Saturday, May 26, 2012

Week 10 of the weekly "Soap Challenge".

This week's soap challenge was to make a "Landscape Soap". The first challenge for me in even doing this soap was to think of a landscape that I thought I would be capable of doing. I have been thinking about it for a couple of weeks as I knew I would need to do my embeds for this soap ahead of time, so I decided  to do a sunrise scene. I wanted the soap to look like a slice of the earth (like you see in gardening books showing your planting layers). The week before I made extra soap base so I could create the sun ahead of time.
For my colors I used a brown mica for the ground, green oxide for the grass, for the sky I used ultra marine blue and added a blue mica, for the clouds I added a white mica to the natural soap base. I scented the soap using a "Eucalyptus & Spearmint" fragrance oil. I was not sure how this fragrance would behave so I added some to each layer as I did them, instead of to the whole batch. When I sliced the soap on my cutter it was a bit hard to get through the sun part in the soap since it was made the week before and was quite a bit harder, but it did cut it without breaking the cutting wire.

This was a fun challenge and I would like to try this again and hopefully my imagination can come up with something with a lot more detail.
I will share some of the pictures of the process and the finished soap. I hope you will all go to Great Cakes Soapworks  and take a look at all the other great soaps made for this challenge.

Next week's challenge: Making soaps using natural ingredients.

Here is the tube I used to make the sun. I tried something new to plug the bottome of the pipe, I poured some heated melt & pour soap base in the small plastic container and while it was still melted I put the pipe in and let the soap base cool before I added my cp soap base. It worked really well and I did not have to worry about the bottom leaking, plus when I pushed my soap out of the tube I was pushing against the melt & our base and not the actual soap embed. 

Here is the sun out of the pipe mold. Now I will cut off the
melt & pour soap plug and it will be ready to embed into my soap.

The brown first layer poured.
Mixing the green next layer. 

Green layer added. I am making peaks on this layer hoping that it will look like grass standing upright. It did not look that tall after pouring on the sky color, I think I should have let it set up longer.

The blue is poured, added the sun and more clouds.

I added the remainder white soap base and swirled
the top to make it look like fluffy clouds. 

Here is the soap out of the mold. I lined my mold using
plastic and I don't like the wrinkles it created on the sides.
Note to self: take the time to line it with the normal
butcher paper. A silicone mold insert would be nice  :)

Soap bars cut.

I took the end cuts from the soap loaf and
made soap balls again to use as embeds.
I think they look like little world globes, what do you think?

Introducing "Rise n' Shine"

Todays Forecast - Sunny, Partially Cloudy with a  'Chance of Showers'.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Week 9 of the weekly "Soap Challenge".

This week's soap challenge was to make a "Peaked Soap". This is not a new technique for me and after watching the video Amy mentioned by Holly of Missouri River Soap, I decided to try Holly's method. The peaks on the video looked interesting and I would be able to attempt something completely different than my usual texture for the top of my soap.
For my swirl colorant I am using a Green Oxide. The fragrance I chose for this soap is "White Gardenia", I love this fragrance but in a previous batch it did trace fast (as a lot of floral scents seem to do when I use them), so I was mentally prepared to move fast if needed to get the soap into the mold. I chose to do the "room temperature" method of soaping. This method is to get all my oils heated and mixed together and my water/lye solution mixed the night before then when I soap the next day they are both at the same temperature (hence room temperature). Well to my surprise the soap behaved really well with the fragrance and I did not have a fast  trace. I was able to achieve a nice swirl, and the peaks worked out great for the top. This soap was so fun to make, besides smelling wonderful!

I will share some of the pictures of the process and the finished soap. I hope you will all go to Great Cakes Soapworks  and take a look at all the other great peaked soaps.

Next week's challenge: Landscape Soap. I have no idea what a "Landscape Soap" is and just the thought of trying to create a landscape soap seems very intimidating. Well I guess we will see what that is all about next week. Hope you come back and see what happens.

Swirl completed and ready for the top.

Starting the first row of the peaked top.

Row two and everything is going well.

Top Completed ~ Yahoo!!

Soap log out of the mold.

Cut Bars. I love how the swirl turned out.
I am hooked on swirled soap.

This shows the top peaks of the soap.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Week 7 of the weekly "Soap Challenge".

This week's soap challenge is to create a gradient colored soap. This technique is new to me and I am very excited to try my hand at it. The idea is to have your colors start out one color and gradually lighten or darken with each pour. Amy Warden from Great Cakes Soapworks shared a great video showing a good technique to accomplish this, starting with a darker color as the bottom pour and lighten the soap as you pour each layer.

I decided to use burgundy oxide for my base color and gradually lighten it for each additional pour. I fragranced this soap with  "Black Raspberry Vanilla". I love this fragrance and can't resist smelling it every time I go into the curing. I wanted to also try doing a color line between my color layer and my white top layer, for that I used cocoa powder, applied with a tea infuser strainer.

Basically the soaping process went very well, the recipe stayed fluid to get a good pour and the fragrance oil did not accelerate the trace. Did you notice that I said it "Basically" went well.......the first mishap was when I was dusting the cocoa powder on the last colored layer and was almost done when I lost my grip on the tea infuser strainer, and of course it had to plop right into the soap. Well I fixed that the best I could then sprinkled on more cocoa powder. OK, now onto cleaning the cocoa powder dust from the soap mold so there won't be any of the dust getting onto the sides of the white soap base for the top. With a damp paper towel I cleaned around all the edges and it was looking really good, then..... I dropped the paper towel right in the middle of the soap again, gurr. Fixed the soap again and sprinkled more cocoa powder onto the soap. Now for the white top color, that I spooned on gently so it would not mess up the cocoa powder line (after all I tried to mess it up twice and did not want any more mishaps). I am happy to say that went well, I had some pink left over and could not resist adding a swirl to the top (I really love swirls).

To me the burgundy color seemed too dark for the bottom layer and did not show much of a color difference in the next two pours, but then I could really notice the color differences in the remaining pours. I loved doing this technique and already have some other projects planned.

Here are some pictures of the process and the finished soap. Please go to this link: Great Cakes Soapworks. to see all the other beautiful soaps that everyone else has made. Next week's challenge: Salt Bars, please check back.

Mixing the color.

The final color being poured.

Starting to sprinkle on the cocoa powder line.

Left over soap color for the swirl.

The completed swirl...did I mention how much I love swirls?

Soap log out of the mold.

Soap log out of the mold....another view.

Cut bars, made soap balls with the ends for embeds.