Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Got BCS Original Fragrances?

I think most of us are likely to be fragrance oil addicts already if you are in the candle and or soap making business, which makes the fact that BC North is now carrying most of the fragrances from BC South even better! Let me be the first to say, some of these new to Bitter Creek North fragrances you really don’t want to miss out on! The Holidays are close enough, but still far enough away that you can hopefully still sneak a few of these dandies into your existing line before the seasons shows end!

I’ve personally been using quite a few of these fragrances for many years, and some even before we purchased BCS, way back when it was still Sissies! This month I will share with you some of the fragrances that are personal favorites of mine, as well as fan favorites! There is no way I could ever cover all of them but it will hopefully give you incentive to look over the list, and spend some time testing these delightful offerings! With our Bakers Dozen Sampler, $20 for any 13 regular line fragrances (All the BCS fragrances fall into this category) it’s a great way to test some of these scents to add to your existing soap and candle lines!

I will begin with the floral fragrances. I personally have never sold a lot of floral scents but the BC South Original line has some AMAZING floral offerings. Our customers have over the years certainly swayed me to test a few of them. The Gardenia, Champagne and Roses, Jasmine, Dogwood, Southern Magnolia and the fan favorite for our Texas crowd, Texas Bluebonnet which smells, according to many just like the Texas countryside when these amazing little flowers are in bloom. Floral fragrances from the BCS Original line are amazing! The Southerners sure know their flowers!

Fruity fragrances are always popular, everywhere! One of the most requested we’ve had to
date from the BCS line was the Black Cherry! It’s like no other cherry I’ve ever smelled and it soaps like a dream come true! The Citrus Splash is a long-time favorite of so many customers I can’t count how many times I’ve heard it’s their best seller, I love it too! Other hugely popular and equally delightful scents are Ambrosia, Bird of Paradise (Just like Circle E!), Cherry Berry and don’t forget the Cranberry Pomegranate and of course the ever popular Mulberry (this scent is great for the Holidays!) Each one of these is unique in their own way and one of a kind! There are many more offerings in this category but these have been some of the favorites over the years.

For the person who adores bakery scents, Cranberry Crumble, Blueberry Muffins, Cinnamon Buns, Whipped Cream and Homespun sugar, Sissies Sugar Cookies, Lemon Pound Cake, Red Velvet Cake has been a long standing best seller for BCS and you can’t forget Vanilla Extract which to my non-vanilla loving nose, is one of the BEST vanilla scents ever created.  Don’t miss out on Banana Nut Bread, Applesauce Cupcakes and Angel Food Cake! I am a bakery lover and these scents make my mouth water! My all-time favorite, which is also one of my favorite to soap is the Pumpkin Cheesecake! Rich, creamy and spicy, it’s perfect for your fall and winter lineup!

I love Aromatherapy and Relaxation scents. If you like me are a soaper, the Lavender is a
must try! Such a beautiful fragrance! Don’t forget Cucumber Aloe, Eucalyptus, Green Tea, Lavender Mint, Lime Basil, Peppercorn, Red Currant and of course the Rice Flower and Shea. These scents make wonderful relaxation gift sets for the stressed mom or dad! Try selling kits with a candle, room spray, body lotion and even a car freshener in these scents to keep people feeling refreshed and happy! It is amazing what kind of effect fragrance has on the soul!

I am the queen of spicy scents! I love walking into a room and smelling something with cinnamon! If I was stranded on a desert island and had to choose a scent, I would choose something warm and cozy! From these scents, I would choose Cinnamon Red Hots, Pumpkin Spice, Roasted Chestnuts, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Holiday Wassail, Christmas Spice, Chai Tea, and of course Cinnamon Surprise! One of the scents that I’ve just recently discovered myself is the AMAZING Hot Maple Toddy though! The gals in our office were raving about this one, and apparently, rumor has it, it’s their new favorite pouring room scent! I agree, it’s delightful! I think I’ve found my new favorite!

With all these scents, it’s time to do some testing, I hope this gives you all a good idea of what we’ve added up North the past few months. This by no means is a complete listing but it gives you a good idea of some of the new things in store at Bitter Creek! All of the new scents fromBitter Creek South are noted on the site with BCS Original next to it. Give a sampler a try!

