Soaping Studio in USE!!!

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After making a couple of batches in the new *cough* Soaping Studio this week, I have learned that I will need to move some things around to better access them. That said, it’s sooooooo nice to have my own dedicated little area to make mess in!

After making a couple of batches in the new *cough* Soaping Studio this week, I have learned that I will need to move some things around to better access them. That said, it’s sooooooo nice to have my own dedicated little area to make mess in!

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Soaping Studio Set Up – Stage #1

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With the house move FINALLY over, it’s time to get settled into the new house. Getting beds in place, unpacking all the boxes, and for me… setting up my soaping studio!! The first step was getting all the soaps out of their boxes and out into the air again.

I managed to clear out a lot of soap before the move, but clearly, not enough!! The two shelves on the bottom right hand side are all plain goats milk, with the 3rd bottom shelf holding the oat milk (both exfoliating and smooth). Those shelves are 3 bars deep!!

I sat there staring at the shelves for a good 10 minutes. “Baby, I have a LOT of soap left!!”

“I need to make MORE and fill those empty gaps!!”

To the left of the curing racks is my oil shelves. Previously this occupied a small space on the ‘living’ side of my kitchen bench. It bugged me constantly that they were there, but I had no where else to put them. Now, they are out of sight, yet super accessible for when I need them.

On the right hand side, is my buckets and most commonly used molds.

One side of the room is coming along quite nicely! I can’t actually ACCESS this wall at the moment. 24 hours after getting this part cleaned up, it was blocked behind tables, boxes, the fish tanks, my washing machine and everything else that still needs a home. For me, I’m happy that my soaps are out and able to breath again – leaving them in a box without good air circulation could cause them to go bad…

Next on the agenda is getting all the fragrance and essential oils away behind their darkened doors and unpack the boxes upon boxes of bowls, cups, and utensils. It’s really quite scary that we had less boxes of kitchen items (pots, bowls, etc) than I did in matching soaping items (pots, bowls, slow cookers, etc).

It’s been a just over a month since I made a batch of soap. The ticks and twitching are starting to get to me…

Coolah Creations Soaping Studio Stage 1

With the house move FINALLY over, it’s time to get settled into the new house. Getting beds in place, unpacking all the boxes, and for me… setting up my soaping studio!! The first step was getting all the soaps out of their boxes and out into the air again. I managed to clear out a…

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Let the workshop fun begin!!

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One of the, if not THE best feature of this house (for me anyway) is the garage and the fact that the house has enough room and storage space already, that I can take over said garage and make it a ….. a…. *drum roll*

SOAPING WORKSHOP !!!

*echoes* workshop,

workshop,

workshop,
workshop….

With lighting, and plaster, and it’s own fridge (oh my!), I am now in the super, awesome, fantastically fun stage of setting up my new WORKSHOP!!!!  (workshop, workshop, workshop…)

Last night I brought the soap curing racks over. Right now, I’m about to start loading all those gloriously empty shelves with soap bars!! I swear it’s better than opening Christmas presents right now!!

If I don’t post an update in 24 hours… get someone to gently poke their head inside and make sure I’ve stopped hugging the shelves and am still alive…

Soap Curing Racks

One of the, if not THE best feature of this house (for me anyway) is the garage and the fact that the house has enough room and storage space already, that I can take over said garage and make it a ….. a…. *drum roll* SOAPING WORKSHOP !!! *echoes* workshop, workshop, workshop, workshop…. With lighting, and…

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Paddock Bashing… Soapi Style!

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Last weekend we began the stressful experience that is moving house. Urg. The only reason I haven’t completely flipped my lid so far is the new house is HUGE, has a spa, and is damn near perfect in every single way possible. It’s hard to stay stressed when you’re coming home to something you love… oh yeah, and a two person spa that’s big enough for both Emily and I to completely submerge in. Nice!

