Saturday, December 29, 2012

Adventures in Soaping!

Yesterday I ran out of palm oil, which put the brakes on any soap-making for the remainder of the year, since the new tub is not scheduled to be delivered until January 2nd. Instead of creating new soaps like I would have like to have done, I browsed the web to look at all of the lovely suds that my fellow soap-makers from around the globe have posted. One of my favorite soapers is Celine Blacow, of Soaperstar. She hails from Ireland, and her designs are to die for. You can take a gander at her designs on her website:
As I perused her site, I realized that all of her recipes are palm-free. I have been one of those people who has always utilized palm in my soaps, so it was hesitant to try it myself. However, today I am going to take a stab at making a good bar of soap that is palm-free. Amanda at Lovin Soap ( has lots of palm-free recipes that I will start with...keeping my fingers crossed!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Re-stock update

I would like to thank everyone who has supported us this year! As you may have noticed, the Sassy Sundries Facebook page has been fairly silent over the past month or so. The holiday season was so busy that we had to close our Etsy store temporarily. Definitely not a bad problem, but a problem nonetheless.
Our shop will re-open in January, but in the meantime, here are a few tidbits of what we have been designing and creating. Enjoy!

Wet Soap Alert! Kentish Rain

Love Spell in the mold. Ready mid-January.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Soap on a Stick

I love the way this fragrance oil smells. It took me a while to decide how I wanted to design the soap, and when I finally decided on what I was going to do, lo and behold, the soap overheated and I got soap on a stick.
When I realized that my batch was about to seize, I sprung into action. Since the batter was hardening by the second, I understood that there was no way I was going to stir the colorant into the soap batter. Instead, I literally dug my glove into the soap and attempted to mix the colorant into the soap by squishing it between my fingers. Ugh. I did read somewhere that you can wait until the soap gels (the chemical reaction that causes the soap to become hot and helps to make the colors brighter) and then it will mold easily, but I have not read enough about it to feel comfortable trying it. Besides the fact that, since this was a goat milk soap, the milk will scorch if it overheats. I slapped each layer into the mold as quickly as possible, banged it on the floor as hard as I could in the hopes of making sure all of the layers were actually touching each other, and carefully placed it in the freezer (it was already getting pretty hot). My hope was that the soap was at least salvageable.

I inadvertently caused this mishap by trying a new technique with the goat milk. Instead of freezing the milk, I decided to use water to dissolve the lye, and then add the goat milk when I was mixing the soap batter. Basically, I was attempting this out of laziness. It didn't work out too well. 

Even though it did not turn out as planned, I was pleasantly surprised when I cut this soap log. The corners are not quite square since the soap batter was so hard and thick that it was difficult to get into the corners of the mold. But that is definitely not as big of a deal as it could have been.

The color is not quite accurate in this picture. Everything is actually different shades of purple. These photos are not the best, so I will take more when I have some natural light. The soaps are much prettier in person.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Vendor Show Set Up

Mom and I have been working on making the vendor show set up more eye appealing. Here is our set-up from Stanton Trade Days last weekend.

It's much better, but we still need some work. The entrance into the tent is not really user friendly. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fun Finds

     I found some fantabulous molds on Amazon and Etsy this past month, and I couldn't wait to put them to use. Although I haven't finished the flower soap, the Christmas soap looks great and smells even better. The spearmint and peppermint essential oil blend are reminiscent of Christmastime. That being said, these soaps will be ready early to mid-November, which is perfect timing for a Christmas stocking stuffer or Secret Santa gift. 
     In addition, I have been obsessed with trying to find a pretty plum soap colorant for some time, and I think I may have found just the one. The Conservatorie had tons of micas that should not morph or fade in soap, so I had to order several. I especially like the pale green, although it looks different than the picture, I can definitely find a project or two for this shade. Since purples often tend to turn gray in soap, I am praying that this one will work!

My Christmas mold arrived from Amazon, just in time to make some soap for the holidays!

These 3D flowers are going to be super cool.

My new mica stash.

Winter Mint, in the mold.

Cut and now curing!

These smell yummy!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Soap on!

