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We’ll Be At Urbanscapes 2011, July 16th!

Oh my, we got in! πŸ˜€

Kinder Soaps’ next appearance will be amidst the crazy, fun and festive atmosphere at the next Urbanscapes, which will be held at Padang Astaka, PJ. We were very fortunate to have been selected through a vetting process by the organisers (it’s pretty stringent, I’ve been told). Thank you to the organisers for letting us be a part of this huge event!

Here’s what you need to know:

What: Urbanscapes 2011 – The City’s All-Day Creative Arts Festival
Date: July 16th, 2011
Time: 12pm till 12am (12 hours of non-stop activity!)
Where: Padang Astaka, PJ (this map should come in handy)
How to get there: Take the LRT and hop off at Taman Jaya Station. Padang Astaka is just a few minutes’ walk away. Parking there is extremely limited, so save yourself the aggravation of wasting your time jostling for a parking space.
Ticket price at the door: RM40. Check out Urbanscapes’ website for more details on how to score tickets at discounted prices.

Get updates on Urbanscapes on their Facebook Page and through Twitter.

I reckon you’ll be absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to things to see and do at Urbanscapes. Read this as a primer about what Urbanscapes is all about. There’ll be live music, lots of fun people to mingle with, and of course, things to ogle at and bring home. And fancy plucking up some courage to speak at Urbanscapes’ first ever BarCamp?

To be honest, I’m getting a little stressed about preparations ahead of Urbanscapes. How should I decorate my stall? Do I have enough stock to sell? Can I last for the entire day right up till midnight? And can I somehow squeeze out some time to visit other sections of the festival myself??? 0_o

But trust me when I say that this is an experience that I (nor YOU!) would want to miss out on. Hope to see you there! πŸ˜€

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Songbird

I wanted to create a soap that conveyed a sense of freedom and the outdoors, so I chose to include virginian cedarwood, cypress, eucalyptus, pine and bergamot essential oils in this blend. I used coloured pearlescent micas for the blues and whites, and powdered wheatgrass for the olive green. It makes me think of how our earth looks like from outer space, actually! :p

Suitable for all but the most sensitive skin. However, those of you who have oily skin may benefit even more from the soap’s combination of essential oils which all work together to regulate sebum production.

There’s also a back story to this soap. I was inspired by a friend of mine, who lost her husband to a freak road accident about half a year ago. I can’t begin to imagine the sense of loss she must feel, even now. But being the wonderfully spirited young woman she is, it is amazing to see her resolve to continue living her life to the fullest, as she always has.

Janet, this one is for you.

Characteristics and Usage

Use on: Face, body, hair.

Scent: Although it’s a fairly elaborate mix of scents (by my standards, anyway), you’ll catch the eucalyptus and pine combo first, but later notice the more woodsy undertones from the rest of the essential oils.

Lather: Rich and creamy when used directly on hair or bath puff/sponge. Lathers up quite nicely in the palm of your hand too.

Ingredients: Palm oil, canola oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, water, sodium hydroxide, essential oils (eucalyptus, virginian cedarwood, cypress, pine, bergamot), pearlescent micas (contains iron oxide and titanium dioxide), wheatgrass powder, rosemary oleoresin.

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Customer Feedback: Clarity (#2)

Clarity seems to be getting pretty popular! πŸ˜€ Here’s another email I received out of the blue from Zhafa Rini about her experience with it:

Hi Michelle, I bought Soap Sampler last month. Clarity was included in the package. As I have an oily complexion, I have problems with pimples. Especially in the area near my ears (sorry I don’t know what should I call it). My mum wasn’t convinced about this soap at first but recently she complimented my about the reducing pimples on my face. Also,my skin become smooth and less oily. Now my sister,cousin and mother are using it(we cut it into few pieces) and I have to tell you that I will need a new one soon πŸ˜€ I love the scent too! Thanks a lot Michelle!

