Thursday, February 15, 2018

Over on the new blog, we love the love!

Join me on the blog for a Valentine's Day roller ball massage oil made with essential or fragrance oils or even some sweetened flavour oils. (Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more!)

Don't forget to check out the posts on the new blog as that's where I'm putting all my writing now!

Various & sundry things: Moisturizing for baldy heads, link to article, and the freezing point of urine

Patreon Q&A: How to thicken oils that won’t be greasy? Fatty alcohols, fatty acids, liquid esters, and solid esters, plus a formula for a whipped not-butter

I decided February was a kinda stream of consciousness kind of month, so I'm just writing what pops into my head, all the stuff I find as I go down rabbit holes, and formulas for products I've been working on since 2016! I'm writing up quite a few duplications this month as they led to some really interesting days of research down rabbit holes!

Hope to see you over there!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

A few thoughts and a digest of posts February 7th to February 11th, 2018

I'm sorry I haven't written more this week, but my lower back/hip has been killing me, making it hard to sit up or even balance my laptop on my knees in bed. I had to cancel at class at Voyageur Soap & Candle yesterday as I can't stand for long periods of time, which was really hard to do. I had an epidural yesterday and will have another one next Saturday, so things will be getting better soon, and I'm feeling more optimistic. 

I've been doing more of what I think of as micro-blogging on my Facebook page and Instagram over the last week or so, and I encourage you to check out those social media thingies if you want more of my ramblings on various topics during the week.

A thought when you're making surfactant based products like shampoo, body wash, facial cleanser, bubble bath, and so on to mix very slowly in a zig zag pattern with a fork to avoid bubbles and foam. Never use a hand mixer or immersion blender as you’ll end up with something that looks like this picture below, a shampoo that’s mostly bubbles. You’ll put it in a bottle, then a few days later you’ll have half the volume you did on day one. (I have pictures of that, too, if you'd like to see them.) As well, you won’t know what the viscosity really is and you could end up using the wrong percentage of a thickener like Crothix.

I always mix the surfactants together until uniform, then add the rest of the liquids to make it easier to mix. Add everything, including essential or fragrance oils, then let it sit for a bit before you add thickeners, like Crothix. I often wait overnight before thickening to make sure it has cooled down or warmed up to room temperature.

Patreon means this is a Patreon exclusive post, and you have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it. (As a note, you can subscribe for as little as $1 a month to access the blog! Click here to learn more.)

Patreon Q&A means this is a question someone posed on Patreon and I'm answering it. You have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

If it doesn't say Patreon on it after January 1st, it means it's open to everyone.

Administrative stuff means stuff about the blog, like how things work or will work.

Discussion is an open thread where I hope to see your comments, thoughts, or questions, although you're welcome to share on any post over there.

February 7th, 2018
I love the love! Make a white chocolate & babassu massage bar! 

Patreon Q&A: Formulating a cleansing balm (part two)

February 9th, 2018
Discussion: How do you clean up after a day of formulating?

February 11th, 2018
Patreon Q&A: How to add Penstia powder or silica microspheres to lotions? How to modify a lotion for the summer? Where to get misters?

Patreon Q&A: How to thicken oils that won’t be greasy? Beeswax, cera bellina, and Lipidthix

Hope to see you over on the new blog!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Digest of posts February 2nd to February 6th, 2018

I'm having such great fun sharing those things I've learned falling down rabbit holes as I research some of the questions you've posed or ingredients I've found. I had a great question from Derek about liposomes I've been researching for the better part of a month that's making me re-write all I've shared about the chemistry and biology of our skin, which is super exciting!

I'm on a serious Varisoft EQ 65 kick, making all kinds of conditioners, lotions, and conditioner bars with it. This ECOcert conditioning emulsifier  (INCI: Distearoylethyl Dimonium Chloride (and) Cetearyl Alcohol) makes really fluffy, light, less greasy conditioners and lotions. It's so lovely!

