Friday, December 31, 2010

Lavender Funnel Swirl

I can't remember where or when I first saw a true funnel swirl done nicely, but the photo stays with me until this day.  I had no idea that it was swirled the funnel style, I just remember scratching my head thinking, "How did she do it?"

After rehearsing the steps in my head for the hundredth time, I finally got down to business and made my first ever funnel swirl.  Boy it was fun!

I learned about funnel swirl from this wonderful tutorial by Corrie.  The tricky part, at least to me, is to keep the soap mixture from reaching a thick trace before you finish alternating the colors.  As in all the swirling cases, revealing (or cutting) the soaps is always highly anticipated.  I'm usually quite patient when it comes to cutting my soaps.  I have no problems waiting for over a week before cutting to get that nice clean line that I love.  But this time I just couldn't last for more than 4 days!

Almost all the cut bars have these "smiles" on them, but the look at the bottom half of this soap is more of the look I was after - more finer and denser lines.  I've worked on my second funnel swirl, which I'll share with you as soon as I have the pictures ready, but I'll definitely need a third attempt to achieve that beautiful look I once saw by the unknown funnel master.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rubber Soap Stamps

Remember these soaps I made earlier?

I mentioned using rubber soap stamps I found at Michaels.  Here is what they look like..

They come in a pack of 8, with different designs in different packages.  

All you have to do is place them at the bottom of your mold and pour!   They're easy to come off and leave very clean and crisp designs on your soap.

The only thing I don't like about these is the way they curl up after I remove them from the soap.    Why do they curl?  They do return to their original shape though after I leave them under a heavy box to flatten them out.

Have fun soaping, everyone!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sweet Orange

How about some warm sunshine already?

The weather has been gloomy and snowy.  Not that I don't like snow - in fact, I LOVE snow! - but the lack of sunshine has been going on way too long.   Not good, not good at all.

So I decided to whip up a batch of bright and sunny soaps, enhanced with my newly-acquired Sweet Orange 5 Fold essential oil.   I remember reading somewhere that Sweet Orange 10 Fold gives you a lasting citrus scent, but 5 fold is the only close one I could get, I decided to give it a try anyway.

These soaps are my very first batch made with Hubby's soap mold!  He was like a broken record for days, "Have you tried your new mold? Have you tried your new mold? Have you....?"  And after I finally made a batch with the new mold, the track became, "Have you unmolded your soap?  Have you unmolded your soap?  Have you...?"

I guess now he knows the excitement I experience every time I make and cut soaps!

The impressions come from the rubber sheets I found at Michael's.  It's kind of tricky working with the fine details because small air pockets get trapped in there if the trace gets too heavy.  I like the look though, and I'll definitely go back to collect more designs for my soaps!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Angel Award

Thank you Claudia for giving me this award!  Muchas gracias!

I'm both flattered and humbled, and now I'm going to pass the award on to the following wonderful bloggers whose blogs always make me feel warm fuzzy inside:

Happy Holidays everyone!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Early Christmas Gift

This isn't meant to be my Christmas gift, but I'm calling it a gift anyway because I love it so much!

My wonderful Hubby made this mold for me, from design to finish.  I've been talking about how much I'd love to have a wooden mold for my soaps, but for years he never paid much attention to it.  He never prides himself as a handyman or a craftsman.  The only handy work he enjoys doing involves just drilling and hammering.  

One day, out of the blue he turned to me and said, "I'm going to make you a soap mold."

Huh?  Did I miss something?

He began drawing his designs, asking me to show him how big I'd like my soaps to be, and how I'd normally use the mold.   He was really putting in time and thoughts on this!

The final product looks amazing.  He's thought about everything I said and made me a all-in-1 soap mold.  I can use the divider to adjust the size of the mold, or better, create two mold at the same time.  Neat!

After making his first ever wooden mold, Hubby already began to talk about a possible second one.  He couldn't wait for me to use his mold ("Have you tried your new mold?") and he's got all sorts of ideas to make the next one even better!    How wonderful is that!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


It turns out my first batch after getting my soap room back isn't another HP after all.

A very good friend of mine has asked me to make her some soaps scented with lavender essential oil.  Lavender is her favorite and she'd love to give them out as Christmas gifts.

Anchoring natural scents has been every soap maker's ongoing quest.  Some talk about adding the eo before mixing in the lye ("wrapping eo with regular oil to protect it from lye"), some insist that adding the eo after trace helps ("good trace = less lye").    I've tried so many different things but most of the time I can't really tell whether they help or not, but I do find that a well-balanced blend and keeping the soap at a low temperature help retaining the scent.  

I love the blue color this time!  It wasn't meant to be blue, was aiming for purple.  I added some alkanet-infused oil, but then decided to sprinkle in some indigo powder "just in case alkanet doesn't produce enough purple".  I ended up having this beautiful, elegant dark blue, what a lovely surprise!  Doesn't it just add a little bit of mediterranean touch to the soap?