Soap flowers and cupcakes

I made some cupcake soaps this week. It’s been a looong time since I’ve made any, and I was fretting about how to decorate them.

My very first soap cupcakes were decorated with non-soap, regular cake decorations. They looked pretty, but not really practical ūüėÄ

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I moved on to piping decorations with leftover soap from other projects. Much more appropriate for bathing with, but I still wasn’t happy with the result:

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So I had a root around Pinterest and found a tutorial for making soap roses here on the French SoapSession blog. I have a bit of French (but to be honest the pictures speak for themselves) so I gave it a go. I didn’t think to take any photos (oops!) as I made them but here’s what I came up with:

Picture 046As it turned out I felt my cupcakes looked good enough ‘naked’ this time, and so chose not to add any extra decoration:

Picture 048But I did use a couple of flowers on some ‘leftover’ soaps – so called because the bases were made from leftover cupcake batter (I’d run out the round cupcake cases and so dropped the leftover batter into a couple of heart shape moulds) and the tops were made out of leftover cupcake frosting (just glooped and swirled on top) I thought a couple of pink flowers would look cute on top. What do you think?

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Stocking up for market

I’m still busily building up my stock levels for the fast approaching farmers’ markets.¬† The first is only a fortnight away now, so the deadline for that one has passed¬† (I cure my soaps for a good 4-5 weeks before they’re ready to use) but there’s still plenty to do for the one after that.¬† I’ve committed to three markets a month for the time being, and I’ve no idea how many soaps I’ll need or how many will sell, so I’m stocking up and time will tell!

Here’s a round up of the last week or so:

Pink Matilda – Pink Musk Fragrance Oil

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Smiling Zebra – Tangerine Fragrance Oil

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Rosemary & Peppermint Essential Oils

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Second attempt at the Holly Swirl, Maraschino Cherry Fragrance Oil

Picture 054Vanilla Cupcakes – Vanilla Fragrance Oil (in base)

Picture 048The second and third markets are at the end of September, so I’ve got a few more days to squeeze in another soaping session or two :0)

Yet another confetti soap

I liked my¬†first confetti soap so much that I think I got a little obsessed with making them. This was the second, and here’s the third, and final (for now!) confetti soap:

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This one was made with brown coloured gratings from¬†amber glow¬†and¬†chocolate vanilla truffle¬†and fragranced with a blend of cinnamon, patchouli and bergamot essential oils. It smells gorgeous ūüôā

Here’s the full set of three:

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Now to crack on with stocking up for the upcoming farmers’ markets – more of which soon!

A second confetti soap

The second in a series of three confetti soaps:

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These were inspired by the need to find a use for some really ugly soap Рsee the first one here, and I think they look really pretty.

This version is made with shades of pink and purple and is fragranced with a blend of Lavender essential oil and Marshmallow fragrance oil.

On sale 8th September from www.facebook.com/TheSoapMine

The final soap in the series will be posted very soon.

Challenge Soap – Holly Swirl

Who wants to learn the Holly Swirl? I have to confess that up until very recently I’d never heard of the Holly Swirl – it’s a ‘swirl within a swirl’ and so called¬†because it was first created by¬†Holly¬†Bailey of Missouri River Soap Co. It’s also the technique featured in this month’s¬†Soap Challenge Club (the results of last month’s challenge can be seen here). This is one of Holly’s beautiful soaps:

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Having registered and watched the online tutorial I set about creating my own version.

Starting with a batch of my basic soap batter, I took out just under a half, coloured it with a pink oxide and poured it straight into the soap mould. I then split the remaining half of batter into two and coloured one portion with blue ultramarine oxide and the other I whitened with titanium dioxide. I put a small amount of the blue and white to one side to create the top of the soap later.

Now for the first swirl. ¬†Using a jug I poured the blue soap batter into the bowl holding the white soap batter, holding the jug up high and slowly moving it around. No stirring, no mixing – that was the swirl done. I didn’t take a photo of this stage so I hope that bit makes sense!

And the second swirl: I poured the combined blue and white batter along the length the mould, from a height. This was a little tricky as I wanted it to penetrate deep into the pink, but not so much that it settled on the bottom of the mould. ¬†It was, to be honest, an educated guess ūüôā

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I then carefully topped the soap with the remaining white batter, drizzled over the blue, and gave it a swirl:

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After 24 hours I took the soap out of the mould:

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And cut it:

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I’m really happy with how it’s turned out. ¬†If I did it again I’d probably use more vibrant colours to better show off the lovely swirls, but not bad for a first attempt I reckon! ¬†Oh, and it’s fragranced with Vanilla Bean from Gracefruit – it’s supposed to be non-discolouring so hopefully the colours will stay true…

Thanks are due again to Amy Warden of¬†Great Cakes Soapworks for setting up and hosting the challenges – I’m having a ball ūüėÄ

Ugly soap come good

Remember the failure (or two!) I had a few weeks back while making the Mantra Swirl soap? I wanted a way to use up some of that not-so-pretty soap and this is what I came up with:

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First I grated up a whole load of the red and green portions of the ugly soap, then made up some soap batter and fragranced it with a blend of Patchouli and Red Mandarin essential oils. I then split the batter into two equal halves, then split one of those halves in half again to give me three portions of soap Рone half and two quarters.  I added all the soap gratings to the larger half portion, mixing it gently but thoroughly to make sure there were no air pockets in there:

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Next I poured one of the quarters of soap batter into the mould, then slowly started to add the gratings mix:

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Finally I added the last quarter of soap over the top of the grated mix, and gave it some texture:

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This is the soap immediately after cutting.  The small bars at the front are the two end pieces cut up for samples:

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I’m so pleased with it that I’ve decided to make it the first in a series of three. The second has just been made and will be revealed very soon. The third is still in planning stage but will be made this week. ¬†Keep an eye out for updates!