Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blog Competition from Inner Earth Soaps

Erin from Inner Earth Soaps has started a blog competition I thought you'd like to hear about .. check out her post at  You could win these wonderful soaps & perfume!

Aren't they just stunning?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Adam & Eve

Following on from the recent poll I held on Facebook, the Vanilla Anise fragrance I had delivered about two weeks ago was the second favourite for me to soap.  I simple adore this scent - it's light and dark at the same time, very grown up, very unisex.  I haven't met anyone yet who didn't like it.  It's described as a blend of vanilla orchid against a spicy accent of anise and the warmth of vetiver, amber and clove.  For people who don't like vanilla, you'll still love this - and I know that Dennise of Briny Bar Soap has given it a total thumbs up .. she even took it on a road trip across the States with her and uses it as a shampoo bar!

It's had a revamp since I made it last (it was one of my tester fragrances, I wanted to see how it'd behave and how well the fragrance would last - I was very happy with both tests!).  I wanted something more dramatic though - I thought the original look just didn't do the fragrance justice. 

For this version, I've used Golden Olive Oil, Cocoa Butter, organic Palm Oil (of course, from a sustainable source), Coconut Oil and Castor Oil (gotta love them bubbles!).  As ever, I added Pure Silk - this really adds a luxurious element to the soap, I just wouldn't be without it (we deserve it people!).  It's coloured with titanium dioxide and black mica that I bought from the US. 

I'm dying to hear what you think of this - I was inspired by a fellow soaper, Ka fée from Soap Session who made a similar soap and I just had to try it out.  I hope she is impressed with it!

Oh and I'm calling it Adam & Eve, because my hubs had to help me with the design; once I'd preppred everything and got the mix into one jug of raw black soap and one of raw white soap, I needed to get it into the mould as soon as I could so hubs helped about half way through and worked with the white as I worked with the black.  Adam & Eve is named for us but it helps that it's a very unisex fragrance too!

So.. I present you Adam & Eve:

Black & White swirls

Soap Tops - Look Ma, NO glitter!!

I adore this look

A big ol' stack of soap

Group Photo

Close of up the swirl

Adam & Eve - basking in the sunshine

I really hope you enjoyed these pictures - if you're interested in buying Adam & Eve, it will be fully cured on 30 May and will be available in our online store

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lime Basil & Mandarin

Well I haven't been able to get access to the kitchen of late but managed to get up very early on Saturday morning, when everyone else was still asleep, and I had the whole kitchen to mess around in! Yahoooo!

I ran a little poll on Facebook during last week asking what would people like to see me make next and Lime Basil and Mandarin came in with the most votes! So, never one to disappoint, I duly went ahead and soaped it. 

The fragrance is described as a delightful combination of green citrus fresh limes and zesty mandarins leading to herbal notes of basil with warm accord of precious woods and amber - it is a wonderfully fresh, zesty scent and I personally think it's very unisex (my hubby ADORES it and wanted one for himself!). 

I made this with Golden Olive Oil because of it's excellent skin loving qualities, Pure Silk & Cocoa Butter - it is highly skin conditioning and will have lovely bubbles initially leading to a very creamy lather which will feel like lotion on your skin. 

I wanted to try out an In The Pot Swirl and used an orange and green mica swirled into a white base.  The swirl worked really well I think - I just love it!

So ... I duly present to you ... Lime Basil & Mandarin Silk Soap:

Glistening Tops

A stack of soap

Soap slice showing the lovely swirl

Soap tops with lovely swirls

Soap slices all lined up

Lots of lovely swirled glisteny soap!

I really hope you liked the pictures - if you are interested in purchasing, the soap will be fully cured by Monday 30 May and will be on the site then.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Who says soap isn't good company?

I sent the wonderful Dennise Cupp from Briny Bar Soap a sample of the Vanilla Anise soap I made some months back and she promised to take it on a road trip.  I thought the idea was hilarious and wasn't 100% she was actually going to do it. But she did!

Vanilla Anise has been on a 1,000 mile road trip from Pittsburgh to Minnesota by way of Ohio, Illinois & Iowa to name but a few states! It's so funny... and crazy to think my soap has travelled further than me because I've never been to the US myself (we saved to go but you know how things go these days). 