As a note, if you want to make some Varisoft EQ 65 products, you can find this ingredient at Windy Point Soap (Canada), Lotioncrafter (USA), or Formulator Sample Shop (USA). (Links provided to help you find ingredients. Not an ad, sponsored post, or affiliate link.)

Patreon means this is a Patreon exclusive post, and you have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it. (As a note, you can subscribe for as little as $1 a month to access the blog! Click here to learn more.)

Patreon Q&A means this is a question someone posed on Patreon and I'm answering it. You have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

If it doesn't say Patreon on it after January 1st, it means it's open to everyone.

Administrative stuff means stuff about the blog, like how things work or will work.

Discussion is an open thread where I hope to see your comments, thoughts, or questions, although you're welcome to share on any post over there.

February 3rd, 2018
Patreon: Making lotions using Varisoft EQ 65 (part one)

February 4th, 2018
Patreon: Making lotions with Varisoft EQ 65 (part two, the formula) – The light, fluffy, triple threat 97% natural or ECOcert lotion

February 5th, 2018


February 6th, 2018
Patreon: Formulating a cleansing balm

Friday, February 2, 2018

Digest of posts from January 27th to February 2nd, 2018

Welcome to the digest for the new blog for January 27th to February 2nd, 2018. As you'll see, I've had a super busy week thanks to my new contacts! I've been able to sit in my lovely chair and write for hours with these new ones, which is just such a wonderful feeling!

I'm declaring February to be my "rabbit hole month", and I'll be sharing all kinds of things I've learned by following my curiosity to its logical end point, so look for tons of posts over on the new blog about all kinds of things, like ingredient write ups, formulas, and concepts that help is make more awesome products.

What can you expect from the new blog this month? If you're a Patreon subscriber, I'll be sharing my micellar water formulas this month! I've spent the last 18 months working on a few of them that my guinea pigs...I mean, my testers...have enjoyed! Woo! As well, we'll be taking a look at creating a cleansing balm, making lotions using Varisoft EQ 65, and learning more about charcoal. I've been playing with all kinds of small mixers, and I'll be sharing those results with you this month!

Have I mentioned how inspired and happy I am with the new blog? I'm so excited to see all of you over there, talking, discussing, sharing, and wondering! 

If you're a $10 Patreon subscriber, Lotioncrafter is offering a lovely 7% coupon this month. Jen must really love us, eh?

Here's the digest of the links for posts on the new blog for January 29th to February 2nd, 2018!

Patreon means this is a Patreon exclusive post, and you have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it. (As a note, you can subscribe for as little as $1 a month to access the blog! Click here to learn more.)

Patreon Q&A means this is a question someone posed on Patreon and I'm answering it. You have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

If it doesn't say Patreon on it after January 1st, it means it's open to everyone.

Administrative stuff means stuff about the blog, like how things work or will work.

Discussion is an open thread where I hope to see your comments, thoughts, or questions, although you're welcome to share on any post over there.

January 27th
Patreon Q&A: What’s the deal with the emulsifier, Crodex A (INCI: Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Sodium Lauryl Sulfate), which we might find in Lush products?

Patreon Q&A: Should Natragem EW be used with a thickener?

January 28th
Patreon Q&A: What’s the difference between caprylic/capric triglycerides and squalane?

Patreon duplication: Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Age Prevention Cleanser (part three)

January 29th
Patreon Q&A: Creating less greasy feeling, more glidy lotion bars? A few thoughts and a formula

Patreon Q&A: How can we incorporate water soluble ingredients into lotion bars?

January 30th
Patreon Q&As: Do surfactants have a shelf life? Can we mix powdered extracts with oil? Do you have micellar water formulas?

Patreon Q&A: How to incorporate water soluble ingredients into anhydrous bars using an emulsifier

January 31st
Patreon: What should be the final pH of our finished products using fruit acid extract?

February 1st
Patreon: What should the final pH of our finished products using willow bark?

February 2nd
Discussion: What piece of equipment are you hankering for?

Welcome to February! 

