Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Holiday Wishlist

So as far as my soaping wishlist goes, here is what I'd love to receive for Christmas:

SoapMaker3 Pro Software

Soaping Oils (from top priority down)
Sweet Almond Oil - Refined (7 lbs or 35 lbs)
Apricot Kernel Oil - Refined - Food Grade 7lbs
Coconut Oil 76 degree 50lb bucket
Jojoba Oil, golden 7 lbs
Palm Oil, Refined, Sustainable, 50lb bucket
Rice Bran Oil (7 lbs or 35 lbs)

Soap Molds
18 Bar Slab Mold
With silicone liner
5 lb wooden mold with sliding bottom
With silicone liner
Big Ball silicone mold
Large French Acrylic Mold **you might need to use the translator in your browser
Tall and Narrow French Acrylic Mold **translator

Any kind of gift certificate to the following places
Nature's Garden$10.html
Bramble Berry
Rustic Escentuals

I don't reasonably expect any of these items for Christmas, considering the fact that we don't get paid again until the 20th, and most of these suppliers are experiencing drastically long wait times.. plus the shipping lag.. so yeah. Mostly this is just for me to keep in mind what I really want to prioritize once I do have any money to spend on such items.

What does your holiday wish list consist of?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

It's been too long!

Gracious!! It feels like forever since I posted my last blog post. I'll bet it has been forever. I'll be updating on some of my latest goings on in the week ahead. I'm getting ready to be a vendor at the one of biggest craft fairs (for me) yet! It goes on for two days and I'm just about ready for it. I'm just finishing up cleaning up, packaging and labeling all of my soaps. I'm still waiting on a few containers to come in so I can make my lotions. In the next few days I'll be doing my lip balms and sugar scrubs. I'm still undecided if I should do lots and lots of sugar scrubs, if I should do some "foaming" with soap added and some without the soap. Lots of things to consider and not much time to execute it all. My fair starts on 11/30 however that week ahead of my fair will be dedicated to cleaning the house and preparing for Thanksgiving, so almost no time to do anything soap related in that week. I'll be making about 10 or so fragrances in lotion. I have 8 oz pump bottles and 4 oz pump bottles coming in. I already have my gift boxes in, my foot spa baskets in, I just need to kick it all in gear and get it out! I'm super excited for this craft fair and I'm hoping and praying I do well. Anyway I'll be posting some pictures on here, and lots and lots more on my Facebook page. Catch me on there for more details and more frequent updates. I'll be sure to come back on here and update through the next week though.. I've set a reminder on my phone to make sure I do just that.

Anyway, until next time!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Multi-color Gradient Soap Challenge...

I'll preface this post with a "whew! Glad that's over and done with"!!! I'm glad I entered this challenge, however out of all challenges I've participated in, this one was the most challenging for me (which I guess is the point of the thing, yes?). It was stressful for me and while I'm glad I did it, and my soaps came out better than I'd hoped, I'm glad it's done for now. I'm sure I'll do this again in the future, but it might be awhile before I attempt it again.

So I started off with a practice soap, just to get the hang of the gradient process. It was much easier with only two colors, I can tell you that much. The fragrance I used (I kept forgetting the name, but it was Frosted Snowdrops) was very well behaved and so I did get a few layers that broke through, but I rather like the effect in the finished bars.

Two important lessons learned...
1) Titanium Dioxide is much easier dispersed in hot water than oil.... however it's not prudent to mix with your mini-mixer/frother in a Dixie cup with hot water.. ask my carpet how I know.
2) With a two color gradient soap, you will need more of your "light" or "top" color than your "dark" or "bottom" color.

Here's the making video of the practice gradient if you care to watch.. I've decided to name it "Arctic Ice"

Here are the cut bars of Arctic Ice:

So then I went on with my challenge soap after an hour break. Collecting myself seemed to have worked to kind of zen myself out, which was a good thing. So for this soap I used a fragrance called Apple Pumpkin Strudel. I chose this one on purpose because the name screams three colors.. brown, orange, and red. Or at least it did in my head. It's a really lovely fragrance that combines ripe apples, pumpkin spice and a bakery kind of scent. I'm loving it for this soap, in the finished bars you can really get the fresh apple and the bakery, although in the freshly cut bars I lost a bit of the pumpkin fragrance however it might come back in the cure. For my colors I used Cappuccino mica, a blend of yellow mica and smidge of red lab color for the orange, and red lab color for the red.

