I know it has been a long time but my life hasn’t been that exciting of late. My cooking, in particular, has left a lot to be desired. Oh, well, at least, I have been making soap.
The top photo is my latest effort. They are in preparation for Christmas. To make these was way harder than I thought it would be. I found the mould at an Op shop. I thought about how I was going to make them for ages before I tried. Alas, it didn’t go to plan. I decided to press fresh red soap into the berry grooves, green into the leaf grooves and white for the custard. I then poured the brown. That was fine in theory but it didn’t work in practice. When I tried to unmould the soaps, the red and green stayed behind and, in some cases, so did the white. I had to patch up the white and remould the red and green bits separately and then stick them on. I will have to re-evaluate my technique if I decide to make them again.
The brown part is lumpy and spotty because I was trying to make it look like real plum puddings and … I think they do, although, they would probably be cuter if they were a little less realistic.
Because I am making all this soap, I have to sell it so I had another stall – this time, the Bridgetown Winter Craft Fair. It was a good day. The best I have had when it comes to soap sales (nothing beats passionfruit sales). I really don’t know why it was so successful. Each market is different. It is really hard to work out what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. This time, there weren’t so many little girls with purses … more grandmas.
Grandmas are not as predictable as little girls. You just never know what is going to be popular. I sold all the Shauns (and I was worried I wouldn’t sell any), most of the animal faces, lots of watermelon soap and, interestingly, a lot of the lemon and rosemary soap. Overall, I do think the novelty soaps were the most popular but they are so time consuming to make.
This is my new thing. They are scented wax blocks to put in your drawers and wardrobes. I made three varieties, lavender and clove to keep the moths at bay and rose just to smell nice. And, they sold like hot cakes. They are all gone so I am going to make some more. My idea was to max out the scent, making it nice and strong. Some fragrances in soaps are not particularly strong because they do not survive the saponification process. With the wax blocks, there was no chemical reaction so the scent should be stronger. I wanted some for our wardrobe but I was not quick enough. I will definitely be making more. I might even make a lemon one for the pantry.
Now for some of my latest soaps.
I am really happy with this design, Berry Delight. It is a lovely swirled soap with piped ‘cream’ and melt and pour berries on top. I really like it. This one is a keeper.
This is Cherry Ripe. It is a plain soap bar with a cherry motif. I was going to do a white soap with white flowers but I soon realised it would look a bit boring so I ditched the white flowers and went with a more colourful design. I am pretty confident this will be a once off.
This is my first try at making a facial soap. I have been thinking about making a facial soap for ages because I have very dry skin and I wanted a nourishing soap.
I reduced the amount of coconut oil (a cleansing oil) and added lanolin for additional nourishment. Lanolin is not an oil but a wax so it does not saponify. I have sampled the soap and it does feel gorgeous but I still find it a bit drying for my face. I will try again.
There is no colour in this soap. The grey is charcoal and the pink/orange is pink French kaolin. French Kaolin, is a very mild clay. According to the sales spiel, it is not particularly drawing, which makes it suitable for dry and sensitive skin. Activated charcoal is claimed to have many properties, including a detoxicant. I honestly don’t know if it makes a difference but I thought I would give it a bash.
I called this soap Quivers ‘n’ Slivers. I really was just playing about with this soap. The colour is from some red mica I had recently bought and wanted to try. I had no idea how it was going to turn out but I like it. The fragrance is Fresh Snow, one of my favourite fragrances, so it not only looks good but smells fabulous.
Lastly, another batch of my cappuccino soap. It smells divine (if you are a coffee lover, which I am). The ‘coffee beans’ and the ‘cinnamon stick’ are made from soap – cool, hey? It is one of my most popular designs.