Friday, April 26, 2013

Fourth and Final Challenge Soap

I had never heard of Leopard Spots soap technique until Amy put out her challenge on her blog, but it sure was intriguing! Cee's looked really cool; I especially loved her colours! And Amy made it look so easy on her video. I found that it was harder than it looked, though. First, my colours were not co-operating - how could I have forgotten that orange essential oil would alter my mauve coloured soap?? Then my black (activated charcoal) set up quicker than the rest of the soap. But I got 'er done! It overheated a bit, as evidenced by a few small cracks on top and some clouding on the cut surfaces. And then there's the dreaded Ash! I know, "embrace the ash". I don't like Ash! Just sayin'...

This soap is fragranced with sweet orange and lavender essential oils. Can't wait to check out the other participants creations; you can too at Amy's Greatcakes Soapworks blog. Thanks so much for the challenges again Amy! It was so much fun!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Mothers' Day soap made with Love

Have you ever noticed that once you become a mom you appreciate your own mom so much more? My mom grew up in the Netherlands in the 1930s and '40s and her childhood experiences were nowhere close to my own; I have been richly blessed. In 2006 my 5 siblings and I, along with our mom went to see the land of our forefathers. We toured the area my mom grew up in, and then we went to see where my dad came from. We saw childhood homes, met relatives and enjoyed the history and architecture of the land. The day that would have been my parents 50th wedding anniversary, had my dad not passed away almost 3 years prior, we spent at the famous spring garden, the Keukenhof. It was a beautiful day and the flowers, particularly the tulips, were breathtaking!
The tulip fields along the way

Along the riverbank at the Keukenhof
I have such fond memories of that trip. And when I came across a 'Tulip' fragrance oil on the Natures Garden website 2 thoughts came to mind:
  • I didn't know that tulips had much of a scent
  • I gotta get that for my mom!
And so I did! I've been dreaming up this soap for months. Determined to come up with a design that would remind my mom of the tulips from her native country, I started by pulling out the plastic chocolate holders I had saved from a box of wooden shoe chocolates that a friend had given to mom and made some wooden shoe embeds. To represent the tulips I made a whole lotta soap curls. Then I went to it. And now that Mom has her early Mothers' Day gift of the entire first loaf, I present to you "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" Shea Butter Bar.
"Tiptoe Through the Tulips" Shea Butter Bar

"Happy Mothers' Day, Mom!"

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mica Swirled Top

Week 3 of the Greatcakes Soapworks Challenge - Mica Swirled Top. I had a hard time figuring out what to do for this challenge. The only sparkly mica I have on hand is 24 karat gold. I knew it needed a dark soap, and I wanted to keep it really simple so that the top would be the star. But I had soapers block. And then my package of essential oils arrived from Victoria! And inside was a beautiful bottle of Vanilla 20x essential oil!! I knew what to do!
I added some cocoa powder to this batch, hoping for a bit of a chocolate 'flavour' as well. And then I added just a titch of patchouli essential oil. Once in the mold I used a pipette to add the gold mica mixed in olive oil.
Then came the swirls!

And here is a close-up. Isn't she pretty??

I put this loaf to bed for the night, and look what I came to the next day.
Now how disappointing is that?! If this vanilla didn't do what every vanilla, essential or fragrance or otherwise, does to me every time I would not be happy, I could promise you that!

And much to my pleasure it did darken, and it ashed, but I think I can live with it! :-))
Chocolate Vanilla Cocoa Butter Bar
There will be no new challenge for this coming week; the final challenge in this series will be the following week, and it involves leopard spots! Should be interesting. Be sure to check out Amy's blog to see all the other challenge-takers creations!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Challenge Week #2 - Elemental Swirls

Amy's challenge (Greatcakes Soapworks) for this week is the Elemental Swirl. Using the same recipe as last week, I chose to make 2 smaller batches simultaneously - I just felt that it would give me more time to play. For my first layer I swirled Fizzy Lemonade, Tangerine and Sunset Orange into my base and poured it into my mold. For the pencil line I used copper mica; think I could have used a bit more but I only had a smidge left to begin with. For my second layer I swirled Ultramarine Blue and Chromium Green into the base and layered it on top of the mica. I had some lemonade and tangerine soap curls from my Mother's Day soap left so I added those too.

Elements Cocoa Butter Bar

This soap is scented with White Tea and Ginger fragrance oil. I'll leave these for a few days before cleaning the edges and stamping them. I really enjoyed this challenge. Can't wait to check out all of the others on Saturday!