Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Get your geek on!

My hubby bought me some new moulds for the holiday season, or maybe he thought I needed to do something different this year, I'm not sure.

With the anticipation of the new Star Wars movie coming, he bought me some Star Wars moulds. I had warned him that many of my fellow soapers had bought moulds from China and didn't realize that the moulds were measured in metric rather than imperial measurements and were quite shocked when they came in. So, he bought Japanese made moulds which gave measurements in inches and came with great reviews.

We were a little surprised when they showed up, even thought we knew what size they were supposed to be. Here's how they turned out for me.

Storm Trooper.
I made these both white and grey. I tried to fill in the details for the eyes and mouth, but they were too shallow.
This next one was rather cool.

Millenium Falcon

I tried to add detail by making some parts darker grey, but with little success.

There's something about 3-D moulds that are challenging, but when they're done, they really feel worthwhile.

Death Star

And finally, my coup de grâce:

One large R2D2. 
This guy weighs in at almost 2 lbs (small for a baby; very, very large for a soap!).

Package said it was an ice cube mould. I'd like to see the glass that could fit this ice cube.

Like a baby, he was a pain in the ass, but well worth the effort. Oh sorry, did I use my outside voice again?

I poured the body and used a jar lid to try and keep most of the soap out of the head area so I could try and make the head more metallic looking. Of course, it leaked into the body area, which meant a fair bit of clean up had to take place. The darker areas are actually coloured with antique blue mica, not that you can really tell in my photos. (this is why I'm not quitting my day job to be a photographer).

Have you bought your tickets to go see the new Star Wars movie? More importantly, are you going to be going in costume to go see the movie?

Monday, 7 December 2015

Craft fair 2015

There's a proliferation of Christmas fairs it seems, but I only signed up for two. The first one, Love It, Craft It, was put on by artisans Lisa Tran of Blushface Paper Goods and Josephine Gunawan of Oh So Josephine. They kept it small and intimate and was only opened to crafters.

The second one was the Christmas Market at Gray Elementary School. There was a mix of crafters and sales, and lots of kids getting excited about the upcoming season.

Thank you as always to my friend for helping me out. I couldn't do it without her.

It wasn't that dark in the gym, rather I have really bright lights.

Are you ready for the season yet?

Monday, 30 November 2015

Manly yes

I'm thinking themes are good, it helps to identify and allows people to focus on what they're looking for. This is my latest masculine soap. 

Made with a glycerin soap coloured with cappuccino mica and scented with Beau Brummel scent, it includes a clear middle with embeds. Cut into a hefty bar for bigger hands, this is a wonderfully scented, invigorating soap.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Spa soaps

Spas seem to be a huge thing these days, that and tattoos, but I don't think people want soaps to scrub off their brand new tattoos, so I'm focusing more on the spa aspect. 

Spas are for relaxing and giving one that extra cleaning. My spa soaps, as I like to call them, are for exfoliating. These include soaps with salts, coffee grounds and ground oatmeal. Not only will they shine the skin, they'll smell good enough to eat.

Clear layer is honey soap. Who doesn't love honey and all its benefits?

White layer has ground oatmeal, which is great for the skin.

Are you a spa person? Do you go there to relax or to get scrubbed so clean you glow?

Monday, 16 November 2015

To honour my sister and her writing group, the Penguins...and it's getting cold out

Going out to a store is dangerous, you never know when you will run into a mould you just have to have! I found that mould the other day. Of course it's meant for ice cubes, which to a soaper means it's perfect for making soaps! Well almost perfect; it's pretty darned difficult to peer inside a black mould (almost as difficult as reading inside a dog). It was difficult to stay within the lines, as you can see, and the eyes were really tough to fill in because well, black on black. I think I need a celebration between Hallowe'en and Christmas to highlight these penguins, maybe call it Hallowmas, what do you think?

Scented with Holiday Candy FO by Brambleberry

Did you know:  a group of penguins is called a colony, a rookery or a Waddle, but these terms are typically used for a group of penguins on land.

A group of penguins floating in the ocean is called a raft.
(courtesy of http://www.penguins-world.com/what-do-you-call-a-group-of-penguins/)

Then they just started getting silly.

16 more of these guys and I could have my own "penguins" hockey team. :D

Have a great week!

Thursday, 12 November 2015

LoveIt. CraftIt

I'm hoping this will become an annual fair; LoveIt. CraftIt is a craft fair created by two local artisans. Unlike many of the craft fairs that will be cropping up, this one is actually only for crafters and artisans. It is a small fair, 25 vendors, which should give it a boutique feel.

