Tropical Escape

May 30, 2017

When soaps don’t go as planned… That would be this one.  I didn’t think about discoloring.  And my pretty teal and white themed soap totally failed.  I was really bummed. The soap isn’t much to look at, but it does smell really good.  That brown though…not what I wanted! 😦

Tropical Escape: A playful rendition of the classic tropical mixed drink that blends fresh pineapple and orange with tart cranberries. Notes of vodka and peach schnapps give this fragrance its “true to life” scent.

Top: Tropical fruit
Middle: Strawberry
Base: Vanilla

Available HERE!

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When soap goes wrong…

January 10, 2017

I haven’t had a soap seize on my like this in years!  The last time in fact I got soap on a spoon was when I was making soap with hard alcohol.  I mixed “Soothing Sandalwood” from Wholesale Supplies Plus.  I’d gotten it as a free sample and I figured I was make Shaving Soap sticks and I was breaking up a five pound batch into four different scents that this would be a good one to use up the sample on.  I added the fragrance and stirred it in and went to go pour the soap and it was practically solid!

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I crammed and mushed it into some individual cavities.  It’ll go into my grab bags once it cured…thank goodness it was only a pound of soap I lost.  OYE!


Aloe Vera!

August 22, 2016

Aloe, oh aloe!  I’d read about aloe.  I’d watched some videos about using aloe.  I figured I was ready to try it.  My mom has had this HUGE aloe plant for I don’t know how many years and I’ve always said I was going to make some soap and use some of that aloe in it.  I don’t know how many years I’ve been saying that, but I finally did it.

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Quite the aloe plant isn’t it?

Took some aloe, sliced it up, and then pureed it.  No matter how much I pureed I still had some small bits of the skin.  No one had ever said anything about the skin and so I figured it would be ok.  Well after I made the soap and cut it I was no longer sure that it would be okay.  Those tiny flecks grew in the soap and I didn’t trust that.  I had a feeling that they would be cause for concern. The last thing I wanted was moldy soap!

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Can I make a random comment? Aloe has a very distinct smell when cut and I can’t say I like it very much!

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No amount of blending completely pureed it. Might be I need a different (better) blender.

Thank goodness for FB Soap Groups.  After posting my soap and the process I got a lot of feedback on how to make aloe soap and that this batch probably was probably going to be a lost.

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Here’s a small piece of the soap. You can see the small specs of aloe practically tripled in size.

I’ve been watching the soap as it cures and the green spots have slowly kind of morphed to a brown color.  I’ll keep watching it and probably test out a bar using it and seeing how the water affects it over time.

Second batch I took my new found knowledge (advice) and didn’t use the leaf, but just scoped out the aloe and blended that with a little bit of water.  This soap is void of the troubling green specs and I’m excited to try it.

Look at this yummy, messy process 😉

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Sliced off the top of the leaf and scoped out the aloe center. Quite a messy process.

 

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Then I blended the aloe with some water. Lovely looking! Not a green spec insight! Now to make some soap with it!

No green specs.  No worries this batch.  I’m excited to use this soap. Not sure if I’ll notice a difference between it and my normal soap, but I’ll know it’s got all the aloe-y goodness in it.

As a side note:  You may laugh at me; it’s okay.  I never knew that I could just cut the leaf/stem off the aloe and leave it be (the plant that is) and it would “heal” itself. I felt so bad looking at the oozing stem where I’d cut it, but I needed my aloe!  Well a few days later I went back to look at the plant and it had closed itself right up! Haha. I know; I’m silly.  I found that quite fascinating to see.  And now I don’t fee so bad about cutting pieces from the aloe plant.


Dancing Funnel Technique: Challenge

August 12, 2016

This month’s challenged fascinated me and I knew I’d have a bit of time to actually attempt some soaps with it so I signed up.  The design is cool, my attempts—not so much.

