My daughter really loves spearmint soap, so we decided to do a small batch heavily influenced by the family favorite dessert--mint chocolate chip ice cream. I think food scented soaps are the most frustrating of all because they make me want to lick my stick blender or take a chunk out one while washing up in the shower. My husband thinks it might be a good aide for those trying to lose weight, but I disagree...a soap that smells like mint-chocolate chip icecream makes me want to eat the real deal. I'm not super crazy about food-smelling soaps, but I was excited about this batch. I've started incorporating a few more fragrance oils into my soaps and this would be a good one to start. Spearmint essential oil would be the perfect mint, but real chocolate or cocoa in soap would be too subtle. I opted for Brambleberry's Hot Cocoa FO mixed into a chocolate brown swirl layered between two expertly colored layers of spearminty green. I used the spoon swirl technique, also referred to as the Celine Swirl, to swirl the three layers together.
Upon cutting it this morning, I was ecstatic with the results. My only reservation, a slight fear that brown cocoa scented will darken the surrounding green--or will it stay put in the brown? My daughter nailed that mint ice cream color on the head by blending matte forest green, aqua blue and touch of spirulina.
I touched on few obsessions/bad habits, but how about soap making? When do I cross the line into obsession? I have a tendency toward obsessions..there was the gardening obsession, the dried flower and wreath making obsession, the running obsession, and now the soap obsession. I started off making soap for the extended family as gifts and what-not, then to friends, then to co-workers...well, now I was spending so much, I had to start charging, which people were perfectly happy to do. Since there are so many soaps colors, scents, and techniques, I must try them all. I figured I better start an Etsy shop (not doing very well) and sign up for a few craft shows. I've spent a ton on materials...molds, liners, fragrances, equipment, etc. with up to now, very little return. I hope to sell well at the craft shows I've chosen. If my soap sells well, I can make more soap. If it doesn't, I'm stuck with a ton of soap and wouldn't feel justified in making more. When trying to figure out when my hobby, passion, or past-time is turning obsession-ish, I ask myself the following:
1)Is it affecting work/life balance?
Well, a little bit...my husband's been complaining a little, but likewise, I complain about the three times a week band practices and two times a weekend gigs. I justify that I make soap to have something to do when I'm a band widow. As far a work balance...I definitely would like to work less and make soap more, but my day job pays substantially better and I like that to!
2)Is it draining my bank account?
Definitely no, even though it seems like I have. I'm lucky that financial management has always come easily to me. Actually, that should be on my obsession list too since I went through a financial management dark period when I was separated and divorced for three years. BTW...married the same guy again! I track all my spending and set financial goals. I'm frugal and search for deals. I wanted to start slowly and buy all my start-up supplies on current income and never savings. I bought Soapmaker 3 early to track my inventory and batch costs.
3). Do you think of soap 24/7? Do you dream about screwing up soap?
So, am I obsessed? Yeah, probably, but one thing I do know, as I approach 49 years of living with Cindy, is that I eventually find a comfortable balance. I ran for 7 obsessive years, before I said, "Hey, running 50 miles races is kind of crazy!" Now, I'm a recovering maintenance runner logging a sensible 15 miles a week. I still garden, but it's no longer necessary to start 1000 seedlings in my basement. It's a curve, I guess, of which I'm still on the upswing.