Butterfly Sparkle Surprise Bath Bomb

Butterfly Sparkle Surprise Bath Bomb
It’s so fun dropping a bath bomb into the tub and watching it fizz away, especially for kids. This Butterfly Sparkle Surprise Bath Bomb is even more fun because it has a secret stash of Iridescent Glitter and a butterfly eraser inside. Partway through the fizzing, the bath tub will be full of sparkle and a fun toy. Imagine your child’s delight and surprise!

Along with the hidden goodies, the bath bombs contain chia seed oil to moisturize your skin. They have a bright yellow hue from Daisy Yellow LaBomb Colorant. A combination of fresh Crisp Apple Rose Fragrance Oil and sweet Pure Honey Fragrance Oil will make the bath water smell like springtime. See these bath fizzies in action in the video below! Now until May 26th, select items inspired by bees and butterflies are 20% off with the code: BUTTABEES. Click here to see all sale items.

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Memorial Day

Today, we are reminded of the great sacrifices that the men and women of our Armed Services make everyday to protect our way of life. Today is also a day to remember those who have lost their lives in time of war. I hope that today you are able to take a moment to give thanks, and spend time with friends and family. Personally, I’d like to thanks my dad and grandpa for their service.

MemorialDayCurious how to make this soap? Find out in this week’s newsletter, click here to sign up!

Bramble Berry will be closed today in honor of Memorial Day. Orders placed today will begin being processed tomorrow, May 26th. I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day!

Honey Roasted Peaches Recipe

Honey Roasted PeachesSpring and summer are my favorite seasons for many reasons. These seasons mean warmer weather, outside activities and fresh produce. Peaches are beginning to come into season, and I’ve started to experiment with new ways to use them. I love peach pie and peach cobbler, but wanted a healthier, lighter option. These honey roasted peaches have all the sweet and juicy flavor of peach desserts without calorie-filled crust or crumble topping.

I love to eat these peaches warm on yogurt, or ice cream if I want to indulge. They are also delicious on top of pancakes or granola or, yum, on crepes (seriously, drooling right now thinking about a great European-style crepe with these peaches rolled up inside). Ripe peaches work best, but if your peaches are still firm, the roasting process creates a soft texture and sweetness. I can’t wait to try this technique with other fruits like strawberries, pineapple or even apples.

Honey Roasted Peaches Recipe

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Soapy Social Media Roundup

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! I hope the weather is allowing you to get outside to barbecue and enjoy the outdoors. Yesterday, the team and I filmed four full-length Soap Queen TV videos. The projects include a bath fizzy, cold process, hot process and eye product. I can’t wait to share the videos with you.

17069461953_3fd74ee8d8_oJamisen and his buddy enjoying the sunshine! I hope you’re able to enjoy the weather this Memorial Day weekend. 

Tomorrow is Bellingham’s annual Ski to Sea race, and this year Bramble Berry is participating. The race has seven legs, including running, biking, canoeing and sea kayaking. It’s an intense race, and I can’t wait to cheer on our team. I’m not participating this year…but maybe next year. =) If the weather has you stuck inside, check out my favorite pins, ‘grams and tweets for some crafty inspiration.

Pinterest:
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Left to right, clockwise

Instagram:
Have you tried hot process soap before? On the left is a hot process project scented with the yummy Espresso Fragrance Oil. On the right are some of the salts that you can use in your bath and beauty projects. Click here to learn more about salt.
collageWeekends are for fun! Last Saturday, Jamisen and I had a blast putting together a pillow and blanket fort. 
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Twitter:

I hope you all have an fantastic Memorial Day weekend! To keep up with the latest soapy social media throughout the week, you can follow me on TwitterTumblrInstagramPinterest, Vine and YouTube and Snapchat. To watch my ‘stories’, which include sneak peeks into future projects, add me. I’m Bramble-Berry on Snapchat.

Facebook and Instagram Photo of the Week (May 16th ~ 22nd)

Spring is an inspirational time of the year. The flowers are blooming and the sun is shining (in between the rain of course). This week featured several spring-inspired tutorials, including the Monarch Butterfly Melt and Pour Tutorial. Orange and black soap – classic monarch butterfly colors – are piped into the Guest 5 Butterfly Mold. The butterfly details are topped with a shimmery blue base, and the soap is scented with my current fave, sweet and warm Pure Honey Fragrance Oil.

As a bonus, several items inspired by butterflies and bees, including Pure Honey Fragrance Oil, are 20% off with the code: BUTTABEES until May 26th. Click here to see all the sale items.

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Monarch Butterfly Swirl Cold Process Tutorial

Monarch Butterfly Swirl Cold Process Soap

With gorgeous orange, yellow and black wings, the monarch may be the most recognizable type of butterfly. It lives in warm climates such as Mexico, California and along the Gulf Coast, and is known for its annual migration from Eastern North America to Mexico. This Monarch Butterfly Swirl Cold Process was inspired by these gorgeous insects. Layers of monarch-colored soap are poured into the mold and swirled with a hanger swirl tool to create the effect of butterfly wings.

The fun part about the butterfly swirl is that every bar looks unique. When the bars are placed side by side, the butterfly image really pops. This technique was created by Zahida of Handmade in Florida, click here to read our interview with her. As a bonus, now until May 26th, a collection of items inspired by bees and butterflies are 20% off with the code: BUTTABEES. Click here to see the full list of items which include Pure Honey Fragrance Oil, Yellow Oxide and the Tall Narrow Wood Loaf Mold.


