Saturday, 27 June 2009

the results of Titanium Dioxide & Ultramarine Blue

the result...

My new pal

cut logs...

So, after my little tutorial yesterday here are the results.
The bars have just been cut.
One thing I must warn about is the smell the ultramarine gives off after the immediate cut.
It smells a little sulphuric, but soon cures out of the bars and leaves the EO/FO scent behind.
I have thrown whole batches away in the past because I was inexperienced and thought that the stench would render the bars forever horrid!
Just stick with them, and don't worry....(like i did).
TD, however leaves no smell at all....did you know it is a very effective natural sunscreen? Did you also know that it is used in every single foundation in liquid form? Did you know that it was used to paint the space shuttle? Did you know it is a large component of most emulsion paints....?
Now you do! The name Titanium Dioxide makes folks think of nasty chemical un-natural stuff, but it is in fact a naturally occurring mineral (from rutile rock). It even gets used in skimmed milk - which is just plain wrong...milk is off white - not stark white so leave it that way!
On another note - check out the moth on my Tracycarpus. Found him this morning at 8am, and he's still there now...11am.
Wish I was at Glastonbury...watched 'The Specials' on the box last night...they were ACE!
Not sure what's on today, but will take a butchers later. (that's a butchers hook (look) for you lot from across the pond)!

Friday, 26 June 2009

How To Mix Titanium Dioxide into soap

on left - TD & ultramarine blue mix
on right - TD mix

TD being stick blended into lightly traced soap

the two batches ready for pouring.

The other day on Twitter, I was asked by Jo at The Soap Bar how I get my soaps so white? She knew it was TD but asked when I added the lye solution? No.....
Here's a quick lesson:
I add it when the soap mix has reached a light trace.
In a 10lb batch (4KG for UK readers) I add 30g of TD to 50g of superfatting oil (I use either sweet almond, avocado, rice bran but on this occasion I used 50g of organic soya bean oil) and mix.
Add this mix to your lightly traced soap and stick blend so as to make sure the batch has dissolved it all (avoiding bits of TD being suspended).
If you want to split the batch into two colours, then first reach light trace, add your FO's or EO's and pour half of the soap into another container.
This time, I wanted a pale blue top with a white bottom, so I mixed the TD as above, but split it into 2 bowls, then to the other bowl, I added about 1/4 tsp of ultramarine blue and mixed before adding to one part of the soap.
I then simply poured the white soap into the mold, dusted on some cocoa powder to make a nice black line in the finished soap, then poured on the pale blue mix on top and peaked it with a chop stick.
To this organic mix, I did an EO combo of Juniper, Black Pepper, Cedarwood, Patchouli & Ho Wood.
This is my first batch of organic soap. More to come, which I will show when ready.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Toto, We're Not In Kansas anymore...

'Toto & Dorothy' buttercream bombs

new biodegradable cellophane packets

'hot doughnut' bath cakes

new organic palm and shea from

I had made some buttercream bombs the other day, which turned out wrong because I forgot that I really did need to use cocoa butter to make 'em I have put them to good use and added them to a fresh bomb batch.
This time I added a little red colourant and a dusting of red glitter, along with a piece of hibiscus flower on the top. The scent is 'Applejack', which is a nice rich cinnamon apple scent. An autumn bomb really, but the aroma is so good that I'd use them anytime. They will be available in my etsy to buy once they are turned out of their cupcake molds.
Also, this past week, I have made some 'Hot Doughnut' bath cakes with added fair trade demerera sugar. They smell just like hot doughnuts, though the scent is 'Freshly Baked Bread' which Jo uses in a soap. Matt came home from his slipware pottery weekend and said "I smell biscuits"...poor soul. He could've eaten a bath cake but I doubt it would've lived up to his expectations.

I have just made a batch of long awaited 'South Pacific' cocoa butter bombs - the same scent and layering as my soap -which is on sale in my etsy if you'd like to bag a bargain - it's only on sale as it's the old tile shaped bar - still the same gorgeously fresh sea breeze scented bar in a 6oz tile. To the top of the bombs, I sprinkled on some sea salt and topped them off with sea kelp pod.
I have some new organic oils & butters for the new organic soap range..just waiting for some coconut oil and I'm away; though I've not thought up any recipes yet. More bedtime reading and jotting on yet another ideas list.

Yet more soap packaging - this time in biodegradable cello bags, which I actually prefer to my FuturePrimitive paper. And after receiving a bit of feedback, so does everybody else... Good, cos they're a lot easier and quicker to package!

Friday, 19 June 2009

more etsy finds - to lighten the load....

'Little House' ring by Ardent 1
I love this simple, yet striking.

