Soap Sudz

As much as I love old beat up stuff.. I have to draw the line at my skin. As I get older, I refuse to have my skin get older with me. I learned many years ago to get out of the sun and take better care of my skin because I refused to look my age. I accidently learned how nice hand-made soap and lotions were for your skin.. and I have never looked back. My mother had purchased a bar of cold process soap for me and I had it sitting in a dish because it was decorative. Well, I ran out of soap and was forced to use the decorative bar. WHAT a difference in my skin. I was hooked and on a path of learning to make my own.

 Hand-made soap does not tend to dry your skin and you can even use it to wash your hair. Chemicals added to commercial products to increase and stabilize lather are not found in hand made products. They will initially feel a bit different on first use, but you will be loving the feel of your skin. If your skin tends towards an oily side, use soaps that have clays in them. The clay absorbs the skin’s oil and the clay leaves a silky smoothness behind. Adding things like goat milk and oatmeal also affects the final bar and the properties it brings to your skin. 

 Because of the time it takes to make these products andthe expense of oils like olive , they are more expensive than a bar of soap you purchase at the grocery store.. but believe me.. you are worth it. Give up one coffee a day and splurge on a hand-made bar of soap for a special treat. Cold process soap involves combining oils and butters with lye to create a new product ~ soap. By choosing oils and butters by the properties they bring to the finished soap, you can create bars that have great lather or are very moisturizing.

Castile soaps, made with 100% Olive Oil are the most moisturizing for your skin. Using a high Olive Oil content in any soap will increase the bar of soaps conditioning value for your skin. This oil is good for dry skin and creates a long-lasting, non-drying mild bar of soap with creamy lather. No other soap making oil contributes its unique set of characteristics. It retains moisture to the skin by forming a breathable layer but does not block the skin’s natural functions while performing its own.

Another favorite oil for me to use in soap making is Grapeseed. This oil is rich in vitamins, minerals, and other essential fatty acids which help strengthen tissue cells. This oil helps preserve the natural moisture of the skin and is great for damaged or aging skin. You will find I also like to add this oil to butters and lotions as well.

To get a nice, rich lather in a bar of soap I use coconut oil. This oil will produce a bar of soap that will lather in the hardest water and even sea water if the bar is made of a high percentage of this oil. This is a light and penetrating oil that when used in soaps makes lots of rich, creamy lather that will not clog pores and is readily absorbed into the skin. To see other oils used in soap making and their properties check out THIS PAGE on our web site.

Hand-made soaps are a process. Because of the lye, care must be take with their creation. And to be sure all the lye is use by the soap oils to become soap, calculations determining how much lye is needed have to be figured. When we create our soaps, we do what is called super fatting. We calculate the oils needed to convert the lye and have 5% of the oils that remain unreacted with the lye.. a safety margin and extra conditioning factor for the soap.

The required lye is measured into water and it immediately heats up to over boiling. This must cool down as you melt your solid oils and butters. Again, each oil has to measure exactly to the formula specifications. When everything is about 100 degrees, the lye solution can be combined with the oils and mixing then begins. Some recipes blend into soap in about 5 minutes, some take several hours.. and a few can make instant soap. Not a fun thing to put into a mold. It can easily take half a day to make a batch of soap.

Our soaps are ready to unmold the next day. They will air dry another day or two before we cut them and put them away to dry for 6-8 weeks. This is a cure time for them. Water evaporates from them and they become more solid and hard. I have used a week old bar in the shower with no harm.. they just tend to go quicker because of their softness.

After they drying process our soaps are then shrink wrapped and labeled. We hope to get in the back and get more of our soaps made this month. Soap making is not easy to do when the shop is busy because of all the measuring, and when the batch starts to turn to soap, it has to be poured immediately. When we do get some made I will have some small pieces that I will offer as samples. I have used hand-made soaps and body products for over 10 years now.. and because it has made such a big difference in my skin I want to encourage others to experience it as well.

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Published in: on March 13, 2010 at 1:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Simple Life

  I got wind of a new magazine called ” A Simple Life“. It looks to be very interesting and the pictures from the sneak peek have made me get a subscription. If you love primitive furniture and the simpler way of life, I think you will enjoy this magazine.  I have included the link to their site above and by clicking the picture. Check them out for yourself.

