Sunday, October 28, 2012
This soap is actually a combination of 3 soaping techniques; CP, HP & MP. The soap itself is cold process, the snowman is hot process and his carrot nose is made from melt and pour soap. I made the snowman using the same technique as the Polar Bear Soap. I don't know how well the noses are going to stick to the soap, I may have to 'glue' them on using a pipette and a bit of melt and pour soap. I brushed a little bit of cotton candy mica onto his cheeks to give him that rosy glow!
When I was making this, I had in mind that I wanted to get a Tiffany blue, but I gave up because I just couldn't seem to get the right color. When I put it in the mold last night the blue was this color:
I was pleasantly surprised when I unmolded the soap this morning and saw that the blue had turned closer to a Tiffany blue, probably from the discoloration of the fragrance oil....lucky break!
I hope everyone is having a nice, relaxing weekend....thanks for reading!
Saturday, October 20, 2012
I had some vanilla bean powder in my pantry and thought it would be interesting to see what it did in soap. I split the soap into 2 portions and added powdered vanilla bean to half and then swirled the soap all together. The vanilla bean definitely adds nice visual interest; I thought the vanilla bean powder might dissolve and just turn the soap tan, but it stayed nice and speckled:
Monday, October 15, 2012
These little ghosts are actually Wilton royal icing decorations….I couldn’t resist them, they’re so cute holding their little pieces of candy corn! If you had the time and the patience, these little ghosts could definitely be made from soap, but I didn’t have either this weekend (time or patience!) and I wanted to squeeze in one more Halloween CP soap before it was too late.
This soap is made with a standard oo/co/palm recipe, but I did use 1% beeswax in this batch because I have seen beeswax recommended to prevent ash, and I wanted to see if it will work. I usually use rubbing alcohol to keep the ash away and while it works well, I can’t spray it on certain glitters or candies because it causes them to bleed or discolour. I’m not a big fan of using beeswax though; it takes a long time to melt and takes even longer to clean off the dishes.
I spooned in the bottom and top layers and swirled the middle layer. I was going for more of a pronounced purple color in the top layer, but it seems to have faded to grey. I also just noticed that the bottom layer looks a little bit like a jack o’lantern face, I couldn't do that again if I tried! I fragranced this soap with Fruity Rings (which smells just like Fruit Loops cereal) from Nature’s Garden.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
This one’s for you Maja! Maja recently asked me if I ever have soaps that don’t come out the way that I planned, and she reminded me that I had been saving this picture to share with you guys:
Now, it isn’t that there is anything wrong with these soaps quality-wise, and sure they look okay. But I want to be excited about a soap when I share it on here with you guys. Aesthetically, these just didn’t cut it; they were either too crumbly or spotty, or didn’t come out the way I envisioned, or didn’t excite me enough to post them on the blog.
I also learned something with each soap that didn't turn out out:
Luxury soap: The combination of milks and honey caused it to overheat. At first, the soap looked like it had measles from all the orange spots the overheated honey caused, so now I always put this soap in the freezer overnight to prevent gelling.
Gradient soap: I probably need to do more than 3 colors for an interesting gradient soap, next time I will try 5.
Sandalwood: I think the colors were just too light in the one and the colors I chose didn’t really match the woodsy fragrance.
Cherry Blossom: I learned, after a few trials, that I can’t use sodium lactate in my soaps when I use my rectangular tray mold. For some reason they turn out really crumbly, so I omit the SL if I’m going to use my tray mold. The same thing happened with the Blackberry Soap.
Rubber Ducky Soap: Although I liked the colors, I thought the soap was just too plain, I’m still trying to think of a new way to do this one.
Sorry little soapies, but you just didn’t make the cut this time :(
Hopefully, this next one will have better luck. So far, so good:
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
I’m looking forward to taking part in a challenge swap that Kirppu from Kotikemistin pieni paja organized. She challenged each of us to send one of our favorite soaps and then also to send a soap using a new technique or ingredient that we had never tried before. Just after I signed up, I received a recipe for sunflower soap from one of my favorite suppliers in an email newsletter....a sign perhaps?! I have never made a soap with sunflower oil instead of olive oil; this soap recipe calls for just sunflower, coconut and palm oils. I’ve also been meaning to try yogurt in soap for a while too, so I substituted yogurt for the liquid portion of the soap.
A few things I noticed:
The yogurt turned BRIGHT reddish-orange as I was adding the lye, even though I had frozen it into cubes and was adding the lye very slowly. I ended up adding t.d. to my base oils to counteract the reddish-orange color of the yogurt.
