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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Evolution of Lavender

Recently I discovered Full Sail beer from Oregon.  (I swear this will lead to Lavender)  It retails for the same price as the watery domestics, but tastes exponentially better.  They have a series called LTD that uses a different recipe each time.  Sort of like I do with my soap.  It's part of what keeps it fun and fresh.  As a side note, I  fell in love with the LTD 06 - Black Bock over the holidays.  It was De Lici Ous!  From their website:

LTD means Limited Edition. But around here it means something even more: Live The Dream. We're doing something every brewer dreams of: Concocting an ever-changing series of small batch beers, available for a limited time only. Each new LTD Series brew will showcase an original lager recipe, busted out by our ace crew of libationary wunderkinds.
LTD is dedicated to everyone who's livin' the dream whatever that dream might be. We started Full Sail to make killer beer - goes without saying. But more importantly, we started it to live our dream: To seek that perfect balance between work and play, art and commerce, friends and family. It's not always easy being independent. In fact, it's almost never easy. But there's no other way we'd have it. If you're living your dream, props to you. Peace.  - The Full Sail Crew.
 As I learned about this concept, my thoughts drifted to my Lavender soaps.  I've don't believe I've ever made the same batch twice.  Each time I make a new batch, I play with a different blend of essential oils, while keeping Lavender as the main focus.

The latest batch was inspired by the spring season.  Halfway into my first year living in the Denver climate, I have been reminded at how intense spring fever can be when you have an actual winter.  The other day, I got the spring cleaning bug and spent almost 4 joyous hours cleaning with the windows wide open.  At a mere 55 degrees, I realize I'm building a tolerance.  Denver 55 is much warmer than Atlanta 55.

Thoughts of planting an herb garden and maybe some lettuces in the back yard raised bed garden definitely influenced this blend.  There's a hint of basil and a couple of other goodies.  I was tempted to include some black pepper, but I think I'll save that for the next one.  This recipe is garden fresh and the quintessential spring scent.

Lavender is a beloved scent and is a great little bar of love to give to Mom for Mother's Day.  You can find it in my etsy shop while it lasts.

And now...    presenting...      The Evolution of Lavender according to Sudstress:
seems it's also the evolution of my photography and editing skills...  yipes!

 hot processed lavender - 2006

 Lavender Rosemary - 2011

 Lavender & Juniper-berry 2012
 lavender patchouli wedding favor 'soap rocks' - 2012

 Spring Lavender 2013

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Introducing..... Holiday Packs!

Hello.  Welcome to the holiday season.  Just wanted to introduce you to these cute little holiday packs.  They are in limited supply and are already selling like hotcakes!  Sometimes it can be hard to tell by a photograph, so I will tell you that each of the li'l soaps in the pack are what I like to call "hotel-size".  Perfect little sampler - stocking stuffer - mid-Hanukkah - for your hairstylist - chiropractor - massage therapist - neighbor - etc...

The Christmas Trio sells for $5.95 on etsy:

The Hanukkah Set sells for $3.95 on etsy:

Monday, November 26, 2012

And the winner is....

This was a tough one.  There were so many lovely entries on the Sudstress facebook page that it was difficult to decide.  There are a few names I am going to keep in mind for future soaps and when I use them, I will send a bar to the person who gave me the idea.

Free Spirit
Blue Lagoon

Thank you for all the entries!  

I'm proud to introduce....   ENCHANTED

Thank you and congratulations to Heather Montes for your winning entry!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Name That Soap!

It's that time again.  I have a perfectly lovely soap and I just can't seem to come up with a name.  The contest will run for one week and the winner will receive a free bar of this very soap!

You can vote here by leaving a comment, or on the Sudstress facebook page.  There is no limit to the number of entries per person.  The scent is similar to the Philosophy brand fragrance Amazing Grace. It's a very feminine scent, slightly tart, slightly floral and powdery. Very beautiful.  The bottom is accented with a subtle vanilla.  Thanks for your help and I'm looking forward to seeing what you all come up with!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Churnin' it out.

I'm here in Denver.  I made it.  I got my soap operation up and running about a month ago and have been trying to churn it out as often as I can.  It's late, I'm tired, but I wanted to share pictures with you.  So, I'm keeping it short and sweet and let the soap porn speak for itself.

