Recent Makes

A very quick update with some recent creations.

First up is a restock of Luscious Lavender – an ‘In the Pot’ swirl fragranced with Lavender Essential Oil and coloured with Titanium Dioxide and Violet Ultramarine. It always surprises me how popular Lavender still is – this one’s already sold out!

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This next one is Orange Sherbert.  The batter thickened up VERY quickly but I still managed to do an ‘In the Pot’ swirl.  I really like the resulting folds, but I’m not sure I would ever be brave enough to try to replicate it as I was <this> close to getting the proverbial ‘Soap on a Stick’ :0) Fragranced with Orange Sherbet FO from Gracefruit and coloured with Titanium Dioxide and Orange Mica.

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Finally for today: Parisian Flowers.  A deliberately uneven layered soap, fragranced with a heady blend of Ylang Ylang, Rose Geranium and Lavender Essential Oils. Coloured with Titanium Dioxide and a range of pink micas, with a mica oil swirl on the top.

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Look What I Won…

Back in August, amid all the buzz heralding the release of Soap Crafting by Anne-Marie Faiola (aka The Soap Queen), I entered a prize draw posted by the lovely Cee on her Oil & Butter blog.

A number of soapy bloggers had been asked to review the book and make a soap using one of the recipes/methods therein. They were also given an extra copy of the book to give away to one of their (US based) readers.  As part of her review, Cee made a loaf of Alkanet Root & Fennel soap from the book and all we, the readers, had to do to enter the draw was to comment on the post about essential oil blends and/or natural colourants, and names would be drawn out of a hat (so to speak). Now, not being in the US, I knew I wouldn’t be getting my mits on a copy of that coveted book, but Cee wasn’t about to forget her international readers, oh no :).  As well as giving away a copy of the book, Cee was generously giving away a bar of that very soap to one of her lucky international readers.

And that reader was me! Cee sent me message via Facebook to say I’d won, and I did a happy dance.  On the 5th September Cee sent me another message to say it had been sent.  Oooh I was excited… My husband didn’t quite get it. ‘You’ve won soap? We don’t have enough soap already?’ while pointedly looking at the boxes in the airing cupboard / attic / wardrobe / under the bed… Hahahahah… But yes, I was excited 🙂

The weeks passed, and then some more weeks passed.  Finally, on 5th November (yep, two whole months in transit!!) Cee’s beautiful soap arrived, and here it is in all its gorgeousness:

Alkanet Root & FennelIt’s wonderful to use – silky smooth, abundantly bubbly and smells divine. And just look at that piping on the top *swoon*. It’s fragranced with Fennel, Lavender, Grapefruit and Patchouli essential oils and coloured with Alkanet root. A  full tutorial can be found on Cee’s blog here. (Do also check out her amazing gingerbread house made of soap – stunning stuff!)

Thank you once again Cee for sending it all this way – I love it!

PS – I did finally get my own copy of the book when it was released here in the UK, and it’s great – but that’s another post :0)

Colourful Camouflage

Another recent make:

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My original plan was to create a four colour version of the black and white soap in the header <up there> but it thickened up really quickly on me, and I had to work quickly to spoon it into the mould and swirl the top.

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It’s scented with “Jelly Beans” fragrance oil, a sweet, fruity fragrance that has held well, and really suits the colourful design.

Drop Swirls

We finally had a bright day today so I took the opportunity to take some photographs outside – I’ve tried and tried to get decent pictures using my lightbox and artificial lighting but each time I fail miserably so it’s natural light all the way for me from now on!  (This could prove problematic in a North of England winter but I’m nothing if not an optimist 🙂 )

I recently tried something a little different – I’ve seen some beautiful drop swirl soaps on Pinterest, most notably by Tree Frog Soaps and Celine at I Am Handmade, and decided to give it a go. Celine very generously shares her methods on YouTube here so I spent a few happy hours watching soaping videos before I felt ready to make my attempts. Here are the first two:

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Aniseed & Orange DropI’ve also been experimenting with creating my own essential oil fragrance blends. Neither of these soaps have names yet, but the first one is fragranced with a lovely blend of Rose Geranium, Clary Sage and Lemon essential oils, and the second is fragranced with a totally delicious blend of Aniseed and Orange essential oils.