A Soapmaker’s Christmas Eve

So how does a soapmaker spend their Christmas Eve when the chickadees have all fled the nest?  She soaps something new scent-wise and style-wise, of course.

Today’s fragrance oil was Lime Margarita from www.soapmakingfragranceoils.com, a stunning Emerald Green mica from TKB Trading and a glittery mica also from TKB that is absolutely so beautiful it defies description.  It’s from the Mermaid Collection and called SeaWitch.  Since the beautiful sparkle would be lost and the colour shifting would likely not make it through the saponification process or the lye, I decided to use it on the top rather than within the soap itself.

The soap is a solid colour of a pale, lime green created with Hydrated Chrome Green from Bramble Berry mixed with a bit of Diamond Dust from Nature’s Garden and used extremely sparingly.  I wish I’d used the oil/mica mix I’d made for the tops in the soap itself because the FO accelerated on me a good bit so stick blending to smoothness wasn’t an option, so there might me speckles of colour, but I feel it will lend a textural effect to the bars so long as they aren’t too big.

A bit of a can of the Lime-A-Rita, from Budweiser, was cooked down and cooled, then used as part of the liquid part of the soap.  It was added after the lye was dissolved in water and partly blended into the oils.  It didn’t turn an off-colour when done that way when making the mead soap, so this method is the way to go with the tipsy soaps.

This fragrance is sublime, no pun intended.   Absolutely mouth-watering.  Like lime candy, lime Kool-Aid, or perhaps the best lime daiquiri you’ve ever had in your life.  It really sticks through the cold process method and I can only imagine how delectable it will be in a body wash!  I know what my next bottle of body wash will be scented with!

I also tried something different in the loaf over all.  Instead of swirls or multiple colours, the entire loaf is all the light lime green.  Additionally,  I’ve tried my first pencil line.  I’m not sure how much was actually needed that would show up and still allow the two portions of the batter to stick to each other, so we’ll see if this is enough or to go with a bit more next time.  But I wanted to try something different and pencil line seems the one to try this time around.  I used the Emerald Green Mica that was used in the Mica/Oil swirl on the top and dusted it on with the tea diffuser that once was used for the glitters.  It was replaced with the tiny salt shakers for dusting soap tops with glitter when I found several boxes of them in my closet.  There’s all kinds of uses to be found with wedding reception surplus!

The top actually has two swirls; the Emerald Green Mica in oil (taken from the mixed oils in the soaping bucket) then a mica/glycerin swirl with some of the SeaWitch glittery mica.  It was gorgeous in the tiny little cup so I hope it leaves a lovely tracery once it’s seeped in in a day or two.

It was chilled in the fridge for several hours, to prevent it from overheating and preventing a partial gel which can happen with the sugars that are in the Lime-A-Rita.  So here’s how it looks right now. and in another day or two, it’ll be cut and we’ll see how the inside turned out.

View 3 (768x1024)

To update on this soap, it’s now been cut:  Cut view with pencil line (800x600)

The solid colour is even throughout, which was a concern since I added the colour in powder form and stick blending was getting tricky due to the acceleration, but it got in there and the pencil is exactly the way it was meant to look. It was a bit of the Emerald Green Mica, as mentioned earlier, and it was sprinkled on with a tea diffuser made of mesh that you squeeze the handle to open.  They’re still a bit soft and slightly wet, which is the reason for the darker circles in the middle, but as the soap continues to dry they’ll disappear, leaving a solid light green behind.  It’s such a refreshing, juicy citrus-y scent! If you like fruity scented soaps this one will have you falling in love.  These will go onto the web site as Pre-orders for now, but later will be switched to the regular page for boozy soaps called Wine,  Ale & Other Spirits Soaps when they’re fully cured after January 25th.

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Honey Mead

My honey brought me a honey mead!  He actually took the time to hunt down a mead so I could make the soap I’d been longing to make for a couple of weeks.  The only ingredients I was lacking was the mead, but I simply hadn’t had the time to hunt down a place that sold a good quality mead.  Not only did he bring me some,  he brought home three different flavours! One was a real hoot from a company in Michigan.  B. Nektar makes several flavours in their distinctive brand, and he brought Zombie Killer with Cherry, and another one of theirs, Orange Blossom Honey Mead and yet a third that was from another company, Fox Hill Meadery in Marshall, NC, that was also a honey mead but flavoured with apple.  I can’t wait to taste them as I’ve found I like that unique flavour of a well-wrought mead, but a small part of the Orange Blossom Honey Mead was destined for humbler things.

I cooked as much of the alcohol out as possible in a portion of the Orange Blossom Honey Mead this afternoon as soon as I got home from work, then chilled it down in the fridge while prepping everything else.  I didn’t use full mead with the lye as it can be a bit temperamental, so I used a partial mix about 2/3 water, 1/3 mead.  Still it’s there and will be luscious in the soap once it’s usable.  The sugars in any wine, mead is particularly nice, will enhance the bubble factor in your soaps.  If you don’t have wine, try adding just a tiny bit of confectioners sugar to your soap oils prior to adding the lye.  Very nice!

