Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Amy's Soap Challenge #6 and Special Treat!

Challenge #6 - Faux Funnel Pour

 I had to do this twice and got 2 great soaps and a wonderful Birthday treat :)

Lemon Sugar Faux Funnel Pour - 2nd batch

Tonight is the last night of my husband's 4 day weekend that happened to fall on my birthday weekend. It is a special treat to have him home for a long weekend AND my birthday. Lucky me!! :)

I wanted to get my soap challenge done ahead of time so I could get back to the grind of school during the week. 
This challenge was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I was really nervous that I would split my soap off into 4 portions and everything would get thick. But, I used a FO that I have soaped with in the past and I used a soap recipe that I knew would stay fluid and I kept the temp low.
I had a helper, hope it's not cheating. My wonderful husband joined in on the fun. He has never soaped with me and he was so cute trying to do it so perfectly. He was a little nervous but I think he had fun.  
Fruit Loops Faux Funnel Pour... 1st try... WOW! 

So here is how it went.. I mixed up my soap batch and split it off into 4 equal parts. Oh, I have to add that I have been adding my FO to my oils before I add the lye solution and have found that it helps me gauge how the rest of the soaping experience is going to be like. I don't know if or how the FO is affected by adding it before or after but it's working for me right now so that's what I will continue to do until somebody tells me otherwise.  So, back to the soap table. After I split everything into 4 parts, I colored each one with the mica colors we chose. I had heard that oxides may thicken the batter so I opted out on using them this time. took 2 colors and hubby took the other.
I think we got a little carried away and forgot what we were doing. We started to pour too high and after a few times we just kept going with it. We got some air bubbles in there even though I smacked the snot out of it repeatedly. Oh well. What can ya do? Sometimes it happens.

So here is our creation. When I was cutting it I was thinking how pretty it was. Then the last couple of cuts kind of freaked me out (in a good way). I took pictures and sent them to my husband at work. We had 2 faces in our soap!! 

Check it out...

Happy Birthday Soap - Kim's Gone Loopy

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Slow down!!! Salt Bar Failure

A lesson learned..... Slow down!!

Ok, so I was all jazzed that my salt bars came out that I thought, "Wow! I wanna make a loaf now". Great!! No problem!! Unless you are not watching the time and you are supposed to go to dinner with your family for your birthday. 

First mistake... thinking that a full loaf mold of salt bars is a good thing.
Second mistake ... putting cardboard on top of said full mold without putting plastic or paper on it first (slow down!) I pulled a big chunk of soap off the top of the loaf.
Third mistake ... cutting without measuring (slow down!)
Fourth mistake.. thinking nice big salt bars are a good thing (they weigh a ton)
Fifth mistake ... not cutting the tops off the messed up bars (cause I had to leave and now they can't be cut)

They are pretty and smell good... lol

Friday, April 20, 2012

Amy's Soap Challenge #5 & Salt Bar Recipe

Lemon and Honey Salt Bars
Week 5 of Amy's Soap Challenge.. Mixing Fragrance
If you haven't been following along you can check out all the happenings at Great Cakes Soapworks by clicking here.
Ok... so this challenge really was a challenge for me. I honestly do not have the nose for it. I bought several essential oils a couple months back because I wanted to try mixing up some yummy stuff but most of them gave me a headache. In fact, pretty much all of the fragrances give me a headache or nausea because they are so concentrated.

Anywho... I wasn't going to let this challenge go by without giving it a try. I pulled out all my EO's and FO's that I thought might mix well. I even pulled out the EO's that I didn't like very much to see if they could be better if something else was added.

This is what happened....

The first challenge was the fact that I didn't have any pipettes to get the stuff out of the bottles without cross contaminating. After a couple of days of procrastinating, because I didn't have said pipettes, I remembered Amy mentioning something about using Q-tips and jars. By golly I had those!!

