Sunday, December 25, 2011

Have a VERY Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas Day! Santa has been and dinner is in the oven... thinking about the people who cannot be here, I'm reminded of my Mum's favourite singer, Nat King Cole.  Here's one of my favourite songs ... Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Pics and New Things for a New Year

I have been very lax about the blog lately and that's annoyed me a lot.

Pretty much, for anyone who makes handmade soaps and body products, from mid November to a week before the Big Day, you're working every hour to make sure that all the orders get out the door on time and that everyone is happy with both your products and, as importantly, customer service.

One area that's really annoyed me is not having enough product photos taken for the website or to show on Facebook or, here, on the blog.  But I hope to remedy that during the Christmas holidays - fortunately I have some time off my full time job over the next week or so, so I'll be actually able to get outdoors during daylight (when I go to work, it's dark and it's dark when I come home... not great for taking product photos!).  I also invested in a good lamp and need to find a good, bright, natural daylight bulb and work on some indoor photos - the key, so often, is good lighting and, to date, I've only been able to do that in natural daylight, outside.

Also I've been planning some new products - I hope to introduce a facial range including a facial oil cleanser, a facial scrub and a new facial serum made from some of the most exotic oils I've found ... and they are utterly crammed with skin loving goodies! Alongside all this, I'll be adding a body serum which will be fragranced to match the soaps so customers can choose either body butters or a body serum (I know that some would prefer a lighter option, especially in the summertime).

So, my New Year's promise is to be more active on the blog and show you more images and bring you more news and products.  I was also thinking of writing some ingredient profiles to show you why I choose the ingredients I choose .. I think this really helps give a context to the products.

So, more to come in the next few months... keep an eye out!

Merry Christmas!

Well the big day is nearing, everybody will be trying to get the last little bits and pieces to make it a very special holiday, and treating themselves to a few things that they might have not been able to afford all year, the tree lights will be on and the Christmas songs playing all the time.  I do love this time of year but it does make me think of family and friends who cannot be with us .. I hope they're all having their own Christmas parties and fun though.

I want to say a huge huge thanks to all my blog readers, my Facebook fans, my fellow Tweeters and, most especially, my lovely lovely customers who've said such wonderful things about our products and who love using them as much as I love making them.

This business isn't just a business to me, it's heart work... something that I cannot be without, everything I make has to be just so.. it's always like it's the first, the best, thing I make.. I cannot do less, be less.  For me, everything I make is a little part of me... my children so to speak, so for people to comment so wonderfully just makes me so utterly proud and happy.

I hope that the joy I get from making everything is translated into the joy others get when using them... that could very well be my most favourite gift of all.

I hope you all have the very best Christmas you can possibly have, have fun and laughter with family and friends, have people you love around you and give and take as many hugs as you can get (there just aren't enough hugs in this world!) and that you smile and smile and smile because you have the gift of those who love you.  For those who we love and can't be with us in person, I know they are watching us, smiling with us and spending the day with us, just as they'd always be.

Merry Christmas everyone and thank you for being such wonderful friends xx

Monday, December 12, 2011

Incredible Review

Firstly, I, yet again, have to apologise for my absence on the blog.  The Christmas season is so incredibly busy and I'm working very late every night for the last few weeks just making, making, making, labelling, wrapping, boxing, posting, making ... well, you know how it is.  

I'm SO not complaining, I'm really chuffed that people want to purchase my products, it really just makes me so happy.

I received this incredible review on my site and I just wanted to show it to you... I was so chuffed and rather blushing to say the least.

"Celine has totally restored my faith in handmade because she is a total where else will you get the whole package...I love Celine's Double Whipped Body Butter, have loved Pink Grapefruit and Pomegranate is amazing!! One thing I would like to make clear is I have psoriasis and using Celine's body butter along with her fab soaps really do soothe my skin in a way coal tar and other dangerous lotions and injections I use never did! Her beautiful marbled soaps come in the most beautiful packaging and make affordable luxury gifts. It's a joy to receive an I am Handmade order cos even the packaging is so beautiful you don't want to open it!! No order is too small and Celine is happy to source your fav oils and make bespoke items just for you!!! Thanks Celine xxx"

But I have to say, No, Thank YOU Cathy and thank you to everyone who's bought my soaps, scrubs, body butter and lip butters.  I wouldn't be here without you.  

Friday, December 2, 2011

SEO Issues

I've been trying to work out SEO (search engine optimisation for those who don't know) issues for the website to get higher in the Google and other search engine listings. 

