Friday, November 13, 2009

My new hobby has arrived!

I've been home sick for 2 days now (got sick Wed. night) it's really sucked, because I've had a fever, so I've just felt miserable, but as I'm getting better, I'm really just feeling bored. I keep wanting to get up and do stuff, but as soon as I get up, I remember I'm at home because I'm too worn out TO get up. So back to the couch I go.

Anyhow, today the FedEx guy came with a present for me. A highlight of the day!

After felting soap, I got an urge to MAKE soap. I found a class at the community college that would teach soap making, but then I found out it was just melt and pour. That's not "real" soap. So I researched the cold-pour process, and while it seems like something I could do, it seemed a little dangerous, and what will I do with all the soap? Then I found out there is WAY more to melt and pour than just a boring colored bar of soap. It can be an art form.

What made me change my mind?
I found Bramble Berry. This website links to the Soap Queen blog and Soap Queen TV videos. Reading and watching made me confident that not only is melt and pour incredibly cool, but that it's something I know I can do! The website is well organized and has SO much stuff. I could spend thousands there. Luckily, I didn't.

Although I really want to make loaf soaps, that brings up the "what will I do with all that soap" question- you end up with 5-10 of the SAME soap. So I settled on two molds I want. One with 4 basic shapes, and one with checkered hearts. I also got some tools- little scoops for dyes (I bet I use those more with my yarn dyes though... but they'll work for the mica I got) and droppers that are great for measuring fragrance oils. They're even graduated- which is a bonus I didn't expect.
Then I looked at soap base. Bramble Berry carries a fantastic sampler pack, but I didn't want quite that much. I wasn't sure how big a pound of soap is (smaller than I thought, actually) and decided I should get 2 lbs clear- figuring I'd use that the most to color. Then I wanted white, but since it was out of stock I decided on shea butter and goats milk- 1 lb each as my white. And I threw in a honey too, well, because shipping was a bit expensive*, and adding more didn't raise it. Also in this picture is some citric acid. It was CHEAP, and like I said the shipping stayed still. I'm not sure if I'll use this to make bath bombs (seems really cool, but I don't do baths much) or to dye yarn without vinegar.
Next, I needed some fragrance and colors for my soaps. I was nervous about fragrance, because I like for bath stuff to smell great, but I'm pretty picky. It was hard to decide on something that would be a "safe bet" for me. Then I found the perfect solution: pineapple cilantro. And I was right- I love it. My next pick was Yuzu. Something I've never heard of, but was featured in the Soap TV spots as something most everyone likes. And, well, I do! Then the best part: Bramble Berry sends a useable sample, not just a sniffer, with every order. I got Sleigh Ride fragrance oil. It looks about half the size of the purchased samples, but plenty to actually try out. This isn't one I would have picked for myself, and i'm not too sure about it. It doesn't have any pine smell though (a common winter fragrance) so I like that. I'll definetly use it- it didn't make my nose itch up when I smelled it!

I also got some colors. I was careful to pick non-bleeding colors since I'm very interested in doing layers. Some colors will bleed into each other and are only good for marble effects, where you want that, or for solids. I picked violet, red, black, and a blue mica. The mica has a neat sparkle effect (as one would think mica would!) It reminds me a lot of some of my stamping supplies... too bad those aren't skin safe.
So what do I make first? Well, nothing today :( Remember that no energy thing :(
Bummer because I want to create!

I really want to try monogram soaps and this neat graduated colors soap. I think I'll start with the second one. The first looks too advanced just yet.

*Shipping costs at Bramble Berry were high. But I was also ordering things by the pound- so they were fair. I ordered last Friday and the stuff got here this Friday. They pulled the order the first business day after I placed it- really quick! It had to get here from Washington, so I was pretty pleased with quick shipping. It also seems if you place bulk orders the shipping gets more affordable per pound. I added a bit more stuff than I originally planned on ordering to get the costs a little lower per item.

There is a soap/candle store not far from me (about 45 minutes). I'm not sure if I saved money going to Bramble Berry, but I am happy with my decision to buy from them for 2 reasons: 1) the information they have made available about soap making through the blog and videos were an invaluable resource I wanted to support and 2) I don't do well in candle stores filled with fragrances, I feel I'd be completely unable to shop in a store filled with that sort of stuff. I'll give them a try when I need more soap base, but ease of shopping and customer service make me very glad I found Bramble Berry.


Brad & Kimber said...

I SO miss being crafty with you!!!

SuzyQ01 said...

So, where's the local soap/candle place?