Mix #1- Patchouli + Raspberry = Not so much
Mix #2 - Ylang Ylang + Allspice = No!! (why does anyone like Ylang Ylang?)
Mix #3 - Jasmine + Lemon = Maybe
Mix #4 - Jasmine + Vanilla = Now your talking
Mix #5 - Sweet Meyer Lemon + Honey + Lemongrass = Winner!!

I have this really wonderful Honey FO that I am totally in love with. It soaps like a dream in CP. Very little acceleration, no ricing, and discolors to a light beige. My bathroom smells like Honey with the soap just sitting in the dish. My husband and my daughter think it is heavenly too. I will definitely be making some lotion and body butter with this one. The lemon fragrance is Sweet Meyer Lemon from Brambleberry. No acceleration, no ricing and discolors to a light tan. I only added a couple of drops of Lemongrass to kick up the lemon a bit. I used 3 parts Sweet Meyer Lemon, 1 part Honey (this FO is super strong) and a dash of lemongrass. I have no idea how many part of lemongrass I used because I weighed out an ounce of my 3:1 Lemon and Honey but decided it needed a bit more tartness so I dropped 3-4 drops of lemongrass in it. I was walking on the wild side.. ha ha ha

I have been researching shampoo bars and salt bars lately and since I have never used a shampoo bar I wasn't feeling brave enough to try that one yet. So the salt bars won out. I've never actually made salt bars either but how hard could it be? You just add salt to your soap. Right?
Since it looked like my soap would be doing a light tanish color, I chose lemonade yellow colorant. The weather has been warm lately so I think I was craving Lemonade... lol

Salt Bar / Spa Bar Recipe
80% Coconut Oil
10% Castor Oil
10% Shea Butter
Run through SoapCalc at 20% superfat
80% ppo of Fine Ground Sea Salt (you can use course if you want)
FO or EO as directed by manufacturers use ppo

Mix up your soap batch as usual adding colorants and fragrance before you add the salt. Your soap needs to be at a medium trace to suspend the soap throughout and it doesn't sink to the bottom of your mold.
I used individual molds for this project. I will try out a log mold tomorrow and let you know how it goes.

Note: It doesn't really matter what soap recipe you use as long as you have a high percent of coconut oil. I used 80% but I have heard of people using 100% as well. I use castor oil in all of my soaps. I like the extra conditioning it adds and the lathering as well. I also use shea in almost all of my soap recipes. It contains some unsonponifiable oil so that adds to the conditioning factor too. Also, I used 80% Sea Salt. I have heard of others using 50-100%. So experiment and see what you like. One more thing... Salts... do not use dead sea salt, or epson salt. Dead sea salt has something in it that messes with the chemical reaction of the soponification and renders your bar to mush. (This is what I have been told anyway) Epson salt is not actually really salt and can be very irritating if placed directly on your skin. Better to add it to your bath or foot soak.

Everything went well. I had heard that salt bars move quick once you put the salt in the mix. I think because I have survived a seized soap batch and lived to tell about it so these salt bars were a piece of cake. Not one issue. In fact, I am thinking I will try to make dual colored bars next time. IF they turn out ok. They are in bed and we will all see if Kim can mix fragrance and make salt bars tomorrow. I have my fingers crossed. Wish me luck :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Checking in and sharing my thoughts for today...

Just wanted to check in and say hey to all my "fans". I had a nice break from school and was able to soap a bit but it's back to the grind and back to study time. I will be graduating and taking my certification exam in June so no slacking for this girl.

I do want to say this though, I am really enjoying the soap challenges that Amy at Great Cakes Soapworks has been putting out there for her fellow soapers. Check out the challenge here. I also really enjoy Amy and her great attitude. She has encouraged me and answers questions when I have them. I don't often ask questions of my fellow soapmakers, mostly because the few I have reached out to have not been very helpful. Youtube has been my best friend. I have learned so much on Youtube from some really generous soap makers. I can spend hours watching people make soap and cut soap. I find myself wishing I could jump in and touch and smell everything. I have so many questions since I am still learning. Some folks are really helpful and others treat you as if the world will come to an end if they share one tip or secret. They say that they have spent years of time and money to get where they are and they didn't have anyone to help them so I shouldn't expect them to give a helping hand. Sounds selfish and bitter to me and it's really sad.

