Friday, February 28, 2014

Feature Friday: Jasmine Solid Lotion

One of my biggest sellers in the realm of solid lotions is my Jasmine solid lotion!

What is a solid lotion?
A solid lotion is a bar of lotion that is made from mostly hard butters and waxes that melts on the skin when applied. My solid lotion is made of cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax, making it very moisturizing and your skin will love it! Just hold the small bar in your hands and let the oils and butters melt, then rub them into the skin! Super easy and a wonderful way to get soft!

Out of all of my solid lotions, the White Jasmine sells the best. This scent is very true-to-the-flower: a lovely floral filled with the perfect Jasmine notes.

My solid lotions are packaged in travel-size tins, so it keeps the bars contained and clean when not un use, and it makes it easy to take your lotion on the go with you.

Interested in my Jasmine solid lotion? CLICK HERE to head to Etsy and check it out!

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Making Orange Peel Powder

I don't know what was wrong with me… I must have been dangerously close to contracting scurvy over winter break because before I knew what I was doing, I was eating oranges like crazy! I think I ate my way through 3 bags of navel oranges in about 2 weeks. Crazy, right?

Well, in my craziness over that delicious citrus, I decided to start drying my orange peels and save them for soap additives! Want to give it a go too? Excellent! Grab a fresh orange and listen up!

What you will need:
-Oranges (yummm)
-A drying surface
-A coffee grinder
-A storage container

  1. So, first start off by peeling your orange and eating all of the sweet, juicy goodness inside! (Bonus: You're fighting scurvy! Arr!)
  2. Next, clean your orange peel with soap and water and scrape away the white pith underneath the peel.
  3. Set your clean peels out to dry. You can either let them dry naturally in the open air or place them on a baking sheet in the oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes.
  4. Once the peels are completely dry (which should be 1-2 weeks in the open air), place them in a coffee grinder or food processor and blend to a powder.
  5. Store your orange peel powder in an airtight container! 
Orange peel powder is an excellent additive in beauty products! You can add it to handmade soap to create texture and color, add it to clay face masks to provide exfoliation, or add it to bath water as an excellent citrus bath tea!

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Feature Friday: Grease Monkey Soap

One of the soaps that I made over winter break is one that I am most proud of: My Grease Monkey Soap! It's been tried, tested, and approved by the grease monkey guys in my life (mainly my car-loving father and my dairy farmer father in law), so I know it is good to go for you!

The soap is made with a base of freshly brewed coffee, which is also what gives the soap its rich, dark color. The soap is made with my standard oil base (olive, coconut, castor) with a little cocoa butter mixed in to help soften your skin as you use it. Coffee grounds and baking soda were added to the soap to help scrub away grease and grime.

The soap is scented with a blend of essential oils to help deodorize any stinks that may have attached themselves to you while you were hard at work. I use a blend of Anise essential oil, Orange essential oil, and Ginger essential oil, which work together to naturally deodorize your skin, as well as smelling wonderful. Anise is a licorice-type scent, which is softened and sweetened by the orange and ginger additions.

Got a grease monkey that is is desperate need of cleaning? Check out my Grease Monkey soap HERE!

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thursday Inspiration: Tennessee Orange Soap

My mom, ever the Vol fan, has been bugging me for ages to make an orange and white soap for her. It's always been a project in the back of my mind, and after finding the perfect scent (Orange Creamsicle) and the perfect orange color (Clementine Mica), I was ready to go!

The soap is a messy swirl of orange and white. It's a really simple, gorgeous swirl that I am super proud of! The inside of the soap has a white swirl and the scent is super wonderful! The orange and the cream balance each other out wonderfully!

Here's a picture of the "wet" soap in the mold:

The orange faded a little to a creamier orange, rather than a bright one, but it matches the scent beautifully! I'm pretty proud of it! Be on the lookout for this tasty-smelling soap next month!

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Blair-Moore House

It is with great excitement that I am announcing that you will be able to find my soaps at the Blair-Moore House in Jonesborough, TN!

