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The Making Of Christmas Warmth

I first made these last year as a seasonal special, and because the response to them was so good, I’ve brought them back this Christmas once again for you to savour in the shower.

Here are some photos that I managed to take while in the process of making Christmas Warmth this year.

 After adding the lye water to the oils and working the mixture with the stick blender briefly, I separated a portion of the raw soap so that I could have two different colours for the design. Here I added a little bit of titanium dioxide (I made sure that they were not micronized, or also called “nanoparticles” over which there has been much concern on its ill effects on health) to get the mixture to be more white. My recipes tend to yield slightly yellow soap because of the natural golden hues of the oils I use for superfatting – jojoba and macadamia nut, for example. This ‘batter’ that you see in the mixing bowl is what the soap looks like after I’ve left it to stand for about 10 minutes after using the stick blender to mix the raw soap to a light-medium trace. It already contains the superfatting oils and essential oils.

For the bottom layer I used french red clay for its colour, and I left it to set for about 15 minutes before I added the white layer on top. The remaining red portion of the soap was glopped onto the white in patches (because I didn’t want to waste any soap, as far as I can possibly manage). Then I used my rubber spatula to tease the surface of the soap into these peaks that you see here. I’ve seen much prettier textures from other soapmakers (a prime example is Inner Earth Soaps), so I’ve got a loooong way to go in learning how to master this! Still, I was quite happy with the results. This photo was taken about 30 minutes after the soap was poured/coaxed into the mold.

 Here’s one of the logs after being pushed through the first slicer. In the bottom left hand corner of the photo, you might notice what looks like condensation on the surface of the soap. I usually do a pH check on the exposed (outer) and cut (inner) surfaces of all my soap, and the condensation registered a very definite pH level of 14 (highest possible). The inner surface had a pH reading of 10, which is the normal pH level for most cold process soap. A week later I checked the readings for the same slice of soap again and this time both the exposed and cut surfaces had pH levels of somewhere between 9 and 10. All my soap batches demonstrate this behaviour but I really don’t know why there should be an initial difference in pH levels between the exposed and cut surfaces. Any ideas?

After being sliced into individual bars, the soap went onto the curing rack. I loved walking into my office even more for those few weeks because the lingering scents from the soap was just delicious. Cinnamon, clove leaf, ginger, nutmeg, peppermint and sweet orange, ahh… 🙂 I found myself taking sniffs at the trays every so often while taking my mini-breaks from work, and often walked away feeling a tad more sprightly.

I’m looking to take more photos of Christmas Warmth as individual bars soon. If you can’t wait to see them though, they’re now available as part of sampler packs or in bars. 😉

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Christmas Warmth is Back!

There’s something inexplicably special about Christmas. To commemorate all those heart-warming memories that you have and will make with your friends and loved ones, I’ve brought back my Christmas Warmth soap and it will be done curing on November 16th.

I’ve taken its scent cue from the warming spices infused in traditional mulled wine recipes, rounded off with the comforting moisturization you have come to know and love from Kinder Soaps. 🙂 Think: clove buds, cinnamon, nutmegs, ground ginger, sweet orange and a touch of peppermint. Oh, and no alcohol was used in this recipe, don’t worry!

I’m only making one batch of these soaps this year, so if you’d like to make sure that you can get your bar of Christmas Warmth, please use the Pre-Order form to place your order and I’ll get back to you with payment details. I will ship them to you once they’re ready.

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Someone Won RM500 to Spend at Kinder Soaps!

Those of you who visited us at the most recent Crafty Art Market may have participated in our Lucky Draw by answering a few quick questions (thanks for stopping by y’all!). We had 60 entries, and the lucky winner was entry number 17, as selected by It’s Mr Steven Chung who stopped by to chat and pick up a bar of soap. 🙂 Congratulations Steven! I’m so glad that we can help you sort out your Christmas gift shopping! 🙂 RM500 can get you a lot of soap. A. LOT.

Another treat (for me at least) was that my brother, Lionel, offered to come and help out at the booth for the afternoon. I had such fun having him around, spotting all the marketing issues that I missed and basically acting as a much-needed additional hand/mouth/brain/eyes/feet for the entire time he was there. It was his birthday too! My dad was also around–you may have spied him seated at the back of the booth with his iPad. He wasn’t playing games, mind you… He was scheming. Big things. 😉

Here we are, for the first time–a whole-family affair at a Kinder Soaps bazaar outing.

I still didn’t have much time to walk around the Market to take photos or visit booths, and it still took me 3 hours to finish a burger that was supposed to have been my lunch… But I’d never ask for anything to have turned out differently. It was a lovely, sunny Saturday, and it was spent in a most satisfying way. 🙂

See you all again at the next bazaar!