Valentines Soaps Now Available!

We have several new soaps available for your Valentine!

First, for the gals:

sweet nothings Valentines Soaps Now Available!

Sweet Nothings by Great Cakes Soapworks

Purple hearts, pink and white swirls, sparkling glitter, and a sweet fruity scent that any girl would LOVE for Valentines Day.

Not into sweet and fruity scents? How about a nice, soft floral:

spring blossoms Valentines Soaps Now Available!

Spring Blossom soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Intoxicating blend of narcissus, lily of the valley, frosted snow drops, and cherry blossoms that’s sure to remind you of warmer weather to come!

And for the guys:

perfect man Valentines Soaps Now Available!

Charming by Great Cakes Soapworks

Just what you would imagine your Prince Charming would smell like. Smart, sophisticated, and sexy. Want a different look? We also have Charming in this design:

perfect man2 Valentines Soaps Now Available!

Charming (2) by Great Cakes Soapworks

Click on the photos for more info and to order! All soaps are $5.95 each or 4 for $22. Happy Valentines Day!!

Challenge Club Winners Announced

When I chose the Taiwan Swirl as our technique of the month for the Soap Challenge Club, I had no idea how challenging it would be!! It appears to be this simple technique that anyone can do with amazing results. In theory, this is true. However, this happened to be the one technique that I ended up making six batches just to get a decent video tutorial made. I am so impressed with the entries for this challenge, knowing how long it took me to get it “just right.”

Let’s start with our grand prize winner. Congratulations to Sarah Milroy of Spicy Pinecone!! She wins the $50 gift certificate from Nature’s Garden!! Sarah created this beautiful blue and black Taiwan Swirl soap:

sarahs soap Challenge Club Winners Announced

Taiwan Swirl soap by Spicy Pinecone, scented with CK-One type

Click on the photo to see how she made it!!

Our second and third place winners receive free registration to next month’s Soap Challenge Club. In second place we have Ruth Esteves of Sirona Springs! She created this lovely deep red and orange Taiwan Swirl:

ruths soap Challenge Club Winners Announced

Taiwan Swirl soap by Sirona Springs, scented with Sensuous Sandalwood

Our third place winner is someone new to the Soap Challenge Club. Congrats goes to the very talented Jodi of Lakehurst Farms who created this lovely multi-colored Taiwan Swirl soap:

lakehurst soap Challenge Club Winners Announced

Taiwan Swirl soap by Lakehurst Farms, scented with Sweet Rain

Are you ready to see the rest of the entries? They are located HERE.

Soapmakers from all over the world are invited to join us next month as we make cold process soap with embeds – embeds must be made with finished cold or hot processed soap in any shape or size. Our sponsor is Brambleberry once again, and they have come up with a fantastic prize package which includes a $50 gift certificate PLUS a set of their mini silicone column molds which are awesome for making embeds!

Registration for next month’s Soap Challenge Club will open February 3rd. Hope you’ll join us! If you haven’t already signed up for notifications about the challenge club, you can do that here:

notify me Challenge Club Winners Announced

Valentine Soap Preview

I’ve had so much fun making Valentine soaps! Typically, I will make one for the guys and one for the girls. This time there are technically two for each. First up is the soap for the guys. I made two different designs with the same scent – similar to Bleu de Chanel. It’s called Charming:

perfect man Valentine Soap Preview

Charming by Great Cakes Soapworks

As I was practicing the Taiwan Swirl, I also made another one with the same fabulous scent. These will be available January 20th:

perfect man2 Valentine Soap Preview

Charming (2) by Great Cakes Soapworks

For the girls, I have this beautiful pink and purple soap called Sweet Nothings:

sweet nothings Valentine Soap Preview

Sweet Nothings by Great Cakes Soapworks

This one was a 3-day process of creating embeds inside of embeds! You might also notice that the top is another Taiwan swirl. It smells so yummy – like fruity candy!

