Yes, I know I have said that 2012 is the year for paring down my soaps, but I love creating new soaps and a couple years I started soaping the full moons, taking inspiration from the names of the full moons. These are single batches that are not intended to be repeated. Essential oils are mixed on the fly as the whim takes me.
This year I have already made two of these... Sugar Moon and Grass Moon. Sugar moon was the March full moon and is ready for sale. The April one is not fully cured yet but will be available soon.
Sugar moon Soap I had envisioned as a sweet delicacy. I'll be honest.... I used an essential oil blend that I was developing for another soap and set aside, so I used that as a starting point and adding "sweeter" notes to it. While that was my goal, where I ended up was much less sweet than I expected, but really nice! I think my nose and palate crave more "green" in spring and this soap is headed in that direction. I used a whole mess of different essential oils like; bergamot, nutmeg, basil, cedarwood, black pepper, vetiver, japanese mint, patchouli, blood orange, benzoin, and petitgrain,
Grass Moon Soap on the other hand, was envisioned to be green and fresh and I nailed it! Stylistically, I wanted something more literal, but I am happy with the more symbolic interpretation. It is scented with an essential oil blend that contains sage, juniper, lavender, basil, lemongrass, may chang, anise, and vetiver. It also contains some clay (earth) and french green clay (grass) as well as the uncolored soap (air).
I made 2 batches of soap recently and I am pleased with how they both turned out. since I have endless energy for carrying out my NEW ideas, I made the full moon soap first (on the day of the full moon) Since this moon is also known as the thunder moon, I used that as my inspiration. While it doesn't look like the roiling thunder heads that I envisioned, it has a very cool, more stylized look that is probably more appropriate for soap. Not sure I was totally successful in executing my vision of gray mist below, dark purple/blue and black clouds, with some white above the clouds. This is a cut bar. What do you think? Oh, and did I mention it smells WONDERFUL?
Then last night I made my breakfast bar soap. It is a slightly tricky bar of soap to make, since it has honey, goatsmilk, and yogurt in it, It also has ground oatmeal in it and some whole oats on top. I expected it to look darker than the last batch, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it looks almost the same. No pictures, since it looks the same as last time and its a boring soap to photograph.
We were at the East Side Green Market on Saturday for our first Farmers market of the season. I had been working feverishly to get all my product labels changed over to the new label design as well as debuting a couple new items. I got close, but not quite done! In comparison to last year, this years market was nice a lively. I got to see some old customers and meet soem new ones. Hopefully, I will be seeing them again over the course or the summer.
For soaps, I have a whole host of new soaps and I am working on transitioning out some of the not so popular ones. I have added a new soap recipe that utilizes some animal fats, which I am calling farm soaps. This started as an effort to utilize ALL of the animal when we butchered our steers. Some of my new favorites are Neptune, Arabica, Innocence, and Green Amber.
I also have liquid soaps that I will be selling for the first time. I have been making them for years, but only for personal use. It all started when a customer asked if I had any peppermint liquid soap. She loved using it in summer on her face. So, I tweaked my formula and created a liquid soap thats nice and mild, much like a well known castille soap out there, except theirs uses hemp seed oil, and I am using pumpkin seed oil, which is wonderful for the skin and has a longer shelf life than hemp. I plan on keeping the scents to a minimum, so for now, the offerings are unscented, peppermint, cherry almond, innocence, and lavender.
Next week I will have a new deodorant. My product testers tell me it does what it is supposed to do adn smells great, so I am happy! Now that I have the recipe down, my next challenge was containers. Since this is a solid, I needed a tube to make application easy. My order of deodorant tubes arrived today, so I should be able to sell on the new tubes on Saturday. My recipe includes propolis, zinc oxide, and a host of essential oils that are great at keep you fresh smelling.
I also have my Tall Grass Body spray. This is made with a yummy blend of essential oils, most notably spikenard. I love spikenard! A must for walking through the tall grass (or tulips) in summer!
I like to walk the line between the creative and the analytical. Making soaps and other body care products allows me to explore both sides. I am always in awe of bees and what gifts they provide for us. There are many things to be learned....