Tag Archives: soapmaking

Sept 8, city market on 104th st. & DIY soapmaking workshops

7 Sep

After a 2 week break, I’ll be back at the farmers market on 104th street tomorrow! The weather is looking fantastic, with a call for up to 26 degrees in Saturday. Will be a perfect day to get outdoors to one of Edmonton’s finest markets. And I’m not just saying that because I’ll be there, either. :)

This past week I taught my first cold-process soapmaking course and it went really well! We made 2 batches of a castille blend soap. The main oil by weight was extra-virgin olive oil, and by request, we added shea & cocoa butters to the soap for extra moisturizing and hardening properties. We actually made the soap outside on their patio and enjoyed the nice weather! My hosts made us delicious green tea and even some homemade lemonade in the afternoon. I’ll be adding some courses to my website for the fall and winter months. If you are interested in learning about how to make all natural olive oil soaps and skincare products, check it out. As shown in the sign, you can also request a special course for you and some friends. Minimum number of people for the class is 5.

This week in the studio: Pop up craft sale @ Old Duchess Shop & City Market

10 Apr

Things are getting busy in the studio as I am prepping for Make It Edmonton and the outdoor city market starting in May! Check out the Make it Flyer I’ve posted here

I have a few new things to mention:

  • I’m starting to offer wholesale orders for stores interested in carrying my products in their stores. Which means soon you many be able to find my products in retail locations around Edmonton and beyond! Check the new wholesale page for more information
  • Mike and my friend Christin made me some awesome wooden soap moulds. I only had 2 before and they made me 6 more. wow! I will be able to make lots of soap now. Perfect timing for gearing up for Make it and the city market. Today I’m making Honey & Oatmeal Mint, Lost in the Woods, and Cinnamon Deluxe. Mike and my friend Christin made me some fabulous long wooden hold so I can ramp up production a bit.
  • For Make it, I’ll have lots of felted soaps as well as unbelted. Many new hand creams, and will be giving out cream club cards. The shaving kits will be back as well as a some new items I’m working on. Stay tuned! I’ll have a bigger booth this time too. Exciting!

Events this weekend:

  • I’ll be at City Farmer’s Market in City Hall this Saturday (my lovely friend Tracy will be watching my booth. I’m booked for canning workshops at Eat Alberta that day).
  • Sunday I’ll be at the Old Duchess Shop for the second pop up craft sale. hours are 10m-5pm.

Vanilla Bourbon Rooibos Tea Soap

31 Oct

This past winter, my partner Mike, his twin brother Doug and I backpacked around Europe taking in the sites, smells, food, and or course architecture. One of our favourite places that we visited was the Thermes Spa in Vals Switzerland. One of the neat treats at this place was that I got offered a warm cup of bourbon rooibos tea after my spa treatment. It was so nice to sit in a lounger with a warm cup of delicious tea while looking out at the snowy mountainous surroundings. Absolute bliss! I was lucky enough to purchase a bag of the tea in the gift store and when I make myself a cup, it transports me back to the spa. Such a nice treat!

So what does this all have to do with soap?

I have been using Rooibos tea in my facial scrubs for the past couple of years and just love the colour it offers as well as the therapeutic properties. It’s high in vitamin C, which is essential to the body in cell repair and collagen development.

This fall, I decided I would make a limited edition soap called: ‘Vanilla Bourbon Rooibos Tea‘ soap using some of my cherished bourbon rooibos tea from Switzerland so that I could share the amazing scent and experience with others. It will be available for sale at Make it Edmonton this November and after that on my etsy store page.

Here it is from loaf form to individual bars in nice boxes made from 100% recycled paper.

Soap production in full-swing

26 Oct

The clock is tickin’.  Soap can take 2-3 weeks minimum for a full curing process. So I had best get to work! This week I’ve been busy making batches of soap for Make It Edmonton show.  That means all you make it shoppers will get first dibbs on the new fresh batches of soap!

Soap blends I’ve been making:

  • “Lost in the woods” soap – Goes great with the “lost in the woods” man cream. Smells woodsy and even looks woodsy with fresh cedar embedded in the top!
  • Citrus burst - I haven’t made this one in a while and I changed it up a bit by adding slices of dried blood orange, lime, and lemon rinds right into the soap!
  • Cinnamon deluxe soap – aka “Cinn-of-man”. Guys and girls love this soap equally, so don’t be shy, indulge your senses!
  • NEW – Lemon poppyseed. Need I say more?! A beautiful blend of lemon ribboned soap with a top layer of poppyseeds and calendula petals. Soft on one side, exfoliated on the other.

Here are some production pics of me making soap this week. These shots are for the citrus burst soap.

This is what the soap looks after I have blended the lye/water mixture into the oil mixture. It’s pretty runny at this point. With lots of stirring and blending, it thickens up to a point called trace.

 

Once you get to the tracing stage, you can add in your colourants, essentials oils, etc. But, you have a limited window of time to work in, so you want to get all your materials ready ahead of time.

 

This is my mixture of natural colourants (alkanet root and crushed cranberry powder + essential oils). This soap blend contains: sweet orange, lime, and grapefruit essential oils. It looks like a dark reddish-orange. It will end up being a lighter orange shade once the soap has cured.

 

Dehydrated slices of: blood orange, lime, and lemon that will be added to my soap after it reaches trace and has been poured into the mould.

 

 

 

Time for some fun! Once the soap mixture has reached trace, you have a short window of time to have some fun with it like marbling or adding botanicals, etc. To get this effect, I split my batch in two and blend one part with the essential oils/colourant mixture. Then, I pour the two batches together into my mould, to make some fun designs.

 

 

Ta da! The soap has been poured and citrus slices embedded in the top. Now, it rests in the wooden mould with the lid on under blankets for a few days. This is what is called the curing process. It takes a few days for it to solidify. The blankets and the wood mould help decrease the release of heat. If it releases it’s heat too fast, it affects the curing process and the soap doesn’t end up being a very good quality.

After the soap has set up enough to be like solid butter, I’ll remove it from the mould and cut it up into bars. No pictures of that yet, as it’s still curing.

 

Here is a sneak peak of the lemon popyseed. I can’t wait to take it out of the mould!

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