Attempt 1: WAY to liquidy-runny

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They said you needed a really light trace…and that the soap shouldn’t be thick. I did super thin trace and well that was a disaster.  I ended up halfway through stopping the batch I was making going back to my liquids and stick blending them to thicken them up some and then starting a new loaf.  Still wasn’t thick enough and you can see how fluid this batch looks as everything just kind of ran into everything.

Attempt 1a: Left over soap…

2016-08-06 16.38.32I had some left over soap from some embeds I was making for a custom order so I decided to practice the technique some more.  Soap was still to runny though to make the technique work properly.

Attempt 2: *shakes my head* (That is all I can say…)

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I didn’t have any clean skirt bottles so I thought I’d use piping bags…You should have seen the mess I made…hence the head shaking.  This soap was better than the first but still didn’t turn out great.  First off the black got a little too thick and the white was still too runny.  It was not a fun combo to work with.

Attempt 3: Too thick

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After the previous failed attempts at a really like trace soap I finally tried a batch at a medium trace.  That ended up being too thick.  I just couldn’t win.  And oh my the glycerin rivers on this soap!  All I did was wrap it in a blanket to insulate this one and I got this craziness. I swear the fragrance had to affect it somehow because I’ve never quite seen rivers like this, though I do wonder if it could be the TD (different supplier than I normally use).

In the end I really wasn’t happy with any of the soaps.  This method is super time consuming and doesn’t work for my loaf soaps, so it’s not one I’m likely to do again, but I gave it a go!


Bridal Shower Favors

June 6, 2015

I’ve been creating wedding and shower favors for a few years now (as you probably read in one of my previous posts).  It’s lots of fun, but occasionally very frustrating…like when I decided to create a new favor for my sister’s bridal shower.

I don’t know how I got the sunflower theme in my head, but it popped in there.  I think I was so fed up with snow and the fact that it was the end of March and we’d gotten yet another couple inches that I was in a “spring” mood when I started planning.  I saw a picture of a sunflower and went man I wish some of those were around right now.  And there it was I was going to do a sunflower themed shower.

I’d JUST finished making my Field of Sunflower soaps.  It took me THREE days to make the connection that I could make sunflower soaps for the shower.  When it finally dawned on me I got super excited.  I changed the soap up a bit for favors.  Instead of doing loafs I made individual cupcake soaps and piped the sunflowers on top.  Then I had custom tags made.

It seems simple right?  Let me tell you the process was anything but!  Oh my word.  I was trying to make the favors at times when I was short on time. That was my first mistake.  Then I had to deal with soap hardening to fast to pipe or not hardening enough.  It took me FOUR batches to finally get pretty tops.  When I got that last batch looking amazing I looked at all the ones I’d done previously and groaned.

I’m a perfectionist.  I had 15 lovely soaps from the last batch.  I looked at the other 40 I’d made and they just didn’t compare.  I thought I’d have to make them all over again. (Have I mention I’m a perfectionist?)

Decapitation to save the day! (What you ask?)  The bases where perfectly fine it was just the sunflowers that weren’t great.  I took out an exacto knife to see if I could pry off the sunflowers and reuse the bases.  Worked like a charm. Decapitation was a success!!

Decapitated Flower Heads:

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Perfectly Good Bases:

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Redone PERFECT Sunflower Soaps:

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Mini Soap Desserts

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.

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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.

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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.

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Dessert 4: Mini Bundt Cake.  Let’s just say this one was a complete disaster and leave it at that :P.

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There you have it…a less than stellar set of mini soap desserts *sigh*

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Failed Batch *head shake*

January 4, 2015

I’ve been making soap for a good while now and I haven’t had a failed batch in a long time.  I guess I was due.  I started my first batch of the new year off by leaving out an ingredient which created a lye heavy soap :P.

It happens to the best of us! So, don’t get discouraged if you have a failed batch or two from time to time.

Look at this lovely (insert sarcasm here) high pH.

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