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Posts Tagged ‘soap making’

I make a ton of different soaps.  I hate to limit myself!  I do stick to the same basic oils and butters, but I love to change up scents, whether or not I use coffee, tea, or beer, maybe milk, or even a pureed vegetable!  I also have a tallow recipe I make upon occasion, though in limited quantities at the moment.

A fellow crafter and friend really enjoyed my tallow soap but wanted to try a different scent so I let her sniff through my samples and she narrowed in on one she liked.  Now, in just a couple more weeks she will have her very own soap loaf!

Her mom also requested a particular scent to be made into soap as well as a body creme, though she didn’t necessarily want an entire loaf.

It was a ton of fun making a custom order and knowing the customer will love their new soap and get enjoyment out of it.  Customizing a soap isn’t hard, but sometimes customers are impatient and not willing to wait for the cure time needed.  If you can, try and see if you can convince some folks to order a customized soap loaf.  Around the holidays selling whole soap loaves is not uncommon.  Some customers prefer to cut and package the soap themselves to give to friends and family.  Saves them some money and saves the soaper packaging time!

Here are some photos of the two recent custom soap orders I completed:

The oils in the Crisp Apple Rose soap are yellower than the Apple Orchard tallow soap.

The oils in the Crisp Apple Rose soap are yellower than the Apple Orchard tallow soap.

Adding colorants to the crisp apple rose scent.

Adding colorants to the crisp apple rose scent.

colorants blended

colorants blended

In the pot swirl of the white into the pink

In the pot swirl of the white into the pink

Crisp Apple Rose molded

Crisp Apple Rose molded

Adding extra pink to top

Drop swirled the pink/white mixture and added the extra pink/white to the top

Swirled the top with a chopstick for this neat effect

Swirled the top with a chopstick for this neat effect

Crisp Apple Rose soap loaf

Crisp Apple Rose soap loaf

Crisp Apple Rose cut

Crisp Apple Rose cut

The tallow soap batch:

The tallow blending with the lye water mixture- notice how nice and light it is!

The tallow blending with the lye water mixture- notice how nice and light it is!

mixing colorants for the tallow soap: yellow mica, red mica, green mica, and titanium dioxide

mixing colorants for the tallow soap: yellow mica, red mica, green mica, and titanium dioxide

Dividing the raw tallow soap batter

Dividing the raw tallow soap batter

Colorants blended in for the tallow soap

Colorants blended in for the tallow soap

pouring the green soap in first to prep for the drop swirl

pouring the green soap in first to prep for the drop swirl

drop swirling the yellow, white, and red into the green

drop swirling the yellow, white, and red into the green

Apple orchard tallow soap swirled top

Apple orchard tallow soap swirled top

side by side comparison of the 2 soaps

side by side comparison of the 2 soaps

A lot of pictures to look at but these soaps were so fun to make! Hope you enjoy them!  If you would like to use the FOs I used you can purchase the Crisp Apple Rose from Brambleberry Here or the Apple Orchard scent from Nature’s Garden Here.

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I am once again participating in a challenge sponsored by Great Cakes Soapworks!  The challenge for this month was to complete a Mantra swirl or a modified Mantra swirl.  Both are challenging techniques for me as I had never tried them before.  I wasn’t sure which to do, but as I watched Amy’s “how-to” video I realized the only one I could really try was the modified.  In order to do justice to the actual mantra swirl, I would need to be able to cut my soap loaf in horizontal cuts to show the pretty swirls and I absolutely stink at cutting!  So, with the modified swirl I could use my wire cutter and keep my soap relatively nice looking.

Ok.  Now, I chose to work with a cherry FO I received from Nature’s Garden.  It wasn’t supposed to accelerate trace or discolor so I figured, what the hay?  I also chose the colors, titanium dioxide, a cherry colored mica, a light green mica, and ultramarine violet for an accent color.  To see exactly how I was able to create this swirl, please visit my youtube channel GVSoapCo, or click here.

Here are a few photos of my modified mantra swirl attempt.  I enjoyed learning this technique and I plan on trying it again!

 

Soap in mold prior to cutting

Soap in mold prior to cutting

Modifed mantra swirl with slight bit of ash on top.  I wish I would have exaggerated the hanger swirl though...

