Friday, June 14, 2013

Elemental Swirl Soap

Have you seen this technique? It is really cool! You create two layers of swirled soap! It is an advanced technique, but the results are lovely.

I've had a bit of a stressful time lately. I am getting ready to move. I have a newborn and a toddler and guess what? The toddler is acting out because of the attention that the baby gets. Surprised? I didn't figure you would be. There are a few other things going on, but that is not the point. The point is that I really wanted to make some soap that would really take some skill and concentration. I wanted to get my mind off of my poor, poor, pitiful me crap and be creative and artistic! So, I decided the elemental swirl technique would do the trick!

I decided to use a Monkey Farts fo because I like it! If you want a pick-me-up, sniff some fruit monkey farts. Heck, just say monkey farts. Monkey farts. *giggle* I also chose this fo because I knew it did not accelerate trace or rice or anything else funky. I used a basic oil mix of olive, coconut, and palm because I know how it acts at different temperatures. This is NOT a technique you should use when experimenting with anything new. That recipe = disaster!

Monkey Farts is a fruity blend, so I decided to go with light fruity colors. For the bottom layer I used green oxide (kiwi), yellow oxide (banana), and tangerine wow (mandarin). I used cocoa powder to create a vein separating the two layers. I thought about gold mica, but wanted more contrast. The top is pink oxide (grapefruit), brick red oxide (apple), and creamy uncolored soap (coconut). I also added a fired fuchsia and glitter to the top because I couldn't help myself.

To do this, you need lots of bowls and plenty of work time. Mix your oils, lye water, and fragrance and blend until just mixed (emulsified), not to trace! Pour about half off into another bowl (for top soap) and set aside.

Make the bottom half: Separate your first half of soap batter into thirds and color each. Next, use two of the colors to do an in-the-pot swirl into the third color. Pour into your mold!

Color vein: Put some cocoa in a tea strainer and lightly tap over the soap to get a thin vein of powder.

Make the top half: Take the second half of your soap batter and separate it into thirds. Color two of them. Do another in-the-pot swirl. Use a spatula or spoon and CAREFULLY pour this soap over the bottom layer. You are trying NOT to mess up your vein or first layer. Reserve a very small amount for the top.

Pour the reserve into a baggie and mix in some hot pink goodness. My original idea was to pipe the soap in a really cool top, but it wasn't thick enough. So, I was going to do a basic swirl on the top, but I had too much soap (and you can't waste it!). So, I ended up just pouring it on the top and sprinkling the glitter on it. I can't say I'm disappointed :)

These will be ready to go July 13th!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Vanilla Discoloration

I have had several customers ask how I got such a lovely brown color for my soap. I've also had some that want to know why I would make brown soap. And there are a few that would like a vanilla scented something that looks creamy white like vanilla ice cream.

Where did the brown come from? From vanilla! Why did I color it brown? Because it has vanilla in it! Vanilla contains vanillin which will slowly cause anything that contains vanilla to discolor. The amount of discoloration depends on the amount of vanillin used. Discoloration can range from a light tan to a very dark brown.

Vanilla color stabilizers can slow the discoloration, but they won't stop it forever. You also have to make sure you get a stabilizer for the soap you are making. M&P stabilizers don't work well in CP (I tried anyway, they were right though, it doesn't work well).

For the most part, I don't fight the discoloration. Instead, I use it to design my soap. For example, in my lavender vanilla soap, I used titanium dioxide and the natural discoloration to make an ombre soap. I love the way it looks too! See how I did it here.

I used BB Vanilla Select and a vanilla bourbon fo and lavender eo. It actually starts to discolor right away! Here in the final soap right after it is cut and through day 5. It won't really get much darker than that.

I love the final look and you can see what a huge difference the vanilla makes, but it really creates lovely layers!

You can also separate your soap and use vanilla in one part of it to make a different look. Really, why fight the vanilla? Just use it to make a beautiful soap :)

What do you do about discoloring vanilla?

Monday, June 10, 2013

4 Bananas Lead To...

Has this ever happened to you? You buy some bananas, but you also buy lots of other fruit that your little one doesn't normally get. So, the bananas don't get eaten, but all the other fruit does. All the berries you can't normally get. The cherries. The kiwis. But not the bananas. They just sit there getting browner and then the little guy looks at them and says "I no want the yucky bananas." I'm sure that has never happened to you :)

Well, I just can't throw away food. It makes me ill to do it. So, I decided that I would do something useful with my 4 yucky bananas. I mashed them up, mixed in a few ingredients and I got two delightful mixtures.

Can you guess what I did with them?
Well, if you guessed that I made banana bread with one, you would be correct. With the other, I made a face masque! Bananas are actually good for you face, as is most other fruit. Now, which batch of goop is which?

The one on the left is the goop for banana bread-3 bananas and a little milk and cinnamon. The one on the right is the face goop-1 banana and a little milk and cinnamon; plus some finely ground oatmeal, honey, and a touch of olive oil (did I mention I have dry, sensitive skin?). The mixture is a little runnier, but you only want a thin layer anyway. Some people are sensitive to cinnamon, so it is okay to leave it out. Apply to clean, dry skin and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. If you feel tingling or itching, rinse immediately.

Wash your face with a mild cleanser and warm water. Follow up with your favorite toner or rinse and moisturizer. My current toner is some chamomile tea with a touch of witch hazel; I keep it in the fridge for a cool treat :)

As you can see, I could probably have mashed my bananas better, but it wasn't a problem. It is hard to see because the color is light, but there really is a noticeable layer on my face. I left mine on for about 12 minutes and it was starting to dry, so it was time to rinse. My face felt amazing. Then, Hayden and I shared some banana bread!

I don't think I did too bad for being desperate to use up my "yucky bananas."

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Shaving Cream Fun

I have to say that I love the Dollar Store. I know some people that just don't see what you could get for a dollar that is worth anything. I do see their point. You get what you pay for. So, $1 for a pair of scissors means they probably won't last long. However, if you are taking them to a classroom where it is likely your students will walk off with them, it is okay with me.

I went to the store down the road to get some fun things for Hayden for the summer. He is in love with the scissors I got him. He can sit there for half an hour cutting, tearing, and basically shredding anything I give him. I also bought him some new colors and a letter coloring book, so we can work on his letters. I also got a great idea from Growing a Jeweled Rose using shaving cream. So, I snagged a couple of cans.

I thought about doing the slide idea, but thought for the first time, I would just let him play in it. So, I emptied the can of shaving cream into his water table and let him go nuts! Yeah right! He put his hand in and immediately wanted me to wash it off. I tried showing him that he could squeeze it and make designs, but he wasn't having any of it. It wasn't until he discovered that shaving cream would splat and fly every where that he got into it. He's a bit of a boy :)

So, we spent about an hour on the back porch clapping, high fiving, and splatting shaving cream. He giggled, squealed, and screamed his delight. In the end, we had an incredible mess on the back porch and a little boy that was covered in shaving cream. But, we also had a great time.

We actually weren't done here, but I thought it was a good time for pictures.
So, the scissors may not last long and technically that $1 can of shaving cream only lasted about an hour; however, I think the hour of pure delight and joy that we had was well worth it.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

From The Soap Pot 6/5

Vanilla was my favorite smell today! I made my two favorite vanilla scented soaps. They will be ready July 6th.

Twilight Seduction Soap-smells like vanilla and mint

Serenity Soap-smells like vanilla and lavender.

 Please note that each batch of soap is unique and these new ones may vary slightly from those pictured! It is an art after all :)