My car has proved itself over and over this past week. I had no idea I could get TWO single mattress’ inside, or my very large desk. I’ve managed to pack so much into it, it’s been amazing.

I love my car. I really do. I don’t look after it as best as I possibly should, but I totally love it.

We’ve moved into a brand new estate, into a basically brand new house. This is NOT your average rental!!

One of the perks of moving into a new estate, especially when you have the “boyest” of boys there is, is all the vacant land, building and construction going on. Diggers, and earth movers, and cement trucks… oh my! And for the grown ups? Mud, and dirt, and spinning tires… Oh my!

Thursday night I had an ‘itch’. A desire to go for a bit of paddock bashing aka taking the SUV for a spin on the vacant land. We’d done a couple of small U-Turns on there already, and the kids LOVED IT!! More than I ever expected them too. They were not scared, they just squealed with delight, especially when the little bump I went down turned into more of a bum-off-seats ditch.

So… we decided to jump in the car for a bit of after dinner fun. My first clue against NOT doing it should have been the fact I had already bathed both kids. Clean kids into a car, driving on dirt… something will go wrong. And oh boy, did it!!

After driving around the section at the top of our street, I wondered, “What’s down that way?” and off we went to find out. The other factor into mishap would be the fact that it had just finished raining for a solid 36 hours straight. But that was ok, just more puddles to splash through. Right?

Splash! Weeee! Fishtailing back end! WOO HOO!!

Until…

Craaaap! I thought I would just dip my left side into the puddle, make a big splash over the car, and continue back home. Not what happened. After a couple of attempts to move, I had to accept the fact we were stuck… aaaaand, we were walking home.

This is the moment I realised JUST how different my two kids really are. Master 3 thought it was the best part of the journey. He leapt out of the car and jumped both feet into the first muddy patch of water he could find. He ran off to hunt out the frogs that were all creaking and generally had a muddy, dirty blast of a good time!

Miss 6 however, now known as ‘Princess’ for the remainder of her years, did not enjoy the return trip as much. She started freaking out in the car, carrying on that we were going to have to live in the car forever (eye roll), then complained every step that mud was getting between her toes, it felt really disgusting, it was cold and it was making her dirty. She refused to leave her shoes in the car for fear that something might happen to them and generally princessed her way home the entire time.

Eventually, we made it back home. All of us needed a second shower and the kids were popped into bed. It was then that Emmy realised her engagement ring was still in the car. CRAP! I was not going to risk leaving such an expensive item in a car abandoned in the middle of no where. Although good luck to anyone willing to get that dirty trying to get it. I headed back on my own to retrieve the ring.

Now, I don’t like losing. Actually that’s wrong. I DON’T LOSE!! I had done a little bit of googling to see the best ways to un-bog a car from mud, and off I went with two old blankets and sheer determination. Apparently, that wasn’t enough. Didn’t work. All that happened was I came home very, very dirty.

Thank goodness I make soap!!! And boy did it take a lot of it to get me clean again.

The next day, we dropped Princess off at school and returned to the scene of the crime to figure out how we were going to rescue my car. I had rung a couple of tow truck companies the night before and nearly fell over when I was told it would be $900 to get my car winched out!!

I started just before 11am, it was 2:30 by the time the car was out and back home. I ended up covered in mud from head to toe, hot, and frustrated. In order to dislodge the poor car, I had to rock it back and forth basically. Switching from Drive and Reverse, it was a matter of rocking it until we got some movement, getting out and re-digging out the tires, rocking some more, digging some more, rocking and cursing, dig, rock, dig, rock, scream.

We got movement. Definitely. I could see that I was getting somewhere. Thankfully being a new estate, there were lots of scraps of wood around to wedge under the wheels, and even a door we managed to drag over.

Eventually, we had this!

