Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Peppermint Canes and Brambleberry scrumping...

      Today I have been mostly making some more seasonal goodies. In particular some gorgeous soaps that I'm fair delighted with...let me introduce...

Peppermint Cane Handmade soap


'Peppermint Cane' is made with Pure plant oils of Oilve, Sunflower and coconut, enriched with gorgeous naturally chocolate fragranced Cocoa butter. It is fragranced with Peppermint and Vanilla. Vanilla has a tendancy to darken soap so to counteract this I have added Titanium Dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral whitener - used frequently in cosmetics to lighten products) fingers crossed it stays looking like this over it's 4 week cure. With a splosh or red soap colourant and a pinch or several or cosmetic grade glitter and a bit of chopstick work, here we have it.

And also, new to the stage...'Brambleberry Swirl' . 
This is made with the same base oils and butters but with the addittion of Oat Milk at trace for skin smoothnness and a silky feel to the bar. It is fragranced with a blend of oils described as 'a luscious fruity-wood fragrance with top notes of bergamot and rose and basil leaves. Sweet, rich blackberries, dry leaves, and an amber-cinnamon blend. These are lifted by breezy ozonic accents and cool lavandin, combined with smooth woods, moss and musk.'
Within the two colour swirl, I have added some poppy seeds for a bit of gentle scrub and because they resemble blackberry pips :o)

BrambleBerry Swirl handmade soap
I can't wait to cut these two beauties, hoefully they will be swirled inside too, fingers crossed.

I have also been making up a few new seasonal bubble bars and melts, these ones are for an order, but they will be available from my Folksy and WowThankyou shops nearer Christmas too. Here's a sneaky peek...

More on these Christmassy goodies later, keep checking back for updates and more info.

Take Care

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Seasonal Spendour...

Apple of Temptation Bubble Bar
Japanese Plum Bubble Bar
Today has been dedicated to seasonal products here at Oakwood Towers...in between batches of my hubble bubble bars being made up for a lovely order I received the other day...namely new "Japanese Plum" and "Apple of Temptation"...I have been stirring my soap cauldron.

Pumpkin Spice Halloween Soap

May I introduce to you, all new and Haloweenified (yes that is a word...I've not just made it up!) Pumpkin Spice handmade soap...It is made with Olive, Sunflower and coconut oils, cocoa butter, carrot tissue oil (for colour and it helps reduce scarring and is very high in Vitamin A) and black mica. The fragrance is a blend of creamy fruit and spice with a hint of cinnamon. It should be nicely cured by the end of September...just in time for All Hallows Eve...

I have also been concocting a new creamed soap for the winter time. Whilst the soap was still liquid, I whipped it up until it resembled whipped cream. It will make for a moussey bar with a very different texture to the usual cold process soaps I make...I fancied something new...This one is aqua coloured underneath with a layer of sea green mica through the middle and white whipped topping...It is fragranced with a blend of pine, eucalyptus and mint. Because she resembles a lovely snowdrift, the kind I could't help jumping in when I was little - (not to mention just last year), I am calling her "Snow Day" I can't wait until she is cut up...I'm thinking extra chunky bars this time. What do you think?

Well, I'd better be off, there tea to get going, and baths to be had...TTFNxx

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Time for a spot of indulgence...

         Well, it's full steam ahead here at Oakwood Soaperie. I have been developing some all new recipies and re-vamping some not so new ones. As you may know I was revising the recipie for 'Buttered Rose soap' recently. I must say, I am delighted with the results so far.

Buttered rose - before...pale and interestingly floral

and now - Kapow!!  - in a new guise... 

        I have been experimenting with a new ingredient for me...Madder root. this is traditionally used in dyeing fabric and wool but works very well in soaps too. Instead of infusing in the base oils, it goes straight in with the lye solution and turns it a vivid berry red...

Dried and ground madder root in lye solution.

          Once this has cooled, it gets filtered and mixed into the oils as normal. I had initially intended to make the red only as a swirl through the soap but loved the colour so much went for the whole bar.
I have also added a silkening ingredient in the form of Hydrolised Oats, a vegan alternative to tussah silk fibres, this should give the soap a gloriously soft feel and silky lather - I hope.
          I have also tweaked the essential oils too making them a slightly stronger and more exotic blend of Rose Geranium, Benzoin, Cardamom and black pepper, this mix is wonderfully aromatic, floral and spicey and a bit turkish delighty...my workshop smells divine. The change was such a big one I've also had to think up a new name...so, here we have, introducing her on her debut...

Turkish Rose Madder...I think I'm in love.