The Blair-Moore House is a family own Bed and Breakfast located right on Main Street in Historic Jonesborough! Jack and Mimi own and operate the B&B. They are fantastic hosts! The B&B was featured on Tennessee Crossroads (you can watch their segment HERE!).

The Blair-Moore House now features my handmade Lavender Goat's Milk Soap in all of their rooms! My soap is made with fresh goats milk and scented with lavender essential oil.

If you are interested in booking your stay at the Blair-Moore House, please contact Mimi at (423)753-0044 and make sure to like them on Facebook!

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Feature Friday: Cherry Almond Bath Bomb Fizzies

Happy Valentine's Day! Since it's friday, its time for my feature friday! Today the spotlight is on my cherry almond bath bomb fizzies!
Cherry almond is a classic scent that almost everyone loves! Sweet maraschino cherries melt beautifully with mild, nutty almond... I've had folks asking for this scent for ages, and it finally made its debut last fall. My bar soaps in Cherry Almond sold out at one show! Wow! Because of all of its success as a soap, I'm starting to make bath bombs in the scent as well.

As always, my bath bombs are made with baking soda and citric acid as a base. When baking soda and citric acid combine together and mix with water, it sets off a fizzing reaction which creates sodium citrate, a skin-softening byproduct. The fizzies are also jam-packed with sweet almond oil and epsom salts for extra skin-softening benefits and to help relax you as you soak. 

Wanna check out my cherry almond bath bombs? CLICK HERE!

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Twitter Tuesday: #handmade

It's time to do a little more Twitter stalking for this week's Twitter Tuesday! Today I am looking for new goodies featuring #handmade!

Let's see what I found...

First up are these cute fingerless gloves made by EntwinedEssentials on Etsy:
Handmade Fingerless Gloves

Next is a cool Unicorn Spectrum Print by Papyrusaurus on TheCraftStar:

Unicorn Spectrum Print

And last for this week is a stunningly beautiful handmade journal by WalkintheWoodsLLC on Artfire:

Handmade Journal
Next week I will be keeping my eye open for goodies featuring the hashtag #artfire! Make sure to tag your artfire listings, or feel free to tweet them directly to me at @SSpringDesigns!

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Liquid Soap: A Conquest!

Diluted hand soap
In the great quest to expand my products, and in my boredom over winter break, I began toying with the idea of making liquid soap. Liquid soap is made using a different process than bar soap, and is made with a few different ingredients. With bar soap, you use sodium hydroxide dissolved in water to create your soap. However, with liquid soap, you use potassium hydroxide dissolved in either water or glycerin to create a soap paste, then dissolve the paste in water to make a viscous soapy liquid.

I've been watching tutorials on YouTube, mainly this one by Soaping 101 and this one by Carrie Petersen, but this blog post from is a gem of a find! I reference that blog post almost daily!

So, early-January when I made my big lye order for the first half of the year, I got brave and added a jar of Potassium Hydroxide to my order. Kiddo was sent to Grandma's house for the weekend, and my first attempt at liquid soap making went down.

In short, it was a disaster.

I thought that bar soap was trying on my patience, but I've never experienced anything like making liquid soap! After combining the lye and glycerin and oils, it cooked… And cooked… and cooked… and I thought I was going to lose my mind! I was constantly checking on it, constantly checking for clarity (how see-through the soap is when diluted with water) until I finally got the perfect consistency!

So, by the time I was ready to dilute the soap paste, I was so excited to add in my green apple fragrance that I added it in with the water instead of after the dilution phase (oh crap!), then panicked and threw in an emulsifier when I realized that nothing was mixing together (oh crap!), then bottled the lot before the dilution was finished (oh crap!) and ended up with this mess below.

My first batch is in its second week of sequestration, but I am starting to think that nothing is going to save it.
First batch: Grade A disaster!

After a few tears and loads more research, I decided to stop checking and just let the soap do it's thing. I made a second batch, then left it in the crock pot without checking, and voila, it cooked perfectly! Then I set it up to dilute overnight and boom!, it turned into perfect liquid soap! All it needed was a bit of citric acid to neutralize it, some scent, and it was ready to go!