I also have this Bubblegum soap for the girls:

bubblegum Valentine Soap Preview

Bubblegum soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Super simple and sweet. The embed is made with the new silicone column mold from Brambleberry – thanks to Anne-Marie for my fabulous Christmas presents! I wish the scent was stronger, but it will have to do. The girls soaps will be available January 28th.

There are a couple more new soaps on the curing rack as well. You can check them out on our NEWS page.

Taiwan Swirl Challenge Club Closing Soon!

Just a quick FYI for those who haven’t heard: Registration for this month’s Soap Challenge Club will be closing Monday (tomorrow!) at 2pm CST. We are doing the Taiwan Swirl, which looks like this:

black rasp creme Taiwan Swirl Challenge Club Closing Soon!

Taiwan Swirl by Great Cakes Soapworks

Any soapmaker can join the Challenge Club. The only requirement is that you have a basic understanding of cold-process soapmaking. Members of the Club will be able to view written instructions as well as a video tutorial, then have the opportunity to create their soap, documenting the process via photos or video, and sharing their creation in the Members Only area so that other members can view, comment and vote on the winners.

This month, the grand prize winner will receive a $50 gift certificate to Nature’s Garden, and second & third place winners will receive free registration to next month’s Soap Challenge Club. (Registration fee is just $5.95.)

Soapmakers from all over the world come together for this fun event each month – it really is a great way to build relationships and share creativity. Plus, who knows? You might even win a prize! Click the button below for more info and to register:

register now Taiwan Swirl Challenge Club Closing Soon!

Congrats to our Challenge Club Winners!

We just finished up another amazing Soap Challenge Club! Our technique this month was the Column Pour, and we had some very talented soapmakers participating yet again. However, this time we had a very clear first place winner – someone who was brand new to the Challenge Club! Congratulations goes to Michele of Tierra Verde Soaps, the grand prize winner of a $75 gift certificate from Brambleberry! Here is her magnificent column pour soap:

Green Purple Swirl 1 Congrats to our Challenge Club Winners!

Eucalyptus-Spearmint Column Pour by Tierra Verde Soaps

Second and third place was a tight race – but Jaime of Crochet Dynamite came in second, and Sarah of Spicy Pinecone is the third place winner. Jaime and Sarah will receive free registration to next month’s Soap Challenge Club!

Here is Jaime’s beautiful Tie-Dye Column Pour soap:

tie dye column Congrats to our Challenge Club Winners!

Rise & Shine Tie Dye Soap by Crochet Dynamite

And here is Sarah’s awesome White Trash Beautiful Column Pour soap:

WTB Congrats to our Challenge Club Winners!

White Trash Beautiful soap by Spicy Pinecone

For more beautiful Column Pour technique inspiration, check out the rest of the entries HERE.

Curious about next month’s technique? We will be tackling the beautiful Taiwan Swirl! I just cut one of my practice batches and I can see that it is going to discolor – so I took a photo real quick! Nature’s Garden just confirmed that they will be our grand prize sponsor with a $50 gift certificate – yippee!!

perfect man Congrats to our Challenge Club Winners!

Taiwan Swirl practice soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Registration for next month’s Soap Challenge Club will open December 30th. Hope you’ll join us! If you haven’t already signed up for notifications about the challenge club, you can do that here:

notify me Congrats to our Challenge Club Winners!

Cyber Monday Shipping Deal

Although it’s later than usual this year, Cyber Monday is finally coming!! This is the kick-off to our annual Christmas sale, with plenty of great deals, no matter what your budget is. Cyber Monday ONLY you get free shipping on all U.S. orders over $40, in addition to our Christmas sale discounts:

All orders up to $20 get 10% off
Orders between $20.01 and $39.99 get 15% off
Orders of $40 and up get 20% off

No coupon codes needed!

Here are some of our new soaps (Click photo for more info and to purchase):

bayberry1 Cyber Monday Shipping Deal

Bayberry Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

figgy pudding1 Cyber Monday Shipping Deal

Figgy Pudding Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Get lip butters and whipped shea butter too!

