24 dic. 2011

23 dic. 2011

Mint and seaweed II

I ran out of mint and seaweed (a favorite amongst men) so I decided to follow Soap Queen's advice and cut it sideways instead of the normal way of cutting. I had to recalculate my formula so that I would only end up with soap that was 2" high - my usual is around 3.5". I successfully replicated the whole funnel soap process without any hiccups (hooray for me!!) and I actually wrapped towels around the mould this time. I usually don't, but my quality guy (a.k.a. husband) noted that I get a strange circle like decoloration in my soap...the center is usually a deeper color than the outsides. So I wrapped my soap to make sure I got a good heat all the way to the sides of the mould.

Anyways, it was a bit tricky to cut, especially down the middle, but the outcome was amazing!! I love the horseshoe pattern which was kinda lost in the other one. Although I did like the angels in the first one.

I like this so much I'm going to redo confidence as funnel soap.

I wish you all very Happy Holidays!!



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13 dic. 2011

Testing...testing...Blue colorant pictorial

I went to the produce/meat/ice cream store the other day (did I mention I live in a really small town?) and my daughter saw these really cool looking "vegetable" colorants. I of course could not stop myself and bought some...specially because of the bright blue one 
Red, green and blue vegetable colorants

And having read the Soapmaker's Companion book recently I remembered Susan had a nice one bar recipe I could follow to test it. So yesterday I set myself the challenge to thoroughly test the blue colorant which is the one the I want desperately
Me ready for action :)
I did three tests with an additional recipe for control.
First test: colorant in oils
Pre-coloring oils
Adding color (three 1/8 tsp)
Oils after adding color
Lye water added - emulsified stage
Trace :(
Not very blue :(
Test #2: colorant in lye water
Pre-mixing colorant in - changed to reddish brown as soon as it came in contact with lye
Colorant mixed in
Very similar results - colorant in lye is the one on the right, colorant in the oils is the one on the left
Test 3: Colorant at trace
Nice trace - I mixed in the colorant at this point
Completely different results - got a nice teal with blue sprinkles
Control bar: did this one to have a comparison point of just how white the resulting bar is
No color added to the bars on the right
I was pretty disappointed with the results, I couldn't get anywhere near to the original blue color. I did notice when washing the mixer and cups the lye mixture turned a nice blue color when it came in contact with the water. When the bars are cured I hope they do the same, it would be a cool marketing tool for the soap.

This morning I went to check my experiment and got a really pleasant surprise
Color morphed to a really pretty purple
The colorant in lye and colorant in oil bars turned a really pretty purple - a definite keeper!! Colorant at trace was not so pretty, it looked weird but nice also.
Colorant in lye
Colorant in oil
Colorant at trace - funky but nice/different
Control bars
When cured I'll test them out to see if they turn blue when wet.

Hope you've enjoyed, I did!!

9 dic. 2011

Product labeling video

Another video by me - yai!! this one is me labeling a bar of soap and a lip balm. Enjoy!


8 dic. 2011

New labels - again??

So yes...I did it again like the song says...it's just a few days before the next fair and I've decided to change the labels on ALL of my soaps. Am I crazy? Yes, quite possibly... it's the only explanation...but they do look cute :)

Here's a before and after pic... I think they look great and it allows the soap to breathe and people can pick it up and smell it without actually touching the soap.

We'll just have to see how customers like them. Do you?

xoxo Irene
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1 dic. 2011

Completely not soap related! First draft of my house!!

The architect came by Tuesday to present his first draft of our house. we thought it was exactly what we needed and wanted!! There are a few small modifications to make to the design, but overall it was dead on what we were thinking!! I can't wait to begin building it but I still have a long road ahead - banks, permits, contractors...the whole nine yards. But still...this is a very big step towards us having our dream home.
All images copyright of our dear architect Rafael Campos Arce.
Happy beginning of December!
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