I'm not 100% sure what I'm supposed to do (I think SEO is a dark art to be honest) but I've all my keywords in the site, I've titled my images according to what the image is but also keywords such as "handmade soap Dublin Ireland" etc. 

I have my site link in my signature in forums, I post a lot on other people's blogs with the link too (not cos I want to increase my SEO, but because I LOVE reading blogs and responding - nothing like a silent blog to make you feel like billy-no-mates!). 

I've followed all the usual tips and hints and was wondering if there was anything else I should be doing? Any suggestions? And, please.. in plain English... I can just about understand what I'm doing right now LOL! 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hmmm.. Blogger issues?

Anyone else having any Blogger issues? It seems my latest post is the only one that shows on the page, you have to click "Older Posts" to get the rest of them.  Me no likee! Is this happening to me or everyone? And how do I fix it? HELP!

ETA: Ok I'm the stoopido! I just changed the size of one of the images on the blog and, bingo, it's all back!

It's a D'oh kinda day.  

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another Soapy Giveway - Product Body

Well the ever delicious Miss Jo from Product Body is having a giveaway and I thought you'd like to know.. I like to share the wealth (of knowledge that is, I ain't sharing the prize if I win!)... check it out on her blog now. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fabulous Soapy Giveaway

Just a quickie to say that Lori from A Life Deliberate Soap Company is having a giveaway! You can check out all the details on her You Tube video below (or, for those who subscribe by email, click on the link).

I love love love love love her soaps and I'd pretty much kill (or certainly maim) any one of you to get my hands on these! I'd be like the desperate bridesmaid when the bride throws the bouquet!!!

Check them out, Lori's fabulous soaps and her generous giveaway:

Make sure to check out Lori's Facebook Page and her Blog and her Etsy Store.

Another mention and a new soaper!

I just wanted to show you a video from a very new soaper based in Dublin, Ireland.  Amanda can be officially called a soap addict now ... she's gone from being a customer to making her own soaps and it's so fun to watch her spiral upwards to the heights of soap addictness!  And, whooo hoooo, I'm famous cos I got a mention at the beginning! LOL.

Here's her first video of her very first two soap making adventures... I wish I had the idea to video my first soaps, you always have a memory of them then!

Best of luck Amanda and I can confirm, you are now a soap addict!!!

Link to You Tube Video

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ohh... I'm in a video!!

I sent some of my soaps to Julia from during the summer and she wrote a wonderful review of them, I was more than happy with it (thanks Julia!).

Yesterday, I found she'd made a whole video with all the soaps and soapers she's reviewed and mine are in there .. and, guess what? She called me the Queen of Swirl! How cool is that?!

Check out the video below (for those who receive the blog posts by email, you won't be able to see the video but you can check it out on her blog, right here

Julia, thanks SO much, you made my day! And to be included with so other fabulous soapers, well it's a pleasure and an honour.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Silence, Sadness & Retail Therapy

I have to say a huge sorry for being so quiet on the blog lately... I've not been soaping for a while, I seem to be going through some sort of soaping block at the moment, plus I've been trying to get things made for Christmas but not fairing very well on that front at present.

Also, if you are a reader on our Facebook page, you may know that, last week, my Mother in Law passed away very suddenly.  I don't think the shock has worn off yet and we're travelling to London for the funeral later this week.  It's knocked us for six I have to say, and hubby has been back to London to make arrangements.

Due to all of this, I felt the need to cheer myself up a little and did a small bit of retail therapy this evening... I can't spring for a Kitchen Aid or a Kenwood mixer but got the next best thing which is...

It's 400 watts of power with nice long mixer whisky things ... and it's red, me loves it!! 

So I'm going to try and get back to posting but we need to move through this week and start to heal.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cute or what?

I just made this... isn't it cute or what?  And no, it's not a subtle marketing message at all, is it? Hehehe!

And if the message works, check out!

Friday, November 4, 2011

On the Curing Rack

Sorry it's been so quiet round here lately... I've been busy getting things ready for Christmas gift bags and .. well, not a lot else really.  I've just been kind of tired and a bit grumpy lately so, when I get like that, I tend to keep my head down and stay quiet. 

Anyway, I decided it was definitely time to do a video cos I've not done one in an age.  So I made this today, all my myself (you'll probably notice that, nowhere near as good as when Titch or Malcolm helps out!) and it's all about the soaps currently on the Curing Rack.  Now, I usually leave all the soaps on the rack til they're ordered and I only wrap when ordered ... not sure why, I just started that way and kept doing it. 

So I thought you'd like to see the video ... here are all my soaps on the curing rack.. enjoy!!

