Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy First Day of Spring!

Today is the first day of Spring and also the international day of happiness.  I wanted to show you my newest soap, because it is making me happy :)  and also it looks like Spring!

I bought 2 new molds that I love!  
I had to wait a long, long time for them, but it was totally worth it!

These soaps will be part of a luxury line that I'm releasing for spring.  It's not actually spring here LOL!  They are forecasting more snow for tomorrow :(  For me Spring is May.  These soaps will be ready around the middle of April, so that will be perfect!

They are made with grape seed oil, avocado oil and cocoa butter.  I love to use cocoa butter in the spring.  I'm not sure why??  Maybe it's the yummy scent - mmm raw cocoa butter smells SO good.  Sometimes I just want to eat a piece!

They are scented with strawberry, kiwi, apple blossoms and a blend of berries.  It's a really nice soft and gentle scent - perfect for spring!

And I made a video!  You can find out the secret of the pretty rose mold ;)  

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Soap Making Video! Punked Sugar

I made a soap making video!  I thought it would be fun to make a video of one of my new spring soaps - Punked Sugar.  I used colors that I thought looked like punk neon colors.

It's been a week since I made them and they are already turning black, instead of the forest green weird color (you will see in the video).  Chemistry is amazing!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Food In Soap

I was going to title this post Food In Soap: A Journey, but I thought that was a little too serious :P

If you have read this blog before, you know I love food and I love making soap, so it's not a big jump to putting food IN soap.  There are many reasons to put food in soap, antioxidants, minerals and skin soothing or smoothing or purifying.  I put food in soap, because #1 it is fun and #2 it's a challenge. 

So here are all some of the soaps I have made with food ingredients.  These are only the recent ones, because I got tired of looking for pictures. 

Pureed Organic Banana

Fresh crushed gooseberries.  These gooseberries were from the bush I planted in my yard a few years back.  I can't wait to try currant soap with some of my currants this summer.

Honey, propolis, bee pollen.

Crushed frozen lingonberries. 

MN goat milk.  I make a lot of goat milk soaps - not that unusual, but I included it anyway :)

Beer.  Also, not that unusual.

Dried, crush kumquats.  I LOVE kumquats.  

Dried, crushed dandelions.  Some people eat dandelion salad, so I thought this one could count as a food ingredient ;)

Pureed Organic Cucumber.

Black tea and goat milk.

Fresh pureed avocado.

Organic carrots.  These carrots were from my Dad's garden and they must have had EXTRA beta carotene, because they made the soap very yellowy-orange. 

Hemp Milk & Beer

Venison tallow and sunflower oil.

Coconut Milk and ground Jasmine Rice.


Almond Milk.

Organic Egg Whites.

Chamomile and Oatmeal.

More Organic Carrots.

Cow's Butter. 

Organic Pumpkin.

Coffee (espresso) & oatmeal.

Hard Cider.

Rhubarb leaves and stem.

Rhubarb root infusion.

Want to try a food soap?  You can find my little shop here Kiyi Kiyi

Thursday, January 23, 2014

When Good Soap Goes Bad

The Soap Queen had a really interesting post today about Soap Behaving Badly.  I recently had a fun (not) experience with overheating soap.  Let's all look at my beautiful soap with lovely very time consuming embeds.  Ah, so beautiful.  LOL!

So I tried out a new Black Raspberry Vanilla fragrance and everyone (everyone!) said it was the best behaved, most perfect, easy to work with fragrance.  Ok then!  Let's make a super fancy soap with that untested (by me) fragrance.  It started out normally.  I did a pretty drop swirl with my fun colored soap batter.  It smelled AMAZING.  Started putting my embeds on the top and I noticed it was getting pretty firm, very quickly.  I was happy that I had gotten my drop swirl done before it firmed up.  Ah, what sweet innocent oblivion.  

So I wanted to take some pics of this gorgeous soap.  I brought my camera into the workshop.  Took some pics.  La, la, la.  Just fiddled around admiring my work.  

Now my soaping room is very cold at this time of year.  On a good day, it's 65F.  On a normal day it's below 60F.  This was at night and it was -30F outside, so it was waaay cold in my soaping room. 

