U3AsaHcD8aN2odLFBM0sasxzS6Y We Love Soap

GIVEAWAY alert!

Anyone who is a fan of ‘We Love Soap’ on Facebook and shares my Kickstarter with others via Facebook will be entered into a drawing to win 5 bars of soap, a lip balm, and a hand-crocheted wash cloth. And, if one of your friends that you’ve passed it on, passes it on, you will get TWO entries! So, pass it on!

Click here to be taken to We Love Soap’s Facebook page!

And here is my Kickstarter! Visit it and watch me in my goofy video!

P.S. My main blog is now at http://welovesoap.com. You should check it out!

I Moved!

I started a Wordpress blog, and moved most of my posts from here to it. From now on, that’s where the majority of my stuff will be, since I think I ramble on too much for tumblr! However, you can be sure that I will post pictures of my future batches of soap on here!

Wanna’ check out the new site? It’s http://welovesoap.com

I hope to see you there!

Back to the Kitchen!

This past week I felt kind-of overwhelmed. I haven’t been happy with my recent soap experiments. I didn’t realize how frustrating it would be to try so many new things in such a short amount of time. While I’ve been learning a lot, nothing I have made since I started this blog has been perfect; each one has had elements I’ve liked, and elements that I don’t like. The aesthetics have been particularly awful! And I know that no one wants to buy ugly soap!

The best things I’ve made recently have been the lip balm, probably, and I’m working on a third recipe right now which will have the best elements from the two different batches that I made. That will probably be my main recipe (knock on wood) for lip balm. But the soaps… the soaps!

So, today was a bit of a turning point, I think. I made soap yesterday — the first time in a week! And… I swirled. It might not be the nicest, most consistent swirl but IT WORKED. Woohoo! I’ll be cutting it later tonight, so stay tuned for pictures! (It turns out that the key is mixing the lye and the oils when they’re quite close to room temperature.)

The other big obstacle in my soap-making has been that I NEED MORE SUPPLIES. Which means, of course, more money. And, although things aren’t that bad for my family financially… I’m starting to feel pressure. Pressure to make money. When I went into this, I knew it would cost money. All business start-ups, no matter how small, cost a significant chunk of money. But I am starting to get a little edgy about it. I’m considering using Kickstarter for We Love Soap. But I don’t know if anyone would contribute! (I would give away soaps and lip balms for contributions, so I think it could be win/win, but who knows?)

There has been good news this past week, too. I have had a lot of lovely compliments, as well as some useful feedback, on my lip balms. I’ve even had a few offers to do home party type events once I get my catalog up. And I got a letter in the mail from someone local (that I don’t know!) saying that they would like to purchase my products. I’m not quite sure how that happened, but I am glad to see that my grassroots marketing seems to be working! That really made my day!

Not only that, but I won a contest for 250 high quality business cards! Thanks Lakeshore Branding and UPrinting! And because I won the contest, I now have my first real backlink to my blog, which is a major blogging milestone!

And, even though I didn’t make much soap this past week, I have been working on a few other things for the business. I have hired someone to make my logo, for one. And I am now the owner of a high-quality color laser printer, that will be used very soon to make my labels!

Counting down to my March 1st opening… I have to get my @$$ in gear!

A few thoughts

1.) I’m considering having my main blog hosted by Wordpress, and having a separate Tumblr blog. If you follow me, you shouldn’t need to make a changes, but things might look different soon.

2.) I’ve decided not to write posts on the weekends. I’m too busy with family and household duties, and they are pretty slow days on the internet, anyway. However, I would eventually like to have a large enough reserve of posts that I will still be posting on the weekends… but that will probably take a good month before it takes effect.

3.) My project today is going to be to do a basic soap recipe, one with a stable FO, and work on my swirling technique. I NEED TO MASTER THE SWIRL!

crochetallthethings:

crochetallthethings:

New Years Giveaway!
Because my grandma gifted me with a ton of knitting needles and I’m teaching myself how to knit, I don’t need this knooking set anymore! Rather than try and sell it, I’m going to give you guys a chance to win it! The set comes with 3 hooks (G, H, I), 3 different cords to go in the ends of the hooks, and the book which shows you how to knook. It also has 4 fairly simple patterns (scarf, spa cloth, 2 different blankets).
All you have to do is reblog this post and follow/be following this blog! If you don’t feel like following it after the “contest” is over, that’s fine. Just please make sure you are following me during the contest. Please only reblog this post once! Reblogging it more times isn’t going to give you any more chance of getting chosen. You will still only be entered once.
The giveaway will be open until January 15th and after that I will randomly select a winner!
Good luck!

A week left to enter!
High-res

crochetallthethings:

crochetallthethings:

New Years Giveaway!

