Showing posts with label soap. Show all posts
Showing posts with label soap. Show all posts

Monday, September 28, 2020

TIME FOR AUTUMN SOAPMAKING!

It's that time of year again. I love Halloween and autumn, it's  my favorite time of year.  My first batch of soap is Halloween Harvest, scented with Bramble Berry's pumpkin souffle, my favorite pumpkin fragrance oil. I used Van Yulay's cute little jack-o-lantern soap mold. 



 

Friday, August 14, 2020

ANOTHER REVIEW - BRAMBLE BERRY LYE

On May 17, 2020 I purchased more lye from Bramble Berry. I've not had very good luck with their lye lately, hit and miss on whether it ruins my soap recipe. It took a long time for me to figure out what the problem was because the problem was so inconsistent so this time I purchased a brand new container of lye and this is the result after mixing the lye and distilled water and of course my tried and true recipe came out soft!!


Lye should never be this weak. Even Bramble Berry admits this on their website.

https://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/tips-and-tricks/expired-lye/

I've had terrible luck with Bramble Berry products lately and considering I've been buying from them since 2007 it is really a shame to have this experience. All of the fall scents I purchased also smell very weak for the first time EVER and I'm hoping that is not the case when I make soap and candles with them.

I definitely won't be purchasing lye or silicone molds from them again in the future, I'll post about the fragrances in a couple weeks. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

PRODUCT REVIEWS - BUYER BEWARE

 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

LOVING THE JOJOBA BEADS

I made some yummy scented peach soap a couple days ago and added some jojoba beads to the top. It turned out beautifully. The color is perfect, the scent is to die for, and the design is exactly what I wanted.

Here is the soap


Here is a close-up of the tiny jojoba beads


Tuesday, May 26, 2020

PRODUCT REVIEW

I made several batches of soap recently and was really pleased with the fragrances so I wanted to share my thoughts here.  All FOs are from Bramble Berry.


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

RASPBERRY TRUFFLE SOAP

My latest creation: raspberry truffle soap. I purchased this fragrance from Bramble Berry. It soaped up beautifully. No ricing, no acceleration. The chocolate scent is much stronger than the raspberry which comes through lightly. I love the way the colors and berries came out also. I was nervous at first since the FO was suppose to color the soap brown but initially it looked like a mustard color. After a couple days it became the brown you see in the pic.


Thursday, February 27, 2020

MORE SOAP AND PRODUCT REVIEWS

The last batch of soaps I made were for Valentines Day.  I used grapefruit lily and baby rose fragrance oils from Brambleberry. Both smell amazing but the baby rose is to die for. Smells exactly like the rose bush I have in the garden. I also used the Brambleberry heart silicone mold for the first time. It is super easy to use and comes out perfect!

I am disappointed in the soap cutter I purchased. I bought my first wire cutter and I am not liking the result. It has nothing to do with the cutter itself, that was built perfectly and works very well, it is the little bumps it leaves on my soap which I've read is caused by air bubbles. If I cut the "old" way those bumps don't appear, it is only with the wire cutter which I've also read is very common. 

You can see the bumps in the soaps below.

I'll be making some changes with the next batch to see if it prevents this problem when cutting with the wire.




Sunday, January 12, 2020

HOLIDAY SOAPS WERE A HIT

Over the holidays I made a nice variety of soaps with fragrance oils from Brambleberry.  They were well received! Here they are:


Sunday, November 17, 2019

MORE HOLIDAY SOAPS!

Made another batch of soap for the holidays. This one is scented with sugar plum fairy fragrance from Brambleberry. Smells so good. I’ve used this FO many times in whipped bath butter and everyone likes it so I decided to use it this time around in soap.

My daughter picked out the colors for this batch, she also created the photo set up and the watermark.



Friday, November 15, 2019

TIME FOR CHRISTMAS SOAPS

After a bit of a rough 2019 with health issues and then surgery things are finally starting to look better. I guess my astrology chart was right! I had a reading back in late August and the astrologer said that things would start to improve in November. Thought I'd never get here but here I am :-) Much better and finally able to make some soap again just in time for Christmas.

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

COFFEE SOAP

I made a batch of coffee soap today scented with Bramble Berry espresso fragrance oil.  Smells just like a cup of fresh brewed coffee in the morning. Yum!!


Monday, November 30, 2015

PUMPKIN SOAP

I recently made some pumpkin soap using pumpkin puree for the first time. It turned out great!

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

SHORT REVIEW ON MAD OILS

I placed my first order from Mad Oils recently; love the fast shipping, the personal touch "thank you" gift with FO sample and the quality of their essential oils and micas.  Unfortunately, after using their Lemon Cupcake mica my cp soap ended up looking a little orange instead of yellow :(  Their website says it isn't unusual to end up with orange the first 24 hours but it has been 2 weeks and it is still more orange than yellow.  Their micas do mix up nice and smooth in the raw soap though, better than other suppliers I have used.  I'll try using the yellow again in another recipe, this time with a different essential oil, and see how it turns out.

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

SOAP SWAP REPORT

I received the most awesome bars of soap and a bag of natural laundry soap in the latest swap. There was no theme, just a deadline. We swapped out on Sept. 1st. After years of smelling EO's and FO's I must say that this latest swap was full of the most fabulous scents EVER! Thank you ladies for your friendship and continuing to share your creativity year to year :) I can't wait to use everything!!



THANK YOU AMBER

THANK YOU NATALIE

THANK YOU CARRIE

THANK YOU HEIDI

THANK YOU DENISE

Thursday, July 7, 2011

SOAP!

I've been so obsessed with my bees lately I haven't said much about soap. So, here is a picture of one batch. I have many more to come. Trying to use up all the supplies over the summer and then take a soaping break for a while.




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

TIME FOR ANOTHER SOAP SWAP


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 :)
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

SOAPMAKING JOURNAL

A couple years ago I posted a page from my soap making journal for others in case anyone keeps track of their recipes and experience. I thought I'd resurrect that post in case others are interested in keeping track of their recipes and experiences with soapmaking without the hassle of drawing up your own journal.

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

UNDER THE WILLOW GIFTS


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.
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL

Sun in Palm Tree Leaves, Los Angeles/Santa Monica, United States
This travel blog photo's source is TravelPod page: Grown Man


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

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

TROUBLESHOOTING SOAP DISASTER



I have been making soap for several years now and I thought I'd seen or heard of everything in the soap world but yesterday I uncovered a batch of soap and was surprised at what I saw. The soap had pulled away from the edges of the mold and turned almost rock solid. It reminds me of chocolate bark, the kind with the almonds in it. The soap isnt caustic, I can wash with it and it feels soft on my skin but it is hard hard hard. It can't be cut. I attempted to cut with my circle cutter and the soap split and the edges crumbled. Anyone know what happened?
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