After the photo shoot I set my little baby soap on a shelf.  I didn't insulate it, because I didn't want to mess up the lovely raspberries.  I went upstairs, edited pics and uploaded them to FB, because I was so proud of my creation and I wanted to share it with everyone!!

30 mins. later I returned and the soap was overheating!  Oily slick on top, cracking in the middle.  The raspberries were sinking into the soap like Atlantis into the ocean.  HELP!  My poor soap!

So I moved the soap loaf down onto the very, very cold cement floor and turned a fan on.  I had the fan blowing over the top of it all night.  Even with the fan and the cold floor and the cold room - the damage was done.  I gave it 3 days, because I was hoping by some miracle that the oil would reabsorb and it would look better.  Most of the oil did reabsorb, but it still looked like Frankenstein's uncle.

So one last look at my pretty soap.... 

I had to rebatch it.  All my pretty colors!  Sad.
So I chopped it up and put it in the crockpot.  Melted it down, beat the ugly out of it and remolded it.

I don't think it looks too bad.  It still smells amazing.  I put a little gold dust on the top, because gold dust makes every thing look better.

Of course, now I am terrified to use the fragrance again.  It might not have been the fragrance's fault.  Maybe I put too many raspberries on top and this insulated the heat too much.  I have to try it again, but I might wait a little bit.  I have to regain my courage!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My 2nd Craft Show!

My 2nd craft show!  Minneapolis Craft'za!  Whoo Kiyi Kiyi goes to the big city :)
It was a very successful day.  Let's just say that I made enough money to get me hooked.  I want to do it again!
I left my house with a car packed to the ceiling with soap and came home with a small box of soap. 
 So much fun! 

We had an amazing spot.  Right inside the doors and a corner spot.  How big do you think our booth is?  Someone on FB said they could sell as much as we did if they had a big space like us.  Um, that is a tiny, tiny booth.  The tables are 4 feet long.  The TOTAL booth space was supposed to be 5x8, but it felt much smaller.  
For weeks I was freaking out about our spot - Will it be too close to the doors?  How will I set up?  Corner?!  Where will I put the tables?  Too many tables?  Not enough!?!  
It was perfect.
People at least saw the booth when they first came in.  They would look and listen to our spiel (if there is one thing I have learned from 4 generations of sales people - you gotta sell it) - then they would either buy on the spot or circle around and come back after they looked at everything else.  It was a great spot, because it had some open area around it.  It got really crowded....or so I heard - I never left the booth!  

My Mom was amazing!  She helped me so much!  
Just having her there to tell me to calm down was great!  I was so nervous before the sale that I was shaking.  Standing in the bathroom, shaking and telling myself I didn't think I could do it and it was a mistake.  My Mom was like, "Nah, you'll be fine."
She also helped me wrap the last 75 soaps 2 days before the show, helped me load and unload the car, set up the booth and is a great sales person.  She's really good at bragging about me ;)

So here is the booth!
I did not set it up at home and practice (like all the people say to do), because I had no idea what our actual booth size would look like.  It just came together perfectly.
We got to the show site 20 mins. before it was supposed to open for set up, but they were starting to let people set up any way.  The TV crew was there!!  No, we didn't make it on TV.  The back of my display was on the edge of one shot.  Does that count?  ha ha

We had plenty of time to set up.  Lots and lots of time.  And again after the show opened we didn't sell anything for 1 hour.  What is up with that?  I can't decide if the first hour or the last hour of a craft show is the longest hour in the world. 

So many hours of work in these pictures.  And so many fun memories of creating these soaps.  And so many little soapies that went off to new homes!  I feel like the adoption coordinator for soap :P  I hope all my little soaps are behaving in their new homes.

These gnomes were a great idea.  I painted them to match the color scheme and they each held a sign with prices or info.  SOOOO many people stopped to look at them.  Some people thought they were soap.  I had some actual gnome soap and I sold them all!  
So I bought the gnomes at Walmart....which makes me feel bad as a hand crafter, but I AM a hand crafter, so I usually can't afford hand crafted items.  Starting a business takes a bit of capital and at this point in my enterprise I am sometimes choosing fragrance oils over food.  So yeah I bought them at Walmart and yeah I feel guilty about it.....But the big blue dish is vintage!    

