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Monday, May 30, 2011

Methods of Cutting Soap

Making the Cut ...

The way you cut your soap generally depends on your production level and how you want your finished product to look. Of course Melt & Pour has to be cut with a blade by hand. For now though, you can either use a knife or Soap Cutter Box with a Krinkle Blade or Smooth Blade. This is also a great way to cut Cold Process soap when making it in smaller batches.

If you are making several loaves at a time, you may want to try a Loaf Cutter (probably one of my favorites). This method gives you perfect uniform bars, cutting with wire for a smooth finished product. You can even use it to cut your round loaves into perfect circles. For half-moon shapes you can first slice your round loaf in the Half-Round Slicer and then place the half loaves in the Loaf Cutter.

Of course if you are making extra large pours you may need something to cut the large blocks of soap efficiently. That’s when you get into using a Manual Soap Cutter or
Air Powered Soap Cutter. Every time I see either of these cutters in action I am still amazed! The first time I used the Air Cutter I was in awe of how precise and smooth it was. The size was intimidating at first, but amazingly easy to use. In no time at all, I had over 300 flawless bars of soap!

To see all of these Cutters (and other great products) in action, visit our Video Page.

Happy Cutting!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Methods of Mixing Soap

Mix It Up!

Whether you are making a single loaf or large batch, it’s got to be mixed! Now you could choose to mix it by hand with a spoon, but I prefer to use a power wand or a stick blender. Depending on your personal preference and the amount of soap you are making you could use a standard kitchen stick blender. However, if you are mixing larger batches or making soap often you may want to try using a Light Commercial Power Wand. A Power Wand is strong enough for larger batches and has the durability to last up to mixing batch after batch.

Now, if you are making very large batches of soap, you may want to go with a larger Commercial Power Wand, a Mighty Mixer with Pot Whipper, or Pot Whipper attached to a contractors grade drill.

Just a few tips for mixing your soap with a “power” method…Make sure the blade is completely submersed in the oils before turning on. Turn the power on low and slowly pour in your lye water solution. Continue to mix on low until the ingredients have been thoroughly combined. Then you can alternate between high and low speeds, in short bursts, stirring with the power tool in between.

Regardless of the “power” method you choose, you will cut down your mixing time tremendously! Happy Mixing!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Stress Monster!

Ask Anything by Dennis Gaskill

Question: Stress is, well, stressing me out! How do you deal with it?

Answer: I don't really let things get to me much. I just focus on what I can control and leave the rest up to the powers that be. I went through some very stressful times when I was young, and my sister Judi once told me to remember, "This too will pass." That seems to work for me.

I read a story long ago that might help. I can't remember who wrote it so I'm unable give credit to the author, and at best I can only relate it in my own words because I don't remember the author's words, only the point of the story. So with apologies to the author...

A speaker held a glass of water straight out in front of him at arm's length and asked his audience what they thought the glass of water weighed. After a few guesses, the speaker said it didn't matter what the glass of water weighed, what mattered was what he did with it.

He said if he held it out in front of him for a minute and put it down, no problems would occur. If he held it out for 15 minutes his arm would get very tired and probably start cramping up. If he held it out as long as he could bear his arm would become very sore and the pain would probably last a day or two.

Stress is like that glass, he explained. It can be tolerated easily by most people for a while, but the longer we hold onto that stress without relaxing the worse its effects will be on us.

I guess the moral of the story is that you need to find ways to relieve the stress, even if only temporarily. Finding ways to relax is probably the most often recommended stress reducer.

What do you like to do that relaxes you? For me, it's a walk in the woods, a country drive, or thinking about people I love or about spiritual matters.

Even just sitting with your eyes closed, taking a few deep breaths, and thinking of all the things you have to thankful for is a good stress reducing exercise. Some people meditate, others visualize themselves in a dream situation or mentally relive fond memories, and yet others find prayer particularly effective.

Playing calming, soothing music or nature sounds works for many people. Stretching, yoga, or exercise works for others. Doing something creative such as drawing or painting (even a paint by numbers picture) is another avenue that works for many. Others just need a sympathetic ear to bend.

