Artisan soaps made from luxurious oils and exotic butters with milks, creams and silk fibers; to the whimsy of glycerine soap creations. Full of fluffy bubbles and velvet lathers, once your skin it treated to handmade soap you will never go back. bytheSEAsoap was born out of the love of TSPink soap rocks some fifteen years ago. I found those soaps at a Nevada City Art Gallery and my obsession for beauty in a bar of soap began. I still have a small piece of that first soap! ~~Pam Mella~~

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dandelion Soap

His undies drawer should be filled with Artisan Man Soap don't ya think!
So I don't do enough soaps in the masculine genre and decided it was time to get with it.   This technique is au currant and is called the Dandelion pour.  What fun this one was and I just had to change it up a slight touch with a few embeds little ones.  The Dandelion soaps that soapers are doing are so dramatic, diverse and just outstanding.   So there are enough bars to go around this fall and winter!  A few for my December market and  a few for gifts a few for my sweetheart and well a few for my etsy shop too if there are any left the first of the year.!

The fragrance I chose was Vetyver.  It is a Bramble Berry fragrance that hasn't been reformulated to my knowledge.   I've begun to phase out all reformulated fragrances that have no resemblance to the original.  It is more financially sound to start over than be disappointed by the tinkering of the reformulation.

 It is really time for me to begin blending my own fragrances from essentials and I did that today with a rosemary blend that I think will be permanent.  I've done a few in the past that have been successful like rosemary vanilla and mint or pineapple cilantro and coriander with a mint.  The new rosemary mint  I'm calling  Sweet Rosemary and I think it will catch on, I'm hoping! 

This Vetyver fragrance is a sexy guy scent yet loved by many a woman.  It seems every time I make this soap I go with relatively similar colors.  I love the aqua with brown and used some ground walnut seed in the brown part of the soap for a gentle exfoliation.  To my eye it looks masculine and tribal and I'm pretty happy with it.  There was a bit left over to make some travel sized bars so they will get to go on our next trip.

Oh and on the fru fru side these were mailed out Saturday.  A bakers dozen of orange to pink to purple Lahaina Luxury bars. 

Can you tell I love to make soap, package soap and get it into the hands of others?  Oh YEAH if it were any more fun it would probably be illegal but don't tell anyone!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

All in a days fun!   Up at the crack of dawn and two batches in the molds what a grand way to start the day!  Did I mention I love making soap! 

3 packages off the the PO and two (in the sacks) are ready for pick up.  So now I get to sit down and have a cuppa hot coffee and day dream about what to do next! 

As I've been invited to do a three day show this November and another in December, I'm busy creating soap.  I've been dreaming about how I'm going to package it all and trying not to panic.  

Several soapers  have gone with boxes purchased or handmade.  They look so classy especially for soaps ordered on line!  As these shows will be 2 or 3 days each I'm wanting a packaging that is fast easy and viewable when held.  We'll see what I can come up with.   Just ordered some helpful supplies so I'll have plenty of time to play.

I would love any input in packaging you might be willing to share.  Here are a few of my current soaps all wrapped up.  I think I need something a bit quicker! LOL

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A tisket a tasket. A green and!

First and foremost I want to share with you Emily Shieh's Soap & Restless blog post on the Iinternational SKYPE session she hosted last month.  While deemed not quite the success hoped for by Emily, I can tell you as a participant it was a wonderful class and experience.   If the opportunity  presents itself to have a class with Emily you will not be disappointed.  With attention to detail and encouragement for your artistic expression you will learn much with her.

I also want to share with you a gift I received today!  I'll do that last.

So in Em's own words here you go in case you missed this adventure in soaping!

"Soap & Restless: Third and Final Trial Live Video Soaping Session: ""I had very high hope for this 3rd and final trial run of my future live video soap session I plan to offer.  My 2nd trial went really well...""  Em's colors, ingredients and techniques will amaze you!

Like many of my soaping friends I spend too much of my free time on line.  So many soaps so little time just  oogling soaps, watching it be made .....scheming dreaming and planning what is next to fill my fantasies or the desires of my clients!  It's like falling into Alice's proverbial rabbit hole!  Soap porn, eye candy, color addicted soaper beware and then the supplier emails to sort thru!

Also like many of these obsessed friends I'm unable to resist a lovely fragrance, ingredient, color, packaging material, a new ribbon or new to me look!  It is the fragrance that I'm totally focused on currently as I've located and documented 11 boxes of fragrance in my home.  I know, I know many have more.  I've been on a soaping products budget and have been struggling to keep to it!   Truly LOL really it is more like a diet, you know -  that is die with a t.  To manage my compulsion  well it is like forced march  and I'm dragging my feet a bit.......but trying to use only current items on hand.  Ah ha like the activated charcoal sitting on the shelf! 

