Archive for June, 2011

Thanks Nizzy!

Jun 24 2011 Published by under daily soap stuff,limited edition soaps

My soap friend Nizzy sent me some excellent youtube videos on different soap swirling techniques the other day. All of the work l was supposed to be doing was instantly abandoned in favour of trying a column swirl. After faffing about and making a huge mess attempting to mix my colours in too small plastic disposable cups, l finally got my act together and poured alternating layers of pink, red, orange, yellow and white soap. I also CPOP-ed this log because l was feeling very impatient.

Amazing stuff, l was thrilled when l cut the bars. It is scented with yuzu fragrance oil. l can’t stop looking at the colours!

3 responses so far

Patchouli & Musk swirls

Last night John and l soaped. l made one of my longtime favourite soaps – Patchouli & Musk, but decided to try a new look for it. We attempted a 3 colour funnel swirl. As always, l was underwhelmed by the top of the soap, but then this morning l sliced it, and my only words were OH WOW!

(and then repeated them over and over as each bar was sliced from the log)

wouldn’t this look cool in black and white, a zebra soap!

(l wonder what fragrance zebras like? LOL)

My ultimate soaping ambition is to achieve a swirl with a random picture of Elvis or some sort of religious symbol in it so that l can auction it on ebay and make a squillion dollars and then buy all of the fragrance oils my little heart desires ;-)

Oh, and what l wouldn’t give for silicon lined wooden moulds so that l’d never have to line a mould again ;-)

6 responses so far

the calendula adventure…

Jun 16 2011 Published by under daily soap stuff

I was driving my daughter to dancing lessons yesterday afternoon, and nearly fell out of the car with excitement when l saw these calendula flowers growing wild on the side of the hill. My calendula stash is very small at the moment, l used to grow my own, but since moving house have only a handful of seeds to my name, and l haven’t decided where in the garden to plant them yet. There were hundreds of them here, all growing cheerily in the afternoon sun, and they simply begged me to stop and pick a few.

l think l got a bit carried away though…

once l started l couldn’t stop, and there were little orange petals flying everywhere. This was the zip lock bag at half full, and by the time it was getting dark, there wasn’t much room left in the bag LOL. l am sure there will be stories flying around about the crazy woman on the hill who was dismembering flowers in the dark. l couldn’t help myself, l just LOVE calendula flowers. Their cheery orange-ness makes me smile!

I’ll be using them to make lots more of this May Chang soap which is my current favourite in the shower. The current batch has just come off the curing rack, and l totally adore those little orange flecks of calendula in every bar. May Chang is a small tree from Asia, and features leaves and flowers with a distinctive lemongrass/citrus scent. It’s very refreshing but not too sharp or acidic.

YUM!

2 responses so far

a Shampoo bar trial

Jun 16 2011 Published by under new soaps

Around blogland, soapmakers have been making shampoo bars. And yep, l’ve been reading.

I’ll admit right here and now that l didn’t really ‘get’ the whole ‘wash your hair with a bar of soap’ thing. My hair is shoulder length and although l’m not what l would call a high maintenance person in the hair department, l certainly didn’t want to be making things any harder than they had to be. And the few times that l’ve given my hair a swipe with any of my normal bars of soap, well, the results weren’t encouraging. Lots of tangles, very few bubbles, and a sort of squeaky feeling that l just didn’t like.

But so many people speak highly of shampoo bars, so l read a couple of blog posts and realised that the recipe for ‘poo bars is actually quite different to a standard bar of soap. So l tweaked and tested and adjusted and then made a couple of very small hot process batches. The best of them was a Peppermint & Lime scented essential oil bar. It wont win any prizes in the looks department, that’s for sure LOL!

The next day it was time for the shower test. l was amazed. Bubbles galore! It really did feel quite different, and l decided l was prepared to go the distance and try a shampoo bar on a more long term basis, to give it a really good testing. Sadly though, l was a little heavy handed with the peppermint, it came out far too strong, so l gave most of this batch away. Peppermint oil is just not my thing, l am yet to successfully blend it with anything and get away with it…oh…except for Lavender Mint soap, l tell a lie.

Anyhoo, a couple of days later l made another shampoo bar…this time Green Apple scented. l also added a little French green clay for some ‘slip’ and a smidge of green soap colour because l was bored with plain jane soap.

l’m much happier with this one – it feels much the same but definitely smells better ;-) (l did also use conditioner afterwards, just in case you’re wondering)

I’m not sure whether l’d actually make any for sale. What do you think – would you use a shampoo bar?

 

8 responses so far

Dead Sea Mud Funnel Swirl

Jun 04 2011 Published by under daily soap stuff,funnel swirls,new soaps

Yesterday l used my Dead Sea Mud for the first time!

l was so nervous :P

l desperately wanted to scent the soap with BB Salty Mariner, sort of going with the whole ‘salt/ocean’ theme, but l had just yesterday remembered to buy myself a plastic funnel while out shopping, and also wanted to try a funnel swirl with the same batch. But then l checked the fragrance notes and realised that it accelerated trace and therefore probably wouldn’t be the best fragrance for a first time funnel swirling attempt. (for those who are not soapmakers, a funnel swirl is one batch of soap split into two, half is coloured as a contrast, and then each colour is poured little bit by little bit into the mould by tipping alternating ‘stripes’ of colour through a funnel held over the top of your mould.)

So l made up a custom fragrance blend of lemongrass, orange and lavender essential oils, and did the pouring thing with some help from a chopped up juice bottle standing on my mould and supporting the funnel. l was home alone and there were no spare hands to assist!

Looking at the top of the soap after pouring l decided l’d well and truly mucked it up, because it all just looked like a grey muddy mess. l couldn’t see any stripes at all.

But when unmoulding it the next day, l saw the cool stripy pattern showing along the sides of the soap log and dared to get a little excited….

And then sliced it into bars, and was amazed to see the variety of swirls and shapes that progressed from one end of the log to the other.

Amazing stuff! l totally have a new addiction now LOL.

I’m going to have to make another batch of soap using the mud though because l can’t get the salty/ocean idea out of my head. l’ll probably go for something solid grey/black though.

5 responses so far

new soap: Green Thumb

Jun 01 2011 Published by under new soaps

A couple of days ago l received an unexpected soap order that sent me into a little panic…because it came close to cleaning me out in my stock for sale. I flapped and dithered and stressed a little bit, and then realised there was nothing else l could do except get on with it and make some more soap. 3-4 weeks curing time or not, l’ve just gotta make it, nothing else will help. I now have a very organised list of Soaps That Must Be Made, and it is even in order of urgency LOL.  So l am all inspired and on a soapmaking bender for the next couple of days.

Somehow this little gem found its way into the list – l have been wanting to make another gardener’s soap for such a long time, as l was never really happy with my Orange Marmalade soap. l also have a huge bottle of Bluegum Eucalyptus oil here that was begging to be used, and a tub full of wheatgrass powder from my natural soap colour experiement. l plotted and schemed and dreamed up a few different combinations of scents and ingredients and scrubby bits, and Green Thumb is what eventuated. Scented with Eucalyptus and Lavender, and filled with lots of yummy things for scrubbing dirty hands from the garden.

l have to say, l am majorly stoked with this photo! I do wish the little flower bud in the front was in focus, but l adore how all the soap scrubby bits are easy to see, and the curve of that gumleaf? Ahhhh, it totally makes my day LOL.

4 responses so far

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