Because my grandma gifted me with a ton of knitting needles and I’m teaching myself how to knit, I don’t need this knooking set anymore! Rather than try and sell it, I’m going to give you guys a chance to win it! The set comes with 3 hooks (G, H, I), 3 different cords to go in the ends of the hooks, and the book which shows you how to knook. It also has 4 fairly simple patterns (scarf, spa cloth, 2 different blankets).

All you have to do is reblog this post and follow/be following this blog! If you don’t feel like following it after the “contest” is over, that’s fine. Just please make sure you are following me during the contest. Please only reblog this post once! Reblogging it more times isn’t going to give you any more chance of getting chosen. You will still only be entered once.

The giveaway will be open until January 15th and after that I will randomly select a winner!

Good luck!

A week left to enter!

What would you like to see today/tomorrow?

So, yesterday was a difficult day, and today I’m exhausted.

Usually, I have to decide between several soap-making ideas bouncing around in my head. Today, I have no idea what to make/post.

So, tell me, what should I work on today? (I probably won’t get it up and posted until tomorrow — for which, I apologize sincerely.)

Really, it’s up to you. 

31 Days of Soap — Day 5: CPOP Part 2

Okay, so maybe it isn’t the UGLIEST soap ever, but it’s pretty ugly. (Sorry for the poor quality picture; the battery on my lamp died, and there’s not a whole lot of natural light at midnight where I live.)

Manacado:

6.7 oz (187 g) Mango Butter

6.7 oz (187 g) Avacado Oil

11 oz ( 311 g) Coconut Oil

11 oz (311 g) Olive Oil

2.20 oz (62 g) Castor Oil

5.15 oz (146 g) Sodium Hydroxide

12.1 oz (300 g) Water

I really liked this recipe. Not too many oils, but they’re very nice ones. It traced very fast for me, though, which is why the swirls came out as nasty blobs. (I really need to work on this. I’ve decided that every soap that I do for the rest of the month is going to be swirled, until I get the hang of this technique.)

The CPOP was… interesting. It was definitely nice to pull the soap out of the mold only 12 hours after making it. And my house STILL smells awesome because of it (the scent smells like Nag Champa, btw). But it had a weird, crunchy crackly look on the outside. I used the vegetable peeler to take this yucky rind off of the soap. (Yes, the soap was even uglier before!) I’ve read about this on some of the soap forums that I belong to, and it seems to be a sign of overheating. I’m not sure if it was just because my oven was too hot (unfortunately, 200 degrees is the lowest actually number on my oven; I set it to slightly below 200 degrees, but I can’t really be sure how close to 170 degrees I got.), or because it was in there so long, or some combination of both.

Bottom line: I definitely think the technique has possibilities, and I’m going to play around with it some more.

Just wanted to give my readers a heads up:

My mom, who’s 74, broke her leg two days ago. She has severe osteoporosis, and she broke her leg right below where she broke her knee just a couple of months ago. I’m going to take a break from blogging tomorrow in order to see if she and my dad need anything, and figure out what is going on with her care.

I may pop in to post a link or two, but there will be no 31 Days of Soap post tomorrow. Because of this, I’m going to delay my CPOP part 2 until tomorrow morning.

31 Days of Soap will resume on 1/7.

-Andi

31 Days of Soap — Day 5: CPOP Part 1

Today, I made the ugliest soap EVER. I mean, I really lowered the bar for ugly soap. Let’s just say that my second try at swirling soap didn’t go very well, and that brown and black globs make a nasty gray colored soap.

Anyway.

Today I am trying CPOP. (No, it doesn’t stand for Chinese Pop Music; am I the only one who thinks that it does?) CPOP stands for Cold Process, Oven Process. Basically, you make a soap the regular cold process way, and then you stick it an oven preheated to 170 degrees for… a while.

No one seems to agree how long it’s supposed to stay in the oven. Some people check it every 10 minutes until it gels and then take it out. Some people leave it in for 2 hours, then turn the oven off and let it sit in there for 10-12 hours. I decided to follow The Soap Seduction’s method: put it in for an hour, turn the oven off, and let it sit. It seemed somewhere between the extremes.

There seems to be two main reasons for CPOP-ing. Some people use it to make sure their soap goes through a complete gel phase. Others say that it makes the soaps cure faster, although there is disagreement in when, exactly, you can use them. Some say they’re ready to go right out of the oven. Some say it cuts the curing time from 4 weeks to 2 weeks. And some folks say you should STILL cure them for at least 4 weeks. I guess we’ll see!

Something else that I haven’t really been able to determine in my research of CPOP is whether the soap is noticeably different from regular cold process soap. Is it better? Is it worse? Again, I guess we’ll find out!

There is one major benefit to CPOP-ing, though, and it should not be overlooked: My house smells AMAZING right now. (My soap may be ugly, but it smells DAMN good!)

See you when it comes out!