Saturday, November 28, 2009
Posted by Trish's Soapy Blessings at 8:55 AM
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
If you know anything about handmade soap, you may have run across this terminology before: cold process, hot process, melt and pour, hand milled...
You may not know what any of that means.
In case you ever wondered, this is the blog read for you.
Well, here is my attempt at briefly explaining what those things are and how they differ from one another.
Let's start with just your basic melt and pour. This is a method of soap making where you purchasing a pre-made soap product. You melt it down, add some color and frgrance to it and mold it to your preference. Sound easy? It is, although there are a few things that you need to know in order for your soap to be successful. Melt and pour method does not require you adding any ingredients that may be dangerous around kids and animals, or to yourself. It really is a fun, clean craft. Easy wash up since it IS soap.
I started off making melt and pour soaps. I still make them on occasion, although that method is not the bulk of my soap making.
Next is the cold process soap method. This requires that your make your own soap formula from various oils, liquid and sodium hydroxide (lye). There are tons and bunches of soap recipes online and in books. Each oil adds its own distinctiveness to the soap recipe. If your are a star trek fan, you may remember how "The Borg" assimilate other cultures to add to their own? Well, different oils are like that in soap. Palm oil helps to harden the soap, coconut oil gives the soap a nice lather, castor oil gives the soap a sudsy quality, olive oil is amazing on your skin but low on suds, and so on.
Just the right amount of liquid and lye mixed with the oils, and mixed together until the soap begins to thicken just a bit, called "trace". Then you add any other colors, fragrances or exfoliants to the soap. In cold process, the lye mixed liquid and oils are mixed together at a cooler temperature. They are poured into molds and covered and insulated to allow the oils and lye mixture to heat up and "cook". The curing process takes a while before the soap is safe to use. I typically wait about four to six weeks before I will allow it to be sold.
If done right with a good recipe, you will get a great, smooth bar of soap at the end of that time. A few drawbacks in cold process is that some colors you may use, may look different when the soap is done, and some fragrance oils fail miserably during the curing process and you end up with a nice bar of soap that doesn't smell anything like you intended.
Posted by Trish's Soapy Blessings at 11:43 AM
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Posted by Trish's Soapy Blessings at 9:22 AM
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Each soap is a generous 4 oz plus size with just a small dusting of copper and gold cosmetic mica for added elegance.
"Who is this, coming up from the desert like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense..."
Song of Solomon 3:6
Posted by Trish's Soapy Blessings at 8:23 AM
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Posted by Trish's Soapy Blessings at 6:07 AM
Monday, November 2, 2009
Donald MacKinnon is the Candle Guy and sells his amazing candles on Artfire.com. I chose to feature him due to his unique history and how he came to be making candles.
He is a retired principle engineer and a Vietnam Veteran. While in Vietnam he was assigned to the 170th Assault Helicopter Company, where he served as crew chief on a "huey". In the picture below, that is Donald on the far left.
After retiring and moving to Florida, he became extremely ill resulting in a permanent disability. Because of Agent Orange exposure while in Vietnam, he suffers from chronic pain due to Peripheral Neuropathy and a host of other problems. Candle making has allowed him a distraction, enabling him to manage his pain issues more effectively.
His candle making began in 2004 making some hand-dipped tappers, which he sold at a local farm. From there, he moved to his first online venue, Ebay. He eventually moved from Ebay to Etsy, then to Artfire.com as his main selling venue.
He uses the 3 inch diameter X 4 1/2 inches tall pillar candle as his flagship product because he feels this size candle gives the customer the most product for their dollar. It is a good size for shipment using the priority mail 2-3 day system offered by the United States Postal Service.
Another extremely important detail is that Donald has a special deal for ALL 170 th Assault Helicopter Company Vietnam Vets. If any of these vets purchase 6 candles of the 3 in dia. X 4.5 inches tall variety, he will pay the shipping. This deal will last forever because they are family.
He has an outdoor studio where he works most days on his candles. From this vantage point, he is entertained by the local feathered residents of his neighborhood while he works. Perhaps some of their beautiful colors has inspired some of his beautiful designs. His store "Candles by Donald" is open all the time, and is easy to get to at http://www.candleguy821.artfire.com
Stop by Donald's shop site, grab a cup of tea or coffee and explore his delightful candles. You won't disappointed.
Posted by Trish's Soapy Blessings at 7:26 PM