Friday, 27 April 2012

not for sale!

I've recently been taking part in some soap making challenges. You will have seen my soap piping experiment in a previous post, which went quite well, and I am happy with how it turned out, but I'd like to try again, and maybe incorporate piped toppings onto one of my existing lines ....'dreamy' perhaps? Anyway, I digress.....this week's challenge is to try a faux funnel swirl, which is a way of layering different colours into your soap, normally done with a funnel, but this way is freehand.

(pic borrowed from Daves wooden soap moulds) funnel swirl set up

With a real funnel swirl, you alternately pour your different colours of soap through a funnel into the mould.  This creates conscentric circles of the colours, and is very effective.  The faux funnel swirl is done freehand, by pouring each colour soap in a pool over the previous colour and so forth. The 'circles' are not so perfect, a little abstract, and also gives a very striking finish

here's my attempt:

I've scented this one with real amber resin, lavender & tangerine essential oils. It smells amazing, fresh & spicy and mysterious. I love it. As it has real amber resin infusion in it, I can't sell these bars*....what a shame, I'll just have to use them up all by myself!

*recipes for the resin are closely guarded by the manufacturers, so no MSDS are available, making it unsuitable for use in products for sale, but fine for personal use.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

competition at Li Ban Ireland!

Rose is having a wee giveaway at her blog here: Li Ban Ireland blog

visit Rose's blog to be entered into a giveaway of Li Ban's fabulous luxury skincare, including handmade soaps. body butters and lip balms. Good luck!

some of Rose's lovely creations!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

cheese soap? yes, really!

Ok, please don't run off feeling queasy at the thought, and take a look at my pictures and the logic behind cheese in soap! I have to thank Janie from Selkies for this idea,  a few of us soapy folk have been trying this out, and quite successfully too!

so, why would anyone in their right mind want to make soap with cheese in it?  Well, you can make soap with milk....goat's milk, cow's milk, coconut milk, almond milk. The list goes on. Cheese is made from milk, right? Janie from Selkies pondered the difference between using milk and  'a nice runny brie' as a soap additive. Milk gives the finished soap a wonderful creamy lather, thanks to the sugars and proteins. Cheese has the same constituents as milk, so why not?  It could go one of two ways. I'm hoping it doesn't go the stinky, pongy glutinous mass way, and more the wonderful creamy solid successful bar of soap way.

I have opted to try cottage cheese. Why? Why not. Other guinea pigs have chosen soft goats milk with herbs and a nice slab of Wensleydale and cox's apple juice (freshly pressed).  Both have come out of the moulds looking and smelling like soap, but as they are too fresh to test, we won't know what the cheese has added to the qualities of the soap for a few days yet.

  lovely creamy emulsion of soap plus cottage cheese in the crock pot

 poured into the mould, sort of caramel colour

cut block in half the next day, nice natural colour. smells great courtesy of tomato leaf fragrance
(cheese & tomato, right?)

A small test piece gives a really lovely creamy, bubbly lather, nice & fluffy & rich. I will be giving a few bits away in a cheese soap swap in the next week or so, so we can compare & contrast! I'm so glad I did this!

piped cold process soap challenge

I'm up for a challenge on the soap front, so I couldn't resist joining the folk at and try out piped soap. it is much the same as piping buttercream on cupcakes, but you have to work fast, as the soap mix will get thicker and start to set firm on you while you are piping, OR it won't be thick enough and you'll end up with a soap puddle (much like I did, including an expelled nozzle!!) on top of your base soap!
here's my little contribution. fragranced with frankincense and blood orange essential oils, coloured with titanium dioxide (frosting) and blue ultra marine (the base). I also dusted the top of the frosting with a little pearlescent mica.

in the mould, freshly piped.

cut slices (there's only 4 of them!)

Friday, 6 April 2012

my soap is on the soap bar blog!

thank you to Joanna for featuring my lemon soul handmade soap on the soap bar blog last week!  I am sharing the page with some extremely awesome soaps, so thank you so much! I am chuffed to little mint balls (as my dad would say) :)