Cold Spoon Method: Simple and Effective When making a new salve or cream for the first time and not sure how thick it will be try this method. Place a spoon in the freezer then begin blending and melting down the beeswax and oils in your recipe. Once the spoon is cold enough dip it into the melted down oils and remove it. The mixture will be solid and you can now test to see if it is the consistency you desire. Incredibly simple technique and works brilliantly!
Coloring Soap Naturally There are tons of spices, herbs, botanicals, and oils to use for coloring your cold process soap naturally. When incorporating a powdered substance like a ground spice or oxide, be sure to mix with a small amount of oil, vegetable glycerin, or water first. This ensures you will be able to evenly distribute the color throughout the soap and prevents clumping. Be sure to take the small amount of oil or glycerin from your overall recipe or deduct the water from the lye/water mixture. This way, you can be sure to have the proper amount of sodium hydroxide to cure the bar properly.
Ashy Soaps? What’s that white stuff on top of my soap? That’s what we call ash-a result of the sodium hydroxide reaction in the soap. It doesn’t hurt to leave it on there, but if you prefer the way your soap looks without it, you can always “clean” your soap. Some people rub a little bit of oil on top to remove the ash while others use a cheese cutter or knife to cut or scrape off the white areas. All of these methods work great, but if you’d like to cut down on ash altogether, try laying a piece of plastic wrap over your soaps after pouring them into the molds. The areas where the plastic is touching will likely not produce ash.
…make me happy that we choose olive oil for our soap!
I just returned from Greece and found the Olive trees nearly coming of age. They will mature and be ready to fall into their nets that spread the length of the orchards for as far as your eyes can see.
These age old trees are a delight-some over 300 years of old-growth which makes for better olives and more distinguished olive oil.
This ancient land and its bountiful groves are evidence that we all crave finer oils, learning the process makes it more inviting and worthy of the few extra dollars spent on this delicate oil.
Photographs and drawings most always include olives either being consumed or used in some fashion. Almost everyone has a few trees growing on their land.
At harvest they all come out and the smell is rich with the ripeness and the friendly chatter of villagers gathering their harvested olives and making their way down to the mill.
Although the old mills are no longer in use and a more conventional pressing takes its place, there still remains an old mill, a permanent fixture in every village. The reminder is present and forever dear to the hearts of all that would gather around to help press their olives into oil.
I have included a few pictures of old presses. I never tire of the beauty of these groves, so many pictures, I will share these few.
1) Seasonal depression got you down? Use Clary Sage in a diffuser or bath
2) Mmm…Halloween candy, pumpkin pie, turkey…Suppress your appetite with Peppermint.
3) Who isn’t congested right now?? Eucalyptus vaporized or in the shower
4) Unwelcomed guests tend to move in when the weather gets cold. Repel bugs with Tea Tree on cotton balls or in a spray.
5) We can’t resist the spicy scents of fall. Warm some Clove oil for that just baked scent throughout your home.
6) If you’re unlucky enough to catch a cold or flu this season, pick up a massage oil with Grapefruit to ease your swollen throat glands.
7) For fever relief try Chamomile in a bath.
8) As always, Lavender has many uses including soothing dry or chapped lips and dandruff.
9) Oh no! The kids brought home lice from school! Rosemary essential oil will do the trick!
10) Ground yourself and enjoy the season with a Cedarwood body oil.