Monarch Butterfly Swirl Cold Process Soap DIY

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How to Infuse Oils with a Crock-Pot

How to Infuse Oils with a Crock-Pot
A simple handmade cold process soap is made up of oils, butters and sodium hydroxide lye. Various oils give handmade soap different properties, so each combination of oils will make a unique bar. Click here to learn more about the various properties of common soap making oils. To take your soap making oils to the next level, they can be infused with dried herbs such as lavender, chamomile, marigold and so many more. Infusing oils with herbs can add color, a light scent or skin-loving properties to your oil. If you’d like even more in-depth information on infusing oils including working with teas and clays, check out my E-Book Infusing: Herbs, Spices, Teas & Clays.

There are several different methods of infusing oils. These include infusing the oils on the stove top, in a Crock-Pot and cold infusion. When infusing oils with heat, such as on the stove or in a Crock-Pot, the process takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 4 hours. The time will depend on how hot your oils are and how concentrated you’d like the infusion to be. With cold infusion, herbs are added to room temperature oil and set aside for 4-6 weeks. If using the cold infusion method, be sure to use an oil with a long shelf life.

In addition to herbs, powders can also be infused into oil. Infusing powders in oil prevents speckles of powder that can occur when the powder is added directly to the soap. Popular powders for infusing include madder root powder, olive leaf powder, alkanet root powder and safflower powder. Indigo powder is an interesting ingredient, as it benefits from being added to reconstituted lye water rather than oils. The result is a darker, more intense blueish gray color.

soapcollageTop row: Safflower Powder, Alkanet Root Powder
Bottom row: Olive Leaf Powder, Madder Root Powder

Common oils used for infusing include sweet almond, olive oil, avocado oil and chia seed oil, but almost any lightweight liquid oil can be used. When selecting your herbs, it’s best to use dried herbs. The moisture content of fresh herbs could promote mold and bacterial growth in your oil. Generally, hard oils such as coconut or palm are not infused, although they can be used if using the stove or Crock Pot method.

Infused oils can be used in cold process soap and other projects that include lightweight liquid oils. This includes bath bombs, massage oils, lotions, lip balm and scrubs. For example, calendula is infused in sweet almond oil in the Infused Lip Balm video on Soap Queen TV. For cold process soap specifically, it’s debatable if the skin-loving properties of herbs survive the saponification process, but it’s fantastic from a marketing and label standpoint. If you’re looking for more recipes using infused oils, check out the tutorials below!

oil infusioncollage

Baby Massage Oil on Soap Queen TV
Sensuous Rose-Infused Massage Oil
Hot Oil Hair Treatment

I love using a Crock-Pot to infuse my oils because the temperature remains steady for long periods of time, and the bottom of the Crock-Pot will not burn the herbs. The amount of time it takes to infuse your oils will depend on your Crock-Pot. It will also depend on your personal preference. It’s important to remember that infusing oils is not a concrete science; the amount of oil and herbs used will depend on your recipe and how strongly you want to infuse the oil. In general, a good place to start is 1 tablespoon of herb per ounce of oil.

For this infusion, I’m creating a blend of both chamomile herbs and calendula petals. Both of these herbs are known for their gentle, skin-soothing properties. I’m using 16 oz. of sweet almond oil with 8 tablespoons of calendula petals and 8 tablespoons of chamomile herbs. Roughly, that was about .6 oz of chamomile and .2 oz of calendula. Place both the herbs and oils into the Crock-Pot, stir and set the Crock-Pot to low. If you’d like, you can add your herbs into a sealable tea bag. This extra step means you won’t need to strain the oils later.

Add HerbsStirCover the Crock-Pot with the lid and allow the oils and herbs “cook” for about 30 minutes. After that time, you may notice the oils start to slightly change color. At this point, you can strain the oils from the herbs, or you may choose to infuse them a little longer. I let my oils and herbs infuse for another hour to get all the benefits from the herbs.

PourOnce you are finished infusing the oils, allow them to cool slightly. Pour the oils through a strainer and into a heat safe bowl. If you find that small pieces of the herbs are still in your oil, you can pour them through a cheese cloth, coffee filter or thin paper towel to remove them.

OilsTransfer your oil into a sealable container and write the date in which it was infused. Store in a cool, dark place to ensure your oils last as long as possible. The shelf life of the infusion will be the same as the shelf life of your oil. Find shelf lives for common oils here. The oil can then be used as normal in your soap, lotions, balms and more.

PouringOils

Curious about some more infusing options? The list below has a few common infusing herbs, and what they add to your soap. Do you have a favorite oil to infuse?

Common Infusing Herb Properties:
Alkanet Root Powder: Adds a grey-ish purple color to cold process soap.
Annatto Seed: Adds an orange tint to cold process soap.
Chamomile Herb: Known for its calming and soothing properties.
Indigo Powder: Gives soap a blue gray hue; we recommend reconstituting indigo powder in your lye solution.  
Lavender Buds: Known for its relaxing scent.
Madder Root Powder: Gives a reddish color to cold process soap.
Marigold (Calendula): Known for its skin-soothing properties. Can give a slight yellow/orange tint to soap.
Olive Leaf Powder: Gives a greenish-grey color to cold process soap.
Rose Petals: Great for marketing; does not add much scent.
Safflower Powder: Gives a yellow hue to cold process soap.