Sunday, April 13, 2014

An Oil & Butter Giveaway!

Thank you for each and every like on Facebook...I can't believe we are up to 600 likes already! To celebrate, I am going to give away the following gift set with a soap, bath cookie and lip butter:


But, I'm going to make you work for it ;)

I am trying to come up with a tagline/slogan for Oil & Butter. You are all familiar with my soaps and bath products and can probably come up with some great tagline suggestions! To enter, simply add your comment in the Rafflecopter box below with your best tagline/slogan (one sentence or less), that describes Oil & Butter products. You will then be entered into the draw (one entry per person please), and the winner will be chosen randomly through Rafflecopter. Yes, this giveaway is open to my international friends too :)

Good luck and have fun...I can't wait to see what suggestions you come up with!
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a Rafflecopter giveaway



Saturday, April 12, 2014

How To Make Emulsified Sugar Scrubs


You asked for it, and here it is! A while ago, I made this Creamy Sugar Scrub, and some of you had asked for a tutorial on this, so I have put this post together for all of you :) 

I love using emulsified scrubs because you are, in essence, creating a lotion each time you shower! A basic lotion is simply oil + water + emulsifier (to help the oil + water mix). So when you make an oil + emulsifier scrub, you are creating an instant lotion each time the shower water hits the sugar scrub on your skin. The shower water activates the emulsifying agent in your scrub, and mixes with the oil to turn it into a wonderful lotion-y experience that leaves your skin soft and moisturized without being over-oily or heavy.

When I am making sugar scrubs, I like to use a mixture of raw sugar (bigger grains, more scrubby) and refined/granulated sugar (smaller grains, less scrubby), but you can use straight raw or straight refined, it really just depends how exfoliating you want your scrub to be:


Here is the recipe I used (not my usual, but a new one I wanted to try):
(adapted from this recipe) 
Makes approximately 16 ounces (4 x 4oz jars)

2.4 ounces Apricot Kernel Oil (or another light oil)
2.05 ounces Grape Seed Oil (or another light oil)
0.8 ounces Emulsifying Wax (traditional)
0.8 ounces Stearic Acid
0.8 ounces Shea Butter
0.8 ounces Cocoa Butter

4 mL fragrance of your choice
Preservative*

9 oz Sugar (raw or refined, or a mixture of both)

Directions:
Pour your oils into microwave-safe container:


Add stearic acid and e-wax:


Add cocoa butter and shea butter:




Gently melt all together in a microwave (or in a double-burner over low heat) until completely melted:




Let cool until temperature is just below your suppliers recommended temperature for adding fragrance and preservative; add both and stir well:


Fragrance:


Preservative:


Place bowl in fridge or freezer until a skin forms. I think I left mine a little too long…oopsie!


But it still worked just fine. Use a hand mixer and whip until thick and creamy (putting back in fridge or freezer for short intervals if mixture is too thin):


Once it is thick, add sugar (you may need to transfer your mixture to a bigger bowl) and mix until thoroughly combined:



Scoop into containers and make sure it is completely cool before putting the lids on:


*Tip: Even though sugar scrubs are anhydrous (not containing water), you should use a preservative because they will come into contact with water while being used. To calculate your preservative, you need to calculate it based on the total weight of your recipe (including the sugar) and calculate it according to your supplier’s recommended usage rates for your particular preservative. 

This recipe starts out quite soft but thickens up after a couple of days. I would encourage you to try different recipes and combinations of oils and butters, and varying amounts and combinations of sugars until you have a consistency and exfoliating factor that you love; experiment and enjoy!

You may have also noticed my new logo! I wanted to give a huge shout-out to Gila from Cross The Lime, she did an amazing job on my Oil & Butter logo and was such a pleasure to work with, I just LOVE it...thank you Gila!



Also, you may remember from last year that this past week was a busy week in the Cee Gee household, we celebrate 3 birthdays this week, my husband and 2 sons all have birthdays within 1 week of each other. Here are the cakes I made for our sons this year:

First up, burgers (cupcakes) and fries (cookies):

And a sushi cake (black forest cake with Rice Krispies sushi):
Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you all have a great week! 
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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Great Cakes Soapworks Drop-Swirl Challenge

It's been a while since I have been able to participate in Amy's soap challenges, so I decided to jump in this month and try the drop-swirl challenge. I have done the drop swirl once before, on this Blackberries & Cream soap:


For this challenge, I decided to use these little jelly bean candies for inspiration:


I didn't take pictures of the process, because multi-colored soaps like this require my full attention...and I was so worried I would forget my fragrance (which tends to happen if I am really focused on the techniques!) The drop swirl is created by dropping colored soap from varying heights up and down the length of your poured soap base (I hope that makes sense!) Here is what the drop swirl looks like after the colors are all dropped in from the top:


As you can imagine with this technique, you would need to use a recipe that is slow moving, and choose a fragrance that doesn't accelerate. I chose to use a recipe that was 85% OO and 15% CO, and I used Black Raspberry Vanilla as the fragrance. Here is the top finished and swirled with the bunny candies:


And cut:



As you can see, the soap was a bit crumbly when I cut it...I'm not sure why? And I have lots of air bubbles (or stearic spots?), but I am still pleased with the drop swirl. I thought maybe my soap was too thin, but it seemed to have held the droplets well enough. I used a liquid color for the purple, but micas for all the rest. I used homemade MP for the bottom layers, I wanted to see how it would do as a layer in CP soap.

