Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pipping Soap Poppy Flower

Soaping is very much like cooking, to be more specific, very much like baking.  Whatever you can pipe onto a cake for decoration it can be done in cold process soap also.  I'm not much of a baker, why make it myself when I can just buy all kind of yummy treats out there easily?!  I confess, my very first pipping experience is not for food, it's for soap... that's serious soaping addiction, LOL.
Pipping cupcakes is actually pretty easy as long as you get the thickness of soap batter under control.  Pipping flowers is a totally different story.  All the youtube clips on pipping flowers make it look so easy and effortless.
These are my first pipped flower, they are supposed to be poppies but... oh well, good enough, LOL
It was no piece of cake for me!  I had to pipe it again and again, scrap the failed ones, throw it back into the bag, do it again until it looked decent.  The last 2 flower petals started to crack all over the place because the soap batter had gotten way too thick and dry for pipping.

Oh well, next time will be better I tell myself!  Hey, at least they look like flower!
If you want to give this a try, take a look at this video first: 
Thank you Kim from Alamo Candelaria for showing us how to pipe poppy flower!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Second Trial Live Video Soap Session

Still not perfect, but huge improvement from 1st trial!
Thanks for all 5 volunteered participants for helping me take a step forward towards the determination of this exciting future "class" offering!  I can finally see the light at the end of the dark tunnel.  To read my 1st trial blog post click: First Trial Live Video Soap Session
I studied the mistakes I made from 1st trial and made a couple significant changes to this round:
  • Definitely set a specific color scheme per class (unlike the 1st time, inexperienced me let everyone chose their own color scheme).
  • Demonstration by me before letting all participants start
I got great feedback this round, everyone had a great time to the point we kept on chatting soap related subjects after class that we just couldn't stop!  Here are some soap photos from this soaping session:

My pre made Melon Spritzer Soap to show participants the color scheme:

This is soap by Nicole Sullivan from Lather & Love Bath & Body Creations
Nicole uses natural colorants only so her colors look different from the rest but shows you how natural colors can make eye catching design too.

This one is made by Barbara Wilde from Wildevines Soapery

Next one is made by Angie Cavaiuolo from Handmade Natural Beauty

Last but not least, soap made by Pamela Leis from By The Sea Soap

I think I will host a 3rd round of trial then I can be ready to offer it as a "class" for real!  Super excited!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bee's Wax in Soap

I don't remember when was the last time I tried adding a small percentage of bee's wax in soap, probably ages ago.  I totally forgot the reason why I ditched this ingredient, more curious why I want to give it another try.
Well, I think that jugged my old memory!  Bee's wax is very hard, it requires high temperature to melt it and stay liquid.  That is why it's being used for lip balm to maintain shape even in hot summer.  It is the same reason soapers use a small percentage in making soap, to harden and lengthen the use in shower.  Wax, any kind, is not saponifiable, meaning it would not react with sodium hydroxide (lye) like other oil and butters, it stays wax even in cold process soap, it's the reason why only a very small amount should be used or soap would start to lose lathering power.
I usually soap very cool temperature, it gives me more time to play with design as I'm slow, takes me forever and a day to finish a batch!  Well, with oil butter temperature so low it would not be able to keep bee's wax liquid.  I thought I was being a smart ass to melt bee's wax separately and pour into the soap when the batter is about thin trace.
Hot liquid bee's wax riced on me the second it hit the batter!  I had to stick blend the heck out of the pot trying to smooth it out.  I did my best, even trying to filter the bits out by running it through a mesh.  The batter got too thick it just won't go through the straining mesh 1/3 through the way.  I hurried up and added the color and FO and into the mold it went.  You can still see the tiny white translucent speckles if you look closely.  I can smell the sweetness of the bee's wax faintly through the soap.  But no way am I going to try using bee's wax in soap ever again!  I don't care how good it is, it's not going into the soap.  This is it, the very very limited batch!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Reinventing Old Techniques with New Combination

I have to say, it's pretty hard to invent a new technique in soaping style, that doesn't mean you should just do same old same old over and over again.  If you want, combine 2 or more techniques together in one soap will bring the boring soap back to live!
Here are my recent soap mini obsession: layering + tiger stripe (or ITP swirl) + balls (yes, how can I skip that?!)

 Bubble Gum (essential oil blend)

Love Potion

Now what's your reinvention of combining old styles?!