues like Etsy and Artfire and doing pretty well, besides! I like it for several reasons. It's new. It's not as well known as places like Etsy but it's fun to be on the ground floor of something potentially big. With fewer sellers, it's easier to be seen. There are about 30 times the number of soaps for sale on Etsy compared to Zibbet. And I like the choice of a free or premium account and neither option has listing or selling fees. There is also an active community page with sellers more than happy to give other sellers advice and encouragement. At the moment, I sell most of my products in person and am not focusing on the online side. Even so, I find it helpful to have a place wh

More fun with embeds....

Another Christmas soap, this one called Sugared Spruce. This batch gave me fits but, suprisingly, it came out just as I wanted it to. When I added ultramarine coloring to get a grap-ey purple, the soap mixture turned gray. So I added more. More gray. So I turned to my grape pop mica, which made it turn an army, pukey green-gray. In desperation I added a sprinkle of alkanet root powder. I was convinced that this was going to be the ugliest gray-green-purple ever. But it was getting so thick that I had to put it in the mold so I could push down my little Christmas trees. I was delighted to find the soap came out a gorgeous purple and the two shades of green were nearly identical! I have two bars on my kitchen counter and it's giving my whole kitchen a sweet, pine smell...mmm...

How to smell like a pickle

I've mentioned that I use a lot of apple cider vinegar in my hair and this is why. I make certain soaps that I use as shampoo. It's great for many reasons, but rinsing it out with just plain water is a bad idea. It's so squeaky clean I can't run my fingers through my hair and when it dries, it's like a handful of straw perched on my head. But when I pour some apple cider vinegar diluted in water over my hair it gets instantly softened and conditioned. I even use it whenever I use commercial shampoos. I must include a word of caution here....(Good Story Alert)....Early in my herbal interest, I read that vinegar made a good final hair rinse. I took this literally. I washed my hair one morning and poured on a cupful of vinegar, towel-dried it and raced off to work. The vinegar was definitely smelly, but what's that when gorgeous hair is on the line? I arrived with my hair still damp and set to work with a co-worker. After several minutes, she wrinkled up her nos

Feeling a little dippy

I feel the need to tell you about a great online shop. It's called Dips-n-More , and carries a selection of no MSG, natural dip mixes, both sweet and savory. These are the yummiest dips ever . I've given many of these as gifts and gradually working my way through the selections myself. They taste a lot fresher, more unique, and just plain better than the ones you'd pick up at the grocery store and I always get compliments (or requests for the recipe!) when I bring them to a gathering. If you like garlic, you should try the Kiss-n-Tell Garlic Dip--it's good and zippy! Check out Sue's shop sometime and pick up a few....or a dozen. Besides being handy, they make a great, practical gift!

Why do I blog?

This was a writing prompt question for NaBloWriMo participants a few days ago and it got me thinking. Yes, why do I blog? It certainly is a valid question. Most people write for an audience. It's not necessarily my reason, although knowing that someone reads it occasionally is a nice feeling! Anyway, here are my three reasons for blogging... 1. I am a soaper. It allows me to keep a handy visual record of my experiments and efforts. It enables me to network with others in the soaping community, see what's new, and find sources of inspiration. I also appreciate the feedback that is given and shared to help us all excel at our craft. And, it gives me an outlet to be a smidge self-indulgent at times and say "Hey, look what I made! Can you believe it actually worked?" (And, of course, the reverse..."Help!") 2. I am a writer. Or a wannabe, at least. (Besides, I need to keep my bullet points consistent.) Since childhood I have wanted to write and publish my ow