Friday, October 28, 2011

First Rebatch- Lavender Spoon Swirl

So, it seems as though the soap gremlins have hit my house for the first time... Maybe it's because I got their attention by starting to post videos? So, yesterday morning, the soap was hard enough to unmold but not yet hard enough to cut, so I let it sit until the evening, when I tried to cut the first piece off... nope, still too soft to cut. So, I let it sit for a couple hours more.
I put lil' man down for bed and went and checked on the soap again. To my horror it had started to sweat profusely!

Now, in the past, the only way I had to test and see what the sweat is, is to stick my finger in it and see if it burns. I am SOOOOOO glad that I had been able to invest in some pH strips... 'cause the pH of that sweat was at 14!!! What?! Soap is supposed to be more around 8 or 9 (water even lower than that) and given that it was only a day old I would've guessed it to be more around a 10 or 11... the test piece that I had cut off earlier wasn't sweating, but was still testing at a 13. Hmm... I think it is finally time I tried my first rebatch and see if I can "save" this soap as it still smelled wonderful.

I pulled out my brand new 2 quart crock pot that I had bought for such an occasion. The crock pot is small, but I work in small batches, so it works just fine for me. First up was donning on some gloves and chopping up the "soap" into small chunks and putting it into the crock pot. I wanted to cry 'cause the swirls had turned out to be rather pretty.

You can see that the soap was incredibly soft and gooey in the middle, but I didn't come across any lye pockets, thank goodness. I turned the crockpot onto high for the first 15 minutes so that it would heat up fast on me and then turned it down to low. The soap sat in the crockpot heating up while I watched the last episode of Merlin season 3 (what an excellent show! I can't wait for season 4 on Netflix!) and the first episode of Army Wives season 5. All in all, about an hour and a half, getting up every so often to give the soap a stir so that the stuff on the bottom didn't burn and the stuff on the top had a chance to melt.

The entire batch was the consistency of really thick applesauce or thin mashed potatoes by this point. I tested the soap once more and it was at a 9 on the pH level. So much better! It was also an ugly gray color. So, I attempted a swirl by adding titanium dioxide into the entire batch to lighten it up just a little bit and then separating a couple spoonfuls of the soap into another container and adding more purple colorant to it.

Then, I made a divet in the center of the soap that was in the crockpot and spooned the colored soap into the divet. I folded the two colors together a couple of times to get a "swirled" effect but not so much as to actual homogenize the colors together. Then I stuffed the soap into one of my silicone molds (ok, well, it's the only big sized silicone mold I own right now).

You have to be careful with the soap at this point because it is very hot and still is thick enough to where it needs to be pressed into the mold. Heat resistant gloves are a good thing for rebatching ^_^;; Once the molds are filled up you let them sit and cool for several hours and unmold once they're cool and hardened.

I'm happy that the fragrance had survived the process but the final results just aren't my cup of tea... especially for giving as a present to someone. So, in the works now is processing the soap a third time. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lavender Spoon Swirl

Hello again! Wow! I know! Two soaps in one week?! It's a big change from the past month of absolutely no posts :( I'm just trying to get back into my grove, so before I get onto the soap, I have a couple of things to let you know. What I'm working on right now are my Christmas gift soaps, so once this frenzy is over, my soaping posts will be slowing down as I already have a ton of soap I need to get through! Also, I am going to be offering videos on YouTube showing my soaping process. So, you get a choice: watch a video, or read about the process here ('cause I know some people can't watch YouTube). Even though I'm going to have to start soaping a little less when I'm done with the Christmas soaps, I'm still going to be posting my other crafting/art projects here. Eventually what I plan to happen is to make DelightfulU my crafting/art blog and move my soaping experiments to a new blog under a new name as I start preparing to put together a business. Bad news... business won't be up for a couple years yet, so you'll just have to wait ^_~

So, now on to the soap!
First the video if you don't want to read through everything below.