Orange Blossom Honey Mead from B. Nektar.  Ferndale, MI
Orange Blossom Honey Mead from B. Nektar. Ferndale, MI

Straight from the bottle the mead is perfectly clear, with a slight sparkle to it. A  sweet scent, slightly tart like a mead can be, but not overly so with this one as it’s more towards the sweet end of the scale.  I have not taste-tested it yet as it’s been at room temp most of the day.  I’m chilling it now so it can be tasted later, but the other two have been chilling since yesterday, so I’ll probably try them out tonight with supper. You can find these meads at B.Nektar or click here .

I’d purchased a fragrance some time ago from my fragrance supplier called Orange Blossom Honey, then heard something about mead being flavoured with various florals, fruits, or berries and thought a mead would be a nice addition to this fragrance oil.  The trouble was, I’d set my sights on one particular brand and couldn’t find that one anywhere in our area.  Pouting and sulking ensued, so the mead soap was put on the back burner and the in walked hubby with the perfect one for Cindy’s fragrance oil.  With their names being nearly identical this was a match that was destined to be.  The Orange Blossom Fragrance Oil behaved beautifully and can be found here .  It will discolour to a medium to dark tan or brown depending on your soap formula.  I prefer to use a stabilizer when FOs discolour, so maybe that will be averted , though it’s impossible to permanently stop it from darkening somewhat.  In the bottle this FO has a homey, warm, honey-sweet scent  and that alone is the note I find in it when smelling straight from the bottle.  Over time on a paper tests strip, the underlying notes of mandarin can be subtly detected, but it’s faint.  Still this is a soaper-friendly scent to use for those soaps, lotions or other bath & body applications that you and your customers will love to pick up again and again.

My recipe included some babassu oil, which always, no matter what else is in there, speeds up the firming of the soap batter, so I had to work quickly.  The babassu was the sole reason for the need for speed.  I’ve used it before, in the Apples & Spice and it did the same thing then too, but it’s so worth it in the end with the rich creamy lather that’s stupendous in  showers or baths, especially in poufs!  A bar soap  can be used with a pouf, just wet the pouf thoroughly and rub around on the bar til the lather reaches the level you like.  It won’t take long!  I’m hoping the swirl turns out to my liking, so we’ll see how they look maybe tomorrow morning, or later this evening.  I can’t wait too long because it’ll be too hard to cut, thanks again babassu! Still worth it.

Two colours were used in addition to some titanium dioxide (also used in hopes of preventing too much darkening) – Peach Sunset Mica from The Conservatorie and a bronze mica I purchased from a fellow soaper.  It’s a beautiful brownish base with this dazzling bronze sparkle that shines and glistens in the light.  The tops were textured and dusted with a couple of glitters one was Glistening Gold and the other was Celestial Sun glitter from TKB.  It’s amazing how far a sample of theirs can go!

Here’s the lovely wet soap shots just before it went int to chill out a while….

Honeymead - closeup
Honeymead – closeup

 

loaf view Honeymead
loaf view Honeymead

 

 

Where’d she go?

It’s been a bit longer than I’d planned since the last blog post, and for that I apologize, but the family had some exciting happenings going on recently so I literally was too busy and distracted to do anything soap or biz related.  We have a new family member.  My second grandchild arrived on the anniversary of her great-great-grandfather’s birthday, so the day was doubly special for everyone.

Madalyn Anne
Madalyn Anne

 

My granddaughter arrive at 1:16 in the morning of December 4th.  She weighted 8 lb 5.3 oz, so the bet between myself and my son (the baby daddy) tipped in my favor, and she measured 20.5 inches.  She’s as cute a button as you can see and has a very sweet, quiet nature.  For now. Time will tell if that remains to be true.  For right now she has red hair despite neither parent having red hair.  My son has brown hair that was blond as a toddler, a white blond nearly, and blue eyed.  Madalyn’s mother has brown hair and dark blue eyes.  The Punnet Square on this one is in the outlier range.  Beyond the bell curve. But I’m in no hurry to see this little beauty grow up too quickly, so whether she has red hair, brown hair or no hair it’s all the same to me,  she’s too precious.

I’m also waiting for some supplies I’m in search of to be found.  I have some wonderful fragrance oils now and more will be in in another month or so, but the one thing I’m looking for that I haven’t found yet is a good quality Honey Mead.  I did, however, luck out yesterday and found a lovely Honey White beer, which I’ve spent the afternoon heating to remove the bulk of the alcohol content, so my soaping kitchen now smells like a brewery, but that’s fine.  Maybe a touch like a bakery as well.  Even better!

Now, that’s why I haven’t been in here lately and it truly has been quite an eventful week.  Madalyn’s mother adamantly stated in no uncertain terms that her baby will be using Neecy’s exclusively once she’s old enough for soaps, which I was thrilled to bits to hear, and flattered that she fully endorsed my line over Johnson’s & Johnson’s.  ♥