Thursday, December 13, 2012

A bar of soap is only as good as it smells


Today, My Husband Dan, sent me a very inspiring video that basically defines why businesses succeed and why others don’t. The questions presented are why do I do what I do? Or better yet why make soap at all? Or why teach it to other people? So I thought for a moment, thinking it’s going pretty good maybe I am doing the right things? Otherwise I would have been out of business already—right? Well we know where that came from… Let’s just say I have a healthy dose of EGO. Maybe my German Puerto Rican roots are showing now? Hmmmm..

Anyway, back to those hard to answer questions, I had to think back to when this all started.  It was the early 90’s in my 20’s when I flew for Delta Airlines and had numerous layovers in Brighton England. There I discovered a little shop called “The Body Shop” everybody knows them now because they raced across the pond to open up a shop in every mall in America.  The main reason I loved their shop was the aroma streaming through the English glass doors that grabbed by my nose and dragged me in.  Then once you are in—you are completely inundated with the why.  Let me explain, the Body Shop International is designed around their need to educate the public on why you should be purchasing FREE TRADE products that come directly from the source harvested in such a way to protect and encourage the communities they came from.  Inspiring right?  I bought from them because I enjoyed the natural smelling products with ingredients that were good for my skin. Needless to say, I probably built a few stores here in America.  Good times!

Which brings me back to what motivated me in the first place to start making soap?  Since early on in my childhood I knew I was different, I found out that scent would either:  give me a headache, make me dizzy or make me feel good.  So I set out for the “Feel Good” part.  Since then I have developed that part of my senses to be very keen on what exactly everything smells like. Heck, I still smell my glass every time before I pour something in it. Weird huh?  It’s a proven fact that our sense of smell is tied directly to the memory part of our brains, which is why scent is so inherently personal to each of us.  Check out The Sense of Smell Institute for some smell good facts:  http://www.senseofsmell.org/.

Ok so then why soap?  We’ll for me it’s the easiest way to facilitate the scent!  Not really, it has to be a good skin loving bar as well. But it was the main reason I picked a bar in the first place. I spent a lot of money in the beginning buying all my fragrances and essential oils because unfortunately there are a lot of stinky fragrances. So I had to wade through the fragrances that didn’t last or with stand the process of soapmaking, ones that didn’t morph into a scent that I didn’t recognize and ones that were just plain “stinky”.  Ultimately what came out of it was a new found knowledge of scent and where to find them. A bar of soap is only as good as it smells, if you don’t pick it up you will never know what you’re missing. I believe a scent memory is important to your wellbeing and genuinely want you to feel better. The scent for my soap is carefully chosen for their harmony with nature, clarity of mind, wellbeing of the body and quality to help keep you grounded.

Soap is pretty easy to make with a few ingredients that do not have to cost a lot of money, you don’t have purchase huge vats of anything to get started and you can use your own cooking equipment to mix it in. When you are ready to learn how—sign up for one of my classes.  The 2 day weekend workshop in January is filling up! Deadline to SAVE $$$ will end DEC 31.




Friday, November 23, 2012

Backdrop Curtain Tutorial

Learn how to make a gorgeous backdrop for your craft table this holiday season.  It's pretty simple and only took me a few hours of my time and I had a fabulous backdrop.

****Some close up photos***















Enjoy and have fun while you are making this- remember you can use any strips of material or ribbon!
Happy Holidays-



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It may not be so easy starting a small business anymore.


I just found out yesterday- Our local county here in middle Georgia (not the big city--but really--the country), wants all home manufacturing (soapmaking, bath and body products) businesses to apply for a zoning variance, attend a hearing (waiting for at least 40 days before the hearing begins) and supply a survey of their home so they can apply for a business license. And it's not guaranteed they would even get approved. What are your thoughts? State Regs are not even this bad. Mind you we are a community of about 150,000 people. I guess weeding out new small business is what's in right now?

See this document on the requirements for Houston County-  http://www.houstoncountyga.com/assets/downloads/BusLicHomeOccupationsRegulations.pdf

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Southern Living Magazine "LOVES" our Soap!

We were contacted back in Aug by Southern Living Magazine to share our Christmas 2012 Soaps.  We'll I am happy to say the Issue is "Christmas At Home" 100 Ways to Celebrate The Season.  They gave us placement on page 9!






