New Houston Soapmakers Meetup Group

Meetup.comCharley of Skunkwerks Soap Co. (formerly from MO) has started a new Houston Soapmakers Meetup Group that meets once a month. We had our first meeting on Sunday and I’m trying out his Pine Tar Soap in the shower now. He’s got a lot of great ideas for the group.  I can’t wait to see what he comes up with!

I’m going to be in Austin during the next meeting at the Texas Soapmakers Association Convention, going batty over soap July 18 – 20th.

A typical week in the life of Lisa Chouinard

In addition to running my microbusiness, I fix computers a  hospital during the day! Here’s what a typical week looks like:

This is a typical (Monday – Friday) Day

7 am – wake up and get ready for work (the hospital where I fix computers)
8 am
– Work (fix computers)
11am– lunchtime! I usually run errands like go to the bank, drop packages off at FedEx, run to the office supply store/Discount store for supplies/displays and or run home to process orders or go to my dr’s visits at this time. and scarf down some lunch.
5 pm – Gym – usually cardio for an hour
6:30 pm Dinner – usually out with friends (have to be social sometime!) or I eat at home.
7:30 – 11pm
Make Soap and process orders, update website, blog, twitter, do product photography, clean my apartment.
11pm – I aim for this time to be sleeping. I don’t always make it, but I try!

Saturday (when I have a market)
– wake up and get pretty for market
7am – set up for market
8am – Noon Market!
Noon Break down market.
Make Soap
When I’m done making soap, I go dance, usually around 10pm.

Grocery Shopping while laundry is going
Clean Entire Apartment
Make Soap

Feto Soap at Midtown Farmers Market Saturday!

Midtown Farmers Market

I will be vending at the Midtown Farmers Market Local Crafts Spree on Saturday, June 14th from 8am – Noon. The Midtown Farmers Market is located in the front of Monica Pope’s T’afia. 3701 Travis Street @ W. Alabama directions here.

Don’t forget Dad! Father’s Day is June 15th! I will have many manly soaps for Dad such as Bay Rum, Man Smell, Cold Water & Pepperberry!

Three Soaps

My student Micky came over last night and we made three new limited edition soaps together. Lavender Essential Oil Shea Butter Soap swirled with ultramarines, a Green Tea Soap swirled with – what else, Green Tea Powder and a Salt Bar.

The Lavender Essential Oil Soap came out as planned, all swirly.

The Green Tea soap had the same kind (ok, I think they were better) of swirls going on it until I:

  1. Forgot to put the dividers in my mold
  2. Covered it with plastic wrap
  3. Dropped the plastic wrap on top of the perfect swirls I had just finished making.

I grabbed my stirrer and did a quick “blind swirl” to fix it. It’s still a swirled soap, but they are just not very precise, which is fine. I learned a couple of things. Green Tea powder goes from a nice green to a dark brown quick in fresh soap. I added some green colorant hoping to get a dark green color out of the swirl, but it wasn’t happening. Which again is ok. It was an experiment and the deep brown color is nice, though everyone thinks these pictures of soap are some kind of dessert.

The Salt Bar

It was my first time making a salt bar. I’ve been seeing these around and curious enough to make a batch of my own. I used 50% Coconut Oil and a combination of Shea Butter, Olive Oil & Castor Oil and I used the same amount of salt as the amount of oils I had in the recipe. Normally I have to wait a few days to unmold cold process soap. Not this one. I unmolded them within an hour and a half. I scented them with a lovely coconut fragrance… and now need to wait for them to finish curing so I can use one for myself! They will be ready to use on June 26th along with the other two soaps I made yesterday. I’ll add the Salt bar picture to this post as soon as I get it photographed. I have some other soaps I want to make, so I’m going to write them down. If you have any special requests, let me know!

Chai Tea Shea Butter Limited Edition Soap

To make this soap I brewed up some Chai Tea from Te House of Tea and used it in place of water. The caramel color is from the tea and the fragrance oil. I’ll be making a Green Tea Soap tonight with a swirl colored with green tea powder.  The Chai Tea Soap will be ready to use on June 24th! It’s curing now.

Chai Tea Soap

The Reveal!

The Limited Edition White Tea & Ginger Shea Butter Soap I made with my bud Mikey Sunday afternoon:

We added the lye to the water that had tea in it and let it brew up that way. After it cooled a bit I strained out the tea. The tea got really dark, so we added some titanium dioxide and white kaolin clay to the batch.

The soap became a tan color and I didn’t think the powdered ginger root was going to show up in contrast to the already tan colored soap, so we added Brick Red Oxide to the cup of soap we were using to swirl. The soap has lightened up a bit since setting up. More pictures to come later! This soap will need to cure for at least a month before you can use it, but it will be worth the wait! Stay tuned! More tea soaps will be coming your way!

