Jul 04 2014

Handmade soap – In liquid form

NEW!!  Until recent months, it has been about 12 years since I have made liquid soap.  I am happy to tell you…I have been at it again!

foam soap

Foam soap, using my handmade liquid soap as a base.

If you are close enough to attend the Snellville Farmers’ Market this Saturday, you will be able get some for yourself and see how wonderful it is to use liquid soap that does NOT give your skin a “chemical bath”.  Real.  Liquid.  Soap.  Before the birth and use of detergents and surfactants became commonplace.

A note about viscosity.  Commercial liquid soaps can be quite thick and produce lots of lather.  It’s something that pretty much all of us are accumstomed to.  Handmade liquid soaps are generally thinner than their commercial counterparts.  Why?  Because you won’t tend to find the viscosity builders and other synthetics in the handmade versions.  A lot of people making handmade liquid soaps are not going to want to put a bunch of chemicals in their otherwise all-natural products.

I happen to have a bottle of commercial liquid soap in my possession.  <Gasp!>  It’s okay.  It was a gift. No blasphemy here.  😉

Here is their list of ingredients:

  • Water  (No explanation needed here.  We all know what water is.)
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate  (This is a surfactant, cleanser, and foam/lather booster.  A surfactant is a wetting agent, which means that it decreases the water’s surface tension so that it can spread out and penetrate, or “wet”, more easily.  Since it softens the water, you can still get a lather if you have hard water.  Also known as SLES, it can be can be a skin and eye irritant.  Despite some claims that SLES, and it’s chemical cousin SLS, can cause cancer, the American Cancer Society states that they are known irritants, not know carcinogens.)
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine  (This is a surfactant, foam booster, antistatic, cleanser, and thickener.  It has mild antiseptic properties.  It is derived from coconut oil and the chemical dimethylaminopropylamine.  Can cause some irritation.)
  • Sodium Chloride  (Common table salt.  Sodium chloride is used as a thickener if the main surfactant is SLS.)
  • Fragrance  (No explanation needed.)
  • PEG-150 Distearate  (This is used as an emulsifier and thickening agent.  It is the polyethylene glycol diester of stearic acid, a naturally occurring fatty acid.)
  • Maltooligosyl Glucoside/Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate  (Basically sugar and corn starch.  Used as a humectant, which helps to retain moisture.)
  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone  (Preservative.  It has a reputation of being an allergen for some.)
  • Methylisothiazolinone  (Preservative and biocide.  Used to prevent bacteria and fungi.)
  • Magnesium Chloride  (Occurs naturally and is used as a viscosity builder in aqueous solutions.)
  • Magnesium Nitrate  (Man-made product, used as a preservative.)
  • Citric Acid (Used as a preservative and pH adjuster.  It is derived from the citrus fruit by fermentation of crude sugars.)
  • FD&C Red No.4
  • FD&C Yellow No.5

Wow!  Now that is quite a list of ingredients!  You wanna know the ingredients I used in my dog shampoo?  Here ya go:

  • WaterDog Shampoo
  • Saponified oils of:  Olive, Castor, Neem, and Coconut.
  • Glycerin
  • Essential Oils
  • Preservative

Liquid soaps high in olive oil are very mild and moisturizing.  This is obviously not a castile soap (100% olive oil soap), but it is high in olive oil content.  Castor oil is also moisturizing and helps to impart some bubbles.  I used neem oil because it is great for skin conditions and also contains natural insect repellent properties.  Perfect for a dog!  And finally, I used a small amount of coconut for cleansing and bubbles.  Also due to the olive oil content, this soap with not have a ton of lather, but the addition of castor, coconut, and even the glycerin (also moisturizing) should help boost it some.  You will get a lather, but it won’t be so foamy.  The essential oils used have some insect repelling properties as well.


Jan 11 2014

Pine Tar Soap Available Soon

pine tar soap-labelled-400pxI bought some (creosote free) pine tar over the summer to make this soap.  The market season was still going strong and then the fall craft shows kept me busy after that.  Then, of course, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s came and went.

Now that all of that is over, I can start checking off things that I’ve been wanting to make and re-stock before the markets start up again this year.  Pine tar soap is one of those things that I finally got to check off as being “done”.  Yea!

Pine tar doesn’t smell all that great on it’s own.  Those of you who have smelled it before know what I mean.  I added a complimentary essential oil blend, including lavender, eucalyptus, siberian fir, and tea tree…

This soap will take a bit longer to cure than my other soaps, so look for it in the shopping cart in about 6-7 weeks.  I am quite pleased with how this soap turned out and can’t wait to use it when it’s ready.

Oct 21 2013

Lip Luxury: Revive your lips with our new lip scrub!

Pamper your lips and then pucker up!

Pamper your lips and then pucker up!

Lips Scrubs. It’s a new product.

Never heard of them?  Well, it’s just what you need to exfoliate the chapped, dry, and dead skin from your lips.

This can be used up to 2-3 times per week .  Simply put a small amount (about pea-sized) on your finger and rub on your lips in a circular motion.  Then wipe it away.  Apply your favorite lip balm, lip gloss, or lipstick and you’re ready to go.

These awesome lip scrubs are 1.25 oz and will last you quite a while.  Most lip scrubs I have seen come in a much smaller quantity (like about 0.25-0.5 oz) with a higher price tag to boot.

Look for it in the shopping cart soon!  Currently available in Bubblegum, Green Apple, Mint, Monkey Fartz (banana), Vanilla Sugar, and Watermelon.

Jun 12 2013

Wet Shaving – It’s making a comeback

Wet ShavingHave you ever watched your father or grandfather shave with a shaving brush and shaving soap in a mug or bowl?  Perhaps even with a straight razor?  Ah, the memories of yesteryear.

Wait.  Yesteryear?  Not so fast.  Wet shaving is making a comeback and is growing ever more popular once again.

This is where Southern Butterflies can help you out.  Not only do we have these nice blue shaving mugs (pictured left), we also make some wonderful shaving soaps to put into those handy little mugs.  Currently available shaving soaps:  Bay Rum and CK One (type).

Our shaving soaps are made with coconut oil, palm kernel oil, olive oil, soybean oil, canola oil, neem oil, castor oil, kaolin clay, and fragrance/essential oil(s).  It lathers beautifully with the shaving brush.  It also provides a nice “slip” so you’re not dragging the razor across your face.

I’ve gotten great feedback on my shaving soap from several men.  One customer wrote the following, “Nice scent and, for lack of a better description, it has smooth glide. I have one of those tough shave-twice-a-day beards . This soap doesn’t leave my face irritated, which can be a huge problem . I’ve tried a lot of different products from Edge gels to designer products and this “kickin it old school” lather work as well as anything I’ve tried.”  :)

Father’s Day is coming up in a few days.  Why not give that special guy some homemade shaving soap from Southern Butterflies?  I’m just sayin’.

Apr 13 2013

Spring Cleaning! Check out the bargain bin.

Body ButterSpring is finally here!  I was seriously wondering WHEN it was going to actually feel like Spring.  But, alas, it has arrived.  I have just added a new category to the online store…the “Bargain Bin“.  Check it out.

I have added all of the body butter that is on-hand to the bargain bin at a reduced price.  Get it while supplies last!  I do not intend on making this product any longer.  Likewise, I have also added my hand & body lotion to the bargain bin.  Same deal…get it while supplies last.  This is also being discontinued.

I am also offering my Dead Sea Salt Foot Scrub at a reduced price but, sorry, you’ll have to get that in person.  It could get quite messy if I tried to ship that (all those wonderful luxury oils and butters might leak out).  The Snellville Farmers’ Market will be starting up beginning Saturday, June 1st from 8:00am to Noon.  You can come see me there or make arrangements to meet me somewhere if you are interested in the scrub.

Dec 19 2012

Still need Christmas gifts & stocking stuffers? Let Southern Butterflies help!

Southern Butterflies can help fill your Christmas stockings with handcrafted lip balm, soap, & candle melts.  We also make candles, body butter, lotion, Dead Sea salt scrubs, and other items that would make fantastic gifts, though a bit “bulky” for a stocking.  Choose from a variety of fragrances for men, women, and gender-neutral scents as well.

