Wednesday, 2 October 2013

First Post and Summary

We have been making soap for about one year now.  Our first batch was a Christmas themed soap with Rosemary, Clove, Mint and powdered chocolate.  It turned out fantastic, and gave most of it away as gifts.  We next tried to make a shampoo bar which failed miserably.  Then we decided to take a soaping course.  We signed up for Otion's two day cold process soap Boot Camp.  We learned a lot, and picked up some supplies from Brambleberry.Next we tried to make a two colour swirl soap in our new 9 bar birch wood mold from Brambleberry.  We used pink clay and zinc oxide, scenting with Garden of Eden fragrance oil.  The soap set up too quickly for a nice swirl, but we loved it anyway.

 Next we tried to do a Tiger Stripe soap using a tutorial from Great Cakes Soapworks.  We used activated charcoal for the black, zinc oxide for whitening, and for a small accent of pink, we used madder root powder.  This soap was also a miserable failure as we added too much water to the lye, and the soap was too thick to get a nice thin tiger stripe in the mold.

Next we moved on to a design of our own which we called Sweet Tart.  We made tubes of soap using several sweet tart inspired colours.  We used the cardboard tube from Saran Wrap as our mold (lined with freezer paper) and they turned out great.  We embedded these tubes in scented, whitened soap.  The scent we used was Tart Apple, and we used titanium dioxide for whitening, which was much more effective than the zinc oxide we were using before.  We topped the loaf with 'sweet tarts' cut from the soap tubes.  The soap turned out great, but we underestimated the amount of white soap we needed to cover up the tubes, and needed to make a small batch to top off the loaf mold and cover the tubes, with enough excess on top in order to embed the sweet tarts.  Adding this top layer was not too troublesome, but we whitened the top layer a bit more than the first addition, and after slicing the soap loaf, (in some of our slices) this top layer has actually fallen off!

We have been watching many soaping You Tube videos and became inspired by soap balls!  We then set out to design a soap to incorporate this fun embed.  We made a Blueberry Muffin soap scented with a combination of Blueberry and Snickerdoodle fragrance oils.  We made a batch of soap coloured with Ultramarine blue oxide, and before it set up too hard, we pinched off little pieces of the soap and rolled them into small blueberry sized balls.  We embedded these 'blueberries' into our loaf mold, with the surrounding soap batter whitened with titanium dioxide.  We were expecting some discolouration from the FO, and after two weeks of curing time, the soap has changed to a rather nice tan colour - muffin like we think. 

Finally, we just unmolded and cut our latest soap this evening.  We are calling it a Confetti Carnival Soap.  Basically, we took the shavings of our left over sweet tart tubes and embedded them into a basic soap batter scented with Peppermint EO.  We are happy with the result.

Overall, we have been experimenting a lot with this new found hobby, and we are learning so much just by trial and error.  We are working on perfecting a soap formula, experimenting with different oils, additions, fragrances and pigments.  There is so much to learn, and we are grateful to all of the soap blogs and videos out there from which we are learning so much.  We definitely have gift giving covered for the foreseeable future!

See ya.

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