Just how and where I got to this tempting place is a mystery.  A magical mystery tour from this blog to that to a youtube or a fb comment here and there and just look what I found  while researching, ahem, activated charcoal soap.   Look what I found and just had to have!

It looked ancient and it was named "Black Agate" and I couldn't resist!  Isn't it beautiful!  Absolutely gorgeous.

Did I mention the downfall?  It was on sale.  Did I need permission???  Even though  my budget was gone I  wanted two or three but  but my diet?  Out the window and I'm off the wagon and I ordered just one I think I can do just one! LOL. 

It arrived in a box not a bubble envelope??? And it had company!!!  Oh my gosh what a surprise this was.  Oh it must be a shipping mistake but no there is a note to me.  Yes a note to me of the gifted beautifully wrapped gift!

What a huge surprise not only a beautiful hand crafted and folded gift bag but inside an individually wrapped soap.  A gorgeous soap of 4 of my favorite colors and called Peach Blossom by  Newt & Fig (another wonderful name).  Thank you thank you Catherine for such a surprise filled package and a fun and beautiful gift.  You know how I love your soaps!  I feel so touched that you gave me this beautiful gift soap in your handmade packaging.  I haven't used the Peach Blossom I'm saving it - it looks so exotic!

As for Black Agate it is a wonderful soap a touch exfoliating a bit of grey lather and bubbles and lather that just keep coming on and rinses away leaving your skin feeling so refreshed and pampered!  Absolutely a great soap and one to be enjoyed!

So take the time to look into Catherine's toy box it looks like she has it all set up for the season full of beauties for all tastes!  Check into the Soaping 101 youtube channel and see how she made the darling package in the photo above.  You'll have a grand time!

Aloha and good night Gracie!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Yesterday I had the pleasure to meet and virtually work along side six soapers.  It was a SKYPE conference of soapmaking women.  Much like the stirring of the caldron pot in a joint soaping experience.  We all had a fabulous time making new soap friends and learning new techniques.  Emily Shieh of ShiehDesignStudio was our instructor.

I have known Emily since early 2009.  She was the first person (outside of  TheNovaStudio classes I took) that I  had the opportunity to make soap with.  We had previously split 500 pounds of product in 2008 and then split another supply in 2009.  My mission to pick up local oils pounds and pounds, go to Emily's and split the supplies and then make a soap.  It was a wonderfull day of soap magic well except for the accelerating fragrance and stick blenders on my part!

When I heard Emily was doing a SKYPE conference I jumped at the chance to join in and am so glad I did!  She has taught me so much about the grace of soaping and working with color, form and texture.  I hope you take a look at her work and see what a talented and generous artist she is right here !  As we were going to work in peach to purple who could resist?
The soaps to the left are as instructed.  The few on the right were hit with a touch of coat hanger for effect although minimal I rather like it.

So as this was a test batch I made the little flowers and balls from a previous orange soap then dipped them in micas for this color.  When these are used the flowers will turn an orange color oh and some of them will turn purple!

This photo was an after thought and I love how the color reflects off the silver so feminine.

 If Emily ever decided to do professional lessons don't hesitate you will be completely thankful you took it!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Whimsy for a Monday morning!   Are you up for a road trip north?  How about Albany, Oregon! If you are in the neighborhood here is a worthwhile side trip! A community project dedicated to saving an old lumber town. A Christmas Rooster and an elaborate Dragon are just two of the 52 animals locally sponsored, designed and crafted by the towns volunteers.  The imagination of the creatures is amazing!  Here are a few I'd like to ride upon.  There are cats and dogs and fish and gorgeous horses birds and beasts.  Take a look!

I'll go with you!!
Zulu with merrikat and flamingo!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Soap Asian Pear with Synergy

I enjoy watching you-tube videos of soap making when I'm caught up!  Recently there was a challenge from one of these channels to do a Synergy Soap, a challenge much like the Paint Chip or the Tiger Stripe Style.  So the Soaping 101 challenge is to do a soap showing motion, color or textures, a soap denoting different forces of nature perhaps.  The interpretation is left to each person.

Asian Pear Lily is such a lovely fragrance blend and this was my first experience using it.  I wanted to incorporate this challenge with this fragrance and see where it led.   As I was working with a small sample I needed another fragrance so added some pink grapefruit essential oil.  The pink grapefruit went into the colored parts and the Asian Pear Lily into the ivory which riced a touch but was workable.

