Home Soap

The Pink Toque & GEEKSOAP Featured!

Posted in Featured, Soapmaking , on March 12, 2010 ,

Happy Friday! Just popping in to give a shout out to some websites that have featured The Pink Toque and/or GEEKSOAP specifically this week.

Firstly, I was interviewed in preparation for the Bloomington Handmade Market coming up on April 3. The BHM blog has been featuring one artist/vendor a day, and I was featured on Sunday, March 7. Be sure to check back often; they will be interviewing all 42 vendors to showcase the talent that they will have at the show. I’m totally excited!

Secondly, GeekCrafts.com featured GEEKSOAP earlier this week on March 9. GeekCrafts showcases geeky crafts from all over the world, and I feel honored to have been noticed and written about. The particular GEEKSOAP they chose to show off was the Operating System soap – Windows, Ubuntu (Linux), and Mac. Cool, huh? I’ve been trying to focus more on promoting GEEKSOAP, and this is one step in the right direction.

Speaking of GEEKSOAP (when am I NOT dreaming or thinking about GEEKSOAP lately?) there are some big changes coming soon. I’m currently experimenting with larger molds, which would produce bigger, more solid bars of soap that nearly double (and in some cases more than double) the weight in ounces of the current molds. Of course, the price would have to increase to accomodate this change, but some early experimentation has produced some really pleasing results. When I finish ironing out the details I may switch over completely. I’d like to wait until I “replace” all of the current soaps with the new models before I do the switch over on Etsy and change the prices so people can really see the difference, but I am looking forward to it and hope to get moving on that ASAP.  The designs inside the soaps will not change except to become a bit larger to fit better in their newer, larger soaps.

And there’s even more about GEEKSOAP that I’m looking forward to – some new designs coming soon… shhh! I’ll hopefully unveil them in the middle of next week, so stay tuned!


Latest Designs in Geeky Crafting…

Posted in Soapmaking , on March 6, 2010 ,

Happy weekend, readers! I’ve got so much to update about!

First and most exciting is that both Christine and I’s applications for booth space at the Bloomington Handmade Market in April were approved, and we’ll be sharing a table together! Yippee! I am so incredibly excited and am really looking forward to it. I also just realized that this means I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me since the show is now less than a month away! I’ve got quite a bit of soap made sitting around the house, but usually only one or two of a particular kind. I’d like to focus on a few of the more popular GEEKSOAPâ„¢ designs to stock up on. If you’d like to check it out, the Bloomington Handmade Market takes place on Saturday, April 3, 2010 from 10am – 4pm at KRC Banquets, located across from the Bloomington Convention Center on 3rd and College. Of course you can order online anytime at my Etsy Shop, too!

Speaking of GEEKSOAP (When am I not these days? I swear I dream about soap at this point) I’ve got a few new designs for you since my last post. One of the more fun designs I dreamed up and brought to life in soap is Mustache GEEKSOAP. Because what could be cooler or geekier than mustache soap? That’s right… I knew you couldn’t think of anything. The answer is that not much is cooler or geekier than mustache soap, so be sure to check it out! There are four mustache designs (so far) in this series – natural, classic, handlebar, and bushy. Aren’t they fantastic?!

moustache01 mustache03 mustache07

Another new design is the LOL GEEKSOAP. While personal hygiene is no laughing matter, there’s no reason why you can’t have a good laugh or two while in the shower with some lolsoap. LOLSOAP! I crack myself up.

lolsoap

Since I’m also always thinking geeky around here, I thought you’d enjoy another design of mine: the less-than-three heart emoticon GEEKSOAP! Now you can show your love for cleanliness or express your devotion to that special someone in your life by letting the soap do the talking for you. Sure to get a reaction and bound to make an excellent gift. I heart GEEKSOAP!

Ok so my final two new designs are my most recent, and ones I adore dearly… Facebook and Twitter GEEKSOAP! They just turned out so awesome, amirite? Now you can take Facebook or Twitter with you everywhere… even in the bath or shower! You’ll never miss a beat, and this fun soap is sure to put a smile on the faces of the social networking savvy everywhere. Note: FarmVille not included with Facebook soap. (Thank goodness.) Do you love them or what?

Of course I’ve got all of my GEEKSOAP designs listed on Etsy in The Pink Toque Etsy Shop ready for you to snap up as quickly as I can make them. You can also see ALL of the soaps in my GEEKSOAP line and keep track of new designs as they are added (as I feverishly try to keep up with all of the ideas in my head) by watching the soap category of my portfolio over on thepinktoque.com

I also should mention that I’m very lucky to have a husband that hasn’t minded one bit yet that my soap making has mostly taken over our kitchen. Not that it is a very big kitchen to begin with, but, I admire and appreciate his patience as I turn into the mad soap making scientist on a regular basis. Not to mention how he puts up with my crazy new GEEKSOAP ideas and helps me flesh out the design details when I start babbling in soap lingo. I told you I dream about soap these days… it’s true. This afternoon I must’ve been daydreaming when I came up with yet another three new ideas that I have yet to complete… stay tuned because I can’t wait to show you! (If they turn out, haha) :)

Oh, and I’m thinking of having a contest soon to give away some free GEEKSOAP – I’ll work out the details and get it going ASAP. Hope to see you in April at the Bloomington Handmade Market! Have a wonderful weekend.


