Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Tonight is the first night of Chanukah. Christmas Eve is Wednesday. Some soapmakers are helping to make the holidays a bit brighter for those less fortunate.

Delores Harris is the owner of Daisy May Natural Soap, and leader of the Brooklyn CP Soapmaking Meetup. Delores is working with members of her soapmaking group to donate handmade soaps and bath products to a battered women's shelter.

Soap Queen, Anne-Marie Faiola blogs about her young friend Kyle and his brother Nicolas. Kyle who is seven, has an inoperable brain tumor. Kyle and Nicolas love getting mail and Anne Marie has asked for people to send the boys a Christmas card.

Whether you celebrate Chanukah, Christmas or Kwaanza, may your holidays be filled with love, joy and health.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wedding Soap

Here's a soap I made for my physical therapist who's getting married tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dishwashing Recipe

Thanksgiving is in a few days and you know what that means. While turkey might be the first thing that comes to mind, there will also be lots of dirty dishes. Here's a recipe for automatic dishwashing powder that you can make yourself in a matter of minutes. If only making the turkey were this fast and easy!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

FDA Globalization Update

The update is courtesy of Debbie May, owner of Wholesale Supplies Plus, supplier of soap and candle making materials.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tribute to My High School Chemistry Teacher

Like many kids, when I was in school I'd often sit in class bored out of my mind, wondering what possible use I would have as an adult for many of the subjects I studied. Truth of the matter is that most of the stuff I learned in school I forgot the second that finals were over.

Junior year of high school I took Chemistry. My teacher was a very nice man, Martin Spivak. To this day I have never had an occasion to know when to drop a proton or borrow an electron. Who would have guessed, way back then, that chemistry would play a major part in my life? Soap is made by the chemical reaction of mixing vegetable oils or animal fat with a strong alkali (either sodium hydroxide for bar soap, or potassium hydroxide for liquid soap). Whenever I make a batch of soap, I like to think that wherever he is, Mr. Spivak would be very proud.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Story Behind the Name

I wish I could say that I’m the one who came up with the moniker The Scent Lady, but I’m not that clever. The nickname was created by Vicki, an employee at the bank where we used to have our business account. When we opened the account, Solomon, the assistant manager ordered some smelly jelly room fresheners. A few weeks later Solomon introduced me to Vicki who said, “oh, you’re the scent lady!” A lightbulb went off over my head. I now have The Scent Lady as my job title on my business cards. Sure is a lot more fun & memorable than owner, president, proprietor, or CEO.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Economy Bad, But Life Is Good

Thanks to this wonderful economy, I've lost a few thousand dollars in my IRA. At least I can find solace in watching a live concert courtesy of my favorite band, Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes. The concert took place at the Paradiso in Amsterdam on October 10, 2008 and was broadcast live by Fab Channel. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that Fab Channel created a video widget to encourage users to put the full length concert on their sites, blogs or profiles!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ever Have One of Those Days?

Although I've been making toiletries for several years, I'm fairly new to soapmaking from scratch. You can't make soap without lye and the whole lye thing really scared me. I've always been pretty klutzy so I kept picturing me spilling lye solution and ending up in a hospital burn unit.

I should have known it was going to be a bad soaping day when I couldn't find the blue soap dye I got at last year's Jersey gathering. I haven't used any coloring in any of my soap batches, so today I was going to attempt a swirl, the key word being attempt.

Today's recipe was Basic Recipe Two from Country Living's Handmade Soap book. I chose the recipe because it had wheat germ oil as one of the ingredients and I had never soaped using wheat germ oil before. It also contained a good amount of castor oil. Previously I've only used about a tablespoon of it for superfatting.

I've already added the lye to the oils when I realize I had never added the wheat germ oil when I was weighing out the oils. I've never left out an ingredient before. The batch traced nicely, so I hope the soap turns out okay.

Later, as I'm cleaning up, one of my gloves totally rips. Guess I should be grateful it didn't happen right in the middle of making the batch.
The Scent Lady. Template by Exotic Mommie Illustration by DaPino