June 2, 2015
This was the second soap I did for the Saponifier Challenge. They call it am “Embedded Circle” technique, but I really think it should be called a double embed. That’s really what it is. You’re creating one embed and then embedding it into a batch then taking that new soap and embedding it AGAIN into another batch.
I’ve done double embeds many times before. It’s a massive amount of work for a bar of soap! That said I love the technique. I will usually only do it on limited edition soaps (because it is so much work). When I saw this as a challenge I knew right off I’d be adding my own twist. I had a fragrance called “Seaside Escape” that I had been sketching out different designs for, but hadn’t settled on one I really liked. The only thing I knew was I wanted a nautical theme. The challenge kind of solidified everything for me.
Step 1: First I had to make a batch of swirled soap in a circular mold. I went for a subtle mix of blues/greens that made me think of the ocean.
Step 2: I had these mini ocean themed cookie cutters. The problem was that they were only 1/2″ deep. I had to take the circle embed I made and cut them in my soap cutter twice (so that they were 1/2″ deep and then I had to cookie cut EACH SOAP! Tedious.
Step 3: Next I embedded all the pieces into a cube mold I had and poured a white soap around the cut outs.
(Sorry this isn’t the best picture. I cut open one of the cubes, so you could see how the white soap filled in around my circles.)
Step 4: Once I unmolded the cubes I put them into a loaf mold and then made a new batch of teal soap to pour around the cubes. I had to do a mica top on it! You all know how much I love that technique.
The end result:
Totally worth it, but a three day process to make this soap and a lot of work to prep each stage.
May 27, 2015
This technique had been on my to try list for about 6 months. I even had all the supplies I needed for it, I just never got around to making it! It was fun. There are a lot of possibilities with this one and I’ll definitely play around more with it in the future. I did two batches this go around. One with a simple criss-cross pattern and one with a weird swirl pattern.
Garden Soap (Cool Citrus Basil):
May 13, 2015
I’m less than thrilled with my work on these soaps. I ran out of time and I rushed and when I rush…things just don’t go as I planned. They’re okay, but by no means anything special.
Dessert 1: Coconut covered petit fours. I think these are cute, but completely pointless as a soap. I made my CP cubes then coated them in clear MP and dipped them in dried coconut.
Dessert 2: Decorative petit fours. If I’d done a better job at pipping I’d be happier with these. The cubes are CP. The decorative parts are mostly CP piped with MP soap fondant for the flowers. And a couple of them I used the sugar pearls on.
Dessert 3: Mini Cakes. CP soap with MP soap fondant and sugar pearls. Let’s just say getting all those sugar pearls on these was a pain in the backside :)! Oh my word. I do like the effect of these, but again it’s not really a “useful” soap and it took me WAY too long to accomplish these.
Dessert 4: Mini Bundt Cake. Let’s just say this one was a complete disaster and leave it at that :P.
There you have it…a less than stellar set of mini soap desserts *sigh*
May 4, 2015
I was back at it experimenting in February! I wanted to make a lip scrub in November when the temps started to drop and I felt like my lips could use a little “extra something.” Of course NOTHING gets done between October and December. I’m too busy just trying to keep up with my shows and restocking product to have two minutes to play around with something new.
I did a bunch of research looking into lip scrubs. I came to the conclusion that I basically had three options:
- Oil and butter mix
- All oil
- All butter
I then created recipes from that. I decided which butters/oils I wanted to use and at what percentage and set about testing.
I ended up creating 4 recipes. Two were oil/butter mixes. I was testing out different combinations of oil to butter ratios. Then I tried one all oil and one all butter. I definitely like the mixed ones best. Still waiting on feedback from some my testers to see where their preference lies, but on the whole the butter/oil combo was the favorite.
Oil and Butter Combo: I like this best because it’s semi-solid. Solid enough to stay in place in the jar but easy to scoop out.
All Oil: Too messy for me. It works great, but harder to apply and more messy all around.
All Butter: There was absolutely nothing wrong with this version I just didn’t like it. It was easy to scoop out, easy to put on, no mess, but it just lacked something to me. (Still hardening in this picture.)
Interested in trying out the lip scrubs? Check them out here!
March 18, 2015
I love sunflowers. My mom plants them in her yard every year. As I was looking for some new fragrances to try I came across one called sunflower. I thought it’s the dead of winter (and we were in the middle of our THIRD massive snow storm here in New England). I was ready for spring to come. So I purchased the fragrance.
I didn’t know what to do with it though so I went online and searched “sunflower” hoping to come up with some ideas. Came across this photo:
And I thought it’s be really cool if I could create a field of sunflowers! The only way I could figure out how to do it realistically was to pipe them (so much work, but so worth it).
The first layer is brown with coffee grinds in it to create the speckled dirt layer. Then I created the field of “grass” and “stems” and “leaves” by using three different greens and swirling them. Then I piped the sunflowers on top.
This was the result: Field of Sunflowers
Alternate Field of Sunflowers
The first layer is brown with coffee grinds in it to create the speckled dirt layer. The difference in this one is I only swirled two greens and made actually “stems” and “leaves” in the dark green.
It’s a little more realistic. I like the first version better. There’s something about the abstractness of it I just love, but this one is still really pretty too. I’m not as happy with the yellow on this one. It got a little too dark for my liking, but if you didn’t have it to compare to the first I probably would have been happy ha!
March 14, 2015
Last summer I started playing around with an under eye balm recipe. I’d gotten a couple sample oils from the soap conference that were more exotic and too nice to (I thought) use in soap. I was reading one of the blogs I followed that had posted a recipe that used one of those oils and I got inspired to try and create my own “eye butter.”
The first batch worked well enough, but it was not what I was going for. I tried to whip the butter but that ended up no working and it didn’t cool evenly so it was a little grainy and just overall it worked but I wasn’t happy.
I adjusted my recipe a bit and I liked it, but it wasn’t what I wanted. I set it aside when the holidays came (there was no time to do much of anything outside of restocks!). I started playing around again with it in January.
I had narrowed down my trial recipes to one (with two variations). One contained beeswax while the other didn’t. I loved the final results. I’m having some people test it and so far results have been good. Always excited when I create a new recipe to my satisfaction!
The beeswax is a balm (and I really like it…it should hold up well in the summer). The other which has no beeswax I whipped it. And I actually LOVE this one. I’ve noticed that it’s really not greasy either. I’ve been using it on my entire face not just under the eyes.
March 10, 2015
Kenna from Modern Soap Making first posted a tutorial on this technique last year — TUTORIAL. It’s not hard, but it created a cool looking soap. I wanted to try it out, but I wasn’t making much soap then (I’d pretty much made all my soap for the holiday season) and I didn’t have time to just play around.
Two other things had me holding off too:
- I knew it would be time consuming to make.
- I HATE using squirt bottles. They are the biggest pain to clean up and you waste so much soap.
I finally sat down and started to play around with the technique. I used squirt bottles the first time to make. All my frustrations with them came back ha! So, I decided to try make the drops free hand to see if that worked. Then it dawned on me I could just used a piping bag! Free hand and piping bags both worked just as well, and clean up was so much easier!
Here are some pictures of my attempts as I practice this technique:
First Attempt: Forbidden Fruit – I tested out some new micas from Nurture Soap. Love the colors. So bold!
Second Attempt: Pipping bags as opposed to squirt bottles. I think the results are the same for control and consistency and the beautiful part: I dumped the bags in the trash after completing! No cleaning bottles!
Third Attempt: Black Tie Affair (soap for the men!). The insides didn’t quite do what I wanted, but the petal top is cool! I really like these colors together too.