I whooped and squealed when it finally came loose. The funny thing was, I couldn’t see a THING out my windows, so had no indication if I was actually moving or just spinning my tires. I was almost hesitant to get too excited until it was quite clear I was out. I jammed the car into drive and got up onto dry land as quick as I could. An overwhelming release came over me. I didn’t know whether to do a happy dance or collapse into a ball and cry. I could’t believe I had managed to get it out.

Now, the fun begins. The clean up job. It’s already had one wash (and by one I mean a high pressure rinse, high pressure soap rinse, a second high pressure rinse, three goes over with the foaming brush, another high pressure soap rinse and a final high pressure clean rinse) and that was just the top part. Today is the ‘under carriage’ of the car.

Do you think it got just a tad dirty?

At the end of the day, it was a lot of fun. Not particularly fond of getting stuck, and certainly didn’t appreciate the digging out of the car. I am extremely sore and have discovered muscles I never knew I had. Other than that though, we all came out relatively damage free. I have one massive bruise on my shin (like, massive!), and the car makes a few squeaky noises due to the mud all stuck under neath, but we’re all ok. And the car is out which didn’t cost me $900.

I did say to Emmy however, that we really need to get me back into soaping ASAP. Coz look what happens when I have free time at the end of the day…

IMG_5768

Last weekend we began the stressful experience that is moving house. Urg. The only reason I haven’t completely flipped my lid so far is the new house is HUGE, has a spa, and is damn near perfect in every single way possible. It’s hard to stay stressed when you’re coming home to something you love……

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Party Favour Fun!

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Moving away from the ‘lolly’ party bags is becoming quite popular. Even I have done the same with my daughter’s party schedule for tomorrow by making the party bags full of little toys, squishy things and just a couple of lollies each. If I manage to locate a few spare minutes today, I will also be putting together some soaps to include…

Soap party favours are fantastic. And one customer jumped on that band wagon with some of the following:

Lego Soaps for the boys!! With little soap blocks, and even cooler soap men, these are fantastic for kids not only to play with, but to wash with!

Pretty as peach cup cake soaps for the girls. Hand piped, they smell absolutely edible scented with Mango and Papaya!!

The birthday girl is also being treated to a very special soap gift box! I had fun sprinkling little star confetti all over to really make it shine!

Happy Birthday to the lucky little girl!!

Gift Box with Goat Milk Soaps by Coolah Creations

Moving away from the ‘lolly’ party bags is becoming quite popular. Even I have done the same with my daughter’s party schedule for tomorrow by making the party bags full of little toys, squishy things and just a couple of lollies each. If I manage to locate a few spare minutes today, I will also…

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Black Raspberry Vanilla – Just Cut

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The ever popular Black Raspberry Vanilla has been remade, again. I’ve lost count how many times I have remade this scent. Even though I have only just cut this batch, it’s already in the back of my head that I should probably get another one made up as it just flies off my table!

I had some soap batter left over so decided to have a play with some bugs!! Really quite happy with the way they turned out!!

Black Raspberry Vanilla Goat Milk Soap by Coolah Creations

The ever popular Black Raspberry Vanilla has been remade, again. I’ve lost count how many times I have remade this scent. Even though I have only just cut this batch, it’s already in the back of my head that I should probably get another one made up as it just flies off my table! I…

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Lemon Slice – Remake!!

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When I first smelled this fragrance out of the bottle, I wrote it off as a “one off purchase”. My feelings remained after smelling the cut soap and seeing how it didn’t play nice with my body wash recipe. But of course, what I like, and what everyone else likes, aren’t always the same. With just two bars remaining of the first batch of soap made with this scent, there is now a five week wait for the next lot! Everyone who picked up a bar and smelled it, loved it. And most, bought it! I need a magic ball sometimes so I could see if I need to make lots of a particular soap. I don’t like making people wait :/

This one will be worth it however, smells very yummy!

