Piping Challenge

September 16, 2016

I started this challenge with the idea to do a flower scene. Then I read the “rules” for entering and I realized my idea wouldn’t meet those requirements.  Bummed I played around with some random piping of flowers, but I was uninspired and didn’t like what I was doing. And may I mention I REALLY REALLY REALLY dislike piping flowers.  I don’t know what it is about them, but they’re not fun for me. Yes, they’re pretty and people like them, but it’s like having a tooth pulled for me–NOT FUN!

purpleflowers

purpleflowers2

whiteflowers3

I was almost ready to call it quits and just say forget about it, when I remembered years and years ago I did some mini soaps of Oscar and Cookie Monster.  Remaking those as large versions appealed to me and I was re-inspired to making something.  What follows is the process it took to make these.  Way too much work and not something I plan to make more of, but for the challenge they were fun.

*UPDATE* I still couldn’t entered my character soaps. When entering I realized it also said “no embellishments” so that takes my character soaps out of the running. Don’t know where my brain’s been lately!

Since I was making a “face” I needed to pre-make several pieces: eyes, mouth, and cookies.  I did these by pouring soap into a circle mold, unmolding, and then slicing them in thin pieces and then cutting those pieces in half (for the cookies and mouths).

step1

step2

Next I made the base of the characters.  Gray for Oscar (since he is sitting in his garbage can) and brown for Cookie Monster (because I didn’t want an all blue soap).  I filled the base only half way (I used two different cupcake molds because I like the different effects for each character).  Then I piped their bodies.

step3

step4

I used tip 233 to make their “fur” or body.  Because we had to use at least two tones in one element of piping I did two different color greens for Oscar, which I love how they turned out.  And two different blues (light and a dark) for Cookie, but the blues kind of melded together and there’s not a lot of distinction between them. I was a little bummed over that, but they still look cute.

After piping their tops I then embedded the eyes, mouth, and cookies.

step5

step6

step7

From there I had to pipe the eye balls on the white eye pieces.  I used tip 10.  I also had to pipe the eye brows for Oscar.  I used tip 16.  Lastly I had to pipe the “tongue” on to Oscar’s mouth.  I used tip 3 for that.

Overall I really like them.  They’re cute.  They’re different.  But best of all they’re not flowers😉.

cookie1

oscar1

pair2

I had had some left over soap from another batch of embeds I was making and so I just poured it into some round mold cavities I had.  I didn’t know what to do with them.  I had leftover soap better for Oscar and Cookie and I was like I’ll pipe the rest on top of the extra round soaps.  I liked it. More so than the cupcake ones.  If I ever do anything like this again I’ll probably use that as a base as opposed to cupcake holders.

cookie_whitebase

oscar_whitebase

And a bonus: Mummies!  I had left over soap again from a different batch and I knew I was going to be piping for the challenge so I made black bases, know I could turn them into mummies.  It’s made me really tempted to make other Halloween faces now like pumpkins, monsters, and whatever else I can think up!

 

mummy

And there you have it: my piped soaps.


Fall Soaps: Loganberry & Sage

September 15, 2016

Pulled out my raspberry/blackberry molds for this one.  This year I was big into contrasting colors.  I new I wanted green, but I needed something bold too.  I went with a purple/pink color that definitely makes a pop!

Lebermuth describes the fragrance as:

Berries complimented with a sprinkle of fresh sage for a whole new berry blend.

This one I used dusted embeds again.  I used the purple to coat green embeds and embeded them in a white portion of soap.  Then I embeded berries on top and pipped little leaves on each berry.  So much work…but worth it.  I was really happy with this soap.

loganberry2

loganberry3

loganberry-sage


Fall Soaps: Rice Milk

September 8, 2016

This is a flower scent.  Probably not what most people will expect from the name of the fragrance. I went with it because other soapers at the conference really loved it.  I can’t be trusted when it comes to floral scents because I dislike most.

Here’s how Lebermuth describes it:

Soft, sheer milky floral fragrance.

I think that’s about as accurate a description as you’ll get.  It’s unlike many other scents I’ve smelled before and I think overall it will appeal to the flower liking crowd.

I wanted blue for this soap.  I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it as I knew the fragrance would discolor (just wasn’t sure how much).  I worked the design to be a deep blue/gold/white theme (hoping to work with the fragrance if it did discolor too much.  A lot of work to make, but I’m happy with how it turned out. Here are some behind the scene photos!

ricemilk4

Unscented white soap, chopped up into tiny cubes.

ricemilk3

Embeds where then dusted in Gold Mica.

ricemilk2

I did a dark blue bottom layer then added the dusted embeds on top of them. From there I’d pour the second layer (a lighter blue).

ricemilk1

To finish it off a gold mica swirl on top (to pull everything together.

rice-milk


Fall Soaps

September 7, 2016

It’s that time again: Fall Soaps are here!  What did I make this year?

Some classics are returning:

  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Turkish Mocha
  • Almond Biscotti
  • Applejack Peel

And some new ones of course were added:

  • Cinnamon & Hazelnut Coffee
  • Plum Spice
  • Hawaiian Jasmine
  • Cranberry Fig
  • Autumn Woods
  • Rice Milk
  • Loganberry & Sage
  • Oatmeal Stout
  • Pumpkin Lager

I can tell you right now I was disappoint with my Cinnamon & Hazelnut, Hawaiian Jasmine, and Autumn Woods soaps.  They totally didn’t work how I wanted them to.  And that frustrates me.  I’m not even bothering with special posts for them!  You can see all the (not so glorious) creations here:

Autumn Woods

autumnwoods

 

Hawaiian Jasmine

jasmine1Cinnamon & Hazelnut Coffee

coffee


Black Currant Vanilla

June 15, 2016

Do you like the black raspberry vanilla scent?  If you do you’ll probably like this one.  I call it the tangier-tarter version of raspberry vanilla.  It’s got that sweet undertone, but there’s a bit of a kick to it.  I really like it.  I was surprised HOW much I liked it.