Here is the making video for that soap:

Here are the cut bars of Apple Pumpkin Strudel

As you can probably surmise, I did have some partial gel happening, which is why the center of the bars are lighter than the rest. I think it came out great though, and at least along the edges you can really see all the different colors of the gradient. I think they turned out AWESOME! I'm almost tempted to rename them Sierra Sunset because that's kind of what they look like.. a sunset along the Sierra Nevada mountains (although really most of our mountains are purple). I am super proud of myself for accomplishing this task and for staying sane through most of it. This was pretty challenging for me and I have to give kudos to EVERYONE who does 3 color (or  more!!) gradient soaps. **Sidebar..  I did end up naming this soap Sierra Sunset**

Thank you all for joining me on my journey through gradients today. If you're a participant in the challenge, best of luck to you. I'm super thrilled to be a part of the Great Cakes Soapworks challenge this month, I really did feel challenged and I'm excited to see everyone's soapy creations.

Til next time!
Shannon @ Smellicious

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Making Apple Jack & Peel soap using the Holly Swirl method...

So this last week has been really interesting for me. My older two kids started school on Monday (my youngest starts Kindergarten on the 19th!) and while this usually brings about a sense of relief and much needed quiet in the house, my daughter's bus accommodations have somehow fallen through the cracks so I've been dealing with endless frustration at the incompetence and disorganization with our school district's transportation department instead. I was thrilled to be able to soap on Tuesday (temporarily get my mind off my petty troubles) and I made some Apple Jack & Peel soap, the first in my fall line. I decided I would make this my Holly Swirl entry for the Great Cakes Soap Works challenge this month. I really love how this came out.

So now I will post the making and cutting videos that have been uploaded on my YouTube channel below if you'd like to see me make this and cut it the same night. It's actually crazy for me to be able to cut my soap the same day I make it. I soap at room temperature and usually try my best to prevent gel so it's generally at least 24-48 hours before I can cut my soaps. I knew this fragrance would heat up so preventing gel would have been fruitless. I simply left it out to do it's thing and went to check on it 8 hours later and it's ready to unmold. 2 hours after the unmold I couldn't handle the wait so I cut it. It's AWESOME!!! Ok here are the videos... thanks for reading and watching and best of luck to all who have entered this contest!!! 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Not liking July...

I haven't written in here in quite a while, but I'm going to work to rectify that in the coming days and weeks. I don't know why I'm writing today, I just felt like talking to someone. So, in advance, thanks for listening.

These are hard days for me.. for those of you who subscribe to my YouTube channel, you might know that my mama passed away in January of 2011. She actually passed away on my 5th wedding anniversary which is also the day before my youngest girl's 3rd birthday.

My mama was born July 14th 1953, she was just 57 when she passed. I was born July 22nd, a mere 8 days after my mom's, so July is always a really hard month for me. January, May, December and July are bad months for me. My husband and I try really hard to make our anniversary about us instead of my mom, so we try to leave town and do something fun, even if it's just for the day... but it's difficult.

This past Sunday my mama would have been 60. By the way, she's a twin and so I'm sure my Aunt Cathye had a time of trying to celebrate instead of falling apart. I was at a craft fair that day and I thought that would be good to get my mind off of it, but it was a very slow day so my mind was always on it. Bad day. My birthday is on Monday, but we're going to celebrate on Sunday. My dad is taking me and my husband out for dinner, a Japanese teppanyaki style steakhouse called Ichibans. For those of you in the states, Benihana is somewhat similar to Ichibans.

Sinking under waves of grief and depression affects my daily life in a multitude of ways. As much as I love soaping, sometimes I just can't find the motivation to do anything. Some days it's hard just to get out of bed, and this is 3 years later. Does this ever go away? I don't want to forget about my mom, I love her and miss her so much. I just want to be able to function like a normal person.

On July 16th, Talia Castellano passed away. She's a 13 year old girl I've been following on YouTube who wanted to be a makeup maven, have her own makeup line, clothing line etc. She had two forms of cancer and finally succumbed. Already overemotional, this hit me really hard. I've been asking my mama to go find her and tell her how much she meant to me, even though we never met. I honestly don't know if I would have followed her story if cancer wasn't in the forefront of my mind every single day.