Stanton Trade Days just around the corner, so I have been working especially hard to get lots of soaps ready. Believe it or not, I actually ran out of space to cure my soap, so I cleared my bookshelves and made them into makeshift curing racks. Here is are a few pics of what I have been working on in the last month. Enjoy!

Coconut Lemongrass Goat Milk Soap

Cucumber Wasabi Cilantro, made with cucumber and Cranberry Fig Goat Milk Soap, topped with gold mica

Peppermint and Warm Vanilla Sugar Soapy Cakes, topped with red jojoba beads
Cranberry Fig

Soapy Cakes and Handmade Lip Balms
Pumpkin Spice Soap, made with Organic Pumpkin and topped with nutmeg and a little sparkle!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Beer Soap Fun and More!

First off, New Soaps!
I just removed my Kentish Rain cupcakes from the mold, and they turned out fantabulous! The picture is below. Don't drool too much, they are definitely NOT edible! In addition, I am now getting ready to make cupcakes and soap with peppermint essential oil for Christmastime and I am very pumped! Pictures to come soon!

The Soap Process
The soap making process is a mystery to many people. At shows, I am asked all of the time, "you make that from scratch? How do you do that?" Well, with me being a visual person, I thought it best that I share it in pictures. I took pictures of myself making beer soap scented with Brambleberry's Oatmeal Stout (which is a must-sniff if you haven't tried it yet!) and I have included captions for everyone to follow.

The Basics: Soap is created when lye and oils are combined. Each type of oils requires an exact amount of lye to turn it into soap. The oils and lye must be accurately measured by weight. Any leftover oils are called superfat, and this is what moisturizes skin. In contrast,  a soap which has too much lye is no bueno! This is a very simplified breakdown of the process and does not cover all of the variables, so if you are thinking about making your own soap at home, please research it extensively first! Lye is caustic and not something to use without background knowledge.

So with that being said, let's begin!

1. Lye needs to be dissolved into a liquid to make soap. Basic soap recipes use distilled water, but milks and beer are commonly used as well by more advanced soapers. In this particular recipe, I boil down the beer, let it cool and then add the lye (in a container that I have just for this purpose).  I walk away and let the lye/beer solution cool.

Here I am boiling down the beer to make it flat and reduce the alcohol content. 
Whipping the beer soap top

2. For this particular soap, I make two lye solutions and two oils batches. The smaller batch of lye and oil is put in the fridge to make it cold, and the oil is whipped in a mixer to add air bubbles. This will be the top layer. The larger batch will be the base layer.

3. The lye solution is added to the oils and mixed with a stick blender until thickened. In soap terms, this is called trace.

The oils cloud when the lye solution is added

4. I pour the soap into the mold. This fragrance oil browns the soap because it contains vanilla, so I make the top layer  without fragrance so it will keep it's pretty white color. This batch became hot pretty fast (which makes it freeze up if you're not careful), so I don't have pictures of the pour. Sorry! But, here it is in the mold.
5. And, twenty-four hours later, I remove it from the mold and cut it into slices.
6. Soap needs to cure for four to six weeks. This makes a nice, hard bar of soap that is gentle, cleansing and moisturizing! 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Never too old!

A friend of mine posted this on her blog a while back, and I couldn't help but repost Bette Calman's story myself (if you want to follow Keri's blog, here is the link:
Bette Calman has been a yoga instructor for over 40 years. She even has her own podcast on iTunes to inspire other yoga instructors to further their business prospects. Now 85 years-old, she shows us that old is just another word for fabulous. Yes, there are a lot of beautiful women out there. But internal beauty that shines due to their unique abilities and qualities is so much more important. This is one woman who is a perfect example of beauty from within. You go girl!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

DIY Your Home

If you are like me, then pinterest is your Achilles Heel. That being said, I saw this great project on there that I would like to share. The original post is from "pin me" and is in some foriegn language that I have no way to decifer, so I will let the pictures do the talking. I hope you like it!

