I Won the most fabulous items and all I had to do is go to one of my most favorite sites and comment on one of their posts.
If your a soaper even as a hobby then you know Bramble Berry and you know who the Soap Queen is. If your new to soaping and you want to find the best supplier on the net then head over to Bramble Berry other wise you should check out her Blog The Soap Queen and Teach soap for some really cool ideas and recipes. Anne Marie is (AKA The Soap Queen) is always coming up with cool ideas.
Here is what I won and I am so excited because Bramble Berry's stuff is always the highest quality. I started out soaping using her fragrances.
I am honored to be nominated for this award by Corrie of Lomond Soap. Go check her site out she has made some really interesting soap of late and had a cool party recently. Also she is the creater of the cool funnel swirls.
The rules for acceptance of the award are as follows:
Pick 8 blogs that you consider deserving of this award based on their creativity, design, interesting material and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.
So the blogs I really enjoy and think deserve this award are:
(Lomond would be one but I don't think I can pass it back) http://ragtreepeople.blogspot.com/ http://www.smellychicksonline.com/ http://soap-queen.blogspot.com/ http://digitalpolaroids.blogspot.com/ http://gracefruit.blogspot.com/ http://thesoapbar.blogspot.com/ http://www.birchbarksoap.com/ http://www.threefatesdesign.blogspot.com/
Wow what a Saturday I had. I did not realize what a all day drive it would be. I am so glad I did it though. There is nothing like presenting your work to a client. I think they really enjoyed my interpretation of their wine in soap.
Girls-are-meaner we have decided needed a little spice added to it but I believe I have that covered. I find it is real important when designing soaps for a particular customer to not make to big of batches at one time. scents and color can fade over the curing time and you may find that something was lost during that time. They were still pleased with the coloring and the scent. I found that making the drive down to present the soaps also helped in giving it the special touch.
I have to say that if ever around the Navajo Lake or Blanco area you have to stop into this winery. It is absolutelyy gorgeous. Its nestled down in a valley surrounded with cottonwoods and grapevines. The look is rustic and very inviting. I loved the wine tasting room and Jerusalem (She is this wonderful dog that is absolutely the best).
Also I have to give credit to Three other young men who were on this all day trip. (Three hours there and Three back not counting stops). I had my sons half brothers and him along with my hubby. They were all troupers. Here are some pics of the trip.
I always start making this around this time of year. Its a huge hit and after Halloween you can get lots of fresh pumpkin for cheep.Now the poor pumpkins that didn't get turned into jack-o-lanterns can now have some thing else to look froward to. The dishes I cooked them in I got from Micheal's for 1.00 a piece. They are dish washer, microwave and oven safe. I just love them they are adorable.
Here's the recipe:
1 cup vegetable oil (I add 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup apple sauce to add moisture and cut the fat)
3 eggs (Straight from the coop)
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups white sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 10 inch bundt or tube pan.
Cream oil, beaten eggs, pumpkin and vanilla together.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, ground nutmeg, ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground cloves and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix until just combined. If desired, stir in some chopped nuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
For the Icing I used:
1/3 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound (3 1/2 cups) sifted confectioners sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
Cream butter, salt, and vanilla, beating until light and fluffy. Add sugar gradually, beating after each addition. Add 3 tablespoons milk, beating until smooth. Beat in more milk until desired spreading consistency is reached. Makes about 2 1/3 cups of frosting, enough to frost tops and sides of of an 8-inch 2-layer cake or a 10-inch tube or bundt cake, or about 1 dozen cupcakes.
I also added cinnamon to mine. I am not sure how much I did it to taste.
Well here are some of the pics of the salt bars. The weird thing is I started using one and now that I have got it wet and actually used it it seems to be better, not crumbly at all. The bars hardened very fast. When I say fast with in 5 hours or less. When I cut in to them the ends crumbled in half right away. Even the pieces that stayed together seemed crumbly.
As I said I decided to at least see how the soap would lather so I used one of the half pieces. It actually lather OK and after using seemed as if it was not crumbly. Today that piece and another that I wet seemed much more together and actually salvageable.
Now my only questions is how can I do this better and what to do with the bowl of crumbles. Any suggestions?
On the lighter side I decided to try felting for the first time. I went down to the local weaving shop and got the materials. I decided to felt one of my partial bars that I had laying around. I like it, I think it turned out cute, and its an easy way to make scrap soap pretty.
I needed a break from sewing and decided to tackle a new soap. I had never made salt bars before and had heard that they were difficult to master. From al
l the articles I read most soapers use either 100% Coconut or real close to that for the lather. I have a hard time using that much coconut oil just for the fact it can be so harsh. So I went 40% Palm Kernel ( I Have A Ton Of Organic visit me at www.abodynatural
soap.com), 20% coconut, and then I split the difference between soy and olive. I was worried with it setting to quickly so I let the oils and the lye cool down to under a hundred (Plus this helps to create a light soap).
I decided I didn't want any colorings so that the pink in the Himalayan salt would be what gave it color. My son said it looked like a strawberry shake. Hmmm I scented it s
age but now maybe I should have scented it strawberry.
