Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lolita


Introducing my Lolita body balm, a  sweet, sensual fragrance blend of lemon, orange, cashmere, and sandalwood. This is very delicate scent despite the sandalwood.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lemongrass


Lemon grass at a marketImage via Wikipedia
The Lemongrass soap is fresh! These bars are scented with Lemongrass essential oil. A bit of a whirly swirl done in the pot. I have to practice more with colors and swirling so I can create masterpieces that are useful. My kitchen smells lively with this aroma whofting through and quite pleasant I must add. Those of you not famaliar with lemongrass, it is a pungent,earthy lemony scent. It is astringent, antiviral and antibacterial. Lemongrass essential oil comes from grasslike leaves that naturally repells insects especially combined with Citronella essential oil. Lemongrass is great for oily skin. Always be careful not to use this essential oil full strength on the skin as it maybe a skin irritant or use in direct sunlight. All citrus oils and those similar to the same chemical makeup, can cause the skin to become irritated when in direct sunlight.
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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Southern Scents Social

Soon, September 26, 2009, the yahoo group, MISSsoap@yahoogroups.com will be having it's annual get together at Porter Farm in Canton, MS. A beautiful farm nestled on the Natchez Trace that's sure to wow. The social hosts and farm owners, Judy and Dred Porter, are a very nice couple that show great Southern hospitality. The food served for lunch is delicious. The members are so friendly and are kind enough to share their knowledge. Last year's social was my first and they soon took me in. This year the same group of great folks also attend the Alabama Meeting, also a yahoo group. Over the years, the Alabama group has grown by leaps and bounds. I know the Mississippi group will grow just as large, in time.

The Southern Scents Social has members who come from as far as Illinois. I recently noticed the group even has a member from Australia! The Southern Scents Social invites all, as long as they join our yahoo group, and for only a small fee that covers the costs of food during the event. Once all the demonstrations and socializing are squared away, a hayride closes out the day's unique and entertaining events. Last year was the first hayride I had ever been on. Last year was so much fun! Along the ride you get to listen to a ghost story while driving along the Porter property where a Civil War skirmish once took place. Great stories if you are a history buff, like I am. But even now, I can still hear the ghostly story of "Taily Bone". "Taily bone...taily bone, where's my taily bone?" All long, while riding in the early fall night air with a starlit night as our guide.
Fun times at Porter Farm!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Labels for Body Balm



My new body balm is here! My label is fresh off the press too. I'm very excited right now. This was my first attempt at using Photo Shop. My friend Marsha tutored me yesterday and this morning. I keep learning more things each day. I've always been intimidated by computers but now knowing they have fun programs just makes me proud to be able to use my computer more.I can't wait to see how much I progress in the weeks to come. Soon I will dabble in Paint Shop Pro and see where that takes me.

My Coconut scented body balm is made from beeswax, Shea butter, sweet almond oil and a yummy toasted coconut fragrance oil. I will introduce another one that will have a new formula. Time to ponder that...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Baby Shower Order & Phthalates




Today, all I can smell is fresh soap curing. I have an order for a client who is having a baby shower. She asked me to make her gifts for her hosts. I'm so happy to do this for her.I must add, it's a big order too! She requested 15 bars of soap, 15 spa bars, 15 lotion bars, and 5 twist up lotion sticks. Whoever gets these will surely know how much they are appreciated. No need for air freshener when you make handmade soaps! The scent wafting through my home is Pure Rain, made by Wholesale Supplies Plus. This is the fragrance used to scent the 15 spa bars. WSP carries most of the fragrances and essential oils I use in my bath and body products. Debbie May is the owner of this supply company in Ohio. Her products are tested and are of the finest quality and competitively priced for this industry. She has made it her mission to sell fragrances and flavor oils(used in lip balms) that are phthalate -free and are made in the USA.


What are phthalates and why should I know about them? Phthalates are "plasticisers",an industrial chemical used to make PVC more pliable. Shockingly, it is also found in children's and pet toys, food packaging, wall coverings, vinyl flooring, adhesives, detergents,nail polish, hairspray, shampoo and even perfumes! Phthalates are esters of phthalic acid. They are oily, color-free and odorless. Often they are used to help beauty products "hold" scent. Imagine all the things we know our skin comes in contact with we know is harmful. Would you think that these plasticisers effect our bodies? They have proven to affect both male and female reproductive systems as well as cause liver cancer. Be kind to your vessel that carries you through this life. Look for products that are manufactured safely and that have made changes in the chemicals they use to make your everyday products. Being healthy is being aware. Take charge of your health!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lotion Bars and Lip Balms

