Wednesday, December 21, 2011

To Market, To Market......

I had a wonderful day at Hamilton Clocktower Markets recently in the run up to Christmas.  I will be there on Christmas Eve Saturday too, so if you are in the area, please drop by and say hello!

You can see my new (to me) soy wax melts for tart warmers and oil burners in the above pic.  I have had so much fun making these!  I used both the clamshell moulds/containers and also fluted tart moulds in order to create a stack of melts that, from a distance, looks a little like a christmas

Writing my blog is fun but it wouldn't be worthwhile without YOU ~ thank you for taking the time to read and look at my pictures.  If you have left comments, thank you for that too.

Have a wonderful Festive Season and if we don't catch up here again before January, have an awesome New Year! xxx

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Very 'Beachy' Christmas.....

Here in Australia we celebrate Christmas during a long, hot and often humid summer.  Many of my fondest Christmas memories from my childhood and teen years centre around day trips to the beach... the waves rolling rhythmically onto the sand; my sun-warmed beach towel underneath me; heated body cooled while eating an orange ice-block (icypole); suntan oil liberally spread...

Let me introduce you to 'Beach Christmas' soap.  Each layer has a different scent which, when sniffed, take me back to those lazy summer days... ahhhhh...

The painting in the last picture was my inspiration for the colour and look of the top two layers.  It was painted by my uncle and given to me as a fantastic 50th birthday present for my last birthday <3 

What nostalgic scents come to mind for you when you think of Christmas?  I would love to know!

Have an awesome day *smile*

Monday, November 14, 2011

Merry Berry and Citrus Spice ... Getting in the Christmas Groove!

As with many soapers, food seems to be a catalyst for several of my creations.  I am very partial to food-type scents and decided to play with blending fragances just for Christmas.

Merry Berry has a custom fragrance blend of berries, wild currant, fig, citrus, sandalwood, musk and vanilla ~ with juicy berries and citrus being the most noticeable part.  It makes my mouth water to sniff it!  Some opal white and Christmas red glitters set it off nicely.


Citrus Spice has Australian red clay, with just a titch of ground nutmeg added and a little cinnamon essential oil, swirled through a white soap.  The white is scented with a fresh and mouthwatering tropical citrus blend ~ yummy!  Of course, being a Christmas-themed soap I did have to add glitter *wink*

Stay tuned for a few more 'just for Christmas' soaps to come!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Trees and Stars.....

My first batch of Christmas soaps turned out just as I expected.  This is hardly surprising, as they are simply creamy white soap made with one of my favourite oil blends ~ olive, coconut, soybean and shea butter. With red or green embeds and sparkly glitter (have to have glitter on Christmas soap!) they look elegant, yet festive.

These are scented with Bramble Berry's 'Fresh Snow' fragrance oil ~ designed to mimic the feeling of peace and tranquility after a fresh snow fall.  I really love this scent and it soaps beautifully.

Thank you for looking!  Have a wonderful day *smile*

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Latest Soapies......

Back in June I mentioned here that I would share a pic of my Lime Fusion beer soap, made with my Dad's homebrew.  So sorry for the delay but I sold it all before I could photograph it!  I recently made it again so here it is before it is all gone again!

With its label, named for my Dad...

I also made a yummy Oatmeal Stout beer soap, fragranced with Bramble Berry's gorgeous scent.  It smells like Anzac biscuits warm from the oven with extra spice and orange zest.  This one set up quite quickly so it does look a little rustic, which I think suits it very well.  It looks like baked goods rather than soap *grin*

The last one I want to show you is my new look Heavenly Hibiscus.  
Here it is in its first incarnation...

And here is the updated look...

I chose the purple to match my lovely native hibiscus which is flowering right now.  Not quite a match yet still a gorgeous purple...

Have a lovely day! *smile*

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Soaping For a Friend.......

Tonight my post is about a challenging time in a good friend's life.  In September she found out she has Islet Cell cancer, also called pancreatic endocrine neoplasm tumor ~ the same type of cancer that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had.  Luckily, hers was found in its very early stages during a scan taken for other medical reasons.  Most pancreatic cancers are not diagnosed until symptoms eventuate and this is often too late for a successful cure.  My friend recently had surgery to remove the growth at the Mayo Clinic and should make a full recovery now ~ hallelujah!  This procedure has not been without its complications, however she now has the all clear to travel home.

