Landscape Challenge: Field of Sunflowers

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!






Soap Embed Challenge

February 18, 2014

If you know me at all you know I LOVE embeds.  Probably half the soaps I make include embeds.  They’re a lot of work, but there’s just something about the finish soaps that I LOVE!  And so I continue to use embeds.  I’ve been playing around with a new technique:Dusting Embeds.  I’m having so much fun with it.  I didn’t just make one soap for this challenge. I made a bunch.  Here are some of the soaps I made over the past two weeks:

Berry Mimosa: This soap came about because I was dying to make a soap that was gray, black, and pink.  I simply split the batch and colored one half gray and the other black and then dusted the pink embeds in white and embedded those in the middle to separate the layers.  Simple but I really like it.

berry mimosa2

Passionfruit Nectarine: This one I was experimenting with my “Micro Mica Veins” technique.  I do like the simplicity of this design.


Yuzu & Grapefruit: This one was a result of having left over hearts from some other batches.  I was playing about with them and discovered that they looked cool stacked on top of each other and I just embedded them in a simple white base to make the hearts stand out.


Pink Sangria: All I did here was make a partial loaf of black and white. Then I sliced them into thin strips, made a new batch and embedded the strips into it.  I actually really like how it turned out!

pink sangria3

pink sangria1

This one isn’t part of the challenge since it’s got MP embeds in it, but it’s a new soap I’ve made and it’s got embeds so I’m posting pics :)

Margarita Lime: I used both CP and MP embeds in this soap.  I was trying to make it remind you of the drink with the MP ice cube look on top and the salt.  I wanted a contrast between all the green in the soap so I used brown embeds that I dusted in a dark green. I do like how the soap turned out, but I wish I’d made the brown embeds smaller.

margarita lime9

Holly Swirl Challenge

August 15, 2013

So this month’s attempt turned out much better than last months…but it still had it’s problems.  Mainly me not thinking :-P.  I wanted to swirl blue and yellow…the problem with that was when you mix blue and yellow you get green!  So the color theme didn’t quite end up how I wanted.  That said I still think it’s a pretty neat looking soap.

blue-yellow swirl

I also tried a modified version of the challenge.  I embedded a heart on the bottom and then poured a swirled soap into that (and didn’t do a top layer).  I really liked that soap.

Bamboo (21)

Two new soaps!  It was fun and I’ll use this technique again for sure!

holly swirl 2

Mantra Swirl (sort of…)

July 10, 2013

I’ve done the mantra swirl before. I’m not a big fan of it simply because of the set up of having three dividers…  I know I find three dividers more work than embeds :D  …what can I say.  This time I restocked on my Berrywine & Mint.  I did two colors in berrywine and one color in mint…the berrywine set up fast and the mint stayed liquid as liquid can be.  This is not a good combination for creating a mantra swirl!

The colors are pretty and it smells good! But it’s not really what I’d call a mantra swirl.

(Sorry for the not great pics.  Had to take them at night.  Life is crazy and I barely have time to keep up with blog posts these days!)





Soap Challenge #4: Leopard Spots

April 27, 2013

I tried two different batches of this soap.  Neither one was really a success, but I learned what to do for next time I try this technique.

The first batch I did was Berrywine & Moroccan Mint.  The fragrance is awesome.  I did the body of the soap in berrywine and the spots in mint.  The problem was (even with a relatively slow moving berrywine) the mint would not thicken! I didn’t matter how much I stick blended.  So as you can see in the pics the white section just flatten out as I tried to carefully cover the spots.  It’s actually a cool looking soap.  I do like it…it’s just not what I was going for.

berrywine (6)

I dusted the top of this soap with merlot mica (which is what I used to color the base).  I like the effect.

berrywine (9)

Attempt two: Clove bud and orange. I needed to restock on this.  It’s from my standard essential oil line. I wanted to use colors that were a bit more fun, but had to stick with natural colorants.  I’m surprised the center spot isn’t darker. I did mix it with the white, but it’s got clove bud and orange EO in it! Those two are dark and always discolor!  This one I did get “spots” but I think they’re not thick enough.  They look more like two-toned clouds floating in my soap than spots!

clove-orange (1)

I love these challenges. They force me to try new things or come up with new variations on techniques I use. It’s like exercising the mind and my creativity! I hope we get more in the future!

Go check out Bramble Berry’s Challenge!

June 11, 2012

I can’t say no to a challenge…especially when it involves soap!  Amy’s soap challenges just finished for the summer and I was having withdrawals…well I wasn’t…not quite yet.  I’ve been flat out too busy wit markets, fairs and restocks, but trust me it would have hit me the instant I had two minutes to sit and think! :)

Now Bramble Berry (a.k.a Soap Queen) is having a series of challenges too. The first one is MP Layers.  And I have an idea! I have to actually custom make a mold for it! So that will be the first challenge.  Go check it out and come join in the fun!  You know you want to!

Find the challenge here: Melt and Pour Layers

Soap Challenge #11: Natural Ingredients

June 2, 2012

Last challenge!  I think I might have withdrawals next week when I have nothing new to try!  Anyway, for this challenge I wanted to use seaweed powder…I still plan to make a batch using it, but it didn’t happen for this challenge.  I just ran out of time to get to it by the time it arrive (Thursday later afternoon) here.

What I did do was another sort of landscape soap. I know I’m slightly obsessed.  Actually this one I saw someone else had created a beach scape and I loved it.  It was gorgeous!  I’ve had this fragrance Pineapple-Cilantro for a couple weeks that I’ve wanted to use in a soap but couldn’t come up with a design for the loaf.  When I saw the beach it just screamed perfect fit.  Oh man the soap smells AMAZING and looks pretty cool too.

Okay, on to the natural ingredients.  I used tussah silk in the batch.  Can’t wait to see how this changed the properties of the bar!  And then I experimented with Apricot kernel powder and strawberry seeds to make the sandy beach.  I have to say I was really pleased with the effect.  Wasn’t sure how it would come out but it looks like sand to me!

So, now I have a silky bar that part of it will also act as an exfoliant.  I’m cool with that :)


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