Soon, I will add lotion bars in a twist up tube to my line of bath products. My ingredients are simple yet amazing: Shea butter, Sweet Almond oil and beeswax. These body balms will come in scented and unscented. I will also be adding lip balms. This project is still on the drawing table though. They will have plenty of good ingredients to pamper those puckers. My flavors so far will be Chai, French Vanilla, Herbal Mint, Plain and something like Tangerine. These are kind of all grown up flavors but if I can find a good kiddie one, I will add it.
I'm very excited to be trying new products. These new items are very easy to use and instant results which is more my speed. Now off to the drawing table!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New Scents

Today, I'm trying shamefully to get the word out about my blog and Artfire shop. I hate self-promoting when it comes to me. I do have soaps that are great but I don't give much exposure. I give stuff to family and friends and so far they love them. I've come along way since my melt and pour soap days. I now make my soaps all by hand. I like to use Olive,Palm,Coconut and Rice Bran oils as well as Cocoa and Shea butters. I even recently added Castor oil to my base formulas and the results are fantastic. My soaps give lots of bubbles and the added Castor oil adds a nice creamy lather. The scent of my soaps are either from fine fragrance oils that are paraben and phthalate free as well as nature's own essential oils like ones used for Aromatherapy. Whether it's natural essential oils or fragrance oils, scent plays a huge part for our senses. A wonderful smell can transport you to a time and place that has been forgotten. Sometimes those scents bring fond memories or even not so fond memories. When deciding on a fragrance try to pick one that gives a feeling or memory that is one you want to revisit. Vanilla smells yummy and you might want to eat but not a good choice if you are dieting. Choose Citruses when you want to feel energized or if you want to remember a tropical vacation. Lavender if you want an old fashioned scent that is a classic staple in all bath and body lines. Whatever you decide, have fun and find your own path down memory lane.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Wooden Soap Molds


My dear husband made these very simple wooden "log" molds for me. They turned out great considering Louis doesn't have a workshop loaded with fine tools. He just has a simple Black and Decker work table that folds up for easy storage. He also has some clamps to help hold the wood straight and flat as the saw cuts. No fancy workshop but he gets the job done!
These molds will make a soap log about 18"x3.5"x3.5" at maximum fill. That's a lot of good soap! The molds hold about 64-72 oz of oils before adding lye solution. I plan on making some soap in my new molds tomorrow once the wood glue is dry. I just have to remember there are metal screws holding the wood together when I'm taking them out the oven. Yikes! Have ya ever touched a 170 degree screw? In my case, lots of expletives fill the air. LOL. Now off to make something.

Saturday, July 4, 2009



Fresh Out the Oven!



New soaps are adorning my soap rack! Bladder wrack (essential oils of grapefruit, cedar wood, geranium and oak moss)is an earthy, sensual blend that's a head turner. This bar of soap is perfect for men and women that want a natural alternative to fragrance. The second batch that's firming up is Brown Sugar & Fig. I'm a fan of the scent of caramelized figs drizzled with honey. My shower has this cozy smell wafting through the air and it's so yummy!
I'm so excited about my new photo box and the pictures I have of my soaps. Now, I can list my soaps on Artfire. I'm very pleased with them and the fact that they look more professional than without the box. I can take pictures rain or shine and late at night when I do most of my alchemy. I have to give some credit to my sweetheart of a husband for being patient and helping me with the photo editing. He's the best ever!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Art Fire link to my shop.













http://magnoliasoaps.artfire.com

My Art Fire Shop



I'm now on Art Fire and my shop is slowly getting going...long pause...I'm also learning how to navigate this new site as well. Lots to learn for me. Tonight Louis made me a photo light box so I can take "professional" pictures of my products. We had fun and figured out how lighting can make or break the picture. I need to have four sources of light to avoid shadows and to get a crisp and bright look. Simple and clean is my goal. I'm having tons of fun acting like a photographer though.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

ASM '09

I'm returning from the 11th Annual Alabama Soap Meeting held in Prattville, AL for the Alabama Soap and Candle Association. I'm so glad I took the leap and went for my first time. I met wonderful people who were friendly, knowledgeable,and sharing. My table was great. I sat with both veteran soapers and newbies. I have to give a little shout out to Linda Stevens of GA, who was a first timer like me; Regina Mowrer of GA also, who got mudded with me and posted a funny picture of our experience on my Facebook page;Grace Smith,who is a wealth of knowledge and a sweetheart; and Jan and Bob Kelley who compliment one another well by happily supporting each other. I think I sat at an awesome table and just to think I was nervous about going to such a large gathering not knowing anyone. I look forward to it again and maybe my new pals will let me pull up a seat next to them. Thanks a bunch for the memories!