With all this hype, I want to share with you my newest Christmas gift giving item. I made the Hot Maple Toddy fragrance (yes, it really IS that good!) into a candle, using a mug from the dollar store. I placed this in a Christmas themed tin with some paper shreds. It makes a great gift for teachers, hosts and hostesses alike, the candle lover who has everything else and more. These simple gifts are a gift and packaging in one and sell great at Craft Shows! Here is how mine turned out. The candle is made using Pumpkin Spice and Brown liquid dyes in the Ez Parasoy wax with a CD wick. I can’t wait for people to begin receiving these and the feedback I receive. I am sure they will be a favorite. Every year I’ve done something like this and every year I create a new fan favorite scent. 

We at Bitter Creek are committed to giving you the best products and services in the industry including free technical support. Bitter Creek would like to be your go-to source for all of your candle making supplies and for many years to come! We hope that you all have one of the best and most successful Holiday Season’s ever! If you find yourself in need of assistance, we are here for you!

Happy Candle and Soap Making!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Haunted Halloween!

When some people think of fall, they think soft sweaters, Pumpkin Spice Latte's and boots. When I think of fall, I think of Halloween and CANDY CORN! mmmm I could eat bag upon bag of those sweet candy treats! This month was the perfect time to show how you can make a simple candle into a perfect gift for someone with a Halloween love, a party hostess, a birthday girl or just because! The only things you need are the candle, which we can all make and a trip to your local retailer, I happen to love Dollar Stores, for the boxes, baskets etc. Just remember this could also be made into something with soap, melts, room spray etc. It isn't just for candles anymore!  


Ez Parasoy Wax

Candy Corn Fragrance
Pint Mason Jar and Lid
ECO 12 Wick
Yellow and Orange Liquid Dye
Cute Box or Basket
Shredded box filler

Heat wax to 180°-195°. Once wax reaches desired temp, add fragrance (1 oz per lb of wax) and again blend well. I put the wax for the candle in a pour pot and color it by layer. My first pour has no dye. I pour at about 175-180*. Allow the layer to almost totally cool, then re-heat the wax,

add two drops of yellow dye, and at around 170-175 pour the next layer. Repeat the process from the first layer, then re-heat the wax again, this time adding two drops of orange and again, pour between 170-175*.

This wax WILL likely need a slight top off to fill any minor sink holes. Since this wax does pull away from the container, this will need to be done within the first few hours after your last pour or it will pour down between the container and the wax. Just re-heat the remainder of the wax from the last pour and pour just up to the original pour line.

*This wax also works excellent for Clamshell wax melts poured at 150°, no additives needed. I would not recommend it for tarts made in molds though.

There were so many cute boxes this year I had a hard time choosing! I decided on this one and thought it made a really cute seasonal gift! If you do fall shows, I think this would be one of those exceptional sellers! Other ideas would be to use a Pumpkin Scent and paint a pumpkin face on the jar, or Gummy Bears and pour the candle in green painting on a Frankenstein face. Sky's the limit when you use your imagination! Here is what my final product looked like. SUPER CUTE and really FUN!

Happy Candle Making!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Jamaican Me Crazy!

Summer is fast coming to an end. College students and K-12 Students all over have either already started classes or start in the next few weeks. Somehow when it's still warm out, it's hard to pour something that is in a fall or winter scent. I decided instead to let summer go out with a bang!

A while back we added a scent called Jamaican  Bay Rum. My first thought after smelling this was, it's making me crazy...FOR SUMMER! I decided at that point for my own candle line to call it instead Jamaican Me Crazy!

This months project will look a little interesting because I am in the process of moving into a new home and realized AFTER that I'd placed all my wick rods into storage. Oops! I really do normally use proper equipment and don't improvise but a girl has to do what a girl has to do sometimes. *grin*

Supplies List:
IGI 1274 Mottle Pillar Wax - 16 Weight ounces per candle
1/0 Square Braid Cotton Wick
Orange Powder Candle Dye
Mold Plugs
Mold Sealer Putty
Wick Rods- I use a metal dowel most often
Jamaican Bay Rum Fragrance - .9 weight oz per candle
3" x 4" Seamless Aluminum Molds

Heat wax to 190°-200°. While wax is heating, add a little bit of the orange dye to your fragrance oil in the pour pot, swishing it around a bit so it incorporates and set aside. Once wax reaches desired temp, add your fragrance and blend well. This wax should be poured between 185°-195° into heated molds to minimize skip lines (you can pour cooler to create a rustic finish as well!). It is advisable to poke relief holes around the wick of the candle once the wax has become solid but is still pliable.

