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Exactly 4 weeks ago, I set out to make my very first swirl soap using rose-colored kaolin clay. I was beyond excited and could barely wait until TODAY. Today is the exact day that the soaps became fully cured and ready for use. Today is the day I got to try my new swirl soap. Did it lather? Oh yes it sure did quite a bit! Does it seem moisturizing enough considering the clay content? Again a definite yes! I think by mixing the clay with avocado oil before introducing it into the soap really helps to boost the moisture content. Does the multiple essential oil blend smell great? It’s wonderful, woodsy, uplifting, and bright! In fact, when I tried this new soap today, my husband was home and nearby. I tried the soap, decided it was pretty awesome, and said to my husband, “Here try this” and handed him the soap. About 60 seconds later he was saying, “I like this soap; it’s manly.” I consider that a big compliment.

The swirl part was one area I know I can improve. I ended up with a really wonderful soap full of ridiculous lather and gorgeous essential oil scents, but the swirl was not so very swirly. Next time I will more aggressively blend the swirl of the rose-colored kaolin clay into the plain colored soap.

I should mention the wonderful aromatic of this soap. I made a blend of litsea essential oil, patchouli essential oil, lavender essential oil, and lemon essential oil. The result is a gorgeous, rich, full, woodsy lemon aromatic. It is bright and uplifting. I have made this soap before, just without the swirl. Every time men get to sniff this soap, they tend to really like it. My husband is a big fan of this aromatic.

If you are wondering what litsea is, it is very similar to lemon essential oil but more intense and woodsy. Litsea grows usually as a tree but sometimes a large shrub. It produces small, inedible fruits that contain a lot of the litsea essential oil. I believe they also utilize the leaves to get the essential oil of litsea, too. It holds better in cold process soaps than lemon essential oil does as it has more staying power due to its full, rich, earthy scent.

I love litsea and I really love this soap! Next time, more swirls! Next up on my agenda for new soaps is an interesting new one; sea clay swirled green man soap! I am excited for that one! Here is my swirled lemon chiffon soap available for sale:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/119723426/lemon-chiffon-swirl-soap-eco-friendly


I became intensely inspired and determined to make a swirl soap. I used my own recipe for making the soap and modified it slightly to incorporate the swirling in of some natural rose-colored kaolin clay which is great for the skin. The aromatic blend I selected for this soap is very interesting, uplifting, and fresh. I used four essential oils and they make quite a wonderful aromatherapy blend when combined. The first one is Litsea, a very intense essential oil that smells like concentrated lemon zest. Litsea Cubeba is an evergreen shrub or small tree with lemon-scented leaves and small, pepper-like fruit. Litsea’s flowers, leaves, and fruit are used to extract the essential oil. The second was patchouli, a very woodsy, outdoorsy scent from the patchouli plant. Patchouli is also a shrub but it is a deciduous herb in which the leaves are used for the aromatic essential oil. Then I used a little bit of lavender essential oil and finished it up with some lemon essential oil. Lavender essential oil is steam distilled from the lavender plant’s flowers and leaves. Lemon essential oil is of course extracted from lemon trees. The resulting combination of essential oils is what my husband likes to call “Man Soap” but I was thinking perhaps I might call it “Greenman Soap” instead. It is like a woodsy, earthy, and bright lemon aromatic. I really love this soap! It will be available for sale after it is finished curing for 4 weeks. Made on December 10th, it will be ready by my birthday on January 7th! What a great birthday gift! I can hardly wait to use this one!

swirled


We have just started selling my soaps!  So far, so good!  We sold a bunch at our latest craft show, and some more to other people here and there.

My new soap is scented like Almonds and it smells so lovely!  Here is the loaf of soap I made before I cut it into individual bars…

And here it is getting cut into bars…

This batch will now have to sit on my drying racks and cure and dry for about 4 weeks to 6 weeks.  It will be ready for our next festival / show on May 19th called Green on the Green in Worthington, OH.

Hope to see many of you there!

For our latest listing of what craft shows we will be at, please go to:  http://www.craftybynaturestudio.com/Upcoming_Shows.html

Have a creative & crafty day!


Making soap is rewarding, exhilerating, exciting, and somehow slightly addictive.  First batch and second batch are still curing and drying on their racks as they will need to continue for about one month up to six weeks before being fully ready.

The first batch I made was Lemon Litsea Poppyseed.  “What’s Litsea?” everyone immediately asks me.  It is a very strongly citrus scent produced by a Litsea tree’s fruit.  It smells very lemonlike, yet even more intense than lemon essential oil.