Three Colors

Three styles

Two fragrances.

The colors I enjoy working with are muted.  This fragrance calls for muted colors in my imagination.  When I see tablespoons of color going into a soap it makes me think of colors running down the drain and colored bubbles suitable for a Dr. Seuss illustration.

Using a tried and true recipe with my favorite Cocoa Butter off I went.  Fragrance check!  Color well ivory with a touch of French Pink Clay and a lick of Mica from TKB should compliment the Asian Pear theme.

So here we have three colors two fragrances and three looks from one batch of soap!  It turned out beautiful and smells like I want to put it on my body and rub it in my hair!  The cure tick tock tick tock.   "Patience is a virtue possess it if you can, it is seldom found in woman and never found in man"!  unknown author or perhaps a woman from the 1800's who was reluctant to take credit back then.

Have a wonderful 4th everyone.  Mella L

Monday, June 17, 2013

Gradient Layer Soap
Here is a first for me a gradient layerd soap.   In a luscious Tropical Mandarin fragrance and hot tropical colors this was so much fun.  For the 2013 Mandarin Harvest Festival in November.

Out door lighting makes such a difference!

This experiment in color gradation was so much fun and such a valuable lesson.  My take away from this session is that I need to study color a bit more, experiment more with leftovers like the leaves on the mandarin's above!  Going with the flow and trusting imagination.  I thoroughly enjoyed being part of your  SKYPE test.  Thank you Emily.  It was wonderful to experience your class and visit with other soap crazed peoples!

SweetCakes this is for you!  Lavender of course!  Shampoo bars!    An experimental recipe that I think will work out well.  I hope you will like these.

Now to dream up another color challenge!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Home from the 2013 HSCG Conference in Raleigh North Carolina and getting myself back on Pacific time!  The conference was once again a great success!  What an experience being in one room with 350 soapers!  I had so much fun meeting and visiting with some I have known and some soapers I had just met.  Lovely people soapers!

My favorite parts of this convention were when Amanda  Griffin demonstrated her peacock swirl soap.  Ruth Esteves Sirona  Springs    demonstrated making and decorating cupcake soaps. There were milk soap demos like 2012 and marketing classes and an especially interesting class on improving your web placement.  We saw a wonderful shampoo made and learned about colorants.  I was able to take an early class making liquid soap which was enlightening.  All of the parts were my favorite to be clear!

Our keynote speaker the first day, whose name escapes me at the moment was wonderful.  Ann I'll find your link and add it when I do.  Very worth while taking a peak at ourselves and  our products and moving it right along to the next level!!!  Jet lag here and foggy memory.  My notes are on a UPS truck headed my way soon!  There were so many give always that I didn't have room in my suitcase.  UPS was on scene to box up all the free samples goodies and books we bought. 

There were motivational speakers, speakers from across the pond from the UK!  Oh and Professor Kevin Dunn of Caveman Chemistry fame  once again bowled us over with a new lecture.  It was so cool I learned  how to balance a molecule and understand partially how soap is made by it's individual components by the positive and negative charges attracting in the soup to make soap.  Dr. McSoapy ( his new soaping nick name)  is everyone's favorite presenter!

Did I mention that two evening our sponsors Wholesale Supplies Plus and Essential Depot hosted parties for dinner.  WSP had lovely dinner and a game show where the audience was divided into teams.  It was really fun until myself and one of my teamates Erica were put up on stage with 8 other representatives of the 5 other teams for a play off and a slew of fun and off beat questions.  Dinner the second night hosted by Essential Depot was an English Fete complete with kidney pie and bangers!  I kid you not and the most delicious sliced cheeses were so unique!  This wonderful spread was followed by carnival games using soaping supplies as game pieces.  Quite fun both evenings.  I hope they sell loads of supplies!

One of my entries in the Soapers Showcase was selected by my peers as an award winner!  Tthere were 5 or 6 tables of soaps to look at oogle and touch!  From these tables several awards were given.  My m and p soap turquoise and pink won in the m and p appearance category.  Pretty surprised as I'm mostly an olive oil and butter goodies cold process girl.

These soaps were entered into the Best Packaging Category.  The round box mid left edge of the photo was the winner and the soaper Yuli was from Shanghai!  I sat next to her in a cupcake class and she was so sweet to visit with.  She showed me photos on her I phone of her store front and her lovely cupcake soaps!