This is my first attempted spoon swirl, something that does seem to be rather popular right now. My inspiration is actually based on a fiber roving I had purchased earlier this year from a wonderful lady on Etsy, handmadehandmaid.

Heard it Through the Grapevine roving

I love the color pop of the black and white and a touch of purple :)

Basically with a spoon swirl, you divvy your soap into different bowls, one bowl for each color you want to use (you can use as many colors as you would like, I did three). Then, the easy and fun part: spoon your soap into your mold! You want to make it random and don't worry about covering the bottom of your mold with the first couple of spoonfuls. Here are some pictures:

And then finish the top off with a nice swirl :D

This soap has 75% olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, castor oil, and palm kernel oil flakes and is scented with my first psuedo-EO fragrance... Lavender with a bit of Patchouli and hint of Peppermint. But I found out that the Patchouli was really taking over the Lavender so I decided to add in a bit of Lavender Gardens Cybilla FO to help round it out and pump up the lavender scent!

I will hopefully be able to get some cut pictures posted later tonight or tomorrow! I'm really excited to see how this turned out!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I made soap. And a video. At the same time.

So, haven't posted in a looooong while... haven't soaped in forever :( So my soaping mentor kicked me in the b.u.t.t. and gave me a challenge. Part of the challenge was a video... so here you go: my first full on soaping video! It's long so make sure you have your cup o' coffee made and at your desk before watching!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Soap Scents- Pt. 1 The Good

Hello again, everybody :)

I guess you've already figured out that I was not selected by BrambleBerry to test out their new fall fragrance oils. That's alright, though, because I still get to read the test results of the soapers who were chosen! Just as much fun, and much less stress ^_~

Today I have decided to have some fun of my own and go back through a bunch of soaps that I made back in April to see how the scents have behaved! Most of the soaps are M&P with a few CP thrown in there as well, and all scents unless otherwise noted are from BrambleBerry! I have decided to break this up into 3 sections: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, so stay tuned over the next couple days as I go over each of the scents I have previously used!

Let's start off with The Good:
Celestial Waters Cybilla FO

Still smells as strong as the day I made this soap! It has a unique smell all of its own that's kind of hard to describe. It reminds me of sweet water and honeysuckle... almost a clean scent with a couple of heavier sweeter notes to it. I also don't see any signs of discoloration!

Lavender Bouquet Cybilla FO

No discoloration is noted once again and it stills smells lovely. A deep floral lavender (as opposed to herbal lavender) with other very subtle floral notes. It does kind of remind me of grandma type perfumes, though.

Energy FO

A fun and strong fragrance. I detect just a hint of citrus, some light powder, and something a bit sparkly. The colors in my soap are still bright as ever with this one!

Apricot Freesia FO

A beautiful light scent that has stayed strong with minimal fading. It's definitely a bit heavier on the floral Freesia right now but the Apricot fruit is still coming through nicely. And once again, I am not seeing any discoloration :)

Eden's Garden Cybilla FO

The floral notes in this scent has really stuck around, although, I would have to say that the top notes of citrus have faded just a bit transforming this scent ever so slightly. It's still a pretty scent that's not overpowering and doesn't discolor.

Black Tea FO

This scent isn't for everyone. It's really heavy and musky... but I guess that's one reason why I like it, hehe. Personally I think it smells awesome! And it sure has stuck in my soap and a little bit goes a long long way. I believe this was soaped at less than 1/4 oz per pound of M&P... it does discolor to a light tan and all those dark blotches on top of the soap is simply the black tea leaves I had added to the soap, so no worries about that!

