Peaked Tops

The Week 9 soap challenge issued by Amy of Great Cakes Soapworks was to create peaked tops on soap.  It looks like a pretty simple technique, but I think I’m going to have to work on it some more!  I do like the way my tops turned out, but I think practice will make them even better.

The first soap I made was with a new recipe again, and I used my newest Peach Nectar fragrance oil.  This soap traced really quickly, and the fragrance most certainly accelerated trace.   I did a peach and pink in-the-pot swirl, but I had to create holes in the peach base to get the pink to the bottom of the pot! Then I had to work quickly to slap it all in the mold!  I didn’t have to wait at all to create the peaks since the soap was setting up so fast.

Here’s the raw Peach Nectar soap. Notice how messy the sides are! I really had a rough time getting this in the mold!

The final product turned out really nicely considering the troubles I had.

Fresh out of the mold, and the peaks look nice!  The color of this picture is off, but you get the idea.

Honestly, I was thankful not to have soap on a stick, and I can’t believe there are actually swirls in the bars!

The colors aren’t very pronounced, but there are some lovely pink swirls in there! I was hoping for some redder veins like you see in peaches. Oh well! And the tops have gotten a bit ashy as it cures, but I don’t mind it.

While I was on a roll, I decided to try making another soap, once again with a new recipe and a new scent.  This time I chose White Tea & Ginger, and it smells fantastic!  I used titanium dioxide in the soap base and attempted to make a brownish/peachish ginger color to swirl in the mold.  Much like my first soap, this one accelerated really quickly as well!  I didn’t make very dramatic peaks in this one, but I really like the results.  And the colors turned out really beautiful.  This scent is becoming a fast favorite of mine!

White Tea & Ginger soap loaf

White Tea & Ginger bars

My Peach Nectar and White Tea & Ginger soaps are curing side-by-side, and the smell is wonderful!  I may have to try mixing these two fragrances!  So yummy and fresh that I want to take a bite!  Take a look at the other pretty peaked tops here. Thanks for stopping by!

Salt? In Soap?

Yes, this week’s challenge was to put salt in soap!  I’ve only just recently heard of a salt soap, so I watched a video of someone making it about a month ago.  Looked pretty crazy to me!  Honestly, I thought to myself that I wouldn’t be trying that any time soon.  And then Amy decided to add it to the challenges!  So what’s a girl to do?  Accept the challenge of course!  After reading the commentary that salt soap can be extremely moisturizing, I was intrigued as well.  And it turns out that comment was absolutely correct!  I think I may have found a new love!  Salt soap is awesome!!!  

This soap contains 80% coconut oil, 10% avocado oil, 5% shea butter, and 5% castor oil with 18% superfat and 75% fine sea salt.  I used 100% champagne as the liquid!  I had a cheap bottle sitting in my fridge from Christmas that just didn’t taste good anyway, so I made soap with it rather than throwing it out!  (I also made another batch of Champagne & Strawberries with real champagne instead of beer this time!)  After heating and combining the oils, I added eucalyptus, peppermint and spearmint essential oils, then added the champagne/lye solution, and finally added a bit of blue oxide.  The color of the raw soap was an incredible turquoise!  I guess in the picture it does still look blue!  I wish it would have stayed that aqua color, but alas… It did turn a nice shade a blue in the end.

After molding the soap, I placed it in the oven at 170 degrees for 2 hours, then I let it stay there for another 3 hours.  I cut it right after I removed it from the oven, still warm and truly invigorating with all the minty action floating around my kitchen.  The bottom of each bar did crumble quite a bit!  Might have something to do with the mitre box that I use to cut, too!  But I was able to make them more presentable by beveling the edges a few days later.  

The bars are very hard, and they lather like a dream!  It’s creamy, then fluffy, and stable!  Darling hubby compared the lather to shaving cream.  The scent of this soap reminds me of a mint mojito (though I’ve never actually had one to drink) and a margarita (because of the salt I guess).  I expected the salt to be exfoliating, but I don’t feel it at all when I use these bars.  And they become even harder and more glossy in water!

Notice how creamy it is at first lather.

And here’s what happens after working with it a bit! Lots of bubbles. Quite yummy! And smells incredible! Relaxing and invigorating at the same time… Is that possible?

So. much. fun!  I love the result, and I will definitely be making more salt soap.  Once again, I’m so thankful for Amy’s challenges!  They’ve pushed me to learn to make so many different types of soap in such a short time.  Check out the other challenge salt soaps here.