Zhafa Rini, I’m really glad that the soap seems to be helping your skin. πŸ™‚

And although I know this next bit of advice is something you probably hear all the time (from your mom, especially!), do continue to drink a LOT of water to help your body and skin stay well-hydrated. It’s supposed to also keep our bodies able to carry off waste matter that could otherwise contribute to our skin looking congested and breaking out in zits.

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Soap Disaster – Breakfast Bar Bleeds

I decided to take a few deep breaths and blog about tonight’s incident RIGHT AWAY. Just so I don’t have to deal with what I just saw immediately.

So there I was unmolding my block of Breakfast Bars. I prop it up on its side, as I usually do:

Looks perfectly normal, right? But something wasn’t quite right already, on sight – beads of water on the surface of the soap. And sure enough–pH reading was 14. Waaaay to alkaline. Uh-oh.

Then I turned it round and peeled off the paper liner underneath the block, and Oh. My. GAWD:

There was black, runny liquid spilling out of the bottom of my soap block, like heavy soya sauce. Han was quick to come over and help, and to investigate. The liquid smelt sweet–it must be the raw honey then! Was it because the soap overheated? I warmed up the oils and beeswax to my usual temperature of just over 67°C (it’s the melting point for beeswax) before adding the lye (which was at about 40°C).

Upon closer inspection:

Maaan, it really looks like an open wound. 0_o

I can’t think of ANY means to salvage this batch…

Right. So. Uhm. I’m gonna go back there and stare at this block for a while more in disbelief, and find a way to toss it in the trash. Then go over what could have gone wrong.

That’s RM1,800 worth of soap gone. :((

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Brief Update

As I write this, my daughter is busy chatting away by herself in the shower stall, doodling on the doors with some special washable pens. If my eldest son was home (he’s with his papa at the office today), there’s no question that I’ll hear more sibling squabbles and Andrea wailing about her big brother’s antics.

And then there’s Reuben, who gets around to doing things like THIS while noone’s looking:

Life’s little surprises. I really couldn’t help myself from bursting into laughter when I saw Reuben’s look of utter glee while clutching a fistful of dirt!

The past few weeks have been more family-focused, and I also took a short ‘break’ of sorts while recovering from shingles. It’s completely cleared now, thank goodness! So I’m more or less back into the swing of things, but my goodness–sleep seems like a luxury that I can’t afford! Which is strange, because I used to think that same way when I was working in full time employment. Now it seems that running my own business from home is not much different in terms of the amount of time I get to have in terms of quality rest!

Having said that though, I wouldn’t like to have things any differently. πŸ™‚

On the soaping front, I’m out of stock for Clarity so will be whipping up a fresh batch in the next couple of days. Breakfast Bars are also running low. Spiced Coffee is just off the curing rack and is ready for sale. As for Songbird, well, that’s still in the experimental stage for now. I’ll definitely let you know when it’s ready to sayang your skin!

I’m also seriously contemplating and planning for the eventual move of my actual soapmaking work to my office space in Damansara Jaya. Having tens of bottles of lye in the house full of active kids makes me skittish, and it would be lovely to reclaim some of our personal space back! :p Unfortunately the place is in need of some major plumbing work before I can move in properly, so it should be some months before I can actually make soap there.

Oh, and the next Crafty Art Market will be on June 25th at Jaya One. I’m helping to get the Etsy sellers signed up and organised once again–but I can’t participate as I will be away in Penang that weekend. πŸ™ And this time round it’s supposed to be massive, as the organisers have decided to host three different markets all on the same day: Chic POP, Bettr Weekends and Crafty Art Market. The whole event will be called “Markets at Jaya One”. More details can be found here. Do drop by on the day to support our very talented local artisans, who make everything from journals to trinkets of all kinds, and soap! Patty of Lullabelle Handmade Soap will be there–say hi to her for me and have a look at her wares. πŸ™‚

Alright then, I’d better wrap up this blogpost and decide which soap to make this afternoon. Clarity? Breakfast Bar…?