Wednesday, December 29, 2010

That’s right – it is possible to get soap in your inbox!

Hello from Candicesoaptray!
I am super excited about the contents of this letter and my new venture. After much contemplation and a desire to get up and running in a more efficient way -from  this year on I am pleased to be taking my little soapmaking hobby up a notch and periodically will be sending out a mail-order type newsletter featuring new, delicious and "retro-back-by-demand" runs of soap, bath & body products.
More excitingly, exclusively for Richards Bay and Empangeni residents - I will start doing weekend home-party showcases. What's in it for you? If you would like to host one of these and can find atleast 10 people (or more) who would be interested in handmade bath & body works, you will automatically receive a super luxurious Tincan Handmade bumper pack bundle filled with a variety of my favourite bath & body treatments and for every single sale of R100 upwards from one of your guests, a gift of your choice from the gift bundle, as well as a 10% discount on anything you purchase at your hosted party.
I am also going to be branching out into the wedding and party favour side of things, as I too am getting bored with the party favour options consisting of the ol' miniature plastic champagne glass filled with pink and white cachous or the laminated pressed flower  bookmark....
My plans for the future include "Beauty-in-the-kitchen" weekend workshops where for a small fee to cover ingredient lists etc, I will run a workshop on how to make beauty treatments, and fun bath & body goodies from things in your kitchen. But that is a little later on, and I will send out details on that in later newsletters. coffee bean vanilla
To kickstart this new avenue - I have included at the bottom of this e-mail/blogost a couple of pics of my favourite limited edition glycerine soaps for you to have a look at, together with a description and an order form. Each soap is individually handmade and thus each bar is completely unique.
Total production time for each series of soap ranges anywhere between 60 to 240 minutes dep ending on the level of detail and artistry involved. I get inspiration for each soap by things I see, smell, hear, taste or find out that it’s good for you. I then make a little sketch of what I imagine the soap should look like. Sometimes it is a bit of missionsketches to work out how to translate the sketch into its soap-form, but most times I get pretty close to what I saw in my head. Each little detail of the soap is made, carved, and coloured seperately and then incorporated into the final design.
The scent formula (apart from the plain standards like lavender, lemon-balm, etc) is a blend designed by myself from my vast collection of essential, nature-identical and fragrant oils. I put a huge effort into creating what I call my soap art and would love to share this passion of mine with you.
If you would like to be included the next time I mail out my e-mail catalogue of sorts - just reply to this email  or do it manually at Forward this letter out to any of your friends, family and acquaintances who love a bit of luxury on a shoestring budget as well, after all who says that whimsical luxury must only be the indulgence of those with big wallets. I would love to have more people share in my obsession!
Bars of glycerine soap that weigh 110g are usually sold at R12-00 each, but I have a special going on right now - I will give it to you at cost per bar which means that you will only spend R10 for a whopping 110g. Or get the Tropical Trio guest soap set, each weighing 40 grams for R25. Fill in the attached order form and type in E-LETTER SPECIAL in the coupon code box in the subject box to qualify.

Glycerine Soap – VERANO (Vehrah-noh)
A spanish summer - bright orangey-yellow chunks of the sun embedded in clear base.
Weighs 110g
Fresh, clean unisex scent like walking in a sunkissed meadow.
Glycerine Soap - EARTH
Earth toned spiral in a clear base
Weighs 110g
Earthy, woodsy, masculine scent
Glycerine Soap - SHOWER DOOR
A misty shower door in stripes of aquatic hues.
Weighs 110g
Decidedly cool, fresh Aqua notes.
TOP SELLER and voted as customer favourite
Glycerine Soap - ICED COAL
Big chunks of black coal plunging into clear icy antartic water.
Weighs 110g
Smells heavenly, spicy wood undernotes with a touch of a patchouli middle and rounded off with a deliciously refreshing peppermint twist.
I designed the fragrance formula to cater to the masculine market but it is extremely popular with both men and women.
Glycerine Soap - HOT CROSS (Aromatherapeutic)
A clear cross embedded in a rosy base.
Weighs 110g
Warm, spicy notes like a hot cross bun with clove, cinammon and sandalwood essential oils. I especially get a kick out of the clear cross in the middle.
Glycerine Soap - FRESCO (fries-koh)
The Italian word for "fresh", “cool” and a water-based pigment painting.
Beautiful marbly swirls of greens, blues, yellows and purples in a translucent base.
A fresh clean gender-neutral scent with a hints of musk, pine and bergamot.
Crushed strawberries in red glycerine base with a generous dollop of skin loving moisturiser.
weighs 110g
Scented lightly with Strawberry
Glycerine Soap - MUSK
Looks like little pieces of chewy candy in soft pastel tones swimming in a clear base.
Weighs 110g.
A sensual smoky white musk scent.

