Monday, December 8, 2014

The art of Amanda Louise Spayd

Last week I was curious what a former soapmaker was up to these days.  Amanda Louise Spayd had an Etsy shop called Squeaky Queen with melt & pour soaps with a dark vibe that brings to mind Sugar & Spite but with brighter, punchy colors.  On her Etsy page, she said she stopped making soap to focus on art but I wasn't aware of any specifics.  I just found out she has been creating adorably odd creatures for the past few years.  The dolls in her line are called Dust Bunnies.


A few years ago a filmmaker approached her about making a stop-motion film starring her creations.  The five minute film is below.

Wow.  Beautiful.

Amanda's website and blog is here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winter favorites

Haus of Gloi bath crumbles in Aged Patchouli

The first time I tried HoG's butterbombs I thought they left my bathwater overly buttery, but I purchased a few more at the end of last year and they were better, not as buttery and fizzier.  I got bombs in all of the essential oils available at the time -- Silver Fir, Lavender and Aged Patchouli, and the last two were really great.  Lavender reminded me of lavender absolute, my favorite version of lavender; it is strong and rich without that medicinal note that turns some people off.  The aged patchouli Britton found is also very deep and rich and both scents help me chill out and feel more grounded.

I picked up a jar of ground up butterbombs when Britton posted that she was clearing out some things for the new year.  The listing was 8 oz for $8, a bargain of $1 per oz compared with the usual $2.50 per oz.  When it arrived I was a little disappointed that it was a typo and the jar was 4 oz, so the discount was only 50 cents an oz.  Anyway, I used about 3/4 of an oz this morning and my bath was well scented so I am tempted to purchase this again since I order so rarely these days.

Snow (renamed Frosted Fir) soap by Missouri River Soap

Having just found my mailbox key to my old apartment after 7 months, I FINALLY picked up this soap from Deb E. that she kindly sent me from a giveaway she won in 2012!  Thanks again Deb.  Since this soap sat in an envelope with a fragrance oil soap for much of 2013 it has as much of the scent of the other soap as it does its own, but I really like that scent as well so I'm enjoying this.  This is a great formula, it feels like a cross between Beguile because of its hardness and My Planet Earth with its moisturizing lather.  This soap contains heavy cream, which I'm not sure I've had in a soap before.

One of my soap swapping friends sent me a sample of this and I love this fir blend with Siberian fir needle oil, Himalayan cedar, scotch pine, ho wood and lavender and the earthy colors.  Tiggy has a knack for blending essential oils, I think her background in plants carries over to perfume blending.  I'm also enjoying her Yule release's frankincense blend called Sixpence Pudding.

My experience with fir soaps is the scent fades more quickly than the average essential oil in soap does so I will be using this soon.  

Grapefruit Haven is a blend of various grapefruit essential oils, probably white, pink and ruby grapefruit.  If you're familiar with Blood Bathory by Solstice Scents this has the same bright, juicy scent.  What I like about this the most is I only have to use a tablespoon or two of this to scent my whole bath tub.  Many of Moona's blends with 100% essential oils are too lightly scented in my experience but that is not the case here.

Casey sent me a tube of this in my last order as an extra and this smells amazing!!  Definitely good enough to eat, which makes sense since the scent components are edible - vanilla, bitter almond and ginger.  It smells like a marzipan spice cake.  Awesome foody-scented lip balm.

I think I blogged about Ananda's limited inventory because she is going out of business but her store is still open and I believe she is not charging for shipping.  This is a clear balm with a gold shimmer.  She has a few purple tints that I am tempted to try; although dark in the tube they are supposed to be less dramatic-looking when applied.

How about you, is there anything new you've tried recently that you really like?