If you'd like to read all of Dennise's post, here it is .. it's really funny and the pictures are just hilarious!

Fresh Lemon

Those who follow me on Facebook will have seen that I've decided not to offer the Lemon Cream (previous post) for sale - why? Because I said, at the outstart of all this, that I'd never sell anything I wasn't in love with and I wasn't in love with that soap; in fact, if anything, I began to dislike it more and more.  It wasn't what I was going for and it just didn't say Lemon to me.  So I decided to do a re-do of the re-do and came up with this .. which also has a new name, Fresh Lemon.

Fresh Lemon is a cold process soap made with Golden Olive Oil, Pure Silk & Cocoa Butter and is fragranced with a fresh zesty lemon fragrance oil (those in the know, know that whilst Lemon essential oil is just beautiful, it just doesn't stick in cold process soap making and I wanted a fragrance that would zing for you). 

So, here is my new Fresh Lemon:

Glittery tops (of course!)

Top & Side Views

Lots of soap

Lovely swirls

All stacked up

Swirly tops

I really hope you like these - I FAR prefer them and I am in LOVE with these ones! If you're interested in purchasing they'll be online from Monday 23 May at - check out our other fabulous soaps, available now.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lemon Cream - a re-do

I've sold out of one batch of my new cold process soaps - yay!! The Lemon Cream was really popular it seems (but I've found that with citrus, everyone always loves them so much).  For the previous Lemon Cream, I'd not added any "cream" element so I wanted to do it this time.  And, because I'm greedy and always want more, more, more, I didn't just use single cream but double cream for this soap - the thinking being, one is good but double has to be twice as good, right?? (I think it could be called heavy cream in the US? The single cream might be called pouring cream?). 

I used the same recipe I used for my Fresh Orange soap - Golden Olive Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter and lots of pure tussah silk.  I blended Lemon fragrance oil with May Chang (or Litsea Cubeba) essential oil to give a good, strong, sherberty lemon fragrance that sticks (as we all know that Lemon essential oil sadly tends to disappear in cold process soaps). 

I weighed the water portion out (subtracted my double cream amount) and added in my silk and then my lye.  It was only a small amount of water so it was a rather strong lye solution.  I allowed it to cool as I weighed out the oils and butters and allowed them to melt.  I mixed my titanium dioxide with a little oil and kept that close by me (so I didn't forget it, we all know what that feels like!).  And then I added some Lemon Mica to another container, mixed with a tinch of oil, ready for the traced soap. 

I added my fragrance to my oils/butter mix and then added the lye (after checking the temps of course) and stick blended.  I then added the titanium dioxide mix and stirred again.  I had put my double cream in the freezer whilst I was working on the soap and then mixed it in.  Hmmmm good idea or not? In hindsight, maybe not because my soap turned to soap in a bucket in seconds.  I don't know if it was because of the level of fats in the cream or the fact that the cream was so cold compared to the rest of the mix that this happened? I have made this before and it kept nicely fluid so I'm still not sure.  Any thoughts are very welcome!

So, I had to choose... keep it as a new look, soap in a bucket or hot process it.  Whilst soap in a bucket might be an interesting design, I can't see it catching on so I decided to HP it .. out came the crockpot.  I was a little annoyed, it wasn't what I wanted but I think it turned out really nicely.  It smells lovely, a nicely tangy lemon and it feels great on the skin (double cream may not be the best thing to eat but by God, it's a great addition to a soap!). 

So... here we go... Lemon Cream with fabulous oils and butters and real Irish dairy double cream in a zingy lemon fragrance ... ohhhh and I forget, it's all topped with my signature dusting of glitter:

Glittery tops

Rustic but beautiful

Top & Sides ... pretty!

A lovely wall of lemon soap

Side on view

More glistening tops

Lots of soap!

I really hope you've liked looking at this .. if you're interested in trying one out, they'll be available from 24 April on

My new cutter, as promised

I promised to show you pics of my new cutter and I'm not one to want to let you down ... so here you go!

