Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Experimenting with different sizes in my tall skinny molds - Sugar Plum Fairy & Sleigh Ride

Last year, I made the switch from traditional shaped soap bars to the "tall skinny" bars.  I'd seen quite a few soapers with these bars but the it wasn't as popular as it is now and I was having a difficult time finding molds that 1. produced the right size bars  and 2. could allow me to make the quantity of bars that I need for each batch.  Finally, I just decided to have another mold custom made.
 
SUGAR PLUM
 
Sweet Sugared Plums with a heart of Citrus Zest on a base of warm Vanilla Musk
 
Making soap this way has its pros and cons for me.  One of the major cons, is that I have been having a difficult time creating my swirls in the narrow compartments.   So, my challenge has been coming up with other creative elements that aren't just about "the swirl".  
 
SLEIGH RIDE 
 
 
 Top notes of Orange Zest with a center of tart Granny Smith Apples on a warm and spicy base of Clove and fresh Mint.
 
I tried to create my own true red by blending merlot mica, hot pink and even a bit of purple.  Meh, I'm not overly impressed.  Not sure it was worth the extra effort.  Good news though, I saw that Nurture Soap Supplies is working on a new an improved "true red" mica for CPers.  Can't wait to try it out.

 
Anywho,  I decided to make them shorter and thicker.  I really like this size as it fits less awkwardly in my hand and they wear down more evenly in the shower.  Now I'm trying to experiment more with colored layers, embeds, etc.  It's still a work in progress ♥



Monday, November 10, 2014

Mayan Gold - ITP Swirling in Layers

I received a bar of soap made with BrambleBerry's Mayan Gold fragrance last year (or was it earlier this year?) in their soap swap.  My mom absolutely LOVED the scent and insisted that I include it in my Winter Release.
 
 
We designed and made this batch together.  I really enjoy soaping with my mom!  So, the design was suppose to be 3 layers of ITP swirls:  Black bottom with gold swirls (gold mica line) followed by a bronze type color with a black swirl (gold mica line) topped with a gold layer with a bronze swirl (dusting of gold mica).  It didn't quite work out like that!!

 
Everything was going fine until the dam in my mold slid out of place causing the layers to be disrupted.  This happened several times as we tried to find things to help reinforce the mold.  In the chaos,  I forgot half of the center layer still in the bowl and poured the top layer.  We spotted the bowl too late and made the decision to just go ahead and add it to the top.  Not quite what we were going for, but we were both quite happy with the outcome.

 
The scent is amazing: A warm spicy blend with notes of Sweet Orange, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Vanilla Bean and decadent Chocolate
It's a tad bit on the masculine side, but I totally think a chic could rock this scent as well ♥

Friday, November 7, 2014

Peppermint Bark Snowfake Wax Melts

One of my guilty indulgences during the holiday season is Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark Chocolate Squares.  I've been thinking about making some from scratch this year with my boys.  While browsing the net for recipes, I came across pictures of peppermint bark but instead of the usual broken pieces, they were shaped like snowflakes!  Now, of course, that got my soapy wheels turning.  However, instead of making soap, I though these would be extra cute as wax tarts.
 
 
How delicious!  I'll have to remind myself that these are for smelling NOT for eating ;0)

 
Instead of blending the peppermint and chocolate fragrance oils together, I thought it would be cool to allow the chocolate to start filling the room, then have the mint slowly tip-toe in.

 
So, the base is a super yummy hot chocolate scent, with a white layer of peppermint topped with real crushed candy canes and glitter.  Now, all I have to do is tackle the edible version!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sultana's Dream - learning to create silver in cold process soap

I looooove the color purple (any shade) and I love taking advantage of any opportunity to use it in my soap.  This scent is a duplication of Lush's Sultana fragrance.  I've never smelled the original so I can't say how close this is to it, but it's a really lovely scent that behaved beautifully in this batch of soap.
 
 
A blend of Bergamot and Blackberry leading to soft floral notes of Egyptian Jasmine and Rose on a warm base of Indian Frankincense, Ginger and Musk

 
For the pour, I decided to do what I believe is called a "tiger stripe".  The colors here are purple, silver, lavender and white.  You can't really tell from the pictures but that really is silver between the purple and lavender layers.  Frustrating, yes, I know.  I really wish the camera could have picked up that color and shimmer.  It's so pretty in person.
 