Computer Geek Soap

Posted in Soapmaking , on February 26, 2010 ,

Happy Friday (TGIF!) I have been busy slaving away over soap, soap, and more soap – working on turning the ideas rolling around in my head into new designs every evening this week, and I finally think I’m ready to start promoting my Etsy shop more.  I’m focusing the most on “manufacturing” (aka producing in large quantities in my kitchen) and selling my own designs mostly, though the examples of FANSOAPâ„¢ I’ve made are good to show what I can do in case other companies or small businesses are interested.

So what are the newest designs of mine in the GEEKSOAPâ„¢ line? Computer geek soap! Inspired by the geekiness in our household, I’ve created soap that features the universal power (on or off) button, USB icon, RSS feed, and the @ symbol. Perfect for the geek in your life (or yourself), these are a symbol of true computer nerdiness that you can be proud to wash yourself with.

I’ve also got a hilarious series of GEEKSOAPâ„¢ coming out later this weekend or early next week – I’m waiting for my new order of soap supplies to arrive. But trust me, you’ll love it :)

Today is the deadline for applying for space at the Bloomington Handmade Market in April. I’m nervous and excited because I can’t wait to hear whether or not I’ve been accepted so I can share a table with my cousin’s girlfriend Christine. I’ll keep you posted!


DIY: Batman Soap Tutorial

Posted in Knit & Crochet, Soapmaking, Tutorials , on June 4, 2009 ,
© Lesley Karpiuk / pinktoque

© Lesley Karpiuk / pinktoque

I realize that crafting Batman soap does not seem like something you’d find at The Pink Toque craft blog, but rest assured you’re still at the right blog, and today we’re going to do something ‘different’. Soapmaking is a lot of fun – I spent a brief period back at Indiana University playing with the very basics of making handmade soap. When I was trying to come up with a great gift idea for my good friend Michelle (whose birthday is coming up on Monday) I immediately thought of knitting her something, since of course that’s the craft I’ve been doing a lot of lately. I should also mention that Michelle loves Batman. (That’s kinda an important point to this story.) So then I was thinking knitting + Batman. (Awwe, knitting + Batman forever!) I came up with the idea of knitted washcloths with the Batman logo on them. (Side note: I was unable to find a pattern for this already, but the Batty Dishcloth by BlackRayne is pretty close and looks good in yellow cotton!) And then I remembered how I made basic soaps back in university and envisioned a way to incorporate the Batman logo into the project so that I could create a Batman cloth and soap set for Michelle. So now you have the backstory, and now I can get on to the DIY part!

Materials:

click to see materials

click to see materials

First of all, let’s talk about materials. I mentioned that this is very basic soapmaking. It is. It’s very easy. We’re talking about melt, pour and voila here, people. I made my first Batman soap last night in about 15-20 minutes, including prep time. Head on over to Michaels (or your local craft store) and find the soapmaking aisle and pick up the following items:

1. Glycerin – “bricks” of clear or creamy white glycerin is sold usually in 2lb plastic containers like you see in the materials photo. (Click here to see what mine looks like.) Pick up some of the clear, since you want to be able to see the Batman logo when you’re done.

2. Soap coloring – this is packaged similarly to food coloring and the little bottles of color look just like it. It says it’s specially formulated for soap making, though, and since food coloring stains my hands and I’m not sure if the color will stain your skin when you use the soap, I go ahead and pick up specially made/packaged soap coloring instead of risking food coloring, just in case. Grab a little bottle of yellow. You’ll only be using a few drops per bar, so this stuff will last a long, long time.

3. Soap mold – there are likely several various plastic soap molds there in the soapmaking aisle – I just chose a plain and basic rectangular soap mold shape; approximately 4 inches wide by 2.5

4. Black foam – in the kids craft aisle I found a single sheet of black craft foam. It’s around the thickness of a piece of posterboard, maybe a little thicker, for $0.99. This is what we’ll make the logo out of.