Patreon: February duplicating posts

Patreon: February Q&A

Patreon: Lotioncrafter coupon

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Digest of links for January 23rd to January 26th

It's been a slightly slower week for posts as I've been working like a demon to get the new e-zine, Botanical Extracts, part two: Oil soluble extracts & infused oils, ready for the $10 Patreon subscribers! I still have a duplication or two to post over there as well as answers to so many questions, which you'll see over the next four days!

If you're a $10 subscriber, click here to see the post on Patreon for the e-zine

If you'd like to see the table of contents, click here. 

Here's the digest of the links for January 23rd to January 28th!

Patreon means this is a Patreon exclusive post, and you have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

Patreon Q&A means this is a question someone posed on Patreon and I'm answering it. You have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

If it doesn't say Patreon on it after January 1st, it means it's open to everyone.

Administrative stuff means stuff about the blog, like how things work or will work.

Discussion is an open thread where I hope to see your comments, thoughts, or questions, although you're welcome to share on any post over there.

Patreon duplication: Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Age Prevention Cleanser (part one)

Patreon duplication: Youth to the People Kale + Green Spinach Vitamins Age Prevention Cleanser (part two)

Please note the formula should be up by the end of January 29th! 

Duplication of Biossance 100% Squalane Oil  -  I think this might be my most popular duplication yet! :-) 

Discussion: What do you wish you'd known when you started making products? 

Don't forget to visit us at the new blog to catch up on all the new stuff! There's a lively community of commenters over there, and we'd love to hear your thoughts on this craft we all love so much!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Woo hoo! We have a schedule for classes at Voyageur Soap & Candle!

Yay! Voyageur Soap & Candle has just posted the schedule for the next few months! We have some one off classes planned - Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, and Father's Day - as well as a few sessions of my eco skin care class and the new eco facial care class where every ingredient is plant based and ECOcert!

Don't you love this basket of goodies we made in last year's Valentine's Day class? Wax tarts, spa candles, edible whipped butters (wink wink, nudge nudge), spicy massage oils, and more!

Check out the classes here! 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Digest of links on the new blog! January 20th to 22nd

I'm finally feeling better and posting like silly over on the new blog! I'm so happy to share one of my new favourite ingredients, Varisoft EQ 65, and I fell down a rabbit hole researching the answers to a few questions!

Patreon means this is a Patreon exclusive post, and you have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

Patreon Q&A means this is a question someone posed on Patreon and I'm answering it. You have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

If it doesn't say Patreon on it after January 1st, it means it's open to everyone.

Administrative stuff means stuff about the blog, like how things work or will work.

Discussion is an open thread where I hope to see your comments, thoughts, or questions, although you're welcome to share on any post over there.

January 20th, 2018
A few points of interest about all this new blog and site stuff…

Patreon Q&A: Which surfactants aren’t coconut oil derived?

Patreon Q&A: Varisoft EQ 65 - all kinds of questions (part one)

Patreon Q&A: Varisoft EQ 65 - all kinds of questions (part two)

January 21st, 2018
Patreon Q&A: Making conditioners with Varisoft EQ 65 – the formula

Welcome beginners! Check out the "Start Here" section of the site under "resources"

Patreon Q&A: Should we preserve unpreserved ingredients? How do we know if they are unpreserved?


January 22nd, 2018
Patreon duplication: Youth to the People Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins Age Prevention Cleanser (part one)

How can we add a positively charged ingredient like Honeyquat to a negatively charged product, like a shampoo?

Patreon Q&A: What’s the best version of EDTA to use in gels?

There's so much more to come this week, like parts two and three of the duplication, so continue to visit us over on the new blog to see what we're doing!

And while you're there, join in the conversation. We have an awesome new Disqus commenting system, and the joint is jumping with all kinds of discussions!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Weekly digest of posts January 14th to January 19, 2018

Ick, Raymond and I have both been down with something awful this week - not quite the flu as that feels like you're going to die, not quite a cold as that usually comes with sinus and coughing related things, but we both feel so lousy and achy - so it's been nice seeing your comments and thoughts over on the new blog while we are comforted by a small dog who wants to steal all the blankets and/or food.

Another great week for discussions over on the new blog, so I hope you join us over there to share your thoughts!

Patreon means this is a Patreon exclusive post, and you have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

Patreon Q&A means this is a question someone posed on Patreon and I'm answering it. You have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

If it doesn't say Patreon on it after January 1st, it means it's open to everyone.

Administrative stuff means stuff about the blog, like how things work or will work.

Discussion is an open thread where I hope to see your comments, thoughts, or questions, although you're welcome to share on any post over there.

January 13th, 2018
What's anionic, cationic, or non-ionic?

Patreon Q&A:  How can we use Lotioncrafter’s Vitaplex in a hair or skin care product?

January 14th, 2018
Packaging: A few thoughts and a lot of links on the topic to start a series

Administrative stuff: Clarification about the old blog, new blog, and new site 

January 19th, 2018
Discussion: What small tip made a huge difference for you?

Next week is going to be a bit crazy for posts as I have a multi-post duplication to share, the e-zine for the end of the week, and answers to a ton of questions you've posed to make up for this week of being off sick!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Administrative stuff: Clarification about the old blog, new blog, and new site


I've been getting a lot of questions about this blog and the new site, so I thought I'd address them here.

1. This blog isn't going anywhere. What you see here is what will remain here for the most part. (This will be referred to as the "old blog".) We simply can't import more than 2,900 posts over and make sure the links all work, plus there are some great conversations in the comments that I don't want to stop and great ideas that should be shared.

2. The new blog is a work in progress. We are slowly moving over some things to be part of the resources section of the blog to make it easier to find things, like a beginners' section or ingredients. (This will be referred to as the "new blog" or "new site".)

3. Everything I write from January 1, 2018, onward will be housed over there. I will post links to posts as well as weekly digests on this, the old blog, so you can find them, especially if you're a subscriber by e-mail.

4. I will be linking to the old blog when I write posts on the new blog as I have always done. When I write about olive oil, for instance, you'll see a link back to the olive oil post in the emollients section, and so on.

5. Some of the posts - those labelled "Patreon" - will only be accessible by people who subscribe to the blog through Patreon at $1 or higher. They are the ones paying for the site, the blog, and the Disqus commenting system, as well as keeping it all ad, pop up, sponsor, and affiliate link free, so there will be exclusive posts for them. I originally conceived of the new site as being for Patreon subscribers to find material I've been posting for them over the last 18 months, but I decided to open the site to everyone as it didn't make sense to have two blogs going at the same time.

6. Everyone is welcome over there, and as you can see from the two digests of links I've shared already - January 1st to 7th and January 8th to 12th, - there are loads of posts for non-Patreon subscribers.

7. I will still get notifications on comments you make on this, the old blog, but I don't know if I will have time to respond much. The new blog has a very active community of commenters already - which is incredibly exciting - and, as I said in this post, I need to be a part of something like this to recharge my batteries, to connect me with people who love what I love so much, and to give me ideas on what to write about next. I encourage you to join us over there and share your thoughts on all kinds of topics!

I can't stress enough how important it is to be part of a thriving community of commenters. So many times in 2017 I thought about shutting all of this down, about making it a private blog for only a few people to access as I was getting so sick and tired of plagiarizers and others taking and taking and taking, and it was the interaction with the few people who comment here and the many who comment on Patreon that preventing me from doing it. 

I hope to see you over there commenting and sharing. It doesn't matter what your experience level might be, you have something to contribute!

I hope this has addressed any questions you might have about the new and old blog. Please share your thoughts or questions on the copy of this post on the new blog!

Related posts:
More about the new site
2018 and change

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Weekly digest of blog posts for January 8th to 12th, 2018

I thought I'd share a digest of all the links for what's going on over at the new blog

I'm so excited by all the comments and discussions we're having over on the new blog! One of my goals this year is to help create and maintain a community, and we're on our way there! I hope you add your voice to the conversation as there are so many things we can learn from each other! 