 
To create the silver portion, I used activated charcoal (I'm sure black oxide would work just as well), titanium dioxide and diamond dust mica.  Lot's of diamond dust mica.  It added a very pretty shimmer to what would have been simply light gray.  I'm looking forward to playing with this color blend some more in the future.  I think it's possible to make it pop even more.  I'd really be interested in hearing if anyone else has tried something similar and what your results were.  Till next time...♥
 

Friday, August 22, 2014

More soap ball embeds...

I don't know about anyone else, but sometimes I really start to feel like I'm running out of ideas for Soapmaking.  How many different types of swirls can I do before everything starts to look the same?  By the time I got to this soap, I was in one of such slumps.
 
HARLEQUIN
 
 
Japanese Grapefruit and Citron leaf neatly crushed with Sparkling Mimosa with smoky note of Tobacco, Sugar Cane and Black Vanilla
 
 
I've been holding on to this oil for a while now unsure what to do with it.  It's "Dirty Mimosa" from the Sage.  I like using FO's from MMS when I'm looking for something very different from the popular scents that other soapers are carrying in their shops.  If only I had a nose for real scent blending...sigh. 
I play around a bit with it, but I'd LOVE to really, really understand how to create my own fragrance blends.  Sorry, back to this soap :0)
 
 
 As I was saying, I'm a bit in a design slump, so I decided to just go with an ITP swirls with more focus on the colors as opposed to the design.  The soap balls were  a last minute addition.  I saw my last bar of Seaberry on the rack and decided, why not add some soap scrap balls again. 
 
MINI BARS
 
 
The orange soap shreds didn't have much "pop" to them, so I decided to dip them into some gold and orange mica.  I really thought the base would discolor due to the vanilla in the fragrance description, but these have been curing for 2 weeks now and so far so good.  Fingers crossed.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Melt & Pour Soap from Scratch and more Color Mixing

A few days ago, I shared a video on Youtube chronicling my first attempt at making Melt & Pour Soap from scratch.  You can view my video making the MP base at the end of this post.  Also, you can view the original blog post and recipe from Cee here.
 
So, from my little project, I was able to make lots of cute embeds to use in my soap for this fall. 
 
MASQUERADE
 
 
 Fresh top notes of Orange, Pink Grapefruit and Tangerine with a heart of Strawberry, Apple, Pear and soft florals on a warm base of Sheer Musk
 
 
I've been using micas form Nurture Soap Supplies for most of my soaping.  There are still some favorites that I like to stick to though.  I love my 24K Gold from TKB and Crimson Red from Bramble Berry.  For the most part, I am very happy to say that the colors are quite stable in CP soap. 
 
 
However, I still prefer to mix my colors.  Adding a bit of oxides I find really helps ground some of these micas, particularly yellows & oranges.  Purple is my favorite color and I LOVE trying to fit  a bit of it in there whenever I can so, once again color blending really helps achieve different hues of the same color.  I have a not too stable purple neon from TKB that blended beautifully with my NSS mica.  I'll be posting that soap in an upcoming post.  Stay tuned!
 
 
 
 


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Gearing up for Autumn...

I know summer is still here but for soap-makers, this is around the time that we usually start getting our fall line-ups together.  Before I jump into my fall soap batches, I wanted to share just a few summer soaps that I didn't blog about. 
 
SEABERRY
 
Scented with Awapuhi Seaberry.  This is a calming, "by the sea" type of scent with ozonic marine notes with the aroma of tropical flowers, citrus and tart berries on a mellow base of white musk.
 
 
I used three different shades of blue swirled into a white base.  The soap balls were made with shredded soap from every soap scrap I could find in varying shades of blue.  I really like how the balls resemble little blue planets
 
FLING
 
 A fresh and uplifting blend of Orange Zest, Lemon Pulp and Kiwi with a center of Bamboo & Blackcurrant on a warm woodsy base

 
I really don't know what this technique is called, but for a point of reference, I refer to it as a "traveling faux funnel" pour.  It's just like the faux funnel pour put I choose a different spot to pour every few passes.
 
One more,  I have to show this one because I just really, really like the scent! 
 
OASIS
 
 Fresh sliced Pineapple beautifully blended with the heady and intoxicating aroma of Jasmine
 
I honestly can't even talk about the swirling technique for this one, LOL.  For once, I didn't really plan the soap design.  I chose the colors and just sort of dropped them in.  What I have been doing though is playing around with color mixing.  I tend to use the same colors over and over again in my soaps, so I am trying to at least come up with different shades for those colors.  I though this combination was pretty, fun and tropical.
 
Now, I'm looking forward to fall.  I'll be back to share my creations as I finish them.  Thanks for reading :0)
 
 

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