Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Snowfall in our sleepy little town of Evesham


Pretty lights in the trees - the park side of our river


'Trying' to get dark...I love the light in this pic.

The river starting to freeze!

One of our finest trees covered in lights. You can purchase a bulb each year to honour a loved one..usually one who's passed over.


The view from the workman bridge...




Matt and bird friends


A lovely snow-laden tree in the meadow.


Frozen river..again.

A beautiful sun aura.


The top of the Abbey Park.

Our trusty old Bell Tower.
Hope you enjoyed those! I've not seen snow like this here since the 1980's and it's showing no signs of stopping yet. More is expected today! Haven't driven for almost a week now and don't intend to. Shopping has been a proper chore. I remember my Mom doing the shopping this way when we were kids...so I'm not going to complain that I can't take the car to Tesco. I'm just getting on with it. I'm doing my xmas shopping in short bursts with large reusable bags. Yesterday I did the meat shopping and some xmas pressies.
Today it's vegetables and tins. I'm not looking forward to the tins at all...so I'm going as local as I can then will trudge into town for more fun and games and money spending. Surprising what you can get in town these days! I'm enjoying myself!
Yesterday I got a maxi dress, some new knickers and a pair of shoes for just £11. Even the girl at the till laughed when she gave me the total.
Merry Christmas to all who read my blog....hope you're all having the most wonderful time too.
I have until 4th Jan off work at my part time job so expect a lot of new soap pics! How excellent to have all that time to do what I love to do.
Wooo Woooo!
xxx

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Snowdrift....



It's back! but not for long mind....
The soaps I have available are the soaps made in the CPOP videos on the YouTube Channel.
Click the pic to be directed to the shop and to take a peek at the fragrance description.
It's truly wonderful...but only here for Xmas so be quick if you want to bag one.
I have about 11 left out of the batch of 43 made!
Madness.
xx

Thursday, 9 December 2010

CPOP pics - Herbaceous Handmade Soap


a slab of herbaceous soap


herbaceous logs

more logs and more logs below!



Hello again.
If you click and enlarge you can take a good look at how these soaps turned out after being oven baked on a very low heat for 1 hour...then left in the oven overnight.
These were so nice to cut and not at all messy like my usual cold process soap.
As you can see they came out really well.
This of course is not to say all CPOP soap will come out so well....time will tell and I'm sure I will have more hiccups as I progress with this method.
For now, I'm loving the immediate results. It's fantastic to not worry about cure times at the busiest time of the year.
These I will leave a couple more days to fully harden.
The No.11 soap I cut the other day looked the same as this only now it has been left a good few days, it looks just like regular cured soap.
So happy!
x

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Re-Stocks and CPOP!

I'm having a Jo moment! She too is having to try the CPOP method of soaping to try to get soaps cured faster. I've never been so rushed for the run up to xmas so have had to take drastic action to get soap made rather than just sell out.
Let's face it, come January we may not get any orders at all so if I can make the most of this crazy period then it's all good. I'm just telling myself to remember to breathe deeper rather than fast and frantic. Stressed out or what!
Anyways, you may have watched the vids I put up on You Tube showing the results of my CPOP (if not, it's here and another here). Not sure what you make of the vids that I do but they're there if you wish to see 'em.
The first went badly! Crumbly tops, which I put down to not covering my soap when in the oven. I think the crumbling may be half due to the clay content in this particular soap (Elijah's Comfort with the red clay) and erm....yeah...not sure! they kinda puffed up but only on the first 3mm of topping...the bottom was much better but went a bit 'weird'. Not happy with that little lot so I will do another batch and see how it goes.
Sharon from Platypus Dreams told me to cover it up when in the oven so for the last two batches (No.11 & Herbaceous) I did just that and whaddya know?! Perfect 10! They are amazing.
Two days curing afterwards has hardened them up no end. I can't believe it. They're like smooth rocks...so shiny and new looking. Even when I cure for 6 weeks or so they don't go this hard. I will report on their ability to stay put once I've used them. By that I mean how long they last when using them daily.
Sharon from Morgan Street said I'll never look back once I've done this and if it all goes well like the last two then I'll be stoked.
I will put some pics up of the CPOP successes later...need to cut 'em up.
Now...as for Jo's batches I can't explain what on earth has happened there. I've tried and had a think but can't work it out. I guess after a few more goes at this we will have enough notes to pass onto others wanting to give it a go.
Next up on tonight's agenda is a new batch of Lavenders Black. God this soap smells good. A good un for blokes too. A blend of Lavender, Juniper, Black Pepper and Vetiver. Cooorrr!
We'll see how this one CPOP's.
Oh...what I did with last night's Herbaceous was cooked it at 80C/175F for 1hour then turned the oven off and left it in there overnight. My oven is relatively new and the top oven I put it into has no fan...whereas the bottom one does and I've heard that can cause more problems too....
I must say however that I love the tradition of regular cured cold process soap. It has a feel of old about it...a vision in my head of old barns in Marseille filled to the brim with curing soaps...and an old geezer going about his daily business making his soaps for the local yocals. Ya get me? Innit!
x

