Friday, August 16, 2013

August 2013 Great Cakes Soap Challenge Club - The Holly Swirl

Great Cakes Soapworks "Holly Swirl" Challenge

August 16, 2013

Don't you love a challenge? Soap making challenges always inspire me to be a bit more more creative and to give color and fragrance selection more thought than usual.  Or , as in lately, they actually get me to make a batch of soap!  I've been on hiatus since last December and am just now returning to soapmaking.  Although I've kept up with fellow soapmakers in the forums online, I realize that I've missed the process of actually planning and making a soap that I'm pleased with an look forward to sharing. 

The batch I made for Amy's "Holly Swirl" challenge isn't exactly what I was aiming for in design, but it smells fabulous and I'm pretty pleased with it overall.  A big thank you, as always, to Amy Warden for pulling these challenges together.  I look forward to them and hope they'll continue!

Confession:  I actually made two batches, but the second was a fail.  I think my trace was too thin and I ended up with very subtle swirls, but a beautiful peach color overall and it will make nice gifts this Christmas!

I did an "in the pot two color swirl" of green and yellow, mixed with an "in the pot swirl" of turquoise and yellow and poured them into a base color of cream/white made by adding 1 tsp. of titanium dioxide.
I'd use more base and less swirled colors next time and I'd also make sure that the colors I chose wouldn't muddy or blend together.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained !!

In honor of my all time favorite movie, The Wizard of Oz, and it's one week IMAX 3D release in October, I created City of Emeralds.   

Thank you for visiting and I hope you'll leave a comment or critique.  

~ Suzy @ Spoonbridge Soaps

The Conservatory - Shamrock Green mica, Gold Luster Green
Bramble Berry  - Fizzy Lemonade, titanium dioxide

Fragrance:  Ancient Incense by Moonworks Collection

Forgive the poor photo quality. I'm saving my pennies for a good camera, but in the meantime this is the best it gets.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sweepstakes to win a beautiful yarn tote !

I knit and crochet when the weather's cooler, so thought I'd post this for you soaper makers who do the same.

Check out this sweepstakes to win a beautiful Everything-Mary yarn tote.  I have grocery bags with yarn in them and could sure use a few of these bags !!!

Good luck !!!

~  Suzy

Friday, April 12, 2013

Great Cakes Soapworks Challenge 2013 - Week 3 - mica swirl tops

Once again, a thank you to Amy Warden from Great Cakes Soapworks for putting a challenge together again this year.  Be sure to check out all the challenge participant's soaps!  

 I wasn't able to participate in last week's challenge, so thought I'd keep it simple this week with both my recipe and colors.   I have to say - I'm disappointed in the colors. BUT, I found a fragrance in the back of my stash that I really love.  Tinseled Garland by 

Colors:  Wine Red Glitter - a mica by Elements Bath and Body.
               Black Cherry Mica - by Elements Bath and Body.

Both colors are AMAZING in the containers. The depth of color and sparkle was so intense, that if they translated even partially in soap they would be beautiful.  I don't think either did, but Black Cherry was a bit better than Wine Red (gross turned a muted blood color and that's what it looked like in my attempt at a mica swirl on top).  I thought the difference in the colors was enough that it would be subtle, but unique.
Wine Red (L) and Black Cherry (R)

My fragrance was Tinseled Garland by  I'm assuming it's a Holiday fragrance, but it just smells like juniper berries and a bit floral to me. No reason to save it just for the Holidays!  I'm on a fragrance "no buy" until I use some of the MANY I've purchased that are gathering dust. Tinseled Garland was one of those.

"Tinseled Garland" by

Here are my results.  I really need to practice on that mica swirl top.  I'll use less olive oil next time and more mica.  I'm not unhappy with the cut bars, but they aren't what I'd planned.  Try, try again!!

The color muted and the mica swirl just didn't look good - it lost a lot
 of the sparkle and the color faded into more of a browned pink.  Ish.  

Okay, is it me or does this look like a cut of meat...marbled bacon maybe? UGH!! 

It may not be pretty, but it smells wonderful and I'll use this fragrance again - it behaved very well and is holding it's scent....the house smells great today !!

See you in two weeks for the final challenge !!!

~Suzy @ Spoonbridge Soaps;   Minneapolis, Minnesota

Friday, March 29, 2013

Great Cakes Soapworks Challenge 2013 - Week 1 - Tiger Stripe

A Big Thanks to Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks for pulling together this years challenge.
Be sure to check out the challenge information and videos. 

There are still three weeks left to join in if you weren't able to this week!

This week's challenge was the "Tiger Stripe",  a technique that was on my "gotta try this" list. 
This was my first time making soap since October, so I hoped it was like riding a bike. I have to admit, I was nervous!  Lye into water...not water into lye...volcano...bad.  Goggles, apron, gloves.  My oils and supplies are all still sitting in packing boxes in the basement of my new townhome since my divorce and move in December, so I had to do some digging. I must have gone up and down the stairs at least five times because I kept forgetting things - measuring cups, lye pitcher, lye spoon, wrong fragrance, changed my mind on fragrance, no....going with the first fragrance.  I managed to find everything except my digital thermometer, but did dig out the old thermometer I'd originally used when I first learned to make soap, so all was good.  Choosing colors really stumped me this time.  I decided to steer away from the traditional tiger colors of black/brown and orange.  The store that sells my soaps had requested something with Spring colors, so I finally decided this would be their batch.  I used "Breath of Spring" from TKB Trading and "Peacock Blue Mica" from The Conservatorie in my base batter of cream with some titanium dioxide added.  Both these micas in the mixing oil just don't get any prettier.  I wish there was a way to hold that shimmer and bright intense color in my cured soap.  Oh, my final fragrance decision was Morning Sunrise from Moonworks Collection.  Their fragrances are always unique and have depth to them.

Creating the tiger, green and cream. 

Mold filled and top swirled, although it's subtle

Out of the mold and ready to be cut...the house smells sooooo good ! Morning Sunshine says it all. Fresh, clean but not a chemical or artificial smelling clean.  

The cut bars - cool technique !!  I like this look better than the faux funnel I think.

I really need to get a good camera and stop using my phone,  but here's a close up of a bar.  I can't wait to try this again!  Next time, more contrast and maybe three or more colors.  I'd like to figure out how to eliminate the dip in the bottom layer.  Any ideas ?

Thanks for visiting ~ please leave a link to your blog or website so I can follow your soaping adventures !!

Until next week......

~Suzy @ Spoonbridge Soaps    Minneapolis, Minnesota

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Join the challenge !!

Hey all !  It's been a looooong time, but I'm coming off my soaping hiatus and am looking forward to getting back into the game.  

**  News of the week **

Amy Warden from Great Cakes Soapworks is having another soaping challenge this year!  It actually starts tomorrow, March 24th.

I participated in her challenge last year and not only learned a lot, but was really motivated to try new recipes and techniques that I probably wouldn't have otherwise.
This years challenge is only four parts, so not overwhelming or super time consuming.

Check it out here

I hope you'll sign up and give Amy's challenge a try.

Here’s the schedule:
Week One March 24th: Tiger Stripe
Week Two March 31st: Elemental Swirl
Week Three April 7th: Mica Swirl Tops
Week Four April 21st: Leopard Spots
See you there!!