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Beer Suds Soap

Beer Suds Soap

Beer Suds Soap, made with Great Lakes’ Edmund Fitzgerald Porter and ground up New Zealand Pacific Jade aromatic hops, combines the moisture-rich qualities of our soaps with the wonderful properties of beer. The next time you grab a beer to drink it, you might consider for one minute the possibility of applying it to your face instead. Then, you will likely drink it anyway. I don’t blame you! Well after a bit of research, we learned all about beer on your face. Here we go!

Beer applied to your skin can prevent free radical damage to the skin and assist it to look more youthful. Beer can also clear up your complexion, treat dry flakes, and make the skin smooth and supple thanks to the pantothenic acid and vitamin complex. The brewer’s yeast in beer is instrumental in the prevention of wrinkles and restoring the skin. Brewer’s yeast can also help improve the symptoms of acne by slowing down the sebum production and killing off the bacteria that trigger acne. Much like the antibacterial qualities of beer which fight acne, beer’s astringent component makes it useful for cleaning out pores. But that’s just the beer-ginning (beginning). We also added freshly ground hops into our soap as well! Hops just happen to be a stellar exfolliant and have anti-inflammatory properties which help soothe your skin gently. Hops boosts collagen and elastin levels which both improve skin’s structure and appearance. Humulone in hops can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin and decrease surface blood vessels. Overall, beer and hops together make an excellent skincare team!

Our Beer Suds Soap is full of rich, sudsy, creamy lather and since the hops and beer do not scent the soap very well, we have added a little bit of fresh cedarwood oil. Oh how we just adore the scent of cedar with its fresh cedar forest appeal.

So suds up! Beer Suds Soap is available at https://www.etsy.com/listing/183731834/beer-suds-soap-eco-friendly-and-natural?ref=shop_home_active_17

Our shop is always open, at http://www.etsy.com/shop/craftybynaturestudio

So next time you reach for that beer and are about to drink it, just think, “I might want this beer on my face!” And I know when no one is looking, you might just dab some onto your face just for giggles.

Beer Suds Soap

Beer Suds Soap

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Coming soon is the newly made Charcoal Soap with Patchouli-Vanilla Swirl, made with activated charcoal and a wee bit of plain soap swirled together. The activated charcoal comes from burnt coconut fibers and it helps to draw out impurities and toxins right out of your skin, leaving a clear and clean complexion. We always add extra moisturizing shea butter and aloe vera to each soap so it leaves your skin feeling renewed and lovely. Our soaps will never dry your skin because we cherish happy, moisturized skin! This is the 2nd time we have ever done a hanger swirl and we are quite pleased. We actually use a coat hanger to swirl the soap; imagine that! It works like a charm! It is so exciting to see the soap once it is cut into bars and you can see all the swirls. I’ll have to post more pictures of that soon, now that they are cut. For now, here is the big soap block right before I sliced it into bars.

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palmfreesoap

I did it. I thought it would be impossible but I made a rich, lathering, moisture-rich, sudsy, bubbly, and lovely soap that contains zero palm oil. Palm oil is a very delicate subject. It is both a soapmaker’s dream and their worst nightmare at the same time. Palm oil is ideal for making a very nice bar of soap. It is semi solid at room temperature and it is renowned for producing big, fluffy, wonderful lather. So what’s the problem? Well, if you are like I was up until recently, you might think people were nuts to not embrace palm oil. That was until I read the articles on NPR, Wikipedia, and countless other sources. To sum it up, palm oil harvesting involves chopping down mass quantities of perfectly healthy trees, never replanting them, destroying the land and displacing or killing endangered species like orangutans and Sumatran white tigers, releasing large quantities of carbon into the air, and furthering global warming. I will have no part in this dirty soapmaking now that I am fully aware of the true light of palm oil. Watch out for palm oil in some of your favorite packaged foods, too, as it is used far more widely in the food industry than it ever was in soap or cosmetics. Now we can all be proud to be clean AND green with palm oil free soaps! So it’s official: I have completely rewritten my soap recipe and I now completely exclude any palm oil from any of my products. Time to celebrate! The first soap I made palm free was my Lavender Orange, which is nearly sold out already. Pure Patchouli soap with ground oatmeal for extra soft skin and Lavender Fields soap also with oatmeal are ready on August 1, 2013. I will have to make more soaps this weekend, and practically every weekend for a good long while. Through using other soapmaker’s soaps that were palm-free, I thought it would never be possible to get a wonderfully fluffy lather without palm. I tried some soap from another soapmaker (no names will be mentioned ever) and it only produced slime when I washed my hands with it. SLIME! Absolutely no lather. My hopes were lost at first. But in the end, I tried my hardest to write a wonderful lathery soap recipe and it is really paying off. Goodbye, palm oil and hello big lather! Who knew? I am so very happy.