           After the success of this one, I also had a think about some new bath melts now that autumn is just around the corner. I have 2 new ones specially made for when the night start to draw in...Beddy Byes and Aahhh....
            Beddy Byes bath melt is specifically designed to pack in as many pampering and sleep inducing ingredients as possible, as well as being an indulgent treatment. It is crammed with cocoa and shea butter to moisturise and lock in the goodness (also one less step before you can collapse into bed), fragranced with calming and relaxing oils of Lavender, Sweet Orange and Tangerine to comfort and soothe. There is also a scoop of tapioca starch in there as this helps soften the water and give a silky feel to it and you. These just go straight into the bath where they melt and realease their magic.

Beddy Byes Bath Melt
        Aahhhh..... bath melt is named after the noise we all make on climbing into a well deserved bath. It is a little nugget of pure pampering wonder. The main ingredients again are cocoa and shea butter with a touch of bicarb for a gentle fizz and to help disperse the butters as well as a water softener. The essential oils are the same blend I have included in my Ylang, Sweet Orange and Patchouli Sugar Shower Scrubs. I love this combination and the fragrance lingers on your skin really well. I'm undecided as to whether I should paint the tops with gold mica for extra luxury...what do you think?

Aahhh...bath melt

Once you're in the bath you will have trouble getting back out - I speak from experience, this one is a keeper, I'm loving it.

Well, I have a tonne of soap to get wrapped, I'd better be off, I couldn't resist sharing these little lovelies with you...TTFN xx

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Ohh, new stuff....

Well, another busy day at Oakwood Towers...I've been waiting in for my deliveries of new supplies...still one more to come, shouldn't be long now.

To keep myself entertained I have been coming up with some new products and re-vising some of my older receipes to give them a new lease of energy for the run up to Christmas. I'll get to the new ones in a bit but first to the revamped ones.
I have been working on including some luxurious ingredients into my Natural soap range to make them even lovelier. The first one for a re-vamp is SOS Facial bar.

SOS facial cleansing bar with Bentonite clay     
It is made with 2/3 pure olive oil, shea butter and coconut oil and enriched with Avocado and Jojoba.. It also contains Bentonite clay and this is deep cleansing whilst being gentle on the skin. There are essential oils in there to to help sort out any spots or oily areas, these include Lemon, Lavender and Tea tree.

I decided however that this little bar was far too unassuming for it's effectiveness so I have made it more dramatic by adding another combination skin saviour - activated charcoal powder. This gives it a beautiful black colour as well as helping draw out excess oils from the skin, as well as providing a bit of scrub. I mixed it into half of the soap while it was liquid, then poured them into the mould in layers and swirled the black and white liquid soap together. I always love texturised tops to handmade soap so I had to do that too. The end result is below. I will cut this in a couple of days, I'm hoping it will be lovely and swirly black and white inside. I'll cut it into chunky blocks as before, fingers crossed it looks good. This will be fully cured around the 10th September.

SOS # 2 - just poured and glossy.

Next for the re-vamp will be Buttered Rose:

Buttered Rose
I'm really pleased to have at last found UK supplier who sells Madder Root, a dried plant root used to give colour to natural wool as well as soaps. I have been dying to get my mits on some for ages. The plan is to infuse some of my oils with the madder root and then use them to give a gorgeous natural red swirl through the middle of this bar. I am also changing the essential oils a bit as well, so the new version will be creamy and red swirl fragranced with rose geranium, black pepper and cardamom. Reminiscent of Turkish delight I'm hoping :o) Watch this space for further updates...

I have also been concocting some all new bubble bars. These have done so well since I brought out a selection earlier this year, I've decided to add to the range.

First of all we have Japanese Plum - A plum coloured bar with handpainted flowers on the top for prettiess. The fragrance is decribed as "A warm spicy Oriental accord with top notes of fresh lemon and tangerine, leading to a spiced heart of clove, cinnamon, ripe plum and tuberose resting on a base of rich incense, patchouli, soft moss, amber, caramelised sugar and vanilla" It is trully lovely, a girl could become addicted!!

I have added lashings of Rice Bran oil to moisturise and the majority of the foaming ingredients are naturally derived and made from Coconuts.

Japanese Plum Bubble Bars  

Secondly...Mystic Bubble Bar. A turquoisey blue with sea green mica for a bit of mysterious sparkle. Fragranced with a blend described as "A sumptuous blend of pomegranate, raspberry, and plum underpinned with spicy pink pepper, and grounded in a base of patchouli and frankincense."

I have added a good gloop of coconut oil for moisture to this one - just crumble under running water, lie back and relaaaaax...
Mystic Bubble Bar

Well that's all for now, keep checking back for updates on the new versions. They will all be for sale in my Folksy and Wowthankyou shops very soon...TTFN xxx