I have also pulled out some of my old bath fizzie recipes and am trying out some new ones. These are bubbling bath bars. If you haven't seen these before, you break of a piece and crumble it under running water to get bubbles. They are fun to make because you can shape them in so many different ways:


And these are some bubbling bath fizzies I made:


Some of you have asked for a tutorial for these and I will put one together, but I would still like to experiment with a few more recipes before I make any recommendations - so I hope you don't mind waiting for a tutorial! =)

Edited: I forgot to mention that I added CommentLuv to the blog - I like that it links back to your blogs too, but I would love to know your thoughts... please let me know if you find it too awkward to use, I will (try!) to remove it!

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Coconut Cream Soap

Today went a bit sideways....I accidentally locked my keys in our vehicle this morning (duh!) and therefore missed a meeting. So, while I was housebound and waiting for my husband to arrive with the extra set of keys, I took the opportunity to make some soap. Note to self - have a spare set of keys made for occasions such as this (double duh!).

I decided to restock my Coconut Cream soap. This is made with 100% coconut oil (with a 20% SF), and contains coconut milk, coconut water, coconut flour and is fragranced with coconut, of course!

Coconut milk and coconut water measured out:


Coconut flour measured out:


Adding the lye to the water:


Adding the coconut milk + coconut water to the oils: 


Adding the coconut flour:


Interestingly, this coconut soap has always separated and riced on me, and I have to stickblend it back together until it is smooth. I was hoping to take a picture of this to show you, but it didn't try to rice at all today. I have always presumed it was the fragrance oil that was causing this, but now I am thinking it might be due to the temperatures. I usually try to soap this recipe fairly warm to avoid false trace (which, I understand, can happen easier with a 100% coconut oil soap), but today I was delayed and ended up letting the lye solution cool longer than I normally would have. I wish I had thought to record the exact temperatures of the oil and lye solution for next time I make this (triple duh!).    

Here it is poured into the mold:


Dividers in, nice and creamy:

I checked on it 30 minutes later, and what do I see?!


Quadruple duh....I forgot that this recipe heats up pretty good and I usually elevate the mold slightly and blow a fan on it. It only partially gelled, so it is currently on a time-out on the heating pad - I'm attempting to force it into a full gel:


I also made some coconut cream to go along with the coconut soap:


And I made these the other day just for fun, they are Black Raspberry Vanilla, and I used my homemade melt and pour soap to make the raspberries:


And now, I'm glad this duh-day is almost over...I hope you all are having a fantastic week - thanks for stopping by!

Update: The partial gel won....I officially give up. The heating pad did nothing, so I transferred it into the oven...still nothing! Partial gel it is.




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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Update to the Homemade Melt and Pour Blog Post

Zacil was able to track down the original blog post that she learned this method from, so I have added the link to the original post (How to Make Your Own Melt and Pour Soap) but will add it here too. The blog is in Russian, but the Google Chrome translator does a pretty good job of translating the post, and there is a wonderful picture tutorial on her blog post too. Thanks Zacil for tracking this down for us! http://magicsoap.ru/4443-mylnaya-osnova-svoimi-rukami-s-nulya-kak-sdelat-v-domashnih-usloviyah-recept-i-master-klass.html

Also, I had wanted to try making the homemade melt and pour pliable, so that I could roll it, shape it and cut it, just like I do with my fondant when I am making decorations for cupcakes. I was able to add some glycerin and cornstarch to the homemade melt and pour soap base to get it to a fondant-like consistency. It's been sitting out a couple of days and is still soft and pliable. You can read more about it on my Facebook page


Thanks for reading!
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Monday, February 17, 2014

Versatile Blogger Nomination


I was honored to see my name listed as one of Silvia's nominations for the Versatile Blogger Award! I have enjoyed Silvia's blog (SoapJam) since I first discovered it last year. She makes so many wonderful soaps, but her packaging is really amazing too and something I aspire to. Thank you Silvia for your naming my blog on your list! :)

Here are the rules for the award: 
VBA RULES: 
(Copied from versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com)
If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.
  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  • Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  • Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
  
My 15 nominees (I'm trying to not duplicate ones I saw nominated on other blogs):

















7 things about me:

I live in British Columbia, Canada, eh.

