Consolidating...

Monday, October 26, 2009 |

Did you know I run upwards of 3 blogs? Most of them irregularly?

Let's consolidate... here

Soap of the Week: Dirt Soap by The Pig and the Peacock

Monday, September 7, 2009 |





How do you pick your Soap of the Week?

SotWs are selected from three groups of flickr pools that I am on: Cold Processed Soap, Handmade Soap, and Soap. Each week I randomly select which pool to search through and find a striking soap to feature. The picture is usually professionally done, the colors are attractive, and the scent sounds desirable. Also, it has to be able to be blogged so if you post to those groups and you'd like me to take a look please make sure your privacy settings allow for the image to be blogged!

The Five: Me!

Thursday, September 3, 2009 |

Woohoo, new feature! Soon I'll be posting some little features on soap artisans that sell their work all over the world...but just as a little teaser (and to get to know a little about me!) I decided to be the first guinea pig!

My name is Megan!
You can buy my stuff at Metropolis Soap Co.

How did you first get started? I got started doing this as a sidenote, actually. I was making jewelry 6 years ago and decided that since I could make jewelry I could do it all! (HA.) I got a lipbalm-making kit from Michaels and caught the bug right then. I stopped making jewelry and got into some small-time bodycare stuff...basic melt and pour soaps, simple body scrub and butter recipes, etc.

How did your first soap turn out? My real first soap was pretty idiot-proof so it went well. Got some M&P base, liquid colorant, fragrance oil, and plastic soap mold from a craft store called Pat Catans. It wasn't anything special but I couldn't believe I made soap! My first cold process soap (many years later) ew, it was AWFUL. I made it with some rootbeer fragrance oil I had gotten on ebay and tried to do a brown swirl...I used too much mica and ruined my friends washcloth! Plus it sweat everywhere. Ugh!

Do you remember your first sale? I remember my first sale ever: I sold a duct tape rose to a little girl who asked her mom for $1 to buy it. I don't remember my first M&P sale. My first Cold Process soap sold was to another vendor at a show!

Who has been a big influence in your craft? I have a lot of friends who also make soap and I like to bounce ideas off of them. One girl, named Lela (of Naturally Lela, but I think she might have closed) I met at my first craft show when I was still making jewelry. She gave me 2 of her lip balms to try and they were great! The next show (about 6 months later) I saw her when I was making simple b&b stuff, and she congratulated me for joining her side and gave me ANOTHER lip balm! I still can't believe it to this day...on one hand I wasn't any competition because I wasn't making things at her level, but on the other hand I was still another competitor! Lela showed me that this is a community and there is no need for negativity or to be closed-off, even when you're dealing with direct competitors!

What advice would YOU give someone who wanted to sell soap? Start SLOWLY. I didn't and that was really stupid. I had to learn as I went and that is never a good idea. Don't sell right away, give yourself time to learn and grow as a chemist (it is chemistry, after all!). Don't be afraid to use preservatives, they're made for a reason. Ask questions, accept critiques, and be graceful. You never know who is going to become a customer!

Skye from Elysium Bath and Body is celebrating the opening of her new SoapSpace and invited us in to take a look. Congratulations!!!!

Your space is 100sqm (1000sq feet) and has soap production, cutting, drying and wrapping areas, office, dispatch and storage and a spare room for the kids with TV, chairs, toys and games for when I work in the school holidays
It's located 20 minutes from home, I catch a car ferry across the harbor, a lovely way to go to work.
Your favorite find is stainless steel benches, brand new and half price at auction.
I've had my soapspace for one month now, so it is still new and exciting
Do you keep anything around for inspiration? I have a lot of soap and aromatherapy books, soaps from swaps and gifts and an ideas folder for when I need shake myself out of a rut.
Do you like to have anything on in the background while you work? The radio on quietly
How often do you visit your soapspace? Every week day (5 days a week)
Is your soapspace a public or private place? It is my own space, but I expect clients will visit from time to time.

Thanks, Skye! Be sure to visit Elysium Bath and Body to check out all of the great stuff Skye is making in her new digs.


