Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I Roll Roll Roll the Soap!

This is for a soap challenge I got myself into.  The mission is to incorporate 3 ingredients into our soap plus one assigned tool to create the look.  In this specific challenge we had to use egg, milk and sugar in making our soap.  That's not hard at all, I've used all 3 so many different times.  The hard part is the tool I was assigned to create my look.  I got a rolling pin...  This is the soap I created with all the circumstances:

I had 7 days to complete my look.  I don't know why on earth I had to make it so complicated.  This took me 9 days! I didn't make my deadline… sigh.
This was a 3 stage process.  The first pour was to make 3 different color soap.  Then I take them out to roll with THE assigned rolling pin when they are only 24 hours fresh.

I had to use lots of saran wrap to prevent fresh soap from sticking to my wooden rolling pin.  A lot of people thought I made the soap roll with melt & pour soap.  But I think fresh cold process soap is actually easier to manipulate, I can mold it to anything I like until I'm satisfied with it.  and yes, I got a little OCD, took me the whole night to roll out 3 identical sheets of soap...
Stage 2 is to insert this rolled soap into a vertical column mold then pour the second batch of soap.
Final stage is to take the soap roll out when it's hard enough (the next day) and whip up a small batch to drizzle on top then sprinkle some sugar pearl together with glitter.
My hard work paid off!  These are literally hand cut, with a kitchen knife because of its round shape and all that random drizzle.  You should see the last piece, so slanted, LOL
They are so totally adorable!  But, I swear, I will never ever do this again!  Forget it!  This really pushed my patience to the tipping point.  Remember my Rainbow Cake Soap from last year?  I don't know which one is worse.  If you wonder what rainbow soap I was talking about see this post: Rainbow Cake Soap Fun

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cake Soap in a Roll

I don't make cake and cupcake soap as often, probably only by request or during holiday season when people are looking for one of a kind gifting ideas.  Cake or cupcake soap although looking very pretty and eye catching, they are somehow impractical to use as soap.  I love making cake soap only because it can inspire my inner most creativity. This past holiday season I decided to try some new pipping techniques.  Have you heard of scallop technique?  Check out this easy tutorial: Simple Scalloped Birthday Cake 
I didn't want to follow the traditional scallop pipping which usually is horizontal lay out, I decided to use if as drapery, vertically.
And to give the typical scallop pipping technique a twist, I used Wilton's open star pipping tip:
Then smear with a tiny spoon from center up to create that scallop edged dimple then embed a sugar pearl inside.
This second one is not as inventive, but surely as time consuming to make.  The overflow dripping "cream" is the hardest to create for me, I just don't seem to be able to time the right soap consistency.
This 3rd one is my own spontaneous try.  I was hoping to get a ribbon icicle or tassel look:
I used Wilton ribbon tip like this one:
My husband's favorite is when I pipe poppy flowers:
Maybe I will do a short video clip to show how I do them later so be on the watch out if you are interested!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Location Location Location

Last holiday season I signed up for the biggest craft show I've ever been to.  I don't sell in craft shows often, at most maybe one during the holiday season, most of the time I just list my products on Etsy.  First time doing big craft show (over 200 vendors) was nerve racking.  I had no idea how much product to bring and what price point to set in order to off set the costs.  In talking to my family about this my sister in law brain stormed a few ideas with me.  This was one of them, to make soap related to location.

I live in San Francisco Bay area, California, one of the most interesting and diverse cities in the world, not only in geography but also in culture. Speaking of San Francisco one cannot forget to mention the first gay neighborhoods in the United States, it's commonly called The Castro district. It has been one of the most lively and prominent symbols of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. You would know you just enter the zone the minute you see rainbow flags everywhere.  And that, is my inspiration for my I love SF soap.

Making this soap is not as easy as I thought.  There's a lot of waste of soap as I use a cookie cutter shaped like a map of USA to cut off a larger piece of pre-made soap.  I then hand carved out each heart or star shape approximately over where SF is on the USA map, spray some water and embedded the pre-made tiny heart or star soap into the void.  Till today I still have 1/2 of the left over scraps.  I will need to find a way to use them up.  But I have to say, they are so cute!