Saturday, December 14, 2013

LOTION! As promised!

Finally I made a lotion video!  Hooray!  Pretty self explanatory; the first part is an explaination of what I add to my lotions, the second is the initial mixing, and the third is adding of the goodies (proteins and extracts, and -of course- a preservative).  My recipe is a personal formulation.  

For more information on lotion crafting please head over to and read through Susan's tutorials (she also has a book!  AWESOME BUY!).

**DISCLAIMER - I am NOT a professional lotion crafter!  I've only been making lotion for ~2 years and am not awesome enough to give out my recipes!  Please drop by Susan's (linked above) blog to learn how to make lotion!**

Vanilla-Coconut Body Cream:

Unfortunately I forgot to nab a picture of the packaged lotion before I stuffed them in packing boxes that were headed to Canada.  I was up all night packing the boxes and it slipped my mind. =(

If you have any questions about my specific recipe please drop me a message and I will answer it asap, but I won't give out the recipe!

NOTE: I didn't forget to post the cutting video last week, I've just been trying to upload the edited video since then. =/  For some reason youtube keeps giving me errors, I think that the file may have been corrupted somehow.  I'll keep trying though!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Raspberry Vanilla Graffiti; a Column Swirl Soap

This months' Soap Challenge Club challenge was to do the column swirl, or column pour technique.  I've been wanting to try this one forever!  I chose black raspberry vanilla fragrance and did a 5 colour swirl.  This time, rather than type out a list of everything I used, I just said what it was right in the video!  Will definitely be doing this technique again, was a lot of fun!

Hope everyone enjoys the video!  Going to TRY and get some lotion made tomorrow evening, along with baking a lot of cookies and doing 3 million other things!  Crossing my fingers that I have the time!

Thank you everyone!

Camera REALLY highlighted the glitter in the second shot, but the one in the bathtub is more true-to-life colour (and glitter) wise!

Suppliers used in this video:
Brambleberry [My primary supplier]
The Conservatorie [No longer use due to high minimum order value]
The Sage [Use for odds and ends, never fragrances]

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Other November Soaps!

For the November Soap Challenge Club I actually made (or tried to make) 3 different soaps.  Snowfall and Cranberry Orange Swirl will be in this post, and the soap I actually entered (Lavender and Basil) is in the previous post.  I also made a couple of other batches; one for the design of the Cranberry Orange Swirl batch and a big batch of Vanilla, Oatmeal, Milk and Honey for my family for Christmas.  Here are some videos and details for those soaps!

Snowfall 2013: One of my favorites by far, and loved by everyone who I've sent a sample to!. This was the first soap I did for the November Challenge, and probably the one I SHOULD have entered!

Fragrance: fresh snow [Brambleberry]

Next up was Orange Cranberry Swirl which was to be my second try at the squeeze bottle designs challenge.  I decided to do a small batch of citrus (see 'citrus seize') and use part of that to do the squeeze bottle design so I could let it set up while I made the main part of the soap.  As you'll see in the second video here that plan didn't work so well!

Orange Cranberry Swirl:

Fragrance: orange cranberry [WSP]

Citrus Seize:


It may not have gone quite as planned, but I still love the way the soap turned out, and OMG it smells YUMMY!

I also made a 5 lb batch of soap to disperse amongst my family members this Christmas.  I wanted to do something a little less fancy and a little more homey. 

Vanilla, Oatmeal, Milk and Honey:

Additives: local honey [sorry, no website for them], coconut milk powder, colloidal oatmeal [Brambleberry]

Cutting video for Orange Cranberry Swirl and Vanilla, Oatmeal, Milk and Honey to follow... as soon as it finishes "processing" with youtube!

Squeeze Bottle Designs; Followup!

Alright!  A few details on the last post:

I mix all of my colourants in small amounts of sweet almond oil [Brambleberry/ MMS], and I always add  1-2% sodium lactate [MMS].

Up next: 4 videos and 3 detail lists!  Hopefully a video of a column pour, and some lotion soon too!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Soap Challenge Club: November! "Squeeze Bottle Designs"

Well, this month I was able to make 3, yes THREE, attempts at the challenge soap!  Hooray!  I will be posting about the other two attempts very soon, just my favorite of them for the link up today!  And ho-boy am I in a rush!  I meant to post this yesterday, and now have a very patient husband waiting for me to get it done today!  Oops!!!

