Sunday, July 22, 2012

My Crafting Story

I know I wrote about the birth of Something Wicked in an earlier post, but I realized I didn't tell you my personal story when it comes to how I even came about creating some of the things I make. So I figured I would tell you now!

My grandmother was a very important person in my life. She practically raised me. She used to make CP soap and other kinds of bath products. She was always creating something! I loved spending as much time with her that I could, creating things, and bonding. She passed away 2 years ago, and I've spent those last 2 years doing everything I could to honor her memory.

So I started making melt and pour soap. No it isn't the same as what Gram always made, but it did still make me feel closer to her. I could feel her standing beside me, helping me decide on scents and colors. One night, while I was making candles, my mom looked up and said, "You know what I really miss? Gram's bath fizzies." So I promptly went to the store and picked up the ingredients for Gram's bath fizzies. The first batch we made didn't come out anything like Gram's lol. It was sort of a disaster. Then the next 2 came closer and closer.

When we cleaned out some of her things after the funeral, I was given her soap making stuff, including her hand written recipe book of everything she had ever made. However, although it was mine, my grandfather wasn't ready to part with it. Granted all of the essential oils and fragrance oils are of no use anymore, but there are all kinds of molds, and the beginning stuff there. He finally called a couple of days ago and said I could come get all of her soap making stuff, including the cherished hand written recipe book. So I'm excited to have her recipe book, which contains her cherished bath fizzies recipe!

That's how I came about making soaps, bath salts, and bath fizzies. I hope to honor her memory with each batch I make, and I am so honored to have her recipes on hand! I hope with every soap I make, every batch of fizzies, and every interaction I have with customers, her memory is honored.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Gardeners Soap

This is something I've been wanting to make for a long time. I'm a big fan of Soap Queen TV, on an off day, you'll find me sitting at my computer for hours watching her episodes to get new ideas. Keep an eye out in the shoppe next month for soaps similar to this. Of course I'll be offering gardeners soap for those wonderful herb gardeners out there, but I'm also considering mechanics soap (because there are lots of farmers and mechanics in my family that get greasy and icky), and other variations! I hope you guys enjoy this episode of Soap Queen TV as much as I did, and I hope it inspires you as well!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

DIY: Lip Balm

Ever wanted to know how to make your own lip balms? It's actually a really easy process. At the shop I make lip balms in very small quantities, just to ensure that each batch is perfect. I don't even use a double boiler for it, I just use the microwave! For this post, I thought I would share with you a quick and simple way to make your own lip balm. The ingredients listed below are what I use, but feel free to change them up however you like!

You will need:

Shea butter
Cocoa butter
Kukui Oil
Microwave safe bowl

And here's the recipe:

2 Tbsp Shea Butter
1/2 tsp Cocoa Butter
1/8 tsp Kukui Oil
2 to 3 drops flavoring

Take out a microwave safe bowl, I just use my favorite soup bowl.

Collect all your ingredients where they'll be in easy reach.

Measure out your 2 Tbsp of shea butter. Put it in your bowl. Shea butter is very buttery so you may have to scrape it out of the measuring spoon.

Measure out your 1/2 tsp of cocoa butter. Put it in the bowl. Cocoa butter is rather hard so you'll have to scrape the shavings out of the container then dumped it in!

Measure out your 1/8 tsp Kukui oil. I don't have a 1/8 tsp measuring spoon, so I just use a 1/4 tsp and only fill it half way.

Put it all together in your bowl, then pop it in the microwave.

Now, the key to this part is... put your microwave on a low to medium setting. On this fancy pants microwave it has "power levels". I set the power level to level 4, with 10 being the highest level. Microwave the batch in short 30 second bursts, until you get a liquid consistency. Be sure to stir it between each burst. Sometimes it just takes a little stirring to get a small chunk to liquefy. It should look something like this:

Now add your flavoring. You can use essential oils, candy flavoring, etc. When using essential oils, make sure they are cosmetic grade and approved for use in lip balms. I'm using Sweet Almond Oil essential oil.

Now this recipe says 2 to 3 drops flavoring. I used 10 drops. Start by adding 2 to 3 and seeing how the mix smells to you. If you need to add more go for it. Just remember with things like peppermint, cinnamon, and citrusy things, they can burn the skin if you aren't careful with how much you add. After you've added your flavoring, carefully pour the liquid lip balm into a clean container. It doesn't really matter what you use, as long as it can handle the initial heat from the initial pour. 

Now it's time to let it set. Some people just let it sit on the counter until it is finished. I personally put it in the freezer, one because my home is familiar friendly, and curious little noses could get into it and burn them, or if it is starting to barely set, mar the surface, and two because it makes them set faster. 

Do not put the lid on your lip balm while it is setting. And if you are setting it in the freezer, after it has come out of the freezer it will sweat a little bit. It could take several hours for it to stop sweating, but by this time there is no concern of burning little familiar noses, marring the surface, or getting familiar hair stuck in the balm. Let it sweat out. Once it is finished sweating, put the lip on and it is ready to go! 

