FREE $50 Bonus
Spread the Joy
Follow by Email
Handmade Soap - Kids Soap, Glycerine Soap with Essential Oils
Follow Us


Posts Tagged ‘Justine Crane’

postheadericon Soap Making Class on a Soapy Saturday

This past Saturday was full of good, clean fun and learning at my very first soap making class! My sister-in-law Cindy and I went to a Botanical Soap Making Class taught by Justine Crane. For those of you who have been with me for a while, you’ll remember the Natural Perfumery class of hers that I enjoyed so much last August (read about it  here: What a Workshop!)

**Check out our soap making supplies checklist**

Soap making class for Red Barn Blue Skies

The Soap Making Class

The soap making class was held again at the Intermountain Nursery. We were out on the patio/potting shed area. While it’s a beautiful spot out there and ideal for the classes, we were unseasonably COLD! Leading up to the weekend we were worried we’d be overly warm as the previous weekend was in the 90s (as is usual). Instead, we were treated to a record-breaking 57 degrees for May 22nd. It had been 112 years since that record was challenged! Thankfully, the nursery had a fire pit made from an old washing machine tub (I should have taken a photo – it was really neat) and a propane heater shown below.


Cindy Stirring Soap for Soap Making Class


There were 11 students eager to learn the correct methods from Justine on making cold process soap.  Since it involves lye, Justine emphasized following proper safety procedures at all times.  We were all wearing long-sleeves, gloves, eye protection, and breathing masks.  Safety first!  (Cindy is planning on procuring us the long white lab coats to complete our look for our next soap making class adventure)

Cindy the Mad Scientist for Soap Making Class


We learned the best natural ingredients to use and the reasons or benefits of each. Justine also discussed and showed us the proper tools and equipment to have on hand. She took us step by step through the process and allowed us to each be as hands-on as we wanted. Everyone got to take a turn in some part of the creation of our soap.

Pouring in the Lye for the Soap Making Class

One of my favorite parts was the blending of the scent. We broke up into teams to create top, heart, and base notes from the essential oils. Cindy and I were responsible for the top note. We used bergamot (yum, Earl Grey tea….), lime, and a bit of lemon. Very clean and fresh smelling! The other teams mixed up the heart and base notes and then we combined them all together. It turned out to be an amazing scent.


After all of the measuring, blending, and experimenting with some color,  this:

Became this:

Happy Happy Happy

The soap making class was everything I had hoped it would be. Being shown how to do something and getting to be hands-on really makes a difference in learning some things for me. I’d been reading about making this type of soap for years but was leery of trying it – mostly due to the lye and a few questions I had that went unanswered until now. Justine armed us with the proper methods and the safety precautions and I’m now anxious to get started.


I’ve gathered my soap making ingredients and tools and will be ready to go on my solo soap flight in a short time. I actually stopped to buy lye at the hardware store in Prather after we left the nursery. Cindy and I excitedly bounced ideas off of each other all the way home. I was thrilled that Cindy was able to go the class with me. We always have a lot of fun together and seem to really work well as a team. I think this terrifies our husbands at times…..

Thanks Justine for a great class once again. Check out Justine’s sites Oh True Apothecary and The Scented Djinn for more info on natural perfumery and working with botanicals. She also has an online perfumery course!


postheadericon What A Workshop!!

I had such a great time Saturday!

The Natural Botanical Perfumery workshop was a blast and EXACTLY what I needed to chase away the previous week’s woes. I really enjoyed meeting Justine Crane from The Scented Djinn. She put on a really informative class on creating your own scents with natural botanicals and oils. I can’t believe how much we learned in such a short time.

Justine locating one of her ingredients
The class was limited to 6 students due to the sheer amount of information that Justine has to share and her desire to offer as much one-on-one with the participants as possible. Rebecca (the other lady in the class) and I really reaped the rewards of the other students failing to show up that morning. We had Justine and her vast knowledge all to ourselves! (Too bad for the other participants, they really missed out on quite an experience.)
The Intermountain Nursery was such a perfect location for the class. We were under a covered porch/potting shed type setting behind their gift shop that had benches and tables. There were grapes and other plants all over the place with hummingbirds flitting in and about – they were probably getting whiffs of the (mostly) wonderful scents we were being introduced to. We all kept mentioning the fact that the weather was unbelievable for the end of August. We had a lovely breeze the entire day and I never did get too warm (which is amazing for me because I am usually boiling this time of year.)

It was a very relaxed environment as we started off just all talking and visiting. We then segued into the meat of the class as we shared why we had signed up for the class and what we were hoping to learn. Justine’s daughter Hannah was there and was a real kick. She’s got a great eye for photography as well – click here to see some of her photos from the day (loved the kitty).

It was such a perfect atmosphere for learning – very relaxed and low-key. Justine guided us through evaluating scents and making our own notes. Mine were such as “Valerian reeks like stinky feet” and “Pink grapefruit is yummy and sweet”. (I really didn’t intend that to rhyme, but what can I say. Do take my advice though and don’t put your nose close to a bottle of valerian oil – it stinks just like the plant and my husband’s work boots. But this is an example of what we learned; even thought it is AWFUL by itself, when blended with another botanical, it can be the most beautiful scent you could imagine.)

Rebecca & Justine doing an evaluation

We chatted and soaked up information while Justine had us create our own scent. It was really fun to note that while Rebecca and I used many of the same ingredients in our own little recipes, the scents smelled nothing alike. Both of our creations smelled great, we were thrilled with our first efforts! The real kicker came when Justine evaluated our scents and told us what thought or first impression they invoked. I started laughing when she said mine was “Purple”. Purple and lavender are my absolute favorite colors in the world and my scent creation brought that to her mind! The hubby really enjoyed that. He makes fun of my purple obsession all of the time, he says now I can smell like it too.. I think I’ll name it “Amethyst A’Mour”.

Be sure to check out Justine’s sites: Oh True Apothecary and The Scented Djinn for some great information and to find out about her next classes – they’re not to be missed!