Interesting fact... my family has been full of cancer. My mom is the 3rd to die from lung cancer in my lifetime. Her dad and her step father both passed away when I was younger from lung cancer. All of them smokers, all had quit, all had been diagnosed after quitting smoking. Ridiculous isn't it. I smoked too for almost 20 years, and I'm just 33. I quit smoking in October of 2012 finally. I quit the first time after my mom's diagnosis in November of 2010 and did ok until her birthday in 2011. I still use a smoking crutch though, because I don't think I ever could have quit without one. I have an e-cig and so I still have my nicotine addiction. I've been smoking since I was 14 and a full-blown smoker (as in at least a pack a day) since I was 18. I'm not making excuses, just telling it how it is. I don't want to smoke, I find that I can't stand the smell anymore. I was on Chantix and that's the main function of the drug is for you to find it repulsive, and I do. My husband smokes those cigarillos, and he stinks! I don't pressure him though, I couldn't stand that and became immediately defensive. I just tell him he stinks and leave it at that lol.

Anyway, I decided recently that I have to claw myself out of this enormous hole I'm digging. I love making soap, lotion, bath truffles, creams. I don't love making bath bombs, but I don't hate it either. I'm in the middle with sugar scrubs, but the ones I make are just awesome so I can't stop making them. I want to build my business which means I need exposure and stock. I have a decent array of cold processed soaps, but I just signed up for this farmer's market and so I need more soap to fill up my tables with! I'm going to be making some glycerin soaps over the weekend and I've already started in on a few cold processed soaps for August. I need to make about 8 more 3lb loaves, and a few 5lb loaves. I totally forgot about the Bramble Berry swap in August so I'm off today to buy some more distilled water since I'm totally out. I'll be making that one tonight. I'd love to land myself a good wholesale account or two just to keep me busy and also get some steady revenue in so I can continue to make soap. If I can't sell this soap, I can't keep making it in the large batches that I do.

Ok enough of my dribble. Thanks again for listening. See you all later!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cut my Black Raspberry Vanilla soap (probably too early..)

I couldn't help myself, I had to cut my loaf of soap today. It would have been a bit more ready to cut if I'd waited a full 24 hours to cut it, but I couldn't wait. I got up this morning and got my coffee and such and went to check on my soap. I figured it would be really soft, but I'd added that Sodium Lactate to my lye so I thought.. well, maybe. I pushed a bit on the top and it was pretty hard. So I started to unmold it carefully and because I'd lined the whole mold with freezer paper (usually I only put in a slip) the mold came off quite easily. I pulled the paper off the sides (very smoothly I might add) and let it sit there for about half an hour. Then I took the paper off the bottom and put it on my drying rack back in the cure room and let it sit for about an hour. I couldn't take it anymore, I went and got it and proceeded to cut it. It's still a bit soft and needs a bit of cleaning up before I can take any pics of it. I did take a cutting video which will be up on my YouTube in a bit (after I transfer it to my computer, edit and upload it) and I probably won't post this until I'm able to take pics and update... so until then...

Ok so I got to clean them just a bit so I could take a picture.

I really love how the mica swirl turned out on top! The swirls on the inside are nice as well, I just wish I hadn't gotten partial gel =( The colors pretty much stayed true, but the black could have been darker. Overall I'm very pleased how it turned out.

Here is a close up view of the top when it was still wet.

Anyway I'm off for now, perhaps some more soaping... maybe some melt & pour today =)

Until next time,
Happy Soaping!!!

Making Video:

Cutting Video

What I've been up to the last few days

So I usually don't get a chance to soap or do much of anything on Sundays and Mondays because my husband is off work those days so we usually end up doing family things. Sometimes he does guy stuff with his friends (video games, golfing.. boring boring boring) and so then I get to soap or do soapy stuff. Anyway so on Tuesday I got my soap beveler in the mail that I have been eagerly anticipating.