As with all lip balms, do not leave them in a hot car. You will get a liquidy mess! And since we added the small amount of Kukui Oil, do not carry it in your pocket either. This will heat it up and cause a mess as well. If you must carry it in a pocket, try to carry it in a pocket that isn't practically glued to your body. 

Well, that's how you make lip balm. Fairly easy, right?! It's lots of fun to make your own lip balm, and can be a great way to make gifts for your family.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New Listings in the Shoppe!

I've finally added some new listings, as promised! Don't worry, I know there are only a few things currently, but in the next few days there will be more! Here are some pics and small descriptions of some of the listings, most especially the line I'm most proud of; my Witch's Brew fizzing bath salts!

This is one of my Witch's Brews! It is called Love Spell. The fragrance I scented it with is just amazing! It seems to change scent with each smell you take of it! Very feminine and refreshing! Now why do I call it Witch's Brew? The bath salts FIZZ! I made one batch by complete mistake and when I tested a little bit in a glass to see how it acted I saw it fizz like a brew in a witch's cauldron and thought, "Holy blue Moon! That is super cool!" And that is how the Witch's Brew line was created! But the best stuff is usually created by accident right?

These are my lavender fizzies. My gram used to make amazing bath products, and this was one of her signature things. You will recognize these as bath bombs, and that is really what they are, but here at my home we are so used to calling them fizzies I just couldn't imagine not calling them that in the shoppe! The top picture shows the almost true color of the fizzies, although I'm sure the computer monitor will change the image. These have to be seen to be appreciated! They were made in mini muffin tins and I package them 6 to a pack. These are some of my pride and joy! 

These are lavender and rose bath salts, respectively. These were made with epsom salts, a little bit of moisturizing oil, and scent. I think they are packaged beautifully! 

These are my limited edition super tins of lip balm. The first one is lavender mint, the second picture shows the tin inside of a 1/2 cup measuring cup so you can see just how big these tins really are! The third image was taken so I could add it to the choose your own flavor listing.

So things are coming along nicely! Tomorrow I will have some rose fizzies, and much more! 

Technical Issues Here at the Blog

Apparently blogger has another bug in the system. I've been trying to change the template here at the blog to something more Wicked, until I get my blog layout from the lovely designer who is helping me with my branding, but every time I try to save the new HTML I get an error code and it won't let me save it. So now I've contacted google in the most complicated friggin way possible because they have to make it harder than just sending them a stupid email, and I now have to wait... and wait.... and wait.

But on the plus side, I've made some new products today! Will be posting them in Etsy soonish and will be sharing pics here and on Facebook!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Working on New Supplies

I am currently working on new candles for the shoppe! Soon there will be a selection of palm wax candles, soy candles, and beeswax candles. The candled pictured in this post is a palm wax candle. Palm wax naturally cures with those feathering patterns and some marble too! Bath salts and bath fizzies will be coming soon as well, and I am tinkering with lip balms too! I've ordered supplies to make stick incense as well. So exciting new things coming soon!

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Birth of Something Wicked

I have owned an Etsy shop for a while, but I didn't feel like I'd found my niche yet. I loved shops with their own theme, whether they were a shabby chic shop, primitive shop, or even macabre shop. If it had a theme I was hooked. I searched forever for a theme and just couldn't seem to figure it out. Then oddly enough, I ordered a candle from someone who makes absolutely gorgeous candles. The candle itself was beautiful; so beautiful it took me a week to bring myself to burn the candle. When I burned it, it released a luxurious scent throughout my house which still persists even though I can no longer burn the candle. I sat in the living room and breathed in the beautiful scent and watched the candle throw beautiful light and shadow patterns on my walls in the dark of night. Then I realized something was wrong. There was this weird shape off to one side of the candle.

The candle hadn't burned smoothly through the middle. Instead it had canted off to one side and now the soy wax was built up in a rather large cloud like shape that had flowed over my candle plate and onto the top of my bookcase. Thankfully it was soy and cleaned up very easily, but I was greatly disappointed. The candle was supposed to give me a good 30 hours or so of burn time and it had been burning for less than five hours!  I decided to melt it down into tarts to use in my warmer, and then it hit me. I've always wanted to make my own candles, so why not try to make them myself! I've decided I will make my own soy candles inside canning jars. I know the canning jar idea isn't original, but I have always loved the look of canning jar candles, so I thought, "Why not!"

I am now trying to decide if I would like to make candles with wood wicks or with hemp or cotton wicks. I'm sure I will figure it out soon enough! But this is the birth of my new shop! I'm also working with someone on a theme! I found something I like, but I need to talk with the artist and see if she can come up with something different but similar lol. I hope you will hang around and see what is to come! I'll feature giveaways on the blog as well, and just for my blog readers I'll have certain discounts and more!