Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Soap Challenge #1

So I decided to try out Amy Warden's from Great Cakes Soapworks Soap Challenge which just so happened to be an in-the-pot swirl.  I'm no virgin to the ITP swirl and I've had much success with it in the past.  Perhaps I was having a bad day, but everything seemed to go wrong with this batch.
I believe my first problem was trying out a new recipe.  I used grapeseed oil in the batch, and I've never soaped with it before. (should have been my first indication)  I decided I was going to use some Applejack Peel FO that I purchased from Bramble Berry last year and have never gotten around to using it.  I quized multiple people online and BB themselves about the fragrance to find out if it misbehaved in CP soap, I was assured it was a good FO to use.  I then proceeded to pick colours for this soap.  I wanted to do 4-6 colours for my swirl since Amy told us to push ourselves and use more colours than we usually do.  I think I've used 6 before, so I guess I should have used 7.  But, I used 2.  I couldn't figure out what colours would go good with my scent.  I'm terrible at describing scents so I just told everyone that "if an Apple Pie and Apple Cider had a luv child, this is what it would smell like." So naturally, red and green come to mind for this FO.  But red and green also make me think of Christmas (should have been my second indication).  This FO screams "We Wish you a Merry Christmas" but I was bound and determined to soap with it, summer bedamned. Yes, I am stubborn.
So I melt my oils, have my lye mixture cooled down, my colours mixed and my FO measured.  I'm good to go.  Everything goes well until I start to pour off my soap into my coloured containers.  It starts to thicken and clump a bit.  I've had this happen before and have managed to salvage my batches.  But since I needed this soap to be at a light trace for the swirl I had to work fast.  And by fast I mean, like the Flash.  So since I was working in warp speed I didn't have much time to snap a few pictures along the way (as I initially planned), my bad

So this is what it looked like once I got it poured in the pot.  You can see it's getting pretty thick.  At this point I had no idea if it would swirl when I pour it or if it would just clump out and have red and green blobs all over.  Well it did clump out but I furiously shook it around my slab mold, bound and determined not to have a botched batch (say that 5 times fast).  I was hollering for my boyfriend to come and take a picture of me pouring it in the mold but he was sleeping on the couch with my dog (imagine that).

So this is what it looked like after I got it into my mold and glopped the last little bit of soap on top to do a swirl.  At this point I had very little hope it would look nice.  It looks like Santa puked on the top of my soap.  You think that's bad though, look at this one

Nothing sexy about this swirl on the top.  Would have been nice to see some white below it, but alas, at this point I was just glad it didn't totally seize on me or start to rice, or separate, I guess I was somewhat fortunate.  So I waited almost 24 hours to cut this, and I must say I wasn't in any hurry to slice it open and be disappointed and the inevitable rebatch I had on my hands.  But it wasn't a total wash (oh puns).

The top still really grossed me out, but I could see on the sides that there may be something fantastic happening inside.  I felt a little more comfortable cutting it after seeing the sides.

It wasn't the gorgeousness I had hoped for from the beginning, but I'll take it!  There was something really weird going on with the colours, it looked like glass or something.  Almost like they were suspended in the soap.  Again, really bad at describing stuff.  So tried to snap a picture to show you guys.

See, really weird. Never had this happen before, but it looks kind of neat.  Reminds me of sea glass.
I still have no idea why I decided to get all Christmasy and anyone who knows me, knows I strongly dislike Christmas.  I'm a spring girl and the weather is gorgeous right now.  I should be soaping bright funky colours with nice fruity or citrusy soaps, but I went with the one Christmas scent I have.  Oh well, in 6 months this baby will be super mild and ready for the gift giving season.
Here's some more pictures of the bars once they were cut.  I'm not disappointed with how it turned out, but not ecstatic either.

Happy Soaping!

1 comment:

  1. These are PERFECT Christmas soaps!! :) Applejack & Peel is such a great seller too - you shouldn't have any trouble selling these beauties.