The gold and copper micas both stayed shimmery, yay!
This soap took much longer than my usual recipes to bring to trace, I'm not sure if that is because of the sunflower oil? I thought the yogurt would accelerate trace, as my milk soaps tend to do, but the soap stayed at thin trace for quite a while. This would be a great recipe for fancy swirling techniques.
Monday, October 8, 2012
I know it’s a bit early to be posting this....but sometimes when the inspiration strikes, I just have to go with it!
I was trying to think of a way to use the rest of the hot process soap I was going to have leftover from my polar bear soaps. I thought it would be fun to make some soap cookies to put into tins to give as little Christmas gifts to family, friends, teachers, etc. Hot process soap is great for using with cookie cutters; it sets up really quickly and cuts out so nicely. I poured the HP soap into a slab mold and was able to cut out these cookies after the HP soap had cooled for about 1 hour. You could also hand-form the cookies, as I did here:
I searched online and found these adorable little labels (I’ve included the links below) and printed them out on sheets of sticky label paper (I used Avery 8165). How perfect are the ‘We WASH you a Merry Christmas’ labels for soapmakers?!
These tins would also be really cute packaging for these bath cookies; the recipe for the bath cookies can be found here: Oil & Butter - Milk and Bath Cookies
I’ve included the links for the printable labels; however, please make sure you read each designer’s copyright disclaimer before you download their labels. They have generously provided the labels for free, but both designers state that these printables are for personal use only.
Darling Doodles: http://darlingdoodles.blogspot.ca/2011/12/12-days-of-gift-mas-gift-1.html
Thursday, October 4, 2012
I don’t think I’ve ever tried a natural soap colorant before, but I happened to wander into a specialty food store the other day and noticed some packages of annatto seeds. I remembered reading that people used them in soap for their natural color, so I did a little research and found out that you can infuse your oil with annatto seeds to make anywhere from pale yellow to deep orange colors. I thought the deep orange color would lend itself well to carrot soap, so I decided to make a Honey Carrot Buttermilk soap with some annatto-infused oil.
To infuse the oil, I used 4 teaspoons of annatto seeds in 16 ounces of olive oil. I put the oil and seeds in my crockpot, on low, for 2 hours and then shut off the crockpot and let the infusion sit overnight.
I love the rich amber color that developed from infusing the seeds in the oil:
I used buttermilk and pureed carrots for the liquid portion of the soap and added honey at trace. This is just after I poured it into the molds:
The soap gelled, so the orange color darkened even more. It’s a nice burnt orange color right now….I hope the color holds up, but you never know with CP soap!
Honey Carrot Buttermilk soap cut:
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
I wanted to share with you the gorgeous soaps that my soap blogging friend Laura, from Glad Heart Soaps, recently sent to me when we all took part in a forum soap swap that she so kindly organized. It was so much fun, and I was blown away her generosity….look at the beautiful array of soaps she sent!
Her mom crocheted the wash cloth, isn’t it just adorable? I’ve tried to knit a wash cloth and ended up with big gaping holes…her mom’s is stitched so neat and tidy and I love the pastel colors! I love how colorful and bold Laura’s soaps are, they smell fantastic! I couldn’t stop sniffing the Rainbow Sherbet, it smelled sooooo good! See that cute little stack with the flower on top? I didn’t want to open it, it looked so pretty!
But I did……I love the matching papers and they looked so nice all wrapped up…..I didn’t want to open them up!
But I did, ha ha! I’m in love with the soap curls on top of her Fresh Fallen Leaves and Pineapple Jasmine soap, so pretty! I was especially excited to see Mystery Fragrance #4….Laura was selected to be a member of BrambleBerry's S.O.A.P. team this fall, and this was one of the fragrances they sent her to test! I can’t wait to see what this fragrance ends up being…I detected chocolate and coconut, but Laura tells me that she and Jenny from I’d Lather Be Soaping definitely picked out pear (my nose is just a little off…lol!).
The first thing I noticed when I lathered up Laura’s soap was how SILKY it was! The lather literally felt silky on my skin, so I looked on her soap label and sure enough, her soaps contain tussah silk fibers. I must try some silk in soap, you can definitely feel the silk and her soaps have such a lovely, rich, creamy lather! I loved the wide variety of fragrances that she used too...from sweet to crisp to fresh. If I had to pick an absolute favorite fragrance…it would be a 3-way tie between the Rainbow Sherbet, Peach Smoothie and Fresh Fallen Leaves. Honestly though, they all smelled fantastic!
I absolutely adore each and every soap you sent Laura, you completely spoiled me....thank you from the bottom of my heart!