And I'm so excited that Raymond has completed all the things necessary to automate the purchasing of e-books and e-zines, including a way you can get the charts! 

I've created a sticky post that will remain at the top of the blog on how to log in to the posts if you're a Patreon subscriber. Let me know if this isn't clear enough and I can modify it!

I'll be categorizing the posts in the subject line as there are posts that are only available to people who subscribe to the blog through Patreon.

Patreon means this is a Patreon exclusive post, and you have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

Patreon Q&A means this is a question someone posed on Patreon and I'm answering it. You have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

If it doesn't say Patreon on it after January 1st, it means it's open to everyone.

Administrative stuff means stuff about the blog, like how things work or will work.


Discussion is an open thread where I hope to see your comments, thoughts, or questions, although you're welcome to share on any post over there.

January 8th
January 9th
January 11th
January 12th

New e-zine: Emollients you will love!

Do you love oils? Sure, we all do! That's why I wrote this e-zine about more of my favourite oils and butters! Join me for some fun learning about and formulating with ingredients like cupuacu butter, sal butter, pear seed oil, watermelon seed oil, plum kernel oil, and more!

Accompanying this e-zine are my comparison charts for oils and butters, so you have a handy dandy reference to which you can easily refer while formulating! (The oils one is 13 pages!!!)

Check out the table of contents here! 

You can buy this e-zine in the e-books & courses part of the new website. A link will be sent to you mere minutes after you buy it. Isn't that awesome?

If you're interested in receiving the monthly e-zine, please visit my Patreon page to learn more!

Friday, January 12, 2018

New e-zine: Emollients you will love with the oil and butter comparison charts!

Do you love oils? Sure, we all do! That's why I wrote this e-zine about more of my favourite oils and butters! Join me for some fun learning about and formulating with ingredients like cupuacu butter, sal butter, pear seed oil, watermelon seed oil, plum kernel oil, and more! Accompanying this e-zine are my comparison charts for oils and butters, so you have a handy dandy reference to which you can easily refer while formulating! (The oils one is 13 pages!!!)

Check out the table of contents here! 

You can buy this e-zine for $13 Cdn in the e-books & courses part of the new website. A link will be sent to you mere minutes after you buy it. Isn't that awesome?

If you're interested in receiving the monthly e-zine, please visit my Patreon page to learn more!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Weekly digest of posts - January 1st to 7th, 2018

As I mentioned in this post, we have a new website and blog! I'll be doing all my writing over there from now on, and I'll post links to that work for those of you who have this bookmarked or receive e-mail notifications. This one is a summary of the posts over the last seven days just to catch you up.

To answer a question I've been asked quite a bit this week: No, there will not be the option to receive the entire post by email on the new blog. One of the reasons people gave for not commenting was that it was easier to read the post in email than to visit the blog, and although I appreciate that you're reading the blog in any form, I miss getting comments a lot and really want a sense of community, so I'm doing everything in my power to make it easier to interact, like paying for Disqus commenting system where you can post links, pictures, and other media, and it's harder for spammers to bother us, so no moderating required!

I'll be categorizing the posts in the subject line as there are posts that are only available to people who subscribe to the blog through Patreon. 

Patreon means this is a Patreon exclusive post, and you have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

Patreon Q&A means this is a question someone posed on Patreon and I'm answering it. You have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

If it doesn't say Patreon on it after January 1st, it means it's open to everyone. 

Administrative stuff means stuff about the blog, like how things work or will work.

Discussion is an open thread where I hope to see your comments, thoughts, or questions, although you're welcome to share on any post over there.

January 1st


January 7th

Discussion: How do you organize your workshop?

Celebrate the day after National Bubble Bath Day with another solid bubble bath formula!

