Thursday, August 15, 2013

Pineapple Cilantro Soap

Time for another soap challenge!  This month, our challenge was to make a soap using the Holly swirl, also known as a swirl within a swirl.  Holly from Missouri River Soap was the one who came up with this swirl which is actually a modified in the pot swirl that is then poured into another color in the mold.  Hence, a swirl within a swirl. 

I used one of my regular recipes for this one.  This is what I used:

olive oil
coconut oil
palm oil
cocoa butter
shea butter
castor oil

I used pure coconut milk for about half of the liquid.  I used Pineapple Cilantro fragrance oil from Bramble Berry. I recently bought a small bottle to try, and I love this scent so much!  I couldn't stop sniffing the soap! It smells like sweet fresh pineapple!  So yummy!  For my colors I used fizzy lemonade with a tiny bit of yellow oxide, chrome green oxide, and titanium dioxide.  For the top, I added iridescent glitter.  All from Bramble Berry!  I soaped at around 106 degrees.

my colors
my gloppy swirl

my topping glopped on
I tamped the mold down to get rid of as many air bubbles as I could.  Then I used the tip of my thermometer to add some texture to the top of the soap.  I finished by adding iridescent glitter all over the top.

my soap all ready to be put to bed for the night
I unmolded the soap the next day and cut it into bars.

right after unmolding
cut bars

cut bars

cut bars

cut bars
I am happy with my finished bars.  They smell soooo yummy just like sweet pineapple!  I will definitely be making this again!

Thanks again to Amy from Great Cakes Soapworks for this Soap Challenge!

Till next time, Happy Soaping!

Candy :o)

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Story of the Naughty Green Tea Soap!

A couple weeks ago I decided to remake a soap I had made several times before without any problems.  It's my Green Tea Soap which has a slightly floral note to it.  It might have thickened up my batter before when I made it, but it was not bad at all and I soaped it quite easily.

I got my supplies and ingredients together and started my soaping.  I used a slightly different recipe than I did before and decided to add coconut milk to this soap this time.  Also I soaped at a slightly cooler temperature than before, about 90 degrees. 

I added my matcha green tea to my lye water.  I added the fragrance oil to my oils.  I added the lye water to my oils.  I blended just slightly and immediatley noticed it accelerating.  I added my small amount of coconut milk and blended some more.  It was getting thicker really fast.  I glopped some batter into another container and added some green to the main container.  I added some titanium dioxide to the second container to whiten that part for the top of the soap.  I tried to mix the batter in each container but this is what I had within seconds!

looks like mashed avocado

soap on a stick

very naughty soap

I used my big spoon and started mashing it and smashing it trying to get it to mix and soften up.  It was quite funny and I was sort of laughing while fighting with the batter.  The green batter was getting hotter by the second, and within minutes it started gelling right in the container while I was mixing it!  That's what I wanted.  I added a little water and stirred, stirred, stirred.  My arm was getting tired and I was getting really hot fighting with the batter.  The green completely gelled and softened right up while I mixed, and I was able to easily glop it into the mold.
green layer in the mold

Now for the white part.  I tried to do the same thing with the white batter, but it didn't work quite as well.  I added water and stirred, smashed, mashed, added more water, stirred, etc.  It didn't want to give in.  It started gelling a little but not completely like the green.  I finally used the stick blender on it and got it soft enough to glop it on top of the green layer.  It was still quite hard though, so I sort of dropped it with a spoon onto the green and mashed it down into the green to make sure it would stick together.  When I got all the white layer into the mold, it sort of looked like green tea ice cream to me!  I added iridescent glitter on the top even though I usually don't use glitter on this soap because, well, glitter makes everything better, right? 

before glitter

after glitter
I unmolded the soap the next day and cut it into bars.  It looks ok, not great, but ok for a soap that did not want to cooperate. The layers are holding together, colors are nice, and it smells really good!  I already used an end piece in the shower and it feels great!  So I am happy to say that the naughty soap did not beat me even though it tried it's hardest!  I won!  Yay!!!


cut bars

cut bars top view
Soooo, the moral of the story is:  If you have naughty soap that seizes on you, 1. Don't panic.  2. Add some water and stir, stir, stir.  It may take a while.  3. Let it gel in the pot.  4. Once it gels and softens up, get it into the mold.  5. Be happy!

Just remember that no matter what the soap batter does, as long as your recipe and measurements are correct and the soap is not lye heavy, you can pretty much always save your soap, even if it means rebatching!  But that's another story!

Take care and until next time, Happy Soaping!

Candy :o)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mantra Swirl Challenge

This month's challenge for the Soap Challenge Club is the Mantra Swirl!  Just like the Peacock Swirl, I had seen this before, but never tried it, so I was eager to finally learn this technique.  I needed a slow moving recipe again and a fragrance that didn't discolor or accelerate trace. 

This is what I used for my recipe: 

olive oil, 38%
palm oil, 30%
coconut oil, 25%
sweet almond oil, 5%
castor oil, 2%

My fragrance is berries and grapes, sweet and fruity with a hint of mint.   I added the fragrance right into my oils before adding the lye water.

My colors are combinations of pigments, oxides, ultramarines and micas.

