Sunday, October 31, 2010

S'Mores Soap Mold: Mold Market Does It Again!

S'More Soap Mold from Mold Market

Mold Market's new S'mores soap mold is due for release mid-November. "Oh what fun it is to ride on a one horse open sleigh" (eating s'mores!). OK, you can't eat these S'mores but oh what fun for kids to bathe with them. We'll have a S'more recipe posted as soon as this mold hits our warehouse. Just in time for holiday gift giving. We're going to be whipping up a a batch of our white soap frosting for the marshmallow middle. Luscious dark brown soap colorant is ideal for the chocolate center and I'll give you the perfect recipe for coloring the graham crackers.

Soap Frosting from

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Beyond Soap Making: Know Your Limits

Yes, that is me perched atop a tire swing at a local playground. So what would a slightly overweight, middle-aged women be doing on a tire swing? Good question! It was all about not knowing my limits. It was my two-year grandson, Fischer, that put the pressure on. I love him, but as a two-year old he has no concept of his NeeNee's age and lack of flexibility. All he wanted to do was spin NeeNee around in the tire just like he had done. In a moment of weakness, I took leave of my senses and accepted the challenge. I am not joking when I say this... it took me nearly 5 minutes just to get on the dang thing. My feet and legs were dangling in all the wrong places. As my husband said, "You looked like a fish out of water." It took another 10 minutes to figure out how to get off of the tire. It wasn't a pretty sight and sadly there are photos to prove it (which I shall not post!) At one point, I actually stood in the center of the tire and asked my husband and son-in-law to lift the tire over my head to release me from the tire monster. I failed to realize that the tire weighed nearly 50-lbs and and coupled with its awkwardness my request was denied.

I share this with you because it was a reminder of how we need to know our limits. We don't need to prove anything to anyone. In running a business, it is critical to know what we can and cannot do. What comes easy to others, may not come easy to us. Know your strengths and weaknesses. You don't have to accept every challenge. I promise that when you focus on your strengths, any weaknesses will become shadows. You should always take time to look at your shadow side. If you don't, you may plunge head first (or feet first in the case of my tire swing episode) into a situation or business decision that only sets you up for failure.

Hope you have a happy Sunday. I'm off to a Halloween event with the grand kids this afternoon which involves no playground equipment :=). But first, I will be heading to church for some spiritual inspiration. I believe the sermon this week is titled, "Though shalt not ride on tire swings".

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Business Shout Out: Fortune Cookie Soaps

Fortune Cookie Soap MakingI have some pretty awesome customers who create some pretty awesome products. Justin and Shannon from Fortune Cooke Soaps are in that category. Fortune Cookie Soaps offers one of the most incredible smelling fortune cookie soaps EVER!! I recently placed an order for some of their products to donate to a community fundraising event. Who wouldn't enjoy the incredible bath and body treats they offer?

Fortune Cookie SoapIt was this luscious smelling fortune cookie that really caught my attention. What a gourmet treat and best yet, no calories. Tucked inside the soap is a fortune. Hmmm.... wonder what it says? If you are scouting out stocking stuffer or Christmas gift ideas, this is an online store to visit.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hello Monday! Eight new Mold Market mold designs have been finalized & should be available to us mid November. Here's a sneak peek at one of the molds. We'll have all 8 new designs posted for preview once Mold Market releases them for publication. is a major distributor for the Mold Market Mold line and stocks over 250 of the Mold Market molds. This Tic Toe soap mold will easily accept multiple color pours using our Injector Tool.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Clear 2-Piece Soap Boxes Being Discontinued

I know this will be sad news for many of our customers, but a number of our BO-Clear box types are being discontinued. As the year draws to a close, we take inventory of those items that need to be closed out or discontinued. There are many things to consider when making these decisions and it's never easy.

The 2-piece boxes take up a large amount of warehouse space and are labor intensive to pack. Not to mention there have been issues with our manufacturer concerning missing lids and bases. This means we end up with countless unmatched tops and bottoms that we can't sell. In the end, I've made the decision to no longer have these custom boxes manufactured for GoPlanetEarth.

We have already closed out the BO-8, BO-7, and BO-6 series. We have a very limited number left of the BO-9 and BO-5. We are hoping to replace the discontinued box sizes with a flat type box that ships safely and is easy for our "pickers" to count out and package.

We will continue to carry the current line of our clear flat boxes which are easy to assemble.

Soap Dishes: The Project Part III

Here we are into Part III of our soap dish project. In Part II, I posted the recipe for mixing the concrete and sand. This post shows a big leaf bowl that my friend, Peg designed. She's really gotten the hang of how to make these dishes and I wouldn't be surprised if some of her work is displayed at one of our local Art Fairs. I can't wait to see how she paints the bowl. I'll be sure to upload pics of her finished bowl.

As you can see in the first pic, Peg placed a leaf inside the molded bowl. She did this by placing a large leaf on top of the sand hill (that is covered in plastic) and then slowly began adding the concrete mixture until she had built up her bowl to the desired size and thickness (see below). The leaf still inside the bowl will be removed by hand. Sometimes the leaves remove easily, others require a bit more work. Peg was working on removing the leaf from the inside of bowl when I snapped the photo.

