For the Love of Violet: February Soap Challenge

I have a confession to make. There’s a new love in my life.

Her name is Violet.

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Violet Rae, our sixth baby girl

She’s less than 2 weeks old, under 10 pounds, and is delectably squishy. You can see some more totally adorable photos here. 😉

Seeing as I’m so enamored with Miss Violet, she’s my inspiration for February’s Soap Challenge Club! And because she’s part of my very DNA, what better technique to use than this month’s challenge, the DNA Helix swirl!?!

I chose to use Nature’s Garden Loving Spell fragrance oil since I seem to be under her spell! It’s sweet, juicy, sparkly, fresh, and intoxicating, just like my Violet. And of course, I used shades of violet to create the soap. Because she’s got the softest, most sensitive skin, I added nourishing ingredients to the soap like tussah silk and colloidal oatmeal. I also added 2 teaspoons of sugar to my lye solution (in the form of a simple syrup) to add bubbles, as well as 2 teaspoons of sodium lactate to add hardness to the soap. Amy’s slow-moving recipe of 35% olive oil, 30% lard, 25% coconut oil, and 10% rice bran oil proved to be ever-so-slow-moving indeed! And the fragrance oil was a breeze to work with; no acceleration or ricing at all. I mixed my lye solution to my oils and fragrance at around 110 degrees, and I had well over half an hour of very fluid soap to play with.

After emulsifying the lye solution and oils, I split the batter into 4 equal parts and colored them with the following: 0.5 tsp lavender oxide, 0.5 tsp lavender oxide and 0.25 tsp black oxide, 2 tsp titanium dioxide, and 2 tsp sparkle gold mica, all dispersed in water.

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Left to right: deep purple, sparkly gold, lavender, and white soaps

After mixing in the colorants, I poured each color in long s-shaped curves down the length of my smallest slab mold. I filled the entire mold with soap this way, so there should be interesting details throughout each bar. As I neared the final pours, I was sure to carefully make lines to reveal all 4 colors.

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All soap poured into the mold and ready for swirling

I then inserted a skewer to the bottom of the mold and made very tight s-curves perpendicular to the stripes.

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The first round of swirling was so beautiful that it was difficult to make myself keep going!

Finally, I made the DNA Helix curve design, again going perpendicular to the stripes I’d just made.

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DNA Helix swirl design in Love Spell soap. Can you see the helix? Pretty awesome!

The results are stunning! This is a beautiful design technique that I will definitely use again.

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Love Spell soap in the raw

Since Miss Violet made her appearance, I’m busy trying to find a new normal. I haven’t made any soap until now. In fact, I cut this challenge very close and made this soap late last night! It’ll be in the mold for another day, and I’ll have to post pictures of the bars sometime next week.

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Here it is with dividers in place. Every bar will be so unique!

I’m excited to take a peak at all of the other soapy entries this month. (I made myself wait to look until after I’d made my own!) I’m certain we’ll have some incredible works of art like usual. Thanks, Amy, for another great tutorial! 🙂

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Introducing Our Sixth Messy Baby!

We are so incredibly blessed to introduce to you our sixth messy baby girl!

Meet Violet Rae!

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Violet Rae

Miss Violet was born just over a week ago at the healthy weight of 8 pounds 6 ounces, our biggest baby yet. She’s absolutely perfect in every way with deep blue eyes, lots of dark hair, and delicious cheeks!

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Precious baby feet

As anticipated, her sisters can’t get enough of her!

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The triplets are especially fascinated with this new little person!

They constantly give kisses and want to hold her. So far, Lydia (our 2-year-old) has shown no signs of jealousy. The excitement of the bigger girls has rubbed off on her, and she, too, gives constant kisses.

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Lydia holding Violet for the first time. And Lydia suddenly seems so big!

We’ve captured many of Violet’s sweet sleepy smiles already.

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Smiling in Meemaw’s arms

And I’ve been having fun setting up photo shoots at home! 🙂

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Violet at one week old

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Violet in a violet tutu! 🙂

Yes, the baby messes have begun once again! And not only do I have several loads more laundry each day (how exactly does that happen with the addition of one tiny little person?), but Lydia has also decided that she’s a big girl now, ready to potty on the toilet. She noticed that the baby wears diapers, and she’s not a baby anymore! Translation: Now I have lots of toddler messes to clean up too! She’s doing well with it really, but there have been lots of little accidents here and there to mop up. Oh, the stories I could tell… Six messy babies keep this mama hoppin’!!! And, boy, do I look forward to this:

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Sweet sleep

In all seriousness, Violet is another miracle to us, a testimony that God is actively involved in our everyday lives. (Check out a little bit of our infertility history here to see what I mean!) SIX GIRLS SIX AND UNDER! Who would have thought?! No, it’s not all sunshine and roses; we’re tired and busy, and Violet can cry with the best of them. But in the midst of it all, I’m trying to enjoy every cuddle, each sweet baby sigh, and all the tender sibling moments. We’re so very thankful for our newest addition, for this precious family that God has given us.