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So we've been investigating shipping methods, and how Etsy automatically calculates shipping costs. For bars of soap, the best shipping method seems to be "flat rate Priority mail". This is what we will use in the future unless we become big enough to qualify for better shipping rates.

Unfortunately Etsy calculates that only two bars of soap will fit in the small flat rate boxes. This is incorrect. We are trying to figure this out now. As we get better, at this, we should be able to tweak Etsy to handle it better.

The Gypsycrafts online Etsy store is now stocked with soap. You can purchase your soap there and have it shipped to your home.

This works if you can't actually meet up with Wendy and buy soap from her right there.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Craftikal…

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New Soaps are available!

You can purchase soaps in person from Wendy for $2.00 a bar. The price goes up if we are sending it through postal mail.

If you want to purchase soaps from us via mail, click the "Shop Now" button to place your order.

A note on ingrediants...

Wendy has added a few extra ingredients into her soap recipe.

Castor oil - this is both a moisturizer and surficant. It increases soap lather and helps with cleaning, while leaving the skin moisturized.

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Kaolin clay - formulated for sensitive skin, Kaolin clay increases the silky feel of soap.

Beeswax - a little beeswax is added to increase the hardness of the soap bar and allow it to last longer. As a side benefit, beeswax increases lather.

Cosmetic grade mica - colored mica is used to color soaps. This ingredient does not change the properties of the soap, and is safe for sensitive skin. Other ingredients, including fragrences and essential oils can be used to color soap, but colored mica allows for more diverse colors.

Here's an image of the new ingredient label:

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Upcoming soaps:

Fresh Bamboo - A fresh, clean & crisp scent.

Juicy Couture - This is an intriguing and complex fruity floral fragrence.

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Eucalyptus - a strong, assertive aromatic evocative of freshly cut wood with a hint of camphor.

Lilac - this elusive lightly floral scent evokes a beautiful spring morning.

Celestial Waters - this restful fragrence of honeysuckle and magnolia is evocative of a mountain glade.

Vanilla - a simple, uncomplicated vanilla fragrence to help you melt away stress and increase your feelings of well-being.

Chocolate Espresso - this is a wake-up call to anyone who is not a morning person. An energetic scent that will get you moving!

Chocolate & Amber - sexy, sultry, seductive. One hint is not enough. Your significant other will come back for more.

Hawaiian Lei - this uplifting and soothing floral scent of plumeria has a slight musky undertone.

All of these soaps are coming off of the curing rack and into packaging over the next week. We will post photos as they become available, but if you see something you like now, leave a note here and we will save some for you.

The price is still $2.00 a bar. What isn't snapped up locally will go onto Etsy.

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Another note about soaps in general, and home made soap in particular.

Commercial soaps are made using processes that add detergents and reduce glycerine content.

Detergents are added to remove grease and oil while washing, which can be important to those who are exposed to greasy, oily dirt, but which also removes essential oils from your skin, causing it to feel dryer.

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Reducing glycerine results in a harder soap bar that lasts longer in the bath. This also reduces lather, but lather is replaced with detergents.

Soap made using the "cold process" - as these soaps are made - are gentle, and good for your skin. However their high glycerine content causes them to become "mushy" if left wet after every use. This causes the bar to be used up faster.

In order to keep your soap bar longer, use a drying soap tray that drains all water away from the soap. Soap trays made from wood or bristle brushes will wick away water during storage between uses.

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Here is the ingredients label from all of these soaps. These are the primary ingredients for each soap.

- Canola oil
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil...
- Shea butter
- Sodium Hydroxide
- Silk fibers
- Water (distilled)
- Fragrance oils (unless unscented)
- Essential oils (used in therapeutic soaps)

Other ingredients include exfoliates, or mica powder for colors. Some soaps use unique ingredients, for example the chocolate espresso soap uses espresso as an exfoliate, and cocoa powder as a coloring. Sensitive skins may also be sensitive to different exfoliates.

If you have skin allergies, some essential oils and unique ingredients may be irritating. For example, the "Relaxing Eucalyptus" soap contains Eucalyptus essential oils and may irritate those with an Eucalyptus allergy.

These soaps are otherwise formulated to be gentle to the skin. They are created using the "Cold Process", which results in a soap with a higher glycerine content than most commercially available soaps. There are no detergents to strip the oil from your skin.

These soaps are loaded with moisturizing agents Shea butter and Coconut oil. Silk fibers are mixed into the soap to give it a smooth "silky" feeling and to increase lather.

We live in an area with moderately hard water. Gypsy Craft soaps give good lather even with our water hardness.

(In technical terms, we have a water hardness of 120-180 mg/L of CaCO3. This is pretty hard water in America.)

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Upcoming soaps:

21 May - Chocolate Espress
1 June - Plumeria
4 June - Lilac...
6 June - Relaxing Eucalyptus
16 June - Juicy Couture

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Here's a look at the process of making soap. Here, a new technique is tried in order to give the soap a "V" shape.

Another two soaps that are available this week:

Green Apple - This energetic soap leaves a clean and crisp fragrance.

Relaxing - A great soap to use in a relaxing bath. It has a musky smell with a hint of a floral arrangement. Very soothing.

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Soaps that are available this week:

Flower Child - A beautifully tie-died soap that smells like a field of wildflowers. This soap has been a real hit in the past, and several people have asked for it again.

Honeysuckle - There is a hauntingly sweet fragrance of Honeysuckle flowers in this creamy yellow soap.

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Black Amber & Lavender - This is an enchantingly sensual scent that is very alluring and sexy!

Unscented - This is a special request for those who have asked for a soap without a scent, for those people with sensitive noses. It is still very beautiful.

We have 8 bars of each soap available this week for $2.00 a bar. I expect these to run out quick, so send me an email at wendy@gypsycrafts.com to reserve yours now!

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Here is a photo of part of the process - "Flower Child" soap curing on the rack.

"Flower Child" was VERY popular. We will be able to start offering another 16 bars of it within the next week!

Sure it has those funky "tie-died" colors, but the smell of flowers in this soap is wonderful!

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It lathers great and leaves skin feeling very soft and smooth too.

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The Gypsy Crafts Etsy Store is now online. Just click the "Shop Now" button to go there!