Tuesday, November 22, 2005

several soaps

More soaping, sorry, it's the thing that's fascinating me the most right now. I feel like something is clicking as far as being able to improvise and create new things. I can even scour my spice racks and kitchen cupboards looking for things to add to the soaps--and they seem to work!

Last night, I split a batch and made one huckleberry, and one with palmarosa, lavender, oakmoss, poppy seeds, and paprika for color. The paprika batch is looking pretty, kind of a peachy color with little black specks. The huckleberry was not so successful. I planned to make a pretty marbled swirl with purple oxide. Instead, the fragrance oil seized up the main soap, creating this yellow thick goop that reminded me of pureed squash. Couldn't swirl it, in fact I had to pack the goo into the mold with a butteknife, so the purple just got dumped on top.

Tonight's batch, though... I LOVE the scent! I used flat beer for the lye liquid. My fragrance oils were Indian sandalwood and non-discoloring vanilla. I added some dried black tea (Adagio's "rum" flavor) for texture. It looks lovely in the mold and I love the smell in my kitchen. I'm sorta bummed that I halved this batch because I like it better than some of the others.

soap-10, originally uploaded by ahalligan.

Here's the beer soap, cut to cure. This ones pretty, the scent is not beer-like at all. Slightly nutty, and sweet (probably from the vanilla fragrance oil).

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The soap is cut

And it's looking great:

Dan went to the hardware store earlier and got me a plastic miter box, which I used for the vanilla mocha soap to cut straight lines. The lavendar cedarwood was cut with a crinkle cutter which wouldn't fit in the miter box, but I still used it as a guide:

The vanilla mocha soap is interesting, as I expect it will change color more each day. The middle of the soap is still creamy so I'm thinking it's exposure to air that accelerates the browning action of the vanilla fragrance. You can see the gold streaks if you look closely, and those should become more evident as the rest of the soap turns color:

Friday, November 18, 2005

vanilla mocha, lavender cedarwood

Pictures! The gel stage is well past so I took my soaps out of the insulated box and peeled off the parchment paper tops from the molds. I'm pleased! I can see the vanilla-scented parts of the vanilla mocha soap are starting to turn brown, and to me it looks pretty, like dessert. The gold is subtle but nice. I can't wait to cut the purple swirl one to see how it looks inside.

Both soaps:

Closeup of golden vanilla mocha:

More vanilla mocha:

Lavender cedarwood (the top looks globby because I overfilled this one):