Friday, 14 June 2013

Peacock Swirl.....First try and third try!! These are the ones that didn't make the cut!

Hi is an overview of the two other peacock swirls I did when I was trying to get one to enter in the competition.

My first attempt was a total bust.  A combination of skewers too close together in the tool I made, and the soap batter being a bit thick.....this is the end result....

And here are the cut bars after I steamed the ash off.....

I guess...after all that they don't look too bad!  They smell yummy...Black Raspberry Vanilla Fragrance Oil.

The whole peacock thing was doing my head in, and I decided to try once more to see if I could do it any better.  This time I just did 3 colors, and chose a different fragrance, Eden's Garden from Bramble Berry.
Everything went amazingly well...still used my single skewer!  And the end result looked fantastic.....until the next day when it was covered in popped air bubbles!  So here it is...peacock #3....

Here it is after the initial skewer pass through....

Here it is after the S - Curves.....was really really pleased with how it was much neater then my original one!

And here it is with the air bubbles the next disappointment....

And finally...cut...they smell pretty good, and if I can work out how to get the top layer off without a planer, they will look excellent!!

So that's the peacock for a while.....don't know if I will ever do it again, as cleanup was total hell...but for limited editions, it might be OK.  See you all later  :)

Monday, 10 June 2013

The Peacock Swirl - Soap Challenge Club

Hi everyone.....the time has come to tell you all how my peacock swirl experience went!  I used the recipe off the website, which was:
35% Olive Oil
30% Palm Oil
25% Coconut Oil
10% Rice Bran Oil
5% superfat
I used a fragrance I had not used yet Black Raspberry Vanilla from BB.  All I can say is YUM!!

Anyway, back to it.  My first attempt was a total bust.  Soap thickened too much, and I had my skewers too close together in the tool I made to do the pass through.....long story short...all my pretty colours got mixed together!

But it got the better of me and I tried again that afternoon.  I used the colours: Red, Yellow, White and Black.  Put my fragrance in the rest of the soap batter and into the mold.  I squeezed the colours alternately into the mold in stripes.  Then I got my SINGLE SKEWER!!  Wasn't game enough to use the tool again, so I used a single skewer to do the initial pull through:

Then came the confusing S curves!  Got the skewer again and drew the s curves through the soap batter....wasn't that neat, but it turned out OK in the end:

And here are the cut bars.  I think for a first attempt it turned out OK.... I was definitely out of my comfort zone, and I am so glad I did this challenge....can't wait for the next one  :)

Oh I should add that I had to spend about 2 hours steaming ash off the cut bars....silly ash!!

Well that's it...will do a post later about my failed attempt and my third attempt, that was really good until the next day when I looked at it and it had tine popped air bubbles along the s curve lines!  :(
Oh well....
Bye for now...

Monday, 3 June 2013

The Creative side of Soaping

As a soap maker, I guess being creative is part and parcel of the job.  But occasionally, you are made to think even more creatively when a challenge is set.  I am a member of The Soap Making Forum on the internet, and for a few months running we had a monthly soap challenge with a specific theme.  I was pretty keen to take part in these challenges, as it made me think outside the box a bit, and made me steer away from my normal swirls and patterns.

The first one I took part in was "A soap depicting a song from the year you were born".  When I saw the theme for this one, i couldn't even begin to get my head around how to depict a song!  So I hit GOOGLE, and finally came up with "Moondance" by Van Morrison.  ( The year by the way is 1970.)  So then my next mission was to figure out what to do.  I made a white embed in an old gladwrap tube.  Then I mixed some different shades of blue, in what I hoped would end up looking like a night sky.....then I put it all together, and the end result was the following soap.  I scented it with Love Spell, as I thought it kind of went with the mood of the song!

The next challenge I participated in, was the theme of "Mythology".  Now this one had me stumped!  So once again I hit GOOGLE, and almost instantly I found a Greek Myth that I thought I could work with.  It was the myth of PERSEPHONE - Queen of the Underworld.  She was the goddess of Spring Growth alongside her mother Demeter.  One day she was seized by Haides and taken to the Underworld to be his bride.  Her frantic mother searched everywhere for her, and finally discovered that her husband Zeus had conspired in her abduction.  She was furious, and refused to let the earth fruit until Persephone was released.  They relented, but because Persephone had already tasted the fruit of Haides, Pomegranate Seeds, she was forced forever to spend a part of the year in the Underworld.  Her annual return to earth in Spring is marked by flowering of meadows and new growth, and her return to the Underworld in Winter sees the dying down of plants and the halting of growth.

This I thought I could work I planned my soap......predominantly black for the Underworld, with bright colours representing the colours of Spring Growth, and scented with Pomegranate Fragrance Oil.  So here is "Persephone - Queen of the Underworld"

The last one I participated in was create a soap depicting your LOCALE.  Well I had thousands of ideas running through my head for this was just a matter of getting them all into one soap!!  As I have mentioned, I live in Central Queensland in Australia.  In our region we have Coal Mining, Cattle Grazing, Crop Farming and Dairy Farming.  I wanted to put all of these into my soap.  So I added a little bit of Cow's Milk to my recipe for a start!  I scented the soap with Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil ( because I figured that Eucalyptus is a good Australian scent)  and the I put a black layer on the bottom, depicting the Coal Mining, then a layer of green, depicting Cattle Grazing, but I also put a pinch of ground oats in this layer for the Crop Farming part as well!  Lastly I did a white layer with some black blobs, which were meant to look like the Dairy Cow.....and here it is....."Callide Valley"

The main reason for this post is that I have entered Amy Warden's Soap Making Challenge Club, and this Month it is the "Peacock Swirl".  I will update you all on how that went soon.  These previous challenges helped me get the confidence I needed to be able to say....Hell yes, I can do this!  I'll let you know how I go!
Bye  :)