I used almost full water and a 4% superfat. I soaped at about 92 degrees.

my colors

my mold with 2 cardboard dividers

I added my lye water and pulsed the stick blender to just emulsify the mixture.  Then used a whisk.  I wanted to keep it as thin as I could.  I divided the mixture into three containers and whisked one color into each.  My husband poured the green while I poured the other two colors.  Thank you to him!  That was the first time he poured soap and he said it was fun!  Yay!  I removed the dividers and tamped the soap on the table to get rid of any air bubbles.  I grabbed my hanger to use for the swirl.  I had taped a skewer to the hanger to make it thicker to get a better swirl on the inside.

my hanger for the inside swirl

After doing the hanger swirl, I grabbed a chopstick and did the mantra swirl on the top of the soap.  That was pretty fun to see it turn out!  This was my favorite part!

before swirl

after swirl

It looked like green apple, chocolate and berries!  I think the next time I make this I will use those fragrance oils to match the colors!
When I unmolded the next day, it looked good except it seemed that parts of the soap did not completely gel which left an odd uneven coloring in the soap.  I was disappointed with that but over all liked my mantra swirl soap.
cut bars
I really love these colors!  I will definitely be doing the mantra swirl again!
A big thank you to Amy from Great Cakes Soapworks for this mantra swirl challenge!   I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next one!
Happy Soaping!
Candy :o)


Monday, June 10, 2013

Peacock Swirl Challenge

I have joined a soap challenge club started by Amy of Great Cakes Soapworks.  The first challenge was to make a soap using a technique called the Peacock Swirl.  I had seen the Peacock Swirl before but had never tried it, so I was pretty excited to do something new.  This technique requires some different pieces of equipment such as some squirt bottles and a rake or comb which I made out of some bamboo skewers and a piece of cardboard.  Here's a picture of some of my supplies that I used.

My first batch seemed to be working okay until I raked it.  The rake sort of blurred the colors in the middle.  So the final look was muddy.  I made some adjustments such as blending less at the beginning, using a fragrance oil which I knew would keep my batter thin, soaping cooler, and raking just the top part of the soap instead of all the way down to the bottom.  My second batch was better, but still had a sort of blurred look in the center.  Not what I wanted.  I was pretty disappointed after the second batch failed.  I made more adjustments and waited two more days to try the third time 'cause I was so worried it wouldn't come out again.  This time, I used a larger mold since I knew a larger batch would be easier to keep thin.  I went back to the fragrance oil I used in my first batch but added it to only the bottom layer, and I decided I needed to make my lines straighter in the mold to get a cleaner rake.  I also made another rake with the skewers a little farther apart.
So for my third and final batch, this is what I used:
36 bar Baltic Birchwood mold from Bramble Berry, but only used half of it
neon pigments from Bramble Berry because I wanted vibrant colors
Lick Me All Over fragrance oil from Nature's Garden since I knew it didn't accelerate or discolor
4 squirt bottles
1 bamboo skewer rake
1 chopstick for doing the swirl
about 1 1/2 T poppy seeds added to the pink base layer
For my recipe I used this:
olive oil, 40%
palm oil, 30%
coconut oil, 25%
sweet almond oil, 5%
I used almost full water and a 4% superfat since I also used additional olive oil to mix the pigments.  I soaped at about 81 degrees.
I don't have lots of pictures while making the soap, 'cause I was trying to work fast and didn't want to stop to take pictures and let my soap set up.  But here's what I have.
my neon pigments
my rake

starting the colored lines
Here's the swirl!
another angle of the swirl
I was so happy and excited when I raked and the colors did not blur like my first two attempts!  I covered it with the wooden lid, tucked a couple towels around it, and let it sit overnight.  I uncovered and unmolded the next day and gave it a good spritz of 91% rubbing alcohol to keep ash away and also give it a nice shine on top. 
cutting bars

Bars all cut up!

I got 15 bars each a little over 5 oz.  They smell really good, all fruity and sweet! 
I had a lot of fun with this challenge, and will definitely be using this Peacock Swirl technique again.  A big thank you to Amy for starting this Soap Challenge Club!  I'm looking forward to the next challenge!
Happy Soaping!
Candy :0)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Finally More Soap!

It's been a long time since my last post.  I've sort of been on a soaping break, but now I'm back to soaping again!  I recently made a Gardener's Soap and some Salt Bars.  The Gardener's Soap is three layers filled with ground cocoa nibs, ground plantain skins, ground loofah, rose clay, dill weed, and calendula.  It's very lightly scented with Pikake Flower fragrance oil. 

Gardener's Soap

The soap is curing and will be ready in about four weeks.

The Salt Bars are made with sea salt and scented with peppermint, rosemary, and tea tree.  Sea salts are full of beneficial minerals such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, iodine, and calcium, and help to cleanse and draw out toxins from the skin.  Many think that the salt will cause the soap to be very exfoliating.  But as the salt is exposed and used, it becomes smooth as a polished stone. 

Salt Bars

I will probably be doing a patriotic soap next, and also plan on making some coconut milk soaps and beer soaps soon.  Will post pictures when they're done. 

Take care!

Candy :o)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

The past year, like every year, has flown by.  Here's a last look at some of my soaps from 2012:

I have a lot of new soaps planned for 2013.  I want to do a lot more cupcake soaps, and soaps with embeds and textured tops.  More rubber duckies also!  I also want to add a line of more natural soaps, using natural colors such as clays and essential oils instead of fragrance oils.  These soaps will be more natural, simple, organic, and with simpler packaging. 
My wish is for everyone to have a wonderful, safe, healthy and happy 2013! 
Candy :0)