This is the soap cutter with soap loaf in situ (the Fresh Orange from the blog post on Tuesday)

Soap loaf being placed carefully to ensure the maximum number of slices

The wires on the cutter cutting through the soap loaf

Cut slices

I imported this from the US and I'm so happy with it; it saved me a huge amount of time last night in cutting (and hassle and annoyance and shouting and throwing things around the room, tears, snot, medicinal chocolate afterwards etc... you soapers out there know EXACTLY what I mean!!!). 

I believe the slightly crumbly edges come from me having left the soap one day too long before cutting ... I made a hot process soap today so I'll cut tomorrow and see if it crumbles too. 

I love this cutter - I would bring it to bed with me and cuddle it but hubs would complain. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ohhhh Review!

The ultra hip and very knowledgeable Joanna from The Soap Bar has reviewed one of my soaps!  Eeekkkk.. panic stations, what's she going to say? Does she hate it or love it (hint - loves it!); she did wonder about the spicy scent of it and thought it was very vaguely akin to curry.. hmmmm, ok, not too sure where that comes from but all I can imagine is that, because I used Turkish Honey rather than regular Irish honey, it's a far spicier fragrance and a much darker colour.  So perhaps that spicy note she was getting? No matter, turns out she loved the bar and wants to try my Cream Bee too. 

Oh and I should note that the size is slightly smaller than the new bars; I was trying out a new mould and didn't get the proportions of oils enough for the size of mould, hence the smaller sized bar. 

Thanks Joanna, love your blog and love your review!! Want to read it in full... here ya go!  And if you'd like to treat yourself to one, then just check out our Online Store

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fresh Orange ... Cut Pictues

I promised to show you pictures of the new Fresh Orange soap once it was cut.  This is the first time I've used my new cutter so I was a little nervous.  I didn't want to cut too soon (sticky soap) or too late (broken wires) but, like Goldilocks, I wanted it to be jusssssttt right.  I'll show you pictures of the cutter tomorrow, promise. 

So, here are the cut pictures of the soap:

You can see how the vibrancy of the orange mica has reduced a little, to a softer but still very orange-y orange

with a lovely glittery top

and lots of Tussah Silk

it's swirled with a paler creamy soap

and has Shea Butter...

and Cocoa Butter ....

and lots and lots of Golden Olive Oil

and did I mention the glitter?

This soap will cure for 6 weeks and will be ready on 22 May 2011 .. I cannot wait because I want one of these for myself.  Plus one has already been pre-ordered!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fresh Orange

I made this just today - the sun was shining and I wanted to make something summery and bright! I had bought a fantastic orange fragrance oil which smells so much like freshly squeezed orange juice and I wanted to make a really juicy orange-y summery soap. 

This has some major goodies in it - Pure Silk, Golden Olive Oil, Shea Butter & Cocoa Butter, all of which are absolutely fantastic for your skin.  It is coloured with a bright tangerine coloured mica with some paler swirls - I'm hoping that they are throughout the soap too, but we'll see if the swirls show up when it's cut.  And, of course, a light dusting of glitter - you know me and glitter, right?!

It smells just incredible - like freshly squeezed orange juice on a bright Summers morning! I cannot wait to cut this but it'll be a couple of days.  I'll be using my new cutter, imported from the US.  I'll take pictures of that too. 

Hope you like this!

Uncut soap loaf (cut pictures in a couple of days)

New Articles

I just started a new Articles page on my website and I thought you might like to hop over and give it a look - the first (and only one, for now) article is called "Why Buy Handmade Soap" and it's gotten some great interest on our Facebook Page.

Check out a taster... "Why Buy Handmade Soap?  It's a good question - why should you pay €5 for a bar of soap when you can go to the nearest Lidl or Euro Store and buy 10 bars of their cheap soap for that price? 

Ask yourself "How well do I value my skin?". Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body? In an adult, it covers 3,000 square inches and without it, the body cannot survive. So, I bet you value your skin now that I told you that?!" Read more ...

I'm hoping to do more articles on the questions people often ask me about oil properties, how handmade soap is actually made, what's the difference between essential and fragrance oils ... it's a great excuse for me to research too! Hope you enjoy it!
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