Field of Flowers

February 21, 2015

I always have have an idea in mind for my finished soap when I start a batch.  Most of the time it doesn’t quite come out as I pictured it, but it’s close enough and it looks good.  This time I had this idea in my head and I was really, really skeptical that it would work, but I gave it a shot.

It worked.  I was so surprised that the soap came out just like I envisioned!

Field of Flowers

Field of Flowers

Step 1: Pipe the grass.

Step 2: Pipe the flowers.

Step 3: Add the white center, because the flowers just needed a little something more.

fields of flowers1

Cut Bars:

sweetpea

sweetpea1

 

sweetpea5

sweetpea7


Brush Embroidery Technique: Painting your Soap Top

February 16, 2015

A while ago I saw a post with a soap that had created a brushed embroidery look top.  It was designed like a flower. I thought it was cool and wanted to try it.  Did some research online to see how it was done for cookie/cake decorating.  Gathered some pictures for inspiration and set about attempting to make my own.

I decided to make a black and white soap.  I knew I wanted something that contrasted so black and white seemed like the best choices.

tools

I didn’t put any fragrance in the white as I wanted to make sure it didn’t get too hard that I couldn’t brush it.  It ended up being too soft/liquid-y on me in the end ha.

What I learned: 1) I definitely need to work with the consistency on the next attempt.  You don’t want the soap too hard that a paint brush can’t spread it, but if it’s too soft you can’t get any definition.

2) Doing an intricate/small design on a batch that will be cut into bars is hard. I was trying to make the designs (flowers and hearts) small so that you see them or part of them on each bar.  It didn’t work.

brush top designs

3) You need very little soap to make it spread. I ended up have to remove a lot of soap build up from my brushes.  I kept creating dots that were too wide to spread.

4) Create little dots to spread out rather than one long line of soap.  It creates a prettier effect.

What I turned it into: You can see in the above picture the small designs weren’t working.  At that point I decided to just start covering the edges to see how it looked.  I found it was creating a REALLY cook textured top!  I decided to just cover over what I’d done and cover the whole top with brush strokes.

You can see that the bottom left hand corner has the nicest dot/brush strokes.  I need to work on that.  It’s really quite pretty and if the whole top had looked like it it would have been neat.

Final top: Here’s what it ended up like once I covered it all.

brush top1

And then I decided to try adding a hint of mica dusting.  I had a couple spots that got a little too much mica (oops).  Not the end of the world.  It’s kind of pretty. I want to see how it all looks when it’s cut.

brush top

The results: It’s actually quite pretty.  I like it enough that I’m going to continue to play with the technique.

brush top2

Attempt 2: I won’t even bother with pictures because it really doesn’t have anything that even looks like brush strokes. I couldn’t get the soap batter to thicken and I got impatient so I thought I’d try it as it was.  Bad idea.  You need your batter to be thick (the portion you’re going to “paint” on top of the soap.)  That revelation led to attempt 3.

Attempt 3: Here I was bored with one color so I tried to gradient the top (as I had did a gradient for the actually soap).  I let the soap I was going to brush get harder, but still not hard enough. I also realized that the past two batches my tops had still been rather soft and that was causing problems. I couldn’t get that brush definition (even with a thicker batter) because my paint brush kept poking through and pulling up the base soap’s batter.

brushtop1

gradient3

As you can see, it’s a pretty soap, but lacks the clear brush strokes that my first attempt had.

Attempt 4: I let the batch set up so that it had the thickness of my very first attempt (which just happened to be luck as I used a fragrance that moved quickly).  I also waited (and waited and waited) until the soap I needed to pipe was pretty darn thick.  It’s hard to be patient! I had to go off and do something else and come back to this soap almost an hour later before I could do the top.  It was worth waiting for everything to set up though! I was finally able to brush it.

gingertea5

gingertea2

One thing I realized is that if I go around the edge of the mold and work my way in I will end up having trouble getting the middle to have any sort of definition.  It’s definitely better and the bar look pretty overall.  After I finished this batch I thought about trying a cross stroke pattern.  I thought it might be easier and give me more of that brush look.  So, yup you guessed it that was attempt #5.

Attempt 5: This is the last one.  I’ve played around enough that I have a good idea what to do in any future attempts and at this point it’s just going to take practice to get it “perfect” (or at least to the point where I’m happy).  With that in mind I tried cross hatching this one to see how that turned out.

berrypunch3

berrypunch5

There are a lot of different options obviously.  It took me some time to figure things out.  I think from time to time using this as a change from my typical tops could be fun.  Now it’s time to move on to playing with a different technique!

