Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Drakkar in Blue and White

Well, it was another success.  I made another soap for an order the other day and it came together nicely.  It did start thickening a bit at the end, so it did not come together as smoothly as the Pink Lavender was, but it still came out rather nicely and I am quite pleased with the results.  I think it looks like the clouds moving by across a blue sky.

I made another soap today and hope to get it posted in the next couple days.  This one is a green and white Swirl scented with Eternity.  It came together fairly well also, but more on that when I post the picture ;-)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Success with Pink Lavender!

After a couple of disappointments, I have had another successful soap. I didn't bother posting my blue soap on a stick that turned out looking very similar to the green soap I posted last time, just with blue instead of green. It was a lumpy, icky mess, but it smells nice and is still usable as long as you don't have to look at it ;-)

Anyways, on to the success story... I wanted to work with a scent I was familiar with, so worked with lavender essential oil, and used titanium dioxide to get the white color that was requested and ruby red micah to get the pink color I was aiming at. I used bentonite clay mixed in the essential oil to help hold the scent of the oil in the soap, as essential oils tend to fade a little more than fragrance oils usually do.

My normal soap base came together well, and I was careful not to over mix, coming to a very light trace before adding the fragrance and mixing it a bit more. The bentonite clay made the soap a bit darker and I was worried I would have trouble getting a decent white with it, but I managed to get one of my best whites yet by adding more titanium dioxide than I normally add and mixing well. I managed to still keep a light trace even after mixing everything, which made me very happy, and it was still pretty light and poured evenly into the mold. I think this was a first for me. Most of the time, by the time I pour I have a thick trace and it is pretty hard to pour, so I was happy with this change.

I let it set overnight and in the morning it was still soft, so let it set most of the afternoon as well before I took it out of the mold and cut it. It was still a bit soft when I cut it, and I waited a bit longer then normal to take pictures because of that reason. I think the fact that I had such a light trace was the reason it was so soft. It is otherwise behaving well and has since hardened up fairly well. So, here is my lavender soap in pink in white, as requested by the customer!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Big Disappointment

So, I made another soap last week and I am just getting around to posting about it now. Mostly because I was disappointed with it. It started out really well too! I was being very patient and had high hopes for this to be one of my better soaps and well, it was not to be.

So, I mixed my ingredients and instead of waiting to add my fragrance oil until after I had mixed the soap some, I decided to try and add it to the oils and hopefully give myself a little more time with working with the mix so I had one less thing to stir in and hopefully cut down on my chance of stirring too much in the early stages. Well, this was a mistake, it would seem, because as soon as I poured in the lye mixture to the oils, I got soap about the thickness of bread dough.

To say I was not impressed would be an understatement. I work the soap as much as I could and mixed in the colors as best as I was able. The green I was mixing came out mostly okay, but the white left little to be desired. Also, it was crumbling as this point and I shoved it into the mold and hoped for the best.

The top bubbled and it leaked a little oil that it then soaked back in, but it has a sort of crumbly texture to it. It does pass the zap test, so does not appear to be lye heavy, just the reaction from the fragrance oil did weird things to it. To top it off, when I cut it, I could not get things lined up right and my bars are all uneven. This batch was supposed to be used as a gift, but it is not going anywhere.

I am very frustrated. As a note, while I was writing this, I worked on another batch of soap and added the fragrance oil later. The fragrance oil was a different oil from the same company, but it did the same thing. I will unmold that one tomorrow and see if it came out any better then this one, but it is not looking good right now.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Back After a Long Hiatus

Yes, I am back making soap again!  It was a long, hot summer, followed by a move, that left me a bit discombobulated, but I am back and making soap again.  Over the summer, the old apartment was way too hot to contemplate making soap and the AC unit for the apartment was not worth turning on as it did little to nothing to alleviate the heat.  The new apartment actually has cross ventilation, so it should be cooler during the summer.

Anyways, I have an order for four soaps for Christmas, and also am trying to get Yule in order for friends for the season, so I am madly trying to make soaps.  I made one yesterday, which was my first soap in a long time, and all things considered, it came out fairly well.  I used a dupe of Axe Voodoo fragrance and made the white with yellow swirled.

