Soap Embed Challenge

February 18, 2014

If you know me at all you know I LOVE embeds.  Probably half the soaps I make include embeds.  They’re a lot of work, but there’s just something about the finish soaps that I LOVE!  And so I continue to use embeds.  I’ve been playing around with a new technique:Dusting Embeds.  I’m having so much fun with it.  I didn’t just make one soap for this challenge. I made a bunch.  Here are some of the soaps I made over the past two weeks:

Berry Mimosa: This soap came about because I was dying to make a soap that was gray, black, and pink.  I simply split the batch and colored one half gray and the other black and then dusted the pink embeds in white and embedded those in the middle to separate the layers.  Simple but I really like it.

berry mimosa2

Passionfruit Nectarine: This one I was experimenting with my “Micro Mica Veins” technique.  I do like the simplicity of this design.

passionfruit3

Yuzu & Grapefruit: This one was a result of having left over hearts from some other batches.  I was playing about with them and discovered that they looked cool stacked on top of each other and I just embedded them in a simple white base to make the hearts stand out.

yuzu1

Pink Sangria: All I did here was make a partial loaf of black and white. Then I sliced them into thin strips, made a new batch and embedded the strips into it.  I actually really like how it turned out!

pink sangria3

pink sangria1

This one isn’t part of the challenge since it’s got MP embeds in it, but it’s a new soap I’ve made and it’s got embeds so I’m posting pics :)

Margarita Lime: I used both CP and MP embeds in this soap.  I was trying to make it remind you of the drink with the MP ice cube look on top and the salt.  I wanted a contrast between all the green in the soap so I used brown embeds that I dusted in a dark green. I do like how the soap turned out, but I wish I’d made the brown embeds smaller.

margarita lime9


Holly Swirl Challenge

August 15, 2013

So this month’s attempt turned out much better than last months…but it still had it’s problems.  Mainly me not thinking :-P.  I wanted to swirl blue and yellow…the problem with that was when you mix blue and yellow you get green!  So the color theme didn’t quite end up how I wanted.  That said I still think it’s a pretty neat looking soap.

blue-yellow swirl

I also tried a modified version of the challenge.  I embedded a heart on the bottom and then poured a swirled soap into that (and didn’t do a top layer).  I really liked that soap.

Bamboo (21)

Two new soaps!  It was fun and I’ll use this technique again for sure!

holly swirl 2


Mantra Swirl (sort of…)

July 10, 2013

I’ve done the mantra swirl before. I’m not a big fan of it simply because of the set up of having three dividers…  I know I find three dividers more work than embeds :D  …what can I say.  This time I restocked on my Berrywine & Mint.  I did two colors in berrywine and one color in mint…the berrywine set up fast and the mint stayed liquid as liquid can be.  This is not a good combination for creating a mantra swirl!

The colors are pretty and it smells good! But it’s not really what I’d call a mantra swirl.

(Sorry for the not great pics.  Had to take them at night.  Life is crazy and I barely have time to keep up with blog posts these days!)

pic1

pic2

pic3

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Soap Challenge #4: Leopard Spots

April 27, 2013

I tried two different batches of this soap.  Neither one was really a success, but I learned what to do for next time I try this technique.

The first batch I did was Berrywine & Moroccan Mint.  The fragrance is awesome.  I did the body of the soap in berrywine and the spots in mint.  The problem was (even with a relatively slow moving berrywine) the mint would not thicken! I didn’t matter how much I stick blended.  So as you can see in the pics the white section just flatten out as I tried to carefully cover the spots.  It’s actually a cool looking soap.  I do like it…it’s just not what I was going for.

berrywine (6)

I dusted the top of this soap with merlot mica (which is what I used to color the base).  I like the effect.

berrywine (9)

Attempt two: Clove bud and orange. I needed to restock on this.  It’s from my standard essential oil line. I wanted to use colors that were a bit more fun, but had to stick with natural colorants.  I’m surprised the center spot isn’t darker. I did mix it with the white, but it’s got clove bud and orange EO in it! Those two are dark and always discolor!  This one I did get “spots” but I think they’re not thick enough.  They look more like two-toned clouds floating in my soap than spots!

clove-orange (1)

I love these challenges. They force me to try new things or come up with new variations on techniques I use. It’s like exercising the mind and my creativity! I hope we get more in the future!