Large leaves were then pressed into the bottom of the bowl (vein side down). The deeper the veins, the better the results. Hosta, rhubarb, hollyhock, comfrey are all great leaves to use for this project.

Here is the bottom of the bowl once the concrete dried. As you can see, the leaf impressions are very defined. Peg will now use a Dremel bit to smooth around the edges of the dish before painting. Be sure to wear protective eyewear when working with a Dremel. Dremel kits can be purchased at stores such as Home Depot or Lowes.

For those unfamiliar with a Dremel, it is pictured below.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

And the Winner is.... FREE Soap Making Book Giveaway

Creative Soap Making Book
Thanks to everyone who entered our recent giveaway for Elin Criswell's "Creative Soap Making Book". The winner was Lidia from Potomac, MD. Here is what she had to say about

"Since I saw the site online for the first time, I love being able to choose from a variety of molds, soap bases, colors, fragrance oils, and even packaging options. I ten to go with as natural as possible and I was pleased to see the options I had for the soap bases such as the Pure & Natural soap base, hemp soap base, and even the organic soap base.

I also appreciate all the resources available on the site with the step by step tutorials, FAQs, links to other helpful sites, etc. The site itself is easy to navigate and I can spend hours, if I want, just looking at all the possibilities. Also, whenever I get stuck or have a question, I get an answer promptly which I really appreciate.

I love receiving the packages with the supplies I request and often I get a bonus fragrance oil which is really nice....."

Thanks, Lidia for your accolades. Hope you find Elin's book helpful. We'll get it out to you pronto.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Soap Dishes: The Project Part II

OK, we are now into part II of our soap dish adventure. I met yesterday with the girls and we sculpted up a multiple number of concrete leafs. The leaves were all varying sizes and shapes. Of course, the bigger, the better.

The recipe for mixing the concrete and play sand is as follows. How much you mix will depend on how many leaves you will be making (and the size of the leaves).

1) Form a hill of play sand on a flat surface. This sand must be moist as it will hold up the weight of your leaf. Keep a squirt bottle of water near by. You will see what the 'sand hill' should like like in my prior post.

2) Cover the sand with clear plastic being careful not to leave any sand on the top of your plastic. This will cause "pockets" on your leave that will not dry correctly.

3) Mix 2 parts sand to 1 part cement in a small bucket, tub, or anything you have available. Mix thoroughly.If you need too, you can can add 1 more part of sand. The mixing is very important. You must thoroughly mix.

4) Now add water- there is no measurable amount. Use a cup container and SLOWLY add the water! You want to add enough water to make your cement mixture comparable to cookie dough. Mix each time you add water. It's always better to have it a little dry; you can always add more water, but once you add too much water you'll end up with quicksand. No amount of additional sand or cement will be able to fix it.

5) Take your mixture and begin anchoring the leaf. You may want to anchor each end and sides before filling in the entire leaf. You can do this with straight pins (the kind with rounded tops work best). You'll want the thickness of the leaf at least 3/4 to 1 inch thick to prevent breakage. See this post as to how to anchor your leaf on the sand pile.

6) When you are finished sculpting your leaf, allow it to dry for 48 hours. Do not try to flip it over too soon or it will crumble and crack.

7) When the concrete has hardened, flip over your leaf placing one hand under the plastic and the other on the top of the cement leaf. Remove the leaf. Some leaves will come off easily while others require more labor. Let the cement leaf cure for at least another day before painting. You can use acrylic craft paints purchased from stores like JoAnn's or Michaels.

8) After painting (front and back sides), let the concrete leaf dry for 24 hours and then spray with a clear protective lacquer sealer. Allow to dry overnight and then spray a final layer of sealant.

There you have it... cement soap dishes ready to display your handcrafted soaps. We will have more upcoming photos of our finished soap dishes (we are even making bowls) displaying soaps made with GoPlanetEarth products.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Soap Making: How to Make Gelato Soaps (Recipe #1)

A customer emailed a few weeks ago wanting me to post a recipe for Gelato Soaps. Hmmm... some of you may be wondering "What is Gelato?" Gelato is a type of Italian ice cream (slightly lower in fat). However, our Gelato soaps are calorie free and a perfect gift for the holiday season.

We have a couple of variations on the recipe. This is our Gelato Recipe #1. We'll be posting recipe #2 recipe in a few days along with a short tutorial on both.

Recipe #1 is made with the addition of our whipped body butter. It offers a nice creamy texture to the gelato and makes for a wonderful body wash. We even included some of our spa quality sea salts as an exfoliant (and some sugar as well to work as a scrub). The addition of citric acid gives a bit of fizz, but the Gelato isn't really meant to be a bath fizzie. It's more about moisturizing.

If using this recipe, I definitely suggest letting the mixture set up for 2-3 hours before using the ice cream scoop. It was hard to get the mixture to drop out of the scooper until it was slightly firm.

Gelato Recipe #1:

Put all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Incorporate ingredients thoroughly.

