Thursday, July 29, 2010

John's Soap

The weather in Toronto lately has been hot and sometimes humid.   Me being a spoiled Torontonian, I find myself missing the pre-summer days when it's dry and cool.  (But we ALL complain about the cold for the rest of the year!)

When it's hot and sticky, I go to my summer soaps, and this one is By Far my favorite!

I call it John's Soap because Hubby's co-worker John asks for the same one every once a while.  I don't blame him for not interested in trying my other soaps, because I'm in love with these soaps too!  

I just love the way they lather on my skin, so rich and so bubbly!  When I first started making soaps, I thought I would have to put up with the notirously poor lathering power of handmade soaps, and the first time I used these bars, I said to myself, "I'll have to make them again!"  

Now that these bars are almost 8 months old, they are even more amazing to use in the shower.  But I'll be a little skeptic in terms of using them in the winter.  The winter here is pretty dry, and I'll have to wait and see how moisturizing they can be.  Meanwhile, I'll just enjoy the bubbles!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lavender Facial Soap

Jennifer, a very creative soap maker, has recently made a bunch of alkanet experiments to see how alkanet affects soap colors.  Her experiments are not only interesting to follow, they're also extremely informative.   I admire her scientific spirit and her patience!

Meanwhile, I'm still a victim of alkanet's unpredictable nature.  This herbal root offers such a bright and luscious red color, but after you add lye to the oil, the color turns either gray, purple, blue, or sometimes black.   Tricky! 

I'm not as patient as Jennifer, so I just take whatever I get, and this time, I got dark purple.  While I love this color, I know it'll fade in time, and there's no guarantee that I can reproduce the same shade again.   Maybe this is why alkanet is so fascinating to play with.  You never know what you'll get next time!

Hubby and I just spent about a week on Prince Edward Island.  They call themselves the Gentle Island for a reason!   We enjoyed our trip by visiting various beautiful beaches, sampling fresh and succulent oysters, devouring the world-famous Cows ice cream, and taking in the picturesque scenery.   

Everything looks beautiful there, even the wild flowers there look so much better than the ones we have here in the city!

If you know Anne of Green Gables, you'll know PEI is known to be the land of Anne.  But Hubby had made it clear that there'd be no "Anne stuff" for our trip, we managed to stay away from the main tourist attractions.   

It was a very relaxing and enjoyable trip, and I'm already dreaming of going back to PEI again!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chocolate Soap

Can you say chooooooocolate?
I made this one with my hubby in mind.  He loves food,  especially sweet food.  I went out and bought a 90% chocolate for this soap, and I put in lots of it.   The soaps are not scented, but I can smell that distinct chocolate fragrance!  Yummy!

The chocolate gives these bars such a shiny texture and they look (and smell) just like the real ones.  But I got scared a little the first time I used it.  The chocolate actually translated into brown suds!  I thought I got a big cut somewhere and the brown color actually came from my blood.   It took me a few seconds to realize that I got tricked by my own soap.
These soaps leave my skin nice and soft, I'd definitely make them again.  As for hubby, he's intrigued by them, but he said he'd much prefer eating the chocolate rather than showering with it.

I n g r e d i e n t s :
Coconut oil, Castor oil, Corn oil, Lard

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My First In-the-pot Swirl

I found this great video about swirling, and the video had been replaying non-stop in my head ever since.  I had to try the swirl to get it out of my system!  Unfortunately, the result isn't quite I expected.

I was hoping for more fine lines and more curves, but this is what I got.
Sometimes I wonder if "good" swirling requires a large mold, either a long and narrow log mold, or a wide and flat slab mold.  All my molds are small, the largest one can only take up to 800g of oil.  I've been wishing for a nice wooden mold, but it's so hard to find an affordable mold here in Toronto!

I n g r e d i e n t s :
Olive oil, Lard, Coconut oil

Made on 2010-06-09

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Is it the way they smell?

First of all - Happy Birthday, Canada! How old are you now, 143? It's amazing to think that you're still so young that I bet some of the trees in the park nearby are older than you.

These soaps are know to my dentist as the Peppermint Soap, and so are some other ones I've made before. Whenever I visit her, she'll ask for peppermint soaps. I've used different formulas, but the scent has always been Peppermint EO, and she seems to be happy each time she gets them.

Hubby has a colleague who always asks for Orange Soap. I have a friend who only likes Lavender Soap, and my mother doesn't even care what the scents are, she just calls them "the soap that smells nice". The scent has become my soap's identity, like a flavour, a tag.

Sometimes I wonder whether they love the soaps for the way they smell or the way they pamper the skin. To me, I've stopped scenting most of my soaps because I know I'll be curing them for at least 4, 5 months before I use them. But sometimes I do enjoy that extra luxury the wonderful smell can bring to the shower. In fact, I just made Lavender Soap not too long ago, and I'm going to save them for one of those "Me Days"!

Olive oil, Coconut oil, Castor oil, Sweet Almond, Cocoa Butter
and Peppermint Essential Oil!

Made on 2010-06-02