The soap is a mixture of lavender and basil essential oils, with 'piped' lavender buds and basil like leaves.  I use this soap in the kitchen as I find these EOs really help remove food smells from my hands (ie: garlic).

Without further ado, or husband frustration, here is the video!  I will extrapolate on the products I used in the next post!  So sorry for the rush with this one! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Challenge Soaps

What challenge?!  Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks hosts a monthly Soap Challenge Club!  I've been able to take part in 4 of the challenges, but will only be posting pictures for 3 of them.  The 4th worked out fine as a soap, but I really don't like how it looks!

The first challenge was the Peacock Swirl [see Monday June 10, 2013 for the making of video].  Here is what it looks like today, TD specs and all!

[Peacock Swirl soap scented with 'pink sugar' from Nature's Garden, made in the Brambleberry 9 bar wood mold]

The second challenge was the Mantra Swirl, or Modified Mantra Swirl.  I went for the modified version.  Here is a PARTIAL video, unfortunately my batteries died part way through and I didn't have time to get new ones as my fragrance oil was an accelerator.

Here is the soap today:

[Modified mantra Swirl soap scented with 'tropical vacation' from Brambleberry, made in the silicone loaf mold from Wholesale Supplies Plus]

The third challenge soap I made was a 3 colour gradient soap.  I didn't get a video because I had temporarily misplaced my memory card (it was still plugged into the computer!).  I'm really quite happy with how this one turned out!

[3 colour gradient soap scented with 'mixed berries' from Aroma Haven/ Rustic Escentuals, made in the silicone loaf mold from Whole sale Supplies Plus]

And a couple group shots, just because!

[top: "Berrylicious", bottom: "Tropical Smoothie"]

[left: "Pure Sweetness", middle: "Tropical Smoothie", right: "Berrylicious"]

Next up: "Squeeze Bottle Designs" Soap Challenge Club, hopefully made tomorrow, will give spoiler pics but no video or final pics until the link up happens with the club!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Prince Soap... sort of!

This video has been sitting "in the drawer" for a while now, I wasn't sure if I would post it or not because the soap did NOT work.  I attempted this soap 3 times and finally decided that the fragrance oil simply doesn't like to work in CP soap.

This soap was made the day the Prince was born, and made in his honour.  I was SO bummed that it didn't work out!  But its the thought that counts, right?  I'm a huge Royal family fan, and just couldn't resist giving this soap a go.

Here is the video of me making the soap.  There is no video or pictures of what the soap became, all 3 times.  I was just too bummed each time to even think about snapping a picture.  Just imagine 12 bars of yellow caustic goo with a thin cake of crumbly soap floating near the bottom.  SO FRUSTRATING!!!!

Tomorrow I should have up the next post, a review of the soaps I've made for the soap challenge club.  And Thursday I HOPE to have time to make a batch for this months challenge!  I've been jonesing to get in on the new techniques!

I will do my best to make the challenge soap AND video it!  Thanks for bearing with me while I try to balance life, work, and soaping!


Well, partially!  I was unable to have the missing posts restored, so I shall have to redo them!  A couple months ago I -tried- to make some Dragon's Blood soap for my husband, and all seemed well... at first!

After I finished the batch, which seemed a bit smaller than usual, I located my olive and castor oil still sitting on the counter!  ACK!  Only time I've ever done that!  So I made a video of me rebatching the mess too! 

So embarrassing!  Can't believe I forgot oils!  My hubby doesn't like the rebatch as much, but it gets the job done.  Taught me to look twice before I get my lye added though!

Here are a couple of pictures of the bars today, 3 months after the initial oops; miss that green swirl!

Next up: "Prince Soap", which was a complete failure (all 3 times!), but I still made a video of it!  And pictures of the 3 soaps I've been able to do for the Soap Challenge Club (there is a fourth, but it didn't work out so well!).

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Where oh where...

Have all of my posts gone?!

