Thursday, November 29, 2012

The soaps....

Here are some pictures of what I've been working on!  As promised, although a little bit late. Wow Holidays and a cold together can be super tiring!!

Without further ado... the soaps!!

This one is "Figgy Pudding", the third and final Christmas soap!  The scent is figgy pudding and french vanilla both from WSP (I don't use them anymore, but will use what I have from them).  I piped the top with a wilton 2D tip, then sprinkled crystal sugar, iridescent glitter and candy pearls all over it.  This one got HOT around 200*F!  It ended up in the fridge overnight.

I didn't like the scent at first, it smelled almost grape-like.  It has changed some as it cures though and now smells a lot more like a Christmas pudding!  This one is mostly for my Mom, and our Christmas mouse who sings about how much she loves figgy pudding!

Next we have "Dragon's Blood", which I have yet to come up with a personal name for.. Draco something!  This scent is Dragon's Blood from BB.  As usual it went almost black for me (The colour in all 4 of these pictures is off, the paper in the background is a bright cerulean blue, for example).  There is a dilute green ITP swirl in this one because this soap is my Husband's favorite, and he loves green.  Bummed that that swirl is almost non-existent!  But it is a nice soap!

All of these photos have the exact same piece of cerulean blue paper for a background, but for some reason my iphone did NOT want to take nice pictures today!  But you can see the soaps at least!  The texture on the bars is from my wire cutter, I'm working on figuring out why it does that!

These next two are in my 'Aux Naturel' line; plant based colours and scents (essential oils) only.

I introduce to you "1972"; a blend of lavender, patchouli and orange essential oils.  I chose that particular year because it is the year my older brother was born (the next 70s soap will be for my sister!).  The purple side of this soap is coloured with an alkanet root infusion and the yellow side is coloured with an annatto seed infusion (the same seed they use to colour cheddar cheese, fun fact).  This one gave me a bit of a startle, the alkanet went in bright concentrated purple then proceeded to turn an icky blue-grey!  Luckily the purple came back with air exposure as the soap saponified (became soap). [lavender 40/42 essential oil and orange 10X essential oil from BB, alkanet and annato from BB via a soapy friend, and patchouli and lavandin essential oils from MMS].

The colours are actually more pastel than the brightness seen in the photo, darn you iphone!

I made this next, and last, soap yesterday.  I used the steamed and pureed 'guts' from my Thanksgiving pumpkins.  The colour is solely from the pumpkin!  The black flecks are poppy seeds for mild exfoliation.  For now this soap is called "Pumpkin Poppyseed".  This is an unscented soap for those folks who just want to smell clean, or those who are sensitive to fragrances.

The actual colour is more of a dark butter yellow.

That's all of the new soaps, for now!  

Coming up very very soon will be a woven face cloth pictorial!

Next soaps: Snowfall and some salt bars.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Coming soon....

Pictures of the last holiday soap, and my natural coloured essential oil soap.  Been a bit under the weather, so may take me a couple days to get everything up... sorry guys!  Also thinking about making some oat milk lotion for my Husband and I, boy has the winter dry skin come on quickly!  So itchy!!

Hope to be back more often soon!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

New URL!

The new URL for the site is!  Woo hoo!  Looks like I will have to re-do my blog list though... oh well!  Just wanted to let everyone know!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Amy's challenge!!!

Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks issued a challenge; mix cold process soap and melt and pour soap in the same batch.  I took up her challenge and now present to you "Ocean Dreams"!  This is a combination of 2 colours of MP soap and CP soap with an in the pot swirl. Sadly the small white patches are air pockets that are appearing as the MP soap shrinks, but oh well!  It still looks awesome and I'm happy with it!

Here you go Amy!

In this batch I used sky blue mica and gold luster green mica, both from The Conservatorie.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Soy tarts and melts pictorial!

Alright folks, here it is!  The soy wax melts and tarts.  You can use this same technique for palm or paraffin wax too!

First I'd like to talk about wax for a minute.  I used soy wax for this pictorial but you can use paraffin or palm wax as well, or a mixture of waxes.  Soy wax gives you a pretty creamy finish, paraffin is the standard wax you'll find in store bought candles, and palm wax makes a beautiful crystalline finish.

And here we go!

Step 1:
Make sure your work space is clean and free of clutter!  Not having enough space could risk a spill of hot wax!  You'll also want to get your tools ready; a scale, spoons, and melting vessels.  I used anchor glass measuring cups today because I wanted to use the microwave for melting... and because my metal melting pot is in a box in Canada!

You'll also need wax (of course), colourant and scent, as well as molds of some sort.  You can use many things for molds; plastic egg cartons (NOT the foam ones!), plastic yogurt contains, ice cube trays, silicone "one bite" molds, tart molds, clam shell molds... pretty much anything heat safe!  I went with clam shell molds and a wilton "one bite" mold.

