Monday, February 28, 2011

Sprinkles & Twinkles - The Remake

I LOVE THIS BATCH! I want to grab a bullhorn and stand on the roof and announce it to the whole town.:D I think this one is my new favorite. I said in a video today that the Carrots & Cream is my favorite unscented but I think it's just been kicked out of first place! The appearance of this soap just appeals to me. I love color and sprinkles and glitter. It is unscented and has cream so it will be very gentle too. Win-Win!

The Rainforest Pumice soap was still quite soft. I could cut it but my fingers were denting it. So I'll wait another day or so.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sprinkles & Twinkles and Rainforest Pumice

Soapmaking is so theraputic! I just adore all things soap. I love to daydream and design my next batches, I love formulating them, I love watching videos about soap(making soap and just show and tell), I love soap blogs, and I love to buy soap too! Soap is just my thing. :)

It has been 11 days since my Buttermilk Tea Soap and 20 days since the last time I glittered soap! Oh geez, that is too long for a person that loves soap like I do. I successfully completed Glitter Rehab and now I can move forward. It just so happens that my comeback glittering was with a new glitter. So many people use diamond dust glitter but I just now got some in. I'm in love with it!

I made a big batch and split it in two since I wasn't doing any swirling.

The first part is a remake that I call Sprinkles & Twinkles. The recipe has changed since I last made it a year ago and it looks a smidge different but the general idea of it is the same. It is an unscented soap with some multi-colored jojoba beads mixed in. Thus the 'sprinkles.' On the top of the soap is glitter for the 'twinkles'. I tried something new that I saw some other soapmakers use on YouTube. I sprinkled the top with real cake sprinkles! It's so pretty! I'm a sucker for multi-colored sprinkles on white. PRETTY! I think they'll work fine since I'm not gelling.

With the other part of the batch I made Rainforest Pumice soap. I wanted it to be blue but when I saw how yellow the essential oil blend was, I knew I better just go for a green. I love the green with the grey speckles from the pumice. This is going to be such a great soap for gardeners and for mechanics. My husband could use it today as he replaced the brakes on his car and his hands are covered in grease. I'm not so sure about the essential oil blend. The strongest note I pick up is the eucalyptus. I was thinking it would be a more fresh/ozone type but it's quite herbal and reminds me of a 'sinus reflief' scent. I think once it cures, it will mellow and blend nicely and it should be a wonderful soap for men.

I did adjust my batch a little bit again. This time I added a small amount of unrefined cocoa butter to my regular recipe. This batch also has cream in it. I do miss the cream in my batches without it so I do think I will try to always add a little in every batch.

I'm trying to upload some videos of today's soapmaking to my You Tube channel. It's just creeping along right now but should be available for viewing a bit later this afternoon.

ETA: Sparklebrook on YouTube

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cut Pic & Vanilla Changes

Buttermilk Tea Soap - CUT:

I wanted to show you how vanilla will change the color of a soap. Originally, the fragrance oil in the Fruit Loops batch turned the base yellow. A week later it remained unchanged but in the second week, it is changing every day. I don't expect it to get much darker.



The same is happening with my Chocolate Raspberry Bliss soap. Of course, I did know it would do this and considered it in my coloring of this batch and the Fruit Loops one as well.



Often times, people imagine a vanilla soap being very light-colored like vanilla ice cream, but in reality, it will be much darker like the vanilla bean itself. I've also had soap darken on me even though the fragrance didn't contain vanilla at all. That is always a bit puzzling and disappointing too if it interferes with the coloring of the soap.

I have thoughts of a new soap that will incorporate lots of vanilla, brown sugar, honey, chocolate, and possibly some almond. Mmmm.... I will need a few ingredients to make that one so that one will wait. You can bet my next one, whatever it is, will have heaps of glitter!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Buttermilk Tea Soap

Mmmmm....this one is so yummy. It is made with tea and buttermilk and I used a blend of patchouli, grapefruit, and lavender essential oils to scent it. I usually don't care for patchouli but with this particular blend, it just the perfect accompaniment to the citrus and lavender. I sprinkled the top with a bit more tea. It's going to be tough waiting on this one for sure.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chocolate Raspberry Bliss - CUT

It's alright. It's not as fun looking as I had envisioned. Because the raspberries are pretty big, I had to cut to each side of them and the bars are really huge. I think I only got five bars out of the whole loaf. It smells good, but morphed a bit in comparison to the scent in my favorite body mousse. So up will be a lighter soap for sure!

By the way, this is my glitter challenge/glitter rehab soap. No glitter to be found! See, I can do it!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chocolate Raspberry Bliss

I made this soap last night. It's named after my most favorite chocolate by the same name. This soap got very thick on me after i added the cream so I wasn't able to do as much with it. I imagined a high top with a drizzle of chocolate soap over the berries. It also started heating up, even in the small separated portions. So this one went straight into the freezer. I didn't even take the time to take a picture.

I grabbed it out of the freezer this morning and unmolded it right away while it was still nice and solid. I was able to cut it in the middle this afternoon and I found that it did not try to gel at all. I was worried about a partial gel. It was still really soft and I didn't want to continue cutting it . I was also happy to see that the stearic-type spots were only on the outside and everything looked good inside.

I will cut it more tomorrow!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fruit Loops - CUT!

I went to turn the fan off of the soap this afternoon and low and behold it was ready to cut! The yellow part will turn darker, I don't know if it'll go brown or stop at tan. I adore the fruit loops scent, it's in my top ten. We don't keep them in the house because they are so sugary but they sure do smell good!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fruit Loops!

This fragrance played real nice today. I didn't even try to use stabilizer so the bottom 3/4 of the soap will turn pretty dark. There is a layer of white on top. I pushed in some soap balls made from the previous swirl soap. I wish I hadn't been so heavy handed on the color for the drizzles but I think it will still look good. There will be many contrasts in this soap. Of course I sprinkled the top with glitter. :) I've been given a challenge to leave the glitter off of my next soap. I can do it! Right?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Making Butter - The Kind You Eat!

I made butter and I feel so domestic! :) The kids and I worked on this little project together and I just felt like sharing with all of you. I always believed that making butter was much more difficult than this. I remember having to crank and crank the butter churn for my mom. It took forever! But this was very simple.

Last night I poured some organic heavy whipping cream into a quart jar. I put the lid on and let it set out for 12 hours/overnight. This is the only time that planning ahead comes into play here.

I opened it this morning and it smelled a bit sour, just as it was supposed to. I started shaking it with well-definined shakes. About three minutes later we had solid butter and buttermilk.

I drained off the buttermilk into the little jar.

From there I added a bit of filtered water to the butter and "washed" the butter. I then drained it again and the result was this "cleaned" butter.

I prefer salted butter so I added some sprinkles of fine pink himalayan salt that is supposed to be so good for you. The kids and I shared a bagel to give it a test and it was very yummy!

I have so many variations in mind...add olive oil to have some spreadable butter in the fridge, add honey to make honey butter, add herbs, etc. Of course, I could do the same with the regular organic butter we buy at Costco but it seems more fun that I started with a jar of heavy cream and ended up with butter.

We buy the half-gallon containers of organic cream at Costco and I figure if I made my own, it would be cheaper than buying the organic butter at Costco. Plus it was just plain fun!

My 8 year old son took these pictures for me and I think he did a really good job!