So far so good. I haven't cut it yet but I hear that it can set real hard so I will keep an eye on it.
Wheww. Finished a diaper bag for my niece. Her baby shower is the day after Halloween. My mom-in-law helped me pick out the material. She is young (niece not Mom-in-law) so I wanted it to be hip. It took a couple of days to complete but I think it turned out real nice.
I used the simplicity pattern #2924
I think she will really like it and at least its unique. I know the pics really don't look like it but its denim with this shiny copper pattern on it to look like snake skin. The model is my son not my nice, I did say she was young but that would be ridiculous.
So I wanted to share with everyone the pictures we took at the Balloon Fiesta. Although I Also want to wish my sincere condolences to the family a friends of the Hot air Balloon pilot that lost his life this weekend and the prayers for the other pilots speedy recovery. I thought about putting up pictures of that Balloon but I decided that I myself would prefer not to.
Please enjoy what pics I do have. I believe that you can click on the pics to open a larger image of them.
So Last night I made some more wine soap and with some of the soap left over from previous batches of wine soap I made Soap balls. The Balls are not real uniform mainly because they are going to go into another batch of soap. So I will have balls in my soap. I did get a little creative with a couple, but I knew another challenge was facing me.
Well lets get to my learning experience. I have been pretty lucky as a soap maker and have not had very many failed batches. Lately though I have had some difficult ones. The first batch of wine soap I ever made was difficult. I thought it might have to do with the wine itself. That really didn't make since to me since I have made soap using many other liquid additives. But I thought Wine does have alcohol and more sugars than other liquids I used. Well now after several batches I am to the conclusion that it is my fragrance. Below is an outline of the symptoms.
Oils and lye mixed fine along with colorant Mixed in fragrance and wine at same time.
Batch started setting up extremely quick and had to glob (is glob a word) it into the mold. I assumed I had played around with the coloring of it so much that by the time I got around to the fragrance and wine that it was already setting.
Everything went well put ingredients in at the same way as before but this time did not play around with the coloring since I figured out how much to add from last time. I got the soap into the mold just fine and as I was getting ready to go relax the soap started to separate. Arggg I rushed it back into the pot and started with some heavy mixing. As soon as I got it back to where it should be It started hardening quickly. I globbed it back into the mold and hoped for the best. The next day I cut it and it was fine. Couple weeks of curing I PH tested it and it turned out fine. No problems
Everything went well put ingredients in at the same way as before but this time did not play around with the coloring since I figured out how much to add from last time. I got the soap into the mold just fine and as I was getting ready to go relax the soap started to separate. Arggg I rushed it back into the pot and started with some heavy mixing. As soon as I got it back to where it should be It started hardening quickly. I globbed it back into the mold and hoped for the best. It did get very hot and I at one point thought I would have a volcano on my hands. The next day I cut it and it was fine. Couple weeks of curing I PH tested it and it turned out fine. No problems a really lovely soap.
I assumed on batch 2 that I added the lye to the oils to hot and that was what was wrong so with batch 3 I made sure that the oils and lye were at a good temp and tryed it again. Seperation agian!!!!!!! I also with much handeling and cussing (not outloud I have young ears about)got this soap to also work. Now I had decided that it was the alchohol or the fragrance to blame.
Last Night I decided to tackel the wine soap agian. This time I added color at light trace and then the wine. Everything is fine soap looks beautyful. OK trace is about light to medium and looks like everything is going real well......UNTIL I add the fragrance. The soap immediatly starts to seperate and the thickness is completly gone. So Now I know the culprit. MERLOT WINE FRAGRANCE. I put my trusty stick blender to use and whipped that soap back into shape and once it got to a heavy trace agian I poured it into the mold and hoped for the best. This morning the soap was great, although lighter in color than it should be, and I have a light ash on top. I can wet wipe the ash away so that is no prob. The color maybe I will have to wait until I cut it to really know.
I don't know if I can find a replacement fragrance This one is fab in cured soap it smells so good just like red wine. I may have to fight with it on every batch. This last batch really wasn't much a fight now that I expected it to happen and was ready. So I may keep the fragrance. Hmmm I'll have to think on it.
I had a real bad week last week. Actually it wasn't so bad tell the end Just a real emotional time. I was so glad it was over. Saturday I went to the wine and Art Fest here in Espanola NM. Wow it is so amazing the amount and quality of artist we have in Northern NM. I seen pottery, Glass work, paintings, digital art, sculptures, wood work, tin and just about any medium you could imagine. I really should have had a booth since there wasn't anybody with soap, but I have been so busy getting ready for the Los Alamos Fiesta. Next Year for sure. While I was there I stopped by the Winerys booths and gave them my pitch. They all loved the idea. Whoo hoo 3 more Wineries for soap. I also stopped by Black Mesa's booth and found out that the soap has been going so quickly I am going to have to double if not triple up on my batches for them. So this weekend I made more soap and packaged up 30 bars of the cured black beauty soap so I can get those over to black Mesa. I also made a few more bags. Hopefully I can get some pics up. I am going to make more soap tonight hopefully if everything works out well. Check out the pics of some of the artists at the fiesta.