Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Christmas soaps part 1!

Here are the first two soaps I've made for Christmas!  Posting them a little late because some silly hurricane decided to come through and mess up my timeline!  [Don't worry, there was no damage and we're all fine!].  Today I give you peppermint swirl and brownie swirl!  These were both made in my Bramble Berry Heavy Duty Column Molds which are absolutely fantastic and an extremely good price!  I just love them.  I used my shiny (well, not really!) new Multi-Bar Cutter also from Bramble Berry... which I got as an early birthday present from my parents!  LOVE this cutter!  Now all of my bars are perfect!

Here is the soap!
Peppermint swirl: made with goats' milk, titanium dioxide and ruby red mica (from The Conservatorie).  Scented with peppermint EO second distillation also from Bramble Berry!

Brownie swirl: made with goats' milk, titanium dioxide, dark brown mica and smokey xxx mica (both micas from TKB).  Scented with hot fudge brownies from Nature's Garden.

And with the left over batter from my batches I made these adorable chocolate peppermint stars!  I think a couple of them may make it into my Christmas Giveaway in a couple of weeks!

These smell SO yummy!!!  They literally make my mouth water!

Next up: A mica review of 12 colours from the Conservatorie.  Including 4 CP STABLE purples!!!  Exciting!!  After that a mini-pictorial of my 3rd Christmas soap; cranberry orange.  And maybe a pictorial on making apple cinnamon wax melts.  Would you folks like that?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Waste not!

Ever have an AWESOME soap that just didn't turn out as planned?  A while ago (5 months or so) I made a super nice 8 colour faux funnel swirl but part of it stuck to the mold.  I had a few nice bars but a lot of chipped up looking "sample" sized bars too.  They've just been sitting on the shelf while I thought about what to do with them.  I finally decided to shred them and make a confetti soap!  These are the "sample" sized chipped up bars:

As you can see the swirl is very nice, but the pieces themselves are not.  Even after months curing I found this one to be soft and sticky inside!  This made grating it a little harder, as the shreds just wanted to stick together in a clump!  But I managed to get this stack of shreds after only a few minutes of grating!  I have enough scraps for a second batch too!

Not sure why it keeps posting that sideways, but you get the idea!  Rainbow shreds!!  I also sliced up some rainbow soap chips for the tops of the bars:

Again, it wants to post the picture sideways.  Silly Blogger!  I love how the shreds and chips turned out!  I used my basic cold process recipe but substituted some of the water with heavy cream.  I put it in my new Bramble Berry (BB) 5lb soap mold with silicone liner.  LOVE the liner, don't like the sliding bottom mold though, it's hard to pull the bottom out once you have a heavy 5lb batch of soap in it.  I just upend the mold and let it slide out the top instead.  Think I will get my husband to help me make some same-sized molds and just get the silicone liners from BB.

Arg!!  Why is it turning my pictures?!  They are all horizontal in the picture file!  I think it's just doing it to annoy me now!  This is my batch in the mold, complete with pretty rainbow soap chips!  I used some titanium dioxide in the base but soaped a little hot and the lye burned my cream a little bit.  I actually kind of enjoy the creamy yellow colour it turned out though!

The finished bars!  I'm absolutely in LOVE with these!  They smelled a little like cheese when I cut them (guessing from the cream) but that has since faded.  8 colour rainbow confetti soap!  Woo-woo!  Very pleased with how my "wasted" soap became something new and exciting!

Next up: fudge brownie Christmas soap, orange cranberry Christmas soap, peppermint swirl... you guessed it!  Christmas soap!  And a lip balm pictorial!

Are there any other pictorials you guys would like to see?  Leave me a comment!  Thanks for stopping by folks!  <3

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cream Pictorial

As promised, a pictorial of how I make cream from scratch!  This cream turned out super thick and luxurious, it smells of fresh apples!  I find the scent a little bit strong, but my family thinks its perfect.  Next time I will use a lower percentage of fragrance.  On with the pictorial!

Step 1: Clean everything!  Every surface around the area you plan to make lotion in needs to be clean!  I use an eco-safe surface cleaner to clean my countertops and work surfaces.  I also clean my sink!