I, along with many others from our soaping forum, created a new soap to send to her as a 'get well' gift.  This new soap was not without its challenges, setting up much too quickly for the finished effect I was going  However I am still pleased with the result and a bar will be winging its way to the US very soon.

I have called it 'Mystique' aka 'Krissy's Dream'.  Scented with a mysterious fragrance ~ wafting from ancient sacred spaces, filled with the aromatic scents of a romantic time past ~ an enlightened blend of juniper, earthy patchouli, musky oakmoss and rich vanilla; rose geranium and jasmine weave throughout to give an uplifting sweet note.
I added moisturising buttermilk, silk and a generous amount of organic cocoa butter for extra luscious lather...

For you Krissy!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

I Love My New Impression Mats.....

I received a lovely parcel from a treasured online soaping friend last week.  Two fondant mats with floral impressions on them to line my slab moulds ~ thank you Monet!  I am always looking for new ways to feed my soaping obsession and these mats have been sooo much fun to soap with.
Here is the first soap I made in my slab mould using the vines impression mat. 'Honeysuckle Dreams' soap, scented with a lovely (and realistic) fragrance oil and coloured with just a titch of lemon pop mica ~
Next I had to try the daisy patterned one in a log mould.  Here is my new version of 'Heavenly Silk' soap, scented with a blend of may chang and lavender essential oils and coloured with Australian yellow clay.  The true colour is most like this first photo ~

Now I am searching online to find more pretty impression mats to soap with!  Have a wonderful day *smile*

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Reliving the 70s....

I am sitting at my computer, glass of wine in hand, having a blast listening to YouTube videos from my teenage past.  Music gives me  

I have always loved music and dancing for as long as I can remember and it has been soooo much fun to play all these awesome songs that made me happy!  Here is one I will share as I am sure even my younger readers will know it from a cover on the movie Shrek...


Oh, and for those of you who came here looking for soapy pics, here is one of my favourites to share with you from 2009 - Denim & Lace (named in honour of a 70s song)...

Have an awesome day :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

I Won Something! *jumping up and down* .....

I logged onto my email this morning (Aussie time) and found a comment on my last blog post that made my eyes pop out even better than my morning dose of strong black espresso did!  I received  *dun dun dahhhhh*

The Versatile Blogger Award 

from the lovely Ayu of Tokyo Factory - Handmade Soap.  Thank you so much!!!  I wish I could nominate you right back.  Here is her Etsy store for you to visit ~ Tokyo Factory Store.

The rules of the Versatile Blogger Award are:

1 – Make a post and link it back to the person who gave you the award
 (and include their website address)
2 – Share 7 random things about yourself
3 – Award 7 recently discovered bloggers with this award and 
contact them to let them know they have won. here are 7 random things about me ~

1)    I finished high school in 1978 and failed maths in my Higher School Certificate ..... and ended up attending a College course years later to become an accountant. I still don't 'get' maths - but I am VERY good at triple checking things.

2)    I love making my own cakes from scratch. Especially my sour cream chocolate cake - yum!

3)    I have a habit of talking to myself...well, it helps keep me on track and lets me know what I am thinking (lol).

4)    I didn't grow hair until I was almost 2 years old. 
I didn't cut teeth until fairly late there a theme happening here...?

5)    I taught myself to read by the time I was 2 - okay all that concentrating on learning must have slowed down my other developmental milestones ..... hehehehe ;)

6)    My current favourite thing to do is make handmade soap. The best thing about something like this to be passionate about is that passion is contagious....and now people want to buy my soap! How awesome.  Okay, that is probably not very random so; 
6a)  The hospital wing where I was born is now a mental hospital.  The church I was confirmed in is in a mental hospital......

7)    I married the love of my life 28 years ago and we have three gorgeous, happy, loving children who are all teens at present....okay, so they are not ALWAYS happy and loving! Just mostly.

There are so many wonderful blogs I read that I would pass on this award to in a heartbeat, however following the rules I must gift it to recently discovered blogs.  My awards go to ~

1-  Briny Bar Soap
2-  The Soap Sister
3-  NaKIN soap blog
4-  soap, soup and everthing in between
5-  A Life Deliberate Soap Co 
6-  Artisan Soaps
     (although I have followed Clear for a long time she has only recently come back to blogging).
7-  BIRCHseed - printed by hand ~ a non-soaping blog *gasp!* by a wonderful lady who inspires my soaping with her functional artwork.

Have an awesome day everyone and take care!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

To Market, To Market.....