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Number Twelve

A new hair salon opened recently in Evesham and is being run by a good friend of mine called Graham West. He has been hairdressing since we were at college and has been on an amazing journey having worked as a trainer for Toni & Guy, Vidal Sassoon and Matrix.
He has opened up his new (and rather beautiful) salon on Vine Street, Evesham. The salon is called 'Number Twelve' and is decorated in gorgeous vintage French style.
They have just taken their first delivery of goodies from FuturePrimitive.
They are the 2nd stockist to take the whole range (or a very substantial part of it). They are stocking Soaps, Bathing Grains, Aromatic Perfume Oils and a brand new product - SWASH POTS (sugar wash).
The salon is in one of the best locations in town and Graham's business partner Angelina has a real customer led attitude (a sell sand to the Arabs type o gal) so I'm really hoping she gets that stuff flying off the shelves....it's certainly her intention!
They are already hugely busy, but then they would be as Graham's loyal followers will go wherever he goes...and I'm on the cancellation list! (in need of a few layers myself).
I think this is the beginning of something very special for Graham and I wish him and Angelina and all the staff the very best with their new business venture.
Expect great things people of Evesham....you've NEVER had it so good.
Evesham was just screaming out for a salon of this calibre. We haven't been blessed with such an amazing hairdresser in years.
I'm excited!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Tiggy from FuturePrimitive Soap cutting Inches Lane soap


Cutting Inches Lane soap. This is the 2nd batch of this soap, which is inspired by my Grandma and her old medicine chest...and the house she lived in on 'Inches Lane'.
A essential oil blend of Pine, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Citrus & a smidge of Patchouli.
I mention a disinfectant like scent...but really it is very medicinal rather than school hall. It kinda reminds me of the smell of school halls when school is out and the mop buckets come into force.
I loved that smell...!
But...it's not quite so erm....school hall-y if you get me!
Enjoy x
Oh yeah...this soap is just regular cold process whereas the ones in the oven are CPOP.
Big massive hearty thanks to Sharon at Morgan Street Soap for her help and knowledge, which helped when trying this method for only the 2nd time ever. First time I got a volcano but there was some mix up with celcius and farenheit! (sssshhh - that was a long long time ago!)
Will post pics or video when I cut them in a sec.

cutting Potters Bar Soap


A video diary of me cutting soap...
First up is Potters Bar soap with an essential oil blend of Eucalyptus, Fennel, Lavender & Lemon.
With layers of pale pistachio green enhanced with wheatbran to exfoliate the hands of potters and gardeners. The perfect soap for this house.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Headline News...in The Telegraph






Hi gang!
Last Saturday we were featured in The Saturday Telegraph newspaper and have since been absolutely inundated with orders, which has enabled me to breathe a huge sigh of instant relief.
Those who know me well know that Matt and I have been under tremendous strain with money and have been holding out for a miracle that will enable us to continue with our little cottage industry.
This may only be short term...who knows...?
But it has enabled me to spend some well-earned cash on a shed load of ingredients so that I can get on with new introductions for 2011. I'm so excited!
If you missed the article on our Facebook page, please click here to be directed to the website 'In The Press' area. If you click 'The Telegraph' you can read it as a pdf.
If you click view you can change the page display to 'two up' so you can read it as it was displayed in the paper.
If any of our new customers are reading....thank you all sincerely from the bottom of my heart for ordering! It means an awful lot.
I've been tweeting and facebooking about it all....so I'm really sorry if I've bored some of my soapy friends...but really, I can't believe the response we had. It's truly incredible and makes me feel very, very happy to know that people really like the soaps as much as I love to create them all.
Next up....there will be a trip back to the archives....SNOWDRIFT soap is making a come back shortly. Those of you who tried it and loved it will be over the moon!
Keep 'em peeled!
xx

Friday, 19 November 2010

Swash...to strike, move or wash with a splashing sound


Rook & Raven Swash Pot & White Witch Swash Pot below.



