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Only Soap?

Sorcery Soap

The soap that arrives at your home is the end result of many calculations.

Many processes happen to get the highly detailed soap to you. Would you like to hear the tale of a bar of Sorcery Soap?

Sorcery Soap
Sorcery Soap

 

The idea strikes. A fragrance oil inspires an idea with images or a moment of inspiration engulfs me while out in nature, or a variety of ways, but the inspiration happens like a wonderful undetectable scent

meant only for me. It’s that subtle. I might be the only one to smell the fragrance, and if that’s the case, I find it my obligation to take some action on it. It’s like a little unrecognizable seed planted, not knowing if it will grow to a might oak or a beautiful rose. So, I take the chance, nurture it best I can, care for it while it grows in hopes it takes root and then tend it when it’s matured.

Here are more pragmatic steps:

  1. Development of cold process soap recipe.
  2. Development of cold process SOAP DOUGH recipe.
  3. Constructing the idea. I see this like idea-gardening.
  4. Development of the soap design, also similar to idea-gardening, but a bit more like landscaping.
  5. Many attempts to create the embellishments, size, shape, details until the idea has matured.
  6. Developing the over-all bar of soap: colors, fragrances, executing process of previous…
  7. Making and creating soap, placing embellishment (which can be tricky at best).
  8. Waiting. Much like a gardener, patience is an alchemists best (and oft-times under utilized) tool.
  9. Un-molding soap very carefully (many soaps have not made the cut because of unrepairable nicks, etc.).
  10. Curing. Not for one moment do I ignore the soaps at this point. It would be like thinking a gardener ignores the plants while growing. I tend them, check on them, examine them as they cure.
  11. Hand beveling edges and general clean-up of each bar of soap, careful to not damage tops.
  12. Developing labels, names, taking photographs along the way… Sharing the progression and valuing each soap, as it is still unknown if they will survive the journey to your home.
  13. Writing ad copy for the website so you know what you will receive in each bar of soap, examining in great detail the scents, to effectively communicate the scent and experience of each soap.
  14. Labeling and shrink wrapping; each stage is a test to see if the soap is sturdy enough to withstand touching, use and shipment. Many soaps are lost at this stage as well. This is, in part, why I strive to develop soap embellishments that lay down, or few parts that stick up, to avoid breakage. It does me little good to make something so elaborate it breaks during the shipment, because I strive to create the very opposite of disappointment – the goal is to create such delight you hesitate to use the soap. Ah, but eventually all soaps will be used, either by you or time.

There is another aspect that I don’t share much, we utilize a bit of each soap, either a sample or a full bar, in our homes and on our persons. I think its important to know how each soap preforms, particularly when using a new recipe.

When I read that a person’s goal is to make money with a soap business I am a bit disappointed. Now, not everyone does everything with identical motives, however, this process, this care that is involved with soap creations is not about that device of trade we have labeled money. It’s like saying that someone is learning to grow flowers to make money. Any art form… It will work, but what will be the out come? This process, Sorcery Soap, not only tests all my artistic skill, but also grows my person, my soul. How can I quantify how rich my life is with each one of you in it? How can I quantify the colorful tapestry of creativity that floats in my world now? And, to think… Its only soap.

Bee the Soap Witch

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Winter Solstice and Soap Gifts

Sorcery Soap

As we approach the shortest day of the year I become reflective and quiet. Thinking of this past year, of all the great soapers and creatives in the Facebook Sorcery Creations group, all of you who have

Sorcery Soap
Sorcery Soap

believed in Sorcery Soaps and invited my version of magic into your homes – I feel incredibly grateful. You are my friends. Maybe not stop-by-for-coffee friends, but still, friends.

When Sorcery Soap began a few people who I considered friends had surprising things to say about my soap making adventures. One told me they hated “crafts” and that she wasn’t crafty. When I mentioned I started an Instagram page she said, “who’s really going to follow soap?” Someone else said, “I don’t use bar soap” so refused to accept my gifts. All this, as if my ideas had anything to do with them. Not one asked if I was happy making soap, peaceful, curious… In anyway, satisfied.

With great generosity in my heart and delight at my new found abilities and passion, I had gifted many of those same people soaps. Maybe not pretty, but certainly successful healthy soap. I had known these people for years. My desire for understanding, balance, seeking my truth and researching the healthiest options over the years had not impacted them at all.

The one person who has believed in me, never doubted, and endlessly encouraged me, was my man, my love, my moon and stars. He gave me a small amount of money to begin my experiments, thought I could make soap while I spent a year watching videos and asking questions, reading soap recipes and listening patiently to my endless excitement about my new information. He watched some soap videos with me. As you can guess, he was kind albeit bored. Not one time did he question my desire to learn, understand and research. He knew. He knows how much I like reading and investigating a subject.

Of all those people only one person purchased my soap – my ex-husband. He didn’t have to, I would have given him whatever soaps he wanted, but he insisted. He said, you spent time and want to… He and I had been married for many years, friends before and after our marriage. He wanted to support me and for the first time, purely free of ego and self-importance. It healed something between us. His purchase, (even asking for more) which was enough to encourage me. Just that. A man who had known me since I was just 23 (a lifetime ago) seemed to know how important this was for me.

Through soap I have met many amazing people. People who have stood for me, supported and encouraged me, overtly or simply by being kind. I have lost “friends”, realized more clearly who is important, and who can see me – who can see my mind’s manifestations. Revealing one’s creativity to those close would seem safe – friends – and showing strangers new creations would seem to make one vulnerable. I found the opposite. I have made greater and deeper connections from people all over the world, revealed my truer nature and found that to be a greater gift than to show that part of myself to those who I thought knew me. It was a massive rethinking, a shift and cleaning out of the old to embrace the new.

Cheers to all the new and possible soap friends! Cheers to your holiday with those who really do know you and those who you have yet to meet. Happy Holidays!

 

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Ambassador of Soap Chaos

Bad Fairy by Brian Froud

There are times while doing anything that doubt creeps in – business might be slow, negative comments come your way or simply, you ask yourself, is this what I should be doing?

This doubt has a way into your home. Did you know? It’s true, you may have unwittingly invited this one into your home and worse, into your soap endeavors.

There is a knock on your door and you, being the curious and welcoming-being that you are, answer.

This creature pushes past you, walks right in and makes itself comfortable on your sofa, then asks if there is coffee brewing. The guest asks in that manipulative way some beings have of slithering into another’s graciousness, knowing just by asking that what they ask for will be produced.

Not wanting to appear rude, you make a pot of coffee.

While you are making coffee for your new guest he asks, “what are you doing today?”

You answer from the the kitchen, “preparing to make soap this afternoon,” matter-of-fact yet still friendly.

While the coffee brews you sit with your guest and see a sneer creep across his face.

You shrug off his odd grin as just his way, and ask, “what is your name, my mysterious guest?”

“Oh, I’m here to see if you are ready, my dear.” He answers, picking up a baubble from your coffee table, examining it like an antique expert.

“Ready for what?”

“Ready to welcome his highness.” He replies as he sets your glass heirloom back on the table and settles his bottom deeper into your sofa.

Your heart catches, and now you are truly curious, which is the response your guest wants. He can feel your curiosity and that, my dear reader, is what he was after all along.

Wild Crouch by Brian Froud
Wild Crouch by Brian Froud
aka Soap Gremlin

That is the moment it dawns on you who this creature truly is, as if a veil is lifted, you see his green face. A memory of the grasshopper landing on your hand the night before surfaces along with the enticement to eat one more cupcake, as if it wouldn’t matter; the feeling to drive just a bit faster and sneak through the yellow light taking up time from those waiting their turns; the idea to take a spoon to your last soap to make it just a bit better but only to muddy the bright colors.

You realize this is the Ambassador of Soap Chaos, and Chaos comes with many faces.

This Chaos comes as Loki, the Wild Crouch, the Trickster. Many cultures, many people have known this Reckless Wrecker who have been enticed, enchanted to do just a bit more, ignoring their own internal guidance. Forgetting about the Fates who always have a hand in creations.

We in the soap world know this creature, his highness the Reckless Wrecker as the Soap Gremlin. That mysterious thing that knocks that bucket of oil held securely by your deft and skilled hands to the floor; that being that whispers it won’t matter if your measurements are off just a tick; that being that coaxes you to take a chopstick to the beautiful natural soap tops the Muses have gifted you.

All this time you had no idea you invited this gremlin’s ambassador to chaos into your home, you dear gracious hostess.

Now you do!

The next time you think “just a bit more” while you make soap, hesitate and ask, what or who is guiding me?

 

To read more Sorcery Soap Stories, get news, discounts and be the first to know of new soaps being released, sign up for this blog!

Visit more Sorcery Soaps… Here! 

 

If you get the chance, take a peek at this amazing book by Brain Froud, “Good Fairies, Bad Fairies” 

(I do not receive recompense for your purchase, I just LOVE this book and want to share.) 

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Store Wide Discount

Store Wide Discount Pink Gnome Baby

For all those who’ve been following the crafting adventures of Sorcery Soap you know I make some rather odd soaps. With making things that are unusual there is very little way to compare Sorcery Soap prices to other soap prices.

Although all Sorcery Soaps are made with exceptional oils and butters, along with clever ingredients that create a great bar of soap, it is difficult to account for the detail and time it takes to create a true Sorcery Soap.

So I’ve made a decision… To implement a store wide discount. No matter how much time I take for each soap I’m only going to charge $6.50 for larger bars and $5.50 or lower for smaller bars; two prices for a variety of soaps.

I hope this makes choosing soaps easier, and purchasing Sorcery Soaps more inviting. Also, hopefully you will USE these soaps at this price knowing I have new creations right around the corner.Soap Sample Medallions

Thank you for your support this last year. Without each of you, your lovely comments and continuous support, I can continue into the future making unique soaps that love your skin and enhance your imagination.

Now, with a “freesorcery” which will give you free 2-DAY priority shipping until December 21, 2015,  you can get your holiday soaps in time for Christmas. 

 

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Make Soap Samples

Make Soap Samples Soap Sample Medallions

How to get your samples to your customers?

If you’re like me, as a soap maker, you create your own soap scents.

No matter how well I describe what I think a Dragon smells like, its still a bit elusive. The same with Love Spelled (my version), Leather (in soap), Forest, Sweet Willow, Champagne/Chardonnay and the rest…

I have chosen not to do craft fairs and I don’t have my soaps any where someone can smell them. Which is lovely to sell solely online. I don’t have to schelp my soap, tables, and all the gear it takes to do a craft show. I spend my days working on new ideas, filling stock soaps, ordering materials, marketing (takes far more time than I want to admit), filling orders and running to the post office. Oh, and making new soaps, experimenting with new ideas and hand molding soap.

Getting Samples to Others

This arrangement is convenient and perfect for me, but how can I get my soaps, in a reasonable way, to those who might want to purchase my soaps?

At first I began cutting up full size bars that were already planed, cleaned and labeled into sample sizes. This seemed reasonable, but it was killing me to cut the fully cured bars.

For those who read my blog or see my posts know I make embeds. I make many, many soap balls. I flattened a ball. That spurred another idea. I’ve been wanting to use a wax seal in my marketing but I just couldn’t figure it out. I had this thought over a year ago, and it has hovered since then.

I chose a Raven. Its in my logo and I like consistency, so I use some symbols, fonts and colors over and over. I want someone to see my designs and say, “Hey, that’s Sorcery Soap!”

I settled on a metal stamp I found on Etsy from China. I didn’t know it was coming from China at first, but when it didn’t show up in an expected time, I figured it out.

In my research I discovered Martha Sterwart’s website through a back door. I would never search “weddings” so for me to stumble on to this site is a absolute miracle.

A bit more research I found a website for the tins. I chose the clear window tins to put the vellum paper inside for a label. The back label is on its way from Evermine. These will be for the back, so my soap information and ingredients will be attached to the tin. I like that idea and it pre-empts some packaging for shipping.

Bridging the Gap

So now, no matter what soap I make, I’ll make at least 1/2 pound extra to make soap samples for the Sorcery Soap Medallions. Its all built in! I love rolling and stamping soap. Its a repetitive behavior that keeps my hands busy and allows me to day dream. Soap Sample Medallions

What I Didn’t See

The interesting thing that arose that I didn’t foresee was this whole other product. Even if someone doesn’t want to sample, or that’s not their reason for purchasing these Soap Medallions, it makes an awesome gift. I’ve always had a hard time picking out scents for people, and generally, gave up and walked away. So no matter how much I wanted to buy handmade soap as a gift I couldn’t decide on a scent for that person. Now, I can give them a box of scents and there is very little waste, if any.

Here’s the really cool thing… Well, what I think is cool. Other soap makers can make Soap Medallions and each stamp will be different and so will their scents. Built in-non-duplicaiton, but still sharing!

Now, I have that settled, making Sorcery Soap Sample Medallions. For now. 😉

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Send the Ravens Blog Soap

Send the Ravens Soap

I was inspired to make this soap as a tribute to The Game of Thrones Ravens.

Its a large story, with many story lines moving at the same time. Its so well told its hard to get my mind around how any one person could hold all that information in one mind.

The Game of Thrones is not just that new worlds were created, but new lands, new family history, new languages and new cultures. An entire world. Granted, others have done the same, and it does not diminish the epic nature of The Game of Thrones.

The Story

To keep this story fresh in my mind, I made my version of the saying, “Send the Ravens”. Sending ravens, a more regal version of carrier pigeons, is how the people of the many lands communicate. When someone says, Send the Ravens, it can mean clandestine communication, the start of a war, or even assignation.

There is also a three eyed raven in this story. This type of raven represents inner sight, as does the “third eye” represents in our world.

So I wanted to capture a bit of this energy, these ideas and keep them with me daily.

How I Chose the Scent

Irish Moss

I mixed my own.

This scent is mixture of Irish Moss for the deep forests of The Forest of Qohor region and is an extremely large area of woodland and forest on the eastern continent of Essos.

Cut Grass

I added a scent called Cut Grass for the freshness of earth and the open areas prior to the forest. There are many scenes of characters riding through open lands, long paths and grassy plains.

Sandalwood

And lastly, I added a touch of Sandalwood. This scent is slightly mysterious, musky and exotic. The idea of ancient and enigmatic cultures, the long journey to between lands and the people of far away exotic places brought the idea of Sandalwood to the mixture. The idea these people would bring with them unique spices and scents all add to this unique scented soap.

Alchemy

I felt it necessary to use the best created recipe I have for this soap. It is made up of lard (animal), Coconut Oil (cleansing), Soybean Oil (simple vegetable), Olive Oil (conditioning from far away lands), and two butters: Shea and Cocoa; shea butter for smooth skin and cocoa butter also for conditioning but also to make a wonderfully hard bar of soap.

I add silk to this soap as well. Silk makes this soap shiny and smooth to touch. I simply like the idea that I can bathe with silk soap. It feels, even if its only an idea, luxurious. Some people claim that silk amino is conditioning for the skin. I don’t disagree, yet I can’t prove it. I think it does more for the quality of the bar of soap itself. It leaves the bar shiny, and might leave my person a bit more shiny as well.

My Hope

My hope is that this soap, Send the Ravens, and its unique scent, brings a bit of the mysterious nature of life to you each time you use it. And that, even if you haven’t heard or watched the story of Game of Thrones, you allow a story to unfold for you, of kings and queens, of heroes willing to stand for their honor and brave people living their truth… And this story comes to life for you.

With all the blessings I can bestow with my alchemical nature, I offer this soap… SEND THE RAVENS.

 

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Soaping Insights

pie soap

Soaping Insights

What I learned from this pie soap and other soaping adventures.

I’m in love with soaping, so this makes me want to learn. I watch, experiment and chart what I learn. I have made one recipe over and over, with only design variation. Here are some of the things I’ve learned.

1.) I always prepare before I begin soaping. I set out everything I could or might need. I visualize what I want to my soap to look like and what steps are in place. I ask questions like, “what temperature do I want my oils and lye to be when I mix them?”

2.) If I over pour my mark with one oil I account for that gram with another oil, so I reach my total desired oil measurement.

3.) I mentally walk myself through the entire recipe before I begin. I sit for many moments before I begin. Often times I’ve had the idea in my head for days, letting the idea roll around before I even think seriously about making the recipe.

4.) I research all my questions about the reactions of the oils before I begin. If I run across a question I have during soaping, I stop what I’m doing to research it.

5.) And only if I love the idea do I forge ahead.

 

whole pie soap

pie soap

 

 

 

 

 

The image on the left, the entire pie, has plastic wrap strips underneath to help loosen the soap from the ridge glass pie plate. The plastic wrap was unnecessary as I used a pie spatula to loosen the soap, after I let it chill for an hour. I unmolded after 16 hours of curing.

 

Buy a slice of the Pink Grapefruit Pie with Brown Sugar scrub crust!