Java Jumpstart by Jovia Soap -
a great name for a soap

grape soda pop cupcake bathbomb by 'Candied Beauty'

Beach Babe Cupcake Bathbomb by Candied Beauty

Always wanted to know how they made that wonderful frosting on these cupcakes...check out the ingredients may not be so difficult...but where do you buy powdered meringue in the UK?
Never seen it in my life. The search will commence....
I have a new supplier of Organic ingredients in the UK too....check out for some great items at good prices...and the customer service is 2nd to none.
I have some new organic sustainably sourced palm oil, some organic shea & organic cocoa butter (which smells awesome and is pretty much left in its raw state).
Can't wait for the rest of my ingredients to turn up so I can get making.
I've decided on 5 different organic soaps to see how they fare...then I'll see if it's worth pursuing further.
Happy Friday...I feel much better than yesterday.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Buttercream Melts & The Orangery

'The Orangery' soap

and again

'Lychnis 'Gardener's World'

NEW Luxury Butter Melts - to compliment the soap chunks
Yesterday was a very productive day...shame I can't say the same about today.
The heat creeps up on us in England and just makes us react like lazy wasps (sometimes).
Today is one of those days for me.
However, I have been tending to my plants..and so has a little baby bunnykins - who hopped out as I got to the Lychnis (shown above in the pic - isn't THAT a wonderful colour...and not fake at all...some plant pics in mags etc are so ridiculously enhanced and deceiving). She (I think it was a girl) hopped around until she found the door..and off she went. Must've been almost cooked, poor thing.
I cut up yesterdays soap this morn...
I have wanted to create a soap based upon an orangery, in which I used to work. I had a job as a gardener for a lovely local lady, and she had an orangery, which smelled kind of dusty, orangey, grapey and heavenly. So, I chose a combo of Ylang Ylang, Sweet Orange, Cedarwood & ..oops forgot again as I sit here...though I do have it written down (of course).
Anyway, it almost smells how I imagined and I'm happy with it.
Deco, again inspired by pottery and cake. I think the lattice works well with this particular soap bar..and I sprinkled on some dried orange peel and some cardamon seeds, which I de-podded myself. See how much thought, effort and work goes into producing just one batch. Seems that my late night book sessions in bed pay off afterall.
I bid thee good day x

Friday, 12 June 2009


My new soap - 'Herbaceous' soap - inspired by herbs in the herbaceous border...
Essential oils of Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Marjoram and Lemon Myrtle.
Superfats - Mango Butter & Calendula infused sunflower oil.
A very uplifting scent. A summer garden scent. Ooooh..that's nice...(or noice if you're from Evesham).

Thursday, 11 June 2009 you

Big shout out to Jo at 'The Soap Bar' and big thanks too.

I have a Kreativ Award! I never win anything, so this came as a bit of a surprise...a welcome one, none the less.
How bloody cool is that?!
So, I have to now 'pay it forward' so to speak (loved that film), and give out an award to 7 other bloggers, who I think are most worthy. I also have to list 7 things I love, and 7 blogs I love.
Then I have to inform my worthy winners of their coveted award!

1st things 1st then...

7 things I love:

1. Sunshiny Mornings
2. Cool shady areas with dappled sunlight (get me!)
3. Steak
4. My family
5. Dogs
6. Plants
7. Caribbean beaches

7 blogs I love:

1. Magic Hands Workshop
2. This Wheel's On Fire
3. Gary Rith Pottery Blog
4. Figs and Lemons
5. Birch Bark Soap
6. Lomond Soap
7. Sudstress - Jo included Kat as well...but I really do love reading her blog so she will have 2 awards!

So, now I'm off to tell my award winners how great they are...
Soaps coming new 'Herbaceous' is to die for...and mistakes were made with it, but corrected and it turned out better than I had imagined.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

walkabout & sea salt spa bar

'Walkabout' soap - with soap-trailed dots

Well....i had to have a play with the left overs didn't I?!

'Walkabout' and 'SeaSalt Spa Bar'

flippy SeaSalt Spa Bar
These are what I made yesterday, and are now ready for the cut...can't wait - off to do that in a mo.
I have been meaning to soap trail for a long time - after watching Matt and other potters do slip-trailing with wet slip. I thought 'I could do that with soap', and here we are.
I've always loved aboriginal art, and this was my inspiration for 'Walkabout', though I have to admit Ray Mears goes Walkabout was on TV yesterday afternoon so it all kinda came together after watching that.
In 'Walkabout' I have added an essential oil combo of Tea Tree (of course), Pine, Clary Sage & Geranium. I used Australian Organic Yellow & Red Clays too.
In 'SeaSalt Spa Bar' I have used Ylang Ylang, Grapefruit & Lavender - it smells very similar to Lush's 'Sea Vegetable' - without even a hint of 'parfum'!
Added to this are coarse sea salt, cut kelp and the layer on the bottom is dead sea mud.
A lot of thought and effort went into these hunks of soap and I'm very pleased with the turnout.
Now, if you'll excuse me I have to go and ruin them somewhat - well you can't use a 12lb bar of soap can you...?
Oh, yes...and check this out...a lovely lady put me in her Etsy Treasury here - the paper potter...who'da thunk it?!

Saturday, 6 June 2009

it is the most beautiful place in the world...isn't it...

big it up y' 'n make it'll thank me for this...
happy saturday


If you head on over to my Etsy you could be in for a good surprise...
I have a new soap mold - some of you will know I'm clearing out the old tile - shaped soap, and bringing in the have decided to shift the old out a bit quick sharp to make room for the new bars I'm busy making.
So, if you fancy some bargain soaps....what are you waiting for???

Friday, 5 June 2009

seek 'n ye shall find

'surfer girl' soap by bodygoodies

'keep on the grass' by moi

'bard' by dirtysanchez

'crush on you' by productbody
i need to buy this but am brassic...! soon jo...soon.

'charcoal complexion soap' by innerearthsoaps

'red apple' by svsoaps

pinafore by pamelatang

some etsy finds to feast yer eyes upon...
more to come...but this'll get ya started...
credit crunch gettin' you down?......have a little shopette on etsy and make your life cheery again..