Friday, 29 May 2009

New soapies all wrapped up

There's nothing like a tight deadline to get the creative juices flowing, is there? Nick and I spent a couple of days designing and printing the labels for the new soaps, and we finally finished wrapping them, all ready for the two day fair starting tomorrow.

Here are just a few pics which we took as we were wrapping the soapies, longingly looking at the sunshine outside, listening to fab dance music and jiggling about to it, lol -

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

New labels

As usual, we have left things to the last minute, my fault really for spending way too much time crocheting, boot fairing and blogging, lol. But at long last, my wonderful son and I have made the new labels for the facial polish, just in time for the two day fair at the weekend.

As you can see, I am still going with the Art Nouveau theme, I just love those designs, and however much I admire other styles, I keep coming back to this one. The photo is pretty naff, but the weather is horrid today, very grey, stormy, raining, so the light is awful, and I really don't like flash very much.

Ingredients info, batch No., addy etc are on one side of the main pic, the How to Use info is on the other side of the label. I was quite pleased to be able to get it all onto one large label. Do let me know what you think, please, or point out anything which might need changing.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

I am all soaped out for the moment, I have plenty of stock now for the upcoming fairs, but I think I need to restock on some of the bath products as well. I love making bath melts, the fragrances don't change like they sometimes do in soap, you don't have to wait 4-6 weeks for them to cure and of course the best bit is trying them out myself for, well, errmm, quality control reasons, of course. Sigh, bathroom bliss.

Also, I will have to bribe my son again to help design and print the labels for the new soaps and of course for the new tall cylinder packaging for the facial scrub. Yikes, I hope Cosmo will do the trick again.

At the moment, I also spend quite a bit of time crocheting, it is such a therapeutic thing to do early in the mornings when the dogs decide to get me up at 6am or in the evenings, whilst watching telly or chatting with the girls online. Also blogging seems to have me by the scruff of my neck, lol, I can't seem to stop posting silly things on my other blog -, come and visit and have a giggle, you may even see a picture of Her Majesty the Croapqueen!

Thats it for now, I am getting my bath melt ingredients ready, I'll probably spend half hour or so sniffing my way through all the beautiful fragrance oils in my cupboard, or maybe I'll come up with a new essential oil blend....

Friday, 8 May 2009

The bestest thing.........

is a full drying rack! It is so satisfying to see a whole lot of cut soap curing on the rack, and as an added bonus, the room smells absolutely delicious day in day out.

I am really itching to make more soap, I don't know whats wrong with me, lol, but I would have to find space for yet another drying rack somewhere. That could be a tad difficult, as every inch of the house seems to be filled with my various collections of bits and bobs. Maybe nobody would mind if I put a rack or two in the dining room, next to all the boxes with the goodies for the fairs, or next to the trolley with the beads.........

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Yay, new cosmetic packaging

I had sold out of my facial polish in those lovely tins and had been trying to source some more, without much luck though. Either they were too small, too large, out of stock or just way too expensive. So I was delighted when I finally found these great aluminium containers, they are perfect for just shaking a little of the scrub into your hand without having to use a tiny boomerang spoon.

My son is going to hate me though, because it means we have to design new labels, lol! He will be back from France in a few days, and I will then break it to him gently, lol. In the meantime, here are the containers minus label -

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Sparkly Precious Pretties

I am a bit of a fan of anything vintage, and I love pretty little things for the dressing table. So, whenever I come across a sweet little powder bowl at a boot fair or in a junk shop, I snap it up. I am planning to use them for a limited edition of body dusting powder in these one off, beautifully sparkling bowls. Here is just a little taster -

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Sigh, when will I learn patience

My darling dogs got me up at 6 am again, and of course I just couldn't resist checking out the soap from yesterday. It was still soft, very soft actually, and I ought to have left it alone, but could I? Nope, I really really really wanted to see what it looked like inside. So out of the mould it came, and I sliced a bit off the end. Note to self - don't slice a soft soap with soap shreds on top, lol, because they get dragged down and leave lovely big tracks down the soap, grrr. Second note to self - if you just can't wait, then turn the loaf upside down so that the shreds are underneath, lolol, that worked when I sliced another bit of the other end!

Well, the sea green I was hoping for buy mixing the annatto seed infusion with UM blue is more of a sea mud, and of course the top layers aren't layers at all, but all in all, it could have been worse, its quite a funky looking soap. And who knows, it might still go greener, anything is possible with soap after all.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Soap will never cease to amaze me

Just when you think you got it all sussed, it bites you on the bum, lol.

I had a three layer soap planned, incorporating an experiment, to see whether I could get a decent sea green colour by mixing annatto seed infusion with ultramarine blue. The bottom layer was going to be blue, the middle layer hopefully a sea green and the top layer a nice egg yolk yellow. I also wanted to use up some FOs I had in the cupboard. I do love vanilla rose combos, so thats what I was going for. Rose FO, being a floral, was supposed to accelerate badly, so I was going to use that in the bottom layer to get it to set up real quick. Yeah right, sigh. Would you believe that this English Rose FO soaped absolutely beautifully? No sign of acceleration, however much I stickblended it, lol. Sod's law, of course, when you want it set up quick, it will give you the finger, lol, and stay liquid, lol.

So there I was, with the other two thirds of the soap, at very thin trace, sitting in two separate jugs, waiting to be dealt with. I had already coloured the two lots with annatto seed infusion. One was to stay that colour, the other one I was going to add UM blue to, to get a sea green colour. I didn't want to start stickblending the UM blue into the second layer, until the first had set up, and of course that was taking its time. Finally it seemed firm enough to pour the second layer on, so I quickly blended the UM into the yellow soap................ and blended............... and blended some more. Would that wretched soap thicken up? Nope, of course not, not at all, not after oodles of stickblending. Sigh. Ah well, nevermind, I thought, pour it onto the bottom layer, it will firm up nicely once its in the mould, and as the second FO, Vanilla Bean wasn't mean to accelerate at all, it seemed like a good plan. So on it went, and off I went to add the FO to the last third of soap. Stirred it in gently, and waited for the second layer to set............ and waited............ and waited some more. Would it ever set? Like heck it would, but of course the last third with the Vanilla Bean FO did, in the pot, lol. By now it was like a very thick custard, and I had to use it, or lose it.
I globbed it on, and the still thin middle layer squidged around and over it. So much for my lovely layers, lol. Ah well, it might still turn out ok-ish, fingers crossed. Topped it off with some plain cream soap shreds to hide the messy top, lol. Its happily gelling away now. I just wish I could see what it looks like inside, grrr, having to wait til tomorrow is soooooooooo hard.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

More restocking

I had to make another batch of Oriane today, as it has proved very popular at craft fairs. I made the essential oil blend a couple of days ago to give it time to develop properly, and then spent most of today with the bottle glued to my nose, sniffing the heady fragrance. I do so love that particular blend, sigh. I make this one in a slab mould ( great old wooden tray from a boot fair, was all of 50p) so that I can swirl the top properly. Thankfully, the soap behaved beautifully and let me have enough time to swirl. It is gelling nicely at the mo. Didn't get a chance to take a pic straight after pouring and swirling, so the pic shows it half gelled -