Monday, June 29, 2020

One Pot Wonder Soap Challenge

The June 2020 Soap Challenge offered by Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks is called "One Pot Wonder".
Here are the description and rules of the 2 different categories we can choose from to make the soap:

REGULAR CATEGORY: Your entire soap must be made with cold process or cold process/oven process to create a “one pot wonder” design only in a log mold by pouring no more than 4 layers of colors in your pot, then pouring back and forth along the long side of the mold to create the design in one pouring session. Tops can be decorated however you wish, but no added embellishments after the soap is cut 

ADVANCED CATEGORY: Your entire soap must be made with cold process or cold process/oven process to create a “one pot wonder” design only in a log mold by pouring 5 or more layers of colors in your pot, then pouring back and forth along the long side of the mold to create the design in one pouring session. The soap must be colored and fragranced with 100% natural ingredients (not nature identical or created in a lab – listed in the tips & tricks section below). Tops can be decorated however you wish, but no added embellishments after the soap is cut.
Amy's inspiration for this month's challenge came from a video that Tania of Soapish posted on her Instagram account. Thank you Tania for sharing this technique for the challenge this month, and also Amy for teaching us.
The soap I am entering for the challenge will be for the regular category. The colors for my entry were neon colors from Mad Micas. Pink was "Tickled Pink", orange was "Cheesy Poof", purple was "Grape Ape", and for the white I used Titanium Dioxide. The fragrance I used was Plum Tea from Bramble Berry, I love this fragrance and it was nice to work with, it has been discontinued and I am hoping one day they will bring it back in stock.
The second soap I made was a Red, White, and Blue soap. I fragranced it with Spiced Apple Cider from Bramble Berry also. And the red was from Nurture Soap "Really Red, White was "Titanium Dioxide" and the Blue was "Union City Blue" from Soap Making Colorants. This soap got thick really quick so I was not able to get the smooth wispy design, and I added the soap stars I made using a column mold. I really love this soap design and plan on using this technique to make it a regular item in my line of soaps.
The third soap I made I used these colors from Nurture Soaps: Amaranth Pink and Purple Vibrance, from Mad Oils Peacock, and from Wholesale Supply Plus Sparkle Light Gold mica. The fragrance is Ginger Ale from Bramble Berry.
I hope you enjoy the pictures of my entry soap and the other 2 other batches I made.

My Entry Soap for the challenge.

Here are premixed neon colors for my entry soap 'Plum Crazy'.

The colors are all mixed in the soap batter and ready to pour into the
 large measuring pitcher on the right

Here is the cut bars of soap of my entry 'Plum Crazy'

'Plum Crazy' soap

Second Soap batch:

The soap unmolded

Close up of the top of the soap 

The cut bars of soap. Scented in Spiced Apple Cider.

The cut bars of soap. Scented in Spiced Apple Cider.

The cut bars of soap. Scented in Spiced Apple Cider.

Third Soap batch:

The mica colors mixed and ready to color the soap batter.

The first and second layer of soap in the pitcher.

All four of the layers poured into the pitcher, now ready to pour into the mold.

The finished bar of soaps, scented with Ginger Ale.

The finished bar of soaps, scented with Ginger Ale.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

December 2017 Soap Challenge"Straight Lines Design"

This month's soap challenge offered by Amy Worden of Great Cakes Soapworks is called  "Straight Lines Design".  This soap challenge will be the last challenge by Amy as she has an exciting business opportunity, I am so happy for her, yet sad for not having another one to look forward to. I want to give a BIG thanks to Amy for making all these challenges available to us, I know it took a lot of work on her behalf. I also would like to thank all the people that stepped forward to teach us some really awesome techniques. I don't want to miss thanking all the sponsors each month and their generosity, and the monthly judges of each contest. I started Amy's challenges way back on March 2012 and it has been a fun opportunity and loved seeing all the other talented soap makers beautiful creations.

This is the instruction for this challenge: " Your soap must be made with cold process or cold process/oven process only, featuring straight lines in the majority of the soap. They may be horizontal, diagonal, or a combination of both. They must all be poured in one “session”. No embeds. You may have as many or as few straight lines as you wish, depending on your skill level and how the lines will best serve the overall design. The goals are straight lines and multiple layers, in that order." Well that sounds easy enough, but that turned out not to be as easy as it sounds. The hard part for me was waiting for each layer to set up so I could move on to the next color. It took a total of 5 hours just to get the layers poured on my 1st soap. Yes you read right, my 1st soap. I made a second soap and the results did not turn out as well as the first soap but that will be explained in a bit.
For my entry I chose Bramble Berry's "Pearberry" fragrance oil and it smells AMAZING! For my colors I used the following mica's: Super Pearly White, Cappuccino both from Bramble Berry, and Teal Vibrance from Nutures Soap Supplies. 