There are many more ways to reduce stress than I can possibly list. The point is, we need to find ways take our mind off of the stressor. What works for one person may not work for you, so you need to find your own path to stress relief. Assuming the source of stress isn't something that can be eliminated, the task then becomes finding your own calm in the storm.

It's when we endure stress too long without finding moments of relief that both mental and physical problems can occur. We just can't hold that glass of water out in front of us indefinitely.

Dennis Gaskill (BoogieJack) writes books about web design and has a Great newsletter that includes many helpful hints on optimizing your website and your mind.

Friday, May 20, 2011

How You Get Your Mindset

Your mindset literally creates your life. If we believe, consciously or unconsciously, that vibrant good health is our birthright, then we are likely to have good health. If we believe that money is hard to come by and hard to keep, then that reality will manifest in our lives.

Where do we get these mindsets that cause us to think, feel and act in a certain way toward ourselves, others and our surroundings? Where do those original thoughts come from?

Our mindsets are largely unsolicited gifts from our parents, teachers, religious sources, society and other authorities. For the most part, you and I are the products of other people's habitual ways of thinking.

We can produce positive, even outstanding, results. But we can also produce limiting, unwanted, ineffective and even harmful results. Remember, we form our mindsets, and then our mindsets form us. To get different results, we have to rethink our thinking.

Consider these questions:

Who has influenced my thinking about myself, about others, about life and about success?

What beliefs, attitudes and habits of thought have they passed down to me?

What societal attitudes, religious beliefs or teachings are part of my mindset?

Are these thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and teachings enhancing my success or limiting it?

This last question is very important. How has your mindset limited or enhanced your success? What have you gained or lost as a result of it?

And even more importantly: What can you do about your old mindset--the habits, practices, attitudes, values, beliefs and expectations---that limit what you create in your life?

James Arthur Ray
James Ray International

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Slow Down....

Food for Thought

Slow Down

Do you know what the number one thing most people take for granted is?

The simple fact that they are ALIVE!

In this age of do it all and have it all, most of us live a pretty fast-paced life. We rush here, rush there, rush rush rush everywhere trying to do more, be more, and have more.
We're rushing right past ourselves.

Slow down. Appreciate that you are alive. Look for the beauty in nature and the people you come into contact with...and the beauty within you.

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. What good is it to reach the finish line if you didn't take the time to enjoy the journey?

The finish line will always be there, we can't miss it. We can miss the basic and most beautiful joys life offers when we race our way through it oblivious to the passing scenery.

Take the time to simply appreciate that you are alive. Without that, nothing else matters.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You Are What You Think About...

What Are You Thinking About?

Positive thinking isn't anything new, it's in everyone, all of the time.

It's our choice whether we want to THINK in a positive way or not. No one else can make that choice for us, it's entirely up to YOU.

Change the way you think and change your life forever...

Here are a couple of quotes that might help you change the way you think.

If You Think You Can or You Think You Can't - - You're Right
~ Henry Ford ~

You Can If You Think You Can!

If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you like to win, but you think you can't,
It is almost certain you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you're lost,
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow's will.
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You've got to think high to rise,
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can even win a prize.

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But soon or late the man who wins,
Is the man who thinks he can.
~ C. W. Longenecker ~

If your Handcrafted Bodycare business isn't moving in the direction you want it to, sales aren't what you want them to be, production isn't where it should be, etc, etc.

STOP what you are doing and THINK about how you THINK!

Change the way you THINK and then head on over to SoapEquipment.com and get the Equipment you need to get your business going in the direction it needs to be :o)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Soap & Cosmetic Labeling by Marie Gale

Soap & Cosmetic Labeling

This book is a great book explaining how to follow the rules and regulations of labeling your soaps and cosmetics.

This book explains, in plain English, how to follow product labeling rules and regulations from:

Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act
Fair Product and Labeling Act
Uniform Weights & Measures Law
Uniform Packaging and Labeling Regulations
State Laws

In addition, the appendixes include cosmetic color additives and their approved uses, INCI names for common ingredients, restricted and prohibited ingredients and metric conversion charts.

Whether you're an old hand or a newcomer to the business of soap and cosmetics, you'll find the information presented here to be clear and easy to understand, and Soap & Cosmetic Labeling an excellent guide through the maze of labeling regulations.