"There is nothing new under the sun" (Ecclesiastes) Ugh. How frustrating it is! That little fellow to the left and all of his brethren are alas-as common as dirt, but still quite pleasant. I definitely cannot take any credit for originality on some of the products I have recently offered for sale. I do make original soap from recipes I have indeed created, but sometimes I just thirst for a different effect. All my rustic endeavors get stale in my mind, no matter that I have formulated with the most natural substances available outside of the NaOH required for the delight of saponification. I found the mold for the owl and other assorted shapes and the cute bit me. I just had to possess it. So, I subjugated the artistic snob within and catered to the lust for the works of others! One thing I will not compromise is the use of pure essential oils in any products. Another truth is that many essential oils that work for my skin do not combine peacefully with raw soap. Oh ho, so how could I make some cute little shapes with great skin friendly smells? Cooked soap is best for incorporation of essential oils, but tends to be uncooperative for detailed molding in many cases. The answer: Melt and pour. I didn't merely subjugate the clamoring snob within, I stepped on this voice for originality with a lead weighted steel shod shank!
I did, however, search for the most perfect, beautiful, palm oil free, touted as "natural"(but really, it isn't) melt and pour glycerin soap base I could afford. Then I melted, mixed micas, dropped in essential oils, and poured. Ugh! How I despised myself as I gloated over the sparkly cute little owls. Gah! How could I solve such a dilemma? Well, I decided to formulate a melt and pour base of my own. I wanted more bubbles and lather. Could I create such a thing without exotic solvents? (All soap that is meltable and pourable requires solvents-tis the nature of the beastie)Yeah, I too tried straight glycerin but the results were depressingly sweaty and soft. So, I broke out the propylene glycol. Yes, yes I did. I truly believe this substance to be non harmful. I do go for the least effective solvent amount possible in my soap base and I have been lathering up with it daily with no ill effects. I'd like to get my mitts on some sorbitan oleate, but for the now...My own melt and pour base of the moment is not beautifully transparent, and I'm experimenting to solve(nt) this problem too. Oh how I have coveted the clarity! For now, if a soap has a nice transparent feature it will have that not so sudsy touted as "natural" (but isn't really) base in it that I did indeed purchase from another manufacturer. I just love giving insect soap transparent wings on occasion! Expect any non transparent features to be made with my in house soap base. At least there is a hint of originality in these rascals.
My next project is some original mold making. The cute ones are all well and good-for everybody! Lets just take a quick tour of etsy:
Yep, and you too can make cute little owls, etc-anytime! Just visit Amazon for some molds like mine. Don't let anyone convince you it takes special skills or equipment. You can melt MP base in a microwave safe container, in the quantity you desire-in your microwave oven! Color it, scent it, pour it-let it harden up and then enjoy! But please note: NO soap is "natural" and "organic" really does not apply to non food products. What IS important is whether or not a set of ingredients is generally recognised as safe when used appropriately within studied guidelines, and your own personal preferences and tolerances.
My grandmother taught me about this plant when I was a child. She told me that besides stepping on the fruits which she identified as May pops, one could also eat them. Once, the vines of Passiflora incarnata were a prolific complement to the days of childhood summers. It seems that as I grew up, the plants declined in number. A few years ago, while tramping through vacant lots and roadside ditches, I was delighted to stumble upon a patch of the vines from my childhood. Of course I collected some May pops, flowers and leaves. I planted a whole fruit in my garden and waited hopefully for a shoot to appear that summer. I had given up hope and then I was amazed when two years later the first passion vine shoot finally emerged in late April, or was it May? The first year wasn't so great for my vine, but a few Gulf fritillary caterpillars did enjoy it. This year has been a burgeoning success of flower, fruit and symbiotic relationships for may insects and my coveted vine. The ants have been drinking sweet nectar, the bumble bees have been shouldering each other about on the beautiful passion flowers, and several golden orb spiders have strung their webs adjacent to the tendrils of my prolific vine. Ah! Good medicine! Good for teas and tinctures, good for jellies too! I'm currently making a glycerite for relaxation and sleep this winter, and saving seeds for anyone else that wants to grow and enjoy this bounteous and beautiful herb.