Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The Studio Sign

The Studio Sign arrived on Monday - my 42nd birthday!

The day finished off with the ceramics artist, Vidal, arriving with the original hand-crafted ceramic sign we had him make for the studio!!!  My husband and Vidal took hours putting it up… and I just couldn’t stop giggling as I was so pleased with how it turned out.  Better than planned… 
Vidal will be working with me to create some original soap dishes and shaving soap mugs as well. 
He included a unique mail-box as well!

 We are not a very materialistic family and don’t usually spend much money on gifts on birthdays or Christmas.  More about being together.   My husband’s birthday gift to me was a little kitten that he rescued from the golf course where he works and I baked cookies to take around to friends.  I found a mysterious bottle of Spanish red wine on my doorstep (still haven’t figured out who would have delivered it) and my dad sent me a book on making liquid soaps, which I have been wanting for some time…  My mum got me my wonderful new camera, which she had given me earlier, on her recent visit here.
Our new kitten - Micha.

Each step of this journey in turning my dream into reality has been amazing.  Seeing the sign up on Monday not only made me smile, & giggle but also brought sentimental tears to my eyes. I guess I will always remember just how low I had sunk professionally only a few short years ago… in a stressful job that almost broke me…  and feel so much gratitude now for where I am.  Making a living doing what I love most. 
Happy Soaping everyone!!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

The Little Details

My husband is more detail-oriented than I am… I tend to be more big-picture.  This comes in very handy when there are little aesthetic decisions to make.  He helped with the logo when it was being designed, which now we both love.  He always seems to know right away… No, No Jen.  The logo can’t be round.  It has to be square…   And the frustrating thing is that he is usually right in the end!

 I really wasn’t convinced when he told me he was painting the doors in the studio green?  Green with white details?  How about white with green details?  No, No.  Just wait and see.  Well, now I kind of like it.
Then fonts… I have basically been using  two fonts for Naturalmente Mediterráneo.  The Logo and name font and then a different font for any other wording.  I have loved my “any other wording” font.  It is creative, unique and artisan.   My frustratingly practical husband, however, said right from the beginning that he wasn’t convinced, it’s not easy to read.  Well, I went ahead and have been using that font…. Until very recently.

Okay, beautiful and creative are nice, but isn’t purpose, performance and end-use the focus of my products?  So why am I focusing on the aesthetics rather than purpose in something as important as font?   Font is about getting my message across.  After more and more people mentioned they cannot read it easily, I recently switched.  Gives things a completely different look.  Less Artisan but VERY readable.  I think he was right again.
Hope you are all well and enjoying this marvelous life daily.  I really do believe that it is our choice.
Happy happy happy soaping!!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Soap Travel Arrived!

Look what I received the other day!!  The famous Soap Travel package which Julia from Cocobong  initiated, with three wonderful soaps in it. 

I loved them all. Look at the packaging! The scents are lovely. 

I ended up choosing the beautiful soap gnome from Seifenswerg!  Maybe because it was the most different to my own soaps, maybe because of the wonderful green, or maybe because of the fresh summer scent.... something applish.  I was not disappointed!  It is a lovely soap all around.

I am going to add my Goat Milk soap (my favourite) to the package and send it off!!

Thank you for the opportunity!  The next destination the Soap Travel Package is off to is to Karen Hill in Australia.

Happy Soaping everyone!
xo Jen

Friday, 11 May 2012

Briny Bar Soap & Hair Peace!

I am in love with Briny Bar's Hair Peace!!!  The product is devine in my hair, so easy to use and works perfectly with my favourite Honey Beer shampoo bar, which although it leaves my hair nice and soft, the initial brush-through isn't always ideal.  Hair Peace has solved the brush-through problem.  An all natural de-tangler?  It's more than that.  It feels wonderful in my hair and my scalp.  I have hidden it so that my daughter and husband don't discover it... I am not usually this greedy... I just don't want to share this time....  

I also adore the Briny Bar packaging.  There is something so fabulous about the ingredients being printed so simply and LARGE, so easy to read.  Whenever I see ingredients printed large, I feel like the company is proud of what goes into their product... instead of trying to hide it.  I wish I could print my ingredients out so large and simply but here we have to comply with INCI, which standardizes ingredient labels but also makes them more diffucult to understand for the averager shopper.
As for the soaps she sent me, I am currently using Black Magic Banana in the studio kitchen and I LOVE it.  Wonderful silky lather.  Large and hard bar.  Beautiful texture.  Sweet & spicy essential oil aroma.  All around awesome.

Thank you so much Dennise for the opportunity to try your awesome products!


Saturday, 5 May 2012

How NOT to Remove Soap from an Unlined Mould

Brute force?  Doesn’t work… it can actually destroy moulds…
Running a little hot water over the mould?  Works brilliantly…
Happy Experimenting!!
xo Jen

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Lí Ban Ireland Soaps – International Friendship Soap Swap

elegant, pretty, decadent, feminine, mysterious, skin-softening, luring, addictive…

 These are the Lí Ban Ireland Soaps that sweet Rose sent me for the International Friendship Soap Swap! 
She sent me two soaps – Fantasia and Indulgence - as well as an un-scented lip balm which leaves my lips soft and moist for hours after putting it on! 

Both of the soaps are stunning.  I am in love with her stamp and I detect some glitter around the stamped area... just a touch which adds something fantastical and mysterious…  and the scents are so unique,  I think Rose is a bit of a master at blending essential oils.   The suds are quite different from my soaps as there appears to be no Olive Oil in them.   Differnet but LOVELY suds.  Big, bubbly, rich and creamy.  And my skin feels fresh, clean and soft after right after use.

I just love these gorgeous, luxurious soaps as well as the lip balm.
Thank you so much Rose!!