Thanks for looking and thanks for your patience!

 Moonlit Forest
 Fairy Floss
 Name TBD
 Love & Light (a Hanukkah soap)
 tops of Love & Light
 more Love & Light
Holiday Trio (packaging incomplete)

Hope you like!  Some of these are already available on my Etsy site, and the rest will become available in the next few weeks.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Review - Preview

Thank you to all the brides with whom I've worked the last few months.  You are all great and I wish you all the best!

WeddingWire Rated 2012

Some recent reviews of the Sudstress wedding favor experience:

"Everything about working with Kat was wonderful. She was quick to respond, very helpful with ideas and sent a ton of samples for me to pick the perfect favor. The soaps themselves are so unique and super cute as a favor. They come in cute packaging ready to give to your guests. As an added bonus she gave me a "soap cake" for me to try some of my soap also! I would recommend her to anyone who is looking for a cute favor that you can be confident is going to wow your guests!" ~ Lenita ~ marrying David on December 7, 2012 ~


"Kat is simply amazing! I saw her work way back before we were ever engaged and I decided then I wanted her to do my favors if I got married. Once he proposed, one of the first things I did was ask her to create soap favors for us!

Our wedding is going to be outdoors and rustic and casual, and her soaps are PERFECT! She created something new just for us (we are using our initials in a heart as a theme for several items) and it turned out beautifully. The value was great for handmade, custom soaps and she even printed an awesome label with our information that matched our colors and theme. Plus, she packages them in these cute boxes with color coordinated tissue paper and bows and everything.

I could not be more happy about what she created for us and I'm so excited to see how much people love them when they get them as favors on our wedding day. Thanks SO MUCH Kat!!"
  ~ Allison ~ marrying Charles on October 28, 2012 ~

Read all of our Party Favors Reviews at Weddings, Wedding Cakes,  Wedding Planning, Wedding Checklists, Free Wedding Websites, Wedding Dresses, Wedding Ideas & more

And on that note...   I will be out of sight for a while, but hopefully not out of mind.  I am packing up and moving to Denver.  There will be some back and forth between Atlanta and Denver as I look for a place to live and sneak in some travel before the big replant.  I anticipate mid-late October to be up and running again, making soap.  My inventory will take a little longer to build back up, with the goal of being well stocked for Christmas sales.  If you are in Atlanta, you can find a fairly decent stock at Young Blood Gallery & Boutique on N. Highland Avenue.

I will be beginning my adventure in just four days, beginning with a visit with this li'l one....

See you in a couple of months from the mile high city!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Into the West.

View of the Flat Irons from my brother's street in Boulder

Big news.  As some of you may know, I've been yearning to move out to Colorado for a few years now, ever since my brother and sister-in-law moved out there, and especially in the last couple of years since they brought Zora, my niece, into the world.

So, if you haven't guessed already, I'm packin' it up and heading out to Colorado!  There are many things I'll be sad to leave behind in Atlanta, but there is so much I'll be moving towards in the glorious mountainous west.  

A note to my wonderful and loyal customers, you can expect a minimum of two months before I'm up and running out there, and then probably another couple of months for me to restock my shelves to a respectable level, so if you don't want to run out, head over to my etsy site and pick up what I've got left before my co-workers buy it all up (they love Sudstress!).  I don't have a place to live yet, no job, and several glitches in the plan already, so I'm prepared for delays.  Rest assured, however, that I will continue to make soap out in Colorado and I'm looking forward to what I suspect will be shorter cure times what with the dry air out there.  *fellow soapers nod their heads* 

I shipped out the last of the wedding favor projects that I had on the books yesterday and will get those pictures up as soon as I can.  Needless to say, the next couple of weeks will be a flurry of activity as I prepare to become a resident of the mile high city.

Though this move is a long time coming, I'm taking a huge, flying leap of faith moving out there with no job or apartment, but I have family, the love of my life (who will be joining me), and a plan to get my MBA at the Leeds School of Business, so it's calculated at least.  Without great risk there can be no great reward, but I think my sentiment is best summed up in the words of my 15 month old niece...  "Ooooooh my".