Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mother's Day Crafting

This Mother's Day show your appreciation with something handmade and from the heart!  Mother's Day isn't just about giving presents to your mum, it's about showing your respect for the resilient women in your life.  Whether it's your mum, grandmother, friend, aunt, or mentor, those important people need to be recognized for all the wonderful things they do!  In this post we'll be featuring two products that would be loved by any mum: a Gardener's Hand Soap and 5 super cute Butterfly soaps that we've decoratively packaged together in a cheerful gift basket.

Firstly is the new recipe we've devised for a Gardener's Hand Soap.  Now is right around the time to start getting in the garden and tending to it prudently, and we all know that gardening means dirty hands!  Normal soap just doesn't do the trick to get dirt out of the cracks and crevices and under fingernails, so this recipe contains ground walnut shells and bentonite clay to help exfoliate dead skin and clean the dirt and grit. This Gardener's Soap uses our fantastic Cream Soap Base which is made using traditional soapmaking methods, then we do our secret Voyageur process to get it to the perfect whipped, creamy consistency!  The benefit of using a cream soap is that it leaves the skin feeling ultra moisturized and soft while cleansing, and it's semi-solid state is great for scooping out of jars.  Here is the formula for one 8 oz jar:

200 grams Cream Soap Base
10 grams Bentonite Clay
5 grams d-Limonene

Combine all these ingredients in a small bowl.  Try not to stir too much, otherwise the soap will bubble up!  Package into our new 8 oz Green PET Jars.

This next Mother's Day gift idea is for 5 beautiful butterfly soaps.  We used the dry-brushing method with these soaps, which entails using a paint brush to detail the soaps with dry mica after they've been unmolded.  This creates a stunning visual appearance and a gorgeous sparkle! We also used our all natural Melt & Pour soap base which is great for dry skin because of its naturally high glycerin content.  Here is what you'll need to make 5 guest-sized soaps:

7.5 oz (or about 220 grams) White Melt and Pour Soap 
Micas of your choice
1/2 tsp Fragrance
Paint Brush

1. Start by cutting the soap base into even cubes and melting it in the microwave or on a double boiler.  Once melted, add your fragrance.  There was no second thought, we instantly chose the sweet and delicate fragrance of Butterfly Orchid!  Stir well.

2. Using the soap injector tool, squirt the soap into the recessed butterfly cavities.  Keep a glass of super hot water close by so you can rinse the tool out between butterflies.  Once the soap has firmed up a bit, use the soap detailing tool to clean up any over-pours.

3. At this point you may have to re-melt the leftover white base.  Once melted, separate it into 5 containers, one for each butterfly cavity.  Add the mica of your choice to give a light colour to the soap.  Spritz the white butterfly in the cavity with denatured alcohol (this helps to adhere the layers), then pour your soap up to the top.  Repeat this step with the 4 remaining cavities, using a different mica for each one.

4. Wait approx. 12 hours for the soap to harden, or you can speed up the process by popping the mold in the fridge. 

5. Unmold your soaps carefully, making sure the layers have adhered.  As you can see by the picture above, the soaps are beautiful just like this but we're really going to take them to the next level using dry micas!  Take your paintbrush and collect a small amount of mica from the cap of the container.

Dipping your brush straight into the mica will cause it to speckle and go everywhere! Gently swipe the brush over the parts that you want to be highlighted.  Have fun with it, and try using multiple colours on one soap!  Here are the mica blends we used:

Purple Butterfly: Amethyst Mica for the background, Amethyst Mica and Purple Haze Mica for the detailing

Green Butterfly: Spring Meadow Mica for the background, Spring Meadow Mica and Shamrock Shimmer Mica for the detailing

Pink Butterfly: Cotton Candy Mica for the background, Cotton Candy Mica and Antique Rose Mica for the detailing

Blue Butterfly: Blue Pearl Mica for the background, Blue Lagoon Mica and Blue Pearl Mica for the detailing

Yellow Butterfly: Sparkle Gold Mica for the background and for the detailing

These elegant soaps can be made to match the decor of any bathroom.  Together, the Gardener's Hand Soap and beautiful Butterfly Soaps are the perfect gift to show your appreciation for your mother!

Happy Crafting,

The Voyageur Team

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