Step 2:
Decide how much wax you need to fill you vessels.  I wanted 6 clam shells and a handful of tarts with one scent, and some tarts with the other.  I need ~21 oz of wax for the apple cinnamon batch and ~5 oz of wax for the pumpkin.  Weigh your wax in your melting vessels, I use that big steel spoon to scoop the wax from the bag.  If you want to use your hands I would suggest wearing a glove.  I like to keep my materials as germ-free as possible!

Melt your wax.  You can either do this in a double boiler or the microwave.  If you chose the microwave, like I have you want to do 30-45 second bursts.  Melt the wax until it is around 90% melted, then stir until the rest melts.

Once your wax is melted take the temperature, if it is below the flash point of your fragrance then you can move on to the next step!

Step 3:
When your wax is cool enough you can add scent and colour!  I prefer liquid dyes but you can also buy them in a block form.  For those ones simply shave off small bits of the block and mix the wax until the dye melts.  If you use the liquid add a drop at a time until you get the colour you want.  Not sure if you're there yet?  There are two tricks for testing your colour; 1) drip a small amount of a piece on white paper and let it dry or 2) dip a refrigerated spoon into the wax and pull it out, the set wax on the spoon will show you your colour!  I went with the paper method.

If this is your first time making melts or tarts you should stick to 1 oz of fragrance per pound of wax.  After you have more experience you can increase this to 2 oz per pound.  I generally stick to 1.5 oz per pound myself.  Especially with this wax, which has a great scent throw.  Please DO NOT use more than 1 oz per pound until you know what you are doing!  Too much scent will ruin the wax causing it to become soft and grainy.

Step 4:
Fill your molds!  Fill clam shells to the top of the inside lip and tarts to the top of the cavity.  If you're using paraffin you will want the wax to form a bubble of sorts that is slightly raised above the mold surface.  Paraffin tends to get very convex (dipped in the middle) when it cools.  The "bubble" is extra wax that fills the dip!  After you fill your vessels you will need to wait for an hour (at least!) to move them.  Wait until they are completely cool!  Do not use the fridge or freezer as this can make your wax crack.  Let them cool slowly on the counter.

Step 5:
While waiting for the melts to solidify we need to clean up.  The faster you start this step, the easier it will be!  Take some clean paper towel and wipe the liquid wax out of the melting vessels.  After that wash them with a grease cutting dish soap, I recommend Dawn as it seems to work the best at dissolving the wax.  To clean your spoons simply wipe the hardened wax off them with your tester paper then wash them with the same dish soap.

Step 6:
Close the clam shells and pop the tarts out of the molds!  That's it!  Super easy right?  To package the tarts you can use cellophane baggies, organza baggies, boxes... pretty much anything!  For the clam shells you can add a label and decorations.  

This silicone mold is really great for tarts BUT as you can see the edges tend to break off.  You can use a spray mold release to help with this.  I simply didn't have any on hand, and these are also just for me!

**Some fragrances will cause what is called "frost" on the surface of soy wax.  The pumpkin scent I used did just that.  I like how it looks when I get frost, but not everyone does.  If you want to avoid this you can use other types of waxes or a mixture of waxes.  Not all fragrance does this!  Here is an example of wax frost:

Next up: the last Christmas soap!  
Next pictorial: making woven face cloths!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Conservatorie mica testing

I purchased 12 mica colours from The Conservatorie last month and I FINALLY got around to testing them!  11 are stable in cold process soap, and they look amazing!  The 12th, the one I wanted to work the most, is not CP stable.  It started a beautiful emerald green and came out an icky green-brown sludge colour.  Here they are freshly poured; from the top left to bottom right: violet mica, passionate purple mica, gold luster green mica, peacock blue mica, sky blue mica (it is a brighter blue than it looks in the pictures, sky blue is the perfect name), pansy mica, orange heaven mica, egyptian emerald mica (the non-stable one), cosmo martini mica, peak green mica (also a bit brighter than the picture shows and actually green rather than yellow.  It is a granny smith apple green), sapphire blue mica and ruby red mica (the one I used in my peppermint swirl soap).

Four stable purples!  Very exciting!  I'll definitely get the 3 blues, 4 purples, and the red again.  The orange is a little bit too neon for me and the 3 greens aren't quite what I was looking for, especially the emerald!  Overall I'm very pleased with this company, they were quick seemed great to deal with.  A good place to go for those brighter micas that you just can't get anywhere else!  Here are the colour testers all set:

I apparently missed a small clump of mica in that first cube.. oops!  Once I use a good portion of my 200+ colourants I'll be purchasing more from these folks!  I also got some surfactants for making shampoos.

Next up: wax melts pictorial!  Soy wax with clam shells and also with silicone tart molds.  Should be up Monday or Tuesday!  After that the 3rd Christmas soap!