Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Week one of Amy's Soap Challenge 2013 - Tiger Stripe

This is the first week of this years soap challenge being hosted by Amy at Great Cakes Soapworks. The challenge is to do a tiger swirl or method. It didn't look too complicated. Just had to figure out what colors to use and make time to try it out.

First I chose a Bastille recipe to soap with. I figured the high olive oil content would give me lots of time to play. I then chose a fragrance that, in the past, behaved well. I picked Coconut Lime Verbena. Then I chose the colors. I decided on yellow and black. I have never soaped with black and didn't get much feedback on how much to use in order to get a nice black soap without having too much black bubbles. I decided to just wing it and hope for the best. I had black mica and activated charcoal to choose from in my supplies. I chose mica.

I measured all my ingredients and melted my oils. I measured 1 tsp of yellow oxide into one container and 1 tsp of black mica into another. I added a bit of my melted oils to each and used my frother to mix them really good. I then added my FO to my oils. When my lye was about 108 F and my oils were 105 F, I poured my lye mixture into the oils and gave it a quick stick blend. I stirred it for a bit and gave it a couple more bursts. When I was sure it was just emulsified I split the batter into each of the containers with the colors. I noticed that my soap batter was accelerating!! OH NO!! I grabbed my wisk and mixed the colors and soap batter and it was getting thicker and thicker. I started pouring. I had to stir before each pour because it was pretty thick. So I just kept on going. Stirring, pouring and slamming my mold on the counter until the mold was full. I added gold mica oil to the top and added a bit of texture and put it to bed. Not sure how it's going to look but I am hoping for the best. I think the black is going bleed and give black bubbles :(

Here is a picture of it in the mold...



I think I played with the top too much and made a little bit of a muddy mess but it still looks pretty. I am a little disappointed in the FO. It was a new bottle but it was from the same supplier that I had used before without issue. It's the only thing I can think of that would of caused it to thicken up so fast. My recipe was almost 75% olive oil. I used 33% water instead of 38% but it's more than my usual 29%. I didn't get soap on a stick but it was thicker than I had planned on. Maybe it will be ok.

Ta da!! Here it is. I think it came out pretty good.. what do you think?

Oh.. and regarding the black and colored bubbles. Yup it makes colored bubbles. Kind of a greenish light gray color. Not too bad. Maybe it will lessen when it cures more. Or maybe it will get worse... not sure... hmmm.


Thank you Amy for putting on this challenge again. I'm so excited for the next one :)

36 comments:

  1. The top of it looks pretty with the gold mica. :) Looking forward to seeing it cut..hope it works out ok! I don't have black mica, or any other black colorant. I would like to get it, but I have the same concerns about how much to use to achieve a nice black color, and not get black bubbles. Would love to hear about your results with it! :)

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    1. Thank you Kalla! I will definitely be giving an update on the mica usage. That black colorant sure is messy too. We will all see how it goes :)

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    2. Gorgeous, Kim!! A tiger stripe success! :)

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    3. Thank you Kalla! Did you do one too?? Would love to see it :)

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    4. Oh... and I have colored bubbles. Not super bad but looks kind of "dirty". Oh well, ya never know unless you try, right?

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    5. No, I didn't get a chance to try the technique this past week...going to try it one of these days, though. I was busy concentrating on a failed batch...the rebatch didn't work out so I have to start over again.

      Right! At least you tried, and thanks for the update! Maybe colored bubbles is to be expected then. :)

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    6. I am told that using dark colors will most likely give colored bubbles. Red and black are the biggest culprit from what I hear. I have yet to use a "true" red. So sorry to hear about the failed batch and no go on a rebatch. I've had a few of those too. I hate the idea of wasted product. But sometimes it happens.

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  2. Can't wait to see it cut! I'm sure it will be a pretty soap, although I know you're hoping for a tiger stripe. It's always a bummer when something weird happens with the soap. How strange that you have used the FO before with no issue. You would think with all of that olive oil you'd have a nice, slow trace. Looking forward to see the cut photos!

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    1. I think it will be pretty even though it went crazy on me. Just hoping I didn't over do the black too much. It's still a bit soft so I will probably take it out of the mold tomorrow. I'm nervous and excited at the same time. Are you participating in the challenge too?

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  3. The top looks gorgeous, Kim! Can't wait to see your soap cut!
    I also choose black and yellow(orage), but my black isn't really nice(my fault was to make my soap with black clay). Anyway, it's nice tryng new techniques :)

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    1. Thank you Natalia! I'm going to cut it tonight or in the morning and post the pics. I'm so excited to see it. I too love trying new things with soap. That's why the challenge is so much fun!! I bet your soap looks fantastic!! :)

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  4. Wow, Kim, this is a gorgeous soap!So well done, congratulations!

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  5. You got very realistic looking stripes. Lovely and vibrant colors!

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  6. I think it turned out great! I'm not sure there's a way to have black soap without black bubbles. I imagine that activated charcoal would probably make the lather more black than a black mica, but I've never tested my theory - probably should! Your temps seem a little high to me, but if that's your normal soaping temp, then it must have been the fragrance messing with you! Still a very lovely soap!

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    1. Thanks Amy... I have an end cut that I tried out and the foam is a bit grey but not too bad. I usually soap between 110-115 F, but have been soaping at lower temps (95-100F) with terrible results. When I first learned to soap my temps would be 120-130F and my soaps were easier to work with. Not sure what is gong on except the FO. It's all good though. Seems it worked out ok :)

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  7. Those colors really pop off the screen. I agree with you; I think you did a fantastic job!

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    1. You are too kind.. thank you :)

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  9. I love the yellow and black, totally gorgeous stripes!

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    1. Thank you Cee Gee! I'm so happy it looks good. I wasn't sure how it would be but I love cutting into a new soap and seeing what's inside. It's like a wonderful present. Well ... most of the time... lol

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  10. Looks great! You'd never know it gave you any problems at all.

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    1. Thank you. You can see how it was getting thicker towards the top. When I first started out I just poured a little and then slammed it on the counter to thin it out. Eventually it got too thick and full to slam it much... lol... it all worked out.. thank goodness :)

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  11. Replies
    1. Thank you.. Kind of a bumble bee tiger!! lol

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  12. The yellow and black is very effective and so pretty!

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    1. Wow! Love the colour combination - really stands out :) Linda

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  13. Just love your colour combo, the yellow and black looks really striking and your strips are fantastic, I did mine too runny, I think the thicker soap makes much nicer stripes, really nice!

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    1. Thank you! I think your soap came out beautiful!! I really love the colors. Absolutely perfect :)

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