That’s all you need from the store. You most likely already have a computer at home to grab the logo template with for printing, scissors for cutting out the logo, and a small container or liquid measuring cup to microwave and stir hot liquid soap in.  It’s also recommended to grab a little spray bottle with rubbing alcohol in it. These spritzer bottles can be recycled from an old one you have at home (make sure it’s been thoroughly cleaned!) or you can get a cheap one in the travel aisle of your local grocery store or Wal-Mart, for example. Rubbing alcohol can be found in the beauty/pharmacy department of your local store, too. It’s commonly found with peroxide. Ok now let’s get started!

Directions:
1. Print off the logo template I’ve made onto regular paper. I made my logo to be around 3 inches wide x 1 inch tall so that it will fit nicely in the center of my rectangle of soap.
2. Cut out the logo carefully. Lay it on the black craft foam and trace with a pencil. It may seem like you won’t be able to see the pencil lines, but trust me – you will.
3. Cut out the logo shape from the black craft foam. This is getting very Batman very quickly.
4. Open your brick of clear glycerin. It’s usually scored for you so you can cut off even sized chunks. I found that one complete slice along the short side of the brick was the perfect amount for one bar of soap. See the materials picture to see where I cut mine if I don’t make sense. Using a butter knife (this is where kids will need help if kids are involved!) slice off a chunk of glycerin.
5. Microwave your chunk of glycerin in a small microwaveable bowl OR liquid measuring cup. I recommend using something like your Pyrex or plastic liquid measuring cup since it has a lip that will make pouring the hot liquid soap later much easier. For the amount I sliced off, this only took around 30 seconds on high. You will have hot liquid soap in no time! Do a little Batman jig while you wait. I’m not sure what a Batman jig would look like, but if you do one, please be sure to YouTube it.
6. Squeeze 5 drops of yellow soap coloring into the liquid soap and stir. I found 5 drops to be adequate to get the color I was looking for, but feel free to use more or less as desired.

© Lesley Karpiuk / pinktoque

© Lesley Karpiuk / pinktoque

7. Now pour (see why using a liquid measuring cup was recommended?) your yellow liquid soap into the soap mold BUT ONLY FILL IT HALFWAY. Reserve the remainder of the yellow liquid soap and set it aside. If you see any air bubbles in your mold, gently use a toothpick or the end of the knife you used to cut the glycerin with to swirl them out. You can also use the spray bottle of rubbing alcohol and lightly mist the surface of the soap to remove air bubbles.
8. Wait 10 minutes. You could put the mold in the fridge while you’re waiting if you’d like, but it’s not necessary. You’d be surprised at how fast this stuff hardens! This is also an excellent time to upload that YouTube vid of you doing the Batman jig from earlier.
9. The soap in the mold should be solidified enough for the next step at this point. If the reserve liquid soap has hardened during the 10 minutes (which it will have), pop it back in the microwave to re-liquify it for 15 seconds or so. Now we’re going to add the logo. A note on that:

Basically what you’re doing is layering; creating two layers of soap and placing the foam Batman logo in between the two. You let the first layer harden enough to add the logo, then pour the remainder of the liquid soap on top and let the whole thing harden so that your logo is “trapped” between the two soap layers and therefore in the middle of the soap.

**FIRST** Using your mini spray bottle of rubbing alcohol, gently spritz the hardened surface of hardened layer one. This will ensure the two layers don’t separate later. OK now on with the show…

© Lesley Karpiuk / pinktoque

© Lesley Karpiuk / pinktoque

10. Pour a DROP of hot liquid soap in the center of your mold, on top of the hardened first layer. This drop of liquid soap will act like “glue” to hold your logo in place. Gently place your logo on top of the first layer, pressing on it gently so the liquid soap spreads out and helps the logo stick to that first layer. Now gently pour the remainder of the hot liquid soap on top of the logo to fill up the mold and create the second layer. Again, if there are any air bubbles on the surface, swirl them out with a toothpick or something so that the soap hardens as smooth as possible.  And again, you can also use the spray bottle of rubbing alcohol and lightly mist the surface of the soap to remove air bubbles.

Let your soap sit overnight to completely cool and harden. In the morning you will be delighted to see your finished soap! Turn the mold over and gently pop it out. Voila! You now have awesome Batman soap.

© Lesley Karpiuk / pinktoque

© Lesley Karpiuk / pinktoque

This method would work for lots of things, so use your imagination! I hope you enjoyed the tutorial :) And I hope Michelle loves her handcrafted Batman soap! I took a picture of the first bar alongside the first knitted Batman cloth. Lucas is making a second cloth and we’ll make a second bar of Batman soap to go with it. This gift will truly be completely handmade from both of us :)

Tutorial edited 6/6/09 to add in information about using a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol to help with air bubbles in the soap and in between the layers, thanks to comments below from Gina and suggestions on Craftster, where this tutorial was also posted. Thanks! :)

The finished gift set © Lesley Karpiuk / pinktoque

The finished gift set © Lesley Karpiuk / pinktoque