Sunday, October 27, 2013

It's been so long!

Hello, Everyone! I have been absent for a VERY long while from this blog. I feel like it is a child that I have abandoned. The reason is that I have decided to really make a go at growing and branding my business. I was at that point. I needed to make a definitive decision, and I decided to go for it.  Between my job, my kids, my house, and now my new business, I haven't had time to give this blog any love. :( That being said, I am working REALLY HARD on getting my new website up and running. I will have my new blog with my new name there as well. When it is not such a mess over there, I will post the link here. Blessings to you all, and I hope that your holiday soaping is beautiful and gremlin free!


I will leave you with some soap now.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Day at the Beach Soap

This soap smells amaaaaazing! You remember the smell of Coppertone when you were growing up? Yup, that's the smell of WSP's Beach FO. It was a little too much for me, so I used 1 part Clean Laundry and 3 parts Beach. Makes me want to bask in the sun!

Don't look at that corner that I dropped......or the air bubbles. Look away.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cafe Mocha CP Soap

I love all of the challenges that are going around the online soaping community. It really pushes me to get in there to create and learn new techniques, meet new soapers, and put my soaps out there. The latest challenge was with the FB group Soapers Retreat. I had sworn off Facebook. It is a time sink that I just don't need or have time for. Then I found the Soapers Retreat group, and now I am hooked back in. Dang. At least I don't spend time on my newsfeed. I just go on to look at and talk about soap. The way it should be!
The challenge was to create a soap based on your morning drink of choice. Well, coffee of course!

I used 3 parts of BB Oatmeal Milk and Honey and 1 part WSP Coffee Mocha. I scented the light tan with OMH and the dark brown with Coffee Mocha. The white I left unscented. It smells O Yum.

For the swirls I used a spoon in the mold swirl.

Blessings to all!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mantra Swirl Challenge

I'm back again with another soapy challenge from Great Cakes Soapworks! This time it is the mantra swirl.
We learned two different methods. The original mantra and the three color modified swirl.
I decided to give both a try.
The first one I tried was the original mantra.
I used:
40% Olive Oil
30% Coconut Oil
22% Palm Oil
8% Castor Oil
Fragranced with Bramble Berry Ginger Ale.

The fragrance was very well behaved, and the recipe was slow moving enough for me to do my thing. After taking the divider out, I stuck the squirt bottle way down into the soap to get it down to the bottom. I did have a little hitch with a partial gel in the middle, but after the initial panic, and some great advise from the Teach Soap board, I popped it back in the oven and brought it to full gel the day after. Yeah! It worked!

Here are the results!

I then attempted the modified mantra. Try #1 was an epic fail. So much so that I don't even have pictures to share. Imagine a solid hot pink soap. Now you know what it looks like. :) My original plan was to do a pink gradient soap scented with BB Cherry Blossom. Great idea right? Well..... the soap accelerated on me, and not only that, but after it went through gel phase, the colors turned out too close to each other. It is a pretty pink, yummy smelling soap. Not a mantra swirl.

Next try. After the Cherry Blossom incident, I decided to go for an old standby. I used three fragrances that I know well as a blend. BB Energy, WSP Pink Grapefruit, and WSP Pink Berry Mimosa. MUCH easier to work with. The only struggle that I had with the technique was the cardboard floating up while I was pouring. I even had my hubby holding them down for me. After we were done, he said now that he knows what I was trying to do, he can make me some dividers that will stay put. Awww, what a great guy!
I used a straw on a hanger to swirl, and it seemed to help move the soap.
I think next time, I will try to pour at a thinner trace to get a more wispy look. I had a great time learning a new technique. I can't wait to see all of the beautiful creations that everyone made!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Great Cakes Soapworks Peacock Swirl Challenge!

I took the plunge and joined the Soap Challenge Club hosted by Amy at Great Cakes Soapworks!  It was my first time with the peacock swirl, and I found that it was a fun, creative, difficult and truly beautiful technique.

To start out, I got some advice regarding equipment, recipe, colorants, temps, and fragrance. Before I started the actual soap making, I needed to gather my supplies.
Since I don't have a real slab mold, I needed to get creative and make one of my own. So off to the web I went. First, I found a post on the Soapers Retreat Facebook page with a tip to go to Michael's craft store and buy a $5 wooden picture box. They had it, and I got it! Next, I had to figure out how to line this thing. Freezer paper? I wasn't so sure. I didn't want my beautiful swirls to go leaking out the corners everywhere. So I decided to use Lovin' Soap 's tutorial on how to make a reusable liner. Never being one to follow all directions, I used appliqué template plastic, instead of lexan sheets. It is what I had on hand, and I figure that if it can withstand the heat of a direct iron, it will do just fine with soap. One thing though, the material is very flexible. It took a lot of wrangling to get it taped together.
My Michael's picture box slab mold

Applique template plastic liner
Bamboo Skewers in Cardboard

Next up was to make my rake. I opted for the bamboo skewers and the cardboard rake. Again, it is because that is what I had on hand. Super happy with the way this turned out. The skewers are really tightly wedged in the cardboard, and they were perfectly spaced!

