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!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Final images - Raspberry Mimosa and Jasmine & Green Tea

Well, you've seen the cutting videos for both the Raspberry Mimosa and the Jasmine & Green Tea but they still needed stills photography so that I can upload them to the website when they're fully cured.  Thankfully, Titch was home from her gallivanting around the Irish countryside and took these images yesterday evening.  There's something about the evening sunshine that gives such a lovely warm light ... sadly, I do wonder how long we're going to have the pleasure of that because I can feel Autumn coming in right now, the air is far cooler and the leaves are turning shades of red and gold.  As much as I love the Autumn/Winter seasons, I do so miss the sunshine. 

Anyway, whilst we still have the sun, we took advantage of the light and Titch took the following images ... and I hope you'll agree with me that she did, yet another, amazing job. 

So here are the images, hope you like them.

Raspberry Mimosa (fragrance reminder - a cocktail of juicy raspberry, crisp green apple and citrusy/sherbery May Chang essential oil) - available from 11 October:

Jasmine & Green Tea (fragrance reminder - heady, exotic Jasmine florals blended with calmy, citrusy Green Tea) - available from 10 October:

Really hope you enjoy the images - thanks to Titch at for her fabulous work; if you want to Like her Facebook page, you'll see more of her fantastic images. 

If you'd like to pre-order either of these soaps, please don't hesitate to drop me a line at and I'll keep one by for you. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...