Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jane Austen fans...

It's a soapmaking day! Yay, my favorite kind of day :-) I'll be making my third Jane Austen soap, Sense & Sensibility - a sweet rose & ivy blend.

For all you Austen fans, I'll be making up gift boxes of the three books I have so far {Emma, Pride & Prejudice & Sense & Sensibility}. Each box will have a bar of each Austen soap.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I did it! I perfected my sugar scrub recipe and ooohhh, let me tell you, it is divine! A fluffy, light as air, whipped blend of shea butter and nourishing oils, sugar and's heaven in a jar.

This pic shows the scrub (scented with chocolate) in a 6 oz. jar that will be available soon in the etsy shop, a 3 oz. jar for my soon-to-be-offered bride's maid baskets (or gift baskets in general) and a 1.5 oz. jar for the B&B's.

Today, I also made the Beguile lip balm, an alluring blend of lavender & spearmint. I'll be working on the labels for these products and more today and hope to get them listed tomorrow.

On a side note, I wanted to show you a pic of my "deck". Prior to sending my kids to school this coming September, we were a homeschooling family. My son loves to play Yu-Gi-Oh but decided to make his own cards. This brought a variety of skills into "play". Designing the cards, drawing, writing, cutting, addition & subtraction. Now that's what I call fun learning.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I've got a Golden Ticket

Yes, I do! I made scrumdidilyumptious chocolate soap, inspired by {what else?} Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.

Rich, chocolate smelling cocoa butter and chocolate fragrance oil almost makes me want to drool. A little sprinkling of cocoa powder on top and we are set for a cocoa-licious time ;-) {note: due to the fragrance oil in this soap, the bars will eventually turn a dark rich brown, just like a chocolate bar...mmmm}

This is the second batch of soap inspired by a children's book and you remember what that means? My 11 year old daughter/apprentice helped with this one. She'll also help design the label and packaging.

Friday, July 24, 2009

New product! Dry Oil Spray

I've been working on a dry oil spray. It's a lovely blend of fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, cyclomethicone and fragrance. Very moisturizing but not greasy, it leaves a dry silky feel. Love it! I have a few fragrances listed at the Latherati etsy shop.

On a personal note, my 6 year old son lost his first tooth. He was so excited and the tooth fairy was very generous in giving him a whole dollar!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

WINNER ANNOUNCED! July Soap Challenge

We have a winner!

We used to pick a number between 1 and 122 and came up with number 28, a book titled "Half Magic" by Edward Eager, suggested by Wehaf.

This challenge had 106 book titles suggested! Plus, 16 extra entries. There were quite a few duplicates, like "The Giving Tree", "Alice in Wonderland", "The Secret Garden (we just made this soap!), and "Charlotte's Web"...all great classics.

Some suggestions were already on our list to make {James and the Giant Peach and Alice in Wonderland}.

I read reviews for many of the suggested books and you bet I'll be picking them up at the library to read. They may end up as soap as well.

Thanks to all who participated. It makes me feel good to know that so many children's books are so beloved to you all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sugar Scrub Testing

Aaah, sugar scrubs...there's nothing better than a good scrub to get rid of all that dead skin and moisturize all at the same time.

I made up this batch this morning but already, I need to tweak it. I need to whip the heck out of the mango butter and oils and up the ewax. I scented the test batch with Beguile, my favorite scent so far.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New in the Latherati Shop!

Roll-on Perfumes

Want your favorite book-inspired fragrance to linger a little longer? Dab Latherati's new roll-on perfumes at all your pulse points. Today, I listed:

Longbourn, inspired by Pride & Prejudice
{Sweet honeysuckle with green leafy grass notes smoothly blended with zesty lemon and herbal undertones}

Beguile, inspired by The Other Boleyn Girl (the first Challenge winning book!)
{herbaceous rosemary, soothing lavender and a hint of spearmint}

Beguile soap is on the curing rack and will be listed in the shop shortly.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Banner!!!

Latherati has a new banner. What do you think? I wanted something
fresh and I think it's perfect. I'm a happy soaper ;-)

Scent Blending

Aack! I'm out of castor oil so until it comes in, no soapmaking for me. In the meantime, I'm blending some new scents. So far, I'm blending:

Celebration, inspired by The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald {champagne and strawberries with a bit of sugar}

Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence (what to name it??) {patchouli, woods & orchid}

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (I'm thinking "Scarlett" as a follower suggested) {lemon balm, magnolia, cotton and a hint of spearmint}

I just read "Marrying Mozart" by Stephanie Cowell. Great book. Smells to me like {lavender, linden blossom and a touch of ginger}

Now, I'm reading "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith - haven't come up with a scent yet but it's a great read!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Blossom & Matchmaker

On the curing rack:
Matchmaker, inspired by Emma by Jane Austen

{ripe strawberries, orchid and a touch of plum}


New in the shop:

Blossom Lip Luster (soap coming soon!), inspired by The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Just for laughs

I've been so busy with non-Latherati stuff, I haven't made anything in I thought I'd post something fun for a few laughs.

