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I’m hosting a giveaway on this great green blog, Going Green with Noah.  Melanie, who runs the blog, came by my booth at the Cowtown Indie Bazaar last month and later contacted me about reviewing my products.  I sent her a few things to try, and offered up some freebies for a giveaway.  It’s always nice to hear such wonderful feedback from someone new to my products – read her review here.

Now for the good stuff – freebies!  You can win 2 bars of soap and a lotion bar, and the giveaway runs until October 25.  Lots of ways to enter, so head on over to the blog and check it out 🙂

P.S. – don’t forget to subscribe to my new blog address:  www.thesoapaddict.com/blog . I won’t be posting at this URL for much longer.

This week my products were included in 2 lovely new fall treasuries, so I thought I would share them here with you, my faithful blog readers.

This one titled ‘Southernmost Autumn’ is a warm weather fall treasury.  It certainly doesn’t fee like fall yet at my house, so this one is right up my alley.  This treasury includes my key lime lip balm.

‘Fall is in the Air‘ includes all Etsy Fort Worth members and lots of lovely fall colors that I wish I was experiencing.  2 falls ago Joey and I took a trip to New England to see what fall is really supposed to be like.  It was beautiful, hot cider drinking, sweater wearing weather that I wish we had here in Texas.  This treasury includes my soap chunks grab bag.

So I think I’m finally getting the hang of this ‘swirl in the pot’ soap swirling thing.  I even managed to swirl 2 colors this time (this is where you ‘ohhh’ and ‘ahhh’).  This soap was actually inspired by a crafty friend, Stephanie of Robot Pop.  She has become one of my ‘testers’ and has given me several great ideas for new scents.  This is one that she suggested to me, down to the swirl.  I’m saving a bar for Stephanie for the great idea on this one – it smells fantastic!

chocolate cherry almond cold process soap, swirled with cocoa powder and rose clay

I’m going to make a bigger batch this week so it will be ready in October…I hope the swirls come out this nice on my big batch!

Tomorrow is my first day to have 2 shows in one day, and I’m a little nervous.  I knew it would be a lot of work to get everything ready for 2 shows at the same time, but I think I underestimated how much work.  I’ve been wrapping soap, making lotion bars, lip balms and scrubs and packaging like crazy this week.  I’m just about ready and am going to set-up for the Cowtown Indie Bazaar later today.

Here’s where we’ll be:

The New Public Market is happening from 8-2 tomorrow.  Word on the street is the Cooking Channel is going to be there filming one of the local vendors (Machacek Bakery) for their show Food Crafters.  Pretty exciting for our little farmers market, and so great for the bakery.  I won’t be at this market, but Mr. Soap Addict (Joey) will be ‘manning’ (haha) the booth all by himself.

I’ll be at The Cowtown Indie Bazaar just a few miles away.  This is my first major show of the fall season, and I think it’s going to be great.  It’s being hosted by Etsy Fort Worth, a group of local Etsy artisans that I’m a part of.  There are going to be more than 80 local, handmade artisans, live music, goodie bags for the first 50 in the door, raffle prizes and activities for the kiddos.  It’s a free event and goes all day from 9-6.

I think it’s going to be a great way to kick off the holiday weekend!

I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to get a swirled soap that I think looks good for a while.  Every time I do a test batch, something seems to go wrong and it doesn’t swirl.  It either traces too quickly and is too thick to swirl, or doesn’t get quite thick enough and just blends together.  I even made the mistake of trying to swirl a light color into a dark and the light just disappeared into the soap.  Oops.

Well here it is folks – my first successful swirl.  I like it – what do you think?

pine orange scented soap colored with Spirulina

This is a new soap I’m testing out that I may do for the holidays.  It’s scented with pine and orange, and colored with Spirulina powder.  When I first cut it, it was this beautiful bright green color.  After curing for about 3 weeks, it’s faded quite a bit to a brownish green.  I think the color works for a pine soap, but I’ll have to try something else for a true green.