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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 just made more soaps of the Lemon Poppyseed variety and also the Almond Soap variety.  We also made two brand new soaps, a Vanilla Spice and a Coconut Soap.  They all are such a lovely aroma!

The Lemon Poppyseed and Almond soaps will be ready June 30.  The Vanilla Spice and Coconut Soap will be ready on July 8th.  All cold process artisan made soap must be cured for about 4 to 6 weeks time.  This allows the soap time to mellow a bit so it is not overly cleansing and also allows a lot of the water to escape from the soap.  The less water in a bar of soap, the longer it will last in your bath, sink, or shower.   No one wants their new soap to melt away after only a few uses, so the curing time is important.

Despite my knowledge about how important the curing time is for soap, it is not easy to wait the entire month or so for the soap to be ready.  I always feel like a kid on Christmas morning when it is the 4 to 6 week anniversary of the soap and it is ready to try!  I like to reserve a sliver of soap for me to try out of each batch I make just to ensure it is lathering enough, cleansing just right, and moisturizing so it leaves your skin oh so very soft and clean.

What is a wonderful artisan made soap without a proper soap dish?  So I decided while I am on the soap theme, I would make more wonderful soap dishes.  I actually had a lot of help this time from one of my part time assistants!  Together we made 12 new and wonderful soap dishes, most of which have leaf impressions from various local plants and trees.  The way we make our soap dishes is 100% by hand from natural clay and we of course fire them in the kiln two times.  The first firing is always to prepare the clay for the glaze and is called “bisque firing.”  The second firing is done after we apply the glaze to the bisque phase to get all our colors and finishes.

11 out of the 12 new soap dishes have leaf impressions from maples, japanese maples, ferns, junipers, birch, and honey locust trees.  The 1 out of 12 that is different is now adorned with a Claddaugh symbol, an Irish symbol made up of a heart with hands around it and a crown on top.  The Claddaugh can be explained a bit by the saying, “With these hands, I give you my heart and crown it with my love.”  It is a lovely symbol indeed and very popular among many people and especially the Irish. 

Next time I make soap dishes, I want to focus on even more variety of different leaves to push into the clay and leave their impressions.  We press the leaves into the clay when it is a good pliable texture and not quite “leatherhard” state just yet.  We do not leave the leaves pressed onto the clay because we like to re-use the same leaf many times.  We have another technique to make the leaf impressions even more distinguishable, but that is a secret so I better not tell!  We always put small holes in the soap dishes so that they promote drainage of the water away from the soap.  No one wants soggy soap so the drain holes are important.  And lastly, we have to add little legs onto all those soap dishes so that they can sit properly and drain properly.  Finally, we sign the bottoms, which I am just realizing I forgot to do!  Better write that on my to-do list for next time in the studio!

That’s what I have been up to this week!  Hope you can get a chance to get your hands onto a good bar of soap soon.  Artisan made soaps made from all natural, vegan ingredients are the best ever in my opinion! 

I have some listed on my etsy site right now, and will have more in 2 weeks, then even more by July 8th!

You can shop around online easily on etsy and here’s my page:
www.craftybynaturestudio.etsy.com

Have a wonderful and creative day!


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!