I had fun on Sunday being a vendor at the lovely Poppyseed Markets.  The next one in our area will be held on 20th November and I am excited about it being held so close to Christmas!  Just imagine all the lovely Christmas themed soapies I can create for it *smile*

Poppyseed Markets are a showcase for handmade artisan goods and I was so pleased to be accepted for this one.  I got focused on setting up my table and forgot to take pics at the start.  Luckily there was enough time during a lull later in the day for me to grab my camera and snap a few ~ so here is my table (the pics are clickable to bring up a larger view)....

Friday, June 3, 2011

Bottle o'Suds.....

"All I ask is three beers apiece for each of my co-workers...I think a man workin' outdoors feels more like a man if he can have a bottle of suds. That's only my opinion." ~ quote from the movie Shawshank Redemption.

Beer anyone? 

I have been moved to jump on the beer soap bandwagon.  Why?  
Well, I'll tell you.....

My father makes a good home-brewed beer and occasionally a batch will develop a taste that isn't to his liking.  Early on, when he was still fairly new to brewing, he put a batch aside in the hope it would develop a nicer flavour with age.  Now he just pours it away.  

One day I mentioned to him that several of my soaper friends were using beer as their soaping liquid and I was thinking of trying it, especially as one of my favourite suppliers had just started stocking some of Bramble Berry's beer soaping fragrances.  He got a faraway look in his eyes and disappeared into his brewing den aka garage.  When he reappeared he was holding several bottles of pale ale with the date April 02 on the cap.  Gasp!  Vintage (tainted)  I grabbed them and of course had to taste test before using in my soap because they may have aged well, right?  Wrong ~ blechh!!!

Anyway it is perfect for beer soap and I have made several batches of cold process as well as a batch of beer shaving cream soap.  Using flat beer in soap seems to boost the fluffiness of the lather ... always a good thing in my opinion:~

Definitely aged well ;)

Honey Ale scented

Pumpkin Lager scented

Beer Shaving Cream Soap

I have also made a Lime Fusion beer cold process soap using Sandalwood fragrance oil blended with Lime essential oil as the scent.  Pics of this one will be coming soon!  These soaps will be ready for purchase after 18th June and you will find them on my Facebook page.

Have a wonderful day *smile*

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mothers Day Soaps (Australia)....

In Australia Mothers Day is the second Sunday in May and I have been creating lovely, feminine soaps - some old, some new - to celebrate.

Sweetpea Delight has a new colour palette and a re-worked recipe.  
I previously used rice bran oil in this, however that oil tends to accelerate trace in my soap and together with a floral fragrance oil I found myself portraying a 'crazy soaping lady' every time I made  A soaping friend recommended soybean oil to me and once I tried it I fell in love!  I now use a blend of olive, coconut and soybean oils with shea butter for my floral soap range.  Rice bran oil is amazing in soap and body care so I use it in practically everything else I make still.  I use one of my very favourite fragrance oils from Bramble Berry, Sweet Pea, in this soap as it truly reminds me of all that a Mother is.  In Australia I source my Bramble Berry high quality fragrance oils from Jude and Dave at Aussie Soap Supplies.

Here is a new soap created for Mothers Day that will become part of my current range - Rice Flower & Shea.  I love the soft, powdery and buttery scent of this gorgeous fragrance oil and although it does slightly darken during cure (the creamy coloured top layer is perhaps one shade richer cream now) it looks wonderful with the lilac base layer and sparkly glitter on top.

'Opulence' is my buttermilk and shea recipe given a new look.  With that gorgeous gold glitter on top I couldn't call it anything else!  The scent I used in this soap has a rich almond scent with notes of cherry and buttermilk.  I plan on making this recipe in a few scent selections so I would love suggestions on what fragrance or essential oils you think would suit the rich look of this gorgeous soap *smile*

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New Soapies for Easter!

Hello everyone ~ I have been busy imagining and creating some fun Easter soaps in the past few weeks.  My first limited edition soap is called Easter Fun ... because it was so much fun to make!

I used a chocolately dessert scent in the base and blended two of my favourite fragrance oils for the creamy layer ~ black raspberry & vanilla with froot loops (type).  This smells soooo yummy!  Just like a chocolate box.  This pic doesn't show too clearly that I also added a lovely sprinkling of irridescent cosmetic glitter to the top.  Gotta love bling *smile*

This one is called Easter Flowers and is scented with black raspberry & vanilla fragrance; simple and pretty

You can find these and more on my Facebook page.  I have some new soaps as well as favourite re-makes curing on my shelves right now.  I have to stop myself making any more soap at the moment because, well .... I have no more room!

