The Making of Safari Themed Soap Favors

November 22, 2016

First, let me say I am INSANE.  There is no other word to describe me trying to create animal favors during crazy show season when I don’t have time to do anything but constantly restock for my business.

I was told to just get the rubber safari ducks and embed them in a soap base and use those as favors.  They would have been cute and worked, but they just weren’t what I imagined.  So…out came the notepad as I started to brainstorm and sketch some ideas.

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This image was my inspiration. (I looked at so many safari themed cupcakes in trying to figure out how to make these soaps).

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I would normally make all the embeds first and then make the bases, but I was super short on time and I knew if they were going to have enough time to cure before the party I needed to make them asap.  So I made the bases and then started figuring out the embed pieces I’d need.  Eyes…ears…whiskers…faces…noses…mouths…oh my word! There were a million little different pieces I needed for each different animal.

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These were the bases that I was gonna have to attach a million tiny pieces to…

Once I figured that out there was then the challenge of cutting them all out. I needed an oval cookie cutter that I didn’t have.  So I sacrificed a piping tip and shaped it into an oval.  It worked in my hour of need, but piping tips don’t make good cookie cutters.

Piping tips as a cookie cutter...the brain figures out how to make it all work ha!

Piping tips as a cookie cutter…the brain figures out how to make it all work ha!

All those tiny circles?  Those are the other end of the misshapen piping tip.  Again, not a great cookie cutter ha, but it worked.

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Once the circle were cut I started playing around and realized I could imprint a circle into them and then fill them with a “wet” mica to add extra color.  I also used a skewer dipped in wet mica to make the whiskers marks on the tiger.  THE-MOST-ANNOYING-THING-EVER.  I was ready to pull my hair out.

Was it worth it? Yes.  The added extra touch just makes the soaps, but OYE!!

Because I didn’t make the embeds first I had to “embed” them onto already hard soap.  Which meant an extra step of putting wet soap on one side and then putting it on the hard soap.  Could have saved myself time if the embeds had been done before, but I didn’t know what I was going to need and I was in a crunch for time so the bases had to get done before everything else.

The final step was the piping.  Oh so much piping.

Giraffe: I had to pipe the spots and horns on him.  I love him. He’s so so so stinking cute!

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Lion: Piping his mane turned out so much better than I thought it would.  When all the pieces came together I was in love with him too.  The stringy mane/hair just totally did it for me😉.

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So many different stages to piping the lions. I still had the eyes and mouth left to do once I got to this point. Have I mentioned these were an incredible amount of work?

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Tiger: If I ever do these again I need to find a better way to do the stripes.  It was tedious to do these and it’s not as clean looking as I wanted, but it was the best I could do with what I had.  They’re still cute.

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Gorilla (which was supposed to be a monkey):  There was somr major improvising that went on with these when I started to pipe them.  What I wanted to do wasn’t happening and on the fly I just said…let’s try this and it worked.  I really do think these are cute.  Disaster averted!

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Zebra: The first couple I did were really bad.  It took a while to get the hang of these.  Piping straight or curved lines that need to come out steady and even is a hard hard thing to do.  They’re not bad looking. Not perfect and a few things I’d change next time, but I love them. I especially love the ears.  I happened to have the perfect mini cookie cutter to use as ears and the little pink in them just makes them stand out.

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And there you have it.  My absolute madness…and all this during prime busy season for me when I barely have two minutes for anything outside of the business.

The final soaps:

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gorilla

lion3

tiger

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Cedar & Balsam

November 17, 2016

I changed up the design for Cedar and Balsam this year.  I just was 1) sick of making cubes and 2) frustrated with the extra cure time this soap always needed (for whatever reason it always was extra soft).  And the design had gotten boring to me after three years of using it.  So this year I went to my tree mold and used those to embed in a swirl of different greens/grays.

The first batch didn’t turn out quite as I wanted.  There wasn’t enough of a distinction between the tree green and the batch green.  The second batch I dusted the trees in a black mica and that gave it the distinction I was looking for and I like them much better.

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Reindeer Poo

November 7, 2016

I didn’t do many new winter soaps this year.  I have so many classics that everyone looks for that I do those and that doesn’t leave me room for doing many new ones.  I did work a few in though.  The first of these, and the one that cracks me up most is “Reindeer Poo”.

Fragrance Description:

Reindeer Poo begins with top notes of apples and pears; followed by middle notes of eucalyptus, pine, and geranium; and well-balanced with base notes of vanilla, cedarwood, and patchouli.

And then, the supplier gave us this cute poem to go with it.  I was hooked.  Then of course came the brainstorming on what to do as a design to live up to the name.  I wanted absolutely no BROWN.  That decided I think knew I wanted lots of color!  And hence came the multi colored balls embedded in a white base.  This soap makes me smile.  The fragrance does accelerate so if I do this next year I will work a bit differently as it caused me a few headaches.

Santa saved a precious gift
And it’s especially for you.
Just a little something extra
And it comes from Rudolph, too!

He knows that you’ve been naughty
Instead of being nice.
Once again you’re on the bad list
And he’s checked it over twice.

Santa hopes this little poem
Doesn’t throw you for a loop.
All your getting this year
Is a bunch of reindeer poop!

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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!

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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😉.

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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.

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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!

 

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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.

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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!

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Unscented white soap, chopped up into tiny cubes.

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Embeds where then dusted in Gold Mica.

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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).

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

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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

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Hawaiian Jasmine

jasmine1Cinnamon & Hazelnut Coffee

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