One of my soaps is here with the soap of a friend.  The winning soap in this Best Appearance Cold Process is third down from the middle of the photo. It looks like a flower garden in cp.

Here is my entry for Best Packaging it is economical simple and that is it.  It should be placed vertically but hey that is how I like to put it on my market table.   The parchment is translucent so some of the color comes thru and the top of the soap is protected some as the paper is stiff and cut a touch larger than the soap is.

Sharon from Platypus Dreams an Australian soaper was with us this year.  What a sweetie  and it was so fun to visit with her.  I adore her soap cakes.  She had two beautiful entries!~  They look yummy and smell yummy too!

The cupcake soap here is made of mandp isn't that amazing(sorry not the greatest photo)  was entered by the Stephenson crew.  Jaime gave a wonder presentation and history of his company Stephensons Personal Care.  The company started in the mid 1800's primarily to wash sheep wool!  Around the mid 50's the company needed to reinvent it's self and so we now have people soap and body supplies from them!

Here is the soap I entered in the m&p category that was selected for a major award!  2013 Best Appearance mandp.  At the awards ceremony and the closing dinner each of the award winners were called forward and given a beautiful certificate!  The nuances of glitter, salt and shimmering iridescence color does not photograph that well, but you get the idea.

I hope you all get to attend next years conference 2014 Tuscon Arizona with lovely surrounding mountains outstanding restaurants and oh yes a Frank Lloyd Wright home I would love to tour.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Paint Chip Challenge
Soaping 101  May 2013 Challenge

Many thank you's go out to Catherine of Soaping 101 for inspiring so many soapers with designs, ingredient study and color knowledge and new soap techniques!  Her Paint Chip Soap Challenge was just the best!   I find these challenges keep me off the streets and are so full of wonderful artistic expression and learning experiences.  Catherines soap creations can be seen   here.

 Thank you Catherine  for your generosity sharing your knowledge and your skills as an instructor.  In a word you are "awesome"!   One day I hope to find the painting that inspires my attempt at pixelating soaps.   So Soaping 101 and Catherine with this darling little bird were the inspiration for my Paint Chip Soap.  Fragranced with Lilikoi Passion Fruit this soap smells so fresh so tropical so time for a VACATION!  I love how it worked out and had a ball doing it. 

DesignSeeds is the most amazing web site for color  inspiration as well as photographic artistry.  They have the most lovely colors posted today for Mother's Day.   Find   DesignSeeds    HERE   
 Think I'll name this soap RIO.   Or how does TWO Tickets 2 Paradise sound?   One of these bars is going to Raleigh with me to give to a friend.  I hope I see you there too !

I'll need to kick up the colors a bit next time perhaps, I'm always conservative with color.  With the green teal separated into three containers I added Activated Blk Charcoal to one and White Pearly mica to another and left the third color the original color.  I love Bramble Berry as they have wonderful  micas for coloring here coloring
Love the colors of Rio at Carnival time!

Another recent endeavor this is a unisex combination of Pink Suga  meets the Perfect Man!  Fantasy soap!~  The tan will be dark brown in about 4 weeks and I hope it doesn't migrate into the hot pink.  

The last soap is a self challenge and is made with fresh squeezed lemon juice from our yard!  I can't wait for home grown avocados.

Aloha everyone and happy summer here in the northern hemisphere!  

Friday, April 26, 2013

Week 4 our last week for the GreatCakes soaping challenges.  The challenge for week 4  is to do a soap with leopard spots!  This was inspired as I understand it, by a baker who made a leopard spotted cake!  Duplicating leopard spots in soap  a unique challenge to be sure!

As our little Bengal domestic tabby's are just the perfect models for a spotted theme I was all set!

Mz. Kathmanduzie -  Duzie for short was 7 pounds of pure joy and love and cuddles.  We lost our little Duzie last summer and still miss her so, but I wanted to share her with you.   She was graced with the most perfect rosette spots!   We still are the staff for her baby brother Mauser as a kitten below!
Mauser The Scorpion King due to the crook on the end of his tail, is now 11 years old, 15 pounds and a couch potato!  Once so athletic jumping like a helicopter ascends, straight up in the air when surprised, climbing ladders and jumping planters!
Summer coming upon us and I had already brown/tan/black/beige soaps on hand.  I wanted more frou frou and colorful leopard spots for this Mother's Day!

I had high expectations for my leopard spot soap.  Using  a lavender color and  a lilac fragrance oil for this Mother's Day Soap.  Yes next time if I do this again I will go the baggie route like Amy of GreatCakes and Kenna of Amanthia Soap did.  No bottles for me, I did the spoon method length wise. Bottles that's where I draw the line!