I decided I'd take a gander at the site, since it's been a while since my last post... and... umm... where did my posts go???  I put up at least 5 or 6 more videos and many many pictures, and they've disappeared!  While I investigate these disappearances (grrr!) I shall leave you with this video of extremely hilarious cats!  Can't go wrong with funny cats, right?

It took me 15 minutes to find this particular one, has been a favorite of mine for years!  Silly cats!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The videos!

Here they are!  My crappy quality camera means they upload super fast!  Hope you all enjoy them! 

Summer Fling:

Sweet and Salty:

Ahh a wonderful soapy day!

I made 3 batches of soap today, and managed to video 2 of them.  I tried to use a different camera for the first one (Dragon's Blood), to see if I could get better quality picture and sound... alas the batteries died 1/2 way through!  I did manage to film Summer Fling and Sweet and Salty though!  Just loading them into youtube now!  Hopefully will have the links for the blog tomorrow!

For now though, I have some ITM (in the mold) pictures!

Dragon's Blood:

Summer Fling (grapefruit EO, apple FO and English Rose FO):

Sweet and Salty (salt bars scented with Buttercream and Snickerdoodle FO):
[It's messy!  But OMG it smells soooo yummy!]

**Dragon's Blood, English Rose, and Buttercream and Snickerdoodle as well as all 3 molds are from**

These should be ready to unmold/cut in a few days!  There will either be videos or pictures posted then!  And the videos should be up soon too!

Next up:  that batch of HP citrus soap that I keep meaning to make!  And some pictures that I keep forgetting to post (Romancing the Rose, Natural Energy, and laundry soap).

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Peacock Swirl

For the first month of Amy Warden's "Soap Challenge Club" (SCC) we were tasked with trying the peacock swirl.  I'd wanted to try this technique for a while and just hadn't gotten around to it, so I was pretty happy for it to be the challenge!

I've also wanted to make some "soap porn" (a video of me making soap) for quite a while too... so I knocked out both birds with one stone, so to speak.  

Below is a link to my first video!  I'm sorry about the photo quality of cut bars, its been stormy here and it was simply too dark and gloomy to get better pictures!  And video was out of the question!  I really need to get a better video camera if I decide to keep making soap porn!  You may need to turn your volume up some, the mic on our camera isn't the best, but I assure you that there IS commentary!


Next up: tropical HP, and some fresh and summery CP!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Where oh where have I been?

Well, mostly working!  Either at my job, or around the house.  And at the end of the day I've just been too tired to make soap =(  But I HAVE started to pull together some time for soaping!  I made two batches last week, and will post pictures this week (probably Wednesday).  I've also joined Amy Warden's [Great Cakes Soapworks] soap challenge club (SCC)!  So there will be some neat new techniques popping up every month as well!

Off to work for me now, but looking forward to my 3 days off (Weds-Fri)!  There shall be soap!

Soo... next up: HP citrus bars and the first SCC soap: the peacock swirl!  Look for them later this week... plus pics of "Romancing the Rose" and laundry soap!

Thursday, March 28, 2013


S.O.A.P is a panel of random soap makers who get the incredible chance to test some of Bramble Berry's newest scents before they become publicly available.  To me it is also an extremely coveted chance to do something in return!  Bramble Berry staff is always there for us, and now a few lucky soapers get to be there for them, how awesome is that?  Below is my application, of sorts, to the spring 2013 S.O.A.P panel!  Wish me luck folks, I SO want this!!

The first question is this: what is my favorite Bramble Berry product.  Seems simple and straight forward, right?  But alas, that means choosing just one!  Which I can't do!  So I guess I will chose my top 5 favorites and explain why I can't soap without them.

1) My BB Multi-Bar Cutter!  Who can argue with perfect bars?  Gone are the days of the knife, cheeseboard, and push cutters.  You'd be amazed at how crooked I can cut!  This guy has made my cutting jobs look wonderful, and boy is it easy to use!

2) 5lb Wood Mold with Silicone Liner!  I find this mold to be the PERFECT size, the bars fit in my hands just right (I cut the loaf using the multi-bar cutter mentioned above, of course!).  The liner also makes this a super easy to use mold, no fussing with freezer paper!  I was a bit skeptical of the sliding bottom at first, was worried it would slide out randomly and ruin my batch, but it is actually pretty snug!  My trick with the liner is to use double sided tape to stick it to the mold so it doesn't fold in on itself when you try to pour in your batter.  Works like a charm!  Everyone needs one of these molds!