Thank you for that FABULOUS write up-- SOUTHERN LIVING!

Want to purchase that soap?  
See it on the front page of our website--

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Olive Oil Story


There was some discussion about Olive Oil for soapmaking in our class this weekend.  I thought I would go straight to the horse's mouth so to speak when I post this.  I checked out the USDA's website for the grade descriptions and this is what they say.

There are 3 types of Olive Oil:  Olive Oil, Virgin Olive Oil and  Olive-Pomace Oil -
http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3011889

"Olive oil is the oil obtained solely from the fruit of the olive tree(Olea europaea L.), to the exclusion of oils obtained using solvents or re-esterification processes and of any mixture with oils of other kinds and shall meet the minimum requirements of Table I, found in §52.1539 of these grade standards." 
"Virgin olive oils are the oils obtained from the fruit of the olive tree solely by mechanical or other physical means under conditions, including thermal conditions, that do not lead to
alterations in the oil, and which have not undergone any treatment
other than washing, decantation, centrifugation, and filtration and
shall meet the minimum requirements of Table I, found in
§52.1539 of these grade standards. No additives of any kind are
permitted." 
"Olive-pomace oil is the oil obtained by treating olive pomace (the
product remaining after the mechanical extraction of olive oil) with
solvents or other physical treatments, to the exclusion of oils
obtained by synthetic processes and mixture with oils of other
kinds and shall meet the minimum requirements of Table I, found in
§52.1539 of these grade standards. Alpha-tocopherol is permitted
to restore natural tocopherol lost in the refining process for refined
olive pomace and olive-pomace oil. Maximum level: 200 mg/kg of
total alpha-tocopherol is permitted in the final product. "

The New Yorker posted about "The Olive Oil's Darker Side" In Feb 2012 http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2012/02/the-exchange-tom-mueller.html

Tom Mueller has done some extensive research on how corrupt this industry really is in his book called "Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil"

The Truth In Olive Oil Website:  http://www.truthinoliveoil.com/

A Buyers Guide in the US for Olive Oil http://www.truthinoliveoil.com/great-oil/how-to-buy-great-olive-oil/

What's your take on it?  What do you think of grocery store olive oil/no brand name? Is it really olive oil at all?



Monday, September 17, 2012

Color Branding

Color Branding?  Sounds pretty good hmmm.. I came across this very cool graphic and since I am designing new website this should really come into play. My new website should be up and running before Oct 1. We'll be expecting some down time and I will announce it before we switch over. So look for it:  http://mossycreeksoap.com/  It will be very user friendly with some very cool new features-

Anyway-  this graphic... It discusses color and why it's so important in branding your product. I thought I would share this with you guys--

 I love this company: http://dailyinfographic.com/the-illusion-of-choice-infographic .  I think it's important to say that most people love pictures.. so here you go!





Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Infusing Herbs in Olive Oil


In my quest for receiving the ultimate benefit from herbs in soap, I began researching how to get the homeopathic benefit from these delicate herbs without losing out to the harsh realities of using lye to make soap.  Because Lye is sodium hydroxide (a caustic salt), it can be too harsh and destroy many of the good properties of the herbs. One way to retain them is to infuse them into an oil.

This method is simple, like making tea but we are using oil instead of water. So that we may use the oil in our soaps, herbal salves and balms.



Let's get started on how you can create your own herbal infusions.

Step 1-  I use regular pint sized wide mouth canning jars with the lids.




Step 2- Gather your dried herbs and place them into sealable tea bags
I used about 2-3 tablespoons




Step 3-  Iron them closed




Step 4- Place sealed tea bag into the jars and pour olive oil over the tea bags
till 3/4 full and lightly tighten the lid
(do not over tighten lid until it's pulled out of the water bath when it's complete).



Step 5- Place jars into canning pot and fill with water till jar is surrounded by water but not touching the lid.


Step 6- Simmer on low for a few hours, after about 1 hour, check to see if the oils 
have changed colors. You may need to steep them a little more or less.  
It will depend on the herbs you are using.




Step 7-  Remove them from the hot water carefully, I use my canning tongs to pull them out. 
Let them sit a while to cool off. 

