Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sudz n' Hunni Soaps Sea Salt Spa Bars

Whew, try and say that title fast three times!

I have supplies gathered to make Sea Salt Spa Soaps and try out a new slab mold from Soap Making Resource.  The fragrance I've chosen is Amber Romance a duplicated fragrance from Aztec.  I'm also adding Activated Charcoal and Red Moroccan Clay for their detoxifying and cleansing properties.

This is the Sea Salt with the fragrance oil being stirred in.

The Activated Charcoal and Red Moroccan Clay are measured out and ready to go.

3 pound Acrylic mold ready - I love not having to line the mold and be able to see just what's happening in there too!

After pouring my soap batter into the slab mold and doing a little swirl and adding the dividers.

Here they are about 12 hours later, they've lightened up in color but still lookin' good.  I can't wait to try one of these now...

If you'd like to try one too they are available for sale at my Sudz n' Hunni Soaps online store starting today.

If you're a soap maker my recipe came from Soaping 101 on YouTube.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Operation Write Home Stars & Stamps Any Hero Cards

I made this card May 15, 2010 for a lightning challenge at Operation Write Home Stars & Stamps, I remember I enjoyed making this card so much and was thrilled with the way it turned out.

Our challenge starting today at Operation Write Home Stars & Stamps is an Any Hero card challenge and that's exactly what my card was used for in 2010.

I hope you'll have time this week to make an Any Hero card or two for your Operation Write Home box, write a note inside and enter into the challenge.

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Make It Monday - Anything Goes

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sudz n' Hunni Orange Cardamom Confetti Soap

Sudz n' Hunni Orange Cardamom Confetti Handcrafted Natural Soap
$5.50 each

Orange Cardamom Confetti is a naturally colored and scented soap using Annatto Seeds & Paprika powder for it's deep orange color. Essential Oils of Sweet Orange and Cardamom are used for a delightful fragrance experience.

Ingredients: Palm Kernel Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Distilled Water, Essential Oils, Annatto Seeds, Paprika Powder.

Each bar weighs a generous 5 ounces.

Available at:

Sudz n' Hunni Soaps Orange Cardamom Confetti Soap

Hello blog friends!

I'm experimenting with natural colorants for soap making again today.  In the picture above there are two mason jars, the jar on the left is Olive Oil infused with Paprika powder, the right is Annatto Seeds infused in Olive Oil.   They both make a nice orange color, the Paprika being a darker infusion.

I infused each of my soap oils with the Annatto Seeds, when I measured out the Olive Oil I used half Annatto infused oil and half Paprika infused oil to help deepen the orange color.  The four cup measuring cup is resting in a pan of warm water with a washcloth between the Pyrex and pan to keep my oils warm as I wait for the lye water to cool to the temperature I need.

The lye water is cooling in the kitchen sink.

Now it's time to make soap!  I have the lye solution, oil blend and a bucket of shredded soap ends  in an ice cream bucket ready and waiting.  After cutting soaps into slices there are sometimes end pieces that get used as samples and can be shredded to use as decorative elements too.

Next I will pour the lye solution slowly into the oils and gently at first mix them until they emulsify, then I can use my stick blender to bring them to trace (a pudding like consistency).   After my soap comes to a medium to thick trace I will add two cups of shredded soap for a confetti look to my finished bars.

Here's a close up of the shredded soap ends in the bucket.  I used a Salad Shooter I acquired off of E Bay to do the shredding work for me. 

The next step is getting it poured into my two pound acrylic mold.  With the extra soap shreds it was full to the top and will make a big bar of soap when it's cut.

I waited twenty four hours for it to do it's soapy thing and un-molded the two pound loaf of soap and waited a few more hours till it was solid enough to slice into bars.  What you see pictured above is right after the soap is cut using my wire soap cutter.

And the soap right after it was cut.  I'm calling it Orange Cardamom Confetti.  I used an Orange Cardamom blend of Essential Oils for fragrance and it's very orange!  

I used a very basic recipe for this soap and I'll share the percentages of oils I used so you can make your own recipe with a lye calculator.  

Castor Oil 5%
Coconut Oil 21%
Palm Kernel Oil 47%
Olive Oil 26%

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Handcrafted Soap Ingredients Self Study

Hi blog friends, I hope you are having a nice Saturday!

Today I wanted to share a little about soap making.
I'm not a doctor or a licensed medical anything I just love to make soap and was looking for relief from and help with the desperate feeling I've had because I can't find anything to help with my own dry, cracked, irritated skin.  I also know that is isn't "legal" to make claims about our handmade soaps other than they are soap so I'm not claiming my soap is anything but just that - soap.  I mostly want this post to be informational about what handcrafted soaps are made of and why soap makers research and choose the ingredients that they do.

What you see pictured here is a 5 pound loaf of handcrafted (homemade) Coconut Milk & Honey Soap right out of the mold.  It's been twenty - four hours since it was made and poured into the wooden mold.  In another twenty - four hours it will be ready to slice into one inch bars that weigh between 4 - 5 ounces each.  The next step in the process is the curing.  Curing most handmade soaps takes six weeks.  Properly made and cured handmade soaps are mild, moisturizing from all the natural glycerin that occurs during the saponification process and have lots of bubbly lather.  If kept out of the shower spray and puddles of water these bars of soap can be enjoyed for a long time.

Next is a photo of the soaps as they are being cut with a wire soap cutter.

I'm really happy with the way these turned out and look forward to seeing if they lighten in color as they cure.

After searching the internet and reading and doing more research on the ingredients I used for this soap here's the paper I wrote up drawing my conclusions from my research about those ingredients.

From my notes:

Coconut Milk & Honey Soap is an unscented specialty soap originally formulated for myself and friends suffering with skin issues.  The oils in this soap have been infused with dried Calendula Flowers and Comfrey Leaf.  Honey, Coconut Milk, Colloidal Oatmeal and Bentanite Clay have also been added.

The ingredients used were chosen for what I believe to be their soothing and moisturizing properties, listed below are some of the properties of these ingredients.

Bentonite Clay is said to be a powerful skin restoring ingredient naturally made from volcanic activity, a volcanic ash full of minerals for healthy skin.  It’s known as healing clay, good for skin detoxification, great for oily skin but not drying so it can be used for all skin types.

Calendula is a plant that has been used through out history in skin preparations.  Calendula is said to be beneficial for dry or damaged skin and also encourages fast healing and regeneration of the skin because of its anti-inflammatory properties.  According to YourHealth.com, applying calendula topically is effective for decreasing inflammation and promoting the healing of wounds, burns, eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions.

Coconut Milk is said to help eliminate dirt, dead skin and other blemishing issues, not over-drying the skin. The rich milk is said to clean the skin gently without irritating it. 

Coconut milk soap is said to be high in vitamin E, which is well regarded for bringing benefits to dry skin, small cuts, burns and rashes. 

Coconut milk is said to have a large fat content and includes fatty acids that are beneficial for the skin.  The existence of fatty acids in soap is said to result in intense hydration.  Coconut milk soap is reported to be ideal for dry skin as well as offering a deep clean; and is said to not strip away the natural oils in the skin.  Instead, it acts to moisturize the skin, keeping it replenished and well hydrated.

Honey is a humectant, it helps retain and draw moisture to the skin. The antioxidant properties of honey are said to help lighten skin and prevent pimples and skin rash.

Castor Oil is said to have great moisturizing properties, is mildly cleansing, conditions well and gives a creamy stable lather - easily absorbed by the skin which implies it can help with dry skin conditions.

Coconut Oil is said to be excellent for nourishing our skin. 
It contains medium chain fatty acids which can be absorbed into the skin, where they can be directly utilized. 

Coconut Oil is said to have unique antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. 

Coconut oil is said to further improve the quality and appearance of skin by eliminating dead skin cells and reducing flaking skin. 

Coconut oil is also said to be a natural deodorant, since body odor is caused by microbes and Coconut oil is anti microbial.  (LivingStrong.com)

The herb Comfrey is reported to be high in calcium and vitamin C.  It has a strong history of being used as an external application for mending wounds.  It is said to be a contact healer, relieving pain and immediately helping to grow new flesh and bone.

Reportedly one of the main therapeutic substances in comfrey is allantoin, an anti-inflammatory that perks up the immune system; speeds wound healing, and encourages new skin and cell growth.  The tannins in comfrey are astringent, and the rosmarinic acid might contribute some anti-inflammatory assistance.  (The Green Pharmacy Handbook)

Colloidal oatmeal (Genus Species name, Avena sativa L) is finely ground oatmeal. Oatmeal and its natural oil coat, are said to moisturize, protect and gently cleanse, while correcting the pH balance of itchy or inflamed skin back to normal. 

Colloidal oatmeal reportedly also contains phenols (a form of antiseptic), which encompass its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and ultraviolet absorbing properties. It can also be used as a gentle exfoliating agent. These healing qualities can all be transmitted to skin via soap.

It's said that Colloidal oatmeal suppresses the "need to scratch," which is especially useful for use on irritated, dry skin. Reportedly helpful for conditions like insect bites; acne; eczema; psoriasis; sunburn; sores; chicken pox; poison ivy, oak or sumac; shingles; prickly heat; and other itching, tingly rashes.

Jojoba oil is reported to have properties very similar to the sebum produced in our own skin which make it a wonderful moisturizer, it's non-greasy and easily absorbed. Jojoba oil is also said to have fungicidal properties.

For dry skin patches, Jojoba oil is said to be  just the thing to soften and restore the skin to a healthy condition. All of this reportedly makes jojoba oil a great treatment if you suffer from skin conditions that are caused by a lack of moisture, like eczema. Not only that, but jojoba oil has been reported to have anti-inflammatory properties, which will reduce the redness caused by dryness, or by skin conditions like rosacea.

Olive Oil is a natural and said to be a hypoallergenic way to nourish and moisturize the skin.  Soap made with olive oil is said to help the skin’s surface retain moisture.  It's said that regular use helps keep skin looking supple and smooth. 

Reportedly Olive Oil contains high levels of many antioxidants, including vitamins A and E, it is said to have the ability to renew and repair free radical damage in skin.  I read using soap made with olive oil helps protect and reverse the damage and wrinkles caused by sun exposure and pollution.  Additionally, the antioxidants present in soap with olive oil stimulate skin cells, leading to re-growth and maintenance of healthy skin.

Olive Oil in soap has cleansing properties.  When olive oil is applied to the skin it adheres to dirt which can then be washed away.

Sodium Lardate a.k.a. Lard reportedly increases the healing properties of soap.  Lard has been used for generations in healthy cultures and it is said to be the perfect carrier for cleansing and healing in body care products.  According to a Swiss study, Lard is the best medium for transmitting the healing properties of plants when studied in comparison with other fats/oils, it was shown to be the superior medicinal fat.

The saponification process is a simple chemical reaction between fats/oils and sodium hydroxide.  Fats/Oils + Sodium Hydroxide = Soap.  

In my research I came across other information about commercially made soap that I thought was interesting too.

Bar soaps such as Ivory, Dove and Lever 2000 from Unilever and Irish Spring are made with sodium tallowate (beef fat), a combination of animal fat and lye (Sodium Hydroxide).

So, there you have it.  We all need to draw our own conclusions from our own research and make informed choices about the products we use, handmade or commercially made.  

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bugaboo Stamps Christmas in July

We have a new challenge that starts today at Operation Write Home Stars & Stamps, since it's been 110 + degrees here in Arizona for more than 30 days I think it's time for a Christmas in July challenge!

My card uses a Bugaboo Stamps digital image and is part of the November 2010 Stamp Club image package.   I colored with Copic markers T1, T2, T3, R22, R24, 27, Y15, Y18, E40, E41, it's cut out with a Spellbinder's Oval and matted with the Oval Scalloped dies.  The white panel is embossed with the Cuttlebug Snowflakes embossing folder and the Stampin' Up! Cameo Coral panel is embossed with the Cuttlebug Swiss Dots embossing folder.  The snowflake is from the MFT Stamps Die-namics Snowflakes die, I added a black rhinestone to the center and the "Merry Christmas" sentiment is from a Papertrey Ink stamp set.

I hope you'll play along with our challenge at Operation Write Home Stars & Stamps this week.  Thanks for visiting my blog -

Make It Monday - Anything Goes

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sudz n' Hunni Hog Wash Bacon Soap

I asked my youngest son Michael if he'd like to create some Bacon scented soap with me, he was up for it!  I thought he might have fun pouring all the oils and doing most of the "making" process.

After he had all the oils weighed out and melted I took care of the sodium hydroxide and water solution, when the oils and lye solution were at just the right temperature I poured them in with the oils so the soap making could begin.  

Mike's blending the mixture together to a thin trace, we then added Red Moroccan Clay to half of the soap batter.  I'd never noticed how pink my stick blender was until my son is using it.  

It's time to pour the soap batters into the mold.  We decided on a Tiger Stripe technique to hopefully make our bars of soap look like real bacon.  Mike is pouring the layers of soap.

A close up view of the pour.

When the mold was full and burped of all the air bubbles we could get out of it, the mold went into the oven at 170 degrees for about an hour to help it go through a gel stage.  This is only the second time I've done this CPOP (Cold process oven process) technique and I really like it.  The soap colors come out nice and rich.

24 hours later we un-molded the bacon scented soap and I cut it length wise and it kinda looks like bacon!  It smells like bacon too =)

This batch of soap only yielded six bars of soap because of the way I cut it but I like the look.  If you'd like to try our Hog Wash Bacon Scented Soap there are 5 bars available at my Sudz n' Hunni Soaps online store.  UPDATE - only 2 bars left...

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Sudz n' Hunni Soaps Aloe Calendula Comfrey Soap

This is going to be another busy soap week!  I have several soaps that will be reaching their cure dates and be ready for sale, some have already been pre-ordered and they will all need to be wrapped and labeled and of course shipped.  My younger kids are with Grandma & Grandpa in Wickenburg Arizona this week having a good time so I'll be lonesome with out them but keeping busy too.

Lets go back to last Thursday...
I thought you might like to join me for a little soap making!

I'm using Cathy at Soaping 101 recipe to make a soap for sensitive skin using Aloe Vera Juice, a strong tea made with Calendula Petals as well as Calendula Petals and Comfrey Leaf infused in some of the soap oils.

Pictured above is the Calendula Tea infusing in heated distilled water and the bottle of Aloe Vera Juice.  After the tea was ready I used my scale to measure out the amount of liquid my recipe called for and substituted the tea and juice in place of the normal water I'd use.  Then I poured the liquids into ice cube trays and put them in the freezer over night.

Here's a photo of how I infused the Calendula & Comfrey into the soaping oil.  I've found using a large seal-able tea bag (or two) works nice, there's no straining the herbs out of everything later.

The next step was to make my lye solution using Sodium Hydroxide and the frozen Aloe Vera Juice and Calendula Tea.  The reason for freezing the liquid is so it doesn't burn and discolor when the lye is added.

Michael took some good pictures for me of this part of the process.  The lye will heat up as it comes in contact with the ice cubes and melt them.

So I stirred and poured a little at a time until the lye was incorporated into the ice cubes.

Most of the ice cubes melted as I added lye and stirred.  

This was kind of an unusual process for me, I'm used to waiting for the lye solution for my soaps to cool down and setting the container in an ice bath in the kitchen sink.  This time I filled the sink part way with hot water to warm up my lye solution to about 95 degrees.  I'm finding I like to soap at between 90 and 100 degrees, kinda like my sweet spot.

The soaping oils are ready and waiting, I warmed them on the stove top to 95 degrees so they'd be well mixed.

I carefully poured my lye solution into my oils and started to mix with my stick blender until it reached a nice medium trace.

Next it's time to pour the soap batter into my lined and waiting 5 pound wood mold.

Filled it to the top for a nice big bar of soap once they are cut...

I tried to give it a little fancy swirl on top before I put it in the oven to rest and go through it's gel stage.  
Did you know the oven is a good place to insulate soap right after it's poured?  

This soap is fragrance free and naturally colored with the Calendula Flowers, Comfrey Leaves and colors of the soaping oils I used.  It will be a nice simple bar of soap for sensitive skin packed full of the good things from the oils and herbs that were used to make it.

I used Cathy's recipe from her Soaping 101 You Tube channel if you'd like to make this yourself.
 If you aren't a soap maker it will be available for sale after August 20, 2013 in my Sudz n' Hunni Soaps online store, you can also leave me a message in the comments or e mail me if you'd like to pre-order some too.  My e mail address is listed in the green tabs above under "contact info".

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