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reminiscing on labels

I was looking at old pictures recently, and it occurred to me that,
if motivated, you can learn a lot about something in a very short time.
Looking back, it’s easier to see how I’ve grown as a soap-maker!

Its only been three years since I began, but it feels like I’ve been doing it forever.
Like most soap-makers I know, I think about it all the time.

I daydream about what I’d like to make next.
Something seasonal? A classic, like Lavender & Oatmeal?
A beer soap? A milk soap? It’s always exciting,
and being passionate about something is food for the soul.

My mind wonders on soapy creations during my day. While I’m cooking,
while I’m rushing about, and of course, when I’m in the shower.
I talk to my dog about ideas, (I’m not sure, but I think I she looks bored)
and then I wonder when I’ll have the time to get soaping.

I’ve gathered that for many soapers’, it’s not the math,
(for me, its the math..but give me a calculator, and I’m a formulating Ninja)
and it’s not the risk of handling the *potentially dangerous lye water
that makes ‘em sweat- it’s the labeling!

While I’m naturally horrid at math, I do enjoy labeling.
I liked it right from the start.

When I first starting making labels, I hand wrote them on hang-tags.
Then I decided I wanted something more professional looking,
so I learned how to make simple cigar-band labels.

IMG_1415~Above is a pic of some of my earliest labels. I was very pleased with them!~

IMG_1468~For the packaging above, I used leftover fast food napkins.
Re-purposing is good. Fast food, not so much. :)

Here are some more recent labels: DSC_0038~Mermaids are so pretty. She made my Juniper Breeze soap look lovely!~

DSC_0037~I love vintage maps, and they make a great background for masculine scents.~
DSC_0001~Rose always reminds me of my Mom. I’ll save one of these for her.~

I give thanks for the good things in my life; my family and friends,
my furry children, and my job.
And, as strange as it is, making soap feeds my soul.

If a man does not keep pace with his companions,
perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. ~ Thoreau

Or, To Each His Own. Amen.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*Disclaimer: ALL bar soap is made with lye, sodium hydroxide, or NaOH.
If you’ve read different, it’s a lie, really.   ;)

Lye water is a caustic base solution, and it is potentially dangerous-
but only to the person making the soap!
Adding lye water to fatty acids (your chosen oils) produces
the chemical change which results in soap.
As soap-makers, we are well aware of the risk of handling lye water,
and wear full protective gear during the process.

All that being said..
there is no lye in the finished product of a properly formulated soap!

On the contrary, as a general rule, soap-makers ‘super-fat’ their soaps.
This simply means that there is enough lye molecules to turn most of the
fatty acid molecules into soap, but not quite enough to change them all.
This results in a small percentage of free-floating oils in the
finished product, which ensures a mild and conditioning bar.

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About Valerie DeVito

I'm a wife, mom of two teens, Licensed Massage Therapist & enthusiastic soap maker!

10 responses »

  1. i love reading your stories….i do think your labels are just beautiful and thoughtful and just like you!
    you have come a long way baby..haha not to coin the phrase. doing what you should be doing, and doing it absolutely fabulously.

    Reply
  2. I agree with Lorraine..your product, your labeling and your writing are impeccable !

    Reply
  3. My, my, my… how the bubbly time flies! It is fun to look back at where we were then and see where we are now. It shows use our progress and hopefully where we are going. ♥

    Reply
    • I agree, Kara! It is fun to look back..
      I’m not sure where I’m going, but you’ve been with me right from the beginning, that’s for sure. I’d love to read a soapy blog from you one day, SueBear!

      I’d be your first subscriber xo

      Thanks for reading :)

      Reply
  4. Phoebe Courcy

    Your soap labels are beautiful and provide that personal touch of class & homemade authenticity. Keep up the good work! ;)

    Reply
  5. Hi Val, enjoyed your label story and yes everyone has something good for their soul, I think mine is needle and thread. Love you mom

    Sent from my iPad

    Reply

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