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!