Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Howdy, folks! :)

Well, my goodness! It's been a long time since my last post! But you know, time flies when you're having fun. :)

The big news in the Goodwin household, is Ray's retirement. This is his first week of retirement from the 9-5 work world! He has many plans, most of them involving photography. With the new year, we will be getting an RV and doing some serious traveling around the country! Be sure to check out his blog, and start following it so you can see all the wonderful places we go!

Sonoran Connection

In October, we took a trip back home to Massachusetts and Maine to see family, some of whom we hadn't seen in about 5 years. We had a GREAT time, and it was so wonderful to see everyone! You can read and see pics of our trip on Ray's blog

Vacation I - Mostly Maine

Vacation II - Mostly Massachusetts

I've been trying to pretty up my soaps, adding some color, doing a bit of layering. Tell me what you think!

They certainly brighten up my soap rack! :) So far, these layered soaps with the lines are all scented with essential oils, trying to keep them as natural as I can! Colored with clays and some oxides, and in one case, gold mica. Not that I am giving up on fragrance oils, no no no! But I am trying to increase my line of naturally scented soaps.

You can buy these soaps from my Etsy shop

Aunt Nancy's Etsy Shop

or my website

Aunt Nancy's Website

Took a new picture of some of my soaps in their labels and wraps. I like how they look all lined up!

Would you like to see some jewelry now? I taught myself some bead weaving. This is the prototype bracelet I made using a stitch called the flat spiral. I used 6mm amethyst beads, 4mm glass beads, and metallic seed beads. This one I made for me! :)

And here's a red and gold bracelet, same stitch, 2 rows. Click HERE to see it in my jewelry shop

Here's another bracelet, I call it Gold and Amber Champagne, kind of a layered weave. Click HERE to see it in my shop.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I had a plan ...

A soap plan. The next time I have such a plan, I will run it by an engineer.

The plan was a CinnaMint soap, half red, half green. Not layered, but side by side colors. So, I took a piece of cardboard cut the length and depth of my mold. I covered it with freezer paper (same thing I use to line my molds with). I placed it snuggly lengthwise down the middle of my mold.

Before I split my batch in half I debated ... make one side cinnamon, the other side mint? Nah, I said, make it ALL cinnamint. And I debated .... add the cinnamint all at once and then split the batch, or split the batch and add the cinnamint to each batch as I work on it? Nah, I said, add it all, then split the batch.

I did the green side first, using French green clay with just a pinch of green oxide to color. Mixed and brought it to trace, and started pouring it into one side of the mold. This is where an engineer would have been handy. A dam engineer. Because, of course, my dam wasn't going to hold just a settin there! DUH The only thing I could find in a hurry was a couple of plastic cups that individual applesauce comes in, that I use for mixing oxide with. I stuffed 3 of them along the other side of the "dam", and continued pouring my green soap. Yey, it worked! The dam held!

By the time I got to the other batch for the other side, it was already a thick trace. I debated .... keep it uncolored, or try to beat the clock and add the color? Add the color. Rose clay and a pinch of red iron oxide. Mixed it as fast as I could, even took a chance and hit it with the stick blender. It was still just barely pourable, so I removed the middle "dam holder" and stared pouring .. well, more like scooping it into the mold. Removed one of the other dam holders, kept scooping, removed the last dam holder, scooped and scraped the pot clean. Then, took hold of the divider and slowly pulled it straight up and out of the mold. Did a little frosting swirl down the middle to blend them a bit. And pounded that mold on the counter a few times to get rid of any air holes.

Not too bad! Now, I can't wait to cut it, see if I got all the air holes out of it.

(the pictures are not very good because a storm just rolled in and it was rather dark out, so poor lighting. But click on the photos to enlarge)

I also made a batch of Lavender soap, Just plain, uncolored, good smelling Lavender. No drama.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Soaps and Jewelry

I just finished cutting 2 soaps. One I was concerned wouldn't come out like soap should, because I poured it at an extremely thin trace. But, it came out fine!

Here are both soaps right after pouring them. One is Holiday Peppermint. The other is Frankincense & Myrrh. The Frank & Myrrh is the one I was worried about.

And here is the Holiday Peppermint setting in the Tank, ready to cut

Now, just cut

Pretty, festive, full of holiday cheer! :)

Here's the Frank & Myrrh, setting in the Tank. A little darker than I had hoped (never used this particular fragrance oil from this vendor), but as dark as I figured.

And the cut

I tried a golden swirl with gold mica, but it didn't come out as nice as I wanted. Some of the soaps have hardly more than a few specks. Plus the fact that the soap will darken up, I should have just skipped the golden swirl part.

But still, a nice soap, and smells good!!

This next soap is one I made the week before, The bottom layer is scented with Gingerbread Cookie fragrance oil, the top layer is scented with orange and clove essential oils with a splash of Cinnamon Stick fragrance oil. The middle line is made with cocoa powder. A pretty soap, AND it smells GOOD!!