Go check out Bramble Berry’s Challenge!

June 11, 2012

I can’t say no to a challenge…especially when it involves soap!  Amy’s soap challenges just finished for the summer and I was having withdrawals…well I wasn’t…not quite yet.  I’ve been flat out too busy wit markets, fairs and restocks, but trust me it would have hit me the instant I had two minutes to sit and think! :)

Now Bramble Berry (a.k.a Soap Queen) is having a series of challenges too. The first one is MP Layers.  And I have an idea! I have to actually custom make a mold for it! So that will be the first challenge.  Go check it out and come join in the fun!  You know you want to!

Find the challenge here: Melt and Pour Layers


Soap Challenge #11: Natural Ingredients

June 2, 2012

Last challenge!  I think I might have withdrawals next week when I have nothing new to try!  Anyway, for this challenge I wanted to use seaweed powder…I still plan to make a batch using it, but it didn’t happen for this challenge.  I just ran out of time to get to it by the time it arrive (Thursday later afternoon) here.

What I did do was another sort of landscape soap. I know I’m slightly obsessed.  Actually this one I saw someone else had created a beach scape and I loved it.  It was gorgeous!  I’ve had this fragrance Pineapple-Cilantro for a couple weeks that I’ve wanted to use in a soap but couldn’t come up with a design for the loaf.  When I saw the beach it just screamed perfect fit.  Oh man the soap smells AMAZING and looks pretty cool too.

Okay, on to the natural ingredients.  I used tussah silk in the batch.  Can’t wait to see how this changed the properties of the bar!  And then I experimented with Apricot kernel powder and strawberry seeds to make the sandy beach.  I have to say I was really pleased with the effect.  Wasn’t sure how it would come out but it looks like sand to me!

So, now I have a silky bar that part of it will also act as an exfoliant.  I’m cool with that :)


Soap Challenge #10: Landscape Soap

May 26, 2012

 

I had fun with these!  The first idea I had was to do a moon scape.  I made my moon (loved how it came out).  Then I wanted to use the gradient technique again.  I used a blue/periwinkle and a gray.  The gray overtook the blue (you can kind of see the gradient). If I do this again I’ll definitely cut down the gray and increase the periwinkle.  I think it will make a pretty soap!

Moon Scape

If you look you can see the gradient in the soap, but it’s not obvious.

This was take two.  I used a much lighter gray.  I’m not sure what I think.  Naturally I’m drawn toward the darker one, but I like this one too.  It just has a completely different feel to it.  More like dusk than deep night I guess.

There still isn’t the gradient I want between the blue and the gray…seems you get one then it just goes to the other, but overall still cool.

Version #2 of my Moonscape

Then I tried a sunset.  For the ocean I made a swirl between two very similar blues.  I like how it came out.  Some subtle contrast and just makes the sea look more realistic to me.  Then the sun sunk a little below the horizon line *sigh*  I probably should have poured it in separate batches.  I tried to wait for the soap to set up enough but the sun was just a little too heavy.

Next I tried to gradient from red to orange (or coral).  It worked, but again it’s much more subtle.  The orange overtook the red.  Overall I still really like this soap!

Relaxing calm evening :) Fresh Bamboo FO.

Wished I’d gotten a straight horizon…but overall it’s still cool.

Just another view :D

And here’s take two.  The soap (sunset part) got hard and didn’t cut as smoothly in the wire cutter (the blue and sun did fine) but the gradient I think worked a little better.  It’s a little pale right now the orange but it’s been slowly getting darker.