Chocolate Espresso Cybilla FO

Ok... this was my first ever CP batch of soap. And I am so happy that this scent has kept! I actually use it as a deterent for eating chocolate! I'm a chocoholic, so I get these cravings, you see... so, instead of reaching for the nearest chocolate bar, I reach for this chocolate soap! The scent it leaves on my hands is delicious enough to stave off my craving! Woot! Love love love this scent and just put in my order for more ^_^ And yes, this will discolor, but I don't know how much seeing as I colored this bar with... you guessed it! Hershey cocoa powder ^_^ Yum yum yum!

and my last FO review for today is
Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey FO (not the Cybilla type)

Yet another yum scent that has lasted :) I'm sad that I'm already on my last bar! Smells of cookies and sweet things to me, which it should. This scent has discolored ever so slightly a very light tan which surprised me... I thought it would go much darker than it did!

So there you have it... part 1 of my Good, Bad, and Ugly Series pertaining to the FOs I have currently tried! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The wonders of a failed experiment

You just can't win them all... to date I have yet had an unsuccessful batch- unsuccessful meaning something went terribly wrong with my soap experiment... so today I have the pleasure of sharing with you my first very unsuccessful batch! Lucky you!

So, I tried my first Mariner's Soap. What is that, you ask? Simply put, it's a salt bar with 100% coconut oil superfatted at around 20% so that it is less drying to your skin and it's supposed to be a very bubbly exfoliating bar that works even under hard water. Everything was going pretty well, I was able to soap at around 104 degrees since that's how hot it was outside yesterday... very simple- I stuck my lye solution and my coconut oil outside and let the temperatures regulate to the outside temp! Woo, this heat is good for something! Mixed my soap up, added the coloring and fragrance (a very piney fragrance called Mistletoe from WSP), mixed in my Epsom salts at a 1.5:1 ratio (I've seen recipes that added up to 2:1 salts!), and poured it all into my silicon soap mold that got bent out of shape during shipping, grr! I even tried doing a pencil line that my friend Emily over at ShiehDesigns is so good at!

I then covered my lovely soap and left it alone for many many hours. I had heard that salt bar soaps need to be watched and cut at the exact correct time or else they become too hard to cut... Finally, after many checking ins, my soap felt hard enough to cut. So I uncovered the soap and to my dismay I found pools of water sitting on top of it! No- literally, I could have gone swimming in it! O.O!! See?

Well, unfortunately I do not have pH strips here at home with which to test the pH levels of the clear liquid (bad me, I know) to see if my batch had separated underneath the pretty green color. So what else was a girl to do but take the soap next to the sink turn on the water and then stick her finger into the offending substance? It tingled a bit when I left it on my finger, but didn't burn and felt a little slippery. (I should probably put in a disclaimer about not trying this at home or yadda yadda, but if you're already making or thinking about making soap you already know the dangers entailed and are old enough to make your own decision on whether you choose the possibility of maiming yourself!)
Anyway, I let the soap log sit for a while to see if the water would seep back into the soap while I did a quick search on the internet to find out what happened or if I should be worried... I found some information that I will divulge shortly.

I went back over to my soap and was very happy to see that the liquid had dissipated (woo! yay! hooray!) and proceeded to unmold it. Ummm... it sorta fell apart on the bottom in some places...
And this happened when I cut into it...

Looks interesting... but doesn't look or feel like any soap I've ever seen o.O!
So erm...
A couple things went wrong here:
#1- I used Epsom salts. Apparently salt bars don't do so well when Epsom or Dead Sea Salts are used... I just found that out here (hint: look at the very last post that was made)
2) I used waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much salt!

I don't mind that it turned into a failed batch technically 'cause colorwise, it looks more like a watermelon than a sprig of mistletoe... my color ratios were completely off!

My lessons are learned. I now know what not to do... so hopefully my next try at a Mariner's bar will be more... try-umphant! (and yes, I went there... I'm in a silly mood today!)

I am going to save today's experiment and throw a bit under some bath water in a couple of weeks to see if it will make a bubbly salt bath (sounds nice, doesn't it?). I will let you know how that goes! And thanks for reading ^_^

Castile with Coconut Milk

Here's another soap I made a while back, well, a couple days after I made the Castile in the Nude soap. I decided to try the 100% virgin olive oil with coconut milk as part of my liquid for the lye solution. Coconut Milk is pretty big in the cosmetic world with claims of it containing anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties (because it has a high count of fatty acids) and that it contains vitamins A and C, Calcium, Iron, and natural proteins and is a wonderful additive for sensitive skin-types.

