Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Chocolate Cherry Blissfulness

I had sooo much fun creating this soap and honestly the scent combination is supremely heavenly! As usual the Cherry scent came screaming thru at the finish line (when I cut it) but over the last two days has blended beautiful in a delightful merger of Chocolate bliss and Cherry sweet tartiness! MMMMM!
Chocolate Cherry Cold Process Artisan Soap

The challenge of the week was to create a two tone two layer swirl AKA elemental swirl! I chose a black, brown and tan almost caramel colour for the chocolate base and for the cherry topping I selected a red and two of my favourite pink colours. Not too shabby if I do say so for my first attempt at colouring the soap this way. Going to repeat this design again for sure!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Soap Challenge 2013 - Tiger Stripe design

I have joined challenges many times over the years that I have been soaping - this however is the first time I have done so in the world of blogging. This particular challenge which was organized by a sister soaper in the south Great Cakes Soapworks! Participants are challenged to make different design in the soap for each of the 4 weeks.
First up - Tiger stripe... love this one.... I made a few different ones with different results
China Rain

Cassis Fig


Keep looking as we add a new look each week!

Don't forget that we are launching our "Sweet Sixteen Giveaway Celebration" this week! You will have a chance to enter to win one of 28 amazing prizes from some great businesses!

Friday, 22 March 2013

All in a Lather

No Two Soapmakers are Alike

Handmade soap varies just as much as baker’s products vary or restaurants quality varies. The steps for making soap is basically the same however recipes vary and raw material quality can vary.  Over the 16 years I have been doing this I have heard some strange things from other soapmakers…  I heard one woman boast how she would use crayons to colour her soaps, another who used perfume from the bottle to scent her soaps. SCARY!  

I have participated in swaps over the years where soapmakers each send in a set amount of bars, let’s say 20, and then receive 20 different bars from the other participants so I’ve had the chance to try a lot of soap from other makers over the years. I sometimes swap at shows etc too. Some soap is fantastic! Others have been absolutely terrible. It has made me realize that people are right to complain about using a soap made by someone else and they have hated it. 

I’ve used some that leave my skin feeling oily which in all fairness – the bar could have been designed in mind to be a highly moisturizing bar which my skin may not have needed at the time. I have used some soap that have not lathered at all, others that have crumbled, others that were actually lye heavy – and could cause some skin damage. Again tho I will state that I have used some supremely fantastic soap from other soapmakers too. 

The problem with handmade soapmakers is that anyone can claim to make it. Anyone can also claim to be a baker – does it mean they bake in a clean environment? Does it mean they use fresh high quality ingredients? Does it mean they measure ingredients correctly? Have they enough knowledge and research behind them? No… and thus lies the problem with soapmakers too.  I was recently at a show and strangely enough the organizer placed me near another soap vendor. I could overhear the vendor telling prospective clients that this was her first show and these were the first batches she had ever made…. Ummm my alarm bells instantly went up.  First batches – no one but herself had ever tried…. EEEK! Alas just like other industries there are always fly-by-nighters who fail to spend the time learning and practicing. 

Did you know that soapmakers need to register each and every product with Health Canada? Unfortunately a lot of soapmakers don’t… again tho it’s a simple lesson that can be learned if one researches properly. 

Experience should count. Then again I know of some soapmakers who have been in the biz for a long time with subpar product so experience isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. And same goes for lack of experience.  Everyone has to start somewhere. I just hope they start out right. 

To the consumer – all I can suggest is try, try and try… find what you like for you and your skin. Ask them questions – see what their knowledge base is and ask how they test their products. If you find you don’t really like how a product leaves your skin – then ask the maker if they have something different. They may or may not but if you don’t ask you won’t know. I know when I make products I do try to make a variety that suits all skin types.  And honestly if you don’t like a chocolate cupcake one baker makes – does that mean you are never going to try another chocolate cupcake from another baker? I think not…  ask for a sample. Just don’t be cheeky and cheap and try to ask for a whole pile of samples.

Here at Wylde Rose, we test all of our products on willing testers – I almost always have to turn away testers due to the volume of willing participants. We use the highest quality of ingredients.  Something else that I think is important – even tho I have been doing this for 16 years now – I still research, research and research more. Some ingredients that were once deemed safe 16 years ago are not what I consider to be safe now – researching led me to change my recipes more than a decade back. New ingredients are discovered all the time with fantastic benefits to pass along to my customers so if I didn’t research I wouldn’t know about them. It's a constant evolution and growth!
Our soap lathering up!
I have tried to not be sanctimonious with this posting but I am afraid I am on my proverbial soapbox from time to time with topics such as these, ones that I feel are important.

Stay on the look-out for a fantastic giveaway coming for the month of April to celebrate our "Sweet Sixteen" years in business!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Top 10 Libido Enhancing Scents

Top 10 Libido Enhancing Scents

Scents to Arouse just in time for Valentine’s Day – I thought it was a fitting time to take a wee peek into the different scents that are thought to be aphrodiasiacs….  

I think the old saying about the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I truly had to suppress a smirk when reading list after list of scents that get the flames of passion stoked for men – they love the foodie scents. I have always known that Black Licorice and Pumpkin Pie were steadfast favourites among men and most of the remaining ones were not a surprise but I am rather curious about Lily of the Valley and Lavender…. Ummmm while Lavender is always a top seller – for countless reasons – I have never thought of it or Lily of the Valley having aphrodiasiac qualities.  Perhaps they like their partners to smell this way?!

Ladies – well…I am blushing a little now as perhaps I understand why some of these are my own personal favourites. Women certainly do have a more sophisticated nose as we tend to prefer the more exotic scents over the food scents. There were a few surprises with the sharpness of basil and ginger but the rose, almond and ylang ylang were anticipated on this list as they are classic scents.

Top Ten For Men
  1. Black Licorice (anise)
  2. Pumpkin Pie
  3. Vanilla
  4. Cinnamon
  5. Doughnut
  6. Root Beer / Cola
  7. Orange
  8. Lily of the Valley
  9. Sandalwood
  10. Lavender
Top Ten For Women
  1. Vanilla
  2. Ginger
  3. Rose
  4. Cinnamon
  5. Lavender
  6. Lime
  7. Basil
  8. Bergamot
  9. Almond
  10. Ylang Ylang

This list is fairly general and just a little note that every person smells different scents differently. So while licorice may get one person’s motor revved up, it may not work on another person... Even my own personal tastes show this - I either really like a scent listed or I really don’t – not too much middle ground.
Cinnamon, Vanilla and Lavender are common on both lists and they have always been solid favourites among Wylde Rose customers. 
 Most favourite ways to enjoy these scents? Candles, Bath/Shower with Soaps, Bath Bombs and Bath Salts and of course Lotions. I don’t need to tell you that it’s always more fun to have someone else apply the lotions or body butters ;)

Enjoy experimenting with these scents (or discover what other scents work for YOU!) whether it’s to ignite, re-ignite or intensify the fervor and enthusiasm you have with your partner. 


Monday, 4 February 2013

Stroke at 44 Years?!

My brother had a stroke.

Tuesday, January 8th, started like any other day for me. I was speaking at a women in business luncheon I attend regularly. It was my turn to share my passion for what I do. I went, I spoke and had a great time. However, I came home and received terrible news. My brother had a stroke.

My big brother, my protector and giver of honest advice whether wanted or not. He is the fixer of all things and yet he had a Stroke… that is not a word that should be associated with a 44 year old man. Regardless – it happened. Forgive me for repeating the word - even still I can't believe he had one.

We grew up as any other siblings but as we went away all summer, every summer (not to mention almost every winter weekend too) – we were stuck with each other whether we wanted to be or not and more often than not he had to tolerate a much younger pest, ME (insert big grin on my part). 

His name is James, goes by Jim to everyone except me (and our mom). He’s Buck. Buck is the shortened version of my nickname for him. I don’t know how or even when that got started but I have always called him Buck. (Sidenote – I actually remember calling him Jim one day and he thought I was mad at him so it’s always been Buck.)

He has been working in Newfoundland -that has been a hard adjustment for all of us including our parents. We actually just had the first Christmas ever without seeing them. Skype is great and all but it’s not the same for the on-going slapstick humour our family creates when we are all together. Not seeing my brother, sister (in-law) and my nieces has been brutally hard but for Buck to now be ill and that far away was not acceptable. 
 As I am inching up on the big 40, I am not bothered by my own age, however for some reason when my brother turned 40 I was in denial. That one snuck up on me. Now at 44,a stroke. I was terrified. Terrified for my brother, for his wife and for my nieces. Here they were facing something so scary and they were more than 1300 km away ALONE. I wanted to be on that plane the second I heard.
Even in the midst of snow flurries - it is beautiful!

How could one not love scenery like this every day...

In good Webster fashion I rallied my own home troops and prepared them for my being away for two weeks the best I could, got on a plane and went to see them.

Normally the journey wouldn’t have been too bad, however, St. John’s airport had been closed for 2 days prior due to a snowstorm so my trip was 24 hours from door to door.  My flight was the first to land in St Johns according to our pilot at 2 am. (Really Mr West Jet Pilot telling us as we descend that we are the guinea pig flight landing doesn’t make one feel safe).
Although a lovely airport to visit, I do not recommend sleeping in St John’s Airport. I think my backside is permanently imprinted in one of the chairs. I sat conjuring up ways to turn my luggage into a bed-like structure but as I was travelling alone I could not sleep, so it was moot. I had to wait more than 10 hours for my shuttle bus to arrive. To combat the ever present butt-numbness that kept creeping up I did laps in the terminal with my luggage cart and nodded to 2 different shifts of security and cleaning staff as I continued to pass them with each lap.

The waiting did make for some interesting thoughts, memories flashing back and a whole lot of reflection. I also learnt that I just can’t pull an all-nighter with no sleep like I could 20 years ago. Seriously… what happened there?!

When the shuttle arrived it was a beautiful 3+ hour drive to the hospital. The scenery is beyond stunning, even in January – beautifully stunning but remote and very isolated to say the least. Finally I arrived at the hospital where I couldn’t run inside fast enough once I saw everyone in the lobby waiting for me, even my big brother.

The medical details are not my story to share but I will say we certainly had to show more than our fair share of Webster “Chutzpah” to get the care he needed and in the end I came back to Ontario with him so he could see our family doctor and get further care.  My nieces happened to have more snow days than school days and I personally loved every minute of that. I don’t think there has ever been a time where I have spent a concentrated two weeks living with all 4 of them and I have gained some very cherished memories! My family is crazy and fun but at the core we are about the strength our family has. We treasure that.                  

I re-bonded with my brother. I knew that link would never be broken but now I am more certain than I ever was. I share more genetic material with him than anyone else on this planet, more than we share with our parents and more than our children. He’s one of the strongest people I know and I know his gentle nature and positive attitude will help him as he heals. I see the relationships that some of my friends have with their siblings and it makes me more grateful all the time that I have what I have with my brother. We’ve never been much into score-keeping, we just do what needs to be done when it needs to be.

This trip would have never happened without the love and support of my man Don, our girls and the love and support from my parents. I also have wonderful friends here who were more than willing to be emergency contacts if our girls needed someone while Don was at work! (I am so fortunate!) It was a completely group effort in giving me the time and freedom to go do what I needed to do in Newfoundland.

My customers – you too need to be commended as you were patient as Don and the girls put the orders together and shipped them.  I am getting back to our regularly scheduled “programming” but it may be a little slower as I catch up with product launches and production. Shipping is not delayed at all.

I have had a lot of time inside my own head over the last few weeks. What have I learned from this crazy month of January? Lots. I need to re-adjust my own health with more drive than before. No magic fix, just more determination to make the necessary changes by eating healthier and exercising more. I need to be healthy for everyone in my life. It’s time for me to be proactive. For so long I have been creating healthier options for what we put ON our body and what we use in our homes, that I need to be more vigilant with what we put INTO our bodies.  


Be warned – I had a lot of free time on my hands at the airport so a lot of blog posts have been written… they just need polishing and posting. Happy reading! Next up: Fly By Night Soap Makers – What to Watch For