Saturday, October 29, 2011

New Labels

I've finally made a label I'm happy with.  Here's my table at a small show last weekend.  There are a few different labels in this picture, but the new label is pictured in the front on the Orange Patchouli.  I like the handwriting, the simplicity, the kraft paper (100% post-consumer waste), the newspaper, the cure date, and the fact that I don't have to make a new label for every different soap.  The back is a different story, with all the different ingredients for each different kind, but I don't mind that so much.

Also, I only have one bar left of Black Magic Banana.  I really need a bigger mold.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Green Tea & Lemongrass

This is my comeback soap, the first soap I've made in three months.  And I have to say, despite the process not working out at all as expected, I am very pleased with the look (and smell) of this soap.

The recipe:  coconut oil, sustainable palm oil, olive oil, rice bran oil, wild-crafted/fair trade/unrefined shea butter (I love that stuff), castor oil, green tea fragrance, lemongrass essential oil, and charcoal, parsley powder and titanium dioxide for color

I got the green tea fragrance by the San Francisco Herb Co. from a place in the Strip District in Pittsburgh called Roxanne's Dried Flower Shop.  Here's a picture of the place from Google maps.

It's a very true fragrance that's not very perfumey.  That's why I like it so much.  Too bad it traces like a mother.

So I planned on making my first attempt at an in-the-pot swirl.  I've never done that before.  (I know right?)  Everything was perfectly planned and ready to be executed until I added the lye and bam.  Mashed potatoes.  I tried mixing the charcoal/olive oil combo with a little of the mashed potatoes to see if it would help, but it was no use.  Into the crockpot it went.

Once cooked and zap test approved, I mixed in the colorants with equal, coffee-cup sized portions of soap.  The whole time I had to keep the black, charcoal soap cooking in the corner, away from the rest of the blob so that the whole batch wasn't black.  It wasn't as tricky as you'd think.  I resumed with the in-the-pot swirl method but with the chunky, hot process soap, blobbing different colors around the crockpot then barely mixing before spooning the mixture into a tube mold.  I banged the tube pretty vigorously, but I found bubbles in the soap this morning when it was cut.

I only made two pounds of this soap and a few of the slices have bubbles, so they will be at a discounted price or given to my friends for free, the planned fate of one bar later today.

Of the bars that are not bubbly, they are amazing.  Every one looks completely different and not as chunky swirled as I thought they'd be.  The TiO2 isn't in every bar, I guess I didn't swirl that one enough.  I cleaned up the edges of these bars, another thing I've never done.  I used the back of a good knife, the way Celine does from Soaperstar.  It worked very well and I plan on doing that to all my soap from now on.

oh hi, happy comeback soap :)

Salty Suds: A Day Later

A picture of those bubbles from the last post taken the next morning.  Those bubbles really like to stick around.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Salty Suds

Let me introduce you to my first salt soap. 

Coconut oil, grapeseed oil, castor oil, nori seaweed, Mediterranean Sea salt, eucalyptus essential oil, lemon essential oil.  I made it February of 2010 while in my beginner's soap making craze phase.  A snow storm was coming so I went out to buy nori when the snow just began to fall.  Thank goodness I left then.  Three feet of snow came shortly after, falling while I ground up my coarse salt with a mortar and pestle.  Salt was all over me.  Salt storm in a snow storm.  I had that entire week off from school.  It was the week of my birthday during my senior year of college.  There was a lot of drinking and soap making.  It might have been the first time I made beer soap too...

These bubbles are amazing.  I took these pictures on my porch and it's really windy outside.  Not one popped.  Instead, they just kind of leaned.  Thirty minutes later and they're still intact.

These bubbles make me happy.
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briny bar soap, brinybarsoap, dennise, hand, home, made, handmade, homemade, tea tree, homestead, soynut, shampoo bar, salt bar, essential oils, cold process Briny Bar Soap Blog Sitemap. I am Dennise, soap maker and creator of Briny Bar Soap. My passion for soap making is a combination of personal creativity, chemistry education, and love for creating something wholesome and useful.