It’s less than 2 weeks until the Cowtown Indie Bazaar in Fort Worth, and I’m pumped.  This is going to be a great show, sponsored by Etsy Fort Worth, a group of local Etsy artisans of which I am a member.  I really enjoy doing shows that only allow handmade artisans, and I always have a hard time not spending all of my earnings.

I decided to donate mini soaps to the goody bags for this event, and the Etsy Fort Worth blog has a great sneak peek into the bags I thought I would share.  The bags are FREE to the first 50 people to show up, and from what I hear they are going to be stuffed to the brim.  Free goodies and samples practically exploding out the top.  If I qualified for a free bag (I don’t since I’m a vendor), I would most definitely be there at 9 when the doors open to snag one of these babies.

Check out the full article here.

The Cowtown Indie Bazaar will be held Saturday, September 4 from 9am – 6pm at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas.  Admission to the event is free.

Tomorrow is the first Saturday of the month, which means it’s New Public Market Day in Fort Worth.  This is my favorite monthly market – I wish it were more often.  For all you Fort Worth locals that haven’t checked it out yet, it’s at the corner of Hulen and Camp Bowie in the parking lot of the ‘Into the Garden’ store.  Everything at this market is locally produced within 150 miles of Fort Worth.  There are usually at least 10 different vendors, plus lots of other local stuff on hand.  A great selection of local produce, baked goods, tamales (my favorite!!), meat, cheese, homemade pasta, olive oil, honey and lots of other goodies. 

I’ll be there with the other local vendors braving the heat from 8-1, or until sell-out.  Would love to see you there!

Here are a few new soaps I’m testing out right now.  I’m working on my fall and holiday scents, and have more ideas than I’ll be able to do, so only the best will make the cut.  Let’s start with the soaps I don’t have pics of yet (either because I just haven’t taken them, or I’m not quite happy with how it’s looking so am not going to show you 🙂

Last week I made a spiced cider soap, with apple cider instead of water mixed with the lye, and orange, cinnamon and clove essential oils.  I also added some brown sugar, which gave it a weird texture.  Not sure I’ll keep the brown sugar, but it does smell really good.

Earlier this week I made my second batch of a chai tea soap.  It has black tea as a base instead of water, half and half, honey, and an essential oil blend of cinnamon, cardamom, clove, ginger and black pepper.  Smells pretty good to me.

And here are my 2 favs so far:  triple mint and Mexican hot cocoa.  I made these on the same day, and the smells mixed together and made the most heavenly mint chocolate smell ever.  I’m already thinking of how to combine them.

Mexican hot cocoa soap

triple mint soap = peppermint, spearmint and wintergreen. Spirulina used for the green bottom.

Next up in the test kitchen:  an orange pine blend and a white chocolate almond soap.  Too many ideas!!

I’ve been busy sending samples to ‘YouTube Beauty Gurus’ lately.  Here’s another fabulous review of my stuff, this time by Kate on her YouTube channel about beauty products.  Isn’t she cute? (I’m not just saying that because she’s gushing about my products, promise).

2 weeks ago I attended the Lonestar Soap and Toiletries Soapmakers Seminar in Austin – it was great!  It was a full day of talking about soap, which I don’t get to do very often with other people who actually LIKE to talk about soap.  Lots of great info shared, including an experiment that I participated in about natural colorants.  Thought I would share my contributions to the experiment here, as well as a link to the entire collection. 

I made 2 batches for the experiment (all that participated made a 1 pound batch with the same recipe and no extra additives besides the selected colorants).  I have had success in the past with lemon and orange juices in my soaps, so decided for this experiment I would try pomegranate and fresh squeezed OJ. 

used fresh squeezed orange juice instead of water mixed with the lye

pomegranate juice (POM brand) mixed with the lye instead of water. This one reacted violently - won't be trying this one again 🙂

David Fisher, writer for About.com’s Soap and Candle section, took all of our soaps with him and made this wonderful gallery of all 34 soaps that were made by different Texas Soapmakers.  I bookmarked this page immediately, and have already started more experimenting!

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