Looking for something that smells like Christmas?  Christmas In Ellijay is a really great Christmas fragrance.  It is currently available in soap, candles, and candle melts.  Frankincense & Myrrh is another great scent this time of year.  After all, it was among the very first Christmas gifts ever given.  :)

While you’re finishing up your Christmas shopping, remember to get a little somethin’-somethin’ for yourself.  You know, something to help you relax after all that hard work to make Christmas merry for others.  I love this time of year!  But let’s face it, it is a lot of work.  Worth it?  Yes!!  Exhausting and stressful?  It can be.  Southern Butterflies would love to help you get your relaxing on too!

Oct 18 2012

2012 Apple Arts on the Square (Ellijay, GA)

 Southern Butterflies is very pleased to be a part of the Apple Arts on the Square in downtown Ellijay this weekend.  Apple Arts on the Square is a two-weekend show, running during the same two weekends as the Georgia Apple Festival (Ellijay) and the Sorghum Festival (Blairsville).  If you plan to attend the Georgia Apple Festival, please also plan to make the short trip to the town square and take a gander at all the wonderful things offered at the Apple Arts on the Square.  This, of course, would also include our awesome handmade soap, body butter, lip balm, felted soap, lotion, candles, candle melts, crocheted hats, and crocheted scarves at the Southern Butterflies booth.  We have also been approved to bring our jams and jellies on the Puttin’ Up With Suzy label…and we may just do that.

Dare I say it, but Christmas is just around the corner, so this would be a great event to get some Christmas shopping done too.  Come on out this weekend and join the fun.  Stop by and say hi…I’d love to meet you.  :)

Oct 16 2012

2012 Sorghum Festival (Blairsville, GA)

 Come join Southern Butterflies at the Sorghum Festival in the beautiful mountains of Blairsville, Georgia.  Southern Butterflies will have our awesome homemade soap, body butter, lotion, lip balm, shea butter, Dead Sea salt foot scrub, candles, fragrances oils, and crocheted hats & scarves.  You will also see other booths with arts/crafts for sale, some booths will have demonstrations to watch, and you can jaunt on over to the Sorghum Mill and see how they make sorghum syrup (and purchase some to take home with you!).  Of course there will be music too.  There will also be contests:  pole climbin’, log sawin’, biskit eatin’, rock throwin’, and horseshoe pitchin’.  You will also find some games to play, if you so desire.  After the festival is over, go on over to the old Jr. High School Gym for some square dancing fun!

Here are some details you’ll need to know:  The Sorghum Festival is located in Meeks Park, right off of Highway 515 in Blairsville, Georgia.  The festival runs for two weekends – October 13th-14th and October 20th-21st – and is open from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM.  Free parking, with shuttles available to take you to the festival entrance.  Admission is $2 per person, children under 12 are free.

We had a great time last weekend at the Sorghum Festival and we are ready for this weekend.  The Autumn colors are gorgeous right now in the North Georgia Mountains.  Bring yourself and your family and join in on all the fun!

Oct 04 2012

First Friday in Downtown Ellijay (Oct)

October is here!  If you’re in the area, jaunt on down to the Square in downtown Ellijay tomorrow for First Friday.  Southern Butterflies will be there, albeit with a limited quantity of products this month (our booth will have already been setup for the Georgia Marble Festival that starts the next morning).  There will be music, food, vendors, and maybe even some apples from one of the local apple orchards.  Also, some of the merchants with shops on the Square will likely have specials going on for the event.  At least some did last month.  Come check it out!

Oct 04 2012

Regrettably, the time has come…

I started making soap 13-14 years ago and, during that time, I have only had two price increases on my homemade soaps.  The last one was about 5 years ago.  Because I refuse to sacrifice the quality of my soaps, the time has come for me to raise the price once more.  (I know…it pains me too.)  Unfortunately, the cost of the materials that I use has gone up considerably over the last couple of years.  Given the rise in fuel prices, shipping costs has gone up as well.  So……in order for me to continue making the same awesome, high quality and beautifully packaged soaps, and to also stay competitive within the handmade soap marketplace, the new price will be $7/bar OR 3 bars for $19.  This will be effective Friday, October 5th.

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