Saturday, November 24, 2012

New Products & Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale!

I'm currently offering a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale on my Etsy shop!  From now until Tuesday morning you will be able to get 20% off by using the coupon code: BLACKFRIDAY20  So far, it's been my most popular sale to date!

And there are a lot of great new products to choose from!

  Tardis Soaps!

 Lavender Bath Bomb Cupcakes

Salty Rose

Snowflake Soap

Cocoa Cows

Coconut Macaroon Bath Bombs

Cucumber Melon Bath Bombs

Eucalyptus Bath Bombs

Lavender Bath Bombs

Bath Bomb Gift Set (pick 4 of the above for $12)

R2D2 Soaps

Christmas Cabernet

Cranberry Orange

Christmas Trees

Gingerbread Soap

Santa's Sleigh Soap

Christmas Soap Gift Set

Cocoa Mint Soap Cake

And after making all that, and selling it at 2 craft fairs, I'm BEAT!  I'm hoping to only make custom orders from now until Christmas so that I can turn my focus back onto my kids and Christmas, and homeschooling.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Upcoming Markets!

It's official!  I will be at 2 upcoming markets in the Portland Metro area.

The first is the Portland Christian Royals Holiday Gift Show!

The second one will be at the Washougal High School Holiday Bazaar on November 17th!  I'll share more details on this one as soon as I get the info. :)

Hope to see you at either one!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A TARDIS A Day Keeps The Doctor At Bay?

As some on you that follow me on Facebook already know, I've been trying to make TARDIS soaps for about 2 months.  In between special orders and other projects, I've taken out the silicone mold that my hubby made me, and I make an attempt. 

I say "attempt" because I haven't made what I would consider to be a successful TARDIS yet!

You wouldn't think that mastering such a plain soap would be that difficult, would you?

 In the picture above, you'll see my three attempts so far (from left to right are my first, second and third attempts).

 On my first attempt, I was SO excited!  Mixed the soap w/ the color (ultra marine blue oxide) and fragrance and poured it in.  How hard could this be?  As it turns out, painfully!  When I unmolded the soap, I obviously hadn't waited long enough for it to harden, so it was very soft.  No problem, I thought, I'll just remelt and pour again.  So I did, and this time I left it overnight.  The next morning when I pulled it out of the mold it was absolutely chock full of air bubbles.  Now maybe to some poor sap on the street it wasn't that big of a deal, but to me it was an abject failure. 

After showing pictures to some more experienced soapers, I got some ideas on what I did wrong, and then moved on to my second attempt.

 One suggestion was that I should make it darker, so I did.  And I'm happy with that part.  In fact, I'm pretty much happy with everything about this attempt!  The only problem?  As this soap was in the mold my 5 year olds decided it would be fun to sprinkle it with glitter.  *sigh*  There goes my perfect TARDIS! 

Also, after having this one sit around my house for a while, I started to think that maybe it was too dark.  In this picture you can't really tell because it's in the nice sunshine, but inside the house it looks almost black which was not quite the look I was going for.

Ergo, TARDIS #3.  This time I thought for sure, that I would get it right.  Third time's a charm and all that rot.  Well, not so much!  Instead of re-measuring the mold to figure out how many ounces it would take I had the bright idea of putting one of my other attempts on the scale.  I made the terrible assumption that they'd be the same, right?  Wrong.  I totally should have known better, my earlier attempts had of course shrunken due to water evaporation.  If you scroll to the top or bottom you'll see that this one is noticably larger than the other two.

So you can guess what happened next.  When I poured in the soap it wasn't even close to enough, so it didn't completely fill the mold.  So I dumped it back into my measuring cup (which of course added air bubbles), added more soap, adjusted the color, and then poured it back into the mold.  This morning when I unmolded, I saw all the air bubbles, and then repeatedly bonked my head on the counter because I'm such a dork.

Moral of the story?  Don't even bother trying to rebatch TARDIS soaps.  Oh, and measure the dang mold before you even get started (or write it down somewhere for pete's sake!).

I am trying to get these perfected before Christmas, in the hopes that some Whovians out there will get their wish.  But obviously, I still have some work to do before they're ready for that!  My goal?  To make a TARDIS every night until I get it right! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fall Soap and other fun stuff!

