Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saturday June 16, 2012

My sweetie's at a conference in Chicago until Wednesday and it's been raining on and off today, so this seemed a good day to make some soap.  

I purchased the greatest acrylic slab mold from Steve at Soap Making Resources a few months ago, but hadn't used it yet.  It has a silicone mat on the bottom and dividers that fit smoothly in the mold. The lid is fitted to the mold and it's really well designed and produced.  I wouldn't hesitate to pick up more molds from Steve - they really put out a high quality product!

I've never tried a faux funnel pour (am I the last one to try this technique?), so mixed up eight colors in total:   activated charcoal, titanium dioxide, Fizzy Lemonade, Green Chrome Oxide,  Melon Red Lab Color, Antique Blue (wow - what a gorgeous color in the jar), Bolero Mica and Magic Violet - all from Bramble Berry. The green and black seemed to overtake the mold, so I'm really anxious to see how it cures. It's darker than I would have liked (more yellow and orange next time), but I'm happy with the pattern for my first time.  I made a marbling tool from two layers of Friendly Plastic with some stick pins sandwiched in between and it worked pretty well.  

Here are the colors mixed - don't you wish they'd stay as bold and bright after they cure? If anyone knows how to make this happen, I'll pay you for the answer!!!  

Here's a closeup of the top of the slab.  I like the green and the darkness of this slab. It's so hard to wait to see how it turns out!!

This was photographed against my granite counter top which is dark so it's a bit hard to see, but this  is the fifteen bar acrylic mold from Soap Making Resources.  I popped it in the oven for a couple hours at 160 degrees and - so far, so good.  I'm just hoping the colors will stay bold and true.

These weren't ready to unmold until tonight (Sunday) and they're still a bit soft, but here they are:

(2) I guess one loaf of soap just wasn't enough today. Maybe it's because I haven't made soap in a few weeks and needed to get it out of my system.  I decided to try a beeswax and honey soap.  I have a friend who's sister and husband raise bees, so this loaf is for Karen and her sister Pam !

I used the technique of bubble wrap on the bottom and top of the loaf to give a honeycomb look to the soap.

My 4 lb loaf lined in bubble wrap on the bottom.

1 oz of Minnesota produced beeswax - grated, melted and added to the oils along with honey.  I fragranced this with Honey and Oatmeal and some honey flavor oil.  I took a risk with the flavor oil, but I love the smell so much that I just had to try it.  

Let's put the lid on and put this one to bed.  The person that came up 
with the bubble wrap technique is a genius!

I have a feeling this will darken with time as it has a lot of vanilla in it.

Yes, that's a little bee on the top of the soap. They're made from sugar, but I don't think I'll put one on each bar. Cute for a picture anyway!

I'm hoping the base will darken and the swirls will stand out more.

(3)  Nope, still more soap making energy left. I had to make a third.  This one is a faux funnel pour in bright oxide green, lemonade yellow and white.   It's fragranced with 10x orange - just a great summery soap!  Forgot to mention that this is a new recipe for me:  olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, almond oil and mango butter.  I should have run it through the calculator,but forgot in my excitement!  It unmolded this morning, but it's no where near ready to cut - super soft, but crumbly soft *gulp* uh oh...I hope it dries well.

Chrome Green, Fizzy  Lemonade and titanium dioxide

It doesn't look like much in the mold, but I have faith that it will be cool when I cut it !

Crazy looking top, but there is a faux funnel pour underneath.  

Out of the mold.  That shine on the counter is from the oils in the soap!

Not a great picture, but here's the side - I did the funnel pour at a light trace to get a blurred, soft look. I just hope it's blurred and not muddy looking!  Man, is it hard to wait to see what's inside!  

I love the colors, but as you can see this was a SUPER crumbly loaf. About an 1/8 of the end totally cracked right off.  So disappointing!!  Maybe someone can give me some insight as to what might have caused this. Too much TD?  Too much mixing at trace?  I've read a dozen opinions and would be happy to narrow it down to a couple things I can avoid next time!!

So, I crossed a few "gotta try this" 's  off my list today.  I also filled a single silicone mold of a turtle for my boss - "Turtle" is his nickname and his office is filled with glass, ceramic, stone, paper and wooden painted turtles, so I'm hoping he'll add the turtle soap to his collection.

Comment and let me know what you've been working on or what your next soap loaf will be. Any great fragrances you've tried and love?  Any that weren't what you'd expected?  Any colors you're leaning towards more than others this Summer?  


Katie White said...

Eeek! So excited to see these cut and finished! They look so so lovely, Mrs. Suzy! Thanks for sharing!

Suzy Whitten said...

Aw, thank you Katie !! I cut the Beeswax & Honey loaf today, but the other two are still too soft. I ordered the buttermilk baby bar from you this morning, my granddaughter will love it. She has sensitive skin,so I always leave fragrance and color out of her soaps. I haven't tried buttermilk and yours looked so pretty. Gorgeous packaging, Katie! ~Suzy

Katie White said...

Well that is just so sweet!Thanks so much! Yes, buttermilk is a tad tricky as it's very easy to overheat but it's fantastic for problem or sensitive skin! Can't wait for you to receive it! :) Katie

Louisa McFarland said...

What a productive weekend you had. I am a tad jealous, well sort of. I got to make one batch of soap but I did end up having all my kids home, so it was worth it. You are so talented with your colours, they all look amazing. I hope the last batch cures ok for you, sometimes they take an extra few weeks to cure but then end up just fine. It still should be beautiful to use with all those yummy oils in it.

Suzy Whitten said...

Hi Louisa!! My husband works long hours and is gone a bit, so my time is my own fairly often. I'm not always able to soap, but when I have an entire day - it seems the perfect time. I always feel so good afterwards - to heck with the cleaning and grocery shopping!!! I think the last batch is a lost cause, but we'll see. It's soft and crumbly...just a weird texture. So sad 'cuz I really like the colors and pattern. My fault for not running it through the saponification calculator and making a BIG batch rather than trying it in a small amount. Maybe it will harden enough with time to be usable - if not, it's a rebatch !
Thanks for commenting :-D

Jenny said...

Your soaps turned out beautifully, Suzy! I love the Honey and Beeswax soap - the swirls look nice. I like to use bubble wrap for my honey soaps, too. It's such a neat effect. So sorry to hear that the faux funnel soap may not turn out - the swirls are so pretty! Have you checked for zap? If the recipe wasn't run through a lye calc and the soap is crumbly, I'm thinking maybe it's lye-heavy. Your technique looks great, though, and I hope you can save the batch. :)

Suzy Whitten said...

Thanks, Jenny. I took your advise and checked for zap - none. They were wet crumbly and not brittle crumbly, so I'm really not sure what that means. Disappointing, but I'll try it again because I did like the pattern and colors.
Now, we just need to get someone to make bubble wrap with hexagon bubbles instead of round !! It still looks pretty cool and I wish I knew who first came up with that technique. They're genius.

Silvia en el bosque said...

I see you love the colors, like me! i think they are great!!

Suzy Whitten said...

Thank you !!