Another day to be thankful for soap!

Warning reader: This post is not about making soap, but about using it!  And you’ll need to have an iron stomach to read it.  If you’ve just eaten, you might want to come back later!  Continue reading at your own risk…

It was an eventful morning at my house!  Madelynn, one of my triplets, was acting kind of strange when she woke up.  She didn’t really act like she wanted her bottle of milk, but she drank about half of it as I was changing her diaper.  She pushed the rest of her bottle away, and I got her dressed for the day.

Just as I was standing her up to finish pulling up her pants, she started gagging and throwing up.  Not just a little bit either; she heaved 4 times.  She hurled chunks in my hair.  All through my very long hair.  Down her front, between her toes, down my front, into my shirt and pooled in my bra, all over the changing table and the floor.  And it was gross curdled milk from the night before, plus the new milk she just drank.  Absolutely disgusting.

Thankfully, my oldest daughter was already gone to preschool.  But the other 2 triplets were already up and running.  And the hubs was already at work.  Mind you, I have a really strong stomach.  Three of my 4 kids were avid spitter-uppers, and I use cloth diapers.  I clean up grossness all the time!  But these chunks in my hair were simply too much to handle!  The stench so near my nose was overwhelming.  And I couldn’t just jump in the shower with no one else around to watch the babes.  So I felt like I had no choice but to get us all clean.  I stripped Madelynn and myself down to our skivvies and headed for the bathroom.  Chloe and Annabelle followed us right in and we all took a bath/shower!  That’s a first!  Three slippery babies and one mommy in the tub.

When my husband does something cool or funny, he always tells me that he reeks of awesomeness.  I’ve decided that I reek of bravery. Or maybe stupidity… I reek at any rate.  We were all 4 in the tub for over half an hour.  Of course, my hair was the first thing to get cleaned!  Then I held each one up into the stream of the shower.  They were totally shocked and kind of scared of it.  They all wanted to be in my arms, so they each cried while I held another.  I ended up just filling the tub and sitting in there with them, trying to wash them all.  Madi tried to eat the Monkey Farts bar of soap twice, and they all had fun chasing the soap around under the water.  It was actually kind of fun, and we had lots of laughs.  I had to refill the tub once because it got so cold.  And I had to scramble to get myself clean, but no more chunks in my hair is worth it!  Now, getting us all out and dry…that’s another story for another day.  Never a dull moment around here!

Quite an interesting start to the day I’d say!  Boy, am I thankful for soap!?!  And I’m thankful that I can laugh when things like this happen.  All in all, I must say that I wouldn’t miss this for anything in the world!

Gradient Soap

Another new technique! For me at least! This week’s Great Cakes Soapworks challenge was to create a gradient colored soap, displaying several layers of colors.  I chose to go from a deep sage green color on bottom, working my way to a soft green on top, showing a total of 5 layers.  I used Sage & Citrus fragrance, and I really do love the final product!  The scent is slightly masculine, but I’m very tempted to use it myself!  Though the top few layers don’t show much differentiation, the bottom color is particularly pretty.

Sage & Citrus Gradient Soap

When making this soap, I used another new recipe with several different oils.  I wasn’t sure how quickly everything would move, so I let the oils and lye solution cool almost to room temperature before I mixed them.  As usual, it was also my first time using this fragrance, so I had to be ready to work quickly just in case!  Why do I keep doing this to myself, all these firsts at once?!?!  I guess since I’m so new to this, I can only learn by trying, right?  I keep looking for that perfect recipe with just the right lather, hardness and conditioning.  Don’t we all?  And I can’t keep making soap with the same scents over and over simply because they behave!

Notice it’s a bit grainy in texture? Hmmm… This soap is also super hard! I had a rough time cutting it by hand only 12 hours after making it.

This new recipe worked well, but the fragrance did speed things up just a bit.  I was surprised to be able to add each layer after only a few minutes of waiting, working faster and faster with each new color.  By the final layer, the soap was getting very thick, so I had to carefully plop the soap in and spread it around.  In my mind, I planned to start with green on bottom and work my way up into a few yellow layers on top to represent the citrus notes, but things moved too fast for that!  All in all, I’ll definitely try this technique again.  It was fun and not too difficult, but certainly not too easy either!  I played it safe for this first one, but I would like to try a few different colors in my next attempts.

Check out the other beautiful gradient soaps here.