Thursday, June 23, 2011


I really hate to slander people so I'll try not to make this about that.  As you know from reading previous posts, I had some supplies on order with Canwax and Bramble Berry.  Well they arrived today, well some of them.  My Canwax order arrived intact as it always is.  Every bottle wrapped in fun bubble wrap, even the plastic bottles!  My big box of palm oil was starting to fall apart, but no bigs, since I have a warehouse full of empty boxes.  Problem solved.
Then about an hour later another courier showed up with my Bramble Berry order.  Well half of it.  The box it came in was huge compared to what was actually in it.  It looked like someone had just thrown my order together in a box.  And that's not even the worst part.  My huge bottle of Pearberry fragrance oil (for Kirbie's wedding) was all over the box.  The lid had broke off it and it pretty much destroyed everything in the box.  There were lots of other glass bottles that I'm surprised didn't get broke.  There was really nothing in the box for protective wrapping and if you tipped the box upside down all the bottles would smash to the other side of the box.  Clearly not wrapped properlly.  Now I don't know if this is BB's fault or if it is customs. I'm sure customs unpacked the box to check everything out before they shipped it.  They must have forgotten to put the rest of my order back!!! Because I have over $300 worth of product missing which is half my order!
I could go on and on with details but just thinking about it is making me furious again.
Working in sales I deal with a lot of suppliers (at my day job) so I know how to deal with people and what to expect.  This was uncalled for.  I notified BB through email rather than a phonecall.  I know if I would have called I probably would have made some poor girl cry.  And from my experience email is better because you have a paper trail and record of what happened.  I took lots of pictures and attached them as well as the list of what I received and what was damaged.
So much for trying out lip balm this weekend.  I can't even express how disappointed I am right now.  I guess I play that dreaded waiting game to see what Bramble Berry is going to do for me.  I really hope they rectify this soon or else they're going to lose a valued customer in me.  It pains me to say all this about Bramble Berry because I really love their product.  But if this is the way they handle customers orders than I'm pretty sure they've lost me as one of them.

Bring on the Gong Show!

Bring on the Gong Show!

Well the craziness continues over at Sud Sisters.  I just received a THIRD soap order for wedding favours and we're going to be selling our soap in a new boutique in Boissevain! It's called Crazy Daisy Emporium and their grand opening is Friday, June 24.  Stop in and check them out!
 So things are really starting to pick up for us which we are both really excited about.  Now to find the time to fill everyone's orders.  I might be recruiting my wonderful boyfriend to join the soap team.
On another happy note, my supplies should be arriving today! I can't wait to get started playing with new products and expanding our line.
This weekend also marks the last FREE weekend I have all summer, well atleast until after Kirb's wedding on September long.  Wedding season is upon us.  I believe we have 7 weddings to attend this year (I'm involved in 1, Josh is in 2, and making wedding favours for 3 of them) a family camping trip, and dare I say, our 10 year High School Reunion!  So it goes without saying that this will be one hell of a year for me.
We want to hit the craft circuit hard this year and get involved in as many craft sales as we can.  So when I'm not cranking out custom orders for people I'll be stocking up on goodies for sales.
I will be rewarding myself this year by taking a family trip to California for 2 weeks.  Josh and I will be boarding a plane October 2 (the day after our good friends wedding :S) and flying to LAX.  This will be Josh's first time flying and I'm unsure how he feels about that.  But I'm sure excited!  We'll be spending 1 week in Anaheim and 1 week in Hollywood.  So I better start tanning now so I don't have another recap of our last family vacation to Gulf Shores where I was burnt so badly I was stuck in the condo for 2 days laying in bed and living off water and aloe vera.
Due to my incredibly fair (dare I say, albino) skin qualities.  I've been doing some research on holistic after sun skin treatment.  I've found some recipes for burn treatment and even sun screen!  When I can find the time I will definitely be making some of these.  At first just for me and if I like them I'll start selling them.
Well as I type this my Purolator man just showed up with my order from Canwax. So I must sign off and play with my goodies.  Or atleast smell them and then wait patiently until I get home after work to start experimenting in the lab.  Hopefully later today my Bramble Berry order arrives. My Purolator guy will soon be getting sick of seeing me :)_

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Waiting Game

Just the other day I placed a massive supply order with 2 of my favourite suppliers Bramble Berry and Canwax. I was mainly restocking on oils but on a whim decided that I'd like to try making lip balms, as stated in my previous post Lip Care.  So now I have to play the waiting game until everything arrives, which suprisingly should be before the end of the week!!  So this weekend I'll be shuffling around a lot of stuff in my "Soap Lab" to make room for all my new goodies.  Then I'll get down to the nitty gritty and bust out some samples of Lip Balm.
I figured I better start getting organized on what I want to make and when I want to make it.  My creative juices get out of control once an order arrives.  I want to make everything in the same day! And it's hard to prioritize and decide what comes first.  I never got as carried away with scents on this order as I have in the past. But here is the list of some new scents:

Eucalyptus (trusty stand by)
Almond Biscotti (very excited about this one)
Lily of the Valley
Pearberry (for Kirb's wedding favour soaps)
Karma Synergistic (which is an identical replica to Lush's Karma Komba scent ~ my favorite scent from them)

So as you can see, not a huge list of new scents but a start none the less.  I luv buying fragrances from Bramble Berry because they take the guess work out of how the scents react in the soap.  As you soapers know, knowing how your scents behave in soap is VERY important.  Especially if you are planning on doing any sort of swirl.  For you non soapers out there, some fragrances will speed up "trace" (Trace is the so-called "point of no return" in soap making. It is the point where the oils or the fats in your soap have successfully mixed with your lye solution. More appropriately, this is the point where your oils and your lye turn into soap.) which makes it that much harder to do any sort of swirling or other techniques with soap.

