Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Unmolding batch #4: Peppermint and Eucalyptus soap

Yay, two days have passed! You know what that means... Happy unmolding day! :-)

This batch was the first time I did two pours with different colors. I was hoping to get a cool swirly effect by sticking my spatula into the mold and "mixing" the two pours together... Here's what I saw when I pulled the paper down the sides... It's not looking so swirly yet...

(* The peppermint flakes I used here were compliments of my friend, Chatti! Check out her blog if you need an awesome photographer and live in CA!) :-)

Here is the first cut! I think I did it wrong, because it isn't swirled together like I had wanted. :( I am however, liking the little peppermint flakes mixed into the soap. I think it gives it a little texture and a cool natural look. :)

I was able to cut 14 bars from this batch.

I was trying to show in this next picture that no two bars are exactly alike! Some are more white, and some are more green.

Here's another picture of the bars.

Here is a view from the front of the bars sitting on their new home. They will be sitting here for the next 4-6 weeks curing and drying out! (Technically, they will only be sitting here for about 10 more days, because I'm moving! Not sure how that's going to play out exactly, but I'll make it work!)

Here's a shot of the bars from the back. Don't you just love them? I do. :-)

Even though I didn't get the swirly effect I was going for, I am still really digging the way these guys turned out. :) They smell so minty! (It's a mix of candy canes and halls cough drops! Yum! lol)

Thanks for stopping by! :-)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Batch #4: Peppermint and Eucalyptus cold process soap

Hey everyone, I'm baaaaaack!

After taking 2 weeks off from soapmaking, I got back in the kitchen today to make some more! I took my first recipe and tweaked it a little bit, in order to make it slightly larger and to switch out the sunflower oil for something new! I like trying new things. :)

So what is new this time, you ask? Well, I decided to try using walnut oil, I added peppermint leaf flakes, and used peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils.

The ingredients for this recipe are as follows: olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, walnut oil, castor oil, water, lye, peppermint essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil, peppermint flakes, titanium dioxide, and green chrome oxide.

As you can see from my ingredients, this soap will be 100% natural!

After I added my lye water to my oils (which had titanium dioxide mixed in to whiten my soap), I waited until I got to light trace and added my peppermint essential oil. Then I added in my peppermint flakes for some texture.

I then took about 60-70% of my mixture (rough estimate) and poured it into my loaf mold.

With the mixture I had left over in my bowl, I added green chrome oxide and eucalyptus essential oil. It sort of turned a much more radioactive green than what I was going for... I'm hoping it will make a nice contrast. :)

Then I poured my green mixture on top of the white mixture and I stuck my spatula into there and tried to swirl it. (I've never tried this before and to be honest, I'm not even sure that I did it right) We'll see what happens when I unmold it, I'm hoping it turns out really cool! Then I sprinkled peppermint flakes on top for that added finishing touch. :)

Check back on Wed. when I will be popping this bad-boy out of the mold! :-)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Soap batch #3: Unmolding time!!!

The past two days have gone by rather slowly, as I have been eagerly awaiting the time this batch with lavender essential oil and lavender buds would be coming out of the mold! Since I used a smaller recipe, this soap didn't completely fill up my 4 pound mold, so this batch is a wee little short one. ;) Each piece is 2.5 inches tall or slightly less...

Below is after I had popped it out of the mold. My excitement was building! I couldn't wait to cut these babies! Oh, did I mention this soap smells WONDERFUL?!? It's like visiting the botanical gardens!

Since this batch was shorter, I cut each bar slightly wider than usual. Each bar was a little over an inch and I cut 13 total this time (I usually get 16 bars).

Below is what the bars look like after they had been cut. To be honest, I was rather disappointed with each cut because the lavender buds in between each bar ended up sliding out of the soap and left these weird lines. :*( Any fellow soapers out there have any tips on how to NOT get these lines? I'm going to ask my trusty source, Bramble Berry. Anne-Marie is always so kind and helpful. :)

Here's another shot below with the lines... If you are wondering why there are little yellow spots, that's where the lavender buds were before coming out with my knife. Since the buds are organic material, they will always discolor the soap right around them.

Here's a shot of the bars on my drying rack! I know what you're thinking... I need another drying rack because I now have TWO batches squished in tight quarters to one another! I know people talk about scent swapping, which is a real thing (I have some going on right now in my bathroom cabinet!). This is when the soaps take on one another's scents at some point because they are too close. My guess is that the brown tropical vacation scented soaps on the right will take on the lavender scent because it's stronger... I decided to re-arrange my soaps after these next two pictures. ;)

front view of my little soldiers lined up and ready for battle!

Here's after I re-arranged the soaps. I feel much better having them like this on my drying rack. :)

I honestly want to make another batch tomorrow, but I have nowhere to put them! It may be time to drive on over to Goodwill and try to find some cheap racks and other supplies!

I was also rather excited today when I found out (10 months late!) that one of my plaid soaps was featured in a blog post on the Soap Queen website! Here's the link.

Enjoy, and have a great weekend! :-D

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cold process soap: Batch #3 with my own recipe!

Howdy Folks! 

Since my last slightly disastrous post where my soap came out less than perfect due to a discoloring oxide (and too much humidity), I was a little discouraged to try again. But I couldn't just allow one error to get the best of me, so I took a few weeks off and decided to try something new today... 

This time, I decided to make a 2 pound batch so I wouldn't need to use two molds. 

I took the recipe I normally use and made some modifications to it, which included changing the percentages of oil, as well as adding in a totally new oil (sunflower!)! I also added titanium dioxide to try and get my soap as white as possible, and this was my first time using essential oils and botanicals in cold process! 

(I want to give a shout-out to my super awesome friend, Chatti for giving me a WHOLE box of soap supplies, some of which I used today in this batch! I appreciate it soooooooooo much!) :-D

Here's what my recipe consisted of today (in no particular order): olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, castor oil, water, lye, sunflower oil, titanium dioxide, lavender essential oil, and lavender flower buds!

I won't bore you with the process today (if you want to see the process, you can look at this previous post), but here's a picture in between stirrings of the lavender buds!

I also saved some of my lavender buds to pour on top of the soap to give it a more "natural" look. I think it turned out pretty cool (so far).  If you click the pictures, you can see them better. ;)

I can't wait to un-mold this bad-boy in two days to see what the inside looks like! I'll take pictures for everyone to see! :-D