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Showing posts from September, 2012

Hang in there, grapefruit

I received a challenge from a customer this summer.  She asked if I could try making a grapefruit soap scented with essential oil.  I've used it in the past and the scent utterly vanished after a month or so. I did some research and asked other soapers for advice and this is what I came up with for my second attempt. 1) Clays and/or cornstarch in the soap will help the scent to "stick." 2) A touch of other essential oils, like benzoin, litsea cubeba (may chang), and patchouli may also up the "stick" factor. I'm not quite certain about the actual definition of "sticking"--does that mean the scent remains the same strength as when added, or to a lesser degree?  I would be happy with even a faint grapefruit-y smell.  As suggested, I mixed the essential oil with the clay and cornstarch before adding it to the soap mixture.  I didn't discount the goat milk at all because I was afraid a lot of the liquid might be absorbed by the clay and cor

Party Time

Every other year, the community in which I live celebrates its distinctly Swiss heritage, which includes cheese and beer, in a celebration known as Cheese Days.  It's a homecoming of sorts for former Green County residents flung far and wide and for three days, Monroe's population of 10,000 swells to well over 100,000.  THE cheese tent, the place to sample and buy cheese from local cheesemakers. Baked garlic (fried on a griddle), peppadew Havarti, and Roelli's Kingsley were some of my favorites.  Traditional dress representing the different cantons in Switzerland.  Sunday morning's polka church service Cheese Days 2012 was a good one.  I sold soap at a booming Farmer's Market in perfect weather, sampled my way through the cheese tent (twice), saw lots of friends, and even sang the Doxology to the Beer Barrel Polka at the church service on the Square. (You didn't even know that was possible, did you?) As long as I'm on the part

My Honeydew soaps

Blog views galore!  Over the summer, but especially in the last few weeks, I've noticed a distinct increase in the number of hits to my blog.  I must honestly say that I have no idea why; perhaps I'm writing something that people want to read?  Or maybe they've simply stumbled onto it wending their way to something better for all I know.  And from all over the world, too!  How humbling to think that people in gorgeous, far-flung locales paused long enough in their sophisticated, savoir faire exploits to read my occasional blathering.  (If I were you, I'd be sightseeing or nibbling on local cuisine instead.)  But many thanks! Let's can I wow all of you today? ....oh, the pressure of it all.....oooh, oooh....wait, I've got it!!  And this should wow you, actually, because it's not about me. This spring I participated in a soap making challenge, coordinated beautifully by Amy at Great Cakes Soapworks .  At the end of the challenge, some of us swa