Friday, 21 December 2012

Goat Milk Soap Colours

Same batch, just a different mould!  Incredible eh?
The darker colour soap was poured into my large wooden mould, which I cut into 48 bars.
The lighter colour soap was what I had left over when I was pouring, so I grabbed the first “left-over” mould I could - a small, thin silicone mould.
You can see the creamy, buttery colour of the soap that was in the silicone mould. It is that colour all the way through.
So clearly, as it would not heat as much in the silicone mould, here is visible evidence of how temperature during insulation affects goat milk soap colour!
Happy Holidays everyone.  Big soapy hugs.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

New Soap Packaging - Naturalmente Mediterraneo

 Some photos of my new soap packaging for you...
If you want the full story about how this new packaging came about, come on over to:
Happy Holidays and Happy Soaping!!!!
xoxoxoox Jen

Monday, 26 November 2012


My new wine soap is turning out really well.
I find myself needing to simplify things and struggling on-line to keep up with 2 blogs, 3 email addresses, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, my web-site and mail chimp…  as well as all the non-on-line stuff like making and developing products (my favourite part of all of this), the studio and shop, markets, trade-fairs, packaging, ordering, admin etc etc.   Doing the one-woman-show is challenging but so rewarding.
I also know that to bring in more on-line sales, I need to direct people to my website instead of Jenora Soaps…
So, I will be focusing more on my Naturalmente Mediterraneo blog.  Hope you can all come visit me over there…
my latest post there has more details about my developing wine soap.
Thank you to all the wonderful and loyal followers.  I so enjoy your lovely comments.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

More Soaping Surprises – Alkanet / Ratanjot

I continue to experiment with alkanet/ ratanjot… in the elusive search for that beautiful purple I had achieved in a non-olive-oil but short-shelf-life lavender soap.
Here is my latest experiment with honey lavender.  Wow.  Aside from the colour surprise, I was fully expecting a super-quick trace as has been happening with all of my other batches lately, but this one took forever to get to trace!  Could it be the organic Jojoba oil I used in this batch? It ended up so sweetly smooth...
I wish the photos really showed the robin’s egg blue that is on the outside of the soap.

Two days later…
Up next – my latest wine soap experiments.
Happy Soaping!
xoxoxoxo Jen

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Soaping Variables

 As I get to know my new soap studio… I am stumbling upon surprises with each batch lately.  We can all read a book about soap making to get started… watch tutorials… listen to advice… but our soap won’t turn out the same as someone else’s as our ingredients come from different sources and our environments are so different.  
Lately, strange things have been happening to my soap… my tried and true orange poppyseed set up on me for the first time ever.  I couldn’t get those smooth-sided rectangular bars this time.  So I did what I could with the tops.  Pretty for photos and presentation, but not my favourite for using and previously would have made packaging really difficult.  Swirly tops won’t affect our new packaging (I will reveal new packaging soon………...).
Then my lemon sea salt soap set up on me… yikes!  This one got so hard I had to push it into the mould.
Now, my shaving soap looks like this?  I know it will cure nicely and look uniform soon, but just so different from previously made batches of the same soaps.
I am using the same ingredients, the same tools, applying the same methods….
BUT - It has been uncharacteristically cold and rainy here over the past few weeks.  I have never soaped in this studio in winter before.   I am still learning about how environmental factors affect my soaps… 
Thank goodness I am still learning.  If I ever stop learning and being surprised, I am pretty sure I would get bored.
Happy soaping everyone!! xo Jen

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Christmas Soap Packaging

  As tomorrow is my first pre-Christmas market, I am busy packaging our Christmas soaps, as well as preparing the baskets for our Christmas raffle.
My husband and I argued about discussed and discussed the Christmas soap packaging and had to agree to disagree in the end. I liked the parcel with bow on top (I know I know, so unlike me to go for anything plasticky… but for some reason I liked it) and my husband preferred simplicity.  He is soooo into our logo that he always prefers the logo to be the protagonist, not the bow, nor the soap type, nor the wrapping.  So, we agreed to package some my way, and some his way.
As I have written about before… he is detail oriented and I am big picture. How fortunate I feel that we are able to appreciate the balance our differences bring to the table.  I see clutter, not dust.  He’s doesn’t mind that the clothes sit in a pile on top of the dresser instead of making their way into the drawers… but he notices a hair that falls from my head if I forget to wear my hairnet in the studio.
So, here is both.
Sneak tweaking peek… This week I have been CONSUMED with the new packaging for our entire soap line… we have been thinking about changing things for a while, mainly to simplify things as packaging has become so time consuming and our time is so valuable.  The solution hit me like a bolt of lightning earlier this week and I have been so excited about it that I have even woken up in the middle of the night, to jot down ideas…  I used to get excited about going out on a Friday night… now I can’t sleep because of new packaging?  Ah well, at least I am passionately excited about something.   It’s currently coming together piece by piece and I will reveal more when it is finished!!
Happy and passionate soaping and holiday preparing!!!  Xo Jen

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Pure Castille Soap

 My pure Castille Soap is the simplest and gentlest soap I make.  Two active ingredients: organic extra-virgin olive oil and distilled water. No scent.  Super smooth and hard. Moisturizing.
The timing is different to my other soaps as it takes 3 days in the mould before I can even remove it. 
Even after 2 days in the mould, if I try to remove it, it is too soft, like butter, my finger would go right into it.  Then I wait until the perfect moment for cutting and stamping?  Ooops… this one was too early…
But wow, what a soap!  Minimal gooey, un-bubbly lather.  Wonderful on dry and sensitive skin.  This used to be a small-quantity experimental soap, but so many testers have come back requesting more that I think I will be including it in my regular line.
Happy soaping everyone!!

Monday, 29 October 2012

Our First Trade Show

Our first Feria/ Trade Show was such a wonderful experience!  I wish we had more photos of the other stands and of my husband and I in action once the crowds arrived… but the great news is that we just got too busy!!!  We have all sorts of ideas to improve for the next trade show but all in all I think we did pretty well!  Some photos to share with you…
pre-fair packaging fest

earling morning car-window shot on the way there 

set up


Some of the tools of the trade... I put them on show as it was an Artisan Fair and lots of artisans were actually doing their crafts there, like the glass blower, the ceramists, the basket weaver, the baker.... Lots of people were fascinated with these soap making tools

behind the scenes...
the "office"

getting samples ready...
 the quilting stand 

"hotel Volkwagen"

another early morning photo

me at work, when the first customers started arriving... 
I love trying new things… so here are some of the firsts that we did this weekend…
First big trade show
First time selling in Murcia
First time sleeping in a Volkswagen Camper Van (a secret wish of mine for more than 25 years!)
First time my husband and I have worked so closely together non-stop for 3 days, and I was surprised how well it went. I really cannot imagine anyone else that I could have enjoyed it so much with. Maybe Dad…
First time setting up an Expo / trade fair stand
First time using our new Naturalmente Mediterraneo tall marketing stand
First time selling 10 hours straight in a row without stopping
First time meeting a lot of the other trade fair people we met, from all over Spain
First time gorging on these amazing Murcian meat-pies…
First time we giggled ourselves to sleep two nights in a row…
First time (in a few years) that I didn’t even THINK of accessing internet for 3 days running… pathetic isn’t it?  I realized afterward how dependent we are on it
I am sure there are a whole lot more firsts… but I gotta go get my shop set back up…!!
Big hugs and kisses to you all!! Xo Jen