I know the video doesn't show in the email version of the blog so here is the link for you to watch as well

Hope you enjoy the video and maybe we'll see you at !

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Handmade by Me Thursday Blog Hop

I've joined in a Thursday Blog Hop hosted by Handmade by Me forum which you can find here and I was introduced to it by Carolee Crafts.  So, if you'd like to join, just click on the Carolee Crafts link and join in!

Monday, October 17, 2011

I've been a little busy this weekend making videos!

I've been a little busy this weekend making videos .. I've not made one in a while and just felt like showing people how I made my soaps.  I got a great response from the making of Adam & Eve video that I did another two today, both cutting soaps ... Black Raspberry Vanilla and the Adam & Eve shown in the previous video. 

So, here you go, for your viewing pleasure, two new videos:

Cutting Black Raspberry Vanilla:

Cutting Adam & Eve: 

Hope you enjoy!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New Video - The Making of a Soap

Well, I've run out of a few of my most popular soaps so have been working too get them made and cured before people start shouting at me!

Last night, I did a remake of our very popular Adam & Eve soap, a black and white, Vanilla Anise fragranced soap (this is a DIVINE fragrance) and Titch and I decided to video the whole process. 

There are a few technical issues in the video... for one, the video was in 3 parts originally, the first part was silent for some reason (I have no idea why I didn't speak), but I managed to get them all together.  Then I left a spoon in one of my jugs and promptly poured a ton of soap on it (d'oh!) and then the video cut off again. 

But, no matter, it's a good video (I think) so I wanted to show it to you.  I'm embedding the video itself but I think that doesn't show up on the email subscription so I'm including the link too.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Snow Angel

I just wanted to show you the last of my Christmas themed soaps - well, actually they're more Autumn/Winter because I didn't want to do any Christmas specific soaps (the ones you might be left with once 25 December is history, you know what I mean?). 

So here is Snow Angel ... she was a real pain to make to be honest.  This fragrance acted up big time on me and riced and heated up so I managed to stick blend it into submission.  I had plopped some into my pre mixed titanium dioxide so that ended up in it and I stick blended the life out of it (or into it, maybe?) and poured it quickly into my waiting mould.

For the first time, I put a soap into the freezer - I just knew the fridge wasn't going to be cold enough to cool it sufficiently to stop it gelling.  I left it in the freezer for the full day, popped it into the fridge overnight and then left it out, demoulded for 24 hours before cutting. 

She actually worked out really well and I love her! She's got a love dusting of icy glistening glitter and she smells just wonderful.  The fragrance is  is a warm Winters blend of Mistletoe, Pink Pepper, Cardamom, Frankincense, Clove, Patchouli & Amber - it's beautiful, simple and yet complex at the same time.

So, here is my Snow Angel .. enjoy!

Hope you enjoy the images - this will be online from mid November at

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Winters Day

As some of you will know, I've been showing off my new Christmas soaps on Facebook.  The last post showed you our Very Merry Berry which has been a huge hit with almost half the batch now on pre-order lists!

Today I'm featuring Winters Day - this is a polar white and ice blue soap, made with our own blend of Sweet Almond, Golden Olive and Avocado Oils with lashings of creamy Cocoa Butter.  It's coloured with titanium dioxide for the white and a small amount of pearl blue mica.  It's all dusted with an icy glisten of cosmetic glitter.

The fragrance is described as a crisp Winter blend of mild Menthol, Pine, Spruce, Eucalyptus, Lavender & Cedarwood ... it's a really lovely fragrance, clean and clear.  With the menthol and eucalyptus, I thought it might smell somewhat like a flu fighter but nope, it's smoothe and fresh and just so lovely. 

So, for your viewing pleasure, here is our Winters Day soap - it will be fully cured by mid November and on the site then.

Really hope you like this soap - drop me a line if you have any comments or queries and don't forget to check out our new website at

Monday, October 10, 2011

Very Merry Berry

Here's a look at my new Christmas soap (added to Fig & Brown Sugar and Winter Orange Spice) .. she's called Very Merry Berry and she's made with Sweet Almond Oil, Golden Olive Oil, Avocado Oil and lashings of Cocoa Butter.  She's coloured with vibrant berry colours - purple and reddish pink, alongside polar white and she has a generous dusting of icy glistening glitter on top.

Her fragrance is a juicy blend of Raspberry, Cranberry and Orange and oh my goodness, does she smell good!! Sooo delicious!

She's off to cure for the next 6 weeks and will be ready by mid November... if you'd like to pre-order, you can drop me an email at and I'll put one by for you; be quick though, because there are pre-orders already in for her (and that's without any pictures!). 