Luckily I have found several other helpful people in my Yahoo soap groups and also a couple of soap forums I belong to. I guess I just find it odd that folks would put "how to" videos up on Youtube but not want to answer questions or help a person learn "how to". Not all are negative. In fact Bonnie and Edential Farms / Good Earth Spa is very helpful. Holly at Missouri River Soap is a blast to watch on Youtube. Also have to give a shout out to Catherine at Soaping 101 on Youtube. I'm sure I am forgetting a shout out. Yell at me if I did... lol :ox

I may be new and I may not know it all but if somebody needs my help I am going to help them. I will not do it for them but I will guide them. What ever I give I will get back ten fold. I really believe in Karma. I also believe that soap is an art and not one batch of soap comes out the same, even if we use the same ingredients and technique. There is room for us all. Everyone uses soap and since each of us is an individual, we have different ideas of what we like and dislike. If somebody asked me for a shampoo bar with a specific ingredient or scent that I didn't have or didn't make I would refer them to somebody I know who does. It's kind of like a shoe business. If all I sell are high heeled shoes and a customer asked if I had any jogging shoes I wouldn't let that customer leave my store without referring them to somebody who had great jogging shoes. Because, that customer will remember how nice and helpful I was and when they need high heels or somebody they know needs high heels they are going to come back to me. It's all about the customer and being friendly to your fellow business peers. 

I read a really good article today from Anne Marie at Brambleberry. Her view on business is right on the mark. I admire her vision and approach to her business and her fellow business persons. If you have a business, you might like the article too. Check it out on her blog here.

So that's it for today. I am working on my soap challenge although I am not enjoying it at all. We are supposed to mix up some fragrance for a batch of soap with what we currently have on hand. So far all I have gotten is watery eyes, nausea, and a few headaches.. lol.. I am not going to get rich on designing perfume, that is FOR SURE!!

Later taters!! :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Amy's Soap Challenge - Using Alcohol in Soap

White Zinfandel and Berries

Hello everyone!!

Today I went ahead and did Amy's Soap Challenge #4, soaping with alcohol. I wasn't going to do it because I had such a horrible experience trying to make soap with beer. But, I felt I should give it a go one more time. This time I decided to use wine. I had a couple bottles of wine that weren't expensive so if it didn't turn out I wouldn't cry too much. It was either a white zinfandel or a merlot. The zin won. 

I boiled the wine a bit and put it in the fridge to get cold and decided I wasn't going to add my lye directly to the wine like I did the beer. I diluted the lye in water first and then added the wine.
OMYGOSH!! What a foul stench that was! My daughter came over and asked if somebody threw up.. ha ha ha. Then my granddaughter refused to go in the kitchen because it was "stinky".
Ok, so back to the soap... I kept the lye temp at about 93 F and my oils were 92 F so it was time to get going. I added my fragrance oil to my oils before adding the lye mixture just in case it moved real fast. I put that wonderful FO that I tried out yesterday that smells like berries. I have never soaped at such a low temp before so I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm usually mixing it up at about 110-120 F. 
I was totally expecting it to accelerate but it didn't at all. I was actually worried because the temp was not moving up during mixing. I mixed and mixed and it stayed fluid. At this point I decided I would go ahead and add some color if it was going to behave so well. I added some titanium dioxide to the whole batch and then split off a small bit to color pink. I was thinking of a blush color like the zin wine. I didn't want to get too fancy just in case it started to accelerate or, at worse, didn't turn out to be usable soap.
I poured it and swirled it and didn't have one issue. I'm still suspicious. I put it in my warmed oven and its still sleeping. I will see how it went tomorrow. I like to cook my soap a couple of hours after I put it in the oven to force a gel. But I was told that the sugars in the alcohol would heat it up so I didn't oven process this time. It took a long time for the soap to warm up. When it did I felt a little better. I thought it may not be a total waste. I have not seen one sign of a gel, but either way it's ok with me. I just want it to turn out to be soap, unlike the beer fiasco.

