Soapy Social Media Roundup

Can you believe tomorrow is the 1st of February already? Time flies when you’re having fun! Yesterday the team and I filmed several videos for Soap Queen TV and the new Bramble Berry YouTube channel. Look out tomorrow for a behind-the-scenes post into the shoot. We filmed two cold process recipes, along with a colorful and sparkly melt and pour soap. Below is an Instagram photo of the melt and pour project. Based on the Rainbow Hearts Melt & Pour project, this soap was updated slightly to feature more hearts per bar.

10949014_1589210121295002_515126996_nToday we did a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activity day and of course, are in the midst of prepping for the Super Bowl tomorrow. Do you have fun Super Bowl plans? Jamisen is starting to pay attention to the sport, while Lily simply enjoys wearing her Seahawks gear. I picked up some cute Seahawks cookies from a local bakery to celebrate and those are sure to be a huge hit. On Friday, some of the Bramble Berry team showed their support with plenty of blue and green; go Hawks!

Final_5x7_700pxIf football is not your cup of tea and you’re looking for some fun crafty projects for the weekend, check out my favorite pins, ‘grams and tweets from the week below.

Pinterest:

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Top left, counter-clockwise:

 Instagram:

This past week has been full of colorful projects for a fun promotion starting in February. Below on the left, is a cold process soap made with Ultramarine Blue Pigment and Ocean Rain Fragrance Oil. On the right, is a chamomile soap made with Yellow Oxide and Chamomile Bergamot Fragrance Oil. I can’t wait to share these tutorials with you!

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Twitter:

I hope you are all having a great weekend, and enjoy Super Bowl Sunday tomorrow! To keep up with the latest soapy social media throughout the week, you can follow me on TwitterTumblrInstagramPinterest, Vine and YouTube.

 

Facebook Photo of the Week (Jan. 24th ~ Jan. 30th)

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 Tutorialrose 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.
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Pink Clay & Primrose Hand-Milled Soap

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Hand-milled soap is a fantastic option for crafters who prefer not to work with lye, but still love the look and feel of cold process soap. Hand-milling (also called rebatching) involves melting down pre-made cold process soap and adding a small amount of extra liquid. If you’d like to see this process in action, check out this How to Make Rebatch Soap video on Soap Queen TV.

For this recipe, rose water is used with pink Brazilian clay to give a light rosy hue. Topped with rose petals and scented with Ylang Ylang III essential oil, this Pink Clay & Primrose Hand-Milled Soap project is wonderfully feminine. This project would make a great gift for Valentine’s Day! These downloadable labels make packaging and giving to loved ones easy.  

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5 Steps to Build a Better Newsletter

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Screenshot from a recent Bramble Berry newsletter.

Earlier in the week, I asked the question, “Is a newsletter right for you and your business?” Newsletters are a fantastic method for sharing content with your customers, and ultimately making sales. Of all the online marketing strategies, newsletters have the potential to be the most lucrative. If you have decided to invest in producing a newsletter, it’s important to do it right. If the first few newsletters are not done well, subscribers may not want to look at them in the future.

To help make the process easier, here are five important factors to consider when building your newsletter. If you have questions or concerns about various areas of marketing, including social media outlets, let me know in the comments. I’d be happy to share my tips for success!

1. Grab Your Audiences Attention: Write a Better Subject Line.
When the newsletter arrives in an inbox, the title (aka: subject line) is the first thing a reader sees. The subject line may be the deciding factor on whether or not a reader opens your email. Stay away from boring titles such as “November Newsletter.” Make the title short, snappy, catchy and enticing! Study the subject lines of the emails you receive; what kind of title motivates you to open the email rather than delete it? Consider what the purpose of your newsletter is. Do you want to show off new products, or maybe inform your customers of an event? Decide what the purpose of the newsletter is, and construct a subject line around the intent. Nobody likes to feel that they were tricked into opening an email.
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Marbled Clay Hot Process Soap

If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you know cold process is my favorite method of soap making; it’s how I originally learned to make soap, and is my “first love.” But, there are multiple ways to create gorgeous soap, including hot process soap making. Hot process soaping is a fantastic (and quick!) method that results in a rustic style bar of soap.

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The main difference between the cold process and hot process methods is temperature. In cold process, hot oils and lye are combined to initiate the saponification process. The soap is then set aside for several days to harden and set up. In hot process, hot oils and lye are combined to begin saponification, and then introduced to heat via a Crock Pot or double boiler. The additional heat speeds up the saponification process and “cooks” the soap before it goes into the mold. This cuts down dramatically on the wait time! Make sure when making hot process soap, that your recipe does not fill up the Crock Pot more than halfway. Hot process soap tends to expand, and you don’t want it overflowing!
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Is a Newsletter Right for You?

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In a marketing world highly influenced by new and emerging social media, a newsletter may seem like an old-school advertising method. The view of newsletter as old-fashioned is not unsubstantiated; newsletters are considered by some as the oldest news media, with ties going all the way back to the Roman Empire! With the help of technology and the internet, newsletters continue to be an extremely effective way to communicate information. And while newsletters often get overlooked in the age of social media, their strengths are not to be excluded. As I’ve said before in the blog post, Why a Newsletter is a Must, a newsletter is one of the few marketing bodies of work that you actually own.

When marketing content is posted on social media, whether it be a status update on Facebook, or a photo of Instagram, we often consider this content to be ours. Facebook or Instagram could shut down tomorrow, or they could change their Terms of Service and all your content could be gone (or stuck behind a paywall). Therefore, a newsletter is a solid way to diversify your marketing strategy. Okay, okay…there is my argument on why newsletters are important. But…is a newsletter right for your business? I  believe that a quality newsletter is an important marketing tool, but it is not for everybody. Consider these questions:

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Wax Sealed Valentines

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With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, now is the time to start creating gifts for your loved ones. Handwritten valentines are an excellent way to show love and appreciation; I’m a firm believer in the power of a well written card! This year, make your love note one to remember with a dramatic wax seal.

Sealant wax is commonly comprised of beeswax and resin to create an incredibly hard, sticky wax. Without resin, this combination of waxes is not as hard and brittle as traditional sealant wax, but it’s perfect for adding a decorative touch to your letters.

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