GO SHOPPING

How to Ship Packages from USPS.com

I offered to do this tutorial for another soapmaker, but I think it’s for anyone who wants to send packages out for the holidays without standing in long lines at the post office. Benefits include: free boxes from USPS, discounted online postage rates, and free mail carrier pick-up. The best part is, once you set up your account, you can continue to use it! The only piece of “equipment” you need is a scale to weigh your packages. Soapmakers all have scales, but not everyone does. You can buy a regular postal scale, or just a kitchen scale if you don’t have one already. (The bathroom scale probably isn’t quite accurate enough!)

One caveat: You can only purchase Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express postage at USPS.com.

USPS has become the most economical way to ship small to medium to large size packages quickly with their flat rate and regional rate services. Anything that is too large to fit in a flat rate or regional rate box is probably better off going UPS or FedEx. You can get flat rate or regional rate boxes for FREE when you order them on the USPS website. They get delivered straight to your door. Postage for flat rate boxes can be purchased from the post office, but postage for regional rate boxes MUST be purchased from USPS.com. Flat rate boxes cost the same amount no matter where you send them. Regional rate boxes are a discounted rate, but their charges vary depending on the destination. You can check which one is more economical by using the online postage calculator.

I used to print my labels on regular white paper and tape them on with mailing tape, but now I purchase mailing labels from OnlineLabels.com HERE.

Once you have all your supplies, package your boxes and weigh them. Now you are ready to print your labels! First, you’ll need to go to USPS.com and register for your account. (You can click on the screenshots to see a larger image):

USPS1 copy 300x230 How to Ship Packages from USPS.com

Step 1: Register for an account

Once you have signed into your account, move on to Step 2:

USPS2 copy 300x156 How to Ship Packages from USPS.com

Step 2: In the drop down menu under Ship a Package, select Print a Label with Postage

On the next page you will see this:

USPS3 copy 300x173 How to Ship Packages from USPS.com

Step 3: Choose your destination and “Print a Shipping Label Now”

On the next page, it should show your return address info at the top. You will need to fill in the destination address, etc for Step 4:

USPS4 300x194 How to Ship Packages from USPS.com

Step 4: Enter the destination address, and add a personal message if you like.

Scroll down to enter the package info:

USPS5 copy 300x199 How to Ship Packages from USPS.com

Step 5: Enter the weight of the package and the date you are sending it. I usually skip the insurance, but you may add that here as well.

On the next page, you will have a list of shipping options with their prices:

USPS6 300x173 How to Ship Packages from USPS.com

Step 6: Shipping Options, pt 1

USPS7 300x235 How to Ship Packages from USPS.com

Shipping Options, pt 2 with Regional Rate boxes highlighted

Once you choose the method you are shipping, you will move on to payment info. Choose “Add New Card” to pay with a debit or credit card OR you can pay with paypal:

USPS8 copy 300x239 How to Ship Packages from USPS.com

Step 7: Payment info.

Next is printing your labels. For the first step, I always choose “Print labels without receipt” so I can get 2 labels on one sheet. You will still get a copy of the receipt via email. Even if I don’t have more than one to print at that moment, I can re-use the label sheet the next time. After clicking on the blue “Print Labels” link, your printer interface should pop up. If you are printing on label sheets, be sure to select “labels” at that time so your printer knows what material you are using. If you are using regular paper, just print like usual. You can also schedule a carrier pick-up on this page. Another perk of printing your labels online! (Unless you live in a rural area that doesn’t support it, or you don’t have a place to leave your package for your mail carrier.)

USPS9 copy 300x145 How to Ship Packages from USPS.com

Step 8: Printing Your Labels

That should do it! If you can’t schedule a carrier pick-up, just drop your package at the post office and you’re done!

