Sunday, 31 March 2013

What? Another Soap Video?

Another day, another soap video.

The weather has been very summery these last couple of days. We'll have a cold snap again before long and certainly more rain but for now it's been really quite nice. In any case I took advantage of a day off and made a new soap video. Better lighting this time, that is for certain.

In the video I called the soap my take on a droplet swirl but in truth the swirl doesn't have much in common with a droplet swirl other than you pour coloured batter into your mold that is already mostly filled with the main colour. The similarities end there. So I suppose I'm just going to call this the gravity swirl in all future uses. I can't imagine it's all that original. It's painfully simple but I like the effect so that is pretty much that. It's not unlike my in the mold swirl except that you pour the batter into the mold at different heights so the colours penetrate to different depths.

The soap is Neroli, Orange Peel, Bergamot and Chamomile. I have a certain love affair going on for those last two notes. I'm using them a lot lately. The soaps don't end up smelling the same or anything. It is the blender in me I suppose. I find notes I like and I use them in different ways to enjoy the notes.

In any case, Playing with Gravity:

Since I am entertained making these videos, and trying to improve on them, I'll probably post another one next week. For now I am giddily awaiting the next Soap Challenge.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Soap Challenge 2013 - Week 1 - The Tiger Stripe

For the first time I am participating in the Soap Challenge. The Challenge is hosted by Great Cakes Soapworks. Each week will have a new soap making method that all those involved in the challenge will attempt to create. This is week one. Before this year I had heard of the challenge but never really known how to participate, when it was held, ect. It's going to to be a lot of fun to try new methods. I love an excuse to experiment and of course to soap.

Week #1: The Tiger Stripe.

This technique was created by Kenna of Amathia Soapworks. Her results are beautiful and I am hoping that mine are in anyway close as good.

I let my soap get to too thick a trace for my first batch. However, it worked rather well.

Attempt #1 In the mold:

Attempt # 1 Cut:

As it happens, this soap glows in the dark, namely the lighter segments. I'll take a glow in the dark photo in the future when I am more comfortable manhandling the soap.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

A Soap Video

Soaping one handed is not my forte. This has been proven once again as I just made a video of my process for my Youtube channel. It's nothing exciting, the lighting is horrible but I will share it anyway at the end of this post. I am not a coordinated person. Actually, I'm accident prone. So soaping one handed is awkward at best and clumsy at worst but how do we ever get better at anything with a lot of repetition, aka practice. The videos will only be filmed with batches that I've soaped during daylight hours given lighting and all. This will mean that only one or two batches a week will probably be possible to film. I have more “days” off my day job that are actually nights off so I tend to soap around 2am.

In any case, this is the video:

It's really shaky and I need to keep the camera where it is showing you something useful but for my first video, it could be a lot worse.

I still haven't finished my product photography. It's now become my morning after work project. Actually, that may not be a bad way to wind down.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Building a Website

This is not my favourite part of the job. I love making soap. I truly love it. From melting my oils and mixing my lye solution to blending my scents and adding my colourants, I love every step. Labeling and packaging are not even particularly obnoxious chores. The design aspect of these ongoing, interconnected projects is a therapeutic process that I delve into when I am either too tired or too sick to soap. Building my website is considerably less therapeutic.

There are so many steps to it and I can often find myself a little overwhelmed. The big step I need to get on with is stock photography. I have the stock, not all of it, but much of it made, cured and waiting. I can't list the stock for sale without pictures, etc. Really, I need to get on with this. But I am still experimenting with just what I want my photos to look like, their core elements, etc. There is just enough of a perfectionist in me to say that we aren't there yet. The photos are not quite right.

The rain has abated for the most part these last few days. It's time to settle the photos and stock the website. Let's see if I can get this all done by the end of the week.

This is one of my experiments. Forgive the quality, it was photographed on my kitchen table at  8pm. The same layout but under natural light will be better.

The soap in question will either be known as Dew or Wet Grass and I made it last night. In any case I haven't decided on the name just yet.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The first harbinger of spring

I can never seem to keep up a blog to any reasonable degree. I'm starting this blog from scratch, a clean slate for a new year.

Currently, I'm sitting on my couch and listening to the rain as I wait for the oils and lye of tonight's batch to cool. The colours are sitting on the counter, mixed with oil, and ready to become a column swirl. Belladonna is one of my favourite scents, both sweet and herbaceous. Considering I am generally most drawn to florals, it is slightly odd that this fruity scent would be in my top three. But it is. It's a blend of sweet, juicy blackberries and dry, aromatic sage. It's been a year since I soaped this scent and I've missed it.

The planned soap will be purple, pink, green, and black. It should be eye catching. This is hardly my first batch of the year but in a sense it is my first batch of the spring. Early March is traditionally when spring starts here in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. The fact that it's raining does not make the weather any less spring light. When you live in a rain forest, rain is just par for the course. We probably won't see that much sun until June or July. The harbinger of spring, for me, is the robin. I spotted my first one of the year a few days ago. At the sight of the nimble little bird, winter became spring. Tonight has been my first proper chance to soap. Soap making may be my passion but my day job demands a good deal of attention.

I've set May as my goal month to launch my online store. I'm largely finished building the website and now I need to both make, and then photograph the stock. Much of it is made, but there is always going to be more. It's not like I don't enjoy having a reason to soap.

Product photography and packaging are both pains and pleasures to me. I'll need to devote the next dry day to photography. But of course, I'd rather be soaping.