Stay tuned for some special creations to celebrate Mothers Day ~ and have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner......

....On March 17.  Named after St. Patrick, the most recognised of the patron saints of Ireland.  It has gradually become more of a celebration of Ireland's culture .... and the colour GREEN ~

Cucumber Wasabi Cilantro Soap

Deliciously Mine Soap

Although St. Patrick's Day is an official feast day, DO NOT eat the soap! *wink*

Both these soaps are available now, in plenty of time to order as a special green gift, or just to spoil yourself.  You can find them both here ~ Green Soaps ~ in honour of St. Patricks' Day Album.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I just read a Meaningful Story .....

..... at this link and it is just so true!!!

I love this story.  I am truly passionate about making soap, making it from scratch.  Devising my own recipes and waiting (impatiently!) to test them and test them some more later on...and again later on.  Changing my recipes and testing them again....and telling everyone who will listen (and sometimes even those who won't) all about it, all the time.  Am I crazy?  Absolutely!  Crazy about making and sharing handmade soap.  

And I love what other soapmakers do.  How can I not?  I also love sharing what other soapmakers are doing - and why not?  I don't make soap like Lyn of Lynnz Artisan Soap and Candles; I don't make soap like Tiggy of Future Primitive Soap; I don't make soap like Sharon of Platypus Dreams (although I sometimes dream about doing that, as her soaps are works of art);  I don't make soap like Madame Louise of The Soap Gallery.  I make soap like ME.  Of course, I am influenced by every one of them and by many, many others; all of whom make beautiful soap that is gentle to use and a pleasure to have.

Soap is my creative outlet and the only one I have ever had.  I discovered it only a few years ago and do you know how exciting it is to realise you can be creative?  I believed that I didn't have a creative bone in my body and that just wasn't true!  It is like my soul has awoken to the beauty around me and I am translating that beauty through the medium of soapmaking.  What a pleasure.  What a passion!

What are you passionate about?  In what way are you creative?  When did you realise it?  Have you always known?  Share your journey too.

And me?  I am off to make some more soap ~ Easter is coming! *smile*

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Soap Gallery and Madame Louise......

I love soap swaps!  It is just so much fun to send off a parcel to some exotic destination and receive one in return.  This time I was fortunate enough to get a bar of Chocolate Mint Bliss soap from the wonderful formulary of Madame Louise of The Soap Gallery, situated at Winnipeg, Manitoba in the heart of Canada.  Isn't it beautiful?!

I have just finished using the very last little piece of this and it lathered right down to the last sliver.  This one smelled of a yummy choc mint dessert and the scent really bloomed for me in the shower during use.  It had a creamy, velvety lather that lasted the whole shower long and left my skin feeling soft and smooth....lovely soap!  Thank you so much Louise *mwah!*

Friday, January 7, 2011

I'm In Love!

...with the most beautiful fragrance oil.  I have lots of favourites I must admit, however right now my absolute favourite is 'Be Delicious (DKNY type) fragrance oil from my supplier Big Trees.  The scent description says "Interpretation of the Donna Karan New York™ (Brand) fragrance. Fruity and vibrant, this fragrance is uplifting and mouthwatering - a compilation of green apple, grapefruit and white amber."  

I soaped this on Monday using one of my WSP silicone loaf moulds as a test.  I also made enough soap batter to fill my 3 new individual Bebe silicone soap moulds which I got as Christmas presents from my family.  I am so happy with how well the Bebe moulds worked with my recipe and how easy they were to unmould too.  

Here they are with the soap setting up in them~

And here are the soaps unmoulded ~

The soap loaf - not yet cut ~

I am calling this 'Deliciously Mine' and it is the first of my new range of mild soaps based on my Gentle Teddy oil blend, without the goats milk ~ a moisturising high olive oil soap with luxurious tussah silk for the silkiest lather.  I will be scenting these with a new range of sophisticated fragrances including 'Cucumber Wasabi Cilantro' as well as 'Passionflower & Acai Berry', 'Japanese Cherry Blossom' and 'Rice Flower & Shea'.

What is your favourite fragance?  I am definitely partial to sweet and fruity or light floral scents as well as almost all citrus *smile*

Have a wonderful weekend!