Here's my cherry almond liquid soap, one week after sequestration:

Second Batch: Fabulousness! 
I'm really happy with the results that I am getting now. I've just learned that I need to back away from the soap and let it do it's thing. I am Helicopter-SoapMaker no more! I've got my testers using the soap and I am getting back rave reviews... A little more testing and the soap should be good to go!

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Feature Friday: Pomegranate Sea Salt Soap

With Valentine's Day one week away, I thought I would take this last Friday before the holiday to feature my Pomegranate Sea Salt soap! This soap would be a perfect gift to give for Valentine's Day. The pink heart shaped soap fits in well with the classic theme!

The soap is made from a base of coconut oil for cleansing and moisturizing and castor oil to increase lather. Finely ground sea salts are added to soften your skin, aid with exfoliation, and helps offset the cleansing power of the coconut oil. Salt soaps are excellent for your skin and give you a wonderful healthy glow!

The soap is colored a bright pink and shaped into a large heart, making the bar of soap a little over 4 ounces in weight. The soap is scented with Pomegranate fragrance oil, a light, sweet version of the fruit. The scent comes alive when the soap is wet.

Interested in this soap? Make sure to check it out in my Etsy shop and in my Zibbet shop!

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thusday Inspiration: Freshly Fallen Snow Soap

Last week, East Tennessee was blanketed with a 3 inch layer of fresh, white, fluffy snow! Snow is a rarity 'round these parts (did you read that with my Appalachian accent?), so it was so nice to take some time off from school, watch it fall, then enjoy a few hours of play time with my kiddo in the "snow drifts"... Not sure if 3 inches of snow can be called a snow drift, but whatever!

So, after doing some research and planning, I decided to use the snow as my inspiration and made some fresh snow soap!

Adding the lye to the snow
I started out with some fresh, clean snow, collected right on the ETSU campus. I added my lye directly to the snow, letting the chemical reaction melt the snow down as the lye dissolved. While the lye cooled to room temperature (it didnt take long), I prepped my colors: titanium dioxide for white, ultramarine for a bright blue, and charcoal for gray.

The soap is scented with a really lovely fragrance, filled with notes of grapefruit, agave, ylang ylang, willow, and lavender.  It's a nice, fresh scent with lots of lightness. I did not want to use a traditional winter scent, like a mint or pine, but rather wanted to use a scent that would be loved year round.

Here's the "wet" soap still in the mold:

And here is a Vine video I made while I was swirling the soap:

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Twitter Tuesday: #etsy

It's Twitter Tuesday, and I'm busy shuffling through all the goodies on twitter with the hashtag #etsy. In fact, #etsy was trending while I was searching! Awesome!

So, I stumbled across some really great finds. Wanna see?

First up is ChristalDreamZ and her handmade confetti cuff wrap:
Confetti Cuff Wrap

Next is a wonderful Vintage quilt from RecycledSalvage:
Vintage Quilt

And finally, check out this gorgeous poppy painting from KsaveraART:
Poppy Painting

Come back next week and check out some finds from the hashtag #handmade! Make sure to use that hashtag to get found, or tweet me directly at @SSpringDesigns!
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Monday, February 3, 2014

Multipurpose Blogging

I've had this blog for ages... In fact, this July, my blog will be three years old! I've loved being able to share all kinds of things with you all, from my own products to tutorials to features on other handmade crafters and artists! Some of my posts have went viral, such as my 1-2-3 Sugar Scrub tutorial. It's been a wonderful journey and I have adored sharing it with everyone.

One of my new years resolutions involved my blog, and it is my goal to go from 2 posts a week to 4, maybe even 5! Mondays will be a general post, Tuesdays will feature folks from Twitter, Thursdays will feature soapy creations inspired by photos, music and more (and loads of soap porn, too!), and Fridays will feature random products from my Etsy shop.

But now, my blog has a second purpose and it involves one of my college classes.
For the course "Writing for PR" I need to write and maintain a blog as part of my grade, and this one counts! Hooyah! Two birds, one stone!

So, hello Ms. Fannon! I hope you enjoy watching my little soap making blog!