Glycerine Soap - FIRE
Fiery billows erupt from moten rock. The design seeks to capture the roaring magnificence of the element fire.
Weighs 110g.
Softly scented with sweet and musky notes and a undertone of ginger.
Glycerine Soap - CITY ABLAZE
A tribute to the magnificent dusk landscape of industrial Richards Bay
Weighs 110g
Softly scented with warm spice and citrus notes
Glycerine Soap - OH SUGAR
like caramelised sugar
weighs 110g
lightly sugary sweet
(the lighting makes this picture look a little more vibrant than the soap actually is - its a lot more muted and definitely more caramelised, cooked sugar looking)
Glycerine Soap - LAVENDER (Aromatherapeutic)
one half opaque lavender essential oil infusion, one half lavender buds soaking into translucent glycerine.
weighs 110g
Lavender of course
made with real cacao and cocoa butter with coffee grounds for scrub.
weighs 110g
naturally chocolatey
half aloe, half rooibos infusion
weighs 110g
Very rooibos and herb scent
Glycerine Soap – MOONLIT DREAM
The moon swimming in a magical night sky
weighs 110g
fresh floral
Glycerine Soap – APRICOT CRUSH
Translucent syrupy looking soap chequered against exfoliating bran topped apricot pieces
weighs 110g
sweet sugary apricot
Tropical Trio Guest Soap
Deliciously refreshing summer soap.
Each guest size glycerine soapweighs about 40g and comes in a fruity tropical medley of Watermelon, Starfruit and Satsuma.
Order form
soap left in stockadd to cartquantity requiredsubtotal
shower door5...
iced coal3...
hot cross5...
strawberries & cream2...
city ablaze3...
oh sugar4...
double chocolate2...
rooibos & aloe2...
moonlit dream1...
apricot crush3...
tropical trio9...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Allergic to perfume?

So my latest idea for scenty things was born out of a love of crafty repurposing, the need to fix up the unfortunate way too plunged neckline of almost perfect dresses that the trend industry has inflicted upon us 30-somethings, and of course the insatiable need to turn it into something that pleases at least 3 of the five senses.  Best of all you can easily do this for under R7 or $1. 

The project mainly started off like this.  I have 2 dresses that are super cute, a cute little purple floral mini-dress that I love and a fuller skirt length floral dress.  They really are cute and I love wearing them, because they are cut perfectly to my exact body shape.  The only problem with them is that they have wide plunged necklines so low, that if it got any lower you would see my belly button. 

1432Now I am quite firmly of the opinion when you hit a certain stage of your life , and your body is starting to not look like your 16 year old self – you should have enough sense to not try to dress like a Hip-hop video girl!  Needless to say that I think Hip Hop video girls usually are not the classiest women to  begin with.  So yes, even though I consider myself a decent enough feminist – I have to say that there are some looks – that you just must not attempt past 18! 

Anyway, I digress – back to my story.  I had these dresses and I wanted to fix them up, and I didnt want to do the dated 1353camisole look either, and neither did I want to do the sweater-over thing either – the dresses were so pretty that they needed to be unhidden.  I got to thinking and I thought – ha – I should make a pinbrooch to fill in the absence of decorum of the pretty but borderline hooker wannabe dresses.  Now I’m not talking about like a cameo pinbrooch with Queen E’s profile, I wanted it to be something more like the Bohemian/grunge while trying to seem business like look I tend to favour.  After all, I belong to the Nirvana-Pearl Jam-Metallica-Foofighting - generation of the early 90’s!

So that’s what I did.  I have mentioned my love of PEP Home stores before, and my weekly pilgrimages to it– and so I trundled myself off there again and found a two 2392484021_72bd69efdcheaded bunch of kitsch silk roses, for R2,99 I think.  You know the kind – overtly plastic stems and leaves, usually part of the decor in restrooms at petrol stations, or in the decor-style of those living-rooms where one is likely to see prints of Elvis and possibly a Pope, next to Britney Spears opposite  of which - a string of neon coloured rosary beads hang on an equally distrubingly gaudy cross,  underneath of which one of those pictures of Christ with a radiating heart stands balanced on a stack of empty beercans.  Yep those kind of roses.   I got sort of funny looks from the cashier, but I didnt care – I had big plans for ‘em trailer-trash roses. 

I brought them home into my studio and proceeded to take the heads of he stems and pull the flower apart.  Then I used aflower pin1crp self-blended concotion of ultramarine and maroon Dala Sun Colour dye and I proceeded to dye the die-cut petals to tone in with the colour of my purply maroon dress.  Once that was all dyed and dried, I layered the disassembled flower in a less “obviously-rose-ordered” pattern that I liked.  Then came the most frustrating part of the project and that was glueing and stitching all the layers together so that it stayed in exactly that pattern.    Once that was done I got a matching button out of my random button collection, stitched through it to secure it to the centre of the flower and voila fleur de Candice. 

Then to get it to attach to the garment, I took an ordinary large safety pin and sewed that onto the back of the flower (no serious sewing – I pretty much used the frontier button sewing technique through out the project), and finished it off by sticking a little teeny strip of velveteen over where I had attached the safety pin to the flower.  To stick with that grungy theme I wanted – I took a little brush and dipped into some metallic craft paint and sort of randomly brushed over the petals and the button to make it look a little distressed and grungy like.  I ended up with a radically cool grungy pinbrooch and I am loving it – so then I went back out and bought a whole bunch of different plastic flowers (daisies, chrysanthemums, lotus??) to turn into more pieces of grunged jewelery – I mean who wouldn’t like to wear big distressed blossomy grunge earrings right???  I’m also thinking wrist corsage type watch.

