Sunday, October 24, 2010

Soap fairies, gremlins at my house today!

Soap fairies and gremlins visit soap makers and make a nuisance of themselves.  They make things so wrong, they distract you and throw monkey wrenches into the process.  They don't do anything serious, but they sure do make a nuisance!
Well, the soap fairies and gremlins were in full force at my house today.  I made 4 one pound batches today.  All the same recipe, but different fragrances.    I was trying out 4 new fragrances from a different supplier. 
1. Kai – a nice refreshing tropical floral
2. Toffee Sugar Crunch – a dupe of Lush's Honey I Washed the Kids – a light sweet honey floral
3. Invigorating – a refreshing Lemongrass, citrus floral
4. Kazi Kazi – a dupe of Lush's Karma – spicy patchouli citrus
Toffee Sugar Crush and Kazi Kazi worked out just fine.  No weird discoloration to acceleration.  Well, actually, a purple colorant that I used for Toffee Sugar Crush turned pink instead, but that was minor.
Kai and Invigorating had issues.  As soon as I put Kai fragrance oil into the batch the batter SEIZED!  Everything just hardened up and I had soap on a stick (it hardened around the spatula).  No time to color, I had to grab the slow cooker and throw the batch in and do Hot Process (HP).  Invigorating fo discolored to a honey color as soon as it hit the batter.  I had added Titanium Dioxide a white colorant in my hopes of getting a whiter bar, I was going to use a snowflake mold.  Anyway the batch turned a peachy tan color despite the white colorant.  Then the batter started to seize.  I debated, should I just try and push the seized batter into the molds?  I did at first, then later once I had cleaned the slow cooker to just throw it in and HP it.  I'm not the biggest fan of HP.  You get really rustic looking soap, which is fine, but I like the smooth pour of Cold Process. 
Then to make matters worse, the plastic handle to my spatula snapped apart, right in the middle of making the 2nd batch.  So I had to make the remaining batches using a spatula with a short stubby broken handle.  Then when I was cleaning the slow cooker (which is a really old one I got handed down from mom) one of the three feet on the bottom broke off!!  So it's all wonkey.  I guess I could glue it back on with silicone or something, but man, why does it all happen all at once?!
I guess it could have been worse.  I didn't dump an entire batch onto the floor or onto myself.  I didn't have any lye burns or anything like that.  But still not what I expected to happen at all today.  I still have Invigorating cooking in the slow cooker, and the other batches are put away, to be unmolded and cut tomorrow. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Discoloration update

Yeah, so my most recent cupcakes are now a light to medium brown on the bottom and the tops are kind of a dusty brown orange color.  They used to be a sunny yellow on the bottom and pink on top.  I looked at my fragrance oils a little closer.  Sparkling Grapefruit FO has no vanillin content so shouldn't discolor.  Litsea cubeba EO shouldn't discolor.  Strawberry Jam FO…  Ah hah!  There's the vanillin content.  I added a little bit of Strawberry Jam to “sweeten” the overall fragrance because the grapefruit and litsea cubeba are so tart.  Should have looked a little closer.  The cupcakes are still super cute, but they aren't what I was expecting.  Anway… next time I have to pay more attention.
The Peppermint Cocoa base confetti soap has darkened even more to a dark chocolate color. 
A couple of weekends ago I went to Oakland's TKB Trading Big Pour Warehouse sale.  That was great!  They had their micas on sale, Melt & Pour soap base from SFIC, and many base oils and butters.  I'm small time so I didn't buy too much, but what a great sale. Their sampler micas are usually $1.50, they were $1, I got several. Their micas are good for soaps, makeup, etc. I got more glow-in-the-dark powder.  The glow in the dark M&P soaps are so much fun! I got some M&P soap base.  It's great because I would never be able to purchase directly from SFIC because their minimums are so large.  I also got some base oils/butters. There was no shipping to pay for.  I had a good time!

Friday, October 8, 2010

More soapies

I took a bunch of my soap trimmings and scraps and made confetti soap.  This time I used Peppermint Cocoa fragrance oil.  It discolored the soap into a dark chocolate color.  It made an interestingly dark background for all of the embeds.

I also made some soap cupcakes.  I was able to pipe the topping.  The sparkling grapefruit/strawberry jam/litsea cubeba cupcake on the left was a lemon yellow bottom and a pink on top, but it has discolored so that the bottom is tan and the top is orangey.  The spearming eucalyptus cupcake stayed true to color.  Pale white-green on the bottom and light mint top.  Both cupcakes have jojoba bead 'sprinkles' and cosmetic glitter.  The stars are other soaps from before that I had molded and cut up.

I loved piping the tops.  I'll definitely need to make soap cupcakes again.