So, I invite you to ogle her, Very Merry Berry:

Hope you like them!

Celine @

Saturday, October 8, 2011

New Website!

Hi everyone, sorry it's been quiet here again for the last while.  I've been mega busy with work and also working on a new website design.  But, thankfully, I can now announce that the new site is up and running!

It's been a LOT of work - you keep thinking of new things that you need to do, or small changes and it seems never ending.  I doubt it's ever really finished of course.  I moved from my old provider because they just weren't giving me the facilities I needed and I have to say I'm delighted with the new provider ... fab new features, great order management and some lovely new features such as being able to offer discount codes etc. 

So, apologies for my lack of posts ... here's a screenshot of the front page but, please, do have a look at the site and tell me what you think.  Oh and if you see anything that I need to change, drop me a line here ... it's great to have new eyes looking at the thing I've been working on for so long!

Hope you like the new site ... click on and see what you think. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

More Soap Swaps ...Great Cakes Soapworks!

The second of my recent soap swaps was with Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks.  Amy is based in Olathe, Kansas.  Now, as a girl who's never been to the US, my only experience of Kansas is through the Wizard of Oz but I don't imagine that it's really all tornadoes and witches on bicycles ... at least I hope it's not, for Amy's sake!

Amy's blog is one of my top 3 go-to blogs ever, she's incredibly talented, and has a huge level of experience having been soaping since 2002. I adore her images, her soaps, her tips and hints....and she is so sharing with her information, it's just incredible.

Amy suggested a soap swap, or a swaop if you will, when I raved, publicly, on her blog about her fabulous Cranberry Yuzu soap.  Its colours, its design, its "pick me up, smell me, touch me .. you know you want to" good looks - I just had to have it.  So we did a deal, she asked for my Wild Blueberry and I asked for Cranberry Yuzu ... a vertiable fruit salad swap!

She sent her soaps first (I was waiting for the Blueberry to finish curing) and they were magnificent.  One huge Cranberry Yuzu and two lovely samples of Cinnamon Apple Peach and Candied Currants. 

I have a confession ... I have to admit I'm a terrible swapper *hangs head in shame*.  We opened the Candied Currants immediately and used it all up.  NO pics! Imagine! What was I thinking?! I'm sorry Amy, I didn't mean it.  It was just calling to me, its beautiful colours (green, black and red if you're asking) and its incredible fragrance - juicy, sweet, delicious, the kind of soap you want to bite! And it was fabulous - creamy lather, loads of bubbles, it made all our skin so soft and it lingered ... I LOVE a soap who's scent lingers.  It was just sooo good.  It made me want more.  Just as well that I have more!

So, tonight the Cranberry Yuzu goes into the shower - tomorrow is our first go with this juicy deliciously fragranced soap, I have to say that I cannot wait.  But I was good, I ordered ... ooops, ahem, asked Titch nicely to take some pics before the sun went in so I could show you.  Just imagine you can see the Candied Currants one there too!

So here you go - these are the Cranberry Yuzu and the Cinnamon Apple Peach (check out the oh so amazingly cute golden apple stamp!) mouth is watering just thinking about them!

You cannot not love these... look at them? They are simply stunning! Can you fall in love with a soap? If so, I'm there already.

Thanks Amy, for encouraging my unending addiction to stunningly beautiful wonderful soap ... you might hear me singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in the shower tomorrow morning!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thanks Emily - Shieh Design Studio

Recently, I've been lucky enough to be involved in a couple of soap swaps with some other soap bloggers from around the world.  The first one was with the lovely Emily from Shieh Desigh Studio who sent me two of her fabulous soaps - Lavender Milk and Arabian Nights along with a sample of her Dark Star. 

I adore her packaging - the white paper she uses is lovely, it gives the soap a very natural look.  The labels are elegant and the ribbon is just plain cute (and it reminded me of my ribbons too.. great minds think alike!).  The soaps are a generous size (4.5 oz or approximately 130g) and are a great shape and size to use in the shower.  Once they wear down, which takes some time because they're very well cured and nice and hard, they are perfect for handsoap. 

With regard to how the soaps feels in use, they stay nice and hard unlike some handmade soaps I've used in the past which have melted into nothing in a short time.  Emily sent these to me about 3 weeks ago and there's still tons left.  The soaps all bubbled beautifully, lots of lather, big bubbles at first and then the thick creamy bubbles that I love love love.  What I really liked the most about these soaps is that they left our skin feeling soft and beautiful - I have a thing about handcream, I used to use it a LOT, since I found good handmade soaps, that doesn't happen so often.. with this soap, there is no need for a handcream afterwards, my skin felt soft, scented and really lovely. 