I am calling my soap entry for this challenge "Journey's End". ! I just can't thank Amy enough and I wish you all the best! As I shared my journey with everyone I hope you all have enjoyed it

Introducing my "Journey's End"

Here are my color choices.
I chose the pattern on the right for this soap.
First layer poured and the second color mixed for the next pour.

Second layer poured and the third color mixed for the next pour.
Here is my third layer and I will repeat all 3 color layers again.

The final layers are poured and the 2 remaining colors
will be the top swirl on the soap.
Soap in the mold and will go into a warm oven go force gel.

The soap is unmolded and ready to be cut into bars.
Here is my entry in the soap challenge:
"Journey's End"
Remember me mentioning the second soap I made. I wanted to put a gold mica line between each layer, but it did not work well on the first layer so I stirred the gold mica into the soap instead. Then the second layer of white  seemed set up enough to pour on the black and poured the white layer blended into the black layer so I tried swirling the two layers together and it took forever for this to set up enough to continue with the other layers. The next 4 layers went on like they were supposed to, but the very last layer of black did not set up correctly at all and I ended up planning most of it off.  One day I will give this color scheme another try but here is the end result.


Friday, December 16, 2016

December 2016 Soap Challenge "Tiger Stripe Soap"

This month's Soap Challenge offered by Amy Worden of Great Cakes Soapworks is "Tiger Stripe". 
Here are the Guidelines for this month's challenge:

1. Definition of Experienced Soapmaker: You have been making soap for at least 2 years OR you have made more than 50 batches. A newbie MAY enter the experienced category if he/she wishes.
2. Your soap is made with cold process only, featuring Tiger Stripe techniques in the majority of your soap, using a log mold. You poured your soap in lines from one end of the mold to the other. You may have manipulated the soap after the pours were made, but it is still apparent that there are stripes throughout the soap.
3. Your soap has at least 2 different colors.
4. Your soap has been cut normally, in vertical slices.
5. The photo you are submitting has soap(s) from ONE batch only, with the only editing being for lighting and color adjustments to best represent what the soap looks like in real life.

I have wanted to make a tiger stripe soap and incorporate a bright pink color into the mix  of colors for a long time, so this was the perfect time to give it a try. For my colors I chose  "Activated Charcoal" for the black, and "Titanium Dioxide" for the white (both from Bramble Berry), and I used a pink called "Day Glo Pink" .  The soap is scented with "Pink Berry Mimosa" fragrance oil from Wholesale Supple Plus. I used a wavy divider that I had purchased quite a while back and wanted  to see how it would affect the  different colors I chose for each side of the mold, both sides will have the  tiger stripe. When cut the only difference that showed was that each side had different widths of the colored sections and the other side of the bar had just the opposite widths of colors than the other side. I think this wavy divider would actually be better suited for a horizontal cut of each soap bar (my next experiment), but since the challenge rules were to cut the bars vertical that is what I did.  I still like how they turned out and enjoyed experimenting.

 I love doing all the soap challenges and learning all the different techniques that I normally would not know how to do, or to do them differently. Thank you Amy Worden for sharing with all of us some pretty awesome ways to make soap.
Thanks for stopping by my blog and I would like to share some pictures of how I went about making this soap for the challenge.

Here are my colors and the added
wavy divider inserted.

Well here I go adding the colors, I really need to
get my lines a lot straighter! It looks like a real
curvy road.

Getting better with my lines being straight.
The mold is filled half way in this picture.


All done and swirled the top of the soap loaf.
I sure like this shade of pink.
A close up of the top of the soap in the mold.
Here you can see how the wavy divider made
the different widths of each side going down the mold.

And here we have the soap I am entering for the Tiger Stripe Challenge.
I am calling it "Pink meets Wild".


Saturday, October 15, 2016

October Soap Challenge "Wood Grain Soap"

This month's Soap Challenge offered by Amy Worden of Great Cakes Soapworks is "Wood Grain  Soaps".  Here are the guidelines for this month's challenge:

The goal of this challenge is to get our soap to look like a natural wood grain.  The textures, colors, and feel of a piece of wood can vary from tree to tree, and the look of the wood will also change depending on the finishes and stains, or paint that is used on it.
Here are the Guidelines:
1. Your soap must be made with cold process only featuring a wood grain technique. (The outer bark of the tree may also be part of your design, but the main focus should be the inside grain.)