Published in: on March 4, 2010 at 8:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Cool Blogs to Visit

I love information and reading. Both are combined in searching the internet. I was spending some time looking for decorating ideas, repurposing sites and generally any kind of info for those of us who are having to tighten up and make things stretch. My search led me to several blogs dealing with Goodwill finds, crafting and being frugal. I find I enjoy reading blogs as the tone is conversational and you feel like your hanging out with one of your friends.  Here are some of the sites I found interesting while searching.

Suddenly Frugal – a cool blog with a lot of info. There are Freebie Fridays with info on free stuff from retailers and restaurants, information was given on where to find the best shopping deals during the holidays and there is lots more. I found this blog a bit later in the evening and was a bit too tired to fully explore. I plan on checking back regularly.

Primitive Lifestyle – This blogger is in Ohio and loves to hit the Goodwill store and repurpose items she finds. She posts the latest treasures and will later post her project to change the item into a new piece for her home. I enjoyed going back through the archives to see all the neat items she has reclaimed and given new life to. Though I too love to redo items, she has inspired me to look at things a little differently to find the hidden treasures.

Behind My Red Door – OK.. not really a lot of How-To-Do.. but the pictures are delightful eye candy to those that love the country/prim style of decor. Cruising thhrough her posts gave me ideas for decorating the shop. Sometimes the bets way to save money on decorating is to get some free inspiration. Enjoy..

Published in: on February 8, 2010 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Reed Diffusers

022100281With the changes in the Candle Room, we are enlarging our selection of Reed Diffuser Oils. We mix these super strong and if you don’t see your favorite oil on the shelf, we can make up your favorite fragrance in these oils in just a few seconds.

Reed Diffusers are really nice ‘Personal Area’ fragrancers. In a bathroom, on a desk.. these are just the trick. For scenting larger rooms, the candles or melts are a better choice. To get the best performance from the sticks, follow these guidelines:

  • Never mix fragrances on one set of reeds. They can not be made rid of the previous scent and over time, they do lose their ability to wick fragrance. The reeds are not expensive so replace the reeds when you replace the fragrance oils.
  • Flip the reeds end over end on a regular basis. Flipping the reeds encourages the wicked oil to travel in another direction and gives better disbursement of your scent. Once a week is good.. but they can be done every couple of weeks.
  • Be VERY careful with the fragrance oils. Most women have accidentally removed furniture finish with nail polish remover somewhere in their lives. These fragrances are no different. They are caustic and will eat the finish off most things. I recommend pouring the fragrance oil into the display container over the sink. That way you can set the empty bottle down in the sink and any drips will not cause damage.

The industry standard life for this product is about a month. Here around the shop we tend to get a few months out of them. Like candles and melts, they add another dimension of fragrancing your home.

Published in: on February 22, 2009 at 8:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Paperwork

Well, we’re back from Market and the Cash and Carry and we spent most of the day entering  invoices in the computer. I learned the hard way to get things entered in the system before dragging things out and pricing. I did get all the prints we bought priced and out though. My son had the job of hammering the hanging brackets on the backs of the prints. He got to work on his math skills dividing whole and fractional numbers in half. I’ve been told I need to add pictures to my blog. So.. when we get the shop a bit more organized we will get some pictures of the new stuff up for everybody to see.

As a reward for helping me at the Market this past weekend, and all the help he gives me around the shop.. I got my son a fish tank. He has been talking about one for a year now and I thought it would be a nice hobby for him to start. I had one myself at about his age and really enjoyed it. I have a nice 30 gallon tank that I’m wanting to setup in my office when I get around to getting it organized. Right now I hardly spend any time back there.. about once a month for filing things. The office is in the back of the building and a bit cold with the fridgid temps we are having right now. The back door needs to come off and a steel frame installed and the entire setup better insulated. Going to have to make that a priority this Summer. Once I get that taken care of I’ll get the tank setup.

I did find a cool site while cruising around reading some blogs. If you like primitives, check out Primitive & Rustic Crafts . The site is quite busy with lots of posting and there are lots of blogs and web sites to check out. If you get a chance pop over and check it out.

Published in: on January 22, 2009 at 1:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Reading Level

I was cruising some other blogs today and came accross a post that talked about the education level requiredelementary_school to understand the writing in a blog. Upon further reading, I learned that the norm amongst journalist is to write at an elementary level so they can be understood by the most people. Being ever so curious I clicked the link and had mine tested. And this is what was returned.  Then I entered in some other Blogs that I had been checking out today and most of them also came up with this rating. Check it out for yourself by clicking the picture..

Published in: on January 21, 2009 at 6:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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