This soap did NOT go as planned when I was making it.  It was supposed to be mostly white with purple and gray swirls in it.  Well when I added the fragrance the soap go super thin and when I tried to swirl it everything kind of mixed together and I got this purplish-grayish (distinctly lacking white) soap.  I mean it’s still pretty, but I KNEW what I was going for and this was not it!

blackcurrantvanilla

Available on my webpage!


Apricot & Peaches

June 11, 2016

The goal of this soap was to get embedded cubes (of different oranges) in a light orange base soap.  I made plenty of embeds, but when I cut the soap I missed most of them! (The pictured one has the best bare of the bunch for actually hitting the embeds!)  So as you use the soap you’ll see different colors emerging.  The smell is nice and light and sweet and fruity.  It’s a perfect summer blend. I put one aside for me already!

peaches-apricot

Available on my webpage!

PS: A little side note – I meant to have an apricot in the picture too, but somehow (despite having a list) I walked out of the food store without an apricot!)


Embedded Heart Tutorial

April 14, 2016

I first made this soap in 2012 and it’s been a favorite of my customers (and myself) ever sense.  It’s a pretty easy soap design (just takes a bit more time than a typical batch of soap to make).

For the sake of this tutorial we’ll do a 2.5 lb batch of soap.  You can scale this up to a 5lb or 10lb if you want.

Recipe

Oil(s) Selected   –  2.5lb Batch
Castor Oil  – 1.40 oz
Avocado Oil  –  1.40 oz
Coconut Oil (76 Degrees) – 5.60 oz
Olive Oil  – 9.80 oz
Palm Oil  – 5.60 oz
Cocoa Butter –  4.20 oz
4% Lye Amount   –  3.90 oz
Water  – 8.25 oz
Yields –  41 oz

Additional Supplies

  • Heart Embed Mold
  • Loaf Mold
  • Colors (3)
  • Fragrance/Essential Oil

DAY 1

Since this design is using embeds it will be a two day process to make this batch of soap.  We first need to make the embeds, let them harden over the next 24 hrs, and then make a second batch of soap.

I get my heart molds from Bramble Berry, but any heart mold you have will work.  Each mold holds approximately 4.5oz of soap.

  • 2.5lb Batch – you’ll need 1 heart mold
  • 5lb Batch – you’ll need 2 heart molds
  • 10lb Batch – you’ll need 3 heart molds

For such a small amount of soap (4.5oz) I recommend just taking it from another batch of soap that you’re making.  Or, as I do, I plan out all the different embeds I want to use for a series of soaps and make a batch and separate it up to make the required embeds.  That allows me to get my embeds done all in one day.

I typically use white for my hearts and then two contrasting colors for the layers.  Because the heart is such a small amount of the overall soap in the finish bar I don’t usually add a fragrance to my heart.  This ensures that I also get a pure white heart because the fragrance can’t mess with the color.

Let your heart harden for 24 hours and then unmold.

1 embeds

DAY 2

Now we’ll begin the actual batch of soap.

Step 1

Make your batch of soap.  You make use the recipe above or your own recipe.  Once your oils are melted and cooled and your lye solution is ready mix them together to reach a light trace.

Step 2

Separate out 12oz of soap and set aside. This is going to be the top part of our soap.

Step 3

In the remaining mixture in your pot add the color you want to use for the base. Mix well.

2-firstlayer

Step 4

Add your fragrance to the base mixture.  Once it’s thorough incorporated pour the base into the mold.

Note: I add the fragrance to each portion separately.  I need the base to set up—to hold the heart embed—but I need the top to be fluid enough to pour over the base.  Some fragrances can speed up trace too. I want to avoid that for my top layer.  By waiting to add the fragrance it just ensures I have more time to create my design without problems.

Step 5

Once the base has harden up enough to hold the embed(s) gently place it in the mold/soap.

4 embed heart

5 embed

Step 6

Add the color to the top part of your soap. Once thoroughly mixed in add your fragrance.  Gently pour over the heart.  If you pour over the heart then the soap with spread out over the rest of the mold and you can minimize break throughs of the base layer and hence keep and nice clean line.

3 top layer mixing

6 pour top layer

Step 7 (Optional)

Add a mice swirl top.  Premix 1 teaspoon of mica with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil.  Using a dropper/pipette drizzle the mixture over the top of the soap.  Then using a toothpick of skewer makes circle/swirls through the mica lines. (Do not mist top with alcohol.  It was cause the swirls to run.)

8 mica top step 1

9mica top step 2

Note on Colors: I find contrasting colors for the heart and base/top work best, but you can do any sort of combination you desire.

These are some of my finished soap designs I’ve used with the Embedded Heart Technique.

Army Heart

pink heart

raspberry_vanilla (7)

Spiced_cranberry (9)

apple_orchard (11)

black amber lavender

cherry almond1

blackberry sage 1

santa

Then you can take this technique and do a number of variations on it!

pumpkinspice

soap black currant pomegranate

yuzu3passionfruit4

strawberry1

Bamboo (10)

As you can see, I’ve had a lot of fun with this technique over the years!