Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Flashback 2013

Where has the year gone? And where have the past six weeks in particular gone? I think I heard a whoosh as they rushed by. Things get so hectic around Thanksgiving time, and it continues through the holidays. But in a fun way. And you know what they say - time flies when you're having fun.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday! My husband and I went home to Northwest Florida for Christmas and we had a great time hanging out with family and friends. The time went by too fast, as it always does, but we packed as much fun as we could into the time that we had.

It's hard to believe that 2013 is almost over. I like to take a look back at the year as it draws to a close. I made quite a few soaps this year, and I am looking forward to making some more in the upcoming year!

Let's revisit 2013, shall we?

Clockwise from upper-left:
Blue Man Shaving Soap (January 2013)
Roses & Champagne Valentine's Day Soap (February 2013)
Honeycomb Soap (March 2013)
 Bacon Soap (April 2013)

Clockwise from upper-left:

Clockwise from upper-left:
Candy Cane Soy Candles (September 2013)
Dolphin Soap, Miami-Style (September 2013)
Snow Day Soap (October 2013)
 Pumpkin Gingersnap Soap (October 2013)
Yuletide Cheer Soap (November 2013)

It's hard to pick a favorite from all of the soaps I made this year, but the Orange Basil Swirled Hearts and Snow Day make the short list. As do the Honeycomb soap (which is a favorite in my house) and the Geranium Patchouli (it smells great, and the Red Moroccan Clay is such a nice ingredient). And I discovered salt bars this year, which I especially love for my face! Which reminds me - I need to make more salt bars.

Goals for the New Year? I plan to finally make some wine soap. And I got some new soaping tools that I'm looking forward to trying out. The hanger, mantra, and peacock swirl techniques are still on my to-do list, and I'm particularly eager to experiment with them.

The New Year also means that this little blog is nearly two years old now! I published my first post here on January 15, 2012. Since then, this blog has grown and I have met some wonderful new friends in the process.  I have discovered many new blogs and I enjoy interacting with you all here and on your sites. Thank you to each and every one of you for following me here at my blog as well as on Facebook, YouTube, and Google+. Thanks for coming on this journey with me. You make my soaping adventures even more fun!

Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve, everyone! And I wish you all a fantastic 2014!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Packaging

Soaps and candles, packaged up and ready to go under the tree!
The holidays are almost here! Is everybody ready?

I made it home to Florida earlier this week, and I finished Christmas shopping a couple of days ago. I've got everything wrapped, except for a couple more packages I'm waiting on.

And, of course, everyone on my list is getting a special something handmade by me. The nice thing about being able to make soap and candles is that your shopping list gets shorter, and everyone likes receiving what you've made! (At least, I think that they do.)

I started making my holiday soaps in August and had them finished by October. With all of the hustle and bustle from Thanksgiving on, it was a relief to know that a lot of my Christmas gifts were ready to go. There was still labeling and packaging to consider, though, and it seems that no matter how early I get the soaps done, I still end up doing the labels and packaging at the last frantic minute. (But you know what they say - if you wait until the last minute, it takes only a minute.)

The labels for my soap were made with Microsoft Word. (This tutorial helped me immensely.) As you can see below, the front of the label has a graphic and the name of the soap. The back lists the ingredients and my blog address.

For the candles, I used 2.5" round white labels and designed them using a Word template. The stickers fit perfectly on the wide-mouth pint mason jar lids. (The bottom of the jar has a caution label - CYA!)
I wanted to package things up nice and pretty for the holidays. In the past, I've tied bars together with ribbon and then put them in a gift bag. That works fine, but I wanted to do something different this year.

This Christmas, I went with large red Chinese take out boxes and gable gift boxes, stuffed with Eco Fill Christmas Blend filler paper. It's pretty, festive, and the contents are protected. Easy to carry, too.

The take out boxes are perfect for little presents, like hostess gifts or for when you want to give someone a little something. And the gable boxes can hold several soap bars and a candle.This year, the gift boxes include Pumpkin Gingersnap, Snow Day, Yuletide Cheer, and Candy Cane Swirl soaps. And everyone gets a soy candle, too - either Cinnabun Type or Peppermint Patty. Yum!

I hope that everyone on my shopping list likes the soap and candles! And I hope that all of you are enjoying the holiday season.

This will probably be my last post until just before the New Year, so I want to wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy holiday!