Soap Collaborating | Mother & Daughter

Starting off the new year with the Amy Warden’s Great Cakes Soapworks Soap Challenge! This month is Soap Collaboration.   I loved doing this soap with my daughter, Ashley.   Here is a post of how it was done.

First I prepped the oils and lye mixture ahead of time.  When everything where the temperature I wanted, Ashley joined me and watched as I did the mixing just to workable stage.  Not quite trace.

Ashley took over the pouring and coloring portion of this soap.  She decided to do a gradient design.  Which was surprising to me because she doesn’t soap with me at all.  I’m still wondering where she got the gradient idea from as I haven’t tried this technique as of yet.   So we separated the green and white for the piping portion.  And the base was used as a whole and colored again after each pour to achieve the gradient effect in the photo below.

So we separated the green and white for the piping portion.  And the base was used as a whole and colored again and again after each pour to achieve the gradient effect in the photo below.

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We used Mad Oil micas with an addition of ground cloves in the last upper layer as well as titanium dioxide for the white portion.  There is a video at the end of this post to see how it was all put together.  We sort of worked on the colors together and I was preparing the piping while she was finishing up the last layers.

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Once the last layer was poured, I piped the white soap the way I liked it.  And then Ashley took over the rest of the decorating.  She had piped the little embeds the day before, so they were ready to be placed on top.  The green vines were piped last.  As you can see from the photo above…. she is quite happy with her creation!

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I have to admit… I really think she did a great job!  The soap was easy to unmold after 24+ hours.  The recipe used was my own personal favorite which included Cocoa Butter, Castor Oil, Coconut Oil and Olive Oil as well as Goat’s Milk.   The fragrance used was Pomegranate and Sweet Orange.  It’s a lovely scent that was given to me by Ashley as a Christmas gift!

Thanks so much for stopping in.  Watch how the soap was made in the video below!

 

Soap Challenge: Tiger Stripes

For the December 2016 Great Cakes Soapworks challenge, I decided on the Dragon’s Blood fragrance oil from WSP.   And three colors: red, white, and black. (perfect for Dragon’s Blood.  Don’t you think?)

The technique is pretty straight forward.  Incorporate a tiger stripe into your design.  My soap is a simple one using the whole soap batch and pouring from one side and holding it mostly from one angle.  img_20161211_112648-01

The soap batter needs to be the perfect consistency.  If it is too runny or too thick it will make the outcome of the pour less than desirable.   This batch worked fairly well for me.  I tried another batch using the tiger striped technique using several different colors.  It was a lot like Goldy Locks and The Three Bears.  One color was too runny, another was just plain

I had tried another batch using this tiger striped technique using several different colors.  It was a lot like Goldy Locks and The Three Bears.  One color was too runny, another was just plain gloppy, and the third was just about right.  So I know that the consistency of the soap batter is extremely important!

Even though this batch was poured fairly evenly you will notice there seems to be three separate pours in the finished soap bar.  I’m not sure how I managed that. But the Tiger Stripes came out rather nicely.

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I will be giving this technique another try soon.

Soap Challenge: Cosmic Wave Technique

I’m back for another soap challenge.  This month it’s the Cosmic Wave Technique.

I thoroughly enjoyed the piping challenge that I participated in last time.  And I can’t wait to get back to trying some new piping techniques.  However, this cosmic wave is definitely a challenge!  I’ve gone through three batches and I’m still not 100% satisfied with my finished soap.  But time is running out and I’ve made the decision to enter my 3rd and final attempt at the Cosmic Wave.

First off,  I had the wrong mold for this challenge.  The log mold was what I had on hand so that’s what I used instead of the slab molds that were suggested.  Since I had the log mold I decided to cut my bars differently to try and get the  view of the soaps from the correct angle.

The first two attempts, I realized,  I was pouring it wrong.  I was shaking my hands trying to get the “wave” effect.  After reading an update from Amy Warden that shaking the hands was the wrong approach…..  The third soap actually worked out better (without shaking my hands, of course).

This was a fun challenge.  And I will attempt it again in the future.  The colors and the designs it created in my finished soaps were pretty interesting to me.  But time is a-wasting for this challenge so here are the photos to my Twigs & Berries Cosmic Wave Soap…

 

Do you want to see the making of the Twigs & Berries Cosmic Wave Soap?

Rose Scented Cupcakes | September Soap Challenge

When I received the email from Amy Warden’s GreatCakeSoapWorks Soap Challenge for September I knew I had to try it.  I’ve been following the soap challenges for a few months and this one was one I wanted to try.  So here is my story…

The challenge was the Piping Technique.  Right away I knew I was making a cupcake.  And since I had just received a new bottle of Fresh Cut Roses fragrance oil … that was my fragrance of choice.

Pink.  My Rose Scented Cupcake was going to be Pink and White.  The challenge I saw before me was piping the roses.  I’ve never really given piped roses a try.  But the youtube videos made it look so-o-o easy.   So piping the roses was going to be my first task.  I have to say…. they weren’t that difficult once I got the hang of it….and my batter was almost thick enough to pipe.  I say “almost” because I was so afraid it was going to be too thick so I started piping too soon.    You all should know that soap batter has a mind of it’s own…especially when you give it strict instructions to behave because you have a contest and you have a time limit!img_20160913_155524-01.jpeg

img_20160913_110747-01-02.jpegThe roses weren’t my problem, believe it or not.  I was pretty happy with them.

