I was off to a good start but still had much to do. My mission had only just begun!
I was on a roll with creating the gender-specific soaps and getting to grips with colouring and creating swirls in my soap. So it was on to the next two gender-based soaps using 'Eden's Garden' fragrance for the girls and Davidoff's 'Cool Water' for the boys. Boy did I have some fun with these! By now I was really starting to loosen up and not be so afraid of over-blending and have the mix go to trace too quickly. I eventually figured out that I needed to only go to thin trace as this would allow me to spend more time on combining colours and swirling techniques.
As the name suggests, Cool Water just had to be blue. I wanted to represent the ocean as it is always cool and inviting. So with this soap I aimed for a light blue base colour with darker blue swirls to represent the rolling waves. To make my swirls more prominent than my previous attempts, I decided to take to the mix with a spoon once it was in the mould. I'm really pleased I did as I got much nicer swirls through the soap.
I felt so excited about my new swirling efforts that I also got stuck into the top of the soap with a skewer. You can't have an ocean-like soap without white caps on the waves right?!
I absolutely adore the colour and texture of these swirls!
My only disappointment came in the unmoulding process. Like Wasabi, and every other soap after this, I had difficulty getting the soap to release from the mould. I had waited at least 24 to 36 hours (sometimes even 48 hours!) for the saponification process to be completed before attempting to unmould, however every time I found myself putting the mould into the freezer for a couple of hours, then having to wait for the condensation to dry off once the soap was unmoulded before I could cut it. What was I doing wrong? Obviously plastic moulds would not be the best for forming perfectly smooth-sided loaves.
Some damage on the side where the soap stuck to the side of the mould
I was really finding my groove now with this whole swirling thing. So with Eden's Garden I really went town. I wanted to really give the feel of a beautifully blooming flower garden so I went with four colours for this one...
I am SO pleased with this effort! I swirled this on two layers so the colours were well spread through the body of each bar. While the scent was a very nice one, a light floral, I don't feel that it will hold up too well long term.
So, moving on from these, I next wanted to tackle a 'foody' type fragrance so I went nuts (pardon the pun!) with Turkish Mocha. Oh my goodness...mouth-wateringly edible! This scent really did drive me nuts all through the curing period - I was constantly smelling chocolate cake through my house!
I had a lot of fun swirling with this one. I went for a Turkish Delight kind of look with brown, red, black and white. Again, I was impatient trying to get this soap out of the mould and ended up damaging the sides in places...damn!
My saving grace...an attempt at a different style of textured top. With a little sprinkling of cocoa powder thrown in for good measure!
Was I getting close to being finished this marathon? Oh no. Still more gorgeous fragrances to whip into an interesting work of art!
By now, I was getting really comfortable with colouring, swirling, keeping a thin trace and finding ways to texture the tops of my soaps. But what about something simple, something traditional? Like any good soaper (I believe!) I had to have the good ol' Oatmeal, Milk & Honey soap. What kind of soaper would I be if I couldn't make this soap staple? So here it is...
~Oatmeal, Milk & Honey~
I love this! I had a crack at using loofah as a botanical additive way back when I made my first ever batches, but I was yet to use ground oatmeal. I imagine this one will become a permanent feature in my soaping repertoire! I can't wait to try this one myself! So many soaps...so little time!
My original plan was to go with Mint Choc Chip as part of the foody group of soaps I was making, but then I felt it would be too much like the Turkish Mocha. So, I found another delightful foody fragrance in Black Raspberry & Vanilla. What a great choice! The name gave me a chance to go wild with my new container of black oxide. Hence, along came my next creation with a nice little pink and white ripple through the middle of the loaf. Forget swirling here, I'm onto layers now! I think I'm making great progress along my learning curve!
~Black Raspberry & Vanilla~
But alas, the alluring call of the swirl was too much. I just had to get some swirls in somewhere! So a simple swirl on top it was.
I decided to add some loofah to this soap as I had been concentrating so much on use of colour and technique that I really only had my oatmeal, milk & honey soap as an exfoliate. Note to self for next time, much finer grade loofah and well separated!
I really dislike the tracks that loofah leaves in the soap when it is cut. I know that by using the crinkle cutter, the effect shouldn't be as obvious, but it is. :(
I actually made another soap using my Nizzy mould and the Kentish Rain fragrance I have. However, as I was working against the clock (or is that the calendar?) I was so caught up in getting through my list of 'soaps to make', that I forgot to photograph my last CP soap! Probably a good thing...didn't quite turn out the way I'd planned! I made an attempt at doing a faux funnel pour using white, green and blue to represent rain. I'm not sure whether I over blended, dithered about too much colouring the mix or whether the fragrance accelerated the trace, but instead of pouring each colour in to make the coloured rings I so desired, I ended up spooning and glopping the mix into the mould! The end result...a beautifully fragranced and coloured bunch of bars with a very roughly textured top! Simple exfoliation...couldn't be easier!!! ;)
By now you must be thinking that this soaping marathon must be coming to an end? Oh no...there was more soap still to be made! The disastrous Kentish Rain was the final CP but it was next on to whipping up some M&P soaps to throw into these little (?!) pamper packs. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately for you!) I didn't take the time out to photograph these. But they did turn out well. You've got to love M&P for a quick and easy result!
If you've stuck with me thus far through this soapy, and wordy (!) marathon, thanks! If you've tuned out already, then that's okay too. I'm just a little bit chuffed about my results and felt this was a good way to record my progress.
I hope you'll be back for my next post/s...pamper packs revealed!