3) The Heavy Duty Column Mold (with liner)!  I tried my own PVC pipe mold and struggled to unmold my soaps.  These molds are extra nice with their perfect fit liners, no more struggling with freezer paper inside a pipe!  I think these are my most used molds, you can make some super pretty swirls and funnel pour designs using these.  A word of advice?  Get at least 2!  One just isn't enough!  [I have the "old" version of the linked mold, the new ones look even easier to unmold!  Great job BB!]

4) Fragrances!  Not just a specific few, but a whole BUNCH! Dragon's Blood, Fresh Snow, Black Raspberry Vanilla, Sweet Meyer Lemon, Orange 10X Essential Oil, and Peppermint Essential Oil (2nd distillation)... just to name a few!  The only problem I have with the fragrances from BB is that I don't have enough money to buy every one I want to try!  Thank goodness for those free samples!  A little sample of love!  

5) The Mini Mixer!  These little guys are great for mixing colourants into glycerin, oil or water.  They get rid of any clumps and help you get a nice cohesive mix.  Since I got my first one I haven't really had any "colourant clumps" in any bars, which is excellent!  Those little lumps always annoyed me.  I now have 2 of these just in case I should break one, can't go without it!

That is a brief taste of my favorite BB items, but the list is extensive!

The second question: why should I be chosen for the spring 2013 S.O.A.P panel?  This one is a bit easier for me, and less lengthy for you!  I've been making soap since I was around 10 (MP then, CP/HP for the last 1.5 years) and I am absolutely, beyond a doubt, hooked.  I love pouring my creativity into something that is ultimately useful.  I also love Bramble Berry.  I think I should be chosen for this panel because of my love of the craft, and the company.  I believe it is my turn to give something back to the folks who are always there to help me when I need it.  I don't think I've ever waited even a day for help when I send a message to BB, and the responses are always friendly and helpful.  I want to be able to use my love of the craft to help BB for a change!  It would be an incredible honour to be chosen for the panel, but even if I'm not I'll be excited for those who are!

<3 Heather

What's this??

This is SOAP!  Yes, my friends, I have been making some new soaps.  Boy it feels nice to be back at it!  Here is what I've been making!  

This is "Rainforest".  It is a very light fresh outdoors type scent, definitely unisex!  I chose the colours of rainforest flowers because I didn't want to go just plain green!  This was made in my Brambleberry (BB) 5lb wood loaf mold with silicone liner, LOVE that mold!  I messed up my measurements somehow so I also have some smaller bars that I think will be gifts when I finally open a shop!

Next we have Blackberry Sage, a scent I picked up from AHRE (Aroma Haven and Rustic Escentuals).  LOVE the scent, much more fruity and yummy than I expected!  I seemingly forgot to "clean" these bars, so they look a bit rustic.  Oops?  Using this in the shower now, very nice soap!  Made in BB's older version of the column mold with liner

And last, but not least, black raspberry vanilla!  Still in the mold too!  Slightly annoyed at this one, one of the colourants I used (see the awesome raspberry colour?) is bleeding like mad and colouring the entire batch!  So much for my nice swirls!  The company assured me it was non-bleeding too!  GAH!  At least it still smells great, and doesn't look too bad!  The fragrance and mold are both from BB!

That's it for the current soaps, off right now to make my tiger swirl soap for the Great Cakes Soapworks 2013 soap challenge!!!  Well... right after I do my post to try and get into the spring S.O.A.P. test group!  Wish me luck!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The coming storm!

Well, hopefully!  Now that we're through the flu, the sick dog (she's alright!) and spring cleaning (yes, before spring even arrives!) we're ready to put the last few finishing touches on the workshop!  What does that mean for the blog?  Well... soap!!  And soap videos too hopefully!  Its been a long and soapless month and I'm getting restless!

For now, I sign off from the Geek Cave and soon hope to be bringing you tidings from the Workshop!