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Topic: Even more pics! ~7 batches of soap = I'm tired!  (Read 11704 times)
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« on: March 05, 2008 11:47:31 PM »

I hadn't made any soap in quite a while, and I had a few issues since apparently I'm out of a few ingredients. I had to run out and get more olive and castor, then after I got home realized I was low on coconut too! I re-formulated a couple recipes and made do though!

I'm now tired but content that I got a lot done! Here are some kind of ugly in-the-mold pics, will post more when I cut. 2 of the batches were naughty and I had to put them outside for a couple hours on the front porch, they just now were allowed back in the house. They started superheating and were doing a kinda cracking in the middle thing that I wasn't happy with, but outside cooled them off nicely. Sorry for the reflection off the saran wrap!



Clockwise from top right:

1.) Oats n Honey. Scented lightly with Oats and Honey FO, ground oats and honey. Uncolored, but is already a rich amber color from the honey.

2.) Almond Joy. Scented with coconut and almond FO's, colored with a swirl of cocoa powder, and contains 15% cocoa butter.

3.) Black Raspberry Vanilla.  BRV FO (dead-on B&BW dupe), cranberry seeds for visual interest and slight exfoliation, swirled with ultramarine pink pigment.

4.) Pink Grapefruit Confetti Soap (in the vertical mold). Pink grapefruit fragrance, neon red pigment (used sparingly to get pink), and a lb of dried shreds beveled from other soaps in various colors and fragrances (fruit and floral fragranced). BTW, I do not recommend doing a confetti soap in a vertical mold. What was I thinking? It was so hard to get in there, I made a massive mess(that's why it's sitting in a container, I didn't really want raw soap dripping down the sides onto the counter or carpet)!

5.) Dragon's Blood. Dragon's blood FO with a little dark patchouli EO thrown in. Uncolored, but since the FO discolors to a super dark brown/sometimes black (depending on how strongly you fragrance it) I do a reverse swirl, and hold back 1/3 of the batch and add the fragrance to the rest, then swirl in the portion that is plain. That way I get a bit of a white swirl instead of a totally dark soap.

6.) Spring Rain confetti soap. Spring rain fragrance, jojoba beads in pink, blue and green, and lots of soap shreds in various colors (various fruit and floral fragrances)

7.) My Shea Luxury soap (30% shea butter!), this time I added some liquid silk (Ladybug Soapworks' post kinda reminded me I'd never used the silk I bought a while ago!) It's scented with Lavender Provence EO, Bulgarian Lavender EO, and Lavender Fleur FO (smells like sweet tarts!) uncolored

The "overflow" bars


Cut bars~

Almond Joy and Shea Luxury








Dragon's Blood--the outside has already discolored, but the newly cut part is still white...will take more pics as it darkens



Dragon's Blood and Spring Rain



Spring Rain Confetti--I LOVE how this turned out, my new favorite bar! And it smells sooooo good!





Black Raspberry Vanilla



Pink Grapefruit Confetti~this one turned out cool too, I love the shreds of blue!




Oats n Honey~somehow I think I got a partial gel on this one...it's a puzzler, in a honey soap???



Putting the babies to bed in their curing rack!



The bottom row is the dragon's blood...that's how much it's already discolored in 2 days (since cutting)



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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2008 06:06:56 AM »

I've never tried to make soap before so I have no idea how much time effort and cost goes into it, but I would say by looking at your picture it must be a great undertaking.  Also, I noticed you had a goal this month!  Congratulations on meeting and exceeding it.  How many bars will all of that make?

 
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2008 07:05:05 AM »

OH! I bet everything turns out wonderfully! You do great work!
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2008 09:14:35 AM »

OOOOOO! I want to try making soap so bad! 

Those scents sound like heaven! Especially the dragonsblood and spring rain, but all of them sound wonderful. I can't wait to see the cut bars....yum!
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2008 11:06:56 AM »

Lets see...132 bars from those molds, and then about 20 more from "overflow" that I put into individual molds. I "usually" get my recipes ready the night before, line my molds (that takes more than an hour) and check my ingredients inventory the night before, but I didn't, so it took me darn near all day. Usually it takes me about 4 hrs start to finish to make 6 batches though. But you know, make a batch, check craftster, make a batch...