Yeah, that sounds like fun to me.
To make a noise whilst scrubbing up with a ultra polishing scrubby wash.
That's exactly what we want you to do with these new 'Swash Pots' (sugar wash).
Scoop out a globule, tease it a little then gently rub it all over your bod (not your face, silly) in circular motions (not you, the swash) then rinse clean away to leave incredibly smooth, pampered skin.
These work a treat, I've been using them in my bathroom for the past couple of weeks and they're wonderous! I love a shea butter scrub but not so much the ring around the bath after...so these are great for a rush job after work. You know the kind...when you don't want to clean up after your sorry self because you're work tired and all you want/need is a glass of red. I get like that rather a lot...ask Matt.
Mmm Mm.
Available very very soon in our little shop of delights.
The available scents will be:
Rook & Raven - left alone but with a bit of lilac for colour
Lavenders Black - with a smidge of activated charcoal to deep cleanse
No.11 - with a dusting of Aussie organic blue clay to help those with problematic/oily skin
White Witch - left alone, completely neutral white
Lagoon - with a sprinkle of Aussie organic olive clay to draw out impurities & tighten pores
Herbaceous - left alone. Nothing added
Elijah's Comfort - with Aussie organic pastel pink clay to hydrate, firm & tone (love the word pastel).
To be in with a chance of trying a sample for FREE, sign up to the mailing list which is up above on a new page...along with the Shop, YouTube & Facebook pages.
We will also announce the arrival of the new scrubs via our newsletter...which may include an introductory offer if I feel nice enough!
xx

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Lavenders Black


The newest latest to hit the Black Bell Alley dept. of the website is Lavenders Black handmade soap.
Inspired by dark back alleys and underground pubs and inns.
Mysterious, dark-eyed men in top hats and tailcoats and shiny boots of leather!
Dark velvet drapes concealing a web of sin within.
An all natural scent created with lashings of Lavender, a lick of vetiver, a splash of juniper and spiked with spicy black pepper.
Something about the scent reminded me of 'Ooh La La' by Lush. A scent which I really like actually....the bubble bar in that scent is so good.
The soap is hard, lathers really well and leaves a nice subtle scent behind. One which is especially good for men so a perfect stocking filler for your spouse or nephew or brother or son or grandpa...anybody!
Or...for ladies who like a bit of masculinity in their scent should try this too.
I think we may bring out a perfume oil in this as well as grains & scrubs.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

671 Lincoln Blvd....


Cut 6oz bars of the Christmas soap some of you saw a few posts ago. I seem to be writing so many posts lately I can barely keep up with meself!
This ere soap smells like a proper cold Christmas morning. There are hints of Spruce and frosted berries with a hot pine finish. I adore it. I usually tire of fragrances but this one is something special. It's a blend of a few different f.o's, which have all complimented one another.


Notice how the swirl worked in this bit? I did a you tube video where I spoke of the funnelling I wanted to do but the soap moved quickly so I just couldn't do it. It would have been amazing! Maybe next year...
I did manage a couple and the pattern in this looks like strands of wool to me. The majority of the soap bars come with a plain white base however...with swirls of green, red & white with a dusting of 2 glitters. HOooo HOoooo!


Here he is in his packaging. A nice deep red with deep khaki green banding and random snowflakes.
The name...c'mon now...surely you know this one?

Monday, 1 November 2010

Pirates Range....on SALE


Pirates - the soap


Pirates 3 salt bathing grains


Pirates scrub and below the perfume oil.


