I've been working on a few batches of soap for autumn but got sidetracked on the designs. I really need to be making soaps with colors like orange, black, yellow, green, and using embeds like fall leaves or ghosts but I ordered some new and interesting fragrances, molds and glitters so I wanted to give them a try and my design ideas didn't fit the season very much. I have one batch of soap that screams autumn and that's this one (below). It smells like pumpkin souffle.
Thursday, October 15, 2020
Monday, September 28, 2020
Friday, August 14, 2020
Lye should never be this weak. Even Bramble Berry admits this on their website.
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
I am pretty angry right now. Like most people I get really frustrated when I spend a lot of money and I get junk. A year ago I posted about a mold I purchased from Bramble Berry. I bought their 2 lb mold with 2 silicone liners. When my package arrived I opened it to make sure I received what I ordered and then I stuck everything in a cupboard for future use. When I finally got around to using the mold which was months later I discovered that neither silicone liner fit properly. They were both narrow on the ends and the weight of the soap didn't fix it. There was no way to tape the mold to sides because the liner was actually smaller on the ends than it was in the middle. Here is a photo:
I wasn't happy about this but too much time had passed for me to complain (so I felt). I figured I'd use the liner anyway and just slice off the ends.
I rarely use the 2 lb mold but because I liked the simpleness of having a silicone liner (my other molds are 5 & 6 lb molds and they don't have silicone liners) I bought a 2nd mold. I didn't need to buy a 2nd liner because I had purchased two the first time around and one was unused. I decided to start using both 2 lb molds more often. I made about half a dozen with the first mold I bought and today I was on the 3rd use of the 2nd mold (and liner) I bought.
Keep in mind that I wash the silicone molds by hand, using warm water, careful not to stretch. I've read quite a bit about silicone liners and wanted to make sure mine would last.
Here is a photo of what a Bramble Berry silicone liner looks like after using only 3x.
No matter how hard I tried I could not get the liner to straighten. I poured the soap in thinking the weight would straighten the liner out (like it does with the other one) but it didn't work. I tried to tape it but that failed too, I then tried using vaseline since I've read other Soapmakers have done that with liners but it didn't work either. Measuring the liner shows it has completely warped.
I am not the only person this has happened to. Bramble Berry Reviews.
I decided to post about it here because reaching out to BB is useless. I've tried contacting them about orders or items in the past and I never hear back.
If you have a silicone liner from Bramble Berry, how did they work for you? Also, if you know of a good company to buy a silicone liner from please let me know.
Thursday, June 11, 2020
Here is the soap
Here is a close-up of the tiny jojoba beads
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Electric Lemonade is #1 because it is one of my favorite BB fragrances. It smells so fresh and uplifting and it soaps really, really well. No ricing or acceleration at all and the scent holds a long time in the cured bar.
Pineapple Papaya is #2 because it is my second favorite. I am not sure if others like it as much as I do since I never really get too much feedback on this fragrance but I love working with it because it smells so good. It does accelerate trace though so it doesn't leave a lot of room for design time.
Chocolate Mint is #3. It's not a BB fragrance, it's actually two of their FOs blended. I used their dark rich chocolate and blended it with candy cane. It came out perfectly. No ricing, no acceleration and it smelled exactly like I wanted, like a peppermint patty. Their dark rich chocolate is to die for.
Blueberry Jam is #4. I love the fragrance. It smells just like blueberry jam. I am not pleased with the design of my soap though. It didn't turn out at all like I planned and I don't remember why.
Monday, May 25, 2020
Thursday, February 27, 2020
Sunday, January 12, 2020
Sunday, November 17, 2019
My daughter picked out the colors for this batch, she also created the photo set up and the watermark.
Friday, November 15, 2019
I originally thought I'd make this batch with a whipped white top but decided at the last minute just to add the gold eco glitter. I love the way it turned out! I finally found the perfect red mica for my soap. Yay!
I was thinking candy cane when I made this so I scented it with peppermint essential oil and then decided just red and white wasn't enough so I added a little green. It turned out better than I had imagined.
Sunday, March 4, 2018
Monday, November 30, 2015
I colored half of it with titanium dioxide and the other half using copper sparkle mica from Brambleberry. I'm not impressed with the way the TD appears in the soap but I like the copper sparkle mica.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
As for their Grape Nehi mica, that came out perfectly. A perfect purple that lasts. Also, their lavender essential oil has the truest and best scent of all those I have used from soap suppliers.
Mad Oils is definitely on my list of go-to shops for soap supplies.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
THANK YOU AMBER
THANK YOU NATALIE
THANK YOU CARRIE
THANK YOU HEIDI
THANK YOU DENISE
Thursday, July 7, 2011
After corresponding with a few chemists at the University of Minnesota and based on what I've learned from my professors at ACHS I'm finally more comfortable with the use of Titanium Dioxide in my soaps. I gave TD a try a couple times in the past several years but waited til I had some reliable info on it's safety. Of course, now I'm addicted to it. I love that it is so easy to use and gives such great color variation.
I'll be taking a little blog break now to do other things but will be back with more bee and soap pictures soon. HAPPY SUMMER EVERYONE!