Now about the scenty bit – here comes the genius part.  I noticed a while back, when I pulled a sweater out of the closet that I could smell the perfume that I had put on, on the day that I last wore that sweater.  Then I started thinking about my brother, who has really sensitive skin and cant wear any cologne etc.  That catalysed my brainwave idea – what about scented accessories – you could scent the item and smell like, well …roses without it even having to be on your skin?  And I started asking around, whether peope wore perfume regularly and whether they changed their perfume often or stuck to one kind.  I’m thinking layering here?  You know when you soap up with Grunge Passion soap, then you grease yourself with Grunge Passion moisturising body lotion and then you spritz with Grunge Passion body mist – except those people whose skin cannot tolerate strong perfume concentrations – in that case you would just wear a scented accessory!  So there you have it - another one of my great ideas for the week that I will probably never ever market.  That’s the finished piece up on the left. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010


The Feature today is this lovely series -

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Natural line now ready

I am pretty excited.  My signature line is really coming together. 

I have decided that in order to organise my products more efficiently, I have to group them according to themes.  You have already had a preview of the ELEMENTS series about 2 posts ago. This has worked out fabulously – and makes it easier for everyone to find exactly what they are looking for.   

The featured soaps in this post form part of the NATURALS series. They all share a common theme of something “natural” - either botanicals,  milks, teas, honey, extracts or butters.  I usually have  a little story behind each soap that I design, these ones however are created purely for the luxury of it.  I personally love the various kinds for their nourishing, moisturising or healing properties as well as their visual and scent appeal.  The inclusion of the actual plant material makes them great for gentle exfoliation as well. 

To date the soap in this series have been the most popular sellers and I am stoked that they finally belong to their own category.  Click on the Handcrafted Designer Tab at the top of this page for particular details on each variety.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


geodes 008Soap for me is art.  It is a creative process that begins with an inspiration - something that catches my eye or a scent impression that lingers pleasantly in my senses for longer than my direct interaction with it.    From there on, I slowly begin to see the soap-piece in my mind’s eye.  It usually starts to take form physically by way of a sketch, the sketch is then translated into its representation in soap. 

When I discovered soap-crafting , I finally found the artistic medium I had always desired, it allowed me to present my experience of things in the world that I loved in a way that simultaneously stimulated the visual, olfactory and tactile senses.  I love being able to combine colour, scent, textures and working out how to make it all come together into a functional item.
I am absolutely in love with a creation I call – Moonlit Dream.  This particular piece was inspired by a recent awesome experience witnessed from my back-porch, of a haloed crescent-moon flanked by two radiant stars, in a clear night sky.  I sat hypnotised for a full hour or so, basking in its ethereal glow.  I was moved by the brilliance of it, awed by the fact that something so natural, so normal, so quotidian could be serendipitously splendiferous over and over again.
I was not content to let the empyreal impression fade into the oblivion, I wanted to recreate the profound wonder  it stirred in me, I wanted more than just a photograph. And so the idea for the soap-piece “Moonlit Dream” was born.  It became an obsession to recreate the surrealism I experienced. 

I played around with a bunch of different designs until I finally settled on this one.  I love the fact that the pearl moon sort of almost pops out of a golden halo in a glittering sky.  I think it smells heavenly too, distinctly floral but with a musky base note.  I love this soap-piece so much that I literally had to put it out of sight, because every time I looked at it or got a whiff of it – I have been struck with an almost insatiable desire to consume it – all of it, the whole supply of it. 
This piece currently forms part of a collection or series called:  WHIMSICAL.   It is a glycerine based soap.  Glycerine is a well loved humectant (draws moisture from the surrounding atmosphere) and keeps your skin all nicely quenched.  Glycerine soaps are great especially during winter months to help fight against dry winter skin.
It is perfect for a little luxurious goody bag for a special lady, it has a distinctly feminine fragrance, without being overpoweringly floral or sweet. 
It is exactly what you would expect a moonlit dream to smell like.

Monday, May 3, 2010

I have been neglecting this blog

I have been thinking about formalising, streamlining and reorganising my soap “business”.  Up until now, soaping has really just been a fun hobby and every now and again I would take my experiments to a local flea market.  What I realised was that there is a decent enough market for it.  However I cant afford to spend my weekends hauling all my stuff to surrounding flea markets. So I am in the process of creating an “online shop” that will be linked eventually to this blog.  Finding the right platform though is a daunting task.   

I also realised that I have to start developing particular ranges and stocking supplies in bulk for those particular ranges.  Up until now I have been experimenting with all kinds of fragrances, designs, techniques and the like.  But anyway to catch you up on what I have been developing recently – this is the first in a range that I plan to sell as part of my signature range.  I am calling this series ELEMENTS – you will see why below:
   Slide1 Slide2Slide3
And there we have it – the elements!