It looks like they used spray adhesive to make sure that the plant was completely flat. I think it turned out great!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Power of Vitamin E

Last summer, my family and I visited family in Dallas. During that trip, my great aunt told us a story that was truly surprising. Her granddaughter was working on her science degree at a Texas university. In lab, she spilled acid on her arm, and the teaching assistant told her to rinse her arm in water. She failed to tell her that she actually needed to flush her arm for a full thirty minutes. The acid burned her skin badly. After a visit to a doctor, she and her parents were told that she would require plastic surgery. They went for a second opinion and they were again told that only through plastic surgery would her arm mend. Her father consulted a doctor-friend, who suggested applying vitamin E to the area twice a day to see if it would heal enough to avoid surgery. She followed this regimen for several weeks, and after going back to the doctor, learned that her arm had healed enough that she no longer needed surgery. 
Vitamin E has a multiplicity of uses. On skin, it can be used to combat the signs of aging, as well as to protect against the skin effects of chemotherapy. Internally, it is used to treat everything from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to Diabetes to improving muscle endurance (webMD). 

Oftentimes we jump to using whatever the latest and greatest treatment may be instead of learning to rely on the healing qualities of natural products. I myself have been guilty of such. My viewpoints on natural products have evolved greatly since I first started making bath and beauty products. A little at a time, I have introduced natural products into my skin care routine, and I believe that it has made a significant difference. Little changes in your routine can make you feel renewed!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

DIY Milk Bath Tutorial For Mom, Or Youself!

Whether you are looking for a last minute gift for mom, or just need to relax, this milk bath recipe is easy and soothing to a tired body. You can store in any airtight container, but I really like the look of mason jars. you can even personalize it with ribbon and a label printed on sticker paper, or for the creative types, a scrapbook paper type of tag. Mom will appreciate the thought that you put into this gift!

Recipe for a Soothing Milk Bath 

1 c. goats milk powder (I purchase mine at the local health food store) 
1/2 c.  colloidal oatmeal (Aveeno is usually available at drug stores or discount stores) 
1/4 c. baking soda 
1 tsp. essential oil (if wanted)
Some essential oils that are known for their relaxation qualities are bergamot, geranium, sandlewood, jasmine, lavender, ylang ylang and patchouli. 

Mix all ingredients until thouroughly combined and store in an airtight container. Contents can be stored for up to six months. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Buttermilk Banana Honey and Honeycomb soaps

Here are the pictures of the Buttermilk, Banana and Honey soap, as promised. I'm glad they turned out so well (third time seems to be the charm!).  I can't wait until it is ready so I can try it out!

This is Honeycomb soap- It's made with oats, honey and buttermilk. It's lightly scented with a honey fragrance, and the top is made to resemble an actual honeycomb. I'm loving it!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Cupcake Soap Fabulousness!

I made these soaps last week, and I really love the way that they turned out! Scented with Kentish Rain (a personal fave) and topped off with, what every cupcake needs, some sparkle. I think I may need a glitter intervention!
Each one is made with olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, palm oil and castor oil, so they are super nourishing for skin.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New soap coming soon

So, I have been playing with the idea of making a banana, buttermilk and honey soap for sometime, but I was unsure of how to go about making it. Bananas are anti-oxidants, which reduces lines and wrinkles, as well as reducing dark spots. Buttermilk has tons of skin benefits- it contains casiens and a mutitude of vitamins, as well as alpha-hydroxy acid, which helps to cleanse your skin and gently exfoliate, leaving your skin feeling fresh and hydrated. Lactic acid is found in many expensive beauty products and is one of the best facial peels doctors choose for softening, brightening and exfoliating skin; it treats age spots, freckles and even tightens skin.  Honey is a humectant, which pulls moisture from the air and holds it in, as well as an anti-microbial.
This combination in a soap would be fabulous! However, any sugars during the soap making process will react with the lye and superheat, and the last thing that I needed was a soap volcano in my house! After asking some fellow soapers and getting some good advice, I was ready to get started. I inadvertently burned the first two batches ( burned milk and bananas are VERY stinky by the way), but the third batch went great! Pictures to come soon!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

 About half of the inventory done here!
 Soap cupcakes

This month is whizzing by, and Stanton Trade Days is now just around the corner. I have been working hard to complete all of the labels and packaging this week. Come and visit us by the drugstore this Saturday and Sunday!