Saturday, January 29, 2011

Waiting for lye...

No soaping this weekend.  I'm out of lye.  No lye, no soap.

I guess I could do some MP soap or make some balms...  Or just veg out...

My fingers are doing some internet shopping though.  Ordered some more Coconut oil.  Purchased more fragrance oils.  The path to soaping supply explosion is made up of 1 oz fragrance bottles!

I keep wanting to try treating my hair with coconut oil.  I hear coconut oil is great for hair.  Like a hot oil treatment.  Melt some in a bowl in the microwave, then finger through hair and let sit for some time. Wash out.  I'm curious.  Maybe I'll try that this weekend.

I was thinking of maybe trying out a soap "pie".  I would use only one of my round cake silicone pans, then pipe the top.  It would look more like a pie, cut it into wedges like pie slices.  Hmmm, maybe.

Oh I just saw this photo of a Dragonscale weave chainmail collar necklace at (click on this link).  God, look how it just drapes on the neck!  Sleek and bold.  For a 16 inch collar it takes over 3000 rings and a little less than a POUND of silver!  Weighty!!  I've made Dragonscale bracelets in the past and I love them!

These are my Dragonscale bracelets. This one is all sterling

This one has colored anodized niobium rings and sterling rings. 

The bracelets are weighty and bold.  Wow to have a whole collar!  It's gorgeous!  Hmmm....  maybe I need to get back to making jewelry. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cut soap mimosa and jasmine-honey

OK I cut up my Mimosa cake.  Looks great!!  I forgot to leave aside some natural color soap to pipe the top, so I just piped using the same orange color.  I cut them into rectangular slices, but I did do a couple as a wedge just to see; they are right angle wedges instead of the equilateral wedges that a round cake would give.  The layers stuck this time.  I did gel...

which brings me to the not so good news.  I totally forgot that Champagne FO has a flash point of 140s and the Orange Peel FO is probably even lower than that!  Citrous fragrances are notorious as faders.  I have been trialing using less fragrance for my soaps.  I have used Champagne in the past and used 1 oz per pound of oil (ppo) and it is really strong in the soap. I even gelled that one.  So I have been trying out 0.75oz ppo.  In this Mimosa soap I used 1/3 Champagne and 2/3 Orange Peel. 

Well, the cakes look fab, but the really juicy fizzy orange smell has faded.  It's still there, but when I compare it to the cupcakes and purse soap from yesterday that I did not force gel upon the fragrance is not as strong.  The Champange FO might have been strong enough to withstand gel, but there was less of it than the Orange Peel FO.   And I think much of the Orange Peel burned off during gel.  We'll see how the fragrance holds up as it cures.  Maybe this will be good for people who like light fragrance. 

And the experimental process continues.  Next time I do a cake I definitely will stick to this rectangular cake style rather than the round.  I like it.  This cake probably weighs 3.5 lbs.  My round cake weighed 7 lbs.  If I try this combo of Champagne and Orange Peel again I won't CPOP, so no gel.  I'm hoping that the layers will continue to stick together because the layers were matte and not smooth as glass like the round layers that came out of the round silicone mold.  I think also I will need to add a deeper orange color to the soap.  It's a peachy orange color and I think I want it a bit darker and more orange.


I also made a soap fragranced with Jasmine-Honey, which is similar to Lush's Flying Fox (so I've read).  I love how this turned out! Natural with a purple pencil line, green, then natural dolloped on top.

I love how sharp the line turned out.  I gelled this one too because of the pencil line. I have heard that if you do this (which is lightly sprinkle powder color on top of one color than pour the next color) you should gel  so that the layers stick.  Otherwise the layers could fall apart.  The layers could also fall apart if you sprinkle too much powder color.  But I think I did a good job.  The fragrance withstood the gel is strong at 0.75 oz ppo.  I also made a couple more flower soaps with bears (you can see in the background) with the extra soap.   I love those bear soap embeds.  They are so cute.  I love how they look on top of the flower molds.  Wouldn't those be great as a baby shower gift for the parents or as a favor from a baby shower or a baby's first birthday!  I'll have to make some more.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Yesterday's soaps unmolded and cut

I just unmolded and cut the Love Spell soaps.

I love how all the colors came out.  The embeds came out good as well.  Each slice has a heart and star in it, in whole or partial.  Depending on where it was cut in along the mold you can see a star, a heart a little bit of both, or nothing.  even the ones with nothing will reveal a heart or star as it gets used.  The extra bits of soap that I plopped into the flower mold came out cute as well.  The ducky is glow in the dark plastic.  Looks like it's floating on colored marshmallow fluff!  Same with the bear.  The bear is actually CP soap as well so all of that soap can be used.   The fragrance is sweet and fruity.  It's supposed to be a dupe of a Victoria's Secret fragrance I think.

I also unmolded the soap out of the purse silicone mold.  I wasn't sure if it was going to turn out.  There's a different flower design on each side.  It's got a lot of detail.  There are stitching lines in the design. 

