Sunday, 24 February 2013

Soap Stamps

I just got a new soap stamp and I am really pleased.  I have worked with several different types of soap stamps – my very first one was from Anhoki, through ETSY, which I got several years ago and have loved and used it almost as much as my wonderful soap moulds… 
(Note toothbrush a very important cleaning tool for soap stamps.)
For some time, my husband has been bugging me to get another one done just in case.  Unfortunately Anhoki is no longer making soap stamps.  
At one point I got a wooden one done for a client who wanted their personalized logo stamped into some soaps I was making for them. 

Very good price, Spanish made, great customer service, but the person who made it had warned me against intricate lines.  The client insisted on the fine border around their logo, which actually came off. 
I also worked with another acrylic one which the customer themselves had made.  Very intricate lines, wonderful impression, but it just needed a handle.  It was just a flat stamp and hard to get off, once stuck into the soap.
(Sorry, I didn't get a photo of the stamp itself.)
So I discovered  I had to get another stamp made for a local retreat who will be using our personalized soaps (yippee!) so I had one made for myself at the same time.

 I AM THRILLED.   And stamping with this stamp is quite different.  Normally with my other stamps, I laid the stamp down on the soap in position, then gave it a wack! Or several wacks with a hammer.  With this one, I just press it in.   Much easier.  I use my wrist more so I am hoping not to get and issues with my wrist… but what a wonderful impression and so very easy to work with and clean. 
As you can see the impression is slightly different, slightly bigger, the border a bit thicker, the leaves more solid….  Well, I like it. 
Customer service, price and delivery times were awesome!  I will definitely be using Lasercuts again.
So... sorry my little Anhoki soap stamp... you have served me well, thank you for all you have contributed to my soaping... my beloved and first soap stamp is being retired. Of course she will be safely stored as we may need to use her again at some point.
Happy Stamping everyone!
(I may be posting a little less and using facebook a little more as I am settling into facebook… whereas blogging is such a wonderful connection with other soapers, facebook seems to be both a business tool, a local connection as well as connection with other soapers so if you like, come on over and join me over there. For now, my Jenora Soap blog remains where I post about soap making and experimenting.)

Saturday, 16 February 2013

pH Testing - Handmade Soap

  Getting set up with Health and Safety here in Spain has not been easy.  One of the requirements is that each and every batch that is to be sold has to be tested by a lab for certain parameters… two of those parameters are free lye and pH.  Ever had your soap tested officially by a lab?  I bet you would be surprised by the results.  The tonge test is not very accurate…
So the pharmacist that I work with (another health and safety requirement here) is doing some pH experimenting with me.  We are noticing that the pH definitely comes down with time.
We are working with the paper testers and phenolphthalein.  The phenalphthalein basically tells us if the pH is under or over 8.  Under 8 and it comes clear.  Over 8 and it begins to get pink, bright pink still being up there around 10.   But under 8 and over 10 cannot be detected easily with phenalphthalein.  The paper strips do not seem to be very accurate as they are telling me the pH in the photos looks to be around 7 or 8, and the Phen. Tells me it is up near 10!
I have decided to get a more accurate pH (probably a digital one) tester very soon!
I would be interested in hearing your experiences with pH, what pH level is your handmade soap usually at and if you do anything to attempt to bring it down.
Happy soaping!!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

My Dream Job

  Recently, I needed to set and answer some questions for one of my on-line program passwords…. You know, for if I forget it – what was the name of your first pet, what is your sister’s name, WHAT IS YOUR DREAM JOB?
Wow... That was when I realized that I have my dream job.  I am doing it!!   I have done a lot of jobs, working at least part time since I was 12 years old when I started babysitting.  Looking back on some of them… camp councellor, waitressing at cafés, a golf course, restaurants, bars, working at Canada’s Wonderland (similar to Disney World), ski instructing, kite sewing, nanny/au pair, ski guide, English teaching, secretary, receptionist at an Insurance Brokerage, maintenance/ gardener at a summer camp, teaching Spanish, typist, assisant to a psychologist, translating, Sales Service Manager at a Security Printing company, Assistant to Consul at an Embassy, Legal assistant, Homeowner services coordinator, Property Manager, Community Administrator...  Some of the jobs I liked more than others...
And now - Artisan Soap and Skincare Maker & Studio and Shop Owner. And all that entails.  I have never enjoyed a job so much in my life.  I have maybe never worked as hard in my life before as well… but it feels more rewarding than I ever could have imagined because I adore what I do.  I have never yet felt the “dread” that I have felt in some of my previous jobs, when I had to get to work... Even at 7 o´clock in the morning when I am loading up for a market, I still get those excited butterflies in my stomach.  I LOVE WHAT I DO!!!
Yesterday was the beginning of a new opportunity for me... Giving a demo at a local private resort... Again on my way there, rehearsing what I was going to say in my head, I was full of those excited butterflies… and I felt so fortunate to be right here, exactly where I am, doing exactly what I am doing…. Making a living doing what I love most.
(Setting up the Demo area at the resort)
What is “making a living”?  Probably means different things to different people.  I used to earn more money, live in a bigger house, we had 2 cars and more vacations.  Now, we live in a little house near the beach, share a vehicle (my studio and shop is less than a 2 minute walk from home) and we take “stay”cations here.
But the quality of my life at this moment feels like the richest it has ever been.
I wish you all a wonderful day full of gratitude.
Happy Soaping!!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Naturalmente Mediterraneo Facebook

Please come on over to the Naturalmente Mediterraneo Facebook site and "like" us!!

Happy Soaping, Blogging and Facebooking!!