Then I got a 20 minute video (yeah!) showing exactly how to make my creation. I, of course, watched it multiple times and felt ready to tackle my first ever peacock swirl. OK Here goes!

I tried to mix them well ahead of time to avoid chunks. Cross your fingers!
The colorants I used were:
Activated Charcoal - Bramble Berry
Super Pearly White - Bramble Berry
Electric Bubblegum - Bramble Berry
Lemon Drop POP - TKB Trading (discontinued)
Grape POP - TKB Trading (discontinued)
Green Apple POP - TKB Trading (discontinued)

Base Soap
I used Energy fragrance oil from Bramble Berry and only put it in the base soap because even though Energy moves very slowly, I was too nervous to put it in my squirt bottles. Speaking of....

Starting to Squirt!

Here we go! I put about 5 oz. of soap in each bottle. This is part of the reason why I ended up with a 6 color swirl. I needed more soap for the top, and my bottles were little! So I squirted and squirted some more, and yup.... got a burp at the end. (Even having been warned ahead of time) 
Soapy Lines
I cleaned up my lines and was ready to rake!

A Little Further...

All done - Now to clean up the sides

Making the feathers

Close up of swirling

Here are some more of my completed project still wet. How I wish the color would stay this bright!

I love the mica sparkle!

 The soap went to bed in it's box and got a heating pad on a timer to keep it warm for about 2 hrs. I wanted to make sure that the soap gelled so I could get some bright colors.
Now to unmold!
The next day, it did not have ash as bad as I was expecting. Whew. 
Here is a picture of some of the cut bars with the ash still on them.

Bars before steaming

And here they are!!!!!!  The finished bars after steaming.

Bars after steaming!

SO fun and rewarding. This has been a great learning journey for me. Thank you so much for hosting, Amy!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Kentish Rain

It's been couple of days since my last post, but I have been busy labeling, wrapping and gifting my soapy creations for teachers at my girls' school. I gave each of them a bar of Cold Process soap and a Peppermint Lip Balm. Hopefully they love (and use!) the soap and don't let it languish in a decorative dish, or even worse, in a closet. I gave away some of the Cranberry Fig, the Lemon Verbena, the Fresh Snow, and the Kentish Rain.

Speaking of Kentish Rain, here is a picture of it. A leopard spot design gone horribly wrong. My soap started to get way to thick, and I had to bang it on the counter to get rid of the air pockets. Well, that just flattened and smushed my spots. Plus, I should have put more lines in. It is kind of skimpy on color, don't you think? Feels unbalanced. I am banking on the fact that no one would know it was supposed to be a leopard spot design unless you told them. Now I told you. Smells good anyway. Even ugly soap can smell great.


I also got some new weatherproof labels from They are very easy to use, but I was a little disappointed that my printing was somewhat muted. I really liked the sheen and brightness of the photo quality paper I used to use. I am going to try again with different print settings. I love the stickers instead of all of the cutting, packing tape, etc. More on my experiments with labels later.

Well-almost done writing my Peacock Swirl post. Check back in the next couple of days. I still need to steam a little ash of of some of the bars. Then I need to photograph the whole batch, and do a couple of close ups of the swirl. SO fun. They turned out great!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hazelnut Toffee

It is FINALLY summer in Minnesota. We have had a ridiculously cold winter and froze our way through what was to be spring. I (along with what seemed to be like the rest of the Twin Cities area) finally got a chance to buy some annuals and hanging baskets at Bachman's today. Will post some flower pictures tomorrow.

Back to Soap!
Mmmmmmm. My Hazelnut Toffee in the pot swirl soap. This is a new to me scent from BB that I think smells divine! It is sweet, toasty, and definately hazelnut. However, I could be convinced that this scent was root beer. Great either way.  I just love the way it discolors to a creamy brown. I think next time I will only scent the main batch, and leave the white swirl unscented. That way, hopefully it will pop a bit more. I am wondering if this is as brown as it will get. I just cut it about 5 days ago, so we will see!