First of all a huge THANK YOU to Amy Warden from Great Cakes Soap works, _ for creating our soap challenges and the soap swap, and another THANK YOU and WOW to Gretchen from Green Meadows Cosmetics _ in Elk River, MN for sending me 5 of her soaps!
I received two salt bars, an avocado facial soap, a beautiful faux funnel swirl using illipe (which I had never heard of before!), clay, charcoal, chromium oxide green and ultramarine pink, and her gradient soap scented wonderfully with rosemary peppermint!
I have been using Gretchen's avocado facial soap which has a dense creamy lather and feels great on my skin.
I'm also using her salt bar with chlorella that she said she added to the lye water the night before. The green color of the bar is absolutely stunning, and I love the simple swirls of titanium dioxide on the top! It has a stable lather at 90% coconut, 10% castor, 50% weight of oils in salt. Much more stable than the salt bars I made.
I can't wait to try the other bars!
P.S. I have to share why I am posting this blog so LATE! I honestly didn't think I was going to get this done before the Link-Up expired, I made it by the skin of my teeth with 5hr and 42min left! I grabbed my camera last weekend to take out the memory card which has ALL of my soap pictures on it as well as the pictures of Gretchen's soap package she sent and it was MISSING! No memory card to be found. I interrogated each one of my children, all of them swore up and down they didn't touch it and gave me a what the heck are you talking about look. So, I'm sitting at my counter eating a late night snack and I look down and there's a random memory card sitting on the floor about 5 feet from me. I put it in my computer and guess what?! It's my missing memory card! I have no idea where it has been all week but I'm glad to have it back! And no, it hasn't been on the floor all week, I keep a very clean house. :)
This week our challenge was to create a all natural soap using ingredients we've never worked with before.
My soap which I'm calling Protein Bar until I come up with something else is inspired by my brother-in-law and his wife, David and Emma. They flew here from Portland, OR and stayed with us last week. David and Emma live in downtown Portland and this was Emma's first time in the Midwest. They are very health conscious and only eat meat and eggs from their local farmers. Their first night with us they got a kick gathering the eggs our hens had laid that day. The next morning they both had eggs over easy. :)
They rode with us up to Minnesota to visit our family up there and while we were getting groceries at a local grocer I found a box of Oat milk, which I had never heard of before and thought it would be perfect to try in this weeks soap challenge!
When I mixed the lye into the Oat milk it turned a pretty dark orange color. I mixed one egg yolk into the oils and blended it with my stick blender. I added a line of cocoa before adding the final layer of soap. I attempted to make peaked tops however, I need a lot more practice and the soap was setting up to quickly so I scratched that plan!
The essential oils I used was1/4 oz bay rum oils (bay, orange, all spice, cinnamon, Jamaican rum) left over from the alcohol challenge and 1/4 oz orange oil.
While the essential oils I have used before, the Oat milk, egg, and cocoa line were all new ingredients/techniques I've never tried and I can't wait to try out this soap. Thank you so much Amy Warden for all your work in putting this together! I have learned so much and have been inspired by everyone who has participated!
This was another first for me and I think I'm going to love salt bars! I only had time to try one batch this week but I want to do some more experimenting. My bars did crumble a little at the very bottom but not too bad.
This is what I used in my bars: liquid was 100% beer, 75% coconut oil, 10% castor, 5% cocoa butter, 5% argan oil, 5% avocado, super fat 20%, fine sea salt 75%, EO of spearmint
Can't wait to see everyone's salt bars on Amy's blog! http://www.greatcakessoapworks.com/handmade-soap-blog/
This week's soap challenge was to create our own "scent blend" using any fragrance oil or essential oils we have on hand. Given the nature of my trade I have to admit I have a lot of essential oils! I feel more confidant blending them into a carrier oil to use in my facial room than blending them into soaps. For some reason I have terrible luck with how my goat milk soaps turn out with essential oils. A wonderful blend of essential oils that smell good before adding them to the soap turn out smelling putrid!
So far all of the goats milk soaps I've made have been with lavender or a lavender blend. So this time I'm leaving out the lavender. I'm also staying away from my fruity and citrus oils because they are my FAVORITES and I have a lot of soap with those oils.
I'm looking for a woodsy or floral outcome.
These are the different oils I experimented with:
palmarosa, bergamot, ylang ylang, sandalwood, rose, geranium, patchouli, clove, tea tree, palma rosa, cedarwood
I tried to stay with the 3,2,1 ratio but it just didn't have the right smell so my blend is definitely heavy on the base notes. Which might work out better because my essential oils always tend to disappear by the time their done curing! grrrr
Here's the final product:
15 drops rose
10 drops ylang ylang
15 drops sandalwood
15 drops cedarwood
25 drops bergamot
I blended it into my basic goats milk soap recipe. I also experimented with acai juice, to see what kind of color it might add to the soap. At trace I divided the soap and added the organic acai juice to half and then swirled them together before pouring into the mold. The acai juice turned into a khaiki, green/brown color. Not the purple/plum color I was hoping for.
The outcome of my scent blend in the soap, not good.....still smells great when I blend it into my jojoba oil, in fact I had two clients this week comment on how nice the massage oil smelled. :) The soap on the other hand still smells putrid to me!
Next weeks soap challenge from Amy @ Great Cakes Soap Works, http://www.weebly.com/weebly/main.php# Faux Funnel! Stay tuned.....
This weeks challenge from Amy Warden at Great Cakes Soap works http://www.weebly.com/weebly/main.php#was to make a soap with alcohol. Not a problem, one of my favorite soaps is a beer soap. This time I wanted to try something different so I opened up my husband's well stocked liquor cabinet! I had read a shaving soap recipe that had a natural bay rum scent so I thought now was a great time to give it a try. I needed a dark Jamaican rum which he had on hand but was hesitant to let me use it due to it's cost being somewhere around $10/oz. He has expensive taste!
The following is what I blended together and added at a light trace: 2oz dark Jamaican rum, 1T allspice, 1T cinnamon, 1oz bay essential oil, 1oz sweet orange essential oil.
I let that sit for 48 hours, then I strained out the spices and heated the rum to a boil.
I wasn't sure how fast it was going to set up, therefore it's a boring soap! I only made 1lb and I have enough bay rum oils to make another so I"ll have to add in something fun next time!
It smells amazing!! :) Ready to sell 5/8/12
I'm participating in a soap challenge organized by my soap mentor Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks. Our first challenge was to make soap using a swirl in the pot technique. I chose to swirl in two colors, using white chocolate and dark chocolate. I also added peppermint essential oil.