And for perspective on the size of this cute soap:

I made my this particular recipe a really hard bar so maybe that's why it came out so well.  This is a really great mold, but it's pricey so I only have one.  That doesn't lend itself for production work in CP.  It's better suited for making MP soap, as MP can be unmolded much quicker than CP soap making. 

I'm just about ready to 'frost' the soap cake I made yesterday.  Here are the layers I'll be frosting.  Not very exciting right now.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I got to soaping today.  I wanted to try and use up my tallow.  I don't think I'll purchase more tallow.  I'll probably just stick with vegetable fats and oils.  But I had some tallow left.  I still have a small amount left.  I have some lard left over in the fridge as well.  I'll have to weight those out and make a batch that uses those up.  I have a small amount of palm kernel oil as well.  I also wanted to use up rice bran oil.  I used about 2 lbs, but still have about 1lb left.  Rice Bran Oil is supposed to be a good alternative to Olive Oil.  But I personally didn't notice a huge difference so I'll just stick with OO.  I'm trying to narrow down the oils and butters that I have lying around.  I'm trying to simplify!


I wanted to make another soap cake.  But this time it won't be a round cake, more like a rectangular log cake.  So I poured 1 inch into 2 of my loaf molds.  Tomorrow I'll unmold them and "frost" them.  I mixed Orange Peel FO and Champagne FO.  So they will be Mimosa cakes.  I had a little extra today so I made a couple of cupcakes. 

I also used Love Spell FO to make another soap loaf.  I divided the batter into 6 and mixed them with 6 mica colors which I plopped into the mold a little at a time.  I also embedded white hearts and stars.  I'm really excited to see what this soap will look like when I cut it! 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Soaps from Hawaii!

I just got back from a trip to Hawaii, Maui and Kauai to be exact!  A little rainy, actually while we were in the pool one evening during a light rain, KA-BAM, freakishly heavy rain and lightening and thunder!!  But still a warm winter in the high 70s and 80s.  Very nice.  Not too many places were you can wear shorts and a tank at 8am in the winter morning. 

Anyway,  I purchased some handmade soaps while I was there.  WHY?  Why would I purchase handmade soap when I can make it myself?!?  Why not!  I like to try out others peoples' soaps.  Sometimes I'm attracted by the fragrance, the color, or the packaging. 

1. Indigenous Soap - purchased at Oceanology Whalers Museum in the Whalers Village Lahaina, Maui  [a small but really interesting and free museum about whaling in Hawaii]

I got it because I liked the packaging and it was the first soap that I saw that wasn't melt and pour and one that I hadn't seen in multiple touristy places.  Although now that I look at her website she's in multiple stores mostly in Oahu.

2. Surfing Goat Dairy - Maui up-country
Lavender and Papaya

This is a great dairy.  You can watch them milk the goats.  They have some yummy goat cheese and there were so many cute goat kids running around in a pen. 

3. Island Soap and Candle Works
Hawaiian Sea, Relaxation Bar, Mandarin Lemongrass, Orange Passion, Anise Poppy Seed

I wanted to go to their stores because they make the soap right there in the store.  Their racks look so cool with all of their soaps curing.  I watched them mixing up a batch of soap.  They had an electric hand drill mocked up over a pot to do the stirring  They seemed to be stirring their batch for a long time, long enough for the soap maker to go to the coffee shop next door and get some coffee.   Mine would have come to trace long before theirs.  But then again my batches are considerably smaller and they are probably doing room temp oils and lye water.  I usually have a hard time waiting for my oils and lye water to cool down to room temp.  Or maybe the combination of oils they use is really slow to trace. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Soap Cake - 4 weeks later!

So, here's how the soap cake slices look 4 weeks later.  Yup, the cake has darkened.  The frosting has retained most of it's lavender color.  Yay!

Here's a comparison from the fresh soap to the 4 week old cured soap.  Fresh is on the left and now is on the right.
(my lavender nails match!)

It has darkened quite a bit. Looks more like a chocolate cake rather than some kind of light mocha vanilla cake.  I wasn't sure how to package these slices.  They are huge soap bars,  I tried cellophane, but it didn't work, so i went and purchased clear bags and tied it with a ribbon.  If I had a lavender ribbon I would have used that, but light blue was the closest in color and size that I could come up with at the time.  I think it looks good.

I don't think I'll do this size of a soap cake again, unless it was a special request.  It's just too HUGE for me to do for myself.  If I do a cake a gain I'll just use my log mold and make a rectangular log-style soap the next time. 

Soap Meringues!

Soap meringues!  I saw someone do this on You Tube and thought it was so very cute, so I thought I'd do it too.  They are pretty much smaller versions of just the tops of soap cupcakes.

And here's some perspective:

These are pretty much guest soap size, but how cute of a guest soap!  It's like a dollop of whipped cream!