Monday, June 29, 2015

Enjoy Life

Joy has a new dress.

The trumpet vines are in full bloom.

Vines are taking over the rocking chair on the porch.

I hope you all had an enjoyable weekend.  Sometimes you just have to relax and let the stress go.  This was one of those weekends.  

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Sunday, June 21, 2015


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Re-batch Soap

Once and a while I make a re-batched soap.   I use bits and pieces of previously made soaps and melt them down into a new soap.  The bits and pieces come from ugly soaps, end pieces, pieces trimmed off of bars, and from batches of failed soaps.   When I re-batch soap, I chop or shred the pieces of soap and place them into a crock pot.  I then add raw milk and a bit of water to aid in melting the bits and pieces.  I intentionally add some larger pieces which do not melt all of the way down.  If the larger pieces are able to be bright pretty colors it adds to the beauty of the re-batch bars.  Most of the soap pieces melt down to a brown color, so the bright pieces really are desired.  Once the soap is mostly melted down I usually add a fragrance, but it may be fragrant enough since the pieces of soap all have varied fragrances melted into one.   Re-batch soap can be made with one batch of ugly or failed soap.  Due to the additional amount of liquid used in the melting process, the bars may shrink and leave a concave look where the sides are slightly higher than the center.  I usually cut the top of each bar off because it does not set up smoothly and this step usually eliminates that concave look.  It is best to place the soap into a log mold where the bars are cut leaving some of the larger bits and pieces exposed.  If I place the soap into molds that pop out an individual bar of soap, the colored pieces will not show up until you start using the soap.

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Little Signs

I purchased a couple of small items for placing signs on my baskets/containers of soap when I am at a festival.  I tried clothes pins (decorated and plain), laminated signs tied on with lace and ribbon, laminated signs with Velcro, and cards set inside containers or in front of containers.  With Kansas wind, cards blow away.  With shoppers, signs move unless they are tied or clipped down.  Even the samples get moved to the wrong soap containers.

I found clear plastic clips which attach onto the basket/container and allow for a sign to be attached to the other side like a clip board.  There is also a joint in the middle that allows for movement between the top and bottom of the clip

I found paper made to be used with chalk or with a chalk florescent chalk marker.   It can be re-used again and again.  It looks more like a chalk board when it has been erased a time or two.  The dark chalk board stands out with the florescent chalk.  It also matches my logo. 

After my last festival, I came to realize that the ingredients of each bar of soap printed in larger lettering should be with each type/kind of soap.  I like to experiment so I seldom make two of the same kind/type of soap.  I also like to provide all of the ingredients and not just a few.  I don't like to tell people I make shea butter soap when most of my soaps contain shea butter and that is just one of the ingredients.  I have a lot of allergies and I want the purchaser to know what he or she is purchasing.  I provide the ingredients on each soap label, but people want to see ingredient lists without wearing reading glasses or squinting. 

I like to wrap my soaps, but the beauty and smell of the soap is important.  I leave a sample soap out for anyone to fondle.  I am placing a sample sign on the sample soap.

I am identifying the soap by name or fragrance.  Also on the sign, I supply a little information about the fragrance unless it is a common fragrance everyone could identify, such as cinnamon or vanilla.

I want to show you my new signs.

How has your week been so far?  It has been sunny here and most of the rain has stopped.  I don't like the heat, but I like the sunny days. 
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