 


Fondant Mats = Creative Soaps

August 1, 2014

I’d been wanting to try using a fondant mat to make an imprinted soap for a while.  I bought the mat to do so about six months ago.  I only just recently used the mat to make soap.  It’s really quite easy to make.  I bought the mat.  There are many places you can find them online. I got mine through Wilton.

matI then cut the mat up into two pieces to fit my mold.  I did a piece for the bottom and one for the top.  You could probably make pieces for the sides too if you wanted too.  I made my soap, poured it in.  And then after 24 hours just peeled the mat off and cut my bars.

Very simple to do, and gives you a pretty soap.

loaf imprint

soap sea breeze


Orange & Cranberry

April 1, 2014

Fragrance: Freshly squeezed oranges kissed with tart cranberry.

Technique: Embeds

I was less than pleased with this soap.  It just didn’t quite work the way I wanted.  I was playing around with a new way to do embeds.  I made a bunch of round embeds to start.

circles

Then I cut them in half or left them whole and placed them throughout the loaf.

loaf embeds

Pictures:

cranberry-orange2


New Recipe for Shaving Soap

March 8, 2014

I never really LOVED my previous shaving soap recipe.  It worked, but I just didn’t love it.  I finally got around to reformulated it.  It’s a blend of coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, Shea butter, castor oil, and apricot oil.  I also tried something a little different.  Instead of making them bars, I put them in twist tubes.  I’ve seen shaving soaps made both ways and I know I always drop mine in the shower.  I think the tube will make it easier to apply the soap.  I also think it work well for men.

Because it’s a new recipe and a new “container” I would like a few testers.  I have three scent options: Bay Rum, Old Spice, and Arabian Spice.  (All geared towards men.)  If there are any men out there who would like to test a sample bar let me know (or women if you know of a man who’d like to try it out) let me know.  I’ll send you a free bar.  All I ask is that you pay for the shipping cost.  I will include a questionnaire with the soap.  The questions will just be a guideline for you and it will give me feedback so I can see if I need to make changes or if it’s liked as is.

Email me at: JenniferSoap [at] gmail [dot] com if you’re interested or comment here with your email address. I have a limited number available.


Strawberries & Champagne

February 27, 2014

Sometimes I get the prettiest soaps when I’m not trying (and when I do try things turn out less than pleasing…go figure).  I has some left over heart embeds from a previous batch so I decided to use them up.  I had some Champagne fragrance oil on hand and the embeds were scented with strawberry.  I know the fragrance wouldn’t discolor so I decided to just do a white batch and embed the hearts…nothing to fancy.  The day before I had stumbled over dusting mica on soap (not in the traditional method everyone uses to create mica lines) and I thought let’s try and do this between layers and see what I get.

I LOVE this soap.  I’m going to play around some more with this technique.  It’s not really a dusting of layers between soap like you typically see when creating mica (colored) layers/veins.  It’s more like veins.  I am calling it: MICRO MICA VEINS. (Since they’re a take on the traditional mica vein technique.)

Enjoy the pictures! (I had to work really hard to get these haha…I REALLY needed a tripod when I was taking these…of the 100 plus I took I managed to get a few good ones.)

champagne1

champagne4

champagne5

champagne8

champagne6


Dusted Mica Top

February 22, 2014

I’ve seen soaps that have dusted their tops with a thin layer of mica.  I’ve tried multiple times to mimic the look and I’ve never quite been able to and in the process I make a massive mess (because it always involved me blowing…and blowing on mica…not the smartest idea!)

The other day I wanted to try and dust layers of mica on a batch I was making and couldn’t find the sifter tool I typically used.  So in a pinch I grabbed a bottle I had sitting around and filled it with some mica hoping it might work in a pinch.

It didn’t quite do what I wanted for the layers in the soap, but oh my word it gave me that shimmery mica top finished I’d tried and failed to do soooooo many times before!!

Find a bottle like this: (sorry picture is awful!)

Mica Squirt Bottle

I get my bottles at US Plastic (if you’re interested).

Fill it with some mica.  Gently squeeze puffs out of it over your wet soap and you will get a nice coating like this!  So simple! So pretty!  I love it when I randomly stumble upon ways to do things!

TIP: Do this outside (if you can).  I’m still cleaning up pink mica!  It gets in the air and it settles all over the place!

mica dust top

champagne6


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