Pink Grapefruit
Originally uploaded by abreathoffrenchair

How do you pick your Soap of the Week?
SotWs are selected from three groups of flickr pools that I am on: Cold Processed Soap, Handmade Soap, and Soap. Each week I randomly select which pool to search through and find a striking soap to feature. The picture is usually professionally done, the colors are attractive, and the scent sounds desirable. Also, it has to be able to be blogged so if you post to those groups and you'd like me to take a look please make sure your privacy settings allow for the image to be blogged!

SoapSpaces: Debbie of Soapylove!

Thursday, August 27, 2009 |

Yes, the genius Debbie Chialtas of Soapylove graciously opened up her home to us to show off her SoapSpace! She is living proof that SoapSpaces come in all sizes... you don't need a huge soapspace to make it big...you can use your diningroom table!

Your space is the kitchen and dinner table
I work on new designs and tutorial projects in my kitchen and on the dinner table.
It's located in our little condo in San Diego
Your favorite find is my 9" square silicone brownie pan with a super glossy surface. It's my workhorse!
I've had my soapspace for over 4 years but we're moving to a house this weekend! Yahoo!
Do you keep anything around for inspiration? Yes, I have a collection of supplies and little things I want to try "someday." I mainly collect photos and catalogs of details or ideas I like, though.
Do you like to have anything on in the background while you work? No, I find music distracting when I'm working. Either it's too fast or too slow - I'd rather just have peace and quiet since that's very rare for me. I have a 4 yr old and 1 1/2 yr old, so you can imagine the chaos!
How often do you visit your soapspace? Constantly, but I wish I had a dedicated soap space. That would be amazing!
Is your soapspace a public or private place? My kitchen is very public - the family is in there constantly!


Thanks so much, Debbie! Please check out all Debbie has to offer: Her infamous Soapsicles and other M&P art, and did you know she's also an incredibly talented author who sends out M&P e-zines and will soon be releasing a book!
How fun is that?
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Want to show off your SoapSpace? Post it to our flickr group: SoapSpaces

Etsy 6 Picks: Patchouli!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 |

Patchouli is a great scent; it's a base for many perfume and blends wonderfully with many other scents. Here's 6 picks that show how versatile patchouli can be!

1. Chocolate Patchouli by the Soap Nut
2. Patchouli with Sandalwood Powder and Calendula Petals by Solstice Scents
3. Patchouli Grapefruit by Lucky Lather
4. Patchouli and Cedarwood by Sweet Sallys Soaps
5. Patchouli Rose by Faerie Made Soaps
6. Patchouli, Fir Needle, Tangerine, and Oakmoss (Gentlemens Club) by Morgan Street

Soap of the Week: Lime Cilantro

Monday, August 24, 2009 |


Soap of the Week: Sweet Ambra

Friday, August 14, 2009 |


Sweet Ambra soap
Originally uploaded by annia316

SoapSpaces: Irena of Gingers Garden!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 |

The incredible and super-helpful Irena of Gingers Garden opened up her SoapSpace for us to drool over!
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My space is a sealed off former formal living room.
It's located in my house.
My favorite find is my curing racks that I found at a restaurant supply that was going out of business.
I've had my soapspace for 12 years here in the desert. Before that I've had a retail space and a studio in Santa Barbara.
Do you keep anything around for inspiration? I keep my mother's handmade soap as a reminder how much harder it was for her to make soaps then. It's a little shop worn, but it's still a good soap.
Do you like to have anything on in the background while you work? Techno and Adult Contemporary music keep my pace up.
How often do you visit your soapspace? I go to my soap space at least once a day. On soapmaking or shipping days much more than that.
Is your soapspace a public or private place? My soap space is mostly private. I did let my mail lady and my USPS man come and choose a soap of their liking in thanks for their help over the years.

Thanks, Irena! Be sure to check out her incredible selection of products...you'll definitely be able to find something there for everyone! Gingers Garden
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Want to show off your SoapSpace? Post it to our flickr group: SoapSpaces

Etsy 6 Picks: Absinthe!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 |

I stumbled across an absinthe bar on etsy a couple of weeks ago randomly. I thought it was such a cool concept I should see if anyone else makes absinthe soap...turns out some do! There aren't many on etsy that make it, so consider this weeks Etsy 6 Picks your guide to absinthe soap on etsy!


