Saturday, January 18, 2014

Taiwan Swirl

My soap for this month´s Soap Challenge, using a lovely Taiwan Swirl, a technique that I´ve always wanted to

As I have a cold and can´t smell anything - I couldn´t create a new fragrance blend for this soap. I chose a tried one instead. I wanted to make another batch scented with my "Angels" essential oils blend based on ylang ylang, grapefruit and lavender. I knew that this blend was a little risky but decided to try it anyway because I thought the delicate look of the Taiwan swirl would suit the scent well.

I used mineral pigments and charcoal to colour the soap. The batter moved fast as expected but I managed to finish the swirl. Unfortunately the soap overheated a little bit so I got some greyish streaks in the middle and also a little ash on the top.

I must say that I like this soap in spite of the mistakes, the scent goes well with the colours and creates an energizing earthy manly feeling. But I would like to make another attempt using this technique and try to achieve a better swirl. Hopefully tonight or just once I can smell again.

An invigorating scent based on ylang ylang, grapefruit and lavender, soap with silk, buttermilk, shea and cocoa butter.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Column swirl soap - Soap Challenge

The inspiration for this soap comes from my dear husband. He has been talking about this particular colour combo for several months.

He would like to make a bright orange, green and black soap. I just didn´t have the idea for a matching scent and design...until this month´s Soap Challenge. 

This was my first attempt at Column Swirl. I wanted to try a new fragrance, Orange and Chilli. And these colours seemed just the right ones for it. I used mineral pigments and charcoal. I chose to pour across one central column - made from two wooden blocks.

Scented with a blend of Orange & Chilli, Cedarwood and a hint of Honey. Soap with buttermilk, silk and shea butter.

I asked my husband Peter why he wanted these colours, he said he likes the combination because for him it feels like energy, movement but also serenity and patience.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Dandelion Zebra Swirl

When I first saw this technique, its name sounded mysterious as well as the technique itself. The original soap of Vinvela Ebony, who created this design, looks fabulous. I had no idea how to do it and really wanted to learn. Thanks to Amy Warden, for organizing these soaping sessions and another great choice of technique!

I started thinking about this soap in September. We were coming back from my cousin´s wedding, and went for a walk. The weather was nice and first signs of autumn around us. Beautiful colours! I decided to make a soap inspired by that view of the landscape with late afternoon sun and sky. I am really pleased with the result, the colours came out nice.

The green is mainly green clay with just a pinch of green oxide, other than that I used mineral pigments. I made the swirl with four different shades of yellow-orange-pink. On the top of the soap there is some soda ash that developped just around the ornaments, and created an interesting effect I think.

Scented with a pleasant harmonizing blend of Honey, Orange and Rosemary, a little light, a little earthy. Soap with buttermilk, silk and green clay.

I will definitely use this technique again, I like the effect of tiny stripes and the wild swirl shape.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Soap Challenge - Gradient soap

My soap for this month´s Challenge and I am very pleased with the result.

I´ve already tried one-colour gradient before, and last month I made a similar looking soap with botanical colours and clays - a combination of different brown and orange stripes, but not really in a gradient way.

I like the colour mixing, it´s interesting to preview the shades and then to see how the colours influence each other in reality.

I wanted to make a brown  - ocean blue/green (maybe greyish) soap with an orange accent. At first I planned to mix two gradients, the brown and the blue, and to make an orange line between them, but then I saw Amy´s tutorial and started thinking about using the orange as the middle colour. I thought the gradient might be more even like that and I also wanted to see what colour the blue and orange would make.

So I decided to try it. I was expecting a nice shade of grey but the result is even better, a nice ocean green that I really like.

I made the soap on Wednesday night.

Smooth grounded scent of velvet Almond Milk and Vanilla with light sunny Mandarin and Lime. A creamy soap with buttermilk, oatmilk and white clay.

Last month I made this soap that I mentioned in the beginning, it´s a kind of gradient as well. For the colours I used different combinations/ratios of tomato puree, yoghurt, cocoa powder, turmeric and three clays - yellow, pink and red.

Desert Spice - manly soap scented with earthy Cedarwood, fresh citrus notes, eucalyptus and cinnamon.

Now looking forward to see all the other soaps!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Holly Swirl

Amy´s Soap Challenge Club Part 3 -  the theme for this month is Holly Swirl. A technique that looks beautiful and that I have never tried, so I am in.

It took me a while to get inspiration for this soap. I had several ideas but none of them felt to be just the right one for this particular design. I went through my fragrances and nothing really caught my attention apart from Seaweed and Juniper FO. I haven´t used it so far, it has this kind of air-freshner like scent and I think it would be challenging to create a nice blend with it. So again no idea.