There you have it! 
 A gorgeous herbal infused oil that you can use in your soap, herbal salves and balms.



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Indigo and Cambrian Blue Clay in Soapmaking

A while back I was discussing Cambrian Blue Clay in one of my online groups.  What I love about it is the color!  A nice blue is a tough color to achieve and Cambrian Blue Clay along with Indigo makes a beautiful blue color.  In the beginning you will notice it has a greenish hue to it but in the end once it's cured it looks fabulous.

Not much is known about the Cambrian Blue Clay which has an INCI name of Lilite.  Right now you can purchase this wonderful blue clay from http://www.etsy.com/shop/AltaiBotanicals 

I added this Cambrian Blue Clay along with Indigo Root Powder directly to my LYE solution to release all the good properties of both the clay and Indigo Root. 

Once I started I noticed there really wasn't anything to strain but I wanted to be sure.

 I added a Lavender, Patchouli and Sandalwood essential oil fragrance blend.


I wanted to add dimension to my soap so I add some Calendula Flowers



Sprinkled some 24k Gold Mica on top!


If you want to purchase this soap it will be ready 20 AUG online at

Or you can learn how to make your own soap in our








Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Contest Winners for the Salute to Love Wedding!


We are so delighted to be apart of the huge event in which one lucky military couple will be awarded the wedding of their dreams! They had to submit a 2 minute video via youtube or write an essay explaining why they are the perfect couple to win " A Complete Wedding Giveaway".

Out of all the videos and essays, Megan Weekley and Marshall Glass are the WINNERS!


Aren't they just too cute!

CONGRATULATIONS Megan and Marshall you will be receiving our wedding favor soaps for your wedding reception!


If you would like to order your own wedding favors, please find more information on our website:


Friday, June 29, 2012

Helping Colorado One Bar At A Time

I have to say watching Colorado Springs Burn was the hardest thing I have endured in a long time.  My husband and I were stationed there in 2001-03, my daughter was born there and I worked for a Realtor while we made Colorado a home for us.  It was so devastating to see all those lives changed forever.  I cannot begin to imagine how devastating it is to loose everything and I mean EVERYTHING in a fire. So today we made a soap donation to the Care and Share Food bank in hope that someone who may need to clean their hands of smoke and soot will find comfort in our bar of Coffee Soap.  

Although we are now back in Georgia and comfortable, there will always be a part of me back in Colorado. Just wanted to share this in hope that you can make a donation and help the people of Colorado Springs until they can get back on their feet.  










Straight from the City of Colorado Springs Gov. website:  Here are some places that need donations.

DONATIONS/VOLUNTEERING
Help Colorado Now
www.helpcoloradonow.org
Pikes Peak Red Cross
www.pparc.org
Money only; will also register volunteers

Care and Share
2605 Preamble Point
Food and non-perishables
M-F, 7 am - 6 pm

Goodwill
www.discovermygoodwill.org
Distributing donations to evacuees as needed
The Pikes Peak Community Foundation has established the Waldo Canyon Firefighters Fund http://www.ppcf.org/   

Friday, June 1, 2012

Make Your Own Soapmaking Mold

We are always looking for ways to provide our students with economical ways to make soap and getting the molds for soapmaking can be expensive.  This box will make a standard sized soap log about 10-12 soaps depending on how thick you cut them.



















  Thanks for visiting!  See our new classes online at mossycreeksoap.com

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Road to Earth Day 2012

  


We are so excited to have our soaps in the hands of so many wonderful stars. This year we are celebrating Earth Day 2012 with a plethora of soaps that were gifted to Environmentally Conscious Celebrities such as the ones below in this photograph. 


I thought I would share the process of our soapmaking and some of the ingredients that went into these wonderful organic soaps.






We used only Sustainable Organic  Palm Oil, Organic Sunflower and Organic Coconut Oil in these fabulous good for you soaps!



 Our Shop is named after this beautiful Creek that runs through Houston County Georgia. We wanted something to reflect the natural nature of this very private area of middle Georgia. Please enjoy a little visual therapy and know that when you use our soaps you are truly using something made from Nature




You can visit our website for some fabulous soaps right here: