Monday, 26 September 2011

Make your own Silicone Mould Liner

Poor Linda thought I was much more efficient than I am and posted about using a mould liner made from Silicone, but I had not done it yet. You can see her post here.

Silicone liner1
I initially saw this tutorial from Tortoga Soaps and decided I had to make my own.

I will be using Silicone from AMT - Mould Max 30.
You will need:

Silicone part A and B
A stirring stick
A disposable container to mix in
A textured sheet of paper
A wooden "box/frame" large enough to incorporate the base and sides of your completed mould
Glue gun

Making the frame and pouring the silicone:
1. Lay the wooden pieces on the textured paper and glue the pieces together and onto the paper to ensure the silicone does not "escape".Make sure to use right angles to square your frame.
2. Mix your silicone as per the manufacturers instructions
3. Pour into the wooden structure and leave overnight.
4. Remove the silicone sheet and measure your mould, draw these measurements onto the silicone and cut with a craft knife.
5. Place the base of the cut silicone into your mould and all the sides and "glue" them together with silicone

Clean up is easy, just let the silicone cure and peal off! You can put the silicone pot with the extra silicone on the sides in the freezer to prevent it from curing for about 1-2 days, and use it later to join your sides.
Here you can see a block of soap we made using the completed liner.
Enjoy Your Liners!

Cocoa Line soap-001   DSCN0129

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Monday, 19 September 2011

September Celebrations!!

"If you go down to the woods today, you're in for a big surprise..." and so we have another reason to sing a song and dance a step!

Our very own Piglet (AKA Odette) celebrates her birthday! From Tigger and Pooh: we hope you have a super-spoiling 'picnic' (day), filled with cupcake surprises and loads of fun. We send lots of love and hope you have many more.

Riverlea Soap also shares a birthday in the month of September with Piglet and celebrates another great year of super soaping and beautiful creations!

After this much fun, it will be difficult to get back to work - but watch this space for our next soapy update.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Africa is not for Sissies...!

I was on a high when I sent out the most recent blog post on technology, and how great it is, and how we are starting to see the benefits and thinking we are just so clever with all that we are busy with!

I couldn't resist sharing this as a little 'PS ' however!

Odie and I both live on farms - and with that comes the fantastic peace of nature's quiet, but also with the challenges are being 'out of town' and being forgotten so to speak.

Firstly, the copper cables supplying Odie's farming area were stolen (did I mention that this is Africa...?) and the local telecommunication provider were planning to resolve. They then decided it was futile to relay copper which would most likely just be stolen again, and so there is no landline solution. Telkom have further decided that it is pointless laying fibre-optic or any other material as the thieves would not know the difference and still attempt to remove them!

This is no hinderance for us Handley girls - we will use Skype over the Internet and do all our landline call requirements this way. Actually it is quite efficient we tell ourselves, as we are always at our desk when on a call, with all information at our fingertips. Panic allayed!

Of course there are the times when the signal, that gives us the precious wireless and 3G internet that we now so heavily depend on, may falter! This can be due to a gentle wind, low lying cloud, or just a bit of rain. And then... along comes 'Mr. Lightening'! Well, this really changes things as now Odie is completely offline with no internet either.

Oh no! Now there is load-shedding - I have just experienced a power cut, which of course defies all our attempts at staying online described above, and negates all options.

But wait!! "You can't keep a good thing down" they say, and thank goodness for Blackberry!! We are both up and running with most information in our handhelds and we can continue with the day-to-day business of soap-making. Crisis averted!

That is as long as some form of normalcy returns within 24 hours!

Here's hoping - still gotta love Africa!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Riverlea Soap gets technology-wise!

We are indeed living in a technology age which will see our grandchildren’s children studying these times in history lessons. Some of us learn faster than others, and as we do all our development ourselves using the Google suite of products, we are perhaps in the ‘slower’ category.
Piglet and Pooh somewhat puzzled…
Piglet Pooh puzzled

There is no doubt that the world has moved ‘online’ and we have joined this trend. With our Blackberry’s in hand, laptops in bags, and desktops in the office – we are truly ‘a-movin-and-a-shakin’ with the best out there!
Odie and I were hard at work with our communication strategy and suddenly, it was like someone turned the light on, it all made sense! The connection between our blog, web, mail campaigns and online shopping cart and order forms – it all intertwines so logically.
All happy and filled with admiration of our handiwork!
PP Travel
Please take a moment to view the 'fruits' of our hard labour and let us know what you think!
Weekly Blog with a 'Soap Shop' tab option.
Website link below as usual!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Tutorial - Melt and Pour - textured!

You may remember that in an earlier blog post, Odie described in detail, how to make your very own silicon mould from a textured surface? Well, we decided to use this mould and test the result when using it as a soap mould.

Follow the steps below to make these soaps.

You will need:
- Textured silicon mould
- Moulds of 80g each (calculated by filling the mould with water and weighing it before and after) - Soap colouring of choice (I used blue)
- Fragrance of choice (I used Grapefruit)
- 160g Opaque M and P soap base Jugs, stirrers, scale, spraying alcohol, micro-wave

- Cut textured silicon to size to snugly fit within mould
- Chop M and P into jug, and melt in 30 second bursts until just liquid
- Add colour drop by drop and stir until desired tone achieved
- Add fragrance - guideline 2% of soap weight and stir
- Pour gently into positioned mould
- Spritz immediately with alcohol to remove obvious bubbles
- When cooled (approximately 60 minutes) turn mould upside down and gently press to remove soap - if resisting, leave for a further 10 minutes
- Peel silicon mould away from soap gently
- Stand back and admire!

Refer to previous tips if need be.

Have a wonderful week everyone!!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Spring has Sprung!!

After the unusually cold winter here in South Africa, exacerbated by the unconditional winter rain in Kwa Zulu Natal – I was delighted to welcome Spring this morning!

Living on a farm in the suburbs of Durban, I am thoroughly spoilt by the sounds of nature – busy weaver birds chirping, tree frogs clicking, hadedah’s laughing and wild birds singing! I then open my doors and enjoy the warm berg wind while gazing at an orange sky as the sun makes its way over the hilltops to share its rays for another day.

I am then consumed by fragrances wafting in the breeze, calling me to come closer and get a deeper smell. I took photos to share with you – you will have to imagine the fragrances – the abundance of blossoms in the garden.

The picture below shows the violet Petrea – a large climbing shrub with flowers bursting from every stem, and just above it the Orange Jasmine – a rich dark green shrub with clustered heads of blooms carrying the unique sweet smell of Jasmine. To the right you will see the traditional Star Jasmine creeper – a simple white flower with dark pink stems, and in the picture below it – it has covered the entire farm fence and every frond is laden with bunches of flowers. Their scent is the powerful Jasmine fragrance that every child has experienced growing up – close your eyes, you can almost smell it! Behind the fence post is the indigenous African Coral tree in full bloom.

With a new season, comes the birth of many new ideas and events – Riverlea Soap is no exception!

The Riverlea Soap Univer-soap-y is in its final stages and will be launched in the very near future – more on that coming soon!

We are proud to be associated with the Marriage Meander which launched its new book today which is every bride’s 'must have' handbook and contains many options and ideas for the wedding ceremony – including our exciting custom soap options eg. personalized, Jasmine, creamy bars of soap with a textured finish. Get your very own copy of this high class, glossy book at CNA Stores on sale now!

Did you plan something new for Spring?

Are you launching new ideas or new events?

Even if it is just a new smile for now – here’s wishing you a wonderful, fragrance-filled season!

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