This is the soap just made. I had a play with the glitter and incorporated it in with the top swirls. Was relatively pleased with the efforts given it was only my second attempt at this technique. Sadly, the glitter hasn’t seemed to stick very well and instead we have more of a deeper yellow look to the tops. Not bad, in fact it looks quite nice. But not what I was after…

Ready approximately November 18th…

Lemon Slices Goat Milk Soap - Coolah Creations

When I first smelled this fragrance out of the bottle, I wrote it off as a “one off purchase”. My feelings remained after smelling the cut soap and seeing how it didn’t play nice with my body wash recipe. But of course, what I like, and what everyone else likes, aren’t always the same. With…

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Creamy Coconut Cut and Curing

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I’ve had people asking me for a ‘coconut’ soap for such a long time, that I finally stomped my foot and bought up a few different coconut scents to see what I could get to work. The first scent has just been cut and I am pleasantly surprised at the yumminess of it. I’ve got everything crossed that the scent sticks through the cure process and doesn’t fade away!! It will be a long six week wait!!

Creamy Coconut - Coolah Creations Goat Milk Soap

I’ve had people asking me for a ‘coconut’ soap for such a long time, that I finally stomped my foot and bought up a few different coconut scents to see what I could get to work. The first scent has just been cut and I am pleasantly surprised at the yumminess of it. I’ve got…

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My new toy!!

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Soap Ash. How I loathe thee! Purely cosmetic and in now way damaging to the user or the soap itself, but nether the less a huge issue for some soapers. A fantastic looking soap can be ruined by the appearance of soap ash.

As random as a toddlers mood swings (yes, Master 3 and I are having a fantastic day /sarcasm), soap ash will appear on some batches, but not others. Soapers world wide have tried many different ways to prevent it, and there is no set way one or the other that can stop it OR make it appear. It has a mind of it’s own. For me, the thicker the soap batter mixture, the less likely I am to get ash.

But that’s not always the case. Temperature changes can cause it, but I can’t change that for me as I do milk soaps and require somewhat drastic temperature changes. Certain fragrances or essential oils always give me ash. The saying goes, “If you can’t beat them, join them”. I don’t believe that. If you can’t beat soap ash, then get better arsenal.

And today, I went from play ground to war zone!!!! *Drum roll*

 

Introducing my new weapon. And yes, that has a PRESSURE GUAGE on it!! Aaaaawwweeeesome!!

This is my new ‘cleaning’ appliance that was purchased purely for use on soap. It has a floor attachment, so that’s just an added bonus to me. Only soapers own appliances for uses other than they were intended for.

Like my kitchen aid that has never touched food, my two slow cookers that only ever ‘cooked’ soap, etc. And this, is another example. “What surface to you need to clean?” I was asked, “Floors or other?” ”Uuuummmm… other.”, I replied. I was practically giggling with excitement as I bought it. Goodness knows what the salesman was thinking I had planned for it…

Naturally, after getting home, it was yanked right out of it’s box and tested! Mango Mania was the soap shaking in it’s box.

This is the ‘before’ shot. The soap ash is all the white dust/ash looking parts of the soap.

A closer look. You can see it’s quite ugly and for me personally, ruins the look of the soap. Some people embrace the ash, others use it to their selling advantage and include it in their design. I hate it. Pure and simple. And if I can avoid it, I will. If I can’t, then I will work my best to remove it. Enter… the steamer!!!

NO ASH!!! HAHAHAHAHAH I WIN!!!!

I have steamed my soaps for a while now. I have previously tried other method’s to avoid it and remove it, but steaming always proved the best result. The problem was, holding a bar of soap over a pot of water boiling to steam it is dangerous (burns), as well as makes the soap super slippery. This brings in the risk of dropping it and ruining it, requiring something to hold onto the soap and marking it, as well as leaving finger prints and smudges as you turned the soap over to get all sides. Not to mention – time!!!!

Fourty bars a batch, steaming one at a time or up to three if it was only a small amount of ash, takes time. Lots of time. I am looking at all sorts of way to streamline what I do and thus, free up more time. Plus, I have young kids. I can’t stand over a pot on the stove for an hour or more. And I sure can’t walk away from it when I am needed and risk the other child, the cat or I’m sure the puppy knocking it off.