I decided if I didn't write down my goals I would never get them done!
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2008 06:15:45 PM »

Impressive! You have a much stronger work ethic than I do. I only managed to make two batches yesterday.
I can't wait to see your confetti soaps.
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2008 06:42:51 PM »

Yeah, but that's pretty much ALL I did all day!  Grin  I figure if I am gonna drag out all my supplies I gotta make it worth my while! I just cut the spring rain confetti soap, and I love it so much! Pictures later!

What did you make gigiallin?
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2008 07:46:17 PM »

While I'm thinking about it, how much to procure a couple of those 30% shea butter lavender bars for meself?  They sound scrumptious!
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2008 07:51:54 PM »

I'll probably have them in my swap the shop next month!   I cut them earlier, running out the door to the movies but will post pics when I get home. Although, they smell a little funky right now because of the silk protein, some things you use as additives smell funny at first, like ammonia-gross (milk, coffee, apparently silk!) but the weird smell goes away during the cure. My kitchen coffee scrub I made with coffee and coffee grounds stunk for months, now you can only smell coffee and the orange essential oil I used in it. I almost threw the whole batch away because I thought the ammonia smell would never leave! Glad I didn't!
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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2008 08:19:43 PM »

You'll have to let me know when you put them up.
I glanced at that shop the swap link in your profile and I don't really get it, but we'll cross that bridge when you put that amazingly awesome soap up for grabs :p

Quick question for the poor college student's knowledge:
Do you find making your own soaps cheaper or more expensive than store-bought?
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2008 11:45:50 PM »

Hmm good question. Considering start-up costs and whatnot, it's not really cheaper to make my own soaps, but a couple years ago when I was keeping records and making in massive quantites (so buying ingredients in massive quantities!) I figured out that I could make a bar of soap for about $0.53. Olive oil has gone up a lot in recent years, as well as everything else so I'm sure it's a lot more now.  But I still sell quite a bit of it, so re-coup some of my ingredient costs that way. If just for my personal use it definitely would have been cheaper to keep buying bars of handmade soap from the Saturday Market, but.... Grin

I'll send you a pm when that batch is cured and we can personal swap or work something out  Wink
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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2008 03:17:30 AM »

it looks so lively...

now I want to go into soap-making
 Grin
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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2008 04:25:38 AM »

WOW!  Your soaps are gorgeous and yummy!  Smiley

I haven't made any soap since Christmas (friends and family beg for soap as gifts).  Where did you get your rectangular box molds and your cutter?  I've been handcutting my soaps for years and it's down right annoying!  Perhaps it's time to invest in a better system!

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« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2008 06:56:32 AM »

I'll send you a pm when that batch is cured and we can personal swap or work something out  Wink

Sounds good and thanks for the info!
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« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2008 06:59:15 AM »

WOW!  Your soaps are gorgeous and yummy!  Smiley

I haven't made any soap since Christmas (friends and family beg for soap as gifts).  Where did you get your rectangular box molds and your cutter?  I've been handcutting my soaps for years and it's down right annoying!  Perhaps it's time to invest in a better system!

Astrid

Thanks! I do love my cutter! It's from For Crafts Sake, super expensive, but I bought it at a Soaper's gathering off of another soaper for a much cheaper price.  http://www.forcraftssake.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=7_9&products_id=24&zenid=295d615e8832ec3098c1b2b518a27788  I also got my vertical mold from there, indirectly through another soaper. And they have awesome little bevelers!

Unfortunately none of the sources that I got my various molds from are still in business! 2 I had specially made for me, and have lost touch with that person, and the others have either formally closed their business or their websites have disappeared! I would do a general search until you can find some that are the dimensions you want at a reasonable price. Unless you know someone with wood working skills you can pay to custom make some! Not that I need any more molds right now, but I was thinking the other day (when looking at a sad little box I mad in junior high shop, that I just realized would be the perfect size for a mold) that if you know what design/dimensions you want you might be able to get some made through a high school shop! Either knowing a student or talking to the shop teacher! High schoolers always need cash, right?

