Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Soaping and Lotion Plans

Valentine's Day Soap
One of my favorite things to do is make soap.  Now I'm learning to make lotion and cream, too.  It's very satisfying to take some pretty interesting ingredients and follow a recipe or formula and end up with a pleasant product that is both dreamy and practical.  

I've been making soaps for about two years and I learn (I hope) with each batch I make.  

One time I made a few batches of soap and was wrestling one of the batches out of the mold.  I was making a mess of things and was just plain cranky.  My husband reminded me that this was supposed to be fun.  

He was right.  He's also pretty wise and has told me more than once that having the right tool is important when that tool makes a task easier and does it better.  

So . . . I'd been thinking about a new mold for a while, but I'd resisted because of the expense.  But then my husband made the leap and got this wood log mold from Bramble Berry.  I'd been studying it for a while.  It's a five pound mold with sides that swing down.  It makes removing the soap sooo much easier.  My husband is happy when I use it because I'm happier and don't need to call him for help.  I love it because the soaps practically slide out. 

Here's the mold "in action," so to speak:

In fact, the recipe that's in the mold is from this post on the Bramble Berry blog, Soap Queen, written by Anne-Marie Faiola.  I love all the ideas and instructions that come from this blog and the videos that Anne-Marie makes.  

My good experience with this wooden mold encouraged my husband to get a larger wooden mold for me from Bramble Berry.  It's the 18 bar mold.    Pretty cool.  Obviously, I can make more soap in one big mold.  I can make pretty cool swirls in a larger mold.  

I haven't taken any photos of the new 18 bar mold yet.  I've used it only once and I really liked how my soaps turned out.  And more of them!!  

I've ordered other soap making supplies and fragrances from Bramble Berry, too, and some lotion making supplies.  All orders come with a free sample.  Fun stuff!

I just started making lotions and creams.  I have three batches of lotion/cream under my belt and they have been well received by family and friends.  I really took advantage of the Bramble Berry instructional information (both free and paid videos) for the confidence to go ahead and give it a try.   

Why the long "discussion" about soap, molds, lotions, creams, and Bramble Berry?

This is my application to be on Bramble Berry's S.O.A.P. panel.  Panel members will receive six or seven small fragrance samples of Anne-Marie's top floral choices for Spring 2011.  Anne-Marie asks panel members to sniff the new fragrances and test them in any product they want (soap, lotion, cream, bath fizzies).  Then Anne-Marie asks for a report to help her figure out the top picks. 

I'd like to be on the panel.  I think it would be fun.  I think it would help me be more organized in my own testing of products.  And . . . it's been a little while since I made soap or lotion and I'm ready to get back at it!  

I also have a built-in group of willing opinion givers with family and friends who receive samples of my soaps and lotions already.  They really like testing and opining and thinking up new ideas waayy faster than I can make them up!

This panel would be a really good reason to pull out the tubs of soap and lotion stuff and test away.  And make up some of my own (and my friends') ideas, too, while I'm at it.  

What are you making or thinking about making?


  1. Your Valentine's Day soap is adorable! I love it!
    What a sweetie pie you have for a husband, too - and really? I think he got the molds because he likes to see you happy and not just because it reduces the amount of fussing you do, though I'm sure the fuss-reduction adds an element to it, too. lol

    And so? Did you get picked for the panel? I hope so!! :-)

  2. The soap molds are very cool! I think you'll enjoy trying more new ideas now that you have some tools that make it easier. (and I'll be standing by as a willing new-idea-tester!) I'm so glad you were chosen for the summer panel and will expect to see lots of blogs about your adventure!


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