As usual, it thickened faster than I would have liked and by the end, I was dealing with a pudding like consistency of soap, and I did not get quite the shade of yellow that I would have liked. Overall, I am pretty happy with it still, and I hope that the person receiving it will like it as well. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Latest Projects

Well, I have been lousy at keeping up with pictures and my blog, but I have actually made a couple soaps in the past week or so.  The first one I made was a request for another Green Tea Lemongrass soap similar to the one I did early on.  It is made with a green tea infusion and dried green tea leaves in the soap along with lemongrass essential oil as a scent.

I was prepared for the fact that the soap would not be pretty as it was setting up this time, so was not terrified by the ugly brown color this time.  I did run into a bit of a problem, however.  I did not do very good with the liner and it folded back into the soap, so it ended up with a nasty chunk out of the top on one side.  Hopefully, the friend that I made the soap for does not mind if some of the soap is not the prettiest.

This is a picture of one of the soaps that had the liner fold back unto the soap.  As I said, not very pretty.

The other soap that I made just a couple days ago was using Northern Pines fragrance (which the friend that I bought it for says, "It smells kind of like Lysol, but I like that.").  I made him some melt and pour soaps with the fragrance before, but wanted to make him some handmade soaps as well, so I did an in the pot swirl.  It came together very easily and I think it came out fairly well except for a little ash on the top.

Hopefully, I will have more soaps forthcoming and it won't be too long between posts!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Bramble Berry Soap Swap Haul!

Well, after several days of not writing, I have two posts in one day.  My package from the Bramble Berry Soap Swap arrived today!  I sent in twelve soaps and received thirteen in return.  It appears that I got my soap in early enough to get one of the bonus soaps made by Anne Marie from her book.  I am happy with my little haul and there is a nice variety of soaps for me to try.

I am particularly fond of the scent of the Arabian Spice scent.  There are also some really nice essential oil blends as well.  The one made by "Dana" has a link on the back to the video showing how it was made.  I haven't watched it yet as I was busy picking up the car and getting groceries today, but I plan on watching it tomorrow most likely.

My only mild disappointment with the swap was that I got two soaps with the same scent and it is not a scent I am particularly fond of (Cherry Blossom).  Overall, I am very happy with the haul and I had fun opening all my little soapy gifts!  I hope that the people who got the soaps that I made are not disappointed with them.  I feel like such an amateur compared to some of the other soaps that I received.  It was nice to see the other wrapping ideas that people had as well.  Overall, I had a great time and learned from things, I think.

Long Time No Soap...

It has been a while since I have posted and my life has been a bit crazy.  I have made one soap since I last posted and I plan to make some soap today if things work out as planned and the garage does not call and say the car is done before I am done with making this post.  The car needed an oil change and to have the AC looked at.  Hopefully, the AC is not going to be expensive as I am low on funds (as usual).

Anyways, my latest soap creation was actually made last Tuesday (I think), and I am only now getting around to posting about it now.  This soap was made with my usual recipe and I used red oxide to make an in the pot swirl.  I made the soap at a lower temperature as I have been doing lately, and it came together a little slowly at first, but when I started working with the color it started thickening up fairly quickly.

I managed to get it to behave long enough to get it poured into the mold and allowed the soap to gel as it did not have any milk products in it or anything that would cause it to overheat.  The soap set up well and I cut it the next day as usual.  Instead of taking pictures right off as I often do, I waited a bit as I had been pretty busy.  When I did take the picture the creamy color of the soap had darkened, so I found out that the fragrance oil that I had used (Ginger Spice) had vanilla in it.

Overall, I am not upset with the way the soap turned out.  I love the scent of ginger and while the soap is a bit darker then I had "planned" I am not upset with it as I knew very little about the fragrance oil I was using (I bought this fragrance oil through Etsy).  I hope that the other scents that I picked up with this one work out well.

I will do my best to keep up better with posts here and get back in the swing of making more soaps again. I have not been feeling very inspired by much lately, which is likely part of the toll of depression. The only thing I can do is to fight against it by making more soap and working on staying active.