In my dreams, I'm a regular blogger.  But I just read an encouraging post about how to be better at that, so hopefully as I apply those tips I'll get better about it and you'll see more of me here!

But has gotten crazy here!  I started homeschool this week, so I've figured out a new routine to our day, and hopefully it makes room for both making kids literate, and for soap!

In the meantime, I've made some fun stuff!

 I made leaf, turkey, and pumpkin soaps using fallen leaves fragrance oil!  The girls helped me cut out the shapes, and were extremely cooperative that day so I let them help with other stuff too!  Hopefully this will be the start of more joint efforts.

 Here's a closer look at the leaves.  Each soap has two layers of color, so they're reversible to match holiday bathroom decor!

 And with the scraps from cutting out shapes, I made this fun autumn confetti soap!

I got a special order and part of it was for Peppermint Soap.  I was completely out, so I thought I'd try out my new colorants!  And WOW, what a result!

Since the Peppermint bars turned out so great, I thought I'd try something new and broke out the lollypop mold that's been languishing in the bottom of my mold bin.  Love the result, and I'm already sold out of them so looks like I'll have to make more!  I'm thinking these will do great at craft fairs this fall, and would make awesome stocking stuffers!

Since the girls were so helpful with the cut out soaps, I thought I'd let them make bath bombs with me.  Was my kitchen a wreck when we were done?  Absolutely!  But does bath bomb mix get mixed up faster with 4 little sets of hands in the bowl mixing away?  Yup!  It sure does!

 We made Green Tea w/ Himalayan pink salt and Pink Grapefruit Bath Bombs.  Both smell fantastic!

And then the pretty part!  I had someone special order bath bomb cupcakes for bridal party gifts, and her wedding colors are red/gold so I made these lovely little numbers for the bridal shower!  Honestly, they're the best ones I've made yet!  Maybe I'm actually getting the hang of piping bubble icing!  But let me tell ya, my wrists and hands were hurting for 48 hours after making them!  Not sure what I'm going to do if they turn into great sellers.

Anyway, hope your back-to-school week is going well at your house!  It's shaping up to be a great school year here at Sunbreak headquarters. :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Amy's In The Arts Interview!

Today I'm the featured artist at Amy's In The Arts!  They did a fantastic write up about me & Sunbreak Soaps.  I'm very honored to be picked!

You can find the interview here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Christmas Fragrances!

I'm sick this week, and hubs is recovering from shoulder surgery.  So I'm not making soap, and when I'm not making soap I'm thinking about soap, and when I think about soap I buy soap stuff. 

It's a bit of a problem.

But maybe this is a good thing!  I'm planning ahead for Christmas soaps!  Maybe it seems silly to be thinking about Christmas already, but I've never been through a Christmas season as a business before, and I'm kind of worried I won't have enough... so there's no time like the present to start figuring out what I'm going to make!

For me, inspiration always starts with the fragrances!  So without further adieu, here's the list of fragrances that I've ordered and descriptions of each!

Fresh Fallen Leaves - "What can we say..This fragrance smells just like the aroma of fresh fallen leaves. You won't believe how true to life this smell is" 

Christmas Cabin - "A wonderful blend of bayberries and cranberries with a top note of freshly crushed cinnamon bark with hints of orange zests."

Christmas Cookies - "Smells just like a freshly-baked, buttery Christmas Cookie with frosting."

Christmas Memories - "Christmas memories at their finest!  Christmas memories fragrance begins with top notes of orange peel and cranberry sauce; flowing nicely into middle notes of cinnamon sticks and freshly ground cloves; with base notes of evergreen and pinecones."

Winter Garden - "Refreshing and clean!  Winter Garden fragrance will remind you of the fresh clean smell of winter air while walking down a snow-covered path.  This fragrance begins with top notes of fresh lime and menthol;  middle notes of Douglas fir and lavender;  with full-body base  notes of eucalyptus and pine."

Christmas Cabernet - "Cabernet has a classically deep red color and displays a lovely bouquet of berries and oak. A full-bodied wine with good varietal character and power, it offers rich cherry flavors with excellent balance and a long finish. We have combined this lovely aroma with hints of Christmas time, and created our version of Christmas Cabernet. You will want to celebrate when you smell this fragrance!"

Cranberry Orange - "A delightful blend of citrus notes of orange, satsuma, yuzu, and tangerine; followed by notes of cranberry, peach, and hints of spice."