After the first pour has cooled some, reheat your reserved wax from your first pour and refill the void (sink hole) in the candle until you reach the level of the first pour. You will want your second pour to be 10° hotter than your first pour to minimize lines from the second pour. Repeat the re-pour process as necessary. To make a rustic finished candle, do not heat the molds and pour the wax at 165°.

After the candle completely cools, you can remove it from the mold. Sometimes the candle will be a bit "weepy" from a tad of excess fragrance, just set them aside for a day or two or wipe with a paper towel and this should stop this from continuing. 

Since the top of the candle is really the bottom, you will also want to level it after it's complete. I just remove from the mold and use the inside of my presto pot to melt the excess wax level. I spin it to prevent it from becoming uneven. This is a simple enough project for a beginner with results that will make you look like a pro!

Happy Candle Making!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Making Your Own Laundry Soap!

Making laundry soap from scratch is better for you, better for your family, better for your wallet and, better for the environment! I've heard it over and over through the years, I can't make soap but I am here to say, you can make soap! It's easy, just follow the proper safety measures and you will be in love with the process and making more right away! Its fun and gratifying to be able to make something you use nearly every day!

Making soap for laundry follows the same process and making soap for cleansing your body but there are some differences. In making regular soap, you want some excess oils, to condition the skin. With making laundry soap, you don't want excess oils as the oils will spot the laundry or could. I also don't color laundry soap. I am pretty sure my laundry doesn't want or need pretty colors and swirls and in fact, they may stain white or light colors. I also use one of two oils for making laundry soap, lard as I have here or 100% coconut oil which we sell but is also readily available at most grocery stores now. You can choose to make it scented as I have or, if you have a family member with allergies or sensitivities you can leave it unscented.

To make laundry soap, you will need the following:
Sodium Hydroxide (lye)
Distilled Water (ICE COLD!)
A Plastic, or non-aluminum pan for mixing the soap and a plastic pitcher for mixing the lye

Fragrance Oil (I used the BNL Clean Cotton)
Lard or Coconut Oil 1 lb (by weight)

Stick Blender or Wire Whisk and a Spatula to scrape the bowl
A mold for the soap. Silicone baking molds work great for this since shape won't matter!
Digital Scale

To make the soap with lard, you will need 16 weight ounces of lard. To mix the lye, you will need 2.25 weight ounces of lye which you will SLOWLY mix into 4-6 weight ounces of ICE COLD distilled water.
To make the soap with coconut oil, you will need 16 weight ounces of lard. To mix the lye, you will need 2.95 weight ounces of lye which you will SLOWLY mix into 4-6 weight ounces of ICE COLD distilled water.

  • Mix your lye and water first. To do this be sure to have everything you need where you can reach it. Measure and pour your ICE COLD distilled water into a plastic pitcher or measure cup. 
    • Weigh your lye into a glass container (do not use plastic, static causes the lye beads to catch and jump!). 
    • Wear long sleeves, gloves, eye protection and a respirator mask for this step. 
    • Be sure that all children and pets are away from your location and can not reach the solution as it cools! 
    • SLOWLY add the lye to the water while mixing. Mix until the solution becomes clear, this will take a few minutes. The solution will become VERY hot, I recommend using a vent of some sort or opening a window during this process. The fumes can be very strong.
    • If you spill lye on a surface, douse with vinegar to neutralize before cleaning it up. If you should spill lye on yourself. IMMEDIATELY rinse well with cold water! Lye is dangerous, so taking these measures for safety are imperative. ON that note, I've never had an accident in my 15 years making soap!
    • Allow to cool to room temp.  
  • Now heat your oil just until it is melted. Add the fragrance to the oil (1 weight ounce).
  • Next slowly pour your lye solution into the oil while stirring with the stick blender or the whisk. Once they are blended, you can now blend until it reaches the consistency of cooked pudding. 

  • Pour into molds and let set for 24 hours then shred using a grater.
This can be used right away. Keep a small slice for stain removal. Wet the cloth and rub with the soap for a stain pre-treat. Use about 1-2 tablespoons of soap per load of laundry. This is a VERY cost effective laundry soap that you can customize to your liking!

Have fun making this amazing and simple soap!

Happy Soap Making!