ASM '09

The Alabama Soap and Candle Association held it's 11th Annual Soap Meeting in Prattville, AL. I'm so glad that I took the chance and went without ever having been before. A big leap for me. This group is made up of fabulous soap and candle makers who were friendly,sharing, and knowledgeable of their art. It was a busy two days full of demos, shopping,mingling and some good food. Our keynote speaker, Kelly Bloom gave an informative speech about reaching a point in your small business where having a product that needs to be branded and trademarked well before it is on the market. A small business that is trying to create an image for their product needs to make sure no one has created a brand or logo with what is in your company's line. She explained how to save yourself from a costly disaster by checking your brand whether it be through Google searches or through a government ran website like www.uspto.gov/main/trademarks.htm. Kelly stressed how important brand identity is as well as it must be unique and of your own in that it creates a mental image or feeling for the consumer. Later,Carol Barber went on to give crucial FDA information that lays the foundation for guidelines that as a soap maker,a small body care business needs to adhere to when selling to the public. All the demos performed had me eager to try them. The door prizes where great.Yes,Lady Luck even shined on me.I won this great soap mold made by Cumberland Acoustic that has me wanting to make some round soaps! The vendors all knew their stuff too. I will be going back as long as they allow me to.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

At 3 a.m., I've finally decided to set up my blog for mobile uploads! Yay, for me but when will I ever sleep today. Lol.
I'm not sure about this...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Soon I will be heading off to Prattville, Alabama. Yes, you have read correctly and I'm truly excited to go as well! I'm taking a mini vacation just for me and it's going to be all about soap! Yay for me. It's been a long while since I've been able to talk soap. Normally, I get this reaction when I talk soap to outsiders;eyes blankly glazing over and a couple of "oh's" or "really". I do understand that most everyone doesn't want to learn about something that isn't so interesting. I once hated sitting in Algebra class and thought it was a complete bore. "Please kill me now" was circling my brain like the Times Square ticker. I apologize to Mr.Smith, Mr.Howard and Ms. ?. I really apologize for not remembering her name. She was a nice teacher and 10th grade was a long time ago!
Now, back on topic. My trip will be full of "how to's" and other tutorials that will give some insight about running a business as well as trademarking. This is my first time going to this grup. Kelly Bloom from Southern Soaper's will be our keynote speaker. She is the owner of a supply company of the same name and owner of my Southern Soaper's group on yahoo. Most importantly, I will make some new friends that know something about soap! I'm so excited and nervous too. Hopefully, I can put names and faces to online names. Make sense?
I do recommend that if you have any hobbies or interests, go to yahoo for groups and type in what group you would like. I discovered my groups(all four of them)on yahoo. The yahoo group that I'm meeting up with is http://www.alabamasoapmeeting.com .These groups are full of very nice and knowledgeable folks that can help you hone your craft. I've been fortunate enough not to come across anyone who has been rude or inappropriate.There are some great listmom's that nip it quick! Good luck. Some good, clean fun are ahead for me!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Gift orders & Aubrey's 4th grade graduation




It has been a long while since my last post. I'm not being a good blogger, now am I? Today I have some gift orders that I will be putting together. A cute wooden soap crate with a couple of bars of soap in them that I will shrink wrap. I think I need to get some shredded craft paper to give the gift more bulk. This is my first time using the crates. So lots of anxiety to achieve perfection first time around. The creative gift wrapping fairy needs to visit me! I will post pictures later.

I have to get my Aubrey an outfit for her 4th grade graduation. I can't believe my baby girl is growing up and growing so fast! I will miss this one day. The only thing we can do is enjoy the time we have together, give her encouragement and be here when she needs me.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring Fever and Your Tongue

This evening I'm planning what soaps I will make tomorrow and Saturday. Hmmm...I guess something that smells good,looks good and feels good on the skin. I have tons of fragrances and essential oils. I'm wanting to create my own blends but I know that can be time consuming. We all know I hate waiting for anything and now couldn't come any sooner! I want to make lots of stuff and try to shake this Spring fever a bit.
A bit off topic but a bit amusing to me. I went to the dentist for a cleaning today and I had my usual thoughts while my mouth is wide open. When my nice hygienist cleans my teeth, does she get the same entertainment out of the cleaning as I do. I mean, I would imagine she gets tired of the people that have the "lazy tongue",the "fat tongue", or the "I don't know what do to with my tongue"people. As I'm lying there, I worry if my tongue is making her job difficult. Like whether or not my tongue is getting in the way and what not. So, finally in between the squirts and suctions, I ask "When your doing cleanings do you sometimes feel like your brushing your pets teeth?" She laughed and asked "Why?" with a giggle. I explain that," I feel like my dogs when they are getting their teeth brushed. I just don't know what to do with my tongue and I keep my eyes closed the whole time. What do you do with the tongues?" She said, "I don't even look at the tongues because I'm focused on the teeth and I have my tools to make them go where I want them." By then I'm about to choke on whatever is in my mouth at that time. Laughing while on your back with dentist equipment in your mouth, a suction thingy with water blasting away is a very bad idea! Right now for some reason this is still cracking me up as I'm typing through my own tearful laughter. Maybe it's not as funny now as it was then but I could only imagine what the guy in the next stall was thinking. I keep hearing myself ask,"What do you do with the tongues?" Be kind to your hygienist and mind your tongue!
Time to stop this nonsense. Hopefully, tomorrow night there will be some new pictures (that aren't out of focus).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009



Oatmeal,Milk and Honey bar is a comforting combination of sweet almond and warm oatmeal topped with milk and drizzled with honey. I added ground oatmeal for interest and for it's soothing properties.