Step 2: "Degerming" or sanitizing.  One of the most important things with lotion making of any sort is to have clean -everything-.  Yes, I use a preservative, but it is important to reduce the "germ" contamination right from the beginning to ensure a good product with a decent shelf life.

Fill your sink with lots of hot water, enough to cover at least 1/2 of your largest container.  Add bleach to the water at approximately 5%.  Add your containers, mixing spoons, measuring devices etc to the bleachy water.  Even the shaft of the stick blender should be sanitized in this manner.  

Step 3: The gloves!  From this point on you will be wearing gloves to keep contamination from your hands to a minimum.  If you have to brush your hair out of your eyes, or pull up your pants (etc) you should put on a fresh pair of disposable gloves, or wash your gloves with antibacterial soap if they are the non-disposable kind.  

Using gloved hands roll any larger items over in the bleach water so all sides get cleaned (like my pot above).  I make sure each surface sits in the bleach water for 5 minutes.

Step 4: Once your "dishes" are clean, dry them.  Use either paper towels or a cloth towel that has just come out of a dryer set to HOT for ~15 minutes.  This helps keep "germ" contamination to a minimum!

Step 5: Get everything set up!  In order to work efficiently and with a minimum time (keeps those germs from the air away!) it is important to get your work area set up!  Here is mine, complete with freshly sanitized containers etc.

Step 6: The good stuff!  Now is the time to start making lotion!   Lotion making has 3 phases: the water phase, the oil phase and the cool down phase.  First comes the water and oil phases.

-water phase: measure your DISTILLED water into one pot.  You must use distilled water!  Tap water and bottled/filtered water still contain microscopic critters that can (and likely will) grow happily in your lotion.  Some may even enjoy the company of your preservative!

I add ~100 grams extra water to the pot to account for any lost to steam during heating and holding.  You will re-weigh your water after it is heated.

-oil phase: add all of your oils and waxes to the second pot, as well as any additives that need to be melted or can withstand high temperatures.  For my cream I used sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, cetyl alcohol and emulsifying wax.  [If you are wondering what each ingredient does to the cream please google "Swift Crafty Monkey" and take a look at her tutorials and descriptions!]

Step 7:  Heating and holding.  Now we move our pots to the burners!  We need to raise the temperatures of the water and oils to 70* C (158* F) and hold them there for 20 minutes.  This is to help remove any "germs" that may have slipped into our pots!  I find a temperature gun to be especially handy for this! Mine was under $40 from Lowes.

Step 8:  Once the pots have been held at 70*C for 20 minutes its time to make cream (or lotion!  Lotion has ~70% water, cream has ~60%, that is the only difference!).

Measure the heated water in a sanitized container, I had about 20 grams extra after the heating phase.  

Step 9:  Add the water to the oils.  Whoa!!!  It goes milky white on contact!

See the oils on the surface?  Time to mix those in!  Use your stick blender to mix the lotion for 5-10 minutes, I always go for the full 10 minutes to assure a stable mixture that won't separate!

Step 10:  Resting.  Before we can add our temperature sensitive ingredients (vitamins, proteins, scents and preservatives).  Cover the pot with a paper towel and let the lotion sit until it is cool enough for your additives.  This temperature will depend on the specific additives you want to add, you'll need to check them to see what temperatures they can withstand.

Step 11: The cool down phase!  Add your additives and stick blend until thoroughly mixed.  I added vitamin E tocopherol, wheat protein, phenonip (a preservative), a tiny amount of lab colour and my fragrance oil.

Step 12:  Pour your cream into clean jars, add a sealing disk, screw on the lids... and ta-da!  Your cream is done!  You'll need to leave it for a while to cool down and solidify though!


**Disclaimer:  I am NOT a professional lotion maker!  This is how I make my lotions, there are plenty of other ways as well!  Do your research and make small experimental batches!**

The winner!

Alright!  Back from vacation and ready to get some things done!  First thing is... the giveaway winner!!  I've assigned everyone a number (see the comments under giveaway) and plunked them into a random number generator!  The winner is.....
Carrie!  Please send my your address and I will pop your gift in the mail!  Yay!!!