Modifed mantra swirl with slight bit of ash on top. I wish I would have exaggerated the hanger swirl though…

better view of the top

better view of the top

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I like how pretty the micas came out!

I like how pretty the micas came out!

I have some more videos coming up soon on my channel, so don’t forget to subscribe!

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It has been a busy summer so far!  Farmer’s market season here in upstate NY is well under way.  It has been fun so far, though surprisingly exhausting!  I didn’t think attending an outdoor market once a week could wear me out, but by the time I get home I’m so tired I fall asleep on the couch.   I think part of it is that I am spending so much time outdoors and whether it is cold or hot outside (both of which rotate turns up here  in the summer near the Adirondacks) wear me out.

My basic farmer's market display

My basic farmer’s market display

I enjoy the experience though.  I have learned so much!  I know when to push a sale, when to shut up, when to ask a question, and even when it’s best just to smile and nod and give a cheery wave.  I have also become more confident with my soaps and am more willing to talk about it.  Seems like basic, simple stuff, I know, but still I feel like I have learned so much.  This summer has been going by way too fast!

I also have created a few new soaps that have been quite a hit.  I created a Cucumber and Aloe soap using cucumber puree and aloe juice.  Such a gentle, cleansing soap and so bubbly!  I have already pretty much sold out of my first batch and will be making a new batch that should be available in August.

To view a video of the making of my Cucumber and Aloe soap, please visit my youtube channel, GVSoapCo or click here.

 

Here’s a pic of the cut Cucumber & Aloe soap.  It’s not the best lighting since I took it at night.  Usually I take some pics on a white background in natural light, but these sold quickly enough before I could do that and list them on etsy. Yay!

Cucumber & Aloe Soap bar with floral stamp

Cucumber & Aloe Soap bar with floral stamp

 

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I really enjoyed participating in the soap challenge sponsored by Great Cakes Soapworks.  For more info about the challenge, please read my last few posts starting here.  Anyway, I decided to try and do the last technique, the leopard spot, using the hot process technique of making soap.

I mainly make my soaps through the cold process technique because there is a lot more variety in design.  I do like the efficiency of hot process though and have made a bunch of batches using it.  Now hot process soaps come out looking a bit more rustic looking, but still they are lovely bars of soap.

I like the look of hot process but I figured there had to be some way to “jazz” it up a bit.  At first I tried handstamping my hot process soaps:

Lavender Patchouli hand stamped hot process soap

Lavender Patchouli hand stamped hot process soap

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Peppermint Eucalyptus hand stamped hot process soap

Not too bad. I like the look of hand stamped soap, but I didn’t feel like investing in a ton of different stamps to change up my hot process soaps.

I decided to try adding more than one color to my soaps.  By plopping different colored hot process soap into a mold, I was able to at least get an intriguing variation of color that was pretty.  For example:

Yuzu scented hot process with two colors- pink and yellow

Yuzu scented hot process with two colors- pink and yellow

Then I tried three colors:

Tri colored Berry scented HP

Tri colored Berry scented HP

Not too bad. I did attempt a full fledged swirl with another hot process soap, but managed to misplace the photos, so I’ll have to get back to you all on that. After these experiments, I tried combining the two, stamping and two colors. I love how this soap came out and I used a yummy Buttercream Snickerdoodle fragrance oil to scent it.

Hot process soap colored with kaolin clay and cocoa powder
Hot process soap colored with kaolin clay and cocoa powder

I was pleasantly surprised. The more I worked with hot process, the more confident I felt I could make it somewhat less “rustic” and more “pretty.” I decided to try making a leopard spot hot process soap. Pretty ammbitious, I know, but fun!

It took a lot of pre-planning and I know the first attempt is not perfect, but it really did come out much better than I thought. I will try this technique again with HP and plan on videotaping it so I can post to my youtube channel. Just one more reason to make soap!

Here’s my latest HP creation:

My attempt at Leopard spotted HP soap, scented with Plumeria FO.

My attempt at Leopard spotted HP soap, scented with Plumeria FO.

Hope I’ve inspired a few folks into trying hot process. It may not be as old of a technique as cold process, but has it’s own unique benefits and style!

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