As a former piano student, music is a huge part of my life, creative and otherwise. It soothes, inspires, lifts the spirits, calms me down, gives me some ‘away’ time when I need to block out things that threaten to overwhelm me, so this background seemed to call to me like no other has. I found this at a wonderful site called The Graphics Fairy – www.graphicsfairy.com. Her free art pics are easy to add to anything you decide to get creative with whether it’s a pillowcase or a piece of furniture. Browse through her site- though I must warn you, it’s addicting and you’ll lose yourself for hours – see how inspiring all these great crafty ideas motivate you to make something gorgeous! The header was created by my son, a free lance graphic artist. He offered, I accepted, so now I have a brand, a logo, an avatar for forums and a lovely header for this page and my FaceBook page.
After rinsing them off a bit they look smooth, even toned, and still have that delicate light undefinable scent to them I liked originally. The recipe was modified a bit so here’s the one I used for these:
6 oz coconut oil (76°)
1 oz chamomile butter
1 oz apricot kernel oil
2 oz lard
1 oz. castor
3 oz cottonseed oil
1.5 oz. lemon butter
3.5 oz. olive oil
2.6 oz lye
6.6 oz water
0.80 sodium lactate
2 tsp. bentonite clay
The SL was added after this was cooked (I like Hot Process for soaps I’m in a bit of a hurry to have ready).
The Clay was added in before the soap started its cook and stirred well, though you can add it to your oils before adding in the lye solution if you want to be sure it’s thoroughly distributed.
I added no additional scent though it held its lemon scent for quite while during the cooking stage, but it’s very faint now. I also omitted any color. This can be changed if you prefer, but I left them out at the users request as he felt it might irritate his skin if there were added.
Today’s project is making a specialty bar for acne-prone skin. The recipe is below:
13 oz. Grapeseed Oil
8 oz. Coconut Oil
6 oz. Cottonseed Oil
3 oz. Lemon Butter Blend (WholesaleSuppliesPlus.com)
2 oz. Castor Oil
3 Tblsp. Bentonite clay
1 oz. Tea Tree Oil
10.5 oz. Aloe Juice
4.2 oz. NaOH
These figures were run through SoapMaker software program for a 7% lye discount for superfatting to prevent a lye-heavy bar as well as allow for moisturizing skin after washing without feeling greasy.
If I wasn’t planning on using Aloe juice with the NaOH, I’d have added borax to the water after the NaOH dissolved, but I’m trying this method first. The juice has been chilling in the fridge for several days, (since being opened for a previous batch) to avoid the volcano effect.
The oils and butter were melted together in a crock pot except for the Tea Tree Oil, which I’m saving for after the cook. This way I hope to preserve most if not all of the beneficial properties of the Tea Tree oil in the finished soap. I’m doing a hot process in order to be able to test it sooner and then try another recipe with more butters that are specific to aiding in skin care and healing. The clay will be added near the end of the cook just prior to placing the soap into a mold.
Since it’s a hot process, I’m going to use the loaf silicone mold, then slice it up once it’s firmed up enough to remove from the mold. No fragrance is being added to this batch. The only scent in it is from the lemon butter, which smells like fresh lemons – yum!, and the tea tree oil’s scent. Hope these two play well together! Pic will follow once it’s out of the mold.
It’s been cut and is curing, so now it’s a waiting game. *sits and whistles, twiddling thumbs* I’m not patient when this part comes along. I’m always anxious to try out a bar and see what it feels like, how it lathers, how the fragrance holds up in use. But with CP waiting is necessary in order to prevent anything undesirable happening. The green changed to mauve thanks to the high pH of the CP soap, but the piped top held up very nice! The swirls are awful. Not swirly enough, so that’s something that needs more work. But it smells really fresh, green & clean. The FO, Bamboo & White Grapefruit, held up very well in the heat of the soap, no acceleration, so it’s a keeper. It would be a good choice for body spritzes and lotion.
All in all, this soap wasn’t a total loss since the scent and piped tops held up so nicely. There’s even pearly glitter on them to make them even prettier. But I definitely need a few more lessons in swirling!
This soap, my favorite recipe, the cottonseed oil one, was made again but using aloe juice in place of the water. New thing #1. This will make it good for your skin and soothing for burns like suntanning too long, falling asleep on the beach towel, snoozing poolside, etc.
The fragrance was a new one, Bamboo & White Grapefruit. It makes me think grassy when I smell, it but it’s a very clean, fresh, crisp kind of summery scent. Perfect for this recipe.
The second new thing was doing a CP soap and using two colors (which should have been rethunk in all honesty) for a swirl. Next time I’ll use two that’ll stay true and show up better. This time I tried the mica in green, which quickly morphed into mauve due to the pH in the soap at present. I doubt it’ll change as the pH lowers over time, but with soapmaking, life’s an adventure, so who knows really. The other color was yellow, which really didn’t show up very well, so I won’t use that one again in a CP soap. It’s too subtle to be seen and could be misinterpreted as bad spots in the soap.
The next new thing was the top. I piped on little stars and curlicues on the top after letting the soap thicken up a bit. That was fun, so it will be repeated the next time I do a CP soap in this wonderful little 1 lb loaf mold! Messy, but fun! Then a bit of a dusting of pearly white mica was dusted across the peaks of the top to make it shimmer, which doesn’t very come across in pictures unfortunately, but it’s there.
I learned several things with this one – first don’t use yellow. At all. Period. Second, use that dowel more and swirl it more after all the colours have been poured into the base. Third – don’t use the green or blue mica in CP soap. They morph to ridiculous colours that are unsuited to the fragrance you’re using more often than not.
I made a hot process batch of soap with the cottonseed oil recipe and used a new FO from Natures Garden and Candles called Lemongrass Kiwi & Cassis. This Smells fabulous! Green with a touch of citrus, light, and just enough body to it to appeal to the guys as well, which they did unanimously in my family! They all loooooved the way this soap smelled in its original form. But they were kind of shallow for soap bars, so I decided to chunk these into a clear base and see how they’d turn out. That went well so then I tried a white base. Both are as pictured. I was a very happy camper with how they looked and still smelled great! The white ones smell a bit fainter than the clear ones because I forgot to add the FO to the base after it was melted and ready to pour. There are still some of the original bars left that have yet to find their destiny, but something will pop into my head soon about what to do with them.
The embeds were done today using two different bases – a yogurt base, also from NG and a clear base bought elsewhere. There were chunks as well as curls in each batch. I made about a pound of each type, then cut it this afternoon and I love how they turned out. I’ve been trying to branch out and get some colour, excitement and uniqueness to the things made and this is a fun first step in that direction. I added a bit of additional FO to the clear base but not to the white yogurt base. There’s enough of the scent in each one that it’s a clear easy stroll down a very fragrant path with these.