Sunday, 28 April 2013

Delays and a Change of Location

I haven't spoken much of my impending launch. Partially, that's because it's been delayed a bit. There's a backlog in some bureaucratic channels (nothing bad, just paperwork) and even more, I'm moving. The move is sudden. I've only known for the last two weeks. This is also not a bad thing at all. Just sudden. Actually, it's a very good thing. In this new place I'll be getting my own soap room. It won't have a sink but lots of space for curing shelves, my ingredient shelves, and a work bench, and really that's all I have to have. I'll visit the kitchen for the sink XD.

My future landlord is a fan of handmade soap, how awesome is that? I can paint if I want to, though I'll probably use my collection of pictures instead. So launching is delayed until I can get licensing in this new city, get my lair set up. But there is all the time in the world. And honestly, I'm going to have a SOAP LAIR. Not much could kill my mood at this point.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

The Final Week of The Soap Challenge

This is the final week of the Soap Challenge. I'm kind of sad. In taking up this challenge I was exposed to colouring techniques that I had never tried. Each of these techniques will remain in my creative arsenal for future batches. My favourites were the Tiger Stripe, and this week's technique, the Jaguar Spot Swirl. When I think about it, my life long love of all things animal print may be to blame for these two techniques becoming my new favourites.

The single most difficult thing, for me, about this technique was getting the soap to a medium trace. As you have probably figured out, I tend to avoid more than the bare
st trace for the most part. This largely suites my preferred swirling methods. However this would not at all serve the Jaguar Spot. So I stick blended and stick blended my black little heart out and got my soap to the appropriate stage of trace. I chose obedient scent combination as to avoid any acceleration. The last thing you ever want when you've got your soap at a medium trace is for it to start moving on you. Soap on a stick can happen in a heart beat.

For the first soap, which I made on Sunday, I chose to blend sandalwood, dark vanilla, amber and assorted woods to create Wild About You. The moment I read up on this swirl, I wanted to do a soap in Jaguar colours. So the base of this soap is a deep yellow and the spots are black and brown. When I cut this soap Monday morning I was thrilled with the results. Naturally this meant I HAD to make another attempt.

This second soap was in my minds eye before I even weighed my oils. Lime green and pink spots in a white base, what could be more fun? For this soap I chose to blend a mix of melons and kiwis. It's sweet and succulent. I've dubbed the soap Melon Mayhem. I did two lines of spots in each layer of this soap. They remind me of eyes, eerie, and very entertaining. There's some TD crackling the the centre of the parts. But not bad at all. What say you folks, should I make another batch using the Jaguar Spot Swirl?

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Better Late Than Never - Week 3 of the Soap Challenge.

I've been MIA for the last two weeks. My day job, and an impromptu vacation to Whistler kept me away from the blog. So I won't talk long, but I want to present the two soaps I made using the oil mica soap top swirl.

As it happens I've used this swirl on more than one occasions. So to switch things up for myself I decided to use this swirl as the sole means for decorating my batches. Instead of doing these batches in my log mold I decided to use my slab mold. Which means for these soaps I used my castile recipe. I'm a bit of an odd duck. I like the shape of my soaps to identify them from one recipe to another. So all my log mold batches are made with my "trinity" or three oil recipe and all the batches made in my slab mold are castile. The soaps are very, very different shapes.

In any case. I made these two batches and let my Facebook friends pic which soap I add to the link up at Amy Warden's blog. These are the soaps.

The winner of the vote, Mére:

This is a special soap I made with lavender, jasmine sambac and rose floral waxes. Special, because it's for the mother's in my life. The micas are from TKB Trading and Voyageur.

The runner up, Io:

This soap is a coconut and lemongrass blend. The colours were inspired by the moon Io. The micas are from TKB Trading, and you guessed it, Voyageur. :)

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Week Two of the Soap Challenge

This is the second week of the Soap Challenge brought to the soaping world by Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks. Once again, the challenge brings a swirling method that I've never attempted. Okay, that's not technically ENTIRELY true.

The challenge this week is the Elemental Swirl first documented by the Otion Soap Blog. It's a combination of two in the pot swirls separated by a mica vein. The separate in the pot swirls are to be contrasting colours.

I've made plenty of in the pot swirls, but never two in one batch and I rarely attempt mica veins. So this challenge was a combination of the familiar and the foreign. Which is excellent, actually.

In the challenge we were all advised to pick a slow moving fragrance. Time, you see, is a factor in this swirl. Well, I've never been one for playing it safe in mixing fragrances and today's batch was no different. Although I did not through all condition to the wind.

My sister requested a batch for a friend of her's who has a love affair with the coast. I didn't have any salt air notes in my stash but I think I came up with something intriguing. The blend is a combination of dried leaves, freshly cut grass, spring rains and a touch of vetiver and wildflowers. It reminds me of misting rains at Golden Ears, the mountain that lays at the eastern edge of Maple Ridge.

In any case, the fragrance blend contains a whole lot of scent components that are not exactly cooperative. Did that dissuade me from making this blend for this swirl! Never!

My colour choices are not as contrasting as they could be but that was intentional. My bottom layer is a combination of three purples, two shades of blue and teal. The mica fain is a metallic red. I topped the soap with a light sprinkle of red and gold glitter.

At the time of the pour, the purples were fainter, and redder than I wanted. The blues were paler too. After the soap had been sitting in the mold for a while I realized that I'd made an amateurish mistake with my colourants. I used half as much as I normally would unintentionally. Bad math. Sigh.

In any case, the soap cut is both ugly and pretty. I had TD explosions instead of just TD rivers and the in the bottom layer it sort of looks like pig fat. Not exactly attractive. Swirl-wise, the soap is nice, the top layer is water-like and pretty. The bottom is gross. If I had had enough time this week to take another shot at this soap I would have. Time was simply not on my side this week.

So here it is:

What I will likely end up doing with this soap is cutting the top layer off and turning it into chunks for another soap. For now it's just... This.