Sunday, December 13, 2015

I have a question! Or 20.....

Anyone can make soap.  I love making soap!  And am happy to help others, but simply don't have time.  If you have contacted me, I am sending you this link as your answer is here!  

I am emailed many times a day asking for information.  Either asking for my formulas, or how to make soap. I usually respond with resources, answering questions as time allows, and helping any way I can.  However, often people are looking for step by step how to's, asking me to research their formulas, and answer detailed questions that are explained in the links I already provided.  I simply don't have time to answer the plethora of questions I receive.  Here are my thoughts to many of the daily comments and emails.  

How do you get started making soap?

Reserach.  Research.  And then research some more!  Soap making can be dangerous.  It is NOT a get rich quick scheme.  Most soap makers make soap because it is a passion.  I began making soap for my children and their horrific skin issues.  I was a mom on a mission.  But the decision wasn't a quick one.  I spent months and months reading everything I could get my hands on.  Watching YouTube videos, learning all I could about oil properties, soap qualities, how to formulate recipes, water discounts, DOS, lye, cure time, safety, just to name a few!  Then I began soaping with published recipes.  Until you have a good understanding of these things, the only soap you should be making is melt and pour.  

What resources would you suggest?


Soap Crafting
The Soapmakers Companion
The Everything Soapmaking Book 


Can I have your recipe?

No.  I spent years formulating my recipes.  They are of my own creation, developed with lots of expense, trial and error.  Think of it this way.  One would not simply walk into Starbucks and ask them for their lemon loaf recipe, and expect to get it.  Or email Johnson & Johnson and ask for their baby wash formula.  Recipes are usually proprietary.  You can try to duplicate it, but will never truly be able to.  Honestly, asking a person or a business for their recipe is rude.  

Why do you post YouTube videos if you aren't giving me your recipe?

Several reasons.  I love watching soap videos, and I am not the only one.  It is a way for me to give back to those who have shared their videos and talent with me!  And let's face it.  YouTube is social media, and a great way to get my business out there.  Someone once asked me if I actually thought people would buy after watching - well yes, that is the idea.  YouTube is a great marketing tool.  It's also a great way for me to store my videos to refer back to when remaking a soap, and not taking up valuable hard drive space.  And I have fun doing it.  So I post videos because I want to.  

Where did you get - Fragrance, Color, tools, etc.

All over.  There are many suppliers on the internet.  Google, join Facebook groups, and once again, research.  I have many suppliers I use.  Just because I like a certain supplier, doesn't mean someone else will.  A few of my favorites: Bramble Berry, Nutures, Mad Oils, Wholesale Supplies Plus, Natures Garden, Soapers Choice, BeScented.  But these are just a few.  The list goes on and on.

I want to start a soap making business but have never made soap.

SO many things I want to say about this.  In my opinion, you should not sell soap until you have been successfully been making it for at least a year.  You need to understand oil properties, lye calculators, and most importantly, what your soap does after lengthy cure.  Problems with soap do not always appear right away.  DOS can occur months after soap has been curing.  Don't know what DOS is?  You should not be selling soap.  It is my opinion that your soap should be of your own creation, and not someone else's.  This takes much time!  You also need to understand FDA labeling laws.  And follow them!  Soapers who don't follow the law make it more difficult for those that do.  

Can you tell me if this is a good soap recipe?  

No.  Unless I make it myself, or try it, I can't give you my opinion on it.  All recipes - even published ones - should be run through a lye calculator prior to making.  This is the one I suggest:  There is a ton of information on SoapCalc about oil and soap properties.  I can't stress enough the importance of reading through this and understanding the information.  I simply don't have time to do the work for you here.

I want to copy your design.

No thank you.  You may think this is flattering, but it is not.  Part of soap making is the artistic aspect.  The creative freedom.  Be inspired.  Try a technique.  But make it your own.  
I want to make cold process soap to sell next week.

Ummmm NO.  If you don't know cold process soap should cure for 4-6 weeks minimum, (recipe dependent - it could be longer!  Never shorter! This is only something you will know with time!), you should not be selling your soap!  Make hot process instead for faster cure time, but again, do your research.  Or better yet, make melt and pour.  

I hope you take advantage of the information I provided, and find it helpful in your soaping journey!  Most soapers start their journey on their own.  I did not have help when I began.  Everything I know I learned on my own.  And from that dedication, my passion grew.  In order to be passionate about what you do, you need to be your own expert!  The only way to make that happen is with you!  

Happy Soaping!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Butterfly Swirl - A challenge!

Most soapers know about Amy Warden's soap challenge club.  For those who don't, it's a monthly challenge for soapers to learn new techniques, and enter their creations into a contest.  I have never participated, but this month the Butterfly swirl was a technique I haven't been able to achieve.  So I decided to give it a whirl!

I watched the instructions over and over, and even took notes.  I had 2 soaps planned to attempt the swirl, and a few other soaps to make at the same time.  I got all set up, and began soaping.  To warm up, I began with my non Butterfly swirls soaps.  Everything went smoothly.  Then I took a deep breath, and began soaping my Butterfly swirl soaps. 

I couldn't wait to cut into them!  Here are the results:


First attempt
(Maybe a butterfly if you squint?  I see an angel if I look at one bar alone)


Second attempt
(Yeah I don't see a butterfly no matter how much I squint!  Maybe if I turn them over?)


Second attempt
(Yeah I don't see a butterfly no matter how much I squint!  Maybe if I turn them over?)

Well what do you know?  It does look like a Butterfly!  I didn't see it until this moment.  HA!  

And here is where it gets funny.  The next soap I made before Virgo and Hydra.  I did swirl it, but it was random.  And low and behold what do I see?  A butterfly!  I don't believe I will ever be able to achieve this again, as I have no idea how I did it!  

Here are the YouTube videos!

Hydra (Soap I entered!)

Pleiades - Sweet Pea

Off to take more pictures now that the sun is out!