Sunday, February 21, 2010

What's a dog to do with so much snow?

 Aha!! Have snow cones of course!!
Mmmmm....very happy.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sea Glass Washes up in the Midwest

Yep, that's right, sea glass.  Here?  In the Midwest?  Can you believe it?!

I can.

Well...sort of.  I made a new batch of my sea glass soaps!  I came up with this design about 20 years ago, quite by accident.  I was re-batching some of my leftover M&P soap scraps and the end results came out pretty.  I liked the way the colors worked together, and the softness of the whole effect, but it didn't dawn on me that it looked like sea glass until I had been using one of my bars for a few days.  I was washing my hands and the sun happened to shine through my window just right onto the bar.  I immediately thought of sea glass.  I love sea glass and whenever I can manage to get to the ocean, I'm always on the lookout for some.  It's so pretty.  I'm a loooong way from any coastline, but these bars always take me back to the ocean.  I think they add a nice touch to my powder room.

Here are a few of the bars that I've been making to cut up for embeds.  Ever since my accidental Sea Glass Soap Invention, I've been making the embeds instead of using scraps.  It may not look much like sea glass at this stage, but it looks much different once it's built into the soap.

I make all sorts of different M&P (as well as CP) soaps.  Since I've got my M&P stuff out, I thought I'd share a few of my other ingredients.  The only ingredient I'll be using from this group is the Shea butter.   (clockwise from top left: 100% Cocoa Butter, Unrefined 100% pure Shea butter, Unrefined beeswax).  The beeswax is from a local beekeeper who sells all sorts of honey-related products.  We try to support as many of the local "mom & pop shops" as we can.  They are such an important part of what defines our country.  The Shea butter I use is from Ghana (couldn't find that product made locally!!), and it was hand milled.  Can you imagine what a loooong day it would be hand-milling Shea butter!!!  It'll add just enough milkiness to the looks of my soap, and the real bonus is that it adds super moisturizing qualities.

And here are a few of the products I use to color and fragrance my soaps.  I didn't pull them all out for this picture, so what you see are a very small representation.  One of my favorite fragrances for soap is Satsuma.  I pick it up at The Body Shop.  Whatever you use, just make sure to only use essential oil when fragrancing your soapsFragrance oil is not the same as essential oil, and it will provide unexpected results once it's added to soap.

This is what my carved-up sea glass embeds look like before i mold the bars.

Here are my results.  The bars look darker in my pictures than they do in hand, but I think they are reminiscent of sea glass.

The bottoms..