There's your soap lesson for the day haha.  So back to how fantastic Bramble Berry is.  They not only double check, but TRIPLE check all their essential oils and fragrances before they list them for sale.  They tell you what type of soap they work best in and how they react.  This is one thing that I've noticed a lot of other online suppliers don't tell you.  So Kudos to you BB

Another thing I purchased on a whim was Potassium Hydroxide which is the main ingredient for making Liquid Soap, not unlike Sodium Hydroxide (or lye) which is what you use for making Solid Soap.  Believe it or not soap is all chemistry, which I dig :)  A lot of people get really scared when they hear that my soap is made from lye but I assure you, it is a necessary evil in soap making.  Sure lye is EXTREMELY caustic and will burn the hell out of you but when used properly (and measure precisely) it is the powerhouse of the soap. Actually, without the lye the soap would just be melted oils. You see the lye is what makes the soap.
Check out this link for a super cute explanation of how soap is made (includes a story about wolves, bunnies, dogs and sheep)
 Every oil has a different value (SAP value, saponification value) and this value tells you how it reacts with the lye.  I have a trusty program called Soap Maker where I can make my own recipes and it figures out exactly how much water and lye I need to use in order to get an awesome bar of soap.  It's all a little bit complicated if you're new to this stuff.  But again, this is where the Science Nerd in me gets to come out and play.  Then the Artist in me takes over will all the wonderful colours and scents.  I luv the fact that no 2 batches will be identical and every bar is unique.  Soaping is my "therapy" and my way of unwinding after a hectic day at my "day job".

Stay tuned for the next post where I will undoubtably be gushing over my goodies when they arrive.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lip Care

So I've been throwing around the idea of starting to make lip balms and possibly lip gloss and tints/lipstick.  That is if there is enough interest in them.  I need some feedback before I place an order for the ingredients though.  There are so many options from packaging to flavours and colours.  I think I'm going to start small and only order maybe 5 flavours to get the ball rolling and then go from there.

Now, this is where you come in to the mix.  I want you to pick  your top 5 flavours from my list and those are the ones I'll order.

Chocolate Orange Truffle
Cucumber Melon
Mint Julep
Passionfruit Rose
Root Beer

Now I know everyone has a preference for how they like to apply the lip balm.  Some like to roll it directly on their lips and some like to use their finger.  So my options for packaging are the roll on tubes, round steel tins or the rectangular tins where the lid slides back and forth.

So once I have a better idea of what everyone wants, then I'll place the order and get to work :D

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

We're Back!

It's been so long since we've posted a blog, and honestly I had forgotten that Kirb had made one.  Everything has been so hectic, what with Kirbie & Chris getting married this September (hurray!!) and with all the other summer shenanigans going on.  I will be making soap wedding favours for Kirb's wedding and for one of my other good friends. I'm very excited about this and can't wait to start busting out some templates for them to choose from.

Despite my crazy schedule I'm still managing to bust out some interesting soaps for you to all try.  Last week I pulled out my new funnel to try some swirling techniques.  I must admit I had no idea how this would turn out and I was blown away when I finally got to cut into a loaf.  WOW I am now in luv with my new funnel.  I'm starting to feel more confident with my swirling capabilities and I guarantee you will start to see lots of colour and texture in my batches to come.

I'm thinking about stepping outside of the box and trying some different ingredients in my soaps.  At first I experimented with fruits and vegetables and was somewhat pleased with the outcome.  I need to get my hands on some Grapefruit Seed Extract to put in the batch with the produce.  This will help preserve them so they don't turn brown, or dare I say mold :O  so until my latest supply order comes in, I'll be holding off on the produce soap. I am itching to try some Fresh Cucumber Melon soap though, sans scents, aux natural!
The Carrot Cake and Pumpkin soaps were such a big hit, you can expect to see those on my curing rack within the month.

I discovered this interested lady on youtube (will post a link later when I find her).  She did a segment called Twelve Days of Soap.  She used the same basic soap recipe and made all sorts of different soaps she's never made before.  It was very interesting and inspired me to do something similar.  I'm undecided on how long I will do this for, but I'll was thinking of a week.  Seven Days of Soap, has a nice ring to it.

Some of you friends have asked me if it would be alright if you come out and make soap with me.  Of course you are all welcome at our place and I'd luv to teach you.  So just let me know as I'll be soaping like a crazy person in my free time this summer and I'm sure I could use all the help I can get.