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Designing, designing…

As winter inexorably approaches, the tourist season here has more or less come to an end for the year.  The only visitors we’ll see for the next few months will be hardy, well wrapped walker and mountain climbers, and many of the gift shops have closed or drastically reduced their opening hours while the owners take a well earned rest.  A good time, then, for me to take stock and consider what sold well during this last year.  It’s clear to me (and it’s no real surprise) that the bars which sold the best here in the village were those with a Welsh element to their name (eg Welsh Rose and Blodau (Flowers)) or a link to the local area (eg Black Rock Sands and Traeth Criccieth (Criccieth Beach)).

I’ve decided that there needs to be a few additions to the regular range – soaps which reference the local area – and the first of those will be Yr Wyddfa, our name for Snowdon, the highest mountain in England & Wales.  Yr Wyddfa has always been close to my heart. As I child I lived literally at the foot of this majestic mountain, and now I live just 10 minutes away from the bottom of 4 different routes up (depending on which direction I drive). I’ve walked (and run, with a team of women, carrying (an occupied!) wheelchair – but that’s another story :-D) to the top many times, but I’ve never taken the train up… Anyway, I digress…

On Tuesday night I made my first attempt.  Even while it was still in the mould I knew that there were things I would do differently next time:

Yr Wyddfa in the mould
Yr Wyddfa in the mould

See that blue on the top? That’s supposed to represent the sky, but sadly it’s the wrong shade of blue. Easily fixed – next time…

And the cut:

Yr Wyddfa, cut
Yr Wyddfa, cut

Clearly I’ve not gone with one of my regular drop swirls here –  I’ve gone a little more literal, with greenery (two colours of green), rock, snowy mountain top and sky.  I need to alter the colours of the rock and the sky, and perhaps have a little more greenery than rock, but I’m really happy with it as a first attempt.

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Blogtober 2016, Day 31

I only flippin’ went and did it!  Participation in the Blogtober 2016 challenge was such a random, hasty and last minute decision that, in all honesty, it was highly likely that I would fail.  I realised, after mentally committing myself, that many of the other participants had been (sensibly!) planning ahead, preparing and scheduling posts beforehand. I didn’t have that luxury, having decided approximately 8 hours into the first day of October that this was something I could/should/would do.

Decision made, I had to be clear on what on earth I was going to write about every day.  I didn’t think I would have enough ‘soapy’ topics to cover, so I made sure I had a rough list of other possible topics. As it turned out, I didn’t need to use many of those off-topic ideas – turns out there is an awful lot to share / write about in the soapy world!

Now, here I am, 31 days later with 31 more blog posts under my belt than I had at the beginning of the month.  I did it (!) and it’s been an extremely useful experience – primarily because it’s got me back into the habit of blogging on a regular basis. I’ve discovered during the last month that I really do enjoy writing, but that doing so within such narrow time constraints doesn’t do anything for the standard of what I produce.  It has without a doubt been a case of quantity over quality (sorry about that 😉 ) Some of the topics I’ve covered have been done hurriedly and I’ll probably revisit them in greater detail at a later date.

Coincidentally, this post is also my 100th on the blog and I’m determined to keep blogging on a regular basis from now on.  More soap pics, more tutorials, more reviews and more personal ‘meet the maker’ posts (Ooh – they scare me :-D).

Thank you SO much if you’ve stuck with me over the last month, and a double/triple thank you to those of you who’ve rewarded me with the odd ‘like’ or ‘comment’.  It really has helped spur me on, knowing that there is somebody, anybody, out there reading every now and then.  Thank you, thank you, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!



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Makeovers (7. Love Spell / Bewitched)

The soap that I’ve long called ‘Love Spell’ is scented with a fragrance oil that is a copy of the designer perfume ‘Love Spell’ by Victoria’s Secret. Having recently applied for my bath bomb assessment, which includes bombs fragranced with the same fragrance oil, I was reminded that I can’t call them (or my soap!) Love Spell as it contravenes copyright. I knew this, and I should have changed it ages ago, but to be honest I just didn’t spend the time to come up with a replacement. As it was, when I received the message from my assessor, the new name came to me within a minute or two. Typical! Anyway, it will henceforth be known as Bewitched.

I first made it back in the summer of 2014. You can clearly see where the top portion, coloured with titanium dioxide, shrank more than the rest of the bar during the curing process. The top was simply spattered with leftover soap batter:

Love Spell V1
Bewitched V1

Soon after that I got into tiger stripe pouring, which I initially made with a flat top (and experimented with some black stripes):

Love Spell V3
Bewitched V2
Love Spell V3
Bewitched V3

And later with a textured top:

Love Spell V4
Bewitched V4

Finally I brought it in line with the rest of the range i.e. with a full bar drop swirl:

Love Spell V5
Bewitched V5

Day 23 of Blogtober 2016. I’m starting to believe I can actually do this 😀