Thursday, June 30, 2011
I am very happy to have some of the best soaping friends. Over the years we have managed to stay connected thanks to blogging, facebook and email, plus come together for the occasional soap swap. Some of us have met in person and some have yet to do so but I feel fortunate to be linked to such a great group of women. This time around we are swapping a soap of any color, fragrance, packaging, etc... so I am busy making soap, trying to decide which scent & design of soap I will settle on. Cannot wait to see what my creative friends come up with and then of course to post pictures of all the goodies here :)
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Here it is: CLICK HERE
This is what it looks like:
I couldn't fit the entire image on my screen, but there is a section below for extra notes.
The temp for mixing section I still use. It originally was used to keep track of the temps at which I combined lye/oil/water but now I use the heat transfer method so I use it to keep track of the temp I include essential oils (yes, there is a reason for that).
Why do I keep track of the weather. Once upon a time I learned from another soapmaker, with far more experience than I, that the temp outside could effect soap. I had a string of bad batches that had to do with outside temp. LONG STORY!
Saturday, December 4, 2010
My dear friend Carrie over at Under the Willow Gifts makes the most awesome products that each year or throughout I always need to get my hands on some. I can't blog about what I purchased too much right now as I've ordered these for Christmas gifts and the recipients read this blog but I couldn't contain my excitement so I wanted to say at least this...
If anyone is looking for high quality handmade body products filled with at heart and soul, wrapped up in the most creative, adorable fashion, then shop at Under the Willow Gifts. Carrie, the owner, has experience and knowledge to create the best products and I am very excited to share her creations again this year.
Thank you Carrie for the extra goodies! My kids immediately noted that there were 3 small lipbalms for little hands and one large one for momma :) Middy wants you to know that she loves how creamy soft your lip balm is.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
After recently sitting through an investment meeting where I acquired a bit more knowledge on green energy and socially conscious investments I've learned something new that doesn't sit well with me. Although I heard the rumors it is only now that I've taken a good look.
The RSPO that so many of us soap makers have come to depend on just isn't what it appears to be. For those of you who may not know, the RSPO is the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is a global, multi-stakeholder initiative on sustainable palm oil. Members and participants in its activities come from many different backgrounds and include environmental NGOs, banks and investors, growers, processors, manufacturers and retailers of palm oil products and social NGOs. They come from many countries that produce or use palm oil. The principal objective of the RSPO is “to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil through co-operation within the supply chain and open dialogue between its stakeholders.”
From what most of us have heard and read, buying palm oil from members of the RSPO appeared to be a good thing. For those of us who try and live environmentally conscious lives anyway. I certainly didn't want to have a hand in the destruction of the rainforest, the disappearance of Sumatran tigers and elephants, or the useless slaughter of orangutan. Instead of just focussing on finding a soap recipe I loved that didn't include palm oil I opted for the alternative, which was to buy palm oil supplied by a member of the RSPO. On the surface the RSPO seems great but the truth is always hidden underneath.
What is “sustained destruction”? Is unsustained destruction OK? And who is to determine “the interests of people in the regions”? Human rights NGOs in Indonesia have been swift to note that some companies that have obtained the RSPO seal of approval “are involved in unresolved conflicts with local communities” over land. There will be battles ahead. But nobody said sustainability was an easy concept. And debate about its meaning can, of itself, be part of the solution. CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE
Per the net, I've found these articles to shed some light on this subject for you. I could spend a lot of time typing up what most people will never read so if you are interested in this topic I suggest you not take my word for it but look deeper. Make some calls, you might be surprised at what you learn.
Despite RSPO certification, deforestation, deep peat conversion, land disputes and illegal practices continue to occur in the plantation estates owned by Cargill, Sinar Mas, and Duta Palma – all of whom are RSPO members. The RSPO is failing to enforce its own minimal principles and criteria and is not taking action on grievances filed by communities affected by RSPO members. The RSPO must revise its principles and criteria to adequately protect forests, communities and the climate by implementing a moratorium on forest and peatland conversion and by promoting the rights of smallholders and affected communities.
FULL ARTICLE HERE
As for me. I have one gallon of palm oil left in my cupboard (yup, RSPO) but it will definitely be my last until I learn from sources that I trust that harvest and production of palm oil has truthfully moved in the direction of sustainability. If that is never than I guess I will never buy palm oil again.
Ultimately the best incentive for credible RSPO is consumer demand. If consumers demonstrate with their wallets that they want credible eco-friendly palm oil, the palm oil industry will provide it. The cost of "greener" palm oil is not high — especially for buyers in rich countries. A paper I published in January with Lian Pin Koh found that the average American consumer would need to spend an extra 40 cents per year to cover the cost of switching from his or her annual consumption of palm oil from conventional to certified sources. Thus consumers have the power to change the industry. RSPO FALLING SHORT
THE OTHER OIL SPILL
IS THE RSPO REALLY LOOKING OUT FOR SMALL FARMERS?
FAILURES AND UNANSWERED QUESTIONS AT THE RSPO
RSPO ATTACKED ON MANY FRONTS
DECLARATION AGAINST GREENWASHING SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL
NO SUCH THING AS SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL