Monday, December 24, 2012

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, from my heart !!   

Now that I'm settled in my new home and am working to pull a crafting/soaping room together, I hope to post more and on a regular basis in the coming year. 

Here's to a happy, healthy and peaceful 2013 !!

~Suzy and Spoonbridge Soaps, Minneapolis

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to all !

It's been awhile since I've posted, but I wanted to pop on and wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!  I'm heading out to join my daughter and her family and am sure I'll be too full and sleepy to post this later in the evening. :-D    

I'm preparing to move to a new home on December 1st and start life as a single gal again, so I may not be posting much until things are settled.  The good news is that my new townhome has the PERFECT spot in the lower level laundry room to set up a soap area!  I'd always talked about turning the office into a craft/soap room in my current home, but just never seemed to get around to it.  I may not have much for furniture, but I'll have a soap room - and what's more important than that !!!  

All my best,


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy Givember from Bramble Berry !

 Thank you to Kristen and Anne-Marie from Bramble Berry for sponsoring this blog !  Kristen from Bramble Berry, the soaping supply company that I seem to turn to more often than all others for their fragrance oils, essential oils, colorants and supplies, contacted me asking if I'd be interested in trying some products and sharing the results on my blog.  Heck, YEAH!!  I was flattered that Anne-Marie even knew of my little blog and thrilled to have been asked to try product.  The best part?  They ALSO gave me an offer for the readers of this blog to be used in the month of November - or Givember as Bramble Berry has declared it ! 

So, my surprise box arrived on the doorstep a couple weeks ago. Inside was the Bramble Berry 
5 pound mold. I purchased their silicone liner to go with the mold as I've never been handy at lining a mold with freezer paper.  I always seemed to end up with a super wrinkly edged soap loaf that needed a lot of "fixing".
Okay, so ..if that weren't enough...I was also supplied with some micas and Bramble Berry's popular Cranberry Fig and Moonlight Pomegranate fragrance oils and asked to go forth and create !
I decided to not "over think" this one and to just mix it up and see what I come up with.  It seems I get the most unique and popular soaps when I don't try too hard.  

Here's the final result!   Read down for my review of the Bramble Berry 5 lb mold and silicone liner, the actual products used in this soap AND......a special coupon code!   Any order placed during the month of November that includes this code will be entered into a drawing to win a Bramble Berry gift certificate worth $50.00 !!   

Here's the Bramble Berry 5 lb loaf mold with the silicone liner. Yes, the liner IS a bit floppy and I'd recommend taping it to the mold along the sides - at least until you've finished pouring.  I didn't at first and ended up with a couple soap glops between the liner and the inside of the mold as you'll see. I'm a bit of a messy soaper, so maybe you'd fare better. 

Soap's in the mold (ignore that blob of green soap spilling down on the right) and it's halfway full - time to swirl.  I used the "Celine Swirl" method, invented by Celine from I Am Handmade, and then filled the mold the rest of the way, swirling again before I added the top layer. 

I used four plastic hair coloring bottles ordered from Amazon (available at Sally's Beauty too) filled with black, red, white and green to create the top lines - and then swirled them with a bamboo skewer.

I got smart and ran a couple pieces of tape on the sides - too little, too late. I'll use masking or painter's tape next time. It's STILL easier than lining a mold with freezer tape in my opinion ! And wait until you see how easily it is to unmold your slick !!  Those specks are cranberry seeds on top - with a small bit of glitter to add a festive Holiday touch.

The bottom wooden piece slides out and the silicone liner just comes out the bottom. Genius !!

So easy - loving this !

The thinness of the silicone liner allows it to "peel" away from the soap.  This was the easiest release of a soap from a silicone liner I've ever had.  And I was able to ease it around the corners to keep them sharp. I've had problems with soft corners that don't come out cleanly with other liners.
Did I mention it was easy?  :-D   

Here's the soap I'm calling "Good Cheer".  It a Holiday-looking loaf and the Cranberry Fig and Midnight Pomegranate smell amazing together!!

My cutter is from Cumberland Acoustic and such a time saver. 

Here's another look at "Good Cheer" - thank you to the generous ladies at Bramble Berry who sponsored this blog and allowed me to try a few colorants I hadn't tried before - not to mention their wooden mold with the slide out bottom design.  I'm so thankful to have it and know it will get a lot of love and use !

The colorants used were all from Bramble Berry:

Merlot Sparkle mica
Vintage Gray mica
Luster Black mica
Chrome Green pigment
and Pearly White mica

Fragrance:   Cranberry Fig and Moonlight Pomegranate from Bramble Berry

Cranberry seeds and mica from  Soap Making Resource.

As promised, here's the code.  Only codes used on orders placed during the month of November will be entered into the drawing to win the $50.00 Bramble Berry gift certificate.   


If you haven't tried Bramble Berry products before, I'd highly recommend them for both melt and pour and cold process supplies.  Anne-Marie's Soap Queen videos on YouTube were my initiative to start melt and pour soap making several years ago and have been a help with cold process now as well.  My daughter and I had a lot of laughs and good times creating soap using melt and pour bases when she was younger.  She's a wife and a mother to an almost-three-year-old now and works full time, so our days of making soap have ended for now, but I hope in the future to teach her how to make CP and I know she'll love it as much as I do !

Happy Soaping and thank you for keeping me company!   xx   Suzy

Friday, October 5, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy !!

It's been a while since I've posted, so please forgive me.  I'm in the process of a divorce (amicable) and a move as well, so life's a bit hectic and stressful and I just haven't soaped much.

I DO have an exciting blog and offer coming up thanks to the generous Kristen from Bramble Berry!  I don't have all the details yet, but keep an eye on my blog in the near future.  

In the meantime, I'd love to hear about the projects you're working on. Are you soaping for the Holidays?  Any favorite fragrances or colorants you've found that have WOW'd you?

Patchouli Passion arrived in my mailbox a couple days ago and I'm hoping to soap with it this weekend - it smells amazing!  I love patchouli, but even for those who aren't crazy about it I think you'd like this blend. The patchouli doesn't knock you over the head, it's subtle and there's a floral/fruity note that's really nice. I purchased it through Tamera Jenkins at the Soap Making Sense page on Facebook.  A great place to purchase fragrance in bulk. I've pre-ordered three times from Tamera and haven't been disappointed with a fragrance yet. All have held up well in CP and have multiple layers to them, really beautiful. 

More to come!!  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Two recent soaps

It's the same recipe, but these two soaps turned out totally different in texture due to crackling from the titanium dioxide used  in one.  Some people like this look. Me? not so much.

BUT, the fragrance is amazing. I used Earthen Oak for the first.  It's from Moonworks and is what I'd call a unisex fragrance.  Lots of depth and I'm just sure it's going to hold up through curing.  I think I'll name the batch Ashen Oak.  

The second fragrance, also from Moonworks, is Native Princess.  A Sioux would be offended by that name, but I'll come up with an alternative.  Thinking Oglala Cloud.

I've ordered several more of Rhonda's fragrances and am sure they'll perform and smell amazing!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hey all, may I ask a favor? If you have a minute, please go to:

and cast a vote for a fellow artisan soap maker and a talented guy, Andrew Fuller. He's a finalist in the 

Martha Stewart contest and has mega style - I think he deserves to win and your vote would be much 

appreciated. Thanks!! Suzy

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor day Applejack 'n Peel !

I'd received some Applejack & Peel fragrance oil and decided today was the day to give it a try. I have another bottle coming, but this one is from  I have to say, it's one of the strongest fragrances I've purchased, which is great - you don't need to use as much!  After I'd made the soap I put it out in our sunroom and shut the door.  We left to go hiking with the dogs and I could STILL smell it in the house when we returned.  It's a wonderful Fall fragrance that's described as  "The perfect Holiday scent! Warm and welcoming aroma of baked apples, cinnamon, spice and a twist of citrus. Nice and strong with a scent that holds for a long time."  So far, I'd have to agree.  I just love this fragrance and look forward to trying more.  

I was shooting for pumpkin/candy corn colors of green, orange and cream. The colorants I used lightened on me some...a problem I've had recently and am really frustrated with. Wet they look strong and vibrant - once cured and cut they've faded.  Any comments or suggestions would be welcome !!  I'm at a loss.  Again, I'm without a camera right now, so please forgive the iPhone photos that just aren't very sharp. 

Here's Applejack 'n Peel, a subtly colored hanger swirl soap.  I'm all about bold and bright normally, but my husband says he really likes these subtle colors.  Diversity !!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Soaping Saturday Sept. 1st, 2012 !

The wife of the owner of the company I work for LOVES lavender. So, when the owner's wife loves lavender - you make lavender!!  I actually made this loaf for his wife and the girl's in our California office and hope they like it. 

I used Violet Mica from TKB Trading for the top half and a cream color on the bottom with a mica line dividing them. Lavender is sprinkled on top - of course.  

This recipe contains olive oil, organic sustainable palm oil, coconut oil, canola oil, cocoa butter and castor oil.  I used cream and Tussah silk as well.  The fragrance is Lavender and Herb from Bramble Berry.  

You can't see the purple under the cream colored soap on top, but I'll be sure to post pictures after it's cut !


Nothing knock-your-socks-off-super-amazing, but a nice bar of lavender soap!  Cream on the bottom, lavender above it with a bronze mica line dividing the two.  More cream soap on top and a sprinkle of lavender buds.  I'm hoping *fingers and toes crossed* that my color holds as it cures.  My last batch of lavender turned the fugliest shade of brown/gray that I've ever seen !!   I hate throwing out a batch, but there was no rescuing that one.

I'm thinking I'll make one more batch today.  I keep an inspiration folder on my desktop to inspire me when ideas just aren't flowing.

Enjoy the Holiday weekend !!   xx  Suzy


Minnesota State Fair beeswax and honey soap entry

It's been awhile since I've posted and I apologize for that. I've had some personal issues going on and, frankly, just haven't felt like soaping much.  Hard to believe, right??!!??  BUT, I did commit to entering a soap in the Ag-Hort-Bee division of the Minnesota State Fair and I don't like to back down from commitments.  This was my fifty-third year attending the fair and, as I said in a prior post, I've never entered anything for competition in the fair before.  I decided my beeswax and honey recipe was a good fit and here's my entry. I'm without a camera, so excuse the iPhone pic - it at least gives you an idea.  There were five entries in my category and I placed third.  I'll give it a try next year and know more of what the judges are looking for.  The winning entry was colorless and more rustic, so that's the route I'll take when I compete next time!

The Minnesota State Fair officially began in 1849 

 The Minnesota State Fair is the second largest in the country, next to the State Fair of Texas. Ours is a mere twelve days, theirs twenty-four, so I'd have to brag and say that by attendance comparison  alone, more Minnesotan's actually attend our fair !  This is the Bee-Honey entry in the Horticulture Building, a gorgeous piece of architecture. 

Here's the Horticulture Building.  The tower in the back actually lights up with different flashing colors at night and is a landmark on the fairgrounds. 

Here's my soap entry.  My stamp, a replacement as the first arrived from China missing the "i",   arrived three days before my soap entry was due.  I made this loaf at the last minute so it was soft enough to stamp and worried it was too soft to stand up to the heat and handling. It wasn't cured, but it was hard enough to handle come fair time. 

You can't see my white third place premium ribbon (the yellow fifth is for the jar of beeswax lotion next to mine), but I'm happy to have placed !!  I wrote an explanation of how soap is made that I thought might be useful.  I had no idea how soap was made before I started making it, did you?  Yep, that's a little bee on the front bar.  I struggled with whether to use it or not, but he was just too darned cute to pass up. He's made of sugar.  The top of the bar has calendula that I actually wish I'd left off - a little didn't look right and what I used is too much.  Overall a lot of fun to enter and I look forward to next year !!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Soaping Saturday August 5th, 2012

You know that feeling where it all seems to come together without a hitch or hicccup?  That was my Saturday of soaping.  Last weekend was a disaster, so it was a good thing yesterday was smooth sailing or I might have sold the entire lot of soaping supplies online and never looked back!
Last weekend I had a mica go errant on me.  Cancerian Heat from TKB Trading foamed up and over the batter cup and puddled on the kitchen counter. It was the closest thing to a volcano I've seen.  The amount of foam and the speed were fun in a way, but there went a large part of the batch I'd  mixed for a slab mold.  I decided to let it simmer down and see if it wasn't usable.  The color was sooo beautiful in the bag, but turned a rusty reddish-brown when mixed.  It's now on the M&P side of my soaping room and won't be used in cold process again. Two other TKB colors were just fine mixed with the very same oils and fragrance, so it had to be the Cancerian Heat.  Lesson learned.
My teacher, Cathy McGinnis, advised me to always mix a small amount of colorant with lye solution first to gauge the reaction.  She has a great video on this...which I promptly forgot in my excitement to use this beautiful iridescent burgundy/purple color - almost a duo chrome mica.  Last weeks batch didn't have the air pockets I thought it would, but the color is ....ugly.
So, that brings me to yesterday.  I made three batches:  One for the Minnesota State Fair, a beeswax and honey combination with Tussah Silk and a gold mica swirl top.  It will eventually be decorated on top with calendula and a honeycomb.  I'll post pictures right before it heads over to the fairgrounds.

The second batch was leftover batter from the first - Minnesota produced beeswax and honey, fragranced with Rosemary Herb and Peppermint.  I'm hoping the peppermint fades a bit - whoa, it's strong and overpowers the Rosemary.  I used hot pink and teal blue micas for this batch and did a hanger swirl.  I'll cut it tomorrow and revise this post, but wanted to get a few pictures posted at least for the record.

It's still pretty wet, so I hope it's not a fail.  If it's a fail, that means my State Fair soap will be too and I'll be back to square one next weekend!

The third batch uses a new fragrance I've been waiting to soap with. It's Pink Sugar from and is advertised to be a non-darkening fragrance.  Now, common sense tells me that if it contains vanilla - it's going to darken - but I really had a white and purple design I wanted to try with this fragrance, so I purchased 4 ounces.  Here are photos from Day 1 and Day 2 (today).

Day 1 (above).  So far, so good!  The white is white and the purple is staying true to color. The top is decorated with three lines of ...what else? sugar !!  

Oh NO!!!  Day 2 (above).  Pink Sugar is now Yellow Sugar.  Ugly Yellow Sugar.  It's the oddest yellow, almost a neon.  I've heard that it will darken to a brown, just like any other Pink Sugar or high vanilla content fragrance oil. So, don't believe the hype.  Know that it turns brown and use that within your design and you won't be disappointed!!

I'll follow this up with photos of the cut bars tomorrow.  Let me know what you've been working on, I'd love to hear.  What's your favorite fragrance for Fall?  Applejack Peel is still one of mine and I'll be soaping with it next weekend if not before.   xx  Suzy

Here are photos of the cut soap:

 It needs some cleaning up, but I like it !

 Pink Sugar - the top is still that odd yellow, but the inside hasn't darkened in 24 hours.  Hmm (?)
 Another shot of Pink Sugar and my hanger swirl attempt - try, try again!

 Beeswax and honey with a coffee line.  The line is a bit thick and I'm worried the two parts will separate, so I'm going to remake this one.

I WILL get this hanger swirl down !!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Finally, some decent pictures of my soaps!

A huge thank you and a hug to my son, Jordan, for a Saturday afternoon of picture taking.  I couldn't have accomplished it without his help.  Nothing fancy, but so much better than pictures from my iphone !!  Now I just need to find more time to soap and add more photos. The goal is to eventually sell online, but I'm taking baby steps.  For full photos, please join me on Facebook at www.facebook/saylorwhitten  or check out my webpage (under construction, excuse the sawdust) at  !   ~Suzy

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Minnesota State Fair August 23 - Sept. 3, 2012!