1. Dracula Soap Bar by Art Spot
2. The Green Fairy by Sparta Soap
3. All Natural Absinthe Soap by Sweet Olive Soapworks
4. Absinthe, Soft Mint, Lemon Balm, and Wormwood by Gloi
5. Absinthe Glycerin Soap by Squeaky Queen
6. A Fistful of Yorick by dugshop

Weekend Homework: Rose Moisturizer

Friday, August 7, 2009 |

Every Friday I'll post an easy DIY beauty recipe for you to try over the weekend. Good luck!

Rose Moisturizer

1 cup water
1/2 cup fresh red rose petals
1 cup liquid glycerin (available at drugstores)
1 tablespoon aloe vera juice (available at health food stores)
16 oz. empty bottle

In a small saucepan, heat water and rose petals just until boiling. Let the rose water cool, then strain out the petals.

Pour rose water into your bottle. Then, pour in glycerin and aloe vera juice. Place the cap on your bottle securely and shake well to blend.

Store your moisturizer in the fridge. Shake gently before each use. Try to avoid getting it in your eyes when applying to your face. This recipe does not have a long shelf life so use soon!

Weekly Specials

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 |

Once a week I like to bring you specials and deals from soap companies online. Here's this weeks list of specials:
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Vibrant Naturals is having a special on their Spring Blossom Bath Formula with Dead Sea Salt

SoapSpaces: Ann of Millstream Cottage Crafts

Tuesday, August 4, 2009 |

Our first SoapSpace interview is by Ann of Millstream Cottage Crafts who graciously opened up her basement studio to us!
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Your SoapSpace is basement
It's located in my home
I've had it for almost 11 months

Do you keep anything around for inspiration? Not really. Inspiration comes from seeing product on the shelf.
Do you like to have anything on in the background while you work? I usually have the radio on set to CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) FM1

How often do you visit your soapspace? Daily
Is your soapspace a public or private place?It depends...on how friendly I am with the person, and how messy it is at the time.


Thanks so much, Ann! Her space is drool-worthy, isn't it? Be sure to visit her website, www.millstreamcrafts.com
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Want to share off your soapspace? Post pics to our Flickr group: SoapSpaces

Wanna be featured?

Monday, August 3, 2009 |

There's some opportunities to be featured that are listed on Soapsesseds twitter so make sure to follow it!

By Spiral Tree Soap

Learn! Cream Soap

Sunday, August 2, 2009 |

Irena, soaper extraordinaire, gently reminded me that I had forgotten a popular type of soap: Cream Soap!



What is Cream Soap?
Cream soap is a combination of solid and liquid soap. It is made with both sodium and potassium hydroxide. It has a creamy texture and can be whipped into a souffle like consistency if desired. It has also been compared to fresh whipped cream or a thick pudding. It can be used as a facial soap to clean away make-up or as a shaving soap with a brush for men with additional ingredients. Can be applied by hand or with a wash cloth.

Woohoo!

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We're now on Twitter, so come and Follow Soapsessed!

Almost every soap company has a lavender soap; its tried and true scent makes it a sure-sell. But all of the lavender soaps can get so boring and overdone, so this weeks Etsy 6 Picks have rethought lavender and made it something fresh!1. Lavender, Orange, and Ginger by De Shawn Marie
2. Lavender Patchouli by Zozca
3. Lavender Eucalyptus by Dauns Soap and Such
4. Renegade (Bergamont, Geranium, Lavender, Cedarwood, and Oak) by Ten Digit Creations
5. Lavender Cedarwood by Shower Treat Soap
6. Lavender Chocolate by Flowering Tree Botanicals

Soap of the Week

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 |


soap_12
Originally uploaded by soapmaker
Don't know the scent, but it looks gorgeous!

Stuff in soap: Charcoal

Sunday, July 5, 2009 |

Activated charcoal makes for some gorgeous black soap, but other than the color whats so great about charcoal?

Charcoal can absorb toxins and excess oil from the surface layer of skin. It can also help to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. The lather of these soaps can range from light grey to black depending on how much charcoal is used in the soaps. It can also be used straight as a colorant in the soap:

brooklyn

Brooklyn Soap by Metropolis


Or as a swirl color:


Charcoal Soap by Between Friends


Sponsor our blog!