Walking, looking, feeling....finally an idea came to my mind.

I mixed the shades using oxides and micas, used my standard colouring-and-swirling recipe. And used the Seaweed and Juniper FO, a blend with Yellow Mandarin EO, Lavender, Cucumber FO and Cedarwood EO. I am really pleased with the result, the soap looks almost the same like in my mind and I like the scent as well, it´s very nice on skin after washing.

Fresh marine scent with a soft touch of Mandarin and Lavender, and an anchor of earthy Cedarwood. Creamy soap with buttermilk and pink clay.

Looking forward to seeing all the other soaps, I have already seen some of Thanks Amy!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mantra Swirl

When I saw the theme of this month´s Soap Challenge Club I knew for sure I wanted to participate. I really like this look and I didn´t have idea how to do it. So I was looking forward to learning this technique.

I decided to try the Original Mantra Swirl. I like that you can see the surprise inside after cutting.
I scented the soap with an FO/EO blend - fresh, marine, airy Cool Sherbert, soft light Cucumber, with a little Vanilla Cream (non-discolouring FO) and just a pinch of Cinnamon.
I coloured the soap with Ocean Green Mica, Cocoa Powder, Bright Mica, Black Oxide and TiO2. I used my favourite recipe for coloring and swirling (based on Lard, with Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Shea Butter and Castor Oil),with White Clay and just a little yoghurt.
Added my fragrance blend and after a while the batter started to thicken and got grainy. I tried to hurry up and luckily managed to do the swirl with some improvisation. What was the cause of acceleration? I think it was Cool Sherbert FO, maybe also well-known Cinnamon (but I used just a tiny bit), and it´s hot here, so even room temperature is quite high for soaping - at least for me, I am not used to it, because here in Central Europe we have such weather only around a month in the whole year. I imagine it must be pretty hard to make soap in warmer climate areas!
In the morning the top looked good, no crackle, no separation. But many possible surprises might be hidden inside...When I cut the soap I was so happy! Every piece is different and the soap looks very close to my original idea. I am really pleased with the look and with the scent. My husband says the soap is beautiful, it´s even his all time favourite so far. I am lucky and grateful he supports me in everything I do.

I will certainly use this tehnique a lot, I like its variability. I am adding one photo of another Mantra Swirl I tried, it´s a soap named Indian Rose, scented with Patchouli, Sweet Orange, Lavender.

I´am looking forward to seeing all the other soaps, the link-up page full of colours is always wonderful.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Peacock swirl - new challenge

My first trial on peacock swirl. I must admit that at first peacock swirl design seemed too wild for me, even psychedelic.
But I signed up for the challenge mainly to try the technique and hoping to eventually embrace it. I had this same issue with  the elemental swirl, that just seemed too unorderly and "overdesigned" in the beginning. But after paticipating in Amy´s Challenge earlier this year and seeing all these painting-like soaps I now love the technique and the look!

So let´s go! This time I started with the colour scheme, I wanted some 4-5 colours, nice contrasting but still decent. Maybe something like on this palette from design-seeds? Yes, that´s it. I had to order new pigments, so far I´ve been using just yellow, red and blue. This time I needed to get more green and turquoise shades.
Creating the scent took me some time. I decided to base it on Baby Powder and Vanilla. To these soft and sweet tones I added a hint of fresh, crisp tones of Mint and Lime.

Regarding the recipe, I like to work with hard oils and butters, room temperature. I used my recipe for "complicated" designs - it is based on lard, together with olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter and castor oil. Added also some buttemilk. This recipe generally works for me, and creates a nice creamy coloured base.
The funny part was to get squeezing bottles. I couldn´t find any suitable here in Czech Republic! After a lot of thinking the only solution I found was to use these bottles from something called "lemon concentrate". I asked my son to buy six of these - well, he said the shop assistant looked like "why does he need 2 litres of this"?


I really liked the process. Everything went smoothly, just couldn´t put the caps back on the bottles at first but fortunately fixed it quickly!
My idea was a turquoise and aqua green soap with orange and white accents. I ran out of green sooner and as you can see after pouring the soap was mainly red and blue.

And surprise, the blue disappeared! My first time used blue mica is apparently not stable in CP, morphed to creamy salmon. But I like the look now, it fulfills my idea of a contrasting but decent swirl. And the scent matches now the design even better.
I am pleased with the result and will definitely try this technique again. It was fun to make and I really start liking peacock swirl, already have some new ideas. Let´s see others colourful soaps now, can´t wait!