However, when I tried this soap a couple days after it was made, I found that I just could not get it to lather any bubbles. "How could this be?!" I thought. "Coconut milk is supposed to be high in fat and sugar content which should lead to a bubblier bar of soap than the castile I had previously made with just water!" So, I did some research and I found out that I need to find an organic store around here... the coconut milk I had bought at the local grocery store has added water and guar gum to it which may be affecting the lather. Plus, I soaped at a high 38% liquid content with only the 8% being the coconut milk (the other 30% was distilled water). So, tonight, I gave it another go. And I got bubbles! And a decent lather! Yay!

Hopefully, as the soap cures longer and longer it will get bubblier and bubblier *fingers crossed* Apparently, a soap bar gets much better with age as long as that pesky DOS doesn't settle in to ruin it all. I am really happy to announce that none of my soaps since I've started have come down any type of DOS *knock on wood!* And most of the scents I have used have stuck around nicely.

Anyway, I digress... back to the Coconut Milk Castile.
Again, I added no fragrance or coloring and stuck with a simple decorative swirl on the top. What do you think?

I love the cream color this soap turned out to have and once again, that lovely aromatic nutty scent from the olive oil is beautiful (well, to my nose, anyway, hehe!) Still, it does make my hands feel really nice and smooth. It just needs a bit more tweaking to get it where I would like it :)

I do want to try this again using only coconut milk for my liquid... And now that I have found the wonderfulness of honey- I think my next castile batch will be made with true coconut milk (if found) and a bit of honey... maybe I should just go for it and add some ground oats to make a natural oatmeal, milk, and honey bar... or maybe I should try a mix of chamomile tea and coconut milk for my liquid content and still add in the honey so I can have a tea, milk, and honey bar? Both sound yummy good to me, how about you? Maybe I should just make both types and see how they fair against each other! For now, it's off I go hunting for organic 100% coconut milk. Wish me luck!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Spa Tonic Chamomile Bastile Soap

Hi everyone!
So, I made this soap a couple weeks ago... but ended up hating what the fragrance morphed into and how the swirls turned out... so, I thought it was not going to be worthy of a post. That is until I actually used it! I'm in love with this recipe!

So, we'll start off with the recipe- it's called a bastile because it's mainly olive oil but has other oils introduced so it can't be called a castile soap (which is 100% olive oil).
85% olive oil
10% coconut oil
5% shea butter
chamomile tea for my liquid
1 TBS honey per pound of oil

Look at how lovely this thing lathers up! It bubbles right away and the feeling of my skin afterward is pure silk! It must be the honey :) I just can't stop touching my hands!

And this next picture shows the swirl in the soap after it's been used... looks a bit better than the just cut soaps, but it's still not what I was looking for for the swirl.

I was looking for a much bigger and spread out swirl... I poured in my colors (the base is uncolored, part colored with ultramarine blue that turned green, and part colored with black oxide which turned dark green) at a barely there light trace... I mean, the soap was barely making any marks on itself when I lifted my stick blender out of the soap to check for trace. And the scent I used was WSP's Spa Tonic which is a blend of green tea, aloe, and lemon. It smells amazing out of the bottle- nice and soothing- but for some reason it turned into a really bad (to me) citrus smell and none of the green tea scent comes through :( I do have to say that it does take on a more pleasant scent on my skin, though... perhaps the 0.9 oz/ppo I used is way too much for this scent. Next time I try this, I'll nudge it down more to 0.5-0.6 oz/ppo and see if I prefer it better as a lighter scent for CP... otherwise it just may find itself going into bath bombs or lotion! Who knows... I will not give up on this OOB scent :)