Add a little excitement to your day with a mystery soap sampler

mystery soap sampler

Let’s face it, in the art of soap making, things don’t always go according to plan. I’ve made my fair share of less than perfect soap. I often experiment with color combinations and new techniques and sometimes these experiments result in soaps that don’t make the cut for their own listing in my shop. The colors may not look as pretty as they did in my head, the scent might not be as strong as I wanted or I might have messed up the design I was trying to achieve. But no matter what the flaw might be, the soap is still perfectly good at performing its duty of keeping you clean while nourishing your skin.

I usually hold the “oops” batches for my own personal use but now I’m offering them to you in a mystery soap sampler at a discounted price. For only $15, you’ll receive a bag filled with five different full size bars of soap adding up to one pound or more. The contents of your sampler will remain a mystery until you open your package but a list of the soaps and ingredients will be included in the bag.

The mystery soap sampler is an exciting way to save money while stocking up on an item you use every day!

Not the adventurous type? Check out the Clearance section in my shop for other money saving offers!

Monday musings: Handmade soap and good, clean fun

Air plant

Have you ever seen an air plant? I’ve seen them at different flea markets and on Etsy and I finally decided to buy one for myself. Air plants, or epiphytes, are plants that grow on other objects. They don’t need soil to grow and they gain their water and nutrients from the air. If I don’t kill it first (I have little luck with indoor plants) my air plant will flower and then produce “pups,” which are little offshoots that can be removed and grown as a separate plant. Air plants typically grow in heavily shaded rain forest environments so they are perfect for houses that don’t get a light of light. I’m excited to see what this little plant will do in the next few months!

Handmade soap

There are so many creative soap makers that inspire us. Check out some of our favorite finds on Pinterest! (Are we pinning buddies there? We should be.)

  • Easy melt and pour polar bear soap tutorial – Melt and pour soap was my starting point in the world of soap making and I still love the versatility it offers. This easy to make soap from Soap Deli News would make a great stocking stuffer for a nature-loving child!
  • Cool yule peppermint loaf – This DIY from The Soap Queen is a bit more advanced. I’ve made this design and it’s a lot of fun to do. It looks and smells amazing!
  • Sea glass – This DIY from Marte Ravn Tovik couldn’t be easier and the results are so pretty! Wrap these up in a nice cellophane bag, tied with a pretty bow and you have a cute gift for your beach-loving friends.

Good, clean fun

If you’re not following us on Facebook, here’s some of the fun you missed:

  • Take a cute break – Check out a gorgeous Shar Pei and his cat posing in the most adorable ways. The pictures are guaranteed to make you smile at least once.
  • Extreme waste reduction – Is this woman for real? Less than a jar of trash in a year? What does she do with her worn out underwear?
  • 11 problems music can solve – And now I know how to get those kids off my lawn!

Previous musings from Emmet Street you might have missed

Have you thought about making your own soap? A great place to start is with melt and pour soaps, which are pre-made soap bases that you melt in your microwave and then pour into a mold. This type of soap is safe and easy to personalize with scent, color and molds. Sometimes a batch doesn’t go as planned but melt and pour soap is very forgiving and there are ways to salvage a failed batch. I’ve messed up more batches than I like to admit but when things go right, it’s very rewarding! Why not give it a try?

Soap making secrets: The benefits of using essential oil in handmade soap

Soap making secrets: Essential Oil

What’s the first thing you do when you pick up new bar of soap? If you’re like most people, you pick it up and smell it. (Or, if you are like one person I encountered, you stick your fingernail into it. Don’t do that.)

Scent is a critical component of most soap and one of the tools a handmade soap maker uses to add amazing scent to their soap is essential oil. Essential oil is a natural oil that is extracted from a plant, fruit, root or other source that smells like the source it came from. For example, orange essential oil smells like oranges because the oil is extracted from the rind. Peppermint oil is distilled from the leaves of a peppermint plant.

Essential oils have the benefit of being a completely natural way to add scent to soap. While I do use fragrance oils, which are synthetically produce in a lab in some of my creations, I like being able to offer soaps that are 100% natural.

Looking to try handmade soap made with essential oils? The Emmet Street Creations store on Etsy can hook you up.

My natural Lavender soap made with soothing Hungarian lavender is the perfect soap to help you relax before a stressful day in the office.

Hungarian lavender handmade soap

Lemongrass essential has an uplifting scent and this Lemongrass and Green Tea soap will get your day started on a high note.

Lemongrass essential oil handmade soap

Get the benefits of three essential oils in one bar of soap with my Eucalyptus, Lavender and Peppermint soap. This pretty soap has an eye-opening scent that is sure invigorate your senses.

Eucalyptus, lavender & mint handmade soap

 

Do you have a favorite essential oil scent? Tell me about it in the comments or on the Emmet Street Creations Facebook page. Your idea just might spark my next creation!