My camera battery died so I tried to get a couple pictures on my phone.

Lye mixed with wine in an ice bath

Zinfandel scented with Fresh Berries

Wednesday update: The soap is still in the mold. It looks firm but so did the beer soap. It has that playdough smell to it like the beer soap did too. I have a feeling I am not meant to make soap with alcohol.
Took the baby soap out of the mold. It's still rather wet. I used full liquid so I won't take the big loaf out for another day or so.
I am not thrilled with the smell or the texture. I totally hope it wasn't a waste of supplies again. Please soap Gods?

Stay tuned :)

Friday: Finally took the soap out of the mold and it seems good so far. It's not smushy like the beer soap. It came out of the mold without issue and I was able to cut it without issue. The smell is getting better. I can definitely smell the wine and the berries. It's also starting to turn a little cream colored instead of white. That's ok with me :)

Thanks Amy for all the fun challenges... can't wait till the next one!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter Everyone!

I hope everyone has a blessed day!

Hugs :)

Soap Addiction... Bay Rum Soap

Bay Rum

Hi, my name is Kim, and I am a soapaholic.
It's been less that 24 hours since my last soap. I soaped again today. I have to fight the urge to make batch after batch. I have so much soap already but I just need to make more and more and more! 
Oh, who am I kidding? I love soaping and it's not a bad thing... lol

Ok, so you wanna know what I soaped today?

I got a wonderful fragrance oil called Bay Rum and it smells divine!! 
I had this really nice idea in my head of brown, gold and cream swirls so off I went to make it happen.
I already knew that the FO would discolor to a toffee color and I was ok with that. I split the batch off into 3 parts. One part would be the toffee color and the other 2 parts I would color a dark yellow/gold and cream (no colorant). I did not put FO in these parts because I wanted (hoped) they would stay the color I wanted them to.
I decided midstream that I wanted some dark brown in the light brown so I poured off some of the uncolored soap I set out and added some cocoa to it.
Everything was going along really well. It looked really nice. I sprinkled some ground clove on the top and put it to bed. 
A couple hours later I decided to peek on it. Wouldn't you know it! The whole thing went into gel (not a bad thing) and turned really dark (could be a bad thing). I am crossing all my fingers that it still resembles some kind of swirl inside. We won't know until tomorrow. It still smells good.. yay!

Lesson learned today... Bay Rum heats up.

Prep Work

Today I made a batch of soap and split it up so I could color it several different colors. My intention is to make imbeds and soap balls. I made a bunch of balls but soon got bored.. ha ha. So, the rest will be cut up in different sizes and patterns. I may even get out my little cookie cutters. I have been thinking of putting chunks of different colors inside a soap. I haven't figured it out in my head how I will keep the chunks from gravitating to one area. But I did make my mint chocolate chip soap a few months back and didn't have any problems. I also put cut outs in my breezy day soap. So I am sure it will be what it will be. I have lots of pretty colors now to add to my next great creation :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Amy's Soap Challenge #3 .. Piping CP

We are in week 3 of Amy's Soap Challenge. Click here to check out what others have made. We have a talented group of soapers out there :)

Fresh in the mold
Since I have experience piping cold process soap onto cupcakes, I am thinking I may pipe something pretty onto a loaf. Or, I will pipe 2 different colors onto something. I've only piped one color before. I have to think about this one.... hmmm

So, after some thought, I decided to make some cupcakes because all my friends and family seem to like them a lot. I'm on the fence about this because only one person has actually used the soap. I appreciate that they all think they are pretty but if they don't use the soap then it kind of defeats the purpose of making soap. 

Anywho, here are the pictures of my cupcakes. I have never piped more than one color so I decided that would be my challenge, to pipe two colors and hope they don't muddle together.

