Pumpkin Perfection Soap: The Clyde Slide Soap Challenge

I just love learning a new swirl technique, especially one that comes up with great results every time, even if you don’t get it exactly right! This month’s Soap Challenge Club delivered all that with the Clyde Slide, a technique created by Clyde Yoshida of Vibrant Soap. Check out some of his YouTube videos (like this one) for a fun time! And as a bonus, you might learn more about colors and a new technique too!!

Since the weather has been changing dramatically around here, I’m once again ready for all things pumpkin. I’ve tried my hand at making pumpkin soap before, but the recipe needed some tweaking. (And a few of the soaps were massacred, too. Haha!) So, new recipe, new design.

I began by making a lye solution with 30% less water than usual (10% less to account for the extra water in the pumpkin puree, and 20% addition of yogurt). I also added a bit of sugar (for extra bubbles in the final product) and cruelty-free silk to the hot lye. I melted my oils and added pumpkin puree, a bit of yogurt, and some colloidal oatmeal to the oils. I let everything cool to about 85 degrees, then I added the lye to the oils and blended just a bit to get to emulsion (not even thin trace yet). I divided up my soap as follows: 1.5 cups of soap into titanium dioxide (white), 1.5 cups into 1.5 tsp tangerine dream mica, 1.5 cups into red oxide with a pinch of tangerine dream mica, 1 cup into cocoa powder, and the remaining was left uncolored (it was a lovely yellow-orange color thanks to the pumpkin puree and yogurt). I added a delicious spicy pumpkin fragrance to each container except the white (to ensure it wouldn’t discolor), and I whisked it in to maintain a very fluid soap.

Because of some of the spicy notes in the fragrance, I thought the soap might begin to set up, so I moved very fast! I began pouring each color into a new bowl on the opposite side of the pour spout using the faux-funnel method, alternating light and dark colors.

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Here’s a peak at the soap after pouring about half of it into the new bowl using the faux-funnel method.

As suspected, the soap began setting up. I used the whisk to loosen up the batter in each container so the pours would continue to be wispy, but I had to move even faster. I hesitated to stop to take a picture, but I did it for your sake!! 🙂

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Here’s the faux-funnel bowl just before I began pouring it into the mold.

See how set up it was already? Oh, well. Onward! And HURRY!

I began at one end of the soap mold and poured about half of the soap in, then continued pouring by moving the bowl down the length of the mold a total of 3 times. It was too thick to only pour from one end. I had to get it spread out! This is a view before I tamped the mold to flatten it out.

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Can you say THICK?!! And is that a bit of ricing I see??

Despite setting up so quickly, this soap clearly has some pretty awesome striations. (Nice word, huh?)

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Marbly… yeah, baby!

I prettied up the top of the soap, then put it to bed. I couldn’t wait to cut into it to see what cool stripes might emerge.

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More striations. Woohoo!

Just unmolding the soap was fun! Check out the awesome underbelly. And as a bonus, my husband passed by, inhaled long and hard, and commented that now he needs a slice of pumpkin pie. Success! Hence the name Pumpkin Perfection. Yum!

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Mesmerizing. Pumpkin Perfection Soap.

This soap is really beautiful, and it was really fun to make. My only disappointment is that the red-orange color turned out very close to the same color as the cocoa powder brown. In person, you can still see the slight variation, but it’s hard to capture in the pictures. Next time, I’ll try for a deeper red for a bit more contrast. Still… love, love, love the results.

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Every bar is completely unique.

I’m definitely going to have to make some more of this; I know it will quickly be spoken for!

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I like the slight feathering on these bars, and you can see some crackling white lines in there. The pumpkin and sugar probably made it get a bit hotter than usual, and I love the effect it created!

Cheers for pumpkin season!!

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Gotta love the zigzag stripes in this bar!

Thanks for stopping by! I’ve been participating in the soap challenges behind the scenes these last few months, and I’m happy to actually submit an entry this time around. [Maybe someday I’ll get around to posting about my soaping MIS-adventures from the previous few months. The techniques were awesome, but my creations were… less than awesome. 😀 ]

Thanks for another great Challenge Club assignment, Amy! And thanks, Clyde, for sharing your fun creations with the soaping community at large! We all appreciate both of you!!!

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Pumpkin Soap

Because I’ve been so addicted to all things pumpkin lately, I just had to make a pumpkin soap! Full of great-for-skin vitamins A and D as well as antioxidants, pumpkin is a beautiful color and such a wonderful fall fragrance. Since I can’t wait to show you, take a first look!