After attending a beekeeping meeting with friends of ours, I decided I'd enter a soap containing Minnesota produced honey and beeswax this year after hearing David Schaff from the Minnesota State Fair speak.  This year will be my fifty-third year attending the Minnesota State Fair and yet I've never once entered a pie, cake, crocheted baby booties or any other item in hopes of winning a ribbon or premium.  I think I have something unique to enter under the Ag-Hort-Bee division and am looking forward to creating a soap I hope will be special and of interest to others.  There's not an actual "Soap Division", so I'm entering under "Other" !!  No rules or regulations for "Other" as far as size, materials, labeling, etc., so I'm on my own and will just wing it.  My entry needs to be ready by Tuesday, August 21, at the very latest. I'm limited to soaping weekends, so I have four weekends to experiment and translate the idea in my head to soap.  Will keep you updated !!   

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Just a couple photos of a soap I made this past weekend. 

This was my first time using embeds (I know, where HAVE I been???) and shreds on top.  I realized I'm using these same colors a lot lately, so it must be the warm summer weather and bright colors around me.  Or maybe I'm just in a good mood !  

olive oil
organic and sustainable palm oil
organic palm kernel flakes
canola oil
cream and silk

colors by:   Peacock Dyes,  Ellen's Essentials

fragrance:   Very Sexy dupe from Wholesale Supplies Plus

No enhancement, these colors actually intensified when gelled.  This is 24 hours after unmolding. I'll be sure to update if they fade or morph.

This turned out to be a bit of a crazy looking soap and a couple soap makers suggested I call it "Mardi Gras", so "Mardi Gras" it is !!   I don't sell soap, but was so happy to have a soap maker ask if she could purchase a bar.  With all the soap I have sitting around, I may need to reconsider selling some of it. 

What colors are you using for your soaps the summer? Do you have a favorite mica or oxide that you turn to?     ~Suzy

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Happy 30th Birthday to Christian !

The following soap was made in honor of the 30th birthday of my best friend's son-in-law, 
Christian H.
I've known Christian's wife, Jaime, since she was only a few hours old and I've been best friends with her momma since we were in the 8th grade together - over 40 years ago !!

Happy 30th Birthday, Christian, and thank you for allowing us to join in the fun - we had a blast !!!

 "Christian"  - an olive, organic sustainable palm, coconut, castor, cream and silk soap !

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Two colorful soaps from this weekend

Loaf #1:  My attempt at a true peacock swirl didn't succeed, but I did end up with a fun swirl and some great bars of soap !!  I used goat's milk as my liquid and really liked the creaminess. 
Loaf #2 (pink) was made with a blended fragrance oil of Black Raspberry and Vanilla, Tart Lemon and Pearberry.  It's an olive oil, sustainable organic palm oil and coconut oil soap.
The fragrance combination really sped up trace considerably and I was left with a grainy batter that I wasn't sure I'd even be able to pour into the cups of color I'd already prepared. It was gloppy and certainly not at all smooth.  But, I did the best I could.  I poured and plopped it into the mold and at least I was able to get some definition to my normally flat tops.  

Here are some photos of the two soap loaves.  There was no time to take a picture of the pink soap batter or process as it went to quickly and it was just me manning the camera, but you can see the colors and batter of the "crazy swirl" soap (aka, attempted peacock).  If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  I WILL get this peacock swirl down !!!  :-D

Here are my colors.  All from The Conservatorie - my first time trying them and I was really pleased with how easily the micas blended and the intensity of the colors. Because I hadn't used their colorants before  and because I needed a LOT of time to figure this one out, I chose to leave this loaf unscented.  I added silk to the lye water and a small amount of sodium lactate just in case it didn't want to come out of the slab mold easily.  

"crazy swirl" in the slab mold - so far, so good

Um, oops.....where'd the peacock feathers go?  What happened?  

Here's the slab after "s" swirling

Kindof a cool soap, despite it not being exactly what I was shooting for. I like it !

Another shot of the soap

The photo is a bit blurry, but here's a close up of the "pink" soap. This is the Pearberry,  Black Raspberry Vanilla and Tart Lemon fragranced loaf. Love that summery smell, despite the fact that it caused my batter to instantly trace and appear grainy.

I put a heart embed at an angle on the top of each bar

Another close up shot - I like the yellow banana pepper on the right !

 This one looks like the Northern Lights - no TD added, so the white is just spots of batter

Well, that's about it until Saturday or Sunday.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope your weekend is relaxing and fun !  xx  Suzy