New creation in the Etsy shop: Blue agave handmade soap

Blue agave handmade soap

Blue agave in the Emmet Street Creations store on Etsy

A few months ago, I wrote about using indigo powder to color soap naturally. One of the batches I tried used a scent called “blue agave.” Unfortunately, the soap design had some issues that I wasn’t happy with. As it cured, the indigo color bled into the white portions of the soap and I just didn’t like the way it looked.

Despite this imperfection, the batch sold out quickly because the scent was out of this world! Blue Agave is a zesty unisex scent featuring notes of citrus, apple, black currant and lily of the valley. One loyal customer says it has the same citrus notes as “Be Delicious” by DKNY.

I decided to remake the soap using a much simpler, one color design and I’m so happy with the way it turned out! It’s made with my favorite blend of olive, rice bran, coconut, palm and avocado oils to leave your skin gently cleansed and feeling pampered.

Want to give this soap a try? You can find it, along with many other tantalizing scent options, in the Emmet Street Creations store on Etsy.

Soap making secrets: Using juniper berries in handmade soap

Soap making secrets: Exfoliating juniper berries

Many soap makers use botanical additives to add visual interest or exfoliating properties to their soap. Lavender buds and rose petals sprinkled on top of a bar add texture and beauty. Ground walnut shells or orange peels mixed throughout a soap can add exfoliation.

My additive of choice lately has been ground juniper berries. Juniper berries are the tiny little pine cone of the juniper bush. They’re used to flavor gin and meat and their piney scent makes them a wonderful addition to potpourri. When ground up in soap, they act is a gentle exfoliant.

I use ground juniper berries in my best selling Rosemary Mint & Juniper soap. I buy the juniper berries whole and use a spice grinder to grind them into a course powder. I add a couple of tablespoons of the powder to the soap batter just before I pour it into the mold.

Rosemary Mint & Juniper soap

The result is a lovely speckled soap that’s wonderful for smoothing out rough patches on feet, knees and elbows. The rosemary and peppermint essential oils that scent this soap leave your skin feeling cool and refreshed.

Need a little extra exfoliation? This soap is now available in the Emmet Street Creations store on Etsy. They sell out quickly so get yours today!

Soap making secrets: Color inspiration

Soap making secrets: Color inspiration

Last weekend, I took a trip to the Sandy Ridge Reservation in Lorain county. I love going to this reservation because of the number and diversity of birds I can see. But, in the late summer, the colors interest me as much as the birds. Late summer wildflowers, like tickseed and goldenrod, are on full display. On a stormy day, I love the contrast of the bright yellow flowers with the dark grey of the sky.

I often look to nature to find inspiration in my soap making. I gravitate towards the color blue. It reminds me of the summer sky and I tend to use it over and over. But, after my trip to the park, I posted a picture of a monarch caterpillar on Facebook. One of my followers mentioned that its colors would look great in a soap and I couldn’t agree more! So, I’m planning a new soap that will incorporate these amazing black, white and yellow stripes. I’ll be sure to provide updates on my progress!

Monarch caterpillar

I didn’t find a lot of birds at the park during this trip but I did find a lot of inspiration so I thought I’d share some of my favorite pictures from the day.

Yellow tickseed sunflowers

 

Yellow and white wild flowers

 

Yellow and purple wildflowers

 

Yellow flowers against a stormy sky

 

Where do you find inspiration for your art? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Monday musings: Handmade soap and good, clean fun

Don't forget to see us at the Cleveland Bazaar

This week I’m busy prepping for the Cleveland Bazaar at Market Square Park. I’ll be slinging soap on Saturday, September 5 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Stop down and stock up if you are in the area!

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.)

Good, clean fun

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

Previous musings from Emmet Street you might have missed

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over. Labor Day is right around the corner here in the U.S. Are you planning a barbecue over the long weekend? Impress your friends and family with some tasty burgers, hot off the grill. Pair them with patriotic (and healthy) potato salad made with a tasty vegan mayo

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?