Honeysuckle is a walk down Memory Lane...when I would ride my bike down the country dirt road where my grandparents lived. This soap smells just like wild honeysuckle nectar. I love my swirls for this one.


Euphoria is a blend of jasmine,rose,and sandalwood essential oils. This scent is a sensual one. The floral notes are balanced with the earthy sandalwood. Even the guys like this one.

Oat Soap is made only with ground oatmeal. Fragrance and dye free. This soap is great for all skin types. A very gentle bar of soap. This bar would be great for shaving or washing delicate young skin.




Citrus Basil Tonic is a fresh and clean scent that has light hints of picked basil and citrus accords. This is a true unisex scent. Kiss that bar of Irish Spring goodbye!




Pomegranate is a sophisticated blend of both sweet and tart. I want to have a Pom martini when I get a whiff. Don't worry, no headaches after using this!




Lemongrass Zen is a crisp lemongrass scent that is combined with spearmint for a fresh herbal feel that evokes a Zen spa experience. Made with fragrance and essential oils.


My cluster of naked soap.


My Grapefruit Spa bar made with sea salt and it smells divine! A fresh,ripe grapefruit. This grapefruit is not a sugary sweet one but with more aroma from the peel. Scented with grapefruit fragrance and essential oils.


These are my Coconut and Lime Verbena Spa bars made with sea salt. Exfoliate and exfoliate ladies before tanning, whether you are getting sun outside or spray on tans, get rid of dead skin cells. These bars become smooth like polished stone.

Got Some Soap Made!

After 3 months of setting this blog up, I can now say I have made soap. It has been since August '08! That wasn't worthy of pictures...just plain, white soap. I can't call it castile because it only was made with 80% olive oil, 10% palm and 10% coconut. Even now it's hard as a rock. I'll try making pure olive oil soap when I don't mind waiting so long. With that said, I have been using another technique to make soap...CPOP. Don't get me wrong but I do like the cold process, I'm not the most patient person. Cold process in the oven is my answer. I love it so far. I've made 9 batches that way and only 2 did what they wanted to despite my pleads. Those batches I can blame a fragrance on one and water discount on another. I also have been using oxides and ultra marines for the first time and love them so far. I have been doing swirls in the pot and simple layering with some swirls. I long to make those beautiful swirls that are on the tops that are like confectionery treats or fabulous cappuccino tops. YUM.

Now with much encouragement from one of my soap buddies, Patrick Showalter at http://harvestmoonsoapworks.com/, I will get on the ball and make some soap. Yes, I need to figure out how to get all my pics up...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Getting Started

Today I am hoping to make a habit of making posts. Most importantly, trying to find my blog niche. Hopefully trying not to sound like a rambling lady that makes soap. First, I have a few projects around the house that I need to get going. Then I will feature some of my lab experiments...I mean, my soaps. I'm still learning new things by doing tons of reading and web research. I'm also a little worried about messing up perfectly good ingredients. I will add some pictures of my soaps later as well.

I have a sun room that was converted into a my office and soap work room with good intentions last summer and it screams for help now. It has been taken over by gym equipment, holiday decorations and tons of unorganized soap supplies. So as one would guess, I have a New Year's resolution to get it together.

I do want to make some new batches of soap. Sadly, I've not made any since August! I've been in a lull and need to get motivated. Now I have the time but organization is a must. This weekend will be a busy one. I decided to paint my own hanging shelves that are badly needed to store all the soap and aromatherapy books that I own. They multiply when you are a budding soap maker. My husband will be in charge of hanging them up. He is the hanging and measuring guy that knows how to use the power tools. A couple of months ago he made me some wooden loaf molds. I was so excited and proud of him. Soon I will load them up with some great smelling soap. I guess it's time to get a move on.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Hey, Mom look what I can do! I can't believe I was able to create a blog. I'm not taking all the credit because anyone that knows me can say I'm not computer savvy. This a silly first post but this is new to me. I have trouble making choices for designs and it takes along time. Once I visited the www.vistaprint.com website and sat for hours that seemed to run into days playing around with business cards. Maybe I'm a perfectionist or maybe obsessive. Don't know which one is a better flaw. Louis, if you are reading this please don't bust a gut. Surely when I have better things to chat about I will because I was born to blog!