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Archive for the ‘Crafted’ Category

Yummy coconut milk soap

Yummy coconut milk soap

I didn’t make any new year resolutions. Did you?

There are things that I’d like to see happen and I’ve been mulling over ideas that have been on mind for a while. For instance, having work that pays enough to have my own place and a cash injection that allows for supplies, market fees and plenty of space for soapmaking. I’ve been reading blogs and watching videos and wishing I had enough money to really get my little micro enterprise off the ground and into gear.

One of the blogs I’ve been reading, New England Artisan Soaps, is by a woman who decided to make and sell soaps about the same time as I did. I emphasize the word decided because it took me nine months to gather basic materials. That time was spent on hands-off research. Having a real job and a spouse speeds up the process – she’s made far more soap than I have, gotten to experiment with more materials, and has equipment that I’d love to have – multiple real soap molds and a whole loaf cutter. I’m envious! I’ve been perusing other blogs and videos as well. I’m captivated and inspired by people with working production studios who are making a living at this.

I’ve made one and a half soap batches this first week of January. I need more supplies. I want to order them. I’ve been planning a spring and summer line. I’m looking for venues that could be both affordable and profitable. I’m not sure whether or not I still have an income. If I had extra money I could be spending this time making lots of soap. Instead, I’m starting another new year in the slow lane – not having the funds for supplies, equipment, market fees or space.

What’s a woman to do? I made coconut milk soap and banana milk soap. I got a haircut. I’d really like to make this a turnaround year. Wish me luck!

Banana milk facial soap

Banana milk facial soap

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Earthy, sensual, minty

DSCN2362Yep, I`m in love with the scent of yesterday`s soap batch! It may be my new favourite and I hope it lasts – a perfect complement to the generous portion of shea butter in it.

 

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Sliced soap with leftovers

DSCN2351cr3I was soaping again last night and trying something new. I peeled the leftovers from a recent batch of lavender soap and incorporated the curls into this batch of lavender & lemongrass. I like the result; it reminds me of hieroglyphics.

 

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Moving back to Toronto a few months ago has put my soapmaking plans on hold, although, I was happy to participate in a couple of small seasonal craft shows in the Upper Beaches. Here are some of my newest soap offerings – lavender, lemongrass, mint and an unscented batch. To me, the art is in the combination of oils and butters but, I’ve noticed again, it’s the scent that attracts people. What are your favourite essential oil scents?

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DSCN2265crI’ve read that soapmaking is addictive and I think there’s some truth to that. I enjoy the art, science and experimentation that goes into formulating. However, making soap has turned out to be far more expensive than I had initially anticipated.

I first stumbled on the idea last summer while trying to scale down my ideas for an eco-friendly¬† business to something more feasible as a micro-enterprise. With very little in the way of money, or space, it took a while to get started – lots of time for research – and it’s only this summer that I’ve been able to start selling. This is on a very, very small scale.

I found a small new summer art market that provides a table and chair to those of us that need this basic setup and once a week for the past few weeks I’ve been setting up a table and trying to sell my natural soap and body care items and gain some customer insight. It’s a challenge. The market is located in a wonderful outdoor space but being a new market and not really a commercial space there aren’t many customers. I have learned a few things from the experience so in that sense it has been worthwhile.

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DSCN2078cr DSCN2082cr2Last week I made a goat milk soap. The lovely caramel colour of the soap looks soothing and nutritious. I wanted to try another skin beneficial food additive – honey – and on the weekend I incorporated it and calendula into a batch. I’m looking forward to trying it, and the goat milk soap, once they’ve cured. Too soon to know yet but I suspect this may end up being my favourite!

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coiled three vasesIt`s been many years since I`ve engaged with pottery! In my mid-20s I enrolled in a 3-yr program at Sheridan College and I loved my time in this program! Afterwards, it would be another ten years before I had access to a studio again. I preferred handbuilding to throwing and the pieces were created by coiling porcelain, a process and clay I enjoyed working with.coiled tall and short jugscoiled jug view one

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