Sunday, September 28, 2008

Working on my holiday inventory

I have been developing my holiday inventory. Since this is my first year in business, I am still planning out my product lines and seasonal items. I have been considering putting together more gift baskets for sale, but I don't know if that is what people prefer when buying soap as a gift. Give me some opinions here...what do you prefer-purchasing a ready-made gift basket or buying individual items and giving them that way or making your own gift basket?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Coming soon to Ladybug Soapworks!

Lots and lots of soap pictures for you all lately! I hope you love looking at them as much as I do! I can never get enough of nice soap pictures. This soap is my lemon poppy seed. It has some shea butter in it (as do almost all the soaps shown in the last few days). I put some calendula in the lye solution to try and tease out some yellow color. I strained out most of the calendula petals, but I left a few which look like pieces of lemon peel. This soap is scented with pink sugar. I really like the way the top turned out. It is colored with titanium dioxide and i let it get very thick before I spread it on top of the pink/brown part of the soap. I sprinkles a bit of sugar and glitter on the top of the soap. The other part of the soap again gave me issues with color. I keep having trouble getting the pink/red colors I want. I now have some pink clay, so I think I will use that in the future for the colorant.
This soap is scented with sandalwood. I colored the top with titanium dioxide and then did a swirl with heavy gold mica. If you look you can see the mica turned from gold to green. No clue why that happened. The mica was from Brambleberry...anyone else experience this before? Dylan used this soap this week and he told me that he actually felt moved to let me know how much he enjoyed the look, feel, and scent of this soap. That is a pretty rare thing...I think the salt soaps was the last time he felt the need to praise me. haha
This last soap is vanilla scented. I let the soap discolor naturally because I like the brown. The top has sugar and glittler sprinkles. All of these soaps will soon be liste on my Etsy site and my main website (which is still a work in progress).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More Soap Porn

Another teaser of soaps that will soon be listed on at my store. This first one is a chamomile soap. It is made with some chamomile infused oils, chamomile EO, and a bit of ground chamomile for texture. This soap is called chocolate espresso. I colored the bottom with cocoa powder and the top with titanium dioxide. I love this photo...part of my payment to Dylan for his photo skills was that delicious espresso I made for the picture. We got a nice espresso machine about a year ago and have since turned into coffee snobs.
On the theme of taste hot drinks...this soap is scented with green tea and cucumber. (Okay okay...I would probably never drink a cucumber tea, but it smells amazing with green tea!) The green swirls are made with my favorite colorant, french green clay. I also sprinkled the top with some clay, spirulina powder, and sparkles for a little pizazz.
This beautify soap looks a lot like the chocolate espresso, but it is lavender vanilla. The color is not quite what I was going for, but I think it looks nice anyways. I had been hoping for more of a lavender color instead of the brownish purple I got. Ah smells great.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Candle Seconds

Back in high school I made a lot of candles using paraffin wax. I recently started playing with candles again, but wanted to change to soy wax. Soy wax is more earth friendly and I love its rich creamy color. I bought some wax that is 100% soy and is a one pour type since soy wax shrinks very little as it hardens. However, I have been experiencing issues with blooming or frosting. The candles that I pour start getting white or discolored in regions a few days after I pour them. See the mocha candle pictures below. I can't figure out what I am doing wrong...any suggestions? I may just need to get some Ecosoy advance wax which does not appear to be 100% soy, but it also does not bloom as far as I can tell. I have had a hard time finding information about making soy candles. All the books I have bought or got from the library on candle making either do not talk about soy wax or they only have a page about it. Any suggestions would be appreciated! :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Bad Apple

I made a batch of caramel apple soap that Dylan likes to call the "clown" soap due to the colors. After seeing the final product I am really not sure what I was thinking when I colored the batch. The scent is delicious, but the colors are just horrible. I used a green oxide, red clay, and turmeric for the colors. I think I added too much clay because there are obvious streaks of red from cutting the soap. If I remake this batch I need to get rid of one of the colors. These soaps may be sold on my site as seconds. I just can't imagine selling these ugly babies for full price. Those of you that sell your soap, do you have a seconds/dent & ding section? Do you find that they actually sell?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lots of new soap...

