Saturday, March 31, 2012

Week 2 of  Great Cakes Soapworks weekly "Soap Challenge".  This week's challenge was to make a milk soap and I wanted to use a milk product that I have not soaped with before. I love milk soaps and have used goats milk that I get from a wonderful goat dairy close to where I live. I also make soap using just coconut milk, or combine the goats milk with coconut milk. Well this week I chose to make a soap using cream. The cream I purchased was an extra thick cream so I diluted it with just a little bit of milk. I weighed the cream out on the scale and froze it in a ziplock plastic bag and this is what I used to mix with my lye. I read several books on milk processing soaps using different milk products so I would not have any unexpected surprises. The book did warn that the cream would get extra thick when mixed with the lye and the book was right. I am glad I knew ahead that it would happen or I would have thought that something was wrong and not used it. I poured out some of the soap batter for the top layer and the swirl. I added Titanium Dioxide for a whiter soap color and did not add any fragrance. The fragrance I used for the bottom is called "Vanilla Select" and I knew it would turn the soap a very dark brown so I did not add any additional color to the soap for the bottom layer. I like how the soap turned out and want to share some of the steps on making it.

This is how thick my cream/lye mixture was before adding it to my oils.

This is the cream/lye mixture added to my oils before mixing.

Mixing in the cream/lye. Whew it looks normal now.


Swirling in the white soap base.

Soap in the mold after swirling.

Soap just out of the mold

Here are the soap bars cut,
notice the color they are just after cutting.

Here are the bars 3 days after cutting. Love the dark rich chocolate color.

Soap Challenge - Week One

Amy from GreatCakes Soapworks invited soap crafters from all over the world to a weekly "Soap Challenge". I put a lot of thought into the idea of accepting the challenge, and then I would talked myself out of doing it. I would think that it would be too hard, it would take too much time to do projects beyond my current abilities, it would be too stressful. Then I thought about how I would have more to gain from the experience, whether I was successful or not, than just sitting on the side lines admiring everyone else's great creations. And you know what, it is fun and feels so good just trying it, and I love any excuse that allows me to make some more soap.
The first weeks challenge was an "In the Pot Swirl" (in soaper's terminology ITP Swirl), using one or more colors than we had previously used doing this technique. For some doing this weeks challenge it could be the first time ever attempting an ITP swirl. I have made several batches of soap using this technique and enjoy doing it and love the results. On previous projects  I have used up to two colors, so for this challenge I chose 3 colors plus my main soap base. The colors I have chosen for this soap are neon colors: yellow, pink, and orange. I love how these colors turned out in the soap, they are very vibrant. The fragrance oil I used, Energy, is from Bramble Berry, all I can say is they smell WONDERFUL! We put the soaps in a dark room using a black light and boy did they glow in the dark. A real fun soap. Thank you Amy for the challenge and I look forward to next week's challenge. Check back for those results.