Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Naughty Soap!

The soapmaking process is what is known as an exothermic process; the process of turning oils, water, and lye produces heat. Additives like honey, or milk can increase the temperature in the mold even more. Oatmeal Milk & Honey soap is a notorious heater and this time was no different. I expected that.

I purposely waited for subzero temperatures before making a batch of this soap, one that overheats for me almost every single time. This past weekend, our daytime temperatures were hovering around -12C so I decided it was the perfect time to make a batch. The intention was to leave the mold outside, in the subzero weather. 

Everything was nice and cool; it was looking good. At one point, I lifted the mold to feel the underside; it was pretty warm to the touch so I put a baking rack under the mold. Once the temperature stabilized, after a couple of hours, I brought the soap inside and left it overnight in my unheated soap room.

The next morning, it was time to cut the soap. The first bar was as expected; there was a bit of a gelled circle so I knew it had gotten warm enough in the middle to gel the soap. The second bar surprised me; as I was cutting it, liquid seeped from it as it did from all the other bars until the last bar. And, there was a hole right through the entire loaf. I wasn't sure if the liquid was lye-heavy (caustic) so I was happy I'd put on my gloves.

This is a classic case of overheating. You can see the darker ring just inside the outer edge and then the sponginess in the middle. This soap really wanted to volcano (expand out of the mold) but didn't. Insead, it created a hole throughout the length of the mold.

Seeing this made me think of monster teeth and I couldn't help but play a little...

Thursday, January 11, 2024


Another market year has ended and a new one will be beginning soon. 2023 wasn't a great year as far as sales went but I know that times aren't easy for most people right now. Costs, including mine, are rising, causing increases in pretty much everything. It sucks. Hard. 

I have no intention of making this a depressing post. I can't do much about prices of supplies; I can, however, continue to make the best products I know how to make. I've decided that I will probably cut back on a few things so you may see fewer products on my table this year. 

What, you ask, will disappear? Well, my liquid soaps really didn't overwhelm so I think they'll be going on sale until they're gone. I may make some for personal use but that's about it. 

What else? Surprisingly, lip gloss. 

Yes, I said "surprisingly". I truly thought they'd be more popular than they were. By the end of 2023, I had quite a few left over even though they're a great product (I'm not a lip gloss person and I really like these!). I won't be making any more this year. Again, they'll be on clearance once the market season starts up again. 

I'm sure there will be other products we'll be thinking twice about. That said, if you have a favourite product you can't live without, let us know. We're more than happy to make custom orders. 

What can you expect to see on our tables this season? Well, soaps, of course. We're already busy making soap every weekend to get our table fully stocked. We've got some amazing new fragrances that we'll be using in soaps as well as hand/body lotions. Match a soap and a lotion for a perfect quick gift! 

Facial products have been very popular so we'll be bringing back our Instant Facials, as well as a few of our other popular face care products. If you haven't seen, or tried, the Instant Facials, you're in for a real treat! It's not a clay mask; it's more like a cleansing balm that turns into a thick, rich cream with the addition of water. Ingredients are added to turn this cream into a gorgeous, skin-loving mask that rinses off cleanly with water, leaving your skin feeling revitalized and pampered. There will be two or three varieties available; they sold out last year so you don't want to miss out!

Another popular item we'll continue making is our lip balm (as opposed to lip gloss). We have two recipes and both continue to be very popular; we won't stop making them. Our regular lip balm comes in a variety of flavours, including peppermint, orange sherbet, chocolate, and more. We've been using the same base recipe for over 20 years. Why fix what ain't broke?

Our Nourishing Nighttime Lip Masque has become a customer fave over the past couple of years. It's a rich, thick lip balm that sticks to your lips, made with the addition of lanolin and castor oil, helping keep your lips moisturized all night. Most people who use it, though, swear by it as an everyday lip balm that actually works! Me included.

I'm really looking forward to our 2024 season and I look forward to seeing all our new and usual customers. Our first market of the season is the All You Need Is Love market on February 11 at the East Kelowna Market. See you there!