Rubber Stamps, Bookplates & Tea

If\'n BooksMy name stamp from Vista Print finally came and I put it to use on the bookplates I bartered for with If’n Books a while back.  Feto Soap customers – your invoices are going to be stamped up! (You’ll see on your next order!) I have been ordering stamps like crazy from Vista Print lately. I hope  you’re having a happy Sunday! I will be making some Shea Butter Natural Lip Balm today and a small batch of Cold Process Shea Butter White Tea and Ginger Soap swirled with Ginger Powder  (9 bars). I bought some White Tea from Te House of Tea to brew up and use tea in place of water for this batch. I’ll post pictures when it’s ready!

Cold Process Soapmaking Class Sunday, May 18th

My next soapmaking class is coming up this Sunday, May 18th. Only four spots are left!

Soapmaking–Better than Store-Bought

Discover the benefits and fun of making and using handmade soap. Not only is it better for your skin but it also allows you to be creative since you select the ingredients, colors, fragrances and shapes. Learn to overcome your fear of working with lye (an essential ingredient in all soap) as well as important safety precautions as you learn to produce a batch of soap. NOTE: Each student will take home one bar of soap.

Class Number: R1020C Sun 2-5pm May 18

To register, go to Leisure Learning Unlimited’s Website:

or call them at 713.529.4414 with the class number R1020C.

Maker Faire – my version

I arrived in San Francisco on Friday at noon, and call Kai (my assistant for Maker Faire) to see if he wants to go for lunch. By the time I get to the car rental place, it was 2:00pm! I couldn’t remember the name of the restaurant, so I looked up Green Apple Books, drove there and walked a block to Burma Superstar. I ordered Samosa Soup and then my food poisoning from the plane kicked in. Kai put me to bed and after a few hour nap (I had been traveling since 4am that morning – flying directly from Burlington, VT after attending the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild Conference). Thankfully it was a short bout of food poisoning and I was able to eat after my nap. Then we made our way to our host for the weekend and we went to Moshi Moshi for dinner.

For Maker Faire, we were going to be making melt & pour soap, and to make one bar at a time a microwave is ideal. I asked my host if I could borrow his, and he said that would be fine… I guess I didn’t really explain my need… (his microwave is bolted into his kitchen) so I ended up buying a microwave on the way to Maker Faire and arrived 10 minutes before it started!

After getting setting up people started streaming into my booth pretty much non-stop to create their own soap. I had no time to train my assistant or eat! He fed me while I chopped and melted soap. Many people made soap – we used up a 24-pound block and a few 2 lb trays of soap – over 100 people made their own custom soap in my booth! They got to pick a mold – round, oval, floral oval, bee and honeycomb and rectangles were the choices, a toy (or toys, one kid fit 6 toys in their soap – a butterfly, army man, horse, goat, dinosaur and ballerina), colorant, glitter, and fragrance!

Maker Faire added a Saturday night portion to the event, so after the sun went down we closed up the booth and wandered around. We had some delicious Oysters Rockefeller on the grill, and while we were wolfing them down people from Brittany Knitting Needles were also at the booth slurping down oysters. They had some needles they were passing out and I scored a wooden pair of 19’s! I can’t wait to use them with some chunky yarn! We got out of there pretty late, so we ended up eating wonderful Clam Soup at the Clamhouse in San Mateo.

Jennicakes and LisaOn Sunday Kai was totally trained to show people how to make soap. We had an assembly line system going with chopped soap ready to go in paper cups that corresponded to the mold sizes, and we got to explore maker faire for 30 minutes at the end of the day. I went straight to Bizzare Bazaar and met Tammy from, Kathy Cano-Murillo, Starving Artist Bazaar. Jenni from Hambones and Jennicakes stopped by my booth as I was breaking down and I am now a proud owner of one of her infamous sleep masks – mine reads ” hung over”!

Maker Faire through Kai’s Eyes

Kai Maker Faire SFMy friend Kai from Austin flew up to San Francisco to be my assistant for Maker Faire and he blogged about his experience here.

I have been working on orders pretty much non-stop since I got back from San Francisco and the happy little packages will be making their way towards you now! Perhaps I will write about Maker Faire this Sunday.

If you have any questions about the status of your order, please do not hesitate to contact us!

In the meantime, hope to see you at the Midtown Farmers Market tomorrow where all items at my booth will be $5.00!

Maker Faire

Maker Faire, originally uploaded by fetosoap.

We’ve just come back from both the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild Conference and Maker Faire. Here are some of the soaps people made at my booth at Maker Faire!

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