Today is our wedding anniversary. Sixteen whole years ago, on the 14th October, 2021, we got married, and look how young we were!
Sixteen years is DEFINITELY worth celebrating so we had a lovely lunch out, and then it was back to work for both of us. Might have eggs for dinner though!
According to Google, sixteen years is traditionally celebrated with wax, which seems like the perfect opportunity to mention a lesser known Soap Mine product – Wax Melts
Some time ago I asked Jodie at Charismatic Cat whether she could make some exclusive wax melts for The Soap Mine. I wanted the same fragrances as six of my best selling bars/bath bombs – Lavender, Cysur, Traeth, Rose, Sugar Drops and Fresh Linen:
As the evenings draw in, wax melts are a great way to enhance cosy evenings. They give a gentle glow to the room while spreading the most delicious fragrance, or melt one in the bathroom while you take a bath with a matching soap and/or bathbomb – perfection! Get yours here
That’s it for today, thanks for reading! Back tomorrow 😉
During the summer, while I was trying to button down the fragrances I wanted to use for the autumn specials, I came across the most amazing Toffee Apple fragrance. Unfortunately it was an absolute nightmare to use in cold process soap. It massively accelerated trace, and did actually turn the soap solid in the bucket before I could even think about adding colour, never mind pour it into moulds. Nevertheless, I adored the fragrance and decided to break with tradition and offer my customers a soap made using the hot process method. If you’re not sure what that is – check out this post
Now I’m really not an expert at this method, and while some people can make amazing looking soap this way, my attempts have always been pretty basic and rustic looking, with no fancy swirls or patterns, and that was just how this one came out.
I honestly didn’t think I would sell very many at all, so only made 30 bars, but completely underestimated my lovely customers loyalty and preparedness to try something new and sold out within the hour – arrghh! I felt duty bound to make more PDQ, which I did. A couple of days ago.
Hot process soap is generally made in a slow cooker / crockpot, and is so called because additional heat is added to the soapmaking process to speed up saponification. However, knowing how quickly this fragrance accelerates trace, I dispensed completely with the crockpot but made sure that my oils and lye solution were significantly hotter than I would normally have them. I added the fragrance to the heated oils and butters first and mixed very well, to ensure that it was completed incorporated. I then slowly added the hot lye solution to the oils and mixed well again. It turned solid in the bucket quite quickly, and I let it sit for a while it continued to heat up. This is NOT something I would recomend for any beginner soapmakers, overheated caustic soap batter is dangerous.
I’ve tried to upload a video of the mixing of the batter but I can’t seem to get it work, but here are a couple of photos:
Once I was happy that it was all thoroughly mixed and of the right ‘vaseline-like’ texture I plopped it into the moulds. They’re certainly not the most beautiful ‘in-the-mould’ photos 😉
Yesterday I unmoulded and cut the loaves and I’m really happy with how they turned out. While I usually give my regular bars a full 6 weeks cure time, these psuedo-hot process bars don’t need quite so long, and will be available for purchase on, aptly enough, 31st October.
So, Day 4 and I confess I wonder what on earth possessed me to do this. The reality of having to come up with a blog post every day (when I’ve managed about three in the last year) has well and truly hit home. Had I made the decision back in September I might have pre-written a bunch of posts, or at least prepared some topics / ideas beforehand. But noooo, that would have been too easy…
But back to today, and it’s probably time for a soap related post. I was approached a few months back by Penmaenmawr Museum who not only wanted to stock my soap in their museum shop but were also interested in having a custom landscape-type bar created exclusively for them.
The town of Penmaenmawr is situated on the coast of north Wales and has an old slogan which goes ‘Penmaenmawr – twixt mountain and sea’, and the customer sent me the following sketch to give me an idea of what they wanted:
And this was what I made, scented with the same ‘outdoorsy’ essential oil blend as my regular Eryri landscape bar (get yours here)
Thankfully, the customer loves them and I quote: “These soaps look beautiful! Thank you so much, exactly what we were hoping for.” Hooray!
Once they’re fully cured and properly wrapped and labelled for sale I’ll update this post with a ‘finished’ photo, but I thought Blogtober was a great opportunity to share them for the very first time. I hope you feel honoured 😀
So, last time I took part in Blogtober I got to the end and said NEVER again. As recently as a couple of weeks ago I said ‘no way’ would I even consider it this year. Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Blogtober it involves publishing a blog post every day during October. And I’m waaaaay too busy dontcha know?! And even if I was to consider it, it’s absolutely the wrong time of year, what with all the Christmas prep to do…
But I miss writing.
So. Here I am, on the 2nd of October thinking well, actually, I might just give it a go. So I would like you all to please indulge me and imagine that this was published yesterday, and was my “1st day of Blogober” post. K?
All being well I’ll be back later with Day 2 *crosses fingers*
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