Do you use a mitre box to help with the handcutting?
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« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2008 07:25:59 AM »

Hmm good question. Considering start-up costs and whatnot, it's not really cheaper to make my own soaps, but a couple years ago when I was keeping records and making in massive quantites (so buying ingredients in massive quantities!) I figured out that I could make a bar of soap for about $0.53. Olive oil has gone up a lot in recent years, as well as everything else so I'm sure it's a lot more now.  But I still sell quite a bit of it, so re-coup some of my ingredient costs that way. If just for my personal use it definitely would have been cheaper to keep buying bars of handmade soap from the Saturday Market, but.... Grin

I'll send you a pm when that batch is cured and we can personal swap or work something out  Wink

Put me on your list too, for when that dragonsblood and spring rain cure Grin
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« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2008 05:58:36 PM »

The last 3 batches were finally hard enough to cut, so I updated pics and tried to take better ones this time! The pink grapefruit confetti one was still actually really soft, that was the batch that didn't have any coconut. We'll see how it turns out!
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« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2008 03:45:22 PM »

Those are so fantastic!!! They all look beautiful, especially the swirls and confetti, and sound like they smell great!  Smiley

I love how the Dragon's Blood changes colors- how dark do you think it will get?
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« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2008 04:43:47 PM »

Those are so fantastic!!! They all look beautiful, especially the swirls and confetti, and sound like they smell great!  Smiley

I love how the Dragon's Blood changes colors- how dark do you think it will get?

Thanks! It depends on how much fragrance I add (usually 1/2 oz to 1 oz per pound of base oils) but at the higher end I've had parts of them actually turn black! I did 4 oz of fragrance for 6 lbs of base oils for this batch, so I think it will just get dark brown.
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« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2008 11:14:00 AM »

How did you make the confetti soap? 

I don't use a mitre box- when I say I hand cut them I really mean it!  I just use my biggest kitchen knife and a measuring stick.  My FIL made my wooden soap mold for me- it's a big square (don't remember the dims off the top of my head).  I could easily ask him to make other boxes for me.  Perhaps a rectangular shape would make more sense.  I wonder if either dh or fil would make me a cutting system.  Hmmm...a mitre box would probably be a good start!  (funny thing is that I've been making soap for about 10 years now...you think I would have come up with a better system by now!) Wink
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« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2008 11:42:57 AM »

How did you make the confetti soap? 

I don't use a mitre box- when I say I hand cut them I really mean it!  I just use my biggest kitchen knife and a measuring stick.  My FIL made my wooden soap mold for me- it's a big square (don't remember the dims off the top of my head).  I could easily ask him to make other boxes for me.  Perhaps a rectangular shape would make more sense.  I wonder if either dh or fil would make me a cutting system.  Hmmm...a mitre box would probably be a good start!  (funny thing is that I've been making soap for about 10 years now...you think I would have come up with a better system by now!) Wink
Astrid

For a mold that holds a 3 lb oil batch of soap, I made up the 2 lb oil batch and added a full pound of shreds (they were really well cured) at trace and mixed them in pretty well so they all got fresh soap on them (I was a little worried about separation).

I cut mine soooo crooked I had to get the mitre box! I like my molds to be the same width as my soaps so I just have to cut them one way (and can throw them into my soap cutter). My 3 24-bar molds are a little different, they are 15 inches long and 4 inches wide and 3 1/2  inches high....so I have to cut them into 6 chunks and then turn the chunks around to cut for the width of the soap bar to get the size soap I want.

I got one mold from a friend that her husband made with a really cool design, it has a bottom platform that slides out and a cutter built into the side that is 1 inch away from the end piece of the mold, which is removable, so you take that end off, and pull the platform out and keep cutting at 1 inch on the built in guide. I'm sure that makes no sense lol! I would use it more but it is the wrong dimensions for what I like my bars to be.
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« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2008 06:38:34 PM »

I am so jealous of your skills!  I can smell the ALmond Joy just looking at it Cheesy
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« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2008 08:53:56 PM »

wow i bet your house smells awesome !
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« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2008 09:06:40 PM »

wow i bet your house smells awesome !
It kind of does, especially the laundry room where my curing racks are! Right now the almond is super overpowering everything else, and there is a yummy almondy-smell going on!
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« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2008 04:56:51 PM »

. Usually it takes me about 4 hrs start to finish to make 6 batches though.