Try this: On a Google search, type the words "unfortunately, {insert name here}" and see what comes up. Here are a few choice phrases that came up for "unfortunately, Julie"...

" Unfortunately, Julie was recently informed that most of the cats had been poisoned over a period of a few days."

"Unfortunately, Julie lost her role when it was discovered that she had posed for Playboy magazine."

Unfortunately, Julie was unable to resist her first love and slept with Hart. ..."

Unfortunately Julie had to work and couldn't get the night off so the rest of them celebrated it instead"

Unfortunately Julie is no longer with us and this, along with the sale of some older cows, upset the social order"

Unfortunately, Julie is a completely repulsive, unappealing and vulgar human being."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Busy Tuesday

Kids baseball and swimming, short break for lunch, then the drive to pick up my oldest from college orientation.

I probably won't get a lot of soaping done today but if I find some time, I plan on making:

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory soap (what to name it???)
Lip Lusters for Blossom & Beguile
experiment with dry body oil recipes

Here's a pic of Beguile freshly cut. I love the color!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Now favor soaps

Look what's new at the Latherati Soap Foundry!

Darling little 1 ounce guest size bars of wedding favor soaps. I had been wanting to offer small bars as favors and when I found these cute little white boxes, I knew I had to make up some samples.
Find them in the new Storybook Wedding section.
I also submitted these to the Martha Stewart wedding contest. Check it out and rate my soap!

On the curing rack:

Blossom - inspired by The Secret Garden
{a soft floral with a leafy green base}

In the mold:

Beguile - inspired by The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory.
{rosemary, lavender and a hint of spearmint}

In the garden:

Look! Our first zucchini! It was cradled like a baby until we cut it up and grilled it for dinner ;-)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

July FREE soap challenge!!! CONTEST CLOSED

This contest is closed and the winner announced July 23, 2009.

Are you ready for the next CHALLENGE ??!!!
This month's theme is Children's books
{my 11 yr. old apprentice daughter will be helping with this one!}

Here we go:

To Enter: Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite book from childhood or a book you now read to your children. (include the author too!). Now, I probably can't get much from a simple board book, etc. so try to remember a favorite children's book that maybe taught you something about yourself or changed your perception of the world or just pleased you to no end.

Winner will be chosen by random number and will be notified by email (don't forget to include it!). {My apprentice} and I will read the book, write up a review that will be posted here and make a batch of soap (and a lip luster!) inspired by that book.

The Prize: The winner will receive two FREE bars (one from that batch & another of their choosing) plus a FREE lip luster.

The Rules: Suggest as many books as you like
(if you're like me, you have more than one favorite ;-)

To earn Extra Chances:
1) Blog about this CHALLENGE with a link to this post, then post link here
2) Become a Follower of the Latherati blog

Challenge ends July 22, 2009, 9:00 pm eastern time.

Ready, set, CHALLENGE me!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Here's what happens when you wait too long to cut a batch of salt bars...oops...guess these will be for our personal use here at my house ;-)

Salt/Spa bars should be cut as soon as they are set up, approximately 2 hours or so after pouring into the mold...remember that.

Garage sales...I love them. Here are my favorite finds from yesterday.

And old chippy paint antique mirror. For a dollar! and see that little blue glass thing? Do you know what that is?

I don't know the official name for it but basically, it's an eye washer. Say you get something in your eye, you put water in this, hold it up to your eye and tip your head back. It rinses your eye. We had one when I was growing up and we used ours quite a bit. I don't know what ever happened to ours but I'm delighted to have found another one!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Tiger Lillies & La Mar

The New York State flower is the rose...but why? When there is an abundance of gorgeous tiger lillies growing all about us? I'm not fortunate to have any in my yard but I do get to enjoy my neighbors. When I'm sitting on my porch swing, my view is of her garden and right now, the tiger lillies are perfect! Lovely, just lovely...they make me happy :-)

On a soaping note, La Mar is in the mold! Inspired by Old Man & the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, I decided to make this batch a salt bar (or spa bar). The fragrance is reminiscent of salty ocean waves with spicy undertones and a hint of musk. I made this a dark, ocean-y blue and I think the peaks look just like waves. Ready in about 4 weeks. A little recipe help for those interested in making spa bars. You add 1 lb. of salt for every lb. of oil in your batch. Add it at trace, after you've added your color and fragrance. Also, you want to have at least 80% coconut oil and then you can add the other 20% with oils like avocado, castor, rice bran, sweet almond, etc. Be sure to run your recipe through a lye calculator like this one.