Today, on the new blog I'm sharing my formula for making a solid bubble bath bar suitable for more humid climates using less glycerin and more glycol distearate!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

More about the new site: How it works, what's new, and a digest of the posts for January 1st and 2nd.

As I mentioned in this post, we have a new website and blog

I don't plan to abandon this blog, but I will be doing all my writing over there from now on, so I'll post the links to the new stuff here for those of you who have this bookmarked or receive email notifications.

I have a new commenting system, Disqus, that we hope will encourage more discussion. I'm already really excited about how engaged people are over there, and I hope you'll join us!

And we have a new way to buy e-books, which is great! This is an automated system, so it's sent to you right away and you can download it again if you lose it, forget to save it, or delete it. Woo!

I'll be categorizing the posts in the subject line, but this is what you'll see so far...

Patreon means this is a Patreon exclusive post, and you have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

Patreon Q&A means this is a question someone posed and I'm answering it. You have to be a Patreon subscriber to access it.

If it doesn't say Patreon on it after January 1st, it means it's open to everyone. 

Administrative stuff means stuff about the blog, like how things work or will work.

Discussion is an open thread where I hope to see your comments, thoughts, or questions, although you're welcome to share on any post over there.

DIGEST OF POSTS!

January 1st
Patreon Q&A: Can I add honey to a lip balm?

January 2nd
Patreon: 7% off at Lotioncrafter this month! ($10 subscribers)

Discussion: What are your hopes and goals for 2018?

Patreon Q&A: Can I add things to a hyaluronic acid gel?

Adminstrative stuff: How do payments on Patreon work?

These are a few of my favourite things - part two: Surfactants

Hope to see you over there!

Monday, January 1, 2018

2018 and change

2017 was a brutal year as we continued to grieve the loss of my mom.

Despite the pain, I had some amazing experiences at the 2017 HSCG conference as a presenter and as an instructor at Voyageur Soap & Candle and Windy Point Soap, meeting so many awesome people, and spending time with women I consider my business mentors and friends, like Michele from Windy Point, Tammy from Voyageur, and Jen from Lotioncrafter.

Our world and our lives are so different than they were 18 months ago,  In the midst of all this chaos, I started asking myself some really hard questions: Who am I? What do I stand for? Why am I blogging, writing, teaching, offering youth programs? Could I be doing it differently?

Here's what I'm about: My goal is to provide evidence based, scientifically accurate information on ingredients, and to create lovely, safe, and stable formulas, which I share in a number of places, including this blog. I'm overjoyed at the idea of someone making something they absolutely love after reading something I've written. I'm not about making Pinterest ready products or taking pretty pictures of things on a marble surface with lavender buds strewn here and there. I've made very few video tutorials because writing, researching, and formulating takes up the bulk of my time. What I do is write.

During all of this soul searching and mission statement creating, I realized something else: I deserve to be paid for my work. 

As you may or may not know, I quit my job as a family counsellor in November - for so many reasons, not to do this full time, although that's kinda been the outcome - and I need to support my family. Rather than taking money for ads, pop-ups, sponsored posts, and affliliate links, I started a Patreon feed.


What does that mean for this blog? I'm still writing the blog, but most of my time has to be devoted to paid projects. (This has been happening for quite some time - for example, I wrote 41 posts in November and more than 38 in December for Patreon subscribers.) With Jane Barber of Making Skincare's incredible help, Raymond and I have started a new site for the blog - you can find the website here, which includes a new blog mostly for Patreons only at the moment, an unpopulated resources section, and a place to buy e-books and future courses. (It's definitely a work in progress.)

Everything I write from now on will end up on the new blog to make it easier to find and search. Most of the posts will require a minimum subscription to Patreon for $1.00, but there will continue to be free posts as there have been since I started Patreon in July 2016. I'll post links here for those of you who get notifications by email.

Don't worry, all the proceeds from the five e-books I'm offering at the moment will continue to fund our youth programs.

Thank you all so much for all your support over the years. I love this amazing craft so much, and I'm so happy I get to share it with you! Happy New Year!