One of my favorite things in life is to look at beautiful things; specifically, YOUR beautiful soap creations. My book hashtag, #soapcrafting, on Instagram has many stunning photos already. But because I just can’t get enough of your photos, I’d love to see even more! Each Friday, I will pick a photo on Instagram to win a copy of the Soap Crafting book, and share on Bramble Berry Instgram account. To enter, use the hashtag #soapshare on your Instagram photos. I can’t wait to see your soapy projects. =)
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While cold process recipes are an office favorite, it’s also fun to try other techniques. The clay tutorials ended this week with two easy-to-make recipes, including the Marbled Clay Hot Process Soap. The recipe uses a Crock Pot to “cook” the soap, which speeds up the saponification process. Then, the soap is swirled with dark red Brazilian clay and yellow silt clay for a marbled look. The soap is topped with calendula and scented with Fresh Mango Fragrance Oil and Kumquat Fragrance Oil and smells bright and fresh.
Flowers are a great way to add interesting detail to your soap. In the Pink Clay and Primrose Soap Hand-Milled Tutorial, rose petals add a feminine touch. The soap has a floral aroma from rose water and Ylang Ylang III essential oil, and has a soft pink color from pink Brazilian clay. It’s a perfect handmade gift for Valentine’s Day.
This week was all about clay on the Soap Queen blog. Clays are cleansing, skin loving and, as a bonus, many of them are an extra 20% off until January 29th at midnight, PST with the code: CLAYCLEAN. Click here to see all sale items.
In bath fizzies, clay adds firmness as well as subtle color. The Lavender and Clay Mondo Bath Fizzy uses pink Brazilian clay and purple Brazilian clay for an ombre effect. The fizzies are topped with lavender buds and scented with Lavender 40/42 Essential Oil for a natural look and smell. Bath fizzies are a perfect way to relax after a hectic day.
Clay is also a natural and gentle exfoliant. The Sea Clay Dry Salt Scrub combines sea clay, baking soda, extra fine Epsom salt, fine grained dead sea salt and poppy seeds for an extra exfoliating scrub. The sea clay also adds a grayish green color with a bit of shimmer thanks to Aqua Pearl Mica, while Sea Moss Fragrance Oil adds a fresh and earthy scent.
Playing with scent and color combinations is a great way to get unique and unexpected results. It’s also fun to try out unexpected combinations in the kitchen. The Lemon Rosemary Doughnuts with Raspberry Glaze have a sweet and savory combination of raspberries and fresh herbs. The lemon adds some tartness to the recipe. And because these doughnuts are baked instead of fried, they’re a guilt-free way to satisfy a sweet tooth.
Speaking of healthy food, another great option is raw fermented vegetables. Patti started experimenting with fermentation during my Crazy Sexy Vegan Cleanse in 2012. She is now in the process of starting her business, Picklish after being inspired during our cleanse. Read more about Patti in the Guest Post: A Cleanse That Started a Business.
The soaping community has tons of creative and knowledgeable business owners. In our interviews with them, they share priceless advice for other soapers. For instance, Jill of Calise Soapworks encourages people to start small and celebrate your successes. Read more tips in the Top Soapy Business Advice from 2014 post. Looking for even more business advice? Check out the Business Musings category of the blog.
The soaping community is also full of inspiring work. Yvonne with Soap Naturelle was inspired by the Vibrant Mehndi Cold Process Soap and created a gorgeous rose pattern. This technique utilizes squeeze bottles to draw smooth cold process lines.
Yvonne’s soap is full of contrast, including the black outlines, bright pinks, blues and yellows and white base. Her work is amazing! If you’d like some rosey accents in your soap, click through the Juicy Orange and Sweet Rose Cold Process Tutorial. The Rose Water Lotion adds a natural floral scent with the use of rose water.
Above (top, clockwise) are Yvonne’s flower soap, rainbow soap, blue and white soap and spotted soap. If you’d like circular accents in your soap, click through the Crisp Anjou Pear Embed Tutorial. Using a heart shaped cutter creates fun Valentine’s Day embeds in the Embedded Heart Melt and Pour Tutorial.
Post pictures of your crafty creations on the Facebook page each week for a chance to be featured on the Soap Queen blog and receive a sweet soapy package from Bramble Berry. Photos are chosen based on consensus from the Bramble Berry staff, so the best way to increase your chances of winning is to show us lots of photos!
After all the holiday excess, it’s nice to focus on healthy habits for 2015. It is also a great time to pamper yourself. From now until January 29th, there will be several tutorials involving skin-loving clays. As a bonus, a wide variety of botanicals, clays and essential oils are 20% off with the code, CLAYCLEAN. You can see all the items for sale here. Sale ends January 29th, at noon PST.
