December 21, 2012

Heartwarming Holiday Soap 2012

For the past eight years, I've been writing a 'Heartwarming Holiday Story' and making a little booklet out of index cards for my A-list friends. Everyone else gets to read the stories online. The stories are never really heartwarming, but my friends are used to my cynical nature and tongue-in-cheek stance on the holiday season.

This year, some of the A-List will receive a bar of 'Heartwarming Holiday Soap' as well. I made two different kinds—one for omnivores that contains lard and one for my vegetarian and vegan friends.
Both have the same heartwarming blend of pine, ho wood, cedarwood, orange and clove essential oils.

For omnivores

olive oil pomace infused with charcoal/spirulina
coconut oil
shea butter
palm kernel oil
castor oil
poppy seeds
NYC tap water

The spirulina didn't come out as green as I wanted. I'm a bit disappointed in that.
And it was another attempt at swirls. I tossed some poppy seeds into charcoal soap batter. It's not bad, very subtle. I might try adding the exfoliator to a swirl again sometime.


For vegetarians


olive oil pomace infused with mint and lemongrass
NYC tap water
melt and pour soap

I used olive oil infused with mint to get the color in the melt and pour and I really like the stained glass effect. In fact, I really love the way melt and pour looks in cold process soap. I just wish it wasn't such a pain to work with.

A bunch of the booklets

The booklets were easy. I've done a few of them now using Photoshop—not the best program for text, but I do it in high resolution (600 dpi) then reduce it to 300.
I'm planning on including similar booklets of my short stories with upcoming batches of soap in 2013. This is how making soap will tie into my writing (there it is—finally!).

Packaged and ready for giving

One thing I'm going have to work on going forward with the Bar and a Book (just came up with that…have to decide if I like it) concept is cutting each bar of soap so it's slightly larger (to allow for shrinkage during the cure time) than the booklet which is 4" x 2 ½". That way the 'packaging' will be tidier. Stay tuned for that.
Anyway, if you'd like to read the story, here it is. Beware—some people might find it offensive.
Heartwarming Holiday Story 2012

Hope you have a happy 2013!