I got this one and while I do have to say that their customer service leaves a bit to be desired, the beveler is great! As soon as I saw the package on my porch (sometimes the UPS or FedEx delivery person won't ring the doorbell...) I ran in and ripped the box open and squealed with delight. I was beginning to think it would never get here! As soon as I opened the box I smelled peppermint. I had a little grab bag gift in there that included a sample of peppermint leaves, eucalyptus leaves, and tussah silk. That was nice! So I ran into my cure room with the beveler and used it right away on a bar of soap I just picked at random and much to my delight it works wonderfully! I grabbed up all of my soap (took a few trips) and went out into my living room, set up my table with the beveler and an extra box (for the scraps) and set upon my soaps with the beveler. I'm still not done but I've cleaned up about 95% of them, which I've been dying to do! I'm curious if they'll stay as nice and smooth on the sides or if they'll revert back to that slightly crusty feel.. I haven't checked today but I will tomorrow. So there was that awesome surprise.

I bought one of those handheld steamer deals that's supposed to be for steaming wrinkles out of your clothes. I will be using it to get ash off my soap. The steam method works pretty well but I can't get a steady stream of steam to get it all off so I'm hoping it'll work better with this thing. I should be getting that in tomorrow (love Amazon!).

And today I finally soaped a batch. I got my order in last week from Nature's Garden (first time order from them for me) and I got some Peppermint EO, Black Raspberry Vanilla FO, Pineapple Upside-down Cake, Rain Barrel, and some Vanilla Stabilizer. I've been absolutely dying to soap that Black Raspberry Vanilla but I've been waiting for these custom berry molds to come in so I could do embeds along the top. Well I got them in the mail today, woot woot! I knew I was soaping anyway today because I needed to do my Mica Swirl challenge for Great Cakes Soapworks challenge this week. I just couldn't decide which fragrance I was going to soap so I could pick out the mica colors to swirl with.

I'd already mixed my lye when I went and checked the mail and found those molds. Of course I'm like a kid at Christmas anytime I get an order in, no matter what it is lol. I ran in and set up to make my embeds. I just made some reddish pink berries and some purple berries (Melt & Pour) and got ready to soap!

Here is my in-the-mold finished creation. The video of the making is up on my YouTube channel and I should be cutting it either tomorrow night or Friday morning. I can't wait to see what it looks like on the inside. I ended up swirling purple and silver on the top... the silver is so stunning, I will DEFINITELY be doing that again!

Well, until next time... Happy Soaping!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

My soapy weekend

So, yesterday I made two batches of soap. I made my Bramble Berry Swap soap of Baby Powder fragrance oil with a blue and pink swirl (which I think the blue might have turned more purple... we'll see). I also received my Nature's Garden order on Friday which included a few fragrance oils (a first time order from NG for me) which were Rain Barrel, Pineapple Upside-down Cake (oh wow, what a yummy fragrance!) Black Raspberry Vanilla (yummy too!) and Peppermint. I just purchased some berry molds so I didn't want to go for the Black Raspberry Vanilla one yet so I decided on Rain Barrel. It smells fresh and clean... almost an Irish Spring kind of fragrance but better. So I decided to do an "in the pot" swirl with this one.. white base with green and blue swirls. It turned out ok.. I'll attach a picture below. I gelled this batch which I'm not crazy about (I don't  like gelling my soaps) and I had a lot left over so I made a sample loaf which I did not gel. I did a mica swirl on the top and while cutting it today the fragrance oil was weeping from the slices. Not a lot, just little beads of oil sweat which have already disappeared within an hour of cutting. I think I probably cut it too soon and it just needs a bit of extra cure time. Anyway here is my finished product. This is the gelled full batch... I haven't unmolded the sample loaf yet.

I haven't cut the Baby Powder one yet..I"m going to name that one Powder Puff. It's still too soft to cut, normal because it's ungelled. I will probably cut that one tomorrow. I'm not making any soap today, but I will most likely resume tomorrow. I need to make another Oatmeal Milk & Honey soap... I most likely won't record the making or cutting of that one unless something spectacular happens lol. I think I might also make another Simply Soap and that one I know I won't record because it's boring. Beyond that, I don't know what I'm going to make yet. Perhaps another soap cake.... ooh! I'll do as I usually do... make it up as I go along.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Ok so I'm loving this soap!