Take Two: Slightly better that the first version…


Soap Challenge #9: Peaked Tops

May 19, 2012

I’m back.  Yes I sat out last week.  I’ve made salt bars before and I’m just not a fan of them so I spent the week working on restocks I need of other soaps.

Now on to this week’s challenge!  Oh my word!  May I just say my soap was being difficult this week.  Every batch I made refused to get thick.  I finally got my Black-Raspberry & Vanilla batch to get thick enough for me to do some small peaked tops (note key word is “small” here).

The soap just wasn’t thick enough for it to hold the peaks.

I still like how this soap came out, even if the peaks aren’t prominent.

Probably one of the best bars of the entire batch (peak wise).

As you can see in the pictures I also layered this soap and embedded hearts in the top later…that made doing the peaks a bit more difficult too.  Overall I think it’s a cute soap and I’ll definitely keep the technique in mind for future batches.

Black Raspberry Vanilla :)


Soap Swap

May 11, 2012

I received my soaps yesterday from the soap swap I participated in through Amy’s Challenges (over on Great Cake Soapworks).  It’s so fun getting someone else’s soap creations!  Check out these awesome soaps!

Pumpkin Spice Soap! I ADORE pumpkin and can’t wait to try this one out!

The back of the soap. Such a pretty stamp!

This was her coconut milk soap. I love the scene that mix of land, night sky and a totally cool moon!

This is the back side. Smells really good! Can’t wait to try this soap tonight!

And then I got another surprise bar!  Her sister-in-law was participating in the swap too and she gave me one of her bars!  How sweet was that!

Isn’t the packaging cute!

Mmmm…this reminds me of slice of fudge :D

Thank you Kate!  It was fun to swap with you!


Soap Challenge #5: Essential Oil/Fragrance Oil Blends

April 21, 2012

I do not blend essential oils well—mainly because I have a picky nose. There are a lot of scents that I just don’t like and even more that I’m allergic too. I rarely use flower scents because most of them make me sick. And essential oils I find hard because they’re plant based and I tend to have the same problems as with flower fragrance oils. Some essentials oils all I need is a whiff of them to make me sick for the rest of the day. It makes creating essential oil blends hard. I do best with the fruit and spice scents so I tried to create a combination with those.

Awhile back I’d read the description of cassia essential oil and it intrigued me, so I bought a 3oz bottle of it.

Aromatic Scent: Cassia Essential Oil has a pungent, warm scent. Cassia contains 1% to 2% volatile oil (cassia oil), which is mainly responsible for the spicy aroma.

It didn’t smell like what I’d expect. It was much stronger than I’d expected (even though it’s said to be have a strong strength). And it didn’t have the spicy aroma I was expecting…maybe it does to others but I just don’t smell it. I started my blend of with this keeping in mind the follow characteristics cassia had:

Note: Top

Strength of Aroma: Strong

Blends well with: Benzoin, Clove Bud, Coriander, Cardamom, Frankincense, Ginger, Grapefruit, Lavender, Rosemary and Thyme.

I came up with the following essential oil blend for a 5lb batch of soap:

Cassia – 7/8 oz
Clove Bud – 7/8 oz
Ginger – 3/8 oz
Grapefruit – 1 oz
Lemon – ¼ oz

I’ve tried a variety of methods for creating blends and found that none of them ever help me really come up with a good ratio so I just kind of blend as I go now. I added an equal amount of clove bud in hopes that some of the spiciness I was initially expecting came through. The grapefruit and lemon I added to give it some fruit undertones.

I used this blend in a garden soap with pumice. I think it’ll work well for cleaning dirty garden hands as well as leaving a scent behind on the hands. Despite my blend the soap still just smells like cassia to me. Which isn’t a bad thing, but not what I was going for.

Since I was using an essential oil blend I stuck to natural colors. A very earthy feeling soap. It matches the fragrance and I think works fine for a hand soap.


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