If you fancy bagging a bargain head on over to the shop to the Black Bell Alley dept. or our Etsy
sale area to buy up some discontinued stock.
I've also done a You Tube video to explain why it won't be a permanent fellow in the FP line-up.
Most folks love this scent but it's just not for me and I don't agree with stocking something I'm not overly keen on myself.
Pirates is a fresh grass & beach breeze scent blended with Cedarwood, which gives it high notes of an oceanic aroma with dark undertones of wood.
Sounds nice, is nice, but not for me nice!
There will be some freebies for anybody who purchases the whole range.
I will throw in some of the more 'choice' samples so get yer skates on and have a little shop if you so desire.
Thanks!
x



Friday, 29 October 2010

Introducing....Elements Wellness Boutique

I recently took an order for products from a brand spanking new beauty boutique in New Jersey, USA.
Their salon has only just opened...with a range of FuturePrimitive Soap products at front of shop.
I'm so grateful to Sonya for choosing our products and sincerely hope all their visiting customers like them too.
There is a Facebook group you can join at the moment, which is here so please give it a thumbs up/like.
Are any of the readers of this blog in the NJ area?
If so...you may be close enough to pay 'em a visit.

Thanks again Sonya!
xx

Monday, 25 October 2010

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Midnight Marauder....







New!
Midnight Marauder was named by my nephew Ethan who is 10.
Inspiration for this ere soap was good old Harry Potter....and Peter Pettigrew.
Sprinkles of brown sugar & dried orange peel are scattered in zig zag lines over the top.
Footsteps run across each soap.
The scent is a combo of warm spices with citrus and sugar.
Lots of essential oils blended with a few choice fragrances.
Made with molasses and dark brown un-refined cocoa butter with a bit of yellow oxide for the flashing.
I was going to incorporate some red to mimic the colours of Harry's preppy scarf but then decided to leave it and keep it looking darker...like something you may find in a shop in Diagon Alley.
Coming out for sale in a week or so. I'll keep you posted.
Hope you are all well.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Soap Packaging








Something I struggled with for a good couple of years...soap packaging.
I toyed with brown kraft paper, with cello bags (no good as the soap sweats), with thick paper with my logo, with cloth, with muslin...so many things...
I haven't shown the packaging of my soaps for quite some time.
I think the last post I did on this subject included my soaps with the gardeners string tied around them.
I soon tired of that as it's so time consuming when packaging larger wholesale orders.
Finally I allowed myself to agree on these strips, which simply wrap over each soap and are secured at the base.
All relevant info is on each strip.
I like the packaging colours to compliment what is inside.
The paper I have also allows the buyer to see the beauty inside too. Not see - through but near as damn it.
I know a lot of people struggle with packaging so please know that I have too.
I love a simple cigar band myself but when stocking in retail shops I think it's better to have the soaps wrapped.
I must say that Jaq from Soaphora has the most exquisite packaging.
Click here to see her Etsy...it's wonderful soap too!
I've been working hard on new strips for some of the new soaps I have made over the past few weeks. All will be revealed soon...the run up to xmas is just around the corner. I have 3 new soaps to show you very soon....
xx


Thursday, 14 October 2010

....it's coming....



A very sneaky peek. New Christmas soap as yet un-named.
This is just a little preview....the rest will come once it's ready.
The cut comes tomorrow. I hope it will be alright since it set up pretty damn quick.
Time will tell....

Monday, 11 October 2010

One Ring....is ready and available






One of the nicest, most earthy soaps I ever made.
It's ready.


Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Shores of Fiji...a proper introduction


The perfume in a 5ml apothecary bottle


The Shea Butter Sugar Scrub - 200g jar.


The Bathing Grains in a 250g ziplock bag.


Shores of Fiji was created a little while back and kinda took a backseat whilst all the products for Halloween were introduced.
Now as my mind rests before I tackle Xmas production, I find myself in need of a holiday.
I'm not going to get one....
The next best thing for any beauty product junkie (like my good self) is a good long soak in the bath and a good ol' dream of lounging about in the South Pacific.
So....what have I been reaching for?
Yep...my own product...my own little holiday in a jar/brown bag/bottle.
My own island paradise without the cost of the air fare.
The scent is wonderful. It's not a mix of essential oils, it's a heavenly blend of fragrant oils.
The top notes are sun-ripened Mango with a faint hint of pineapple and sugar which then blends into a creamy toasted coconut base.
How could I have neglected this???!
It's super good.
Last night I sprinkled some grains into my bath and lay back in the tropical - scented waters for a while before scooping out a generous amount of the sugar scrub. The scrub texture is like a really thick cookie dough. It's not sloppy, it's firm in the jar due to all the organic Shea butter I've lashed into it. It works a treat on knees and upper arms and of course the backside area.. ; )
It leaves the skin super soft without the need to use a separate moisturiser afterwards, which is great for people like me who can't be arsed to mess about after I dry off. I just want soft skin without putting an hour's worth of effort into it.
The scent from the scrub lingered a good long while too, which is a bonus.
After I'd made these 2 products I set about making a perfume oil to match.
I did it!
I like to layer my products so I get a good hit of the scent yanno?
So from Bathing Grains to Sugar Scrub to perfume....I'm all set for my little fantasy.
Blue skies with a few whispy clouds, hot sun, the scent of limes on a sea breeze, a cool glass of margharita in one hand and a plate full of lobster in the other...it can be achieved..with a little bit of imagination...and with this little range of SHORES OF FIJI
PS: there is no soap in this range....should I make one?!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Samples...oh and Facebook!


