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fun, fun soap swap!

Alright, so I’ve only been involved in two my entire life, but they’re so fun!
I was introduced to them over on one of the forums last year,
and it was such a nice experience, I wanted to participate again.

The way that it works is this: a swap hostess posts the swap info
on the forum, and who ever wants to participate, signs up.

There’s usually a limit of 12 or so people, so you gotta sign up quick.
The hostess then collects shipping money from all the participants,
and we have a certain amount of time to create and then mail her our 12 items.

She will divide these up and make each one of us a box.
Each participant will receive a package containing 12 different items!

I’ve seen lip-balm swaps, soaps made with freshly dried herbs,
welcome swaps, and soaps using all-natural colorants.
Basically a swap theme can be whatever anyone dreams up.

It just so happens that both times I joined, it was a Halloween/Autumn themed swap.
Fall is my favorite season, I’m all about the pumpkin!
So, I made Pumpkin Seed Oil Body Butter:
That beautiful amber liquid is pure vitamin E, being added at the ‘cool down’ stage.
And below, my finished product:
So I mailed in my body butter, by the given deadline,
and I received a package in return, containing the twelve different items!
It included candles, lotions, soaps, bubble bath, perfume and a body scrub:
All of it wonderful.
I knew it was here, because the minute I opened the mailbox, I could smell it!
I didn’t get a chance to go through it until the following night at around 9:30 pm.
My friend was over and we were enjoying a glass of wine, when I remembered
I hadn’t had a chance to open it yet!

With Ooo’s and Ahh’s we admired the packaging, all the
while slathering ourselves in delicious-smellling lotions and body butters.
Then I put everything away, to wait for everyone to receive their boxes.
Once everyone has gotten theirs, the postings and reviews will begin.

I can barely wait to use all my Halloween Treats,
so much better than candy  😉

covet thy cupcake

What is it about the cupcake that makes it so appealing?
Maybe it has to do with the fact that although it’s beautiful,
with all its fancy embellishments, it’s also small,
so therefore, no sharing is required.

Any pretty soap intrigues me, but I find the soap cupcake especially appealing.
A yummy, decadent treat to use and enjoy.
So much so, that you almost feel guilty doing it.
With a case of the guilts, ya gotta be strong and shake it off- use the soap!

On a side note; those tall, lovely cupcakes are very comfortable to use
if you cut them in half vertically. They will fit perfectly in the palm of your hand.

I’ve made soap cupcakes only a handful of times.
Not because I don’t want to, (’cause I always really want to) but because life gets busy,
and there’s never enough hours in the day, and blah, blah, blah-
we’re all in the same boat.
This week I took some time off from work, so I’ve been getting my soaping on.
Lucky me!

I don’t have a huge array of food flavors for soaping,
so I went with what I had on hand.
I’ve always loved chocolate and mint together, and had both fragrance oils,
so I decided to go with that.
I divided my soap batter into three parts.
Two parts for the base, one part scented in mint, and
the other part scented in chocolate.

The last portion I saved for the ‘icing’.
I wanted to color it green, so I scented this portion in the mint.
Mint fragrance oil doesn’t discolor like chocolate & vanilla scents can.

Since I knew the chocolate part would come out brown anyway,
I added some of Brambleberry’s Vanilla Select
to it, just because it smells incredible!
I was having so much fun, I decided to make some Pumpkin-Caramel Delights.
(I just made that up, because that is what they smell like to me)
I figure with Autumn right around the corner,
who wouldn’t like a little Pumpkin Delight?

Pumpkin, lemon, caramel & a touch of chocolate.
And it’s mine, all mine!
Well, one of them is, I’ve had my eye on on it..

soap-pie

Oh, me, oh my, I really want to make a soap pie!
It looks like a beautiful pie, but it’s soap, how cool its that?

A true, round soap-pie, that my family will want to eat, and then be sadly disappointed when they come to realize that it’s not ‘real’.
Then I will know, my job here is done. Muwahaha..

Of course, you have to get your confidence up to make a soap pie,
so I’ve been practicing:
Pumpkin Pie Bars:
Olive Oil, Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Water, Pumpkin Puree, Sodium Hydroxide,
Avocado Oil, Sunflower Oil, Castor Oil, Sodium Lactate, Titanium Dioxide,
Fragrance Oil, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Clove & Oo La La Soap Glitter

And I have other questions. There’s the detail of cutting the thing. And packaging.
Will people want to use pie-slice shaped soap to wash with in the shower?
Does the pie slice ever even make it there?
Or just sit prettily on display for years to come?
I’ve considered these things, and still, I really need to try one.

I hear it time and time again, “I can’t use your soap, it’s too pretty!”,
to which I sincerely reply, “It’s ok, I’ll make you more!”

The thing is, hand-crafted soap can, indeed, be quite beautiful.
So beautiful in fact, that those of us who like to make it
refer to the photos as Soap Porn..and it can be addicting.

But I’m going to let you in on a little secret; beauty is not it’s best feature.

In my opinion,
(and I’d wager my precious supply funds
that my fellow soap-making friends would agree with me)
the best part of hand-crafted soap is the quality of the ingredients,
the luxurious feel of the soap as you use it, and the way your skin feels afterwards.

Try it once, and you will immediately feel the difference between it and commercial.
Hand-made soap is insanely popular on Etsy.
People are so impressively creative, you can find something to satisfy any taste.

So go ahead and do it, unwrap the pretty package.
Use The Soap!
I promise, it’s going to be more than ok 😉

nicely aged monkey farts.

My Sea Salt soap, or ‘Spa Bar’ that is.
Although it’s got a funny name, I love this fragrance! It’s  juicy, fresh and summery.

After a nice afternoon at the beach you feel rejuvenated, energized, maybe even healthier; but why? One reason is that the sea salt you are swimming in is full of great minerals such as magnesium, zinc, calcium, and potassium, among others.
I poured these big, 6+ ounce, mineral-rich, sea salty bars back in May, so they are cured for two months as of right now. Salt soaps only get better with age,
so the longer they cure, the more divine they become.
I had never even heard of Salt Soap or Spa Bars before I started making soap at home. Now, it’s my favorite kind of soap. I love to make it and I love to use it.
My showers are longer these days, but I conserve in other areas, I swear that I do..
Salt soap makes you feel extra clean, it lasts and lasts, and as an added bonus, never gets gooey in the soap dish!
Ye old saltydog speaks the truth.

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