A(nother) Big Announcement!

We’ve been full of big news lately, from finding out that we’re having a baby girl (eek!) to launching this year’s Bramble Berry Athletic Club, there’s been a lot of happy hustle and bustle and I couldn’t be more excited. But before you go thinking that’s all I’ve been busy with, there’s another big announcement…a secret I’ve been keeping for almost a year now:

I’m writing a book!!(!!!!!!!!!)

Soap Crafting Cover

I’ve been working with the fabulous team at Storey Publishing on my new print book, Soap Crafting. It has been an amazing, mind-blowing, grueling, exciting experience so far (really, a little bit of everything). The book contains 31 Soap Queen designed and tested Cold Process soap recipes that I hope will knock your socks off. The book shows how to infuse natural colorants, how to dilute and work with LabColors, incorporate fun additives and even includes a glossary of soapmaking terms. Plus, for beginners, there is a ton of introductory information about making Cold Process soap, a basic beginner recipe AND a breakdown of common soap making oils. Whew!

The book is due to come out in August (three months after Bramble Girl is due to arrive if you’re keeping track!), which feels like such. a. long. time. But as the book comes together, I’ll be giving regular updates on its progress.

Image by Lara Ferrroni

Image by Lara Ferroni for Storey Publishing

For now, here’s a sneak peek behind the scenes of the book’s photo shoot back in October. We worked with the amazingly talented Oregon-based photographer Lara Ferroni. L’s specialty is food photography and photographing recipes-in-progress, which made for a natural transition to soap making photography. Plus, she’s written some great books herself and at the time of the photo shoot was in the process of finishing up yet another, so chatting with her about the book writing process (and all of the deadlines!) while she was taking photos made the experience especially relaxing. Lara’s eye was keen; a slight turn of a bottle or the tiniest nudge of a spoon made all the difference in the shots. She was kind enough to allow us to share some of her photos from the shoot, and our behind-the-scenes shots pale in comparison!

LaraPhoto

 The shoot itself was a marathon. Five days straight of soaping anywhere from 5-7 complex recipes per day was definitely fun but also required a TON of organization. Prep for the photo shoot started a few weeks in advance, with multiple people helping. All of the oils were pre-measured and portioned, colorants were dispersed, and everything was organized by recipe and recipes were scheduled by hour to make the most efficient use of molds. So when it came time to shoot, there was a (mostly) seamless transition between recipes and I was able to re-use most every mold from what we had in the soap lab.

Lye hurts real bad - credit Lara Ferroni

Image by Lara Ferroni for Storey Publishing

Lye waiting for it’s beauty shot – with proper safety note of course!

Toppings for a special soap

Toppings for a Cold Process meets Melt and Pour recipe

Backup Stick Blender Shafts

Lots of back-up tools

Pouring soap into mold - credit Lara Ferroni

Image by Lara Ferroni for Storey Publishing

12 color swirl (yes, you read that right!)

Pumpkin soap going in - credit Lara Ferroni

Image by Lara Ferroni for Storey Publishing

In-the-pot swirl soap going into the mold

Blowing on the Mica - credit Lara Ferroni

Image by Lara Ferroni for Storey Publishing

Blowing on mica to set it in the soap

Topping off the soap - credit Lara Ferroni

Image by Lara Ferroni for Storey Publishing

Just adding the last little bit

The Aftermath

Empty, colorful soap containers; a beautiful thing

And now, here’s a sneak peak at some of the finished soaps from the book! We did the photography here so you’ll have to imagine it 190 trillion times better than what you see below for the actual book. If I haven’t mentioned it already, the book’s photographer, Lara, was ah-maz-ing. Like breathtakingly awesome. =) I can’t tell you how excited I am to show you even this little bit. I hope you’re as excited as I am about this bit of news, and be sure to check back often to see the books progress between now and August!

Soap Crafting Soaps!

Soap Crafting Sneak Peak!

Soap Crafting Sneak Peak!

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64 Comments

  1. Timmi says

    Wow! I’m super excited for you. And I can’t wait to get my hands on the new book! I find your knowledge on soap and all things bath and body worth their weight in gold. You are a true inspiration to me and so many others. Thank you for all you do.

  2. says

    I’ve been thinking that your days must be much longer than mine (mine have 18 hours for work and family and 6 for sleep).;-)!
    I salute your work and am really looking forward for this book.
    Unfortunately most of my clients don’t (like to) read in english…

  3. Patricia says

    Cha-Ching! Looks like a winner! When I read the e-mail title, “Another Big Announcement,” for a split second there, I thought, “Good Lord! She’s having TWINS!” :) But then I remembered seeing the ultrasound.

    But here you are giving birth to a book! Hilarious that you’ve made this announcement NINE MONTHS in advance – hahahaha!

  4. Debbie Miller says

    OMG! How exciting! Just in time for my birthday (the 21st!)! Thank you! It will be my best present! I’m sure it will be so AWESOME because everything you do is and your preview shows it too! Congratulations Anne-Marie…you are such an inspiration to all of us! : )

  5. Vivian Gilmour says

    Oh how exciting for you and all of us. When can I put an order in? Are you doing a signing? All the best Anne-Marie and congratulations. You most certainly have been a bee zy girl… so many things unfolding.

  6. Susie says

    Yes, I will also want a copy. You will offer them forsale at BB, right? And I would love to have a signed copy…. makes it just that much more special to me. I am suprised you were able to keep that a secret for soooo long!

  7. says

    OH YIPPEEEE!! I can’t wait to get my hands on this! Our industry has needed this type of advanced soapmaking book…focusing on design and color! Can’t wait! Congrats on such an accomplishment…it looks like you put in a ton of work!

  8. Jen says

    Yay! I’m very excited by this news. I’m still doing M&P at this point, but was hoping to transition sometime this summer into CP soap. The timing is perfect!
    Thanks for all your help, you’ve truly made me a soap queen fan and soaping fan for life.

  9. Nickie says

    How were you able to keep this a secret for so long?!!! WOW! I couldn’t do that….I’d blurt it out after a while lol ;)
    So you’re due in May…..will you be going to the Soap Guild Conference? Or will you be sending some BB staff in your place? Hoping to go & hoping to meet you :)

    ~Nickie~

  10. says

    Im so happy for you Anne Marie!

    A bundle of joy and a new book at the same time…
    you are truly blessed!

    I will be wating impatiently for your book to come out believe me.

    P.S. Brambleberry customer service is awesome!

    KeMira H.

  11. laurie says

    ohoney, you are sailing away into ‘got it for keeps’ territory, now !!! I love the internet, especially with you on it…but the lovliness of a book with such beautiful photography and your voice shining thru makes for a great coffee table book…and I can make soap in the kitchen without running back and forth to the computer screen all the time !!!
    your life is one big amazing, INSPIRING, DO-ABLE adventure and keeps me encouraged and sane !
    Thanks for living your life AnneMarie !
    laurie in st. louis

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