 

 

 

Salvaging a failed batch of handcrafted soap

I have a confession to make. Sometimes, I make really ugly soap. I don’t do it intentionally, believe me. I have an idea in my head and it seems like a good idea until I start to pour the soap.

Check out my latest failure:

I want to look away but I can’t.

I was going for a spring inspired honeysuckle scented confetti soap with cute flowers on the top. My original plan was to use a white, shea butter base as a background, which would have really made the colors pop.

At the last minute, I diverted from the plan when a pretty light blue mica caught my eye. I thought that mica would look great in clear glycerin. Not only did it not look at all like I thought it would, I had a big problem with air bubbles and the pink flowers all but disappeared.

It looked so much better in my head.

Feeling dejected, I set this soap aside for a few weeks while I focused on other creations. But, the failed batch didn’t leave my mind; I needed to salvage it somehow. The loaf was four pounds of melt and pour soap and I didn’t want it to go to waste.

So, when I had a little time in my schedule, I broke out the ugly soap and formed a plan. I decided to chop it into tiny pieces and embed those pieces into a new loaf, this time using the white shea butter base I had originally planned to use.

I filled the bottom of my loaf mold with the cut up pieces and filled the loaf half way up with the shea butter base.

DSC01714

After that layer formed a thick skin, I poured the other half of the white base and added a tiny bit of left over pink glycerin soap to give the top a slight blush. I used a spoon to move the top layer around as the soap cooled to get the texture. I’m pretty happy with the new design and the soaps smell lovely.

This is what I meant to do all along. Yeah, that’s right.
In case you were wondering, I did try my original floral design again. The second attempt was more successful (it really is true that you learn from your mistakes!), but that’s a blog post for another day.
This pretty shea butter and glycerin soap is now available in the Emmet Street Creations Etsy store. Don’t make the mistake of waiting to add this soap to your collection… this product is a limited edition!

Sneak peek

Now that the holiday season is over, I’m back in my lab (a.k.a., my extremely tiny kitchen). Here’s a sampling of some of the things I’ve been working on.

I managed to crank out three loaves of soap in two days before I ran out of ingredients. The loaf on the left below is a new batch of Summer Block Party. The swirls turned out so differently this time around. I’m getting more bold in my use of colors and scent and you can see the results in the middle loaf. It’s scented with essential oils of eucalyptus, peppermint and lavender. I haven’t thought of a name yet but it is definitely a sinus clearer!  Finally, Soap á l’orange is a customer favorite. I make this anytime I get my soaping equipment out. I can’t wait to cut into these! They will need to cure for at least six weeks so I expect them to be in the shop in February.

(L-R) Cucumber Melon & Pear, Eucalyptus Mint & Lavender, Soap á l’orange

I’ve also been making “No Fuss Fizzies.” I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get a little frustrated by all the color and glitter and floaty things that go into some bath bombs. While I love anything that nourishes my dry skin, sometimes I just want to take a bath, relax, and not worry about scrubbing glitter off the sides of my tub (and out of other places).  My “No Fuss Fizzies” are the perfect solution. They are color and floaty-thing free and made with simple ingredients and gentle scents that will leave your skin feeling soft and your tub ring free. Look for these to make an appearance in my Etsy shop soon:

Large and small bath fizzies

Be sure to follow Emmet Street Creations on Facebook and Twitter so you can keep up to date with all of my new product offerings!

The 12 soaps of Christmas: Day 8

Citrus Clouds 5

This soap makes me imagine what it’s like to be a famous celebrity living on my fabulous ranch in southern California.

I’m between movies having a lazy day. I decide to take a walk in my personal citrus grove; the one that is tended to by someone on my payroll. I decide to spread my ethically sourced bamboo and cashmere blanket on the ground and take in the scenery. The scent is intoxicating. I look up and see a sunny sky with perfect, fluffy clouds straight from central casting. My hunky boyfriend brings me my macrobiotic lunch and proceeds to rub my feet. It’s so good to be me…

Our Citrus Clouds soap may not bring you a perfect celebrity lifestyle, but it certainly is a favorite on Emmet Street. Whether you have to be on the set or in a cubicle at 8 a.m., this soap packs a wake-you-up-in-the-morning wallop with its orange and lemon verbena fragrance.

The 12 soaps of Christmas: Day 5

Soap a l'orange 5

I don’t know about you, but I am not a morning person. I’m groggy and can’t put together a coherent sentence. Once, I got to work and couldn’t remember if I let the dog back in the house. (And, yes, because I wasn’t sure, I went back home to check. I’m happy to report when I arrived, she was fine and snuggled into her favorite sleeping spot. Her favorite sleeping spot inside the house.)

Needless to say, getting ready for work in the morning is a challenge. On those particularly rough days, this Soap á l’orange is the perfect pick-me-up. The scent of orange essential oil perks you up and transforms your shower into an orange grove. It’s a proven winner on Emmet Street, it’s hard to keep the stuff in stock—you should get yours now!