Clays are known for their absorption properties and ability to add color to soapy projects. The Minty Clay Melt and Pour Bars uses activated charcoal, green zeolite clay and spirulina powder to create contrast. Poppy seeds add gentle exfoliation to the bars, and peppermint and rosemary essential oils add a fresh scent.
Tutorials were definitely the focus for the week. With everything from lotion to salad, hopefully you have some crafty inspiration for 2015! Skin-loving clays can be used in a wide variety of tutorials. They add a gorgeous natural color to your soap or some gentle exfoliation to scrubs. For more information and several tutorials using the ingredient, click through the Clay Recipe Roundup.
This week was a nice mix of reflecting on 2014 and planning for 2015. Tutorials were a big part of 2014 at Bramble Berry, as seen in the Top Ten Tutorials of 2014 post. The list includes fun melt and pour projects, bright red lipstick and the cheery Lemon Poppy Seed Cold Process Soap. With bright colors and a fresh crisp scent, the project is sure to make you smile.
I hope you all are having a great holiday weekend! With the year coming to an end, this week has been all about looking forward to 2015. Anybody else excited for a fresh year to begin? Inspired by Pantone’s color of the year, “Marsala,” the Creamy Marsala Lip Tints are a fun way to celebrate the color trends. Made with Merlot Sparkle Mica, these tints give your lips a sheer wine-colored hue.
There are so many sources of inspiration when it comes to soaping. Whether it’s food, nature or a certain color palette, inspiration is everywhere! This week, the textures of the sea were the inspiration for the Shimmering Sea Glass Cold Process Soap. Clear melt and pour pieces look like the glass found on the shores. With teal and purple swirls, plenty of Iridescent Glitter and an earthy scent from Lavender Forest Fragrance Oil, this soap fun and unique.
An in-the-pot swirl is used to create the interesting pattern in the soap. A fun swirl can also be created using a chopstick or dowel, as seen in the Infinity Swirl Soap on Soap Queen TV. A figure eight pattern swirls together gorgeous blue, white, pink and black hues to create a stunning look. Scented with Lime Fragrance Oil and Crisp Anjou Pear Fragrance Oil, the soap smells fresh and fruity.
It started raining early this week and hasn’t stopped yet, leaving Bellingham residents a little chilly. It was nice to warm up with the Roasted Rosemary Carrot Soup. With roasted carrots and onions, plenty of herbs and a little balsamic vinegar, this soup is creamy and full of flavor. It’s also paleo and Whole30 friendly, making it a guilt-free option during the decadent holiday season.
This week was all about variety. There were fun projects, a Christmas roundup and plenty of tips and tricks, like in the Sunday Night Spotlight on Vitamin E Oil. Vitamin E oil is an antioxidant with a thick and sticky texture. Its moisturizing and soothing properties work great in a wide variety of recipes, including the Healing Under Eye Serum and Honey Kisses Sheer Lipstick.
It’s hard to believe it’s almost December and Thanksgiving is over! After all the food, fun and festivities, it was nice to enjoy Baked Pumpkin Pecan Oatmeal. This dish, which is like a heavenly combination of pumpkin and pecan pie, has a gooey center and a crunchy nutty topping. It is easy to make and even easier to eat, making it a perfect warm breakfast all winter long. I promised to make it for my Dad this morning so I had better get going!
The 12 Days of Christmas promotion is officially over tomorrow. Hopefully you have lots of handmade gift ideas for the holidays! The promotion features easy to make projects, like the adorable Chocolate Mint Melt and Pour soaps. With a delectable mix of Dark Rich Chocolate Fragrance Oil and Moroccan Mint Fragrance Oil, this soap smells just like a classic holiday candy. The Moroccan Mint Fragrance Oil is 30% off until tomorrow at noon PST. No coupon necessary.
It is only November, but we’re in full holiday spirit already. As part of our 12 Days of Christmas promotion, we’re sharing a series of easy-to-make handmade gifts through Nov. 21st. Each tutorial features one ingredient that will be 30% off for 24 hours starting at noon, PST; no coupon necessary!
Soaping is an addictive and fun craft. There are many factors that go into making a great handmade product including oils, fragrances, colors and additives. This week was all about tips, tricks and how-tos to make that process easier. This Sunday Night Spotlight talks about the incredibly versatile sweet almond oil. The lightweight oil is very moisturizing and can be used in everything from soap to shaving cream.