Saturday March 8, 2014
Daylight savings time starts this weekend...and spring is right around the corner! It's time to incorporate some of the bright, clean, green, fresh, floral and fruity fragrances into your candles and soaps. Here are my (current) favorite springtime scents for candle and soap making.
Springtime Fragrances for Soap and Candles
Spring Soy Container Candles
Using Flower Petals in Soap
Single Use Dipped Flower Petals Video
Photo credit: Donna Day / Getty Images
Wednesday March 5, 2014
I remember growing up in California and seeing all of the super tall (200+ feet!) eucalyptus trees near my grandparent's house. They told me once that the trees were imported to try to also import koala bears to California. I've never found evidence of that, but koala bears or not, I've always liked eucalyptus.
When most people smell the strong, camphoraceous scent of eucalyptus, they think "cold remedy." And rightly so. Eucalyptus leaves and oil have been used to treat respiratory ailments for ages. All by itself, it's probably a bit too strong and medicinal to use in soap or candles. But blended with other softer scents, it is a wonderful green top note. It's crisp, refreshing, penetrating and earthy. It's also very affordable (generally about $15 a pound) so it's a great oil to try your hand at essential oil blending.
Photo: Getty Images / Tom Brakefield
Monday March 3, 2014
Whether you envision water and clouds...a distant vista fading in the haze...or think of some other way for this gradiated layered soap to isnpire, this is variation of a colored soap that uses one main color in multiple layers...with white as an accent. It is similar in ingredients to my two-color swirl soap, but in this project, the color is layered in a gradated or "ombre" fashion going from dark at the bottom to light at the top.
Ombre Layered Soap Project
Tuesday February 25, 2014
While there are zillions of different variations in soap making - there really haven't been any fundamental new developments in soap making for decades. While our methods and supplies may have been refined, we're still making soap pretty much like it was in Anne Bramson's 1972 book Soap.
However, I came across a Facebook post about a soap making method that I had never heard of or tried. It's called soleseife - which translates from German to "salt water soap." Now I've made salt bars...and added a bit of salt to the lye water to make the soap harder quicker, but this process puts a LOT of salt into the water before adding the lye.
As you would expect, I had to try it!
Here's the report on my first batch. It hasn't cured but a couple of days...so I'll report back on it soon. Let me know if you try it as well!
How to Make Soleseife or Salt Water Soap