Next, combine the melted body butter, fragrance and color. Mix well and then slowly drizzle over the dry ingredients. You will want to put on latex (or something similar) to mix the wet into the dry ingredients. Squish the mixture until is looks like the consistency of wet sand. The mixture should hold together when squeezed in the palm of your hand (see above photo).

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out balls of the gelato soap mixture. We were able to get 7-8 balls from the above recipe.

To Use:

Slice off a section of the gelato to use for your bath or shower. There are so many different ways to display your Gelato soap. Consider using a lidded plastic sundae cup along with a ice cream tasting spoon. Or, just display on a soap dish with a small cheese spreader. Use the cheese spreader to cut off serving portions of the Gelato Soap.

Soap Dishes: The Project Begins

A few days ago I posted about a soap dish I was going to make. You can read that post here. On Sunday, I began the project. It takes about a week to complete. Here are photos of what has happened so far.

You need to pick your leaf. This is a leaf from one of my Yucca plants. Pick a leaf that has no holes (from insects) and is still fairly green. Many leaves are already turning brown due to the Autumn season. Those might not work so well. A leaf with pleny of veins is a perfect fit.

My neighbor mixed up the concrete. I'll have the correct mixing ratio posted soon. Basically, you just mix water into the concrete until you get a consistency as shown. It's very similar to the same consistency you want when making fizzing bath bombs. You want to be able to squeeze the mixture until it feels and looks like wet sand.

Once you have the right consistency, you pile the concrete mixture onto your leaf. The leaf is sitting on top of a pile of sand that is covered with a piece of plastic. Your goal is to create a curved area in the center of your leaf dish and the heaping sand helps to create this concave area.

Work with small amounts of the concrete to build up the leaf. Smooth with your gloved hands (we used latex gloves). You can also use a spray bottle filled with water and spritz as needed onto the concrete to help create a smooth surface.

Our leaf is complete. Now we must let it dry for about 3 days. I will be posting an update on this project once the concrete dries and the leaf is removed. At that point, the painting process begins. Oh what fun! Tomorrow night I'll be meeting with a group of friends to form even more leaves. Tonight, I'll be peeling apples (from a local orchard) to make an apple crisp to share tomorrow with my crafty friends. I've posted that recipe. The Apple Crisp is easy and awesome tasting. Add a dollop of vanilla ice cream and you're good to go.

  1. Core and peel 7 apples (I like to mix about 3 different varities of apples)
  2. Mix sliced apples with 3/4 cup brown sugar and place into a 9-inch square baking dish (or something of similar size).
  3. In a separate bowl combine 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 cup white sugar (you can also use Splenda), 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  4. Add 3 tablespoons melted butter to one beaten egg. Stir into the flour mixture and spread evenly over the top of apples.
  5. Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees for 35 minutes, or until topping is golden and crisp.
  6. Serves 8 people.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Soap Dishes: Display Your Handmade Soaps in Style

I had a chat with a couple of neighbor friends about an upcoming charity event. In the process of that conversation, they shared these beautiful handmade garden art shaped from "real" leaves casted in concrete. Of course, my soaping mind went haywire thinking of all the neat things you could do with this concept... like making handcrafted soap dishes to go with your handcrafted soap!

I meet with my friends next Tuesday and they are going to show me how to make these incredible handcrafted items. I am going to make a few that are a smaller soap dish size as well as other larger trays. What a great way to display your handcrafted soaps for the holiday season. I'm lovin' it!

I'll be sharing the "how-to". So make sure you stay posted.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

When Life (and Business) is Less Than Perfect.... Make Applesauce

Wouldn't it be grand if life was perfect? Fat chance! So what does one do when plans don't turn out as expected, when a business fails, or life just happens? You make applesauce! And that's exactly what I did.

I returned from a Chicago trip this past week. Besides spending an exorbitant amount of money on an unexpected business dinner, I soon discovered that I had lost my return train tickets. Let's just say things were less than perfect and certainly did not turn out as planned. So what does applesauce have to do with all this? If you have ever visited an apple orchard you will find huge bins that contain less than perfect apples. They are generally bruised and considered the harvest seconds. For whatever reasons or circumstances, they are less than perfect. Business and life can be the same. You can plan to your heart's content, do everything within your power to reap benefits from your investments, and even hire the best consultants to ensure you are on track. However, there are times when life just happens and all our tireless efforts fail. We all have those bruised apple moments. So what do you do?

You make applesauce out of those life moments. You drop all those "ugly, bruised, can't do this any more, why did I ever think this would work, what was I thinking, why me" moments into a big pot and steam them until they are mush. It's really quite amazing how you come out with something entirely new. It is what I call life's applesauce. It's mixing a variety of different life events, circumstances and moments that have gone bad and incorporating them into life's mixing pot. You then put them all through a sieve, discarding the ugly stuff, so you can produce something even better.

My grand kids sure enjoyed this week's "applesauce moment". When you think that all is hopeless, when you're not sure how to turn a bad experience into something good, when you question why bad things happen to good people, or get frustrated with the bruised apples that fall at the base of your tree of life...remember, make applesauce!