I am very excited to be part of it and have been making soaps specifically for this fair. Here's a photo I put together for this event.

Included are the computer mouse soap, Mondrian popsicle, honey and oatmeal bars and coffee and goat's milk soaps.

Proceeds from the event will got to Sophie's Place, a local charity. Hopefully it will be a huge success. For anyone in the Greater Vancouver area, the fair is this Saturday at the Heritage Hall on Main Street. For more information, check out LoveIt.CraftIt.

Have you started attending craft fairs, or are you planning on participating in any this year?

Monday, 26 October 2015

Happy Hallowe'en

I haven't made Hallowe'en soaps in a few years, but I needed a thank you gift for some co-workers, so I made these Jack-o-lantern soaps. The scent is chai spice, which is perfect for fall.

Do you celebrate Hallowe'en?

Monday, 19 October 2015

There's never a bad time for popsicles

Because I had an excess, both of the bath salts and soap bits, I had to find ways to use them up. Soapy love is known for its popsicle soaps and they always look so fantastic, so of course I had to try my hand at making my own popsicle.

The embeds worked out rather well in the popsicle, giving it an almost Mondrian effect (I think), but the bath salts didn't fare as well. I thought I could just pour them in as a layer, but of course that doesn't make sense. The salts have nothing to adhere to, and when removed from the mould, just fell apart.

I put some of the salts into a soap base to see if it would work better. I ended up with this Frankenstinian popsicle instead. For now I've stopped trying, mostly because I ran out of popsicle sticks, but I am determined to try new patterns in the popsicle mould because 1) it's fun and 2) popsicle moulds make for very interesting designs.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

To help you relax

A co-worker recently had to take a leave of absence, so our social committee asked people to contribute to a care package for her. In addition to chips (because we always give to others what we want, right?) I made some relaxing bath salts. I scoured Pinterest for a relatively easy recipe that would use whatever ingredients I had on hand.

This is a simple recipe of Epsom salts, Himalayan pink salt, baking soda and rose petals. I enhanced the scent by adding some baby rose FO to it. Although most people would say that lavender is the soothing scent, I thought I'd push the rose theme and to me, it's comforting without making you crave chocolate.

Bath salts

What's your favourite way to relax? Is there a scent that helps you mellow?

Monday, 5 October 2015

Moulds, moulds everywhere

Like most soapers, I like to try and see mould possibilities in everything. This time, it was the husband who brought this to my attention and thought it'd make for a good soap mould. I couldn't agree more.

The first one I made was done with some leftover soaps which I'd heated too high, so that wasn't worth including here. These ones turned out much better. Both are scented with peppermint cocoa FO from Crafter's Choice. I figured that's a good gender neutral scent.

Do you see soap in pretty much everything in your daily life?

Have a great week!

Monday, 28 September 2015

It's like Where's Waldo, but with soap

So that soap I made that didn't turn out swirly like it was supposed to? Getting a new life. Repurposed with a purpose.

Left over scraps of other soaps. I forgot this was the top and they should've gone on the bottom. D'oh!

Okay, so not nearly as difficult as Finding Waldo since it's pretty darned obvious where those re-purposed pieces are, but it made for a catchy title.

Have a great week!

Monday, 21 September 2015

When will I learn

If I want to follow someone else's idea, I need to do it while watching their Youtube video, or reading their instructions, not 3 weeks later from memory, because as I said, I don't have the memory of an elephant, or even of a 5 year old.

There was a beautiful gem soap on Youtube which I wanted to emulate, but good grief Charlie Brown, it helps to know how she did it in the first place!

This turned out not the way I wanted (gee, seems to be a recurring theme with me) but again it's a learning process. I wanted a thin stripe of black to contrast between colours, but after cutting out parts, it wasn't turning out, so I just left a whole part black instead. Also, not using all clear soap made it look less gem-like.

Scented with Rocky Road Fudge

Another live and learn session. I found a really cool tutorial on Pinterest (and this time remembered to pin it even!) on how to make cool gem soaps, so off I go to try that!

What's your minimum time you can spend on Pinterest? To me it's like Lay's chips, can't stop at one pin.

Have a great week!

Monday, 14 September 2015

Salt and soap

The next big thing since Salt 'n Pepa! And for those of you too young to remember that, I don't want to talk to you anymore. ;)

No, this is Himalayan salt in goat's milk soap, which IMO, is much better than any ol' hip hop group. Probably shows what an old fart I am.