Off to do a little yard work and tend to my garden.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday Book Club - Gone with the Wind

Gather round and have a book discussion with me! I'm reading Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. First, my thoughts...then, feel free to leave comments or answer my book club questions...we'll go from there :-)
I'd been wanting to read this book for a long time but the sheer size of the book put me off for awhile. It's a big book! But, I love it, oh how I love it.

Do you want to hear a little confession of mine regarding Gone with the Wind? Ok, here it is...the only visual I ever got when this book was mentioned was the Carol Burnett skit when she comes down the staircase wearing curtains, rod & all! If you want a good chuckle, check out this YouTube video. (there are two parts) Too funny!

OK, back to the's set in Georgia during the Civil War. It's the story of Scarlett O'Hara. She is the belle of society and lives on her father's (a hot-blooded Irishman, a temperament similar to Scarlett's) plantation, created from nothing and won by a bet. Everything is wonderful in Scarlett's life, save for her love of Ashley Wilkes. He will be marrying Melanie and there were words exchanged (and vases thrown) between the two, all witnessed by Rhett Butler, a bit of a scoundrel.

Scarlett decides to marry Charles Wilkes, Melanie's brother. Then, the war breaks out and ruins everything lovely in Scarlett's life. Facing reality for the first time, Scarlett is forced to take matters into her own hands. be continued.

Now, some questions and your thoughts...

1. How does Scarlett differ from the other girls of her time?
2. What are your opinions about Rhett Butler?

Feel free to comment on any part of the book, what you learned from it, your opinion about the Civil War, etc. and thank you for joining in the Latherati Book Club!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

In the Scent Blending Room + a little contest?

My long anticipated supplies came in yesterday and I'll be a soapin' fool this week.


La Mar, inspired by Old Man & the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
{salty ocean air + a man...I mean musk ;-) }

Blossom, inspired by The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
{flowers, flowers, flowers}


Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen
Emma by Jane Austen
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
{this is the winning book from my first challenge!}
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

These don't have names yet...Leave a comment on this post suggesting a name for any of the 4 books named above. If I use that name, you'll get a FREE lip luster PLUS a sample of my new body oil spray (coming soon!)'s a hint: I prefer one-word names.

Rules: You must be a Latherati blog follower. Be sure to leave your email so I can contact you! No end date on this contest.

Good luck!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Strawberries & Carousels & Rats, oh my

A few visuals of our spare time hobbies...

the fruits of our labor...yummy strawberries

my little man (and me) riding on a restored 1909 carousel

Lucy & Luna hangin' in the apple tree

On a Latherati note...I'm working on a new sugar scrub (lots of rich, skin-loving oils, soothing butters...mmm), a body oil spray (a light moisturizing oil) and a roll-on perfume (convenient roller ball bottle with your favorite Latherati scent). They are going to be divine!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

On the curing rack...

Isle of Skye, inspired by To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.
Scented with a fresh, salty ocean fragrance mingled with sweet pears; blue swirls and topped with sea salt. Smells very fresh and light. This will be cured and in the shop in 4 weeks.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wednesday Book Club - The Other Boleyn Girl

Last week, we started discussing The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory.
This week will be the final discussion of the book. First, my thoughts:

My first thought is how distressing society was during this era (but how beautiful the dress!). The roles of women being used as pawns is disturbing. England was changed forever during King Henry VIII's reign as this is when England separated from the Roman Catholic Church and established the Church of England. While this book is fiction, there is a large element of truth regarding England. Of course, the main focus of the book is the relationship of the Boleyn sisters, Mary and Anne.

I appreciate the fact that this book brought information to light about Mary Boleyn. She has always been the sister in shadows. As Anne is well known as the Queen of England that was beheaded, Mary has her own story to tell. I am also intrigued by the maneuvering behind the scenes to get a family into power.

If anything, this book will inspire you to learn more about and understand court politics and royalty.

Now, questions for you:

1. After reading the book, what do you now think of King Henry VIII and his court?
2. How, if at all, do you find Anne to be responsible for her demise?

Feel free to comment on any part of the book, what you learned from it, your opinion about the courts of England, etc. and thank you for joining in the Latherati Book Club!

Next week's book club: Anyone up for Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell? I started it a few days ago and I assure you, it will take longer than a few days for me to get through this book!