Have you ever 'master batched'??

It makes the process go so much faster.  I make 10# of soap per fragrance, will put up 2 to 9 batches a day from Fri - Sun (90 bars per day) and be done with it for a few weeks.  It takes me  about half hour from start to finish.

Master batching works if you use the same oils for you recipe each time.  I weigh the oils for for about 60-80#, mix the oils well and store in covered buckets.  When I'm ready to soap, I take out my molds (I use Kelsei divider molds so there is no cutting involved), take out the EO or FO, the colorants, the lye and frozen milk.  Stir up the bucket of oil, weigh out what I need for the total batch (the individual oils being already weighed and mixed).  Warm them up a bit, weigh out my frozen milk and lye.  wambo-bambo, soap is ready to pour into mold and put to bed.

ETA:

You can 'master batch' even it you don't save the oil in between making the soap.  Instead of weighing up your soap recipe oils 6 different times, weigh up your oils for the entire 6 batches at once, then when mixed well, you can weigh out out the total oil for your individual batches.  Sure cuts the time!
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« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2008 06:45:12 PM »

Master batching works if you use the same oils for you recipe each time.  I weigh the oils for for about 60-80#, mix the oils well and store in covered buckets.  When I'm ready to soap, I take out my molds (I use Kelsei divider molds), take out the EO or FO, the colorants, the lye and frozen milk.  Stir up the bucket of oil, weigh out what I need for the total batch (the individual oils being already weighed and mixed).  Warm them up a bit, weigh out my frozen milk and lye.  wambo-bambo, soap is ready to pour into mold and put to bed.

ETA:

You can 'master batch' even it you don't save the oil in between making the soap.  Instead of weighing up your soap recipe oils 6 different times, weigh up your oils for the entire 6 batches at once, then when mixed well, you can weigh out out the total oil for your individual batches.  Sure cuts the time!

Hmm sounds interesting, but do you just melt your hard oils and add them to your liquid oils and mix it all together? I do room temp soaping, and don't take temps of anything anymore or heat my oils to start with, so not sure how this would work for me.
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« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2008 07:43:17 AM »

Hmm sounds interesting, but do you just melt your hard oils and add them to your liquid oils and mix it all together? I do room temp soaping, and don't take temps of anything anymore or heat my oils to start with, so not sure how this would work for me.

It works wonderfully for RT soaping, but you have to modify your method just a tad.

Let's say you want to make 6 - 3# batches of soap this weekend.  You have a bit of time tonight to check you have all your ingredients, mmm, let's use a basic recipe for this example

30% olive
30% lard
30% coconut
5% shea butter
5% sweet almond

you have the ingredients needed and you have a bit of time to weigh them out, so:

30% olive = 86.4 oz
30% lard  = 86.4 oz
30% coconut = 86.4 oz
5% shea butter = 14.4 oz
5% sweet almond = 14.4 oz

Weigh the oils, melt the lard, coconut & shea, add the liquid oils.  Stir well, pour into large bucket with a lid.

Come the weekend, you want to make soap, but don't have time to fragrance, color, blah-blah 6 separate soaps, but you do have time for 3!

Grab your master batch bucket, stir & weigh out 3# of master batch ( or weigh up 3 - 3# of master batch in 3 separate containers.  Mix up your lye solution for a single 3# batch (12oz - 17.8oz liquid with 6.8oz lye), pour into your master batched oils and proceed as normal.

You'll be surprised how quickly you'll be able to soap!  Instead of weighing out each oil separately for each batch, you can weigh the total weight of the oils needed

By setting up your oils ahead of time, you weigh the individual oils only once, than the total oils needed once again for soaping.