Click the pic to 'like' our page.
Yep...I jumped on the bandwagon....
I said I wouldn't bother with a Facebook page but my friends have taken to it like ducks to water...so it worked out ok.
If you want to like us...you can now!




We now have sample sizes of our perfume oils and our Shea Butter Sugar Scrubs
The perfumes are now available in 1ml drachm vials.
The scrubs are available as half size (100g) pots.
It's good if you can try a smidge of a product to see if you like it when you're buying online I think....and most other sellers do this so I've joined the gang.
More perfumes to come shortly.
Pen and paper is out and scribbles are running over the page!
Ideas Ideas...loving this!
x
To try your potions...click here

Friday, 1 October 2010

2 New Soaps...and soap size news


it doesn't come with the fancy feathers! I had a play about!



Hi all
2 more new handmade soaps are now in the line up at FuturePrimitive Soap dot com.
In addition to our recent 'One Ring' soap, we now have:

Inches Lane - a soap inspired by my Grandma and Grandpa and the lane on which they used to live...and where I lived with my Mum for years. This was the bestest and most beautiful home. Not a big house....but a good old fashioned victorian house with wonderful features (a larder, an open fire, 2 living rooms, a lovely long back garden full of flowers and the most beautiful south-facing view). I've always said that if that house ever came back on the market I would buy it if I could afford it....dreams, dreams...
The aroma coming off this soap is very much like my Grammy's old medicine cabinet. The cabinet had a chicken wire front and was painted green...and inside were all manner of medicine's - like Vicks Vapo Rub, Bandages, Plasters, Germolene...yanno..the usual Grandma medicine cabinet. Something for all ailments.
A blend of Rosemary, Pine, Eucalyptus with Patchouli (a smidge) and Citrus.
It contains poppy seeds to lightly scrub and the colour is like my old school uniform. White with droplets of navy blue (made with charcoal and real Lapis Lazuli - not ultramarine, which is the chemical synthetic version).
Love this soap.

Next up is the long awaited 'Rook and Raven'. This is a blend of Sicilian Orange and Black Patchouli with a drydown of Sandalwood & Vanilla.
Honest to GOD the scent of this is absolutely stunning. I have brought it out for Halloween, but I've a feeling it may stick around longer.
I am hooked...totally. I have to keep sniffing it as I walk past the curing room. I have been wearing the perfume for a couple of weeks and I love it.
Such a warm, cosy, winter scent.
This again contains activated charcoal, lapis lazuli but this time is mixed with deep purple ultramarine. Matt loves this! It does look very dark and mysterious.
Both new soaps will be available mid October...keep 'em peeled!

Now for some news...
Our soaps have gotten smaller! Don't all gasp...!
This will make them more accessible to all from a postage cost perspective.
We have a lot of customers in the states and across the globe who love our products but don't love the postage costs.
As you know our soaps are a rather large 6oz, which is 2oz larger than your average bar.
They are lovely and chunky and we love them but we have concluded that in order for them to be available to all with a low postage cost they need to be smaller.
So...the mail order soap will now be 4oz in weight. They still look amazing and will not change in any other way.
The postage to the US has now dropped from a whopping $6.50 to just $4 per bar (or thereabouts...depending on the daily exchange rate).
The price of the bars has also dropped by £1. All are now £3.50 per bar!
This price will probably have to rise on some of the limited edition soaps but for now the price stands, which should help with those xmas purchases.
We hope you understand our decision..
The soaps avaialble in the shops will still stand at 6oz..apart from in the states where they are 4oz anyway.
Overall conclusion is that everybody can now enjoy our soaps for a much more reasonable price, which means you can buy more at once!
Can't be bad can it.