Squeeze Bottle Design Challenge Results

We had some really fantastic entries in the Soap Challenge Club again this month! Our technique was called “Squeeze Bottle Designs” and it gave the Club members a lot of creative license to make designs with a squeeze bottle on the bottom of their soap, then fill in the remainder of the soap however they wanted to. It was another tight race to the finish, and we ended up with tie for 3rd place – yet again! Our sponsor, Majestic Mountain Sage, was very gracious to offer a grand prize not only to our first place winner, but also provided Sampler 7 kits for 2nd & 3rd place winners (in addition to their usual prize of free registration to next month’s Challenge Club!).

Let’s start with our grand prize winner! Congratulations to Tricia Miller of the Miller Soap Co. who created this beautiful musical design:

tricias soap Squeeze Bottle Design Challenge Results

Musical Soap by Miller Soap Co.

Second place goes to Margo Long of Bearprint Soaps. She made this unique Lavender Lemon soap:

margos soap Squeeze Bottle Design Challenge Results

Lavender Lemon Soap by Bearprint Soaps

Our third place winners are Vickie Robinson of Udder Indulgence and Jaime Maraia of Crochet Dynamite. Vickie’s soap is a beautiful Cherry Blossom:

vickies soap Squeeze Bottle Design Challenge Results

Cherry Blossom Soap by Udder Indulgence

Jaime entered this really cool snowflake soap:

jaimes soap Squeeze Bottle Design Challenge Results

Snowflake Soap by Crochet Dynamite

Ready to check out all the amazing entries? They are located HERE.

Thanks so much to everyone who participated this month!! I know it’s a busy time of year! Believe it or not, next month’s Challenge Club will open on Monday. We’ll be doing the column pour technique. I’ll have more details soon!

Extra Prizes for 2nd & 3rd Place!

Registration for this month’s Soap Challenge Club remains open for a very short time. We are making Squeeze Bottle Designs which can transform any ordinary soap into something extraordinary just by using your tracing skills.

bayberry1 Extra Prizes for 2nd & 3rd Place!

Bayberry Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

The Challenge Club is open to any soapmaker from around the world who has a basic knowledge of how to make cold process soap. If you would like to compete for the prizes, simply document the making of your soap via photos or video and add your blog, YouTube, pinterest, or Facebook album link to the link-up on November 13. Club members only will vote for the winners.

Normally the sponsor for the Soap Challenge Club takes care of our grand prize only which is pretty incredible! Majestic Mountain Sage is contributing a $100 gift certificate to our grand prize winner this month. NOW, they have offered to also give away Sampler 7 kits to 2nd & 3rd place winners as well – and that’s in addition to free registration to next month’s Challenge Club! So many ways to win!

If you haven’t registered, better do it quick!! This opportunity will go away Monday at 2pm CST!

register now Extra Prizes for 2nd & 3rd Place!

Registration Now Open for Challenge Club!

This month’s Soap Challenge Club is featuring a technique I’m calling Squeeze Bottle Designs. I first saw this technique demonstrated on the Sirona Springs blog by Ruth Esteves:

ruths soap Registration Now Open for Challenge Club!

Soap made by Ruth Esteves, Sirona Springs

The creative possibilities with this technique are endless! I started with my practice batch trying out some star shapes in a log mold:

figgy pudding1 Registration Now Open for Challenge Club!

Figgy Pudding Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

The real “star” of the show is the batch I made next in my slab mold, featured in the Challenge Club video tutorial:

bayberry1 Registration Now Open for Challenge Club!

Bayberry Soap by Great Cakes Soapworks

Please join us for this Challenge Club!! You will need to finish your soap by November 13th to enter it in the Challenge, and voting will be finished up a full week before Thanksgiving. The grand prize winner will receive a $100 gift certificate from Majestic Mountain Sage!!! Second & third place winners will receive free registration to next month’s Challenge Club.

What are you waiting for?

register now Registration Now Open for Challenge Club!

(Registration closes Monday!)