2. You may use any type of mold, size, or shape for your soap.

3. You may submit your entry in ONE of the two categories: all-natural or synthetic. In order to enter your soap in the all-natural category, it must not contain any synthetic ingredients. No fragrance oils, micas, pigments, oxides (including zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) or dyes. A list of ingredients as you would list them on the label will be required for all entries in the all-natural category. These may be listed in the caption or blog post that you link to, not on the entry itself.

4. The photo you submit should have cut soap(s) from ONE batch only. Lighting and color adjustments may be made to best represent what the soap looks like in real life, but editing photos to alter the appearance of the soap is strictly prohibited.

I thought this challenge would be a breeze to complete, boy was I wrong. I decided I would like to make a soap that looked like weathered wood and started searching for images on Google for pictures and found some good examples and decided on these two images as my inspiration.


 I wanted to do a spin swirl to try and mimic the wood texture. The colors I chose are a grey mica, titanium dioxide for the  white, and a teal mica. I mixed 2 different fragrances from Bramble Berry, Woodland Elves and  Vetyver.  After getting my soap to a very light trace, I mixed my colors and put them into the bottles, I mixed a light grey and a darker gray and wanted just a small amount of the white and teal for part of the design. Everything went really well at first, the soap stayed very fluid for the pour, but when I actually started turning the mold back and forth to get the wood texture look a bunch of soap spilled out over the top of the mold, what a mess that was. Well I got that cleaned up and then I pressed a wood grain texture mat onto the top of the soap in the mold. Well there was a bunch of air bubbles under the mat and no matter what I tried I could not get most of them smoothed out. When I unmolded the soap the air holes looked awful so when the soap was hard enough to handle I used my soap beveller and shaved off  the top of the soap, I love how it showed the wood type texture when I shaved away the air bubble marks.
Staring to pour the different colors.

Finishing up the pouring of the colors.

Getting ready to spin the soap in the mold.

Cut Soap Bars

Cut Soap Bars

Cut Soap Bars

Take a peak at Amy's web page HERE

Saturday, September 17, 2016

September Soap Challenge "Piping Soap"

This month's Soap Challenge offered by Amy Worden of Great Cakes Soapworks is "Piping Soaps".  Here are the guidelines for this month's challenge:

1. Your soap is made with cold process only.
2. You MUST have at least one component of your piped soap that has more than one color in one bag.
3. The only embellishment allowed is glitter.

I wanted to use the "Russian Piping Tips" that I had ordered a few months previously so the timing for this challenge was perfect. I went on YouTube and  watched several video's of using the tips on real cupcakes (not soap cupcakes) and fell in love with the "Russian Ball Tips" so I ordered a set of those also from Amazon. I thought they would come relatively soon but as  the days kept ticking by and they did not arrive in the mail I was getting a bit nervous that I would not get the time needed to do the challenge and get pictures taken. Well they finally arrived on Sept. 14th so I started my project on Thursday, September 15th with fingers crossed that all would go well with the process, no time to give it a second go if they did not turn out.

The hard part is waiting for the soap batter for the piping to get hard enough to pipe onto the tops of the cupcakes and hold its shape without collapsing. I separated my batter for  2 different projects, one for some square bars of soap using the Rosebud Russian Tip, and then the cupcakes using the Ball Russian Tip that I had ordered on Amazon. On the rosebud tip my frosting was not set up enough and the petals did not stand up enough. I have never made leaves before and I definitely need a lot more practice on them. I waited until I finished with the cupcakes to pipe the leaves and by then the soap had set up quite a bit and did not flow out of the tip very well.

I wanted to make a rainbow frosting for the cupcakes and love how they turned out using the ball tip. As you are piping the frosting with this tip you are twisting your wrist back and forth and it creates the pretty ribbon look. When you lift off the tip it leaves the top with a hole and I used  the open star tip to fill that in, boy was it messy getting the soap out of the bag and into another bag even though I rolled up the original frosting soap in saran wrap. On the frosting YouTube video's I watched they made it look so easy, next time I will make a separate bag just for that part of the process and have it ready.  I have chosen to enter my rainbow cupcake soaps for the challenge, but will also post some pictures of my rosebud soap attempt.

 I learned so much from this challenge and fell in love with the Russian Tips. I want to practice more with them and thought maybe I should just make some frosting cupcakes for practicing with and could  give them to the grandkids to enjoy.  Thank you Amy and can't wait to see what the next challenges will be.
Rainbow colors all mixed.

Added colors onto the saran wrap, not to roll it
and put into the piping bag. 

Here are the cupcakes and the tips I used for the frosting.


Here are pictures of the Rosebud Soaps.

Tips used: Russian Rosebud & Leaf.