Friday, October 23, 2009

Taste it!

People often smell my soap and say, "It smells good enough to eat." Others see it from a distance and wonder if it's cheese. I say, "Smells better, tastes worse." But, I've never tasted my own soap. I'm just going on my childhood experience(s) of having my mouth washed out with soap when I say it tastes worse.

This week, I was presented with a bar of my soap that had a wet film on it. There are many reasons this could happen and my mind jumped to the worst: Failed batch! Leaking essential oil! Leaking lye!!! Poison!!!!!

If I'd been calm, I would have rememberd that the rest of the batch is fine so this must have been a storage issue. But, I could easily test to see if it was essential oil. Just wipe off the wet film and smell it. It didn't smell. Phew. But, did that mean it was lye?!?!?!

In soapmaking, there is a thing called "the zap test". It is used to test if your soap is lye heavy or leaking lye. You touch your tongue to the soap and if you get a "zap" it's lye and that's bad. Ew. I had never tried this. I have never licked a battery, why would I voluntarily lick soap? But, on this day, I had to figure out what was going on, so I licked the film that was on my hand. Ew. Very soap. No lye. The film was plain water from the air, regular old condensation. The soap was being stored in a cold place and it's been raining a lot.

Phew! And, ew!!! Pass the gum!

I made chocolate soap once. It was really nice soap - very rich, made with cocoa butter, cocoa powder and chocolate. It looked like a brownie. Didn't taste like one, just ask my friend's son. :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

6 weeks!

Wow! Six weeks since my last post.
Six weeks can be a long time or a short time.
It's been a long time since my last post. But, it's only a short time until I'm in the middle of the holiday selling season!

The past six weeks:
Pepo Park finished up the summer season at the Juanita Farmer's Market on Oct. 9. It was a great summer. It only sort of rained once! Absolutely incredible. Thanks to everyone who made it down to Juanita Beach Park this year.
Pepo Park soap is now available in downtown Kirkland at Herban Wellness!
And, our Black Raven Brewing IPA soap was sold at the Enumclaw Oktoberfest by Sweet As Can Bee Honey. We really appreciate them taking our soap down to Enumclaw for us.

The upcoming six weeks:
Soaping and concocting in preparation for the 5 (!!!!) sales I'll be at this holiday season. In addition, we'll have orders from friends, our Etsy site, the Web site. I made a big list of everything that needs to be made and a schedule for getting it done. As always, Shawn is a big help. And, my mom - she's coming from Costa Rica to help with the sales.

Will you be visiting one of the shows? Is there an all-natural product you're interested in seeing us make? Or, a scent combo that you'd like to see? Leave a comment and let us know.