September 2018 Soap Challenge

IMG_2770Hello to all viewers!

I was so excited to hear Amy Warden, the owner of Great Cakes Soapworks, decided to revive the Soap Challenge Club!!! Thank you Amy for giving us this wonderful opportunity to practice and play soap with our peers and to… “Learn. Make. Share. Repeat.”

This month our challenge design was a mini drop swirl technique.  This technique gives your soap an amazing look of small teardrop shapes suspended within the body of the soap for a beautiful floating bubble effect.  For my first attempt at mastering this technique I used my standard soaping formula that is fairly slow to trace and scented  with lavender essential oil.   Lavender essential oil doesn’t seem to accelerate my soap base much so it was easy to experiment with for new designs.  I wanted to experiment with Halloween colors as well so this soap was made with mica from Nurture Soap in neon green, neon yellow and neon orange, glow in the dark pigment, in the titanium dioxide, and activated charcoal. I set the essential oil in Kaolin clay from Arizona Soap Supply to help hold the fragrance in the soap longer.  Unfortunately this batch didn’t make the cut for the challenge club entry as I over blended the batter and it didn’t get very good drops in the design as well as the heavy glycerin rivers throughout the loaf… so, more practice!  Sorry that a couple of the photos are blurry, I got oil on the camera lens but I do love the little face that was  in the finished bars, what do you think?

My second batch was made with the same oil recipe and a custom citrus essential oil blend.  I again used Nurture Soap’s neon colors but the orange wasn’t what I was looking for (it turned pink!) so this will be another soap for the house.   The “drops” are perfect in this batch though, but unfortunately this loaf was full of glycerin rivers.  I believe I have the technique down now,  and I hope number three will be perfect!

My third batch is a new essential oil blend I designed for the holidays with Sweet orange Chocolate and peppermint YUM!  I don’t know why I decided to try an untested scent on this batch but it worked out fine.  The colors are from Nurture Soap ( identified as “ns” below) and Crafter’s Choice purchased from Essential Depot (identified as “cc” below).  The colors used in this batch are: 24 K Gold mica (cc) and Yellow Gold (cc) combined, the red is Crimson Sparkle mica (cc).  The green is Alpine Green (ns), and I didn’t have a silver so I created some using titanium dioxide, Ivory Lace (cc), Super Sparkles (cc),  Platinum Grey (ns),  and activated charcoal.  I decided to pipe the top of this and used a mica drizzle of red, gold and green but the red didn’t stay blended very well.  I still love the look of this and the fragrance is soooo yummy!

Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of the creation of this soap (which is why I show the pictures from the above batches) but I do have pictures below of the loaf ready to cut and final pictures.  I really love this technique and will be using it again in the future.  I can’t wait to see all of the creative ideas everyone used with this challenge!

 

Is On-Line Shopping Hazardous to Your Health?

I love to shop on line! It’s quick, it’s fun, and it’s addicting!

I can get my shopping done in a short period of time when necessary, or browse when I have leisure time. Currently 80% of everything I buy is purchased on line, with local shopping totals of 18-19% purchased by someone else, and 1-2% actually being purchased by me, so I receive a lot of packages every day!

It has been a struggle to find body care products that were truly chemical free over the last few years, so I went back to my family roots and started making my own products again.  I order items such as essential oils, carrior oils, powdered/dried herbs and micas (fun!), etc, on line and have a great time playing and making all kinds of products for myself, friends and family as well as teaching my grandkids.

And what does this all have to do with on line shopping you ask?  Well, when a new box arrives from and on line purchase, Sometimes you can smell the chemical fragrances right through the packaging! I may have ordered non chemical items but if they are stored in the same warehouse as other items they can pick up the heavy “fragrances” so when the box is opened I become overpowered by the chemical fragrances.  My reaction is limited to coughing and headaches and is very mild compared to some people with this sensitivity!  So far, I have been extremely fortunate that I have only had one really serious reaction to something I purchased on line and I was able to return the product.

One work-around when I can smell a box before it is opened I will have someone else do the honors of opening that box. Or, have the box taken to another location to “air out” for a week or two before I use the items.  Sometimes it can be as simple as washing the items if possible to remove the fragrances faster.   Books on the other hand…well, I just have to wait, and wait, and wait (sigh).

If I know in advance a company sends fragrance oils as thank you gifts, I will write a note in the comments when ordering so they don’t add fragrances to the box. This has helped limit the gifts that I can’t use.

I hope you find these tips helpful in your purchasing or on your packaging!

Happy shopping!

Dani