I love reading the posts on Soapqueen and was intrigued by her post on using pink salt in soap. I didn't want to have all the salts just on the bottom, so instead, I tried to layer them throughout the soap, which will probably result in less than fabulous lathers, but I'm hoping it gives a nice exfoliation instead.

What's your favourite home spa recipe? Have a great week!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Happy September!

This year, with Labour Day taking place on the first Tuesday of the month, it means that school is delayed until the second week of September. Great news for a lot of kids, but I'm sure there are some parents who will be happy to see their kidlets back in school so the parents can have more of a routine in their lives again.

To celebrate this happy occasion for some, I bought some adorable erasers to be used as embeds. I think I finally learned to do it right.

Must work on lighting.

This came in a package of 36 erasers, so I'm going to have some fun with these.

Are you ready for school to start, or is it too early to start talking about fall?

Monday, 31 August 2015

When life gives you lemons

Say to heck with it, and go meet your girlfriends for a coffee instead!

Just kidding, you make the best of it because you're a responsible adult and running away from problems doesn't help anything, right? Right? Okay, you've gone for coffee, I get it.

So my swirl turned out not to be a swirl, except in the middle where the toilet paper roll sat. Maybe I was supposed to pull it up and let the soap flow through. Oh well. It is still useful for slicing to give out as samples, or to make into something else.

Cutting it thin means it does that curl thing, not quite the full curls, but that almost naturally wavy look that I want my hair to do. But I digress.

I think I need to work on placement of the curls, but this was a good start I think.

What's your favourite thing to do when life gives you lemons? I'd still like to make limoncello out of my lemons, but that would involve time and money.

Have a great week!

Monday, 24 August 2015

First time for everything

One of the biggest time waster ways to get your creative juices flowing is to go on Pinterest. At least that's where I think I watched a video on how to create a swirl soap. The lady in the video called it TP swirl because she used a toilet paper roll. I think I'm going to call it the poor person funnel soap, sounds a bit better, don't you think?

As per usual, I watched the video and let some time lapse before I made the actual soap, so was doing it from memory. Seeing how I'm not an elephant, my memory usually betrays me, and I think it did this time as well.

It started off really pretty

And even after 3 (or is it 4?) pours, it was still going well.

At some point, was I supposed to start lifting the roll up? I couldn't remember (not an elephant right? But elephants don't have opposable thumbs, so advantage, me).

By the time most of the soap had been poured, it still looked pretty good

But upon drying, it lacked something.

Darn soap, why do you have to dry and look less pretty?

The bottom however, looks fantastic.

Scented with CC's Morning Rain and Strawberry Smoothie
I still didn't like the top, so I melted some more soap, put in some glitter (because glitter makes everything better) and added another layer to smooth out the top.

Needs more glitter but looks better than it did.

Next week, I'll show how it looks cut.

Have a great week!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Looking for balance

Not in my life, I mean who doesn't love chaos in their lives? :P No, I thought I'd try and make a stylized yin yang style soap, but still allowed me artistic license. (Okay just a warning, this is a long post, so grab your beverage of choice, I'd suggest something alcoholic this time, and sit back).

It took me four tries to get to this one, but like anything else, practice makes perfect, or at least let's one try and get things into 3D what is in one's head.

Attempt #1
I had poured the two circular moulds and cut them in half. Unfortunately, it didn't cut evenly and so the sides didn't fit together well.

If I could've left the dots of colour as they were, it'd have been cool.
Can't tell from this photo, but those are fuchsia and blue colour drops.
But the moment you add melted soap, the whole thing disperses
Hubby liked this one the most but since it wasn't what I was going for, I didn't like it.
which is nice, but not the look I was going for.

I could've sworn I cleaned the moulds!

Attempt #2
Using the other half of the circles to again create the base (and again, who didn't clean that mould?)

This time, I created the little "dots", but because I didn't have a small enough mould or cutout, I used squares instead. And because I'm going off on a tangent, I did them in other colours.

Clear layer is obviously not that clear, but it was good for experimenting.

Attempt #3
Didn't even make it out of the mould, so no picture.

Attempt #4

It finally worked, more or less. This time, I filled the mould completely with one colour, let it set, then cut it in half. I put it back in the mould and poured in the second colour. This also made it easier to ensure the two sides were filled to the same height. Meanwhile, I made the dots using my contact lens holders. Once the main part was firm enough, I put the dots in and filled it to the top with clear.

You all seem to make amazingly beautiful soaps. How do you manage not to have a gazillion failed attempts? If you have failed once or twice (because I like to think you have to make me feel better) how many re-attempts have you made to get what you want?

Have a great week!