I have been super busy lately, so I have not had a chance to upload photos of my new soap. All these lovely pictures were take my my partner, Dylan Maxwell Reilly. I will be posting a bunch more over the next few days. This first soap is a shampoo bar that is loaded with luxurious ingredients. It was made partially from olive oil that was infused with a bunch of Indian Ayurvedic herbs that have been touted to prevent and stop balding, gray hair, and it is supposed make your hair thick and very healthy. I am not sure if it really can stop balding or gray hair since neither of them are a problem for me, but it certainly makes my hair thick and shiney. I have some guy friends that are testing it out for the gray/balding issue. These herbs have been used for over a thousand years, so I would not be surprised if they do work. Too bad I can't actually market the product as a gray/balding prevention without breaking the law.

This is the same shampoo as above, but in a more manly shape for my friend, Will, that will not rub a ladybug in his hair. haha
This is part of a Bayrum shaving soap that I had to rebatch because only some of it poured nicely into my pvc pipe mild. You can see the soap that poured nicely and did not have to be rebatched here.
This soap is scented with black raspberry vanilla, which is now my favorite scent! The purple swirl was made with alkanet root powder.

Friday, September 12, 2008

FDA Globalization act of 2008 survey

I just received this email from Debbie May of Wholesale supplies plus. I would encourage you all to follow the links and complete the survey so that she can better represent us to those in DC.

The United States Energy & Commerce Congressional Committee is discussing a draft bill they have entitled "The FDA Globalization Act of 2008".

While this discussion bill is not yet a formal bill, which can be voted into law, it addresses problems of food chain supply and consumer safety as it applies to drugs and cosmetics. It is expected to become a formal bill soon.

I am most concerned with this draft bill as it pertains to small businesses producing cosmetics such as lotions, lip balm, bath salts, shower gel, moisturizing soaps, etc.

If this bill becomes a law, as it is currently drafted, and you are producing cosmetics you will be required to:

· Annually register your company with the FDA.
· Pay a fee of $2,000 per year.
· Register all ingredients in each of your individual formulas.
· Document good manufacturing practices.
· Report all adverse reactions.

I know the hardship this potential legislation will have on small businesses in our industry. Now is the time to act. This discussion bill is not a full bill. There is still time to have the language modified so that it does not interfere with your business, product innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit of the American Dream.

On September 24th, I will be making my first trip to Washington DC. I will be meeting with several people including Senator George Voinovich, Senator Sherrod Brown and Congresswoman Betty Sutton.

I need your help for this important visit. Please take the time to answer 10 important questions. I will be binding your answers into a book for presentation with additional support materials.

Now is the time to "Be Informed & Get Involved". Please pass this link to every appropriate blog, website and social network. It is time for us to stand together so that our voice can be heard as one!

Complete your survey now and have your voice heard! I will personally deliver your message to Washington on the 24th!

Sincerely Yours,

Debbie May
President & CEO
Wholesale Supplies, Inc.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Website!

I am in the process of building a new webstore. It still needs a bunch of work, but I am pretty proud that I have been able to do this much alone. I still need to make the site look pretty, but I have many of my products set listed and shipping and billing all set up. Let me know if you have any suggests. Again this is still a big work in progress, but any feed back is appreciated! See the store here

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Costa rica part 2

This is a continuation of my Costa rican adventures. I will hopefully get back to my soap soon. With school starting this week I am really busy with my other (less exciting) job. But here are some pictures that I really liked from our trip. This on is of a large lizard that jumped onto a tree very close to the dining area in our rainforest lodge.
This is a white-faced capuchin monkey. He kept trying to steal bananas from the lodge kitchen.

This is a picture of Arenal volcano in La Fortuna. It is an active volcano as evident by the big smoke plume. In the evening you can see the lava flow if it is a clear night.

Cool bug we saw in the rainforest. Dylan has some amazing photography skills.

Dylan spent a morning taking pictures of all the butterflies that he could find. I really liked this picture.

Hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend. I went to Vermont to see my parents and we went to Montreal and then I went for a hike on the Long trail up Jay Peak. It was a nice and relaxing weekend...though the hike was tough and my body is still recovering from it.