I went to a gem show a couple of weeks ago, got some great turquoise! Here's a 2 strand bracelet I made

Posed with one of my favorite props


Monday, September 12, 2011

Having a sale !!

I'm having a sale, in all my shops, soaps and jewelry!

10% off ALL soap!
15% off ALL jewelry and beads!

Use coupon code FALL11 to receive your discount. You MUST use the coupon code when checking out in order to received the discount!

This coupon code will remain active until end of day Friday, September 16th. You can use the coupon code in the following shops:

Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soap website

Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soap Etsy Shop

Jewelry From Tucson

Would you like to see a couple of my new fall soaps ?? OK

Pumpkin Raisin Royale

Apple Orchard

Chai Tea

A couple of pieces of new jewelry ?? OK ! :)

Lapis Lazuli and Sterling Silver Bracelet

Blue Azurite Necklace

Turquoise Heishi Choker

This is a necklace I made for myself, using a pendant I bought about 6 years ago over at the San Xavier Mission.

And a gratuitous picture of Dakota :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just Poured Soaps

Just finished making 2 soaps, and here they are, just poured, still glossy, before gel.

One is Creamy Peppermint with Chocolate Swirl. The other is Chai Tea.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Red Apple and Other Soaps

A couple of soaps I cut yesterday. This first one is Red Apple. And it really smells like a basket of red apples! Yum! I'm afraid the red is going to darken more than I want it to.

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

Here it is setting in The Tank before cutting

I also just cut a log of Lavender. Just a pretty plain white soap.

Last week, I made a double batch of Pumpkin Raisin Royale soap. I used real pumpkin puree, and goat milk in this soap, so it should be extra nice! Here's a series of pics. The first pic is right after I poured it into the molds.

Isn't that a beautiful color?! But alas, it will not stay that gorgeous pumpkin color. It will darken.

This next pic is about 10 minutes later, when both logs went into a full, hard, hot gel. Most soaps, it will take 10 to 20 minutes to just START to gel. But between the goat milk, and the pumpkin, and the fragrance oil, this stuff got hot! And I did no insulation.

A couple of days later, they were ready to cut.

And, boy, do they smell good! Put a dollop of whip cream on a slice, and you'll want to take a bite!! :-D

I also tried a coloring technique called "column swirl". Put some kind of column in the middle of the soap mold, and pour many colors of soap onto the column one after another. If you want to see a nice video of this technique (not mine) check this out!

Youtube Column Swirl Video

I used my 12 inch log mold to do this, and I used a piece of 2x2 inch wood as the column. Here it is in the mold

Nowhere near as nice as the one in the video. :) First of all, a couple of the colors traced too fast for easy pouring. Second, this technique looks really nice in a slab mold, but not so much in a log mold.

Ready to cut ....

Here's a couple of soaps listed in my Etsy shop this past week.

Chocolate Serendipity

Sweet Orange Patchouli

Tahitian Vanilla

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Shop Banner

I made a new shop banner for my Etsy jewelry shop. Whatta ya think? Look ok? Too much sage?

(click on the image to enlarge it)

See it in action at Jewelry From Tucson.

* edited 8/16/11

This is what I finally decided on

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chocolate Layered Raspberry Filled Cake with Cream Frosting Soap

Is that name too long for a soap ? :)

This is a soap I made on Tuesday, and I cut it yesterday. First layer, scented with Chocolate Serendipity. Second layer scented with Black Raspberry and colored with rose clay. Third layer, more Chocolate Serendipity. And top layer, scented with Black Raspberry, uncolored.

(click on any photo to enlarge)

Now, trust me, the chocolate part will turn a nice deep dark chocolate brown. Look, here is a soap I made last week with the Chocolate Serendipity. When I first cut it, it was light yellowish, and now it is this luscious dark chocolate.

And the 2 soaps side by side.

Here's the cake soap setting in the Tank, before I cut it.

The other soap I cut yesterday is Orange and Clove. I went a bit light on the clove, because it can be an irritant to sensitive skin. So it smells more orange. Hmmmmm, delish!

The log setting in the Tank. I sprinkled the top of it with ground cloves, and put about 1/4 tsp of ground cloves in the soap itself. Scrubby. :)

Isn't that pretty??!!

To buy my soap, go either to my WEBSITE
or to my Etsy shop.


Here's some of the jewelry I have been making.

Chainmaille Bracelet. This is called 4 in 1 pattern, which I've done before. This time, I figured out how to add a row. :)

Turquoise Heishi Necklace - turquoise is from the Kingman mine

Blue Lapis and Wolf Charm Necklace. I would love to do this same one, all in sterling!

A set of wire wrapped blue sodalite



Same earrings in sterling silver

A chain necklace with a big ol' hunk of Moss Agate

A pair of long pearl earrings

To see all my jewelry, check out my shop, Jewelry From Tucson, on Etsy.