I don’t like Tim Horton’s coffee (I feel like a bad Canadian admitting that).

My favorite drink is a ½ sweet salted caramel mocha from Starbucks.

My favorite food is French fries.

When I was a little kid, we got to babysit 2 baby bear cubs overnight, they are cuddlier than you would think!

I once won $10,000 on a scratch & win ticket.

I was a competitive figure skater growing up.


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Thursday, February 13, 2014

How to Make Your Own Melt and Pour Soap

Hi everyone, I have a special treat for you today! I first met Zacil through Facebook several months ago, and I’ve been admiring her soaps ever since. A couple of months ago, she shared on her Facebook page (Soap&Soap) that she had made her own melt and pour soap base. I was intrigued, because unlike most homemade melt and pour recipes I’ve seen, this one doesn’t use alcohol. I asked Zacil if she would be willing to do a guest post for us, on how to make your own melt and pour soap, and she kindly agreed! So, please welcome Zacil and enjoy her post below. Thank you Zacil! :)

Where do you start when you write a Blog post?. I’ve been asking myself that for a couple of weeks. Never done this before, so bare with me please?
Hi, my name is Zacil and I am a Soapaholic!.
I’ve been soaping since 1.5 years. The reason I started?, well… I love the personal care products from a certain shop ( L****) and buying them was leading me to bankruptcy. I started to inform myself about alternatives over the internet, home recipes and then… I discover a new world!. I found a new hobby where I have tons of fun, met wonderful people and where, in terms of creativity, sky is the limit!

On my information and inspirational journey – yes, we soapers call it inspiration, not copy catting – I found Cee and her wonderful blog. I cannot tell you how much I learned from her!. So thank you very much Cee!. Anyway, that’s how my journey started and how I met Cee.

A couple of months ago I posted in my Facebook page a recipe for self-made M&P. I saw a post on Soaping 101 about it and was intrigued because I am an "embed junkie". I’ve bought M&P bases, but was not quite satisfied with the quality and "feel" about them. They have this "synthetic" texture that has no comparison with selfmade soap. By no means I’m trying to criticize people who soap with M&P bases, I just like the idea of making my own and be sure of what I have in it.

I've adapted this recipe from the recipe I saw on Soaping 101, the process is pretty simple. You need to make an HP soap, and once it is ready, add 100 % Glycerin (from your oils weight). Then you cook the soap again, mixing now and then with the spoon until everything is melted down and it looks transparent.Once it has reached this point, pour it in your mould, let it set for 24 Hours and…. Voilá!... you have M&P:




To use it, just cut as much as you need, melt it on the microwave as you would any M&P.

The recipe I used:
Coconut 32 %
Palm 32 %
Castor 32 %
Stearic Acid 4 %
SF 3 %

It's so easy!


Notes from Cee: I followed Zacil’s instructions and just wanted to add my notes from making this (so I don't forget how I did it!). I used the following recipe, which filled just over my 2-pound mold: 

Castor Oil 144 grams
Coconut Oil 144 grams
Palm Oil 144 grams
Stearic Acid 18 grams

Distilled Water 160 grams
Lye 66.04 grams

After Cook: 450 grams Glycerin

I melted the oils in the microwave before putting them in the crock pot, then I added my lye solution (I used almost the full amount of water suggested by my lye calculator) and I used my whisk to stir. It came to trace almost immediately (pic 1), most likely due to the stearic acid. I stirred the soap every 15 minutes while it was cooking in the crock pot (on low). After 45 minutes, you could see the edges start to gel (applesauce stage) (pic 2).  I cooked the HP soap for a total of 1 hour, until it was at complete applesauce stage and had no zap (pic 3). I added the glycerin (pic 4) and then stirred all together (pic 5). I stirred it every 15 minutes for another 30 to 45 minutes on low, until everything was clear and melted, as per Zacil’s instructions (pic 6). 

Of course, these times would be variable, depending on your crock pot and how big your recipe was. These were just my individual results.

I really didn’t expect much with the lather, I thought that all of the added glycerin would really cut the lather, but that wasn’t the case at all! The lather was abundant and full, as you can see in the collage picture above.

I melted down some of the soap I made and added some mica for color, you can see that it works beautifully:


I can't wait to try making some embeds with this!

This was so easy, just as Zacil said - it’s exactly like making HP soap. Thank you Zacil for sharing your recipe and technique! :)

UPDATE: Zacil was actually able to track down the original blog post, so that we could link back to it! The blog is in Russian, but the translator on Google Chrome does a pretty good job of translating it and there is a very good picture tutorial on the blog too: http://magicsoap.ru/4443-mylnaya-osnova-svoimi-rukami-s-nulya-kak-sdelat-v-domashnih-usloviyah-recept-i-master-klass.html

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