Saturday, July 4, 2009 |

Advertise your soap, handmade, indie, or blog website on Soapsessed! We post about handmade soap, products, recipes, as well as interviews with soap artisans. This blog targets not only buyers of handmade soap, but the soap artisans, as well. We welcome supply websites to advertise on our blog.

Images can be static or animated. Please, no flash.

There are three levels of advertising:
Super Sponsor!
which is a 200x200 image + link to your website posted at the top right of the blog.
Sponsor! which is 150x100 image + link to your website posted along the right side of the blog.
Giveaway! Please see below for information

Our tiers are below:

Super Sponsor! (1 spot available)

Includes: Your banner posted exclusively in the Super Sponsor! box and a blog post featuring your company.
2 weeks of advertising $15.00

1 month advertising $25.00


Sponsor! level (multiple spots available)
Includes: Your banner ad in rotation, your companys info/link included on our bi-weekly sponsor post.
2 weeks of advertising: $5.00

1 month of advertising: $10.00





--------------------Sponsor a Giveaway!------------------------
We also are happy to have to opportunity to have a more affordable solution: giveaways! Soapsessed is happy to advertise your company by promoting an item you produce in a weekly giveaway. We will promote this not only on our blog, but on various prize blogs ensuring that you receive the maximum amount of exposure. On top of your giveaway post, we will direct readers to your website and will post reminders throughout the duration of your giveaway.




To advertise or sponsor a giveaway please contact Megan at soapsessed@gmail.com

Types of soap

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 |

There are a number of ways soap is created by hand...here are a rundown of the most popular techniques:

Cold Process
als fruit stand

Al's Fruit Stand by Metropolis

Cold Process is the method that is most popular by seasoned soapers. It involves using lye and a combination of oils and fats to create the process of Saponification, or turning the oils into soap! The fresh soap must cure for a period of 4-6 weeks before being used safely. This method allows for a number of artistic designs and can be vegan or use tallow and/or lard.

Hot Process

Tangerine Pomegranate Soap by Soapy Blessings

Hot Process is the oldest method of soap, dating back to the middle ages! It involves using lye and a combination of oils and fats, but unlike Cold Process it involves using heat to speed up saponification, usually resulting in ready-to-use soap! It has a different texture than Cold Process because the soap solidifies so quickly that it usually has to be "glopped" into the molds. This method is a little less giving than cold process, but some have been able to create beautiful artisan soaps using Hot Process.

Melt and Pour

Floating Dots Soap by Soapy Love

Melt and Pour is created by melting down a soap-like base, adding colorants and additives, then pouring into molds. The soap is usually ready to use as soon as it cools. Melt and Pour is usually how a lot of artisans get into soap-making because it's very easy to use. It is great for starters but there are some really advanced techniques that lend to some highly advanced artistic soaps.

Whipped Soap

Lemon Sugar Creme Soap by Cozy Moments

Whipped soap, like melt and pour, comes from a base and involves adding coloring and fragrance then glopping into containers. Whipped soap is pretty fun and there are some great layering techniques that can be used.

Liquid Soap

Spring Blossom Liquid Soap by Vibrant Naturals

Handmade Liquid Soap can be created either from a base like Melt and Pour, or from a process similar to Cold Process soaps involving oils and a form of lye called Potassium Hydroxide. Since it's liquid it has little give for artistic variations, but it can be colored and fragranced.

So you wanna be a soapie?

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A Soapie is a special contributor to the blog who sends us fantastic stories/interviews/pics/whatever!

Here's what we're looking for on the blog:
Soap Shops - Got a review of a little soap boutique in your area? Send us pics and some info!

Interviews - Know of a soaper who makes fantastic art soaps? Send us pics and an interview!

Projects/Techniques - Got a great tutorial for a bath/beauty project or want to update us on the newest soaping technique? Send us the info with some pics!

We'll of course be happy to give you credit and link to your super-fantastic website or blog.

Send all submissions to soapsessed@gmail.com

Welcome to Soapsessed!

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An obsession with all of the bath and beauty products out there, we will catalogue and display the amazing work soap artisans are doing out there (and maybe show some soapwrecks? One can only hope!).