All the soaps pictured – approximately thirty – took me under 20 seconds to steam. I lined them up on the bench while the steamer warmed up. Blasted them. Done. AND I got to add some glitter to brighten it up as the tops become slightly damn, thus holding onto the glitter. And when it dries, the glitter becomes stuck on. Looks much better than adding glitter to wet soap batter where it looses it’s “sparkle”. To say that I am thrilled is an understatement.

Goodbye little abused pot, and helllooooooo ash cleaned soaps!! Shaaaweeeeet!

Mango Mania Goat Milk Soap by Coolah Creations

Soap Ash. How I loathe thee! Purely cosmetic and in now way damaging to the user or the soap itself, but nether the less a huge issue for some soapers. A fantastic looking soap can be ruined by the appearance of soap ash. As random as a toddlers mood swings (yes, Master 3 and I…

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Two Markets – Two Extremes!

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I was fortunate enough to lock in two markets this weekend. Both my Saturday and Sunday allocated! This comes with the natural tiredness, as well as the hopeful bank account increase on a Monday.

It was an interesting weekend. On the Saturday, I had people ‘oohin and aahing’ over my soaps, and the added glitter to a couple of bars was the clincher for a sale. People loved the bright colours, the awesome scents, and the glitter. Oh my goodness did they love the glitter!

On the flip side, Sunday showed the other end of the scale. Potential customers scanned my table, asked where my lavender soap was, angrily asked why I didn’t make only essential oil soaps and scoffed at the mere thought of using a ‘chemically laden’ (one customers words) fragrance soap.

I used to make lavender soap. It never sold. So I stopped. And generally, I never get asked for it. That was until at least five different people asked me on Sunday. I did however have my rose soap out. One particular lady was very excited to see this and clarified it was in face rose essential oil in the soap. No, it wasn’t. She practically THREW my soap back down on the table, made a repulsed sound and walked off.

I would love to use more essential oils in soap. That is, if people are willing to pay for them. I personally don’t see the point in adding any essential oil as a ‘benefit’ unless that benefit is received by inhalation. Soap is a wash off product. It’s not on the skin long enough to allow much (if any!) benefit of essential oils that need to be absorbed.

Rose is a lovely smell. However this isn’t a lack of ‘benefit’ essential oil reason, this is a pure PRICE reason. And boy did I have to bite my tongue after the lady discarded my rose soap with such disgust. ‘Rose’ Essential Oil is known as ‘Rose Otto’.

It takes approximately 60,000 roses to produce just 1 oz of Pure Rose Oil (Rose Otto). That’s about two & half dozen roses to make one drop!

In a standard batch of soap, I use approx 200g of fragrance and/or essential oil. Some a little less depending on their potency or safety percentages. But generally, 200g.

200g of Rose Otto would cost me just me just under $4,500. Checking all the places I purchase from, the price is all around the same. I could buy a lesser quality rose otto for around $1,155. Even if I bought a diluted version – 3% of the actual essential oil diluted in a carrier oil, that would still me $110 of fragrance.

So, an ‘essential oil’ rose soap, at the crapiest 3% dilution would be around $10 a bar. Going for the ‘real deal’, you’re looking around the $112.50 mark per bar!! I’ll be nice though and just make it an even $100. So, how many would you like to buy?

Education is the key to helping customers understand why I make some choices, and I am more than happy to inform them. However, most just don’t care enough to listen and instead demand diamonds for pennies. Frustrating!!

Rose

I was fortunate enough to lock in two markets this weekend. Both my Saturday and Sunday allocated! This comes with the natural tiredness, as well as the hopeful bank account increase on a Monday. It was an interesting weekend. On the Saturday, I had people ‘oohin and aahing’ over my soaps, and the added glitter to…

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