Pumpkin Soap

Perfect Pumpkin Soap

There are several pumpkin soap recipes floating around in cyberspace, so I basically scoured and combined them, making up my own version. I decided to make a large double batch of this soap since I think it will be popular (if not with other people, then with me).

I began by making my lye solution with a slightly discounted amount of water, taking into consideration that I’d be adding in pumpkin puree which adds some liquid to the soap. I also added a small amount of sodium lactate to ensure that this soap hardens appropriately. Using my favorite recipe, I melted my oils and butters and let them cool to about 100 degrees. Then I added canned pumpkin puree (just pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling) and stick blended until smooth. 

When the lye solution and oils were at room temperature, I combined and blended them to very light trace. Because the fragrance oil contains a bit of vanilla which will turn brown over time, I separated off a bit of soap to leave unscented and color white. Then I added the lovely, spicy pumpkin fragrance to the rest of the soap and mixed it by hand in hopes that it wouldn’t accelerate trace too much. The soap turned out to be a soft orange color thanks to the pumpkin puree.

Next, the fun colorful swirls began! I colored one cup of soap a lovely bright orange, and another two cups of soap a deep red-orange. I added the bright orange to the deep orange cup, creating an in-the-pot swirl of the two colors. I poured about half of the main batter into the bottom of my mold, then added the orange colors from high above down the length of the mold. Right above the orange pours, I added in the white soap and then some more uncolored main batter. I added on the last bit of orange, white, and uncolored soap, then finished by swirling the top with a bamboo skewer. After a spritz of alcohol, I put the soap to bed in the slightly warmed oven. My house smelled like I was baking pumpkin pie! Yummy!

It was such a joy to make this soap! Unlike my other soaps of late, this soap did not accelerate too quickly. It was the perfect consistency to work with, giving me lovely fluid swirls until the very end of the molding process. AND… I remembered to add every single ingredient that I’d planned to add! Haha! Triumph! 

There was one small hiccup, and it was during incubation. I was away from home, so I couldn’t check on my soap! It overheated a bit and cracked down the center in the middle of each mold.

Pumpkin Soap in the molds

Pumpkin Soap in the molds. See the cracks down the center of each loaf?

Pumpkin Soap loaf

Here’s an up-close of the larger crack. It only affected a couple of bars after cutting, and it really isn’t too terrible.

The overheating also caused the white portion of the soap to crackle, and I love the effect it created!

Pumpkin Soap

These two bars have a lot of white, showing off the awesome crackles!

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Look at these crackling white waves!

The final product turned out quite beautiful. The in-the-pot orange and red-orange swirls topped with white looks similar to the Holly Swirl technique.

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Lots of beautiful swirls in this Perfect Pumpkin Soap.

I’m hoping that if the small amount of vanilla in the fragrance causes the soap to turn brown, perhaps it will still be different tones because of the colors. The white should remain white since I left it unscented. As usual, time will tell.

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Another shot of Perfect Pumpkin Soap with dreamy swirls. It looks and smells good enough to eat!

Since this project was so fun, I’m really excited to start using more foods in soaps! What foods would you like to see? I’m thinking strawberries and cream, or maybe bananas and blueberries, or how about oranges? Maybe something that combines them all…

Crochet Pumpkin Hat

With fall securely here, I’m loving all things pumpkin! About a month ago, I made my first batch of pumpkin muffins this season, and I haven’t been able to get pumpkins off my mind since.

I wanted to make something cute for the baby to wear on our annual visit to the pumpkin patch. A Pinterest search led me to this free crochet pumpkin hat pattern by Cathy Kurtz.

Crochet Pumpkin Harvest Hat

Crochet Pumpkin Harvest Hat

I used a size G hook with Red Heart Super Saver yarn as suggested. It was a pretty quick pattern to work up, not too difficult, and fits my nearly 9-month-old perfectly. Take a look!

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I love the hat, but I love the chubby cheeks even more!

I especially like the front post double crochet stitches that create the ribs, making this hat really look like a pumpkin. And that stem! The curly vine and leaf on top are just too cute. In these pictures, they’re a bit obscured by the bow that I clipped on top to make sure everyone knew this little pumpkin is a girl!

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My little pumpkin sitting in the little pumpkins!

This is by far the cutest pumpkin hat pattern I’ve found! We’ve gotten lots of compliments on this one.

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Can you tell I’m a bit enamored with this sweet baby?!?!

If you like this hat, you might like the other free patterns on my Pinterest board. Happy harvest hookin’!