My second batch was Tangerine Ginger soap.  It is a nice deep orange color from the tangerine essential oil plus my addition of apricot seed powder to give it an exfoliating quality.  I cannot wait to try this one with its wonderful scrubbing and exfoliating apricot seed beads and its lovely tangerine essential oil scent!

Then the most recent batch was SUPER Peppermint!  In fact, I am thinking I may have miscalculated how strong Peppermint Essential Oil really is, making our entire home strongly scented of Peppermint.  So refreshing though!

I may have to possibly “cut” the peppermint batch into another plain batch so it is not quite so strong on the nose!  Wow!  I will have to ask my soap mentor, Michelle Blackwood, what she thinks about this.

Super Peppermint Soap

Finally, one of my readers had made a request to see me “all suited up” in my goggles, waterproof apron, & rubber gloves up to my elbows in preparation for soapmaking.  This was taken while I was in process of making my second batch of soap just over a week ago.  You have to prevent getting lye in your eye so you don’t suffer eye damage, you must not breathe the fumes for possible lung damage can occur, and you must also avoid getting any lye or lye water on the skin as well to avoid burns.  Thus the full-on suiting up!  With the right precautions, it is very safe and fun to make soap.  You just have to learn a lot about it before diving in, and take the precautions needed, and then it will work out great!

For the love of Lye (I am holding lye water solution)

Soapmaker Model

Yes I am a soapmaker model.  I make soap and I now model my ridiculous outfits and goggles for all the world to see.

I am winking at the camera.  I love it!

My soaps will be available for sale beginning March 15!

Check my website for them to pop up for sale (right before St Patrick’s Day!):
www.craftybynaturestudio.com

www.craftybynaturestudio.etsy.com


After much research, reading several books, and travelling all the way to Rapidan, Virginia to train with a soap maker, I finally made cold process soap all by myself!  Once I wrote and rewrote my own soap recipe and ran it through a soap calculator online (google soap calc to find one), I finally have my recipe written so yesterday I set aside 2 hours to make my very first soap!  I began by combining the liquid oils into a huge stainless steel pot.  I added all the solid oils such as coconut oil and cocoa butter, into a double boiler to melt them.  I headed out to the garage with my distilled water, suited up in my rubber gloves, apron, and goggles, and fetched the proper amount of Sodium Hydroxide (lye) to add to the water.  Never shall I add the lye to the water indoors, for the fumes are extensive and they burn your lungs should you breathe them.  So outdoors is the place to incorporate the lye into the water.  The cold, distilled water rapidly within mere seconds will turn up to about 200 degrees fahrenheit from the chemical reaction between the water and lye.  It is intense, and it warrants repeating – don’t do this inside your home unless you want lung damage.  I looked like a soap astronaut all suited up in my goggles, apron, and rubber gloves up past my elbows.  But I was READY for this! 

After the lye water cools down to about lukewarm, it is a good time to add it to the oils, and so I did.  I used my new favorite appliance, a stick blender, to quickly bring the soap “to trace.”  Trace, is a wonderful phenonenon when your soap becomes just thick enough to add the essential oils, superfat it with shea and vitamin E oil, and to then pour it into the mold.  I decided on a massive loaf shaped mold, about 15 inches long.  It yields 15 soap bars assuming you slice them 1 inch thick as is customary.  After pouring them into the mold, you must let them sit in the mold for about 18 hours minimum.  I couldn’t wait, to be honest.  I pryed and pulled my soap out of the mold at hour 17.  Admittedly, it was still a bit soft, and some of it broke off from sticking to the mold too well.  Next time, I think I will line my mold even though the maker of the mold says it is a liner-free mold.  I think the one place it really stuck was the bottom or floor of the mold.  The rest was wonderful and didn’t stick.

This morning I awoke as if it were the best Christmas morning ever.  It was the morning to slice my soap into bars after carefully pulling it out from the mold.  I was in seventh heaven slicing my very own soap with the soap miter box slicer I picked up online.  All in all, my very first soap making went extraordinarily wonderful and I think I can barely contain my eagerness and excitement to make my next batch!

This first batch is a lovely Lemon Poppyseed, using only all natural ingredients that are vegan-friendly and scented with only pure,  essential oils of Lemon and Litsea  Litsea is a lovely plant that has a very citrus forward scent with notes of evergreen in the background.  It is the freshest of all citrus scents in my opinion and a very welcome addition to Lemon.

These and more soaps will be available for sale after their curing time which is between 4 to 6 weeks.  

logs of soap in the molds
 

Slicin' Soap!

 

here are my first soap bars!

 
 

soap bars drying on the drying rack!