My husband loves using handmade soaps but is VERY particular about them.. he'll give a soap a chance for maybe one or two uses, but no more if he doesn't like them (a harsh reviewer to be honest).  Suffice it to say, he's still using Emily's soaps every single day! He loves the feel of the his skin afterwards.  The one thing he did note was that, due to the fragrance and it's lingering nature, he wouldn't use either in the kitchen in case it scented food as he was cooking (given he's the cook in the family).  I would give the soap a 10/10 for performance and skin feel.. just lovely!

Lavender Milk is a beautiful swirled light purple and white soap, fragranced with a beautiful floral Lavender.  I liked it a lot, the fragrance lingers after use which I loved.  Hubs wasn't so crazy about it but lavender really isn't a guys fragrance is it?

Arabian Nights was a lighter scent for me, a slightly spicy, ambery fragrance that had a lot of powdery tones ... for me, it was too light and I'm not crazy about powdery notes in fragrances (just a personal thing for me) but my husband liked it a lot.  This soap has some glycerine soap embedded in it and I liked the idea of that ... it works nicely with the colour of the cold process soap.  Hubs thought it was a little more drying to his hands than the Lavender Milk and we guessed it could be down to the glycerine soap? I'm not sure, I know I didn't find it drying at all.  Titch (honorary daughter) loves this one and chooses it over the Lavender Milk every time.  She really likes the fragrance of this one - she tends to like more spicy, unisex fragrances in general so I can see why she'd prefer this one. 

Dark Star, for me, was the winner .. I adored the fragrance, lots of Star Anise EO in it which I ADORE and a blend of Cedarwood, Vanilla, Patchouli, Clary Sage, Cassia & Clove - a very complex blend that I couldn't even begin to attempt so I'm very impressed with this.  I loved it ... it's spicy, strong, dark, has a slight medicinal undertone which I loved too.  Hubs said it reminded him of mouthwash in the dentist but I'm guessing this is the clove (thank God he's not a perfumer is all I can say!).  I just loved loved loved it... I loved the muted dark colours and, again, it was a lovely soap to use (it's the first one in the image below).  Actually, for me, scent wise, it was head and shoulders above the others... more complex, more unique.  I just loved it.

Thanks Emily, for swapping your soaps with me.. I'm not the greatest at reviews and can only talk about my own impressions (and those of hubs and the Titch).  But it's a great big thumbs up for us for the soap in use and different reviews on the fragrances which are enitrely bases on our own tastes.  None of us could agree on what was the "best" fragrance - maybe this just proves the point that what one person chooses as the best, others don't.  All I know is that Dark Star is a beauty, Titch and hubs would choose Arabian Nights and I loved the Lavender Milk in the shower. 

If you would like to try out any of Emily's fab soaps, you can shop online on her Etsy store at (it's closed at the moment, she's currently on holidays but she'll be back in the next couple of days); you can check out her Facebook Page at and read her blog at  Emily, you are a sweetheart and thank you SO much for giving me an opportunity to use and enjoy your beautiful soap xx

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy .. Working on Custom Orders

Hey all, sorry it's been a bit quiet here lately - I'm back in my full-time, other life, job and it's just mental; for those in the know, I work in as the administrator in a film/media/art/design college and, as you can imagine, the start of the academic year is bedlam.  I'm run off my feet and the students aren't even back til next week!

Added to this, I'm working on a custom order too which is pretty cool - I specifically got it because the customer was so in love with my swirls plus she tried out the soap beforehand and just loved how it feels on the skin, how conditioning it is and how much it bubbles, even though she lives in a hard water area. 

And, finally, I'm working on my reformulated body butters, which will be called Double Whipped Body Butters (cos they are!) and slowly (very slowly!) working on building up a stock of the butters to put on the website.  I plan to have the butters available in some of the soap fragrances but not all. 

Next on my to-do list is start building up stock of my reformulated scrubs which will be called Sugar Cream Body Polish.  These will be available in the same fragrances as the body butters. 

And then working on a formulation for either bubble bars or bubbling bath bombs (not sure which yet but I think I'm veering towards the bubbly bath bombs) .. I've the recipe almost right but not quite finished as yet.

Oh yes, and then I need to work on lip butters too.... ok, I'm just exhausted reading all that!!!

So bear with me if it gets a little quiet round here for a while ... I promise to show pics as and when I have them!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...