The plan was to do lavender spots with gold and or blue mica oil rings encased in black. Well the lilac  fragrance changed up the process I had mapped out.  Oh well live and learn.  I had a great time and learned what not to do and how to do spots by hand.  This soap moved faster than I,  so I had to leave out the mica/oil rings around the lavender spots. This fragrance didn't split the top of the soap but it did heat up internally and left TD crackles!   I love the lavender rimmed in black on the white field.  These smell so marvelous, scented with Bramble Berry Lilac fragrance oil for spring.  Mother's love this soap!  Leaping Lilac Leopard Spots.

Mother's Day 2013      Leaping Lilac Leopard Spots!

They need dressing up a touch and then they will be good to go!  Wouldn't a touch of blue or gold mica oil between the lavender and black be cool?

Mother's Day 2012

 It has been a wonderful time with this group and learning with you.  Thank you each and everyone for sharing.  And many thanks to Amy Wardenr of GreatCakes Soap for hosting these challenges.  Please visit Amy  here to admire her leopard spots and see all the interpretations of spots by such a talented community of soap makers!


PS.  Maybe next year I will attempt the art of filming while I soap!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Diamond Girl you sure do shine!

Week 3 of the challenge from Amy Warden of GreatCakesSoap  Works.    This challenge is mica swirls and several wonderful soap makers have videos showing just how it is done.  As a professional soap maker Emily of Sheih Design Studio has an informative video on swirling soap tops with micas to view.  Lovely gold and purple mica swirls adorn the soap in this video!

Here is my 2nd ever mica swirl  Black Raspberry Vanilla done a few months ago and  much like the Christmas Berry from Christmas 2012.

The soap below is for this 3rd week challenge and  is called  named Diamond Girl!   Do you ever get a song caught in your mind repeating over and over again?!  Well this was the song and I made it into a soap!  Diamond Girl You Sure Do Shine!  Over and over and oooover.  LOL

 This  is made with a gold and white pearly mica swirl!  Silver would have been better than the white pearl but you use what you have.  The swirl wasn't as photogenic or prominent as the one above, but it is just as dramatic in person!   There is no color in the base of the soap, just natural coloring with some inclusions for interest.  All the glamor is on the top of this moisturizing bar full of extraordinary bubbles and lather.  

Once again I used a new fragrance for the first time, I must used them up!  Well might as well live on the slippery soapy edge and keep it challenging and exciting!  The fragrance is a white floral combined with a sweet citrus and very upscale.  I hope you enjoy looking as I sure enjoyed making this one!  Soon to be cut giving it a few days due to the recipe.

"Diamond Girl" you sure do shine!  


One last soap I just  couldn't resist!

Now that was just so fun that I had to do just one more.  For a peak here is Neptune's Gold which smells amazing.  Another new fragrance from Wellington's in Ohio.  This is such a fun touch to the tops of my soaps and in the future I'll try to incorporate other colors into what I'm working on!

Neptune's Gold

I am looking forward to all the beautiful soaps this challenge has inspired!  The colors the magic oils and the fragrance.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Elemental my dear Watson!

On to week 2 of the GreatCakesSoapWorks 2013 Spring Soaping Challenge.  What a wonderful group of soapers completed week  1,  such talent and beautiful soaps!  Soapsporn for the summer to mull over yeah!  Thank you  Amy Warden  ,  thank you so much for the nudge and for inspiring a search in the tool cabinet once again.  Oh and I have an idea for another challenge Amy if you need one!

It took me almost a week to dream up what I would attempt for my challenge as most of my supplies are in storage right now as we have listed our home for sale.  Here is the Moon and the Stars with the Sand and  the Surf.  Four elements that move me and give me great joy.   Like many of the 2013 challenge community I too went with a know accelerating fragrance because it smells so great and doesn't discolor! You can see the pockets where the flow wasn't!

These soaps didn't follow the rules exactly.  Rather that in the pot swirls I did in the cup swirls with inclusions and micas then poured in sections.  The moon section has mica lines, the star section has star inclusions with mica, the sea has mica streaks and the sand has ground nut hulls and mica.  It was a very messy  production but with each new challenge new lessons are learned. And I had fun messing things up!

 YES I will do this one again I really like it even though it is a rough go this time!  I am so looking forward to seeing what others imaginations came up with.  Oh and thank you  to a most favorite soaptician for inspiring this beginner.  Happy Saturday everyone!  ~~Pam Mella~~