Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cucumber Soap

Sometimes I find cucumbers in our garden that have grown bigger than that "ideal eating" size.

Why don't we eat them? We're beyond overloaded with cucumbers right now.  We've passed them on to friends and family to the point that they wince when we call or visit - worried we're going to drop more cucumbers in their laps.  We've made traditional pickles.  We've made salads.  We've made refrigerator pickles.

The next logical cucumber project would be - soap, naturally.  

Here's a quick look at how I make soap with cucumbers.

First, puree the cucumbers.  Skin, seeds and all.

Weighing the Shea Butter.

Cucumber puree with lye - going into the oils.

Blending the oils and lye.

Adding buttermilk.

Soap with green colorant being added back to batch for a swirl effect.

Cucumber Soap!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Opposing H.R. 5786 - even though I firmly support Safe Cosmetics

I've sent this letter to my representative.  I've also sent it to the person running against him in the upcoming election and to the submitters of the bill.  Basically - if they'll listen, I'll talk.  As written, this bill stands to be the end of my company - and of many others like mine.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fail. Succeed. And lots of Baths.

We're expanding our product line!

Exciting, I know.  And what are we expanding it with?  Shampoos, Conditioners, and Bath Bombs.

I'm the Bath Bomb Gal.  I want these babies to be luxurious - without being greasy.  Fun, without leaving a colorful ring on the user's mid-section.  (Yes, my youngest had a bath ring in the early stages of formulations, LOL!)  Mainly, I want a product that meets our current standards!

Notice the GREEN BLOB in the center of the pic?  That's a one of my "Failures".  From crumbles to expanders - I've made 'em all!  The good news is that I've wound up with a bomb I'm pleased to send to my testers.  

Friends and Customers with sensitive skin - or kids with sensitive skin have been my target tester.  I figure, if THEY like the product - most everyone will!  My kids, my friends kids, and many friends have been soaking and bathing like crazy. Me on the other hand - I'm ALMOST ready to come out of the bath lab.

For now, here's what you need to know.  They fizz.  They bubble.  They smell fantastic, and leave your skin feeling soft.  Most importantly, our release date is coming soon!   

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

HMSG Conference 2010

This video does a great job capturing this year's conference.  It was a fantastic conference.  I was inspired, re-charged - AND I learned a thing or two.  The best part though was meeting all kinds of great people I'm looking forward to keeping in touch with.

Handmade Soapmakers Guild 2010 Conference - Denver
While I was there, I took the certification test and am happy to say...
"I passed". Yup, I'm certified.  
As if I wasn't truly a soapmaker?  
Not at all, but since I was there - I thought I'd go ahead and take the test.  
And here's the result:
Yay me!
All in all - I'd definitely call my time in Denver a rousing success.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Asparagus Bug-a-sus

More Bugs.  {shiver}
These are on the other side of our yard. And there are bunches.

See the red guy in focus at the top right? And random out of focus bug-a-boos, here and there in the pic?

They're Asparagus Beetles.  We have two kinds.  I'll spare ya the pic of the other type, I'm sure you get the idea.

Sooooo, soap to the rescue  - again.

Here's Steve - picking adult beetles off, and putting them in a bucket of soapy water.

And then, we sprayed down the plants with our Fragrance Free Hand Wash - diluted with water.

Absolutely NOT what I had in mind for our hand cleanser when we made it.  BUT, I feel safe using it on our plants and in our yard.

Tired of hearing about our bug problems?  ME TOO.  

Of course, it is nice to know our soaps are multi-purposed.  Still, I'd rather NOT need it for this.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

soapy rescue?

Please, oh please - let the soap save the day.

Our lupines are just beginning to blossom.  I was appreciating their beautiful start when I spotted the HORRIBLE infestation.

Aphids! And not just a few. More like colonies from near and wide having found nirvana on MY lupine.

Fair warning... this ain't for the weak.  All those tiny specs.
Are BUGS!  And every stem looks like that! What's a girl to do?

Here's what I'm going to do.

  1.  Spray with a soapy solution with our Just Plain Clean (lavender blend).
  2.  Call the county extension.
  3. Shudder a bit, because it's just plain ICKY to look at all those bug-a-boos.

  I'll keep you posted.

For now, know that our hand wash is our first line of defense against bothersome pests.

It's biodegradable.  It's definitely soapy.

And... now our plants smell GREAT! Though, I'm (admittedly) aiming for a better outcome than lavender blend smelling lupine.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Shhhh... they're sleeping.

We treat our products well!  First naps, then a massage.

Anyone curious as to what’s REALLY going on?

Here’s a hint:
This is my 5-year-old – helping resolve the issue.

It turns out that after labeling, boxing, taking photos, posting them to Etsy – and actually having delivered a case to a store…  I finally noticed the recent batch of Just Foaming Clean™ has the WRONG front labels on the bottles. 

On one hand, we have good news.  Our labels DON’T come off easily.
The bad news? The labels DON’T come off easily.

We ripped off old labels, washed off all the sticky stuff.  Polished bottles and applied the appropriate labels.  Bet ya THAT won’t happen again!    Here they are  on Etsy, with the old/wrong label. The freshly applied ones say 8 fl oz, instead of our website.  Shhhhhh.  Don't tell anyone our little secret!