These cupcakes are scented with a dupe of Rock Star. They smell really nice. I love sweet smelling fragrance so it's all good :)

The base of the cupcake is colored with a light yellow and the "frosting" is colored with orange and purple. Wasn't sure how that was gonna turn out but I think they look pretty cool.
I went out and purchased these silicone cupcake cups that have the ridges around the bottom like as if they had a cupcake paper on them. I did not use cupcake paper cups because my first set up cupcakes shrunk up during the drying process and the paper fell off. And, the paper color bled onto my white based cupcake.

I also video taped myself making these cupcakes. This will be my first, hopfully not my last, video. I was really nervous! I had to turn off the camera a couple times because I had to wait for the soap to set up some more before I could pipe it. Now if I can just find the stupid cord that transfers the video to my computer so I can share it with you all.

A couple of the cupcakes look a little funky. I was trying out a new tip too. I can't ever try just one thing at a time.. lol
My soap wasn't as set up as I would of liked so I couldn't get a really tall top. Oh well. 

Here they are out of the mold... pretty :)

Rock Star Cupcakes

Amy's Soap Challenge #1... Monster Revisited...

Ok, so I decided to take the monster out of the closet and see what it looks like inside.
Honestly it isn't as bad as I thought it would be. Aside from all the air holes. I'm pretty pleased that the soap is usable even after a seize.

For those of you who didn't see my first post on this soap stinker, I was attempting to do an in the pot swirl for the first time. It wasn't my brightest moment to try to do this with a new fragrance oil. So what was supposed to be a medium trace swirl ended up being a glob of "hurry up and stir and get it in the mold STAT". I am grateful to the soap gods that allowed me to have a usable soap in the end. I have not always been blessed... lol

Mango Apple .. smells wonderful :)
 Taken without flash.

Sometimes something good comes from something bad :)
Taken with flash.

It's still sitting there...

The soap I tried to do the swirl in the pot is still sitting in the mold. I don't want to take it out and cut it cause I think it will make me mad. I pulled the side a bit to try and peek and I saw two air pockets :(
I also tried to oven process it after I poured it, like I do to all my soaps, and the top cracked. That fragrance oil is not my friend. I popped it in the fridge when I noticed the crack and it seems to have pulled back in. Another reason I don't want to cut it.. hmmm
We will see tomorrow.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Amy's Soap Challenge #2....Soaping with goats milk

Today I tried something new with my soap. I added goats milk. Since I live in the city and "fresh" goats milk would require me to take a mortgage out on my home, I opted to use powdered goats milk. I reserved a bit of the water that I weighed out for my batch and warmed it and added the powdered milk to it. I suppose I could of mixed the milk with more water and froze it and used the frozen method, but I wasn't brave enough to try that yet. So, I added the milk concentrate after my lye and oils were already mixed. 
At first I got scared cause the "milk" didn't blend in like I thought it would with my whisk. So I grabbed the stick blender and proceeded to cream it up good!! That seemed to be the trick because it all smoothed out and then I added some honey fragrance oil. My husband loves vanilla and honey soaps so I was thinking of him when I made this one :)
I knew it would heat up so I popped it in the refrigerator to sit for a few hours. Oh, I almost forgot, I put bubble wrap in my mold to try to get a honey comb pattern. I'm hoping my soap will get more yellow or golden. I didn't want to add any colorant to this batch because I want to see what the milk and this FO does. It smells really really good!!

Took it out of the fridge. It gelled up. Maybe I should of put it in the freezer?

Never used bubble wrap for the texture. All 4 sides... too much? lol

Partial Gel :(

In the mold. I can't figure out why this picture keeps loading sideways. Sorry

Update Thursday April 5, 2012: So this soap has been curing for a few days and it's gotten a little darker, but not much. Its a light beige color and I'm ok with it. The partial gel is still very noticeable, but that's ok too.
I took my little end cut to the sink and lathered it up. It is so nice and creamy and has just the right amount of suds. This FO is definitely a keeper. The honey smell is so strong and wonderful. I have never had such a lovely honey FO before. When I used the sample piece of soap the honey smell lingered on my hands for quite a while.
Very nice :)