The Great Cakes Soap Challenge this month involved creating a winter wonderland themed soap that had to include an element of snow. The first thing that came to mind was to attempt a snowy landscape of some kind. Having never done a landscape soap of any kind, I spent quite a bit of time planning it all out. I really had no idea if it would work, but the whole process was a lot of fun. Given the amount of time it took, I’m glad the first try was a success. In the end, it took a combined 3 recipes of soap layered over 3 days and finally cut on the 4th day. :) Continue reading
I decided to try out some new herbs, spices, and clays. It seems that with every swirl I want to try or every soap challenge I enter, I’m stuck using the same natural colors I’ve always used – indigo, charcoal, paprika, cocoa, walnut hull, and a variety of clays. But after so many orange and blue or black and white soaps, I’m beginning to get a bit bored. Lots of people already have great blogs and information on most of these, but it’s always a good idea to test and figure out how they work in your own soap. I ended up with some great new ideas and one soap with a cool looking alien spider swirl. :) Continue reading
The Great Cakes Soap Challenge for January 2016 involved a technique called the Circling Taiwan Swirl that produces a lotus flower when the soap is cut horizontally. I went with natural colorants and tried out a new blend of essential oils. I ended up making 3 attempts at this swirl technique. The best part is cutting the soap and having absolutely no idea what you’re going to see. :) Continue reading
The soap challenge this month involved learning a fun new technique called the Tall & Skinny Shimmy. In my first attempt at this technique, the soap got a bit too thick on me. And thick soap just doesn’t shimmy. In my second attempt, I used natural colorants and essential oils that were more conducive to a slow trace along with a really slow tracing recipe. :) Continue reading
In order to make soap, you need three ingredients: oil, sodium hydroxide (lye), and a liquid (water, milk, etc). A lot of soap makers use milk, beer, coffee, and teas instead of just plain water. Each of these various liquids can lend different properties to soap, like a boost in lather or actual skin care benefits. The soap challenge this month focused on the liquid we use. The challenge was to use an alternative to water and discuss the benefits, if any, to the skin. We had to use all natural colorants and only essential oils for fragrance, too. This was a very interesting challenge and a lot of fun to research.
The very first idea that popped into my mind – Elderberry :) Continue reading