Using the recipe for this example, instead of weighing the oils 30 times (each of 5 oils for 6 batches), you'll weigh the oils only 11 times (each of 5 oils once for master batch, then once for each of the 6 batches).

I don't  do RT soaping since I only make milk soaps and I have to keep my raw milk and lye as cold as possible - so cold that the lye solution doesn't stand a chance melting the hard oils - but I still use the master batch of oils to save time.

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« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2008 08:09:30 AM »

Something else you might want to consider to save time is to master batch your lye solution.

I only recommend this IF:

YOU DON'T HAVE CHILDREN/DH/ROOMMATE/ANIMALS AROUND THAT COULD ACCIDENTALLY GET INTO THE LYE SOLUTION

This is based on using a specific gravity of lye solution for your recipes.
Let's say you always use 30% of your total oil amount for the amount of liquid to use to disperse your lye.  This is a 32% lye saturation, meaning your lye solution consists of 32% lye and 68% liquid.

Using the example recipe in previous post, for a 3# batch of oils, you would use 14.4 oz of liquid and 6.8 oz of lye (5% lye discount or superfatted) or 21.2 total weight of lye solution.

Mix up a master batch of lye solution using the 32% lye saturation.  To make things easy, let's say you will be storing 100 oz of lye solution.  Weigh up 32 oz of lye and add to 68 oz of liquid.  Keep covered with tight lid, mark container very well, store in an area were folks/animals will be safe from it.

When you want to soap, simply stir & weigh out your 48 oz of master batched oils and stir and weigh 21.2 oz of master batched lye solution and you're ready to go! 

Of course you will have to gently heat the oils to get them melted, so no RT soaping but the time savings is fantastic!
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« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2008 11:30:48 AM »

Cool beans, and fab explanation. I just may have to try that one of these days! It would save me time not only in weighing the oils, but in dragging them out and putting them away, since I store them in a different room than I soap in.

Oh, and mullerslanefarm~I was checking out your website, and I love your swirls!
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« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2008 11:40:49 AM »

Thanks MareMare,  I really hope you get a chance to use this technique.  I hated having to drag out and put away oils.

The swirls are done in the mold.  I use a slab mold from kelsei's creations. http://www.kelseiscreations.com/page3.html.  I see Rita is having a sale on them now (only $5 off, but $5 is $5!)

Cool beans, and fab explanation. I just may have to try that one of these days! It would save me time not only in weighing the oils, but in dragging them out and putting them away, since I store them in a different room than I soap in.

Oh, and mullerslanefarm~I was checking out your website, and I love your swirls!
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« Reply #30 on: April 02, 2008 03:35:01 PM »

Ahh it totally looks like fudge, not soap. Haha. It looks so great.
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OhHappyDay
« Reply #31 on: September 09, 2008 04:38:18 AM »

MareMare!
You are a soapin' machine Smiley

And some absolutely yummy looking creations you have there (we need a yum-yum smiley).

Isn't mold lining like the very worst part of the whole process? It is for me. I hate it but I haven't found anything that works as well as freezer paper.
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« Reply #32 on: September 09, 2008 05:04:21 AM »

MareMare!
You are a soapin' machine Smiley

And some absolutely yummy looking creations you have there (we need a yum-yum smiley).

Isn't mold lining like the very worst part of the whole process? It is for me. I hate it but I haven't found anything that works as well as freezer paper.

Yep it sucks! I usually line my molds the day before I make soap! I haven't made anything actually since this last many batches, I'm out of coconut oil. But my mom's gonna buy me 5 gallons for my birthday, woo hoo! I need to make some coconut lime verbena for some swaps!
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« Reply #33 on: September 09, 2008 05:22:23 AM »

I'll be unmolding 8# of Lavender/Mint (I call it Mardi Gras - swirled with mint green & purple) and 12# of Mint/Eucalyptus (swirled with mint green & darker green) this afternoon.

Yesterday I unmolded 8# Mother Earth (a patchouli based soap, swirled with green & brown) and 12# of Lavender (swirled with mint green and white).

I tell ya MareMare, when you get your coconut in, give master batching a try!  Those 5 gallon buckets with locking lids that you can get from home depot or lowes work wonderful to store the master batch.

Coconut Lime Verbena - YUM!  Don't forget to post pictures!!
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« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2008 05:28:05 AM »

Those sound lovely mullerslanefarm!  Do you use essential oils only? What kind of lavender eo do you use? I prefer bulgarian over 40/42, but a friend of mine was doing a trillion batches for a lavender farm, and she passed on some lavender provence eo, and it was the most wonderful thing in the world lol! I'm not even a lavender fan, just like it because it sells well and is so good for your skin!

I remember reading about the master batching before...I think maybe my scale won't work for that or something. I had some reason why I didn't think that would work too well for me  Sad

Oh and I'm gonna run up and get my coconut oil today, I happen to live 2 miles from a soap supply wholesaler! I would cry if I had to pay shipping on a 5 gallon bucket of oil!
www.shayandcompany.com   Grin
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« Reply #35 on: September 09, 2008 05:48:13 AM »

I do have a few fragrance oils but most of my soaps use essential oils.

I do like the lav 40/42, love lavender provence, I just bought a pound of lavendin to try that out (came in last week and I have about an oz left) since I love the scent of the lavendin I'm growing.

I thought I wouldn't like master batching either, but being able to pull out one container and weighing the oils once for a quicky batch won me over.

You are so fortunate to live so close to your supplier!!  I'm dreading having to order another 50# box of PK flakes.  I'm almost out of my 5 gallon bucket of Safflower too.  (I've only found one place that still sells high Linoleic safflower and it's on the east coast).  The rest of my bulk oils, I get from Mike at Columbus Foods (aka SoapersChoice).  He's only a couple hours away but I don't have the time (or the desire) to drive into Chicago traffic.   Shipping kills me. 
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« Reply #36 on: October 01, 2008 09:12:30 PM »

I'm new here...first post!
I have always wanted to try to make those huge bars of soap but just never invested the $$$ for the ingredients.
Where do you sell yours?
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« Reply #37 on: October 01, 2008 09:48:02 PM »

I usually sell at a couple crafts fairs a year, and from that I have a customer base that I sell to. I had a wholesale account with my stuff in a gift shop for awhile, but that didn't last. I do a lot of swaps too.  Grin
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« Reply #38 on: October 02, 2008 06:00:01 AM »

I sell at the local Farmer's Market (indoor, year 'round) every Saturday.  Also have my website and a Local Harvest listing.  I've had wholesale accounts off and on.  It will be 10 years this January that I've been making soaps and I've accumulated a pretty good customer base.  Sometimes I wish I could give up soap making so I could dedicate more time to my fiber arts, but I'd have a mutiny with my customers. 
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« Reply #39 on: October 02, 2008 12:20:46 PM »

wow I bet that would make you so tried!!!! I envy you... I wish I knew how to make soap... I really want to start getting into making bath products!  But being a working college student means no time or money! Sad 
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« Reply #40 on: October 02, 2008 12:45:43 PM »

I didn't start making soap until after my divorce and had the weekends free when the children were with their father.

Now a days, I'm gone from the farm 12 hours a day for work M-F, farmer's market until noon on Saturday, church Sunday mornings, and of course activities with my last son (16 yo) at home most the rest of the time.

Good thing both my husband and my son don't mind pitching in for housework and cooking leaving me time to spin and knit (and make soap).

As for the expense - you can get by pretty inexpensively by using oils found at the grocery store, lye from the big box stores (like home depot or lowes) and a lined rubbermaid container for a mold.
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« Reply #41 on: October 06, 2008 08:56:21 PM »

Those look positively YUMMY!
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ShayBug
« Reply #42 on: September 15, 2013 05:24:55 PM »

What a process! Thanks for sharing. I am just starting to look into the art. I guess there is a whole lot more than I expected.
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LizzyEU
« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2013 06:41:23 AM »

Looking great Smiley
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« Reply #44 on: June 06, 2014 08:44:09 PM »

These look so yummy and fragrant where I wish I were able to smell them!
I have always wanted to try making my own soap but have yet to try it.... I may need to leave it up to you pros!  Cheesy
Which is your favorite?
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