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Monday, 26 November 2012

Lessons learned

Well, it looks like my soap from yesterday should be ok. I unmolded it, and while it is not exactly pretty, it is tongue neutral. It also looks like the fragrance separated, but none of the soaping oils did. Should be usable after a nice cure.

I did learn a few things from this batch:

1) It's been a good plan to make small batches as I learn, and hen using a new FO that has not been reviewed by other soap makers, I will stick to small ones, even as I gain more experience. When things started going wrong, I didn't panic much. Partly due to the research I have done in preparing for this craft. I did know that rebatching is not only possible, but not too much of a hassle. But even if it had not turned out, or been unsalvageable, I wasn't going to stress about that small amount of oils.

2) Cranberry seeds will discolour from red to brown in CP soap, and end up looking like flax seeds. They still look kinda cool in the soap, but not as pretty as in my head.

Even with the problems, I am still having quite a lot of fun with this. I need to start clearing some more space for curing, though, lol.

Sunday, 25 November 2012


So, I think I may have experienced accelerated trace tonight.

My recipe was

water 172g
NaOH 63 g

Olive oil pomace 182g
Coconut oil 72deg 136g
Palm oil 113g
Castor 23g

and I tossed in about 3/4 tablespoon of cranberry seeds as an exfoliant. Things were going very well until I added my FO, a scent called White Sage. I love the scent, but my soap went from a light to medium trace to almost like mashed potatoes. I blended a bit more to try and smooth it out, but am worried I will end up with separation and have to rebatch.

Here is what it looks like now

I will post more pics if  I get separation, or if I am able to cut and cure it as is. I am kinda relieved it happened,  I've been worrying about how to deal with things if they go wrong. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Colour woes

So I unmolded the soap I coloured with Paprika and Tumeric. I expected the tumeric portion to be more distinct, but I still think it looks quite pretty. Tongue neutral, no funny discolouring or texture, so all in all, I say it's a success!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Batch 2

I made my second batch tonight, and I am very excited to see it unmolded.

First, my recipe:

 Almond Oil, sweet  68 g
 Coconut Oil, 76 deg 136 g
 Cocoa Butter  22g
 Castor Oil  45g
 Olive Oil pomace  181 g

Water 172g
Lye - NaOH  62 g

I split the soap batter in half at trace, and added Sugar Plum FO from Voyageur Soap & Candle Company to both halves, 1/4 tsp tumeric to one half, and 1/4 tsp paprika to the other for colour. I didn't notice any acceleration of trace, and it's a bit too early to tell if it will discolour.

I just did a simple layer, no swirl for me this time. Maybe next time I have two colours.

Looks like it is getting a nice gel on already. I am very excited to cut this one and see what the layers look like.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

My soaping wishlist

I have been reading a lot on different techniques and types of soap. Here are the ones that I really really want to try.

In no particular order:

1) coffee soap
2) Beer soap
3) Wine soap
4) Salt bar
5) Milk Soap
6) Coloured soap
7) Castille soap
8) Two Coloured soap
9) Column swirl
10) Mantra swirl
11) ITP swirl
12) Whipped soap

We are going to be one dang clean household.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Unmolding a Mystery

Ok, I was so excited for the unmolding of my first CP soap made on my own! I couldn't wait to come here and post about it.

Overall, I am pleased with the result. It looks very consistent for texture and colour throughout, and I believe I saw it go to full gel, although it's kind of hard to tell from the view you get from the top of a Pringles can.

Speaking of Pringles cans, they are not for me for use as a mold. The heat from the process caused the plastic lining of the can to bubble, and gave the outside of my soap an odd look.

I was a little worried about the appearance at first, but it passed the zap test, and the inside looks great, so I am pretty sure that is just from the lining bubbling out.

Now I just have to wait 4 to 6 weeks to try it. I was joking to my other half we would have to clear out the storage closet for me to store my supplies and dry my soaps. I was only half kidding.


I wasn't going to spend the money on a "real" mold right away, until I got a feel for the craft. But I am having so much fun even as a beginner, that I decided to take the plunge.

After doing a fair bit of searching, I found some molds on Candles & Woodcrafts that look great and fit my budget. I emailed them with a question, and their response was very fast, which I always see as a good sign in an online transaction.

I went ahead and ordered a 1 lb and a 2 lb hinged mold.  Of course, pictures will be posted when I recieve and use them :)

At this rate, the other half and I are going to have to move to a bigger place, just to accommodate my hobbies.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Jumping in

After doing some searching, and getting some supplies and equipment ready, I was ready to try one on my own. Using, I created the following recipe:

1 Olive Oil pomace   158 g
2 Cherry Kern1 Oil, p.avium  22 g
3 Castor Oil  45g
4 Palm Kernel Oil 158g
5 Shea Butter 68g
Sodium Hydroxide 62g
Water 172 g

According to the numbers, this should yield me a nice handsoap. After a few false starts, ( and here I would like to thank my amazing other half for gamely running out to find a kitchen scale at the last minute when I discovered mine would not turn on) I was ready to go! I made this as a cold process soap a few hours ago, and I can barely wait to remove it from the mold.

Originally, I was going to use the storage container I had used for my class, but then read on a forum empty Pringles cans make good molds, and I just had to try it. If you are planning the same, I would not make the batch much bigger than mine, as the total weight of my oils  is just under 500g (approx 1 lb), and I filled the can up by two thirds.

I didn't take any pictures while I was making it, as I did not want to distract myself on my first attempt. I will take some and post them when I take it from the mold and cut it.

*** Update, Dec 8**

So we are at the 4  week mark, and I couldn't resist. I had to try using this soap. The scent has held quite well, and lather feels quite creamy.

Getting started

I have had a curiosity about making hand made soap for a long time. Every once in awhile, I would search the internet, look at some tutorials, get intimidated and then forget about it again.

The last time I got curious, I decided to search for classes in my city. Which is where I found Soap & More, a local supply store that offered all kinds of classes. I have a bit of an odd work schedule, so when I saw they had their soap basics workshop available on a night I had off, I decided it was fate and took the plunge.

I am so glad I did, I had a great time, learned a lot, and got over the feeling of intimidation. The staff are all amazing and helpful. If any of you are in the Calgary area, I really cannot say enough about how awesome this place is. They do sell through their web store as well, so even if you are not local, please o check them out.

This obviously triggered my desire to dive head first into this hobby. I have no plans to make soap for sale at this time. I am making for myself, and to maybe give as gifts. I have to admit though, I am not entirely opposed to the idea. I can see myself quickly amassing quantities of soap I could never use myself.

And so the adventure begins....