Latest creation

I am a sucker for citrus scents and I have all my soaps to prove that. Sparing one of two soaps, all my bars have a hint of citrus somewhere. Here in India spring sneaks in very quietly and before we can actually get a feel for it, the hot summer sun is blazing away. Here is a 'Whiff of Spring' before it vanishes.

Made with coconut, palmolein and olive oils and scented with grapefruit and bergamot esssential oils. The two layers have been colored with wheatgrass and calamine clay. 

Have a great weekend people!! :)

Happiness is handmade

'Soap and Soup for your Soul' hampers for my yearly Diwali sale

Where did one whole year go? I wanted to update the blog and kept postponing it to the next day almost everyday and without noticing, a whole year went by. My oh my!!!

The past year has been fruitful I sell my soaps under the name 'Amoda Handmades' and Amoda means happiness in Sanskrit. I use the tagline 'happiness is handmade', which I thought of about 2 years ago on a train ride through the Austrian alps. I remember struggling really hard to have something related to happiness as that is what Amoda means and then it sudden struck like lightning and it made perfect sense. Amoda Handmades and the tagline should be registered trademarks in a few months from now and I can't wait.

Some more things I did in the past year:

My website is up and running. It is a very basic one but I wanted to have a place where people who are interested can visit and see the soaps.

Made many lip balms and finally settled on a recipe made with very few ingredients but the balm keeps the lips moist and also lasts decently long on the lips.

Tried my hand at liquid soap making. The result...slightly cloudy soap, but that doesn't bother me that much. I didn't use any alcohol or glycerine or sugar solution. Also didn't start with a lye heavy soap, as I didn't want to add any neutralisers towards the end. I quite like the concept of liquid soap and can't wait to churn out more batches. The only thing that pained me, is the really long cooking time.

Made a sugar scrub...didn't like it that much. The sugar was too coarse. Need to work on that this year.

Got some soap racks made to accommodate more soaps, hope to get some big orders too this year.

Got a soap cutter made. Had to make corrections. Still needs some more corrections.

I kept the best thing for the last...I got me a new little puppy. <3 Soo not related to soap in any way, but he is a real bundle of joy.

Hope everyone has had a good year and wish you all a very happy, peaceful and successful 2014!


Soaping in full swing again

I can't believe I haven't blogged for such a long time!! I hate to admit, but sometimes there are things more important than soap. And now I can't believe I had the nerve to even say that!! The  past few months were really busy for me. It all started off with three sales in two different cities. They went well and I had one returning customer who was looking for a particular rose soap she bought from me last year. Unfortunately I had none of those left, but she agreed to try a different one. The feeling of having a returning client is unexplainable...I felt so thrilled and satisfied. Following the sales we had cousins coming from different parts of the world. It's so great to be able to meet up with family and we had a blast talking about our childhood and going to the movies and also many many family potluck dinners. And while I was having a great time with my folks, my soap stock slowly started dwindling to a point where I had no more soaps to sell. Wake up!!!!!

Thankfully I got bitten by the soap bug all over again. YAY!!!

Rose: Scented with Geranium FO and
colored with Calamine and cocoa powder

Very Vanilla: Colored with Cocoa powder and Kaolin clay and
scented with Vanilla FO

Scented with Rosemary EO. This contains a mix of ground lentils
also known as Sunni Pindi (in a south Indian language...Telugu)

Peppermint, Eucalyptus and Bergamot EO's

Thin line colored with wheatgrass powder

Scented with Basil, Citronella and Lemongrass EO's
and colored with cocoa powder

I'm finding it hard to try out any new swirl techniques because of so many almost seize and volcano situations. But I still get a high every time I soap and the excitement at the time of unmolding and cutting up the soap to see the design....I feel like a little kid with a wrapped up gift in hand, waiting to open it up. :)

Have a great day people and happy soaping!!

It's hot in the soap kitchen! (picture heavy)

There have been no posts for sometime and that is only because many batches of soap were being whipped up in the kitchen. My candle making cousin and I are getting ready for a sale around 'Diwali', more popularly known as the 'festival of lights' outside India.

Each batch of soap ended up surprising me. When I expected everything to go smoothly, I ended up with some pretty rough looking soap. And when I kept the design very simple anticipating overheating, the soap didn't even gel. Before I get all whiny, I'll just shut my trap!!

Here are some pictures:

Scented with
cedarwood, frankincense and grapefruit EO's
Swirled with red sandalwood and wheatgrass powder
Happy Surprise!
EO blend worked beautifully!

Madder root experiment.
Scent blend: Palmarosa and Patchouli
Almost seize situation.
Embeds got wonky from banging the mold on the counter

Plain Eucalyptus soap
Colored with wheatgrass
Went as planned, just couldn't do away with the soda ash

Like the swirls, but had a very hard time with this soap.
Mold lining bent, so not a perfect round.
Scent blend: grapefruit and vanilla.
Brown colored soap seized halfway into pouring! Yikes!
Got some solid air pockets in some soaps.
A lovely scent blend though!!

Leftover special.
Made with soap scraps and leftover essential oils.
These soaps are just for me!!

Scented with Vanilla fragrance oil.
Things didn't go too smoothly this time.
Controlled a slight volcano situation,
by smoothing out the soap with a spatula :D

Basil, lemongrass and citronella scent blend. Great blend!!
A dash of neem oil.
Scoop, glop, smooth!!
Scoop, glop, smooth!!
Design turned out not quite like planned, but not totally off either. 

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect Orange EO to misbehave.
Scent blend: Orange, pimento berry.
Jazzed up ever so slightly with calendula petals.

Orange, cedarwood EO blend.
Cocoa powder and turmeric swirls.
I like it! 

Lemon-eucalyptus, lemongrass and rosemary.
First batch of soap that I remade!
(the earlier batch was a hot seller)

Rosemary and peppermint soap with a dancing cocoa line!

The superstar!!! B)

There is yet another batch of soap in the mold and I am waiting for it to cool off. Hope everyone is having a great week! 


Soooo purple!!

I'm back with the very last purple trial. After this soap batch, I decided to call myself a pro, coz I now know how to exactly work with alkanet. How much root, how much powder, what oils to infuse in, for how long, how much infused oil to use to always get a consistent purple that is just right for a lavender soap. Did you fall for all that?? I lied!! :P

After making the easy batch by adding alkanet powder directly to soap, I realized it was too scratchy to shower with. The next time around I infused alkanet powder in olive oil and used that in soap. I got too light a purple and after curing it faded some more and turned somewhat grey. Actually I can't describe the color. In some angles it appears grey and in some angles it appears purplish. Or it is just my mind playing games with my eyes.

So for this batch I infused the alkanet root in olive oil and used 10% of that oil along with the base oils.

Quite a dark purple there. Next time a little less
infused oil. 

I almost forgot to mention, there was a soap volcano again. I might just become a volcano soap specialist one of these days. For now I will stop the lavender soaps, as I still have to try out some pinks.

Ta ta!!