 

It was the base of the cupcake that I had a bit of trouble with.  Yes, the easiest phase of the cupcake – the base.  It started to thicken on me.  Why?  Ha. Ha.  Because I was using a floral fragrance!  I didn’t add the fragrance to the batter for the Roses, so there was no problems piping them.  But when I added it to the base,  then left it for a second to get out my silicone cupcake molds…. it thickened a bit much on me.  The finished cupcakes didn’t look bad.  More of a Rustic Victorian Style.  Really pretty …. But I really wanted a SMOOTH bottomed cupcake.  So on  to round 2….

The second batch went pretty well:

-I had gotten my smooth bottomed cupcake like I wanted.  And my roses were already pipped from before so they were good to go.

-The white frosting was piped nicely and neatly (even though I’m using a floral fragrance).  I think I’ve found a trick.  But I’ll have to test this theory out on the next cupcake.

– I added the roses I thought were the best.

-The leaves were placed where I thought they should go.

And then…. I remembered.  I had forgotten the Glitter!   So besides the missing glitter… I think the cupcakes came out just as I was hoping!  I know a few spots where I could use some work on my piping technique.   But I am very happy with my Rose Scented Cupcakes!  So here is the picture I’m sending in for my challenge:

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I enjoyed the process so much that I’ll be making more cupcakes in the near future.  Next up is Lavender Scented Cupcakes.  Can you hear my mind swirling with ideas?

Thank you for allowing me to participate.  I’ve had loads of fun in the process.

 

UPDATE:  Watch me make these cupcakes on YouTube.

 

Caring for Your Soap with a Soap Dish

Handmade Soap deserves special care because it does not contain chemicals to keep them hard like most commercially available “beauty bars” do.  Naturally made soap needs to be handled for the luxurious product that it is.

When leaving the shower, place the soap on a  soap dish so it dries between uses.  Handmade soaps have the ability to draw moisture from the air (which is great for your skin – not so great for your new bar of soap).  Ever see a “beauty bar” after it has set on your sink for a couple weeks?  It is dry and cracked!  Handmade soaps still contains the NATURAL glycerin within the soap that the store brand beauty bars do not. Glycerin helps moisturize your skin and …. you guessed it – continues to draw moisture from the air.

I’ve thought of making my own soap dish but haven’t gotten up the nerve to try it.  Any Soap Dish will work (homemade or store bought) as long  as your soap isn’t sitting in a puddle of water or sitting in a humid shower.

Photography Props

Infant Crown

Crowns.  I have been wanting to make these for a while now and now I finally have several completed!   These are so cute when used in Infant Photography props.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any professional photos available to share.  But I’m sure you know what they look like.

Hempathy yarn by Elsbeth Lavold was used to make the crown pictured.  It was then stiffened and set to dry.  There were 2 white crowns made first and I set them to dry on a large bottle type container.  But I didn’t like the way it had stiffened.  Sort of straight up and down.  If you notice by the picture above it has a nice fluted shape.  I love it!  Want to know what I used??  A football.  Yes, in deed.  And it came out PERFECT!  Now I need to find a prince to wear it.  😉

Soap Packaging…

I have already wrapped plenty of soap for the month of June… and yet, I am still wrapping soaps!  Don’t get me wrong… I don’t mind wrapping the soaps or even making the soaps.  It’s the clean up I’m not too fond of.  😉  I had my toddler visit me in my craft room and he wanted to use my hole puncher to “cut paper”.  So I had tiny paper circles (along with my pile of papers) all over my floor! It kept him happy so I could keep working.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  Cut away!

Here are a couple of pics of todays wrap-a-thon.

There are more soaps to wrap…. after a little clean-up first.  😉

New Technique Results

I’ve been in my soap room working on a new technique I’ve recently learned about.  I wanted to share the photos of my results with everyone.

Artisan Soap
Artisan Soap

My first batch was scented with Bubble Gum Phthalate Free fragrance oil.  It’s still a little soft…. but I couldn’t WAIT to cut it!

Artisan Soap with Swirls

The swirls came out pretty nicely considering it was my first go around.  I’m used to cold process where the swirling is a little easier.

 And with these test batches I’ll be able to use up some fragrance oils I’ve got floating around!  Create some more space  so I can fill them up with …. more oils, of course!  😉

My recipe used a good amount of Olive oil.  That would explain the green tint to my bar.  I didn’t have any titanium dioxide mixed and ready so I left that portion alone, but I did want to incorporate a red for the “bubble gum”.    Specifically,   I wanted to test my coloring and swirling technique.  I’m pretty happy with the outcome.  However, I know that I can do better with a little practice.  Now,  I wonder what I’m going to try with my second batch.  Hmm…

More Soap Packaging

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I’m wrapping soaps again today!  And today it’s shampoo bars.  The packaging was inspired by a fellow blogger. SOAPJAM. (Although her packaging is much nicer.)  I love how how it adds color and completely covers the soaps.  I’ll need a little practice with folding my papers just so to acheive the crisp look I’m going for.  However, over-all, not bad.

TAPELESS-PACKAGING
TAPELESS-PACKAGING