The scent and the way it turned out... I just love it!!! That's all I have to say right now, however here are some cut pics, and if you wanted to meander over to my YouTube channel and watch me make this soap and cut it.. please do so! Please read the rest of my posts from this week (if you haven't already) to see the scent combo I used and my thoughts in general)

This is where I'm getting these challenges from... if you're a soaper come join in on all the fun!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I did it!!!

One Elemental Swirl down! I'm pretty excited that I did it without totally freaking out and I took a video of the making and didn't shut it off half way through in a panic. I'm just going to speed it up a little and play music (a first for me) throughout.

Here is a picture of the final product in the mold, and also a sample loaf I did with the rest. Smells fantastic by the way! My husband said it smells like a package of gummy bears... and yep it kinda does lol.

Elemental Swirl soap...

So I'm having a bit of an issue trying to figure out which fragrance I'm going to use for my Elemental Swirl Challenge soap (Amy Warden's Great Cakes Soapworks Challenge). I don't want to use anything that will accelerate trace, and I also don't want to use anything that will discolor my soap. I thought I would do something citrusy and sweet, however I don't want to use the same combo I used for my soap cake... because A) that would be silly; and B) the 10x Orange EO did discolor my batch to a creamy orange right away. I knew it would but still... I don't want to discolor my batch. So... I have all these sample fragrances and after a bit of research for each one I decided on the following:

BB's Red Apple - No notes about discoloring, morphing, fading, or acceleration

BB's Pearberry - Notes about forming white streaks remedied by extra stirring (no problem! plus I didn't use much lol.. about .4 oz)

BB's Blackberry - No notes about discoloring, morphing, fading, or acceleration

BB's Yuzu - Only notes were it sticks beautifull in CP soaps.. excellent!

BB's Champagne - have used before with zero side effects (plus I'm only using about .2 oz)

PFO's Citrus Blast - No notes about discoloring, morphing, fading, or acceleration

The end result of this mix being that it smells fruity, a tiny bit effervescent and very spring-like. I'm naming this one "Spring Fling" and I think it may become somewhat of a staple.. as in blending a bunch of my sample fragrances that will compliment each other in a type of Spring Cleaning of fragrances. It won't ever smell exactly like this again.. but it works I think.

I should be able to soap in about 2 hours or so.. once my lye water has cooled down. I think I'm going to use orange, pink and yellow for my "warm" colors and blue, green and purple for my "cool" colors with a black mica line. Will upload a YouTube video when it's all said and done. Reveal cutting video and pics on Saturday... can't wait!!!!

Edit: Just in case you were wondering...

BB = Bramble Berry
PFO = Pure Fragrance Oils

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Welcome to Smellicious

Hi all, I thought I would start up this blog to catalog my journey into soap making and just bath and body products in general. So far I've delved into the mysterious workings of Cold Process soap making, vegetable glycerin (aka Melt & Pour) soap making, and all kinds of bath and body treats. I think my favorites to use and make would be my Bath Truffle and Cold Process soaps. They are both so much fun to make and a real treat to use.

Here are a few pictures to sort of showcase what I've been up to until now (in short order... by no means is this everything lol) and I hope you'll continue on my journey with me.

Happy Soaping..

Watermelon Bath Truffle

Bath bomb cupcakes

"In Love" soap in Crisp Apple Rose scent

Mambo Mayhem Soap with Mambo for Men scent

Twilight Woods Soap

Chocolate Espresso Soap

Embedded Heart Soap

Tattooed Soap

Oatmeal Milk & Honey Bath Truffles

Valentine Soap

Foaming Sugar Scrub

Bubble Bath Trio

Vanilla Lavender Cold Processed Soap

Oatmeal Milk & Honey Cold Processed Soap

Cucumber Melon Cold Processed Soap
(Amy Warden's Tiger Stripe Swirl Challenge week 1)

Pink Champagne Cold Processed Soap

Creamy Vanilla Latte Cold Processed Soap

Cucumber Melon Cold Processed Soap

Moonlight Path Cold Processed Soap

 Ambrosia Soap (Love Spell Type scent)
*Mythology Challenge - Soap Making Forum*

Apple Jack & Peel Cold Processed Soap

Celestial Waters Cold Processed Cupcake Soaps

Spring Berry Mimosa Cold Processed Cake Soap