It was so fascinating to see what sold at this sale vs. the last sale.  Such different things were popular!  At the last one I sold out of Almond Milk and Honey & Oatmeal and Honey & Pumpkin Spice Beer.  At Craft'za I sold only a few bars of those, but I sold out of Psycho Citrus and anything with patchouli.  Speaking of patchouli.... I custom blend all my fragrance oils and I think it is really funny when someone says they HATE they are clutching to their heart 4 bars that all have patchouli blends.  Good aged patchouli is delicious and blends amazingly.  

The little lotions sold out really fast.  I wish I had had more time to make more lotion, but I only make 16 ounces at a time, so it is a slow (but high quality!) process.

This was the most amazing craft show I have ever been to!   It just made me giddy to see so many amazing hand crafters!  Or maybe I was high on adrenaline LOL!

The quality of the products and displays was just wonderful.  I was so impressed and felt like such a newbie :P

I met some really nice people in the booth across from me.  The husband and wife team of the Elixery.  They were SO amazingly nice.  I did not expect any one to be so nice...and they are kind of celebrities.  I saw them on TV before the show and I was totally intimidated that they would be across from me.  They were very complimentary about my product and display.  It meant so much more coming from someone like them!  Because they have an amazing product themselves!  

Anyway,  I learned a lot and had a lot of fun hanging out with my Mom :)
And I found out that I love my Paypal credit card swiper!  Money, money!  LOL!  And fun!  And creativity!  :)
That's what it's all about!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

First Big Craft Show

I had my first big craft show a few weeks ago (getting ready for my 2nd one - this week-end!!) and I learned a lot.  I read a ton of websites, blogs, ect. about how to set up a craft show booth, so I thought I would throw in my 2 cents too.  A lot of places said to build your booth up - get height!  They also said to practice setting up your booth.  This was a good idea.  Below is a pic of my first set up idea.  It went through a lot of changes....

Get height - just not too much - this is waaaay too much.

Above is what my booth ended up looking like.  This was a pic from the end of the day, right before we took everything down.  I sold a LOT of product, so the table was looking a little bare, but you can kind of get an idea of what it looked like.

When I started out the day I had this (I thought) super awesome step set displaying all my soaps.  Sure it looked good, BUT I didn't sell anything until I got rid of the steps.  They were pushing people away from my booth.  Maybe people were afraid the soaps might fall if they touched them?  Maybe it was cutting me off from my customers?  Or maybe people just didn't like the color!  
Literally, the minute we took the steps off the table - soap started to sell.  As we were taking them off the table people were coming up and picking bars up to sniff.  It made a huge difference!

People could not see the items displayed in these boxes.  Not sure why, but through out the day I would point them out to each customer and then they would see them - other wise it was like they were invisible!  
That's my super awesome apron on the table - the pocket fits my iphone with paypal reader perfectly!  

I sold ZERO liquid soap.  Everyone says they like liquid soap, but no one bought any....they all bought bar soap.  Which makes me happy!  Because I think my bar soaps are so much nicer than my liquid soap.  Liquid soap is fine, but bar soap is amazing.

I sold a lot of lotion.  Sadly I sold out of some scents and had people coming back at the end of the show wanting to buy the sold out lotion - sorry!  It went fast!
Favorite lip balm flavor?  Vanilla bean.
I have realized that making lip balm is not my favorite thing to do LOL!  It takes FOREVER.  I spent one whole day - more than 8 hours making 60 lip balms.  They are so putzy - with the little labels and everything.  I guess I just like making soap better :)

I had testers available for the lotions and little spoons.  Also clean and used bowls to collect the used tester spoons.  Some how I forgot 2 of the tester pots at home.  I was kicking myself all day about that, because people would invariably want to test the one I didn't have.  

Beginning of day (above)
End of day (below)

And now I need to go get ready for this week-ends show!