Our new Featured Member on Bath & Beauty is RavingRosemary
! She has been a member of Craftster since November of 2009, and is a frequent poster on the Bath & Beauty Boards. You can view her amazing soaps all over the B&B board!
Here's a little bit about RavingRosmary, in her own words:
Hey everybody! I found Craftster in late 2009 and was immediately hooked. Community! Craft! DIY! I loved the friendly and open spirit of the place, especially the B&B boards, which definitely fueled, rather than tamed, my baby obsession with soaping. I joined AmeriCorps in October 2010 and don't have the chance to post as much anymore, but it's always a delight to check in when I can and see how things are going!
Other than that? I'm an outdoorsy book nerd from North Carolina, have a great boyfriend and two ferrets that I can't wait to see when AmeriCorps ends. I love crafting and have a huge list of things I want to learn: spinning, weaving, woodworking, blacksmithing, shoemaking.... Life is long! And there's so much to try.Q:
Why (and when) did you begin making Bath and Body items?A:
Oh man! Here's my little backstory: in 2008 I graduated from college with twin BAs in Creative Writing and English. My school was very science vs. humanities, and I was firmly on the humanities side--science was not A Thing I Did, or Understood, or Should Probably Be Around Lest Things Break.
I spent the summer with Forest Service post-graduation, and they brought in a botanist to teach us interns how to identify nonnative invasive plant species. Which is to say, something that was Definitely Science. We talked lobes and nodes and root systems, and... I loved it. It blew my mind--here was Science, and I was doing it, and enjoying it, and even eating it (yum, lichen!). And if I could do that, well, couldn't I do anything?
I started looking at the world in a whole new way, challenging the assumption that I couldn't do things. I guess it was a personal, mini-DIY revolution. I came up with a list of things I wanted to try making, things I'd always assumed had to be bought. Cold process soap was one my first experiments and it completely blew me away. So simple! So much room for variation! And it was chemistry. I've been hooked since day one.Q:
What is your B&B philosophy (as far as all-natural, animal products, etc)?A:
I'm a vegetarian, so my soaps are all veggie-friendly. I love using goatsmilk, honey, and other non-vegan products, though (sorry, vegan friends!). Additives are just so fun! I love experimenting. I feel kind of torn on the EOs vs. FOs question, though. There are some really lovely FOs out there that I wouldn't want to do without (and synthetic colors are a hoot and a half). On the other hand, there's something very philosophically and aesthetically pleasing about an all-natural bar. Good EOs are so deep and pure, and remind me of my childhood in the country. I also love the added challenge of it--I want spring green, but can I find a way to do it without an artificial colorant? (Answer: yes.) Q:
Besides soap, what other B&B items do you make?A:
I make lip gloss and bath bombs. I'm really intrigued by dry shampoos, though, and want to give that a try.Q:
How did your first soap making project go for you?A:
It actually turned into soap, which is pretty amazing considering that my boyfriend and I didn't have a stick blender and ended up hand-stirring the soupy soap mixture for hours. I had no idea what trace looked like, and as it never went into trace, I didn't get much of an education. We also used some sugar magnolia and frangipani aromatherapy oils from a local hippie shop for fragrancing, and were lucky the whole thing didn't seize or rice. Honestly, it was dumb luck that it came out at all, but I'm so glad it did.Q:
What inspires you to make a new batch of soap?A:
Often it's the fine folks of Craftster! Folks will mention some additive or technique I haven't tried in the discussion boards, and suddenly there's nothing more in the world I want than to go try it out for myself. Salt bars? Beer soap? That's a thing? That I can do? Okay!
Or sometimes it's a favorite book, or just the craving for a new fragrance to fill my apartment. I've been feeling very patchouli lately....Q:
Do you have any favorite techniques?A:
Straight up CP!Q:
What is your favorite B&B project on Craftster that you posted? A: The Midsummer Night's Dream
bar is my favorite. It's the most technically difficult bar I had attempted up until that point, and it came out exactly like I'd hoped.Q:
What is your favorite B&B project on Craftster that someone else has posted? A:
Oh man, I have to pick? Probably something by simplyorganic
--her stuff pushes the boundaries of "cute" and goes straight into artistry. I love her A Day in Paris Soap Tart
(fourth pic down).
And any and all of the DIY santitary pads. Hooray, femme-friendly eco crafting!Q:
What is your favorite non-B&B project on Craftster that you have posted? A:
Oh dear. I'm afraid I only ever posted one non-B&B project, and it was this Appa Throw Pillow
But he was pretty cute. <3Q:
What is your favorite non-B&B project on Craftster that someone else has posted? And why (with link to project)A:
A simply impossible choice--I drool over the Fiber Fridays, over the Gothic Lolita dresses (or any historical recreation), the cute clothing recons, AprilDraven
's adorable hats....
But I do adore this Magic Carpet Ride Mini Dress
Thank you so much RR for sharing about yourself, and especially for sharing your amazing soaps on Craftster! We <3 you!
I'll leave you all with a bit more soap porn from RavingRosemary!