I tried to get a little of this and a little of that so that there'd be something for everyone!  And for those who answered my poll on my Facebook page - I already have peppermint and gingerbread covered. :)

Can't wait till I'm healthy and my new ingredients arrive so I can get started!

Monday, August 13, 2012

More Art Glass!

My husband had shoulder surgery on Friday, so I'm sorry for my scarcity the past week.  It's just been crazy at our house preparing for the surgery AND my first soap event which happened on Friday without me.  Yes, that's right, my soap made it to an event even though I didn't!  Whew... what a week!

As a little distraction I thought I'd go ahead and post a few more art glass pictures from our trip to Seattle a few weeks ago.  These were taken at the Tacoma Museum of Glass.

I don't remember the name of the artist who made these wall hangings, I know the second one is blurry, but I loved the colors of it, so I thought I'd post the picture anyway.  These two made me think that it would be fun to make an impressionistic soap with these colors!

 And then we walked into the Chihuly exhibit.  Be still my heart!  The first group was from his Navaho series.  Chihuly is also interested in basket weaving and blanket weaving, and these vases demonstrate that interest.  The marks on the front are "woven" together to make the design.

 And then the sea forms!  This blue one was probably my favorite.  But blue is my favorite color so I'm a bit biased.

 I loved this one too, a basket full of other sea forms... so gorgeous!

 This one absolutely glowed!  I think maybe orange is becoming my second favorite color.

 I know this one is a bit blurry, but I thought it was a fun combination of sea forms and goblets.

 And then, the coups de gras!  The bridge of glass.  It's a pedestrian bridge that goes over I-5.  It has three parts to it.  The first part is this huge wall, and in the wall are hundreds of compartments, each with it's own fantastic piece of art glass!  It was quite the site to behold!  The more you looked, the more amazing things you saw.  I wished I could have stood in front of it for an hour, that's how engrossing it was!  My picture only shows a sliver of the wall, but it was all I could get in the frame.

The second part is two towers of blue ice cube like bubbles.  And I know my picture doesn't show it, but they were huge!  Two pillars of extreme proportion!

And then... my camera ran out of batteries!  ARGH!!!  But the third part was even more exciting, so I borrowed a picture to show you.  It was a tunnel, and above you the ceiling was covered with sea form glass!  It was fantastic!  The sun shining through and lighting up the whole thing.

Bridge of Glass, Chihuly Art, Tacoma WA

If you're anywhere near Tacoma, WA, I highly recommend checking it out! 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Interesting Etsy Stats

I saw this interesting Infographic and I thought I'd share it here.  It has some really great stats about Etsy!

Did you know that Etsy is worth more per employee than Ebay?  I didn't!

Did you know that Etsy items are the most pinned items on Pinterest?  I didn't!

Wanna learn more?  Read on!

Etsy MBA
Created by:

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Art Glass Inspiration

When I make soap, I intentionally and unintentionally draw inspiration from things I love.  One of the things I love is art glass. 

Hubs and I recently took a trip to Seattle, and you pretty much can't go there without seeing amazing art glass.  Whether it's Chihuly or some other amazing artist, it's everywhere!  (And if you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend reading this story about me and Mr. Chihuly.)

On our way home, we went to the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA.  Currently on display there is an exhibit by Lino Tagliapietra. 

This was the first of his pieces that caught my eye!  I love the implied movement and how it appears to be defying gravity!

 Loved the colors on this one.  Hubs was impressed with the ones that had scored marks all over the glass, and this one was like that.

 I thought that the layers on these vases were really interesting.  Curious to see if I could make a soap version of these!

 The blue with dark edges looks so much like a landscape scene!  It's truly mind boggling to me how they can do this with molten hot liquid glass!

 I think the artist was showing his playful side with these!  The one on the left was titled "Batman".

 This art glass wall hanging was huge!  And of course, blue is my favorite color.

 Another amazing squiggle!  I'd love to have something like this in my house.  Only problem?  Twin 5 year olds.  Need I say more?

 Of everything on display, I thought this was the most impressive!  It must have taken